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CSBG Archive

J.M. DeMatteis’ Back Pages

Every day this month I will share with you the first (at least as far as I know) U.S. professional work by a notable comic book creator. Here is an archive of the creators who have been featured so far.

Today’s featured creator is J.M. DeMatteis!


J.M. DeMatteis has been writing comics for three decades now, and he continues to stand out as a man who can handle all different genres and styles of writing. Whether it be offbeat humor, spiritual stories, horror, fantasy or just flat-out superhero comics, DeMatteis brings his unique perspective to all of the different genres that he writes, somehow giving all these different styles a uniform brand of quality.

He was in his mid-to-late 20s and working as a music critic before he first broke into comics with December 1978’s Weird War Tales #70.

Check out the first six pages of the story….

Cool stuff. Pretty lucky to have such a legend like Dick Ayers draw your first comic book story!


That is a cool story. I could see that being adapted for television of film pretty easily.

Dang, now I wanna know if McGavin made it!

DeMatteis is truly one of the most versatile writers in recent history. Compare his runs on Defenders, Marvel Team-Up, and Captain America with both his classic and renewed takes on JLA, then check out his Spectre work. The man can honestly do it all.

Dang. DC would’ve just had several hundred people clicking a “BUY NOW” button if WWT #70 were available online.

Get me a Vampires of the Navy ongoing series, while you’re up.

The PT-73? I wonder how many got that joke.

Mike, I missed that, but found myself wincing — there was a USS Maryland in World War II, but she was a battleship (and Pearl Harbor survivor), not an aircraft carrier, and she survived the war.

Sometimes being a battleship geek has its drawbacks…


I never knew about this. I will have to try and find a copy of this issue. J M DeMatteis is a great writer. Occasionally I think his pacifist ideology gets in the way of his writing a good action-packed adventure yarn, but at the same time they’ve also let him to pen some extremely thoughtful, introspective and atypical superhero tales. The first issue of Captain America that I ever read as a kid was written by him, and I enjoyed it so much that it played a major part in my becoming a lifelong fan of the character.

By the way, that’s some nice work by Dick Ayers & Dan Adkins. Actually, Ayers did a fair amount of work for DC in the 1970s on a variety of titles, and I’ve been hoping for a while now that some of it would be collected. Especially his war and western material, which from what I’ve seen was really good.

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