A Cast of Thousands…

PhoneRanger.jpg

…or, “I Created…Them?!”
Recently, the fine folks at Marvel Comics asked me (and others, I’m sure) to send a list of characters I’ve co-created for them, for some sort of new accounting purposes. So today, in between juggling phone calls and e-mails I’ve been meaning to catch up on, I put together a list.
It’s longer than I thought. Especially given how fond I was of digging up and re-using forgotten characters from the past.
It was also hard to tell, sometimes, who to list. I didn’t want to simply list every named character I’d ever created, because then the list would be choked with one-off SHIELD Agents, V-Battalion members, cops and talking heads on TV. So while I listed Dagny Forrester, since she’s the super-villain Corona, I didn’t list her brother, Dr. Cedric Forrester, because despite a nice Sal Buscema design, he’s basically Snotty Scientist #3, nothing particularly notable. But I did list supporting cast members from Untold Tales of Spider-Man, because it seems some of them have already turned up on TV cartoons, and let’s face it, you never know when someone Peter Parker went to high school with is going to turn into a super-villain.
Plus, as I made the list, with the help of the Grand Comics Database, the Marvel Universe Appendix and other sites, I made some odd discoveries. I knew that the Phone Ranger (pictured in his sterling debut above) had appeared in the Civil War crossover, but the Golden Gator was one of S.H.I.E..D.’s Howling Commandos? The Bobster had been considered for the Initiative? The mind, she boggles.
Anyway, having made the list, I figured I’d share it here, so you can see the panoply of worthwhile characters, adequate spear-carriers and hopeless gomers I’ve co-created over the years. If you notice that I’ve left out any I should have included, please let me know. Or if I’m claiming credit I shouldn’t, drop me a line. There are a couple of borderline cases, but I’ll throw in notes about them.
Full list after the break. Brace yourself.

CHARACTERS KURT CREATED
(or, more often, co-created)

Listed by name, first appearance, and co-creator(s):
Airborne (of the Deathsquad) – Iron Man #1 (2/98) – Sean Chen
Airborne* (of Shadowforce One) – Spider-Man & X-Factor: Shadowgames #1 (5/94) – Pat Broderick
Ambush (of Shadowforce One) – Spider-Man & X-Factor: Shadowgames #1 (5/94) – Pat Broderick
Arms Merchant/Andreas Kapelos – Thunderbolts #3 (4/97) – Mark Bagley (cameo), Sean Chen (face revealed)
Batwing/Jimmy Santini – Untold Tales of Spider-Man #2 (10/95) – Pat Olliffe
Bedlam/Olisa Kabaki (of the Exemplars) – Iron Man #21 (10/99) – Roger Stern, Jose Ladronn
Bloodshed/Wyndell Dichinson – Web of Spider-Man #81 (10/91) – Steven Butler
Bloodtide (of Fathom Five) – New Thunderbolts #1 (1/05) – Fabian Nicieza, Tom Grummett
Bluebird/Sally Avril** – Untold Tales of Spider-Man #2 (10/95) – Pat Olliffe
The Bobster/Hypertron 1.0/Bob Robbins – Web of Spider-Man #83 (12/91) – Chris Marrinan
Boobytrap (of the Deathsquad) – Iron Man #1 (2/98) – Sean Chen
Bunnyhopper (computer intelligence) – The Order #2 (5/02) – w/Jo Duffy, Chris Batista
Carnivore/Andreas Zorba*** (of the Exemplars) – Iron Man #21 (10/99) – Roger Stern, Jose Ladronn
ChronarchDefenders #12 (2/02) – created with Jo Duffy, Ivan Reis
Commanda/Lady Catherine – Untold Tales of Spider-Man #10 (6/96) – Pat Olliffe
Conquest/Bridget Malone (of the Exemplars) – Iron Man #21 (10/99) – Roger Stern, Jose Ladronn
Corona/Dagny Forrester) – Spectacular Spider-Man #176 (5/91) – Sal Buscema
Decay/Yoshiro Hachiman (of the Exemplars) – Iron Man #21 (10/99) – Roger Stern, Jose Ladronn
FeraPower Man & Iron Fist #97 (9/83) – design by um, me
Fieldstone (of the Brute Force) – Thunderbolts #31 (10/99) – Mark Bagley
Firebrand/Rick Dennison – Iron Man #4 (5/98) – Sean Chen
Firefight (of the Deathsquad) – Iron Man #1 (2/98) – Sean Chen
Firefight (of Shadowforce One) – Spider-Man & X-Factor: Shadowgames #1 (5/94) – Pat Broderick
Fizgig (of the Brute Force) – Thunderbolts #31 (10/99) – Mark Bagley
FlashburnNight Thrasher #16 (11/94) – Steve Mattsson, Art Nichols
The Forever CrystalAvengers Forever #3 (2/99) – Carlos Pacheco
Forrester, Dr. Cedric**** – Spectacular Spider-Man #176 (5/91) – Sal Buscema
Freeman, Duane (Avengers liaison) – Avengers #4 (5/98) – George Pérez
Gantry (of the Spacemen) – Untold Tales of Spider-Man #4 (12/95) – Pat Olliffe
Glitch (Charles Amundsen) – Marvel Super Heroes #12 (1/93) – James Fry
Golden GatorStrange Tales GN (11/94) – Ricardo Villagran
GodstormThor: Godstorm #1 (11/01) – Steve Rude
Hardtime (of Shadowforce One) – Spider-Man & X-Factor: Shadowgames #1 (5/94) – Pat Broderick
Headsman/Cleavon Twain***** – Untold Tales of Spider-Man #8 (4/96) – Pat Olliffe
Hoarfrost (of the Brute Force) – Thunderbolts #31 (10/99) – Mark Bagley
Hoopsnake (of the Brute Force) – Thunderbolts #31 (10/99) – Mark Bagley
Inferno/Samantha McGee (of the Exemplars) – Iron Man #21 (10/99) – Roger Stern, Jose Ladronn
Ingot (of the Brute Force) – Thunderbolts #31 10/99) – Mark Bagley
Ionello, JasonUntold Tales of Spider-Man #1 (9/95) – Pat Olliffe
Jacobs, Parnell (villainous War Machine pilot******) – Iron Man #11 (12/98) – Sean Chen
Jolt/Hallie Takahama – Thunderbolts #1 (4/97) – Mark Bagley
Khandruvitch, Dr. Vasily******* (creator of the Elements of Doom) – Thunderbolts #7 (10/97) – Roger Stern, Jeff Johnson
KhlOg (actually a word in a Navajo alphabet meaning “enemy”) – Strange Tales GN (11/94) – Ricardo Villagran
Loblolly (of the Brute Force) – Thunderbolts #31 10/99) – Mark Bagley
Lord TemplarAvengers #13 (2/99) – George Pérez
Manowar (of Fathom Five) – New Thunderbolts #1 (1/05) – Fabian Niceza, Tom Grummett
Mason, Eugene (second Crime-Buster********) – Power Man & Iron Fist #105 (5/84) – Richard Howell
McKeever, “Tiny”Untold Tales of Spider-Man #2 (10/95) – Pat Olliffe
Megawatt/Eugene Leyden – Spider-Man Unlimited #2 (8/93) – artist Steven Butler
MenaceUntold Tales of Spider-Man #21 (5/97) – Pat Olliffe
Mirrorshade (of Shadowforce One) – Spider-Man & X-Factor: Shadowgames #1 (5/94) – Pat Broderick
Orbit (of the Spacemen) – Untold Tales of Spider-Man #4 (12/95) – Pat Olliffe
Oversize (of Shadowforce One) – Spider-Man & X-Factor: Shadowgames #1 (5/94) – Pat Broderick
PaganAvengers #14 (3/99) – George Pérez
Papa HaggDefenders #1 (3/01) – Erik Larsen
Peliali (goddess) – Avengers #29 (6/200) – George Pérez
The Phone Ranger/A.G. Bell – Marvel Age Annual #1 (1985) – artist James Fry
Pulaski, Joey (superpowered teenager) – Amazing Fantasy #16 (12/95) – Paul Lee
Riordan, Dallas (Thunderbolts liaison, later Citizen V, later other IDs) – Thunderbolts #1 (4/97) – Mark Bagley
Rocketlauncher (of the Deathsquad) – Iron Man #1 (2/98) – Sean Chen
The SaboteurIron Man: The Iron Age #1 (8/98) – Patrick Zircher
Satellite (of the Spacemen) – Untold Tales of Spider-Man #4 (12/95) – Pat Olliffe
Scarum (of the Brute Force) – Thunderbolts #31 10/99) – Mark Bagley
The Scientist Supreme/Dr. Christopher Ganyrog – The Order #5 (8/02) – Jo Duffy, Ivan Reis
Scorcher/Steven Hudak – Untold Tales of Spider-Man #1 (9/95) – Pat Olliffe
Sheldon, Phil (reporter) – Marvels #1 (1/94) – Alex Ross
Silverclaw/Maria de Guadalupe Santiago – Avengers #8 (9/98) – George Pérez
SkullcrasherMarvel Super Heroes #9 (4/92) – James Fry
Smokescreen (of the Deathsquad) – Iron Man #1 (2/98) – Sean Chen
Songbird/Melissa Gold********* – Thunderbolts #1 (4/97) – Mark Bagley
Stonecutter/Utama Somchart (of the Exemplars) – Iron Man #21 (10/99) – Roger Stern, Jose Ladronn
Sundown/David Lowell – Untold Tales of Spider-Man ’97 (1997) – Roger Stern, Tom Lyle
Supercharger/Ronnie Hilliard – Amazing Fantasy #17 (1/96) – Paul Lee
Tempest/Nicolette Giroux (of the Exemplars) – Iron Man #21 (10/99) – Roger Stern, Jose Ladronn
Terrier/Gordon Savinski) – Untold Tales of Spider-Man #12 (8/96) – Pat Olliffe
Torrent/the Weather-Maker/Jared Carstairs – Thor: Godstorm #1 (11/01) Steve Rude
Tremont, JonathanAvengers #15 (4/99) – George Pérez
Triathlon/Delroy Garrett Jr. – Avengers #8 (9/98) – George Pérez, working from my crappy sketch
Tuatara/Arahoa Tepania – Iron Man #6 (7/98) – Patrick Zircher
The Undertaker/Conrad Eisenstadt – Amazing Fantasy #16 (12/95) – Paul Lee
Vacuum (of the Spacemen) – Untold Tales of Spider-Man #4 (12/95) – Pat Olliffe
Watchfire (of the Brute Force) – Thunderbolts #31 10/99) – Mark Bagley
*that’s right, I created two forgettable paramilitary yahoos named Airborne, only four years apart. Two named Firefight, too!
**Sally Avril appeared in
Amazing Fantasy #15 as a throwaway character with no last name; I gave her a name, a personality, a superhero career and a story, so I think I’m entitled to claim her.
***Jack Kirby created Andreas Zorba. Carnivore is so different, though, that he’s worth listing, at least.
****yeah, okay, I reconsidered. He’s not much on his own, but he’s an integral part of Corona’s story.
*****I plead not guilty! Someone else came up with that name; tell me it’s a pseudonym!
******I make no claim to War Machine, but I did create Parnell.
*******named for Bob Kanigher and Ross Andru, creators of the Metal Men
********Marv Wolfman created the first Crime-Buster, who I think died. I created the guy who swiped his gear and took over the identity. I also created characters to be a new Eel, a new Chemistro, a new Cyclone, and like that, but most of them don’t have enough of an identity to matter. Eugene Mason did.
*********Screaming Mimi was created by Ralph Macchio, Mark Gruenwald and either John Byrne or George Pérez, but Bags and I gave her a new name, new identity, new backstory, new power and new personality. I’d think that counts.

Plus, groups or other multi-character concepts. I didn’t list The Queen’s Vengeance (the Avengers in other identities), my Secret Empire (a Jack Kirby group with a new name) or others where there wasn’t a new idea there, but I did list groups that had existing characters in them, so long as the group itself was a new idea…
The Action Squad (mercenary team) – Power Man & Iron Fist #95 (7/83) – Ernie Chan
The Brute ForceThunderbolts #31 10/99) – Mark Bagley
The DeathsquadIron Man #1 (2/98) – Sean Chen
The ExemplarsIron Man #21 (10/99) – Roger Stern, Jose Ladronn
Fathom FiveNew Thunderbolts #1 (1/05) – Fabian Niceza, Tom Grummett
Field Force (villain team) – Night Thrasher #17 (12/94) – Steve Mattsson, Art Nichols
The Flaming Sword (eco-terrorists) – Iron Man #4 (5/98) – Sean Chen
The InfinitesAvengers Forever #10 – Roger Stern, Carlos Pacheco
Open Space (entire shared universe) – OPEN SPACE #1 (12/89) – various people worked from my series bible and Tom Grummett designs
Shadowforce OneSpider-Man & X-Factor: Shadowgames #1 – Pat Broderick
Sky Raiders (flying hooligans) – Thunderbolts #27 (6/99) – Mark Bagley
The SpacemenUntold Tales of Spider-Man #4 (12/95) – Pat Olliffe
S.T.A.R.S. (the Superhuman Tactical Activities Response Squad) – Maximum Security #1 (12/00) – Jerry Ordway
The ThunderboltsIncredible Hulk #449 – Mark Bagley
The Triune Understanding (villain group) – Avengers #15 (first mentioned #8) – George Pérez
Cult of Zor (mystic cult) – Power Man & Iron Fist #102 (2/84) – Richard Howell

* * * * *

It’d be a much shorter list if we trimmed it down to characters who appeared in more than just one storyline. Or characters who were written by more writers than just me. The first time any character I created was written by someone other than me was when Steve Englehart used the Cult of Zor in the Vision and Scarlet Witch maxi-series, and it gave me a glow of pride. I’m still happy when I see characters I created popping up in other writers’ stories.
So which of these guys would I most like to revisit? Surprisingly, not the obvious choices. I’d like to do more with Papa Hagg; I never thought he came through the way I wanted him to. I’d like to play with the Deathsquad, for all that they’re not terribly memorable—I’ve liked that kind of team since I saw the Espionage Elite in Iron Man and The Rat Pack in Captain Marvel, and I’ve created a bunch of them myself. But the Deathsquad had good outfits, and it’d be fun to explore them more. Stonecutter. The Bobster, who needs his own series. Manowar (great design!). S.T.A.R.S. And it’d be fun to reveal that a few of the Sky Raiders regenerated their powers and are still out there, looting convenience stores for beer and chips to fuel their 24-hour party in the clouds.
Comics don’t seem to be much about bringing back forgotten characters any more. But you never know. And hey, if I got the chance, who’s to say I wouldn’t bring back someone else’s characters instead, like Ixar and the Ultroids?

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