A Cast of Thousands…


…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.

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High School Knights

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More art from the late 1970s, this time by me.
Above are The Phenomenals, a superhero team Scott and I created—I can still remember that among them are Striker, Cirrus, Thrombor, Kinetika, Starflare, Kilgore (the bad guy), Zero and…um, I don’t remember who the others were. Scott created some of them, including Thrombor the Human Superball, Zero and the guy with the diamond-shaped goggles whose name I can’t remember, and I created most of the others, I think.
This was drawn in 1977, it says here. I really liked Jim Starlin’s elaborate montages, does it show?
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And this is Falstaff, who I’m pretty sure was a character Scott created—a kind of a “holy fool” who charged into dangerous situations without much strategy or sense, but had a “luck” power that would have him do just the right thing, usually by mistake. This is probably from 1978 or 1979, and you can see that I liked Neal Adams’s work at least as much as I liked Jim Starlin’s. This was the part of doing the art that I liked—figures and costumes and explosions. And hey, look, I drew in my own Zip-a-tone, by hand! When I tried to get serious about drawing backgrounds, like curbs and fire hydrants and building foundations, I rapidly discovered that I wanted to tell stories far more than I wanted to draw illustrations.