Luke Cage History: From Hero for Hire to Hollywood
TV, Comic Books
Today’s feature is about a creator who is one of the few (only?) writers to have classic runs on both the Avengers AND the Justice League.
While he certainly had competition for the honor, Steve Englehart might be the most acclaimed comic writer working at DC and Marvel during the 1970s.
Englehart followed up a classic run on Captain America with Sal Buscema, which involved Cap giving up his identity (one of it, if not the first, heroes to be replaced by another character) and also fighting a group of bad guys headed up by none other than Richard Nixon, himself!
Englehart followed his Cap run with a notable run on the Avengers, where he married off Scarlet Witch and the Vision and introduced his pet character, Mantis, to the book. His stories were clever and also sweeping in scope.
He added Beast to the team (he had written the short run of the Beast as a solo character, after Gerry Conway made the Beast into his furry blue look) and, in a clever piece of meta-fiction that would not be out of place in an Alan Moore comic decades later, Englehart added Patsy Walker, Marvel’s answer to Archie during the 50s, to the Avengers as a superhero named Hellcat.
Englehart also did remarkable work with Doctor Strange during this time period, particularly the multi-part Sise-Neg storyline.
Englehart left Marvel for DC and did a notable run on the Justice League, also using a great deal of DC’s past history.
He then did an extremely acclaimed run on Detective Comics with the late, great Marshall Rogers (and it is terribly tragic that I have to use the term “late” to describe him) and other artists (including a young Walt Simonson).
Englehart did a number of independent works, like Coyote, as well as some acclaimed 80s comics, such as Green Lantern and West Coast Avengers.
He later created a number of Ultraverse characters, with the most prominent one being Night Man, who even had his own TV series at one point in the 90s.
So yeah, Steve Englehart – really great comic book writer.
I wish we could see more comic book work from him.
Comics Should Be Good accepts review copies. Anything sent to us will (for better or for worse) end up reviewed on the blog. See where to send the review copies.