One of the most innovative and prolific comic book authors, Mark Waid has taken some of the most recognizable comic book superheroes and turned them on their ears.
Waid was born March 21, 1962 in Hueytown, Alabama. He began reading comics at age four, starting with Batman. He knew fairly shortly after that he was destined to be a writer. His career began as a freelance stringer for such industry trade mags as Comic Buyer's Guide and Amazing Heroes. This eventually led to an editorial position at DC Comics in 1987, editing titles such as Legion of Super-heroes and Doom Patrol. He has since become a complete free agent and contributes his talents to multiple books across multiple publishers including DC, Marvel Comics and Archie Comics, though most of his work is with DC. He has written stories for nearly every major comic book character and title, including Superman, Batman, The Flash, Justice League of America, Captain America and Spider-Man.
Waid has always been fascinated by the concept of "What If?" and much of his storytelling demonstrates this. He helped to initiate DC's highly successful Elseworlds series of books, which explore alternate realities. In 1996, along with artist Alex Ross, Waid created Kingdom Come, one of the most critically acclaimed comic book novels in the history of the genre. He then went on to create the idea of hypertime for the DC Universe, which (sort of) reintroduces the multiple realities that were wiped out by previous retconning series such as Crisis on Infinite Earths and Zero Hour.
Waid's work re-ignited my interest in comic books after a long dormancy. His ideas call upon the vast mythic lore that comic books provide, the child-like wonder of superheroics and an encyclopedic knowledge about each hero or heroine's backstory; he then takes these ideas and gives them a new creative spin, either by placing the story in an alternate reality, the future, or by interaction with hypertime. His sheer love of both the genre and storytelling shines through in his work, and when paired with a talented artist such as Ross, approaches sheer mastery of the craft. He recently founded Gorilla Comics with such notables as George Perez and Karl Kesel, among others.