Bob Haney

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Bob Haney
Bobhaney2003.jpg
Haney in 2003, reading a Teen Titans Archive Edition.
Born Robert G. Haney
(1926-03-15)March 15, 1926[1]
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Died November 25, 2004(2004-11-25) (aged 78)
La Mesa, California
Nationality American
Area(s) Writer
Notable works
Aquaman
Blackhawk
The Brave and the Bold
Metamorpho
Teen Titans
Unknown Soldier
Awards Alley Award, Inkpot Award

Robert G. "Bob" Haney (March 15, 1926[2] – November 25, 2004) was an American comic book writer, best known for his work for DC Comics. He co-created the Teen Titans as well as characters such as Metamorpho, Eclipso, Cain, and the Super-Sons.

Biography[edit]

Early life and career[edit]

Haney grew up in Philadelphia, where he read popular newspaper comic strips such as Prince Valiant and Flash Gordon, and was a regular listener of radio dramas. During World War II, he served in the Navy and saw action during the Battle of Okinawa.[2] After the war, he earned a Master's degree from Columbia University and then embarked on a writing career, publishing a number of novels under a variety of assumed names.

In 1948, Haney broke into the comic book industry. His first published comics story was "College For Murder" in Black Cat #9 (January 1948).[3] From 1948 to 1955 Haney wrote crime and war comics for a number of publishers, including Fawcett, Standard, Hillman, Harvey, and St. John.

DC Comics[edit]

In large part due to the anti-comic book campaign launched by Fredric Wertham's Seduction of the Innocent and the United States Senate Subcommittee on Juvenile Delinquency in 1953, most of Haney's publishers went out of business in the 1950s. In 1955 he connected with DC Comics and his first DC credit was the story "Frogman's Secret!" in All-American Men of War #17 (January 1955).[3] Thus began a long association with DC, which lasted almost thirty years, with Haney scripting just about every sort of comic DC published.[4]

Haney was the writer of the story "The Rock of Easy Co.!" in Our Army at War #81 (April 1959), the first appearance of Sgt. Rock.[5] Haney and artist Lee Elias created the supervillain Eclipso in House of Secrets #61 (August 1963).[6]

Haney frequently claimed to have co-created the Doom Patrol with Arnold Drake and worked with him on the first few issues, but Drake insisted that he merely called in Haney for help in meeting the deadline for the very first story.[7]

In 1964, Haney created the Teen Titans with artists Bruno Premiani and Nick Cardy. Robin, Kid Flash, and Aqualad teamed up in The Brave and the Bold #54 (July 1964) to defeat a weather-controlling villain known as Mister Twister.[8] They subsequently appeared under the name "Teen Titans" in The Brave and the Bold #60 in July 1965, joined by Wonder Woman's younger sister Wonder Girl in her first appearance.[9] After next being featured in Showcase #59 (December 1965), the team was spun off into their own series with Teen Titans #1 (February 1966).[10]

The Metamorpho character was created by Haney and artist Ramona Fradon in The Brave and the Bold #57 (January 1965).[11] Haney stated in 1995 that "The most creative single thing I ever did was Metamorpho".[12] The character was featured in his own title, also written by Haney, from 1965 to 1968.[3] Metamorpho later appeared in a series of back-up stories in Action Comics #413-418 and World's Finest Comics #218-220 and #229.[13]

Haney was the writer of many of the issues of The Brave and the Bold[14] including #59 (April-May 1965) which featured Batman's first team-up in the title.[15] Haney scripted issue #85 (Aug.-Sept 1969) wherein artist Neal Adams updated Green Arrow's visual appearance by designing a new costume for the character.[16] Haney frequently disregarded continuity by scripting stories which contradicted DC's canon or by writing major heroes in an out-of-character fashion.[17] Haney's final story of the series was a Batman and Kamandi team-up in issue #157 (December 1979).[3]

Among his contributions to the Aquaman mythos are the characters Tula introduced in Aquaman #33 (May-June 1967)[18] and Nuidis Vulko in The Brave and the Bold #73 (August–September 1967).[19]

The Super-Sons, Superman Jr. and Batman Jr., were co-created by Haney and Dick Dillin in World's Finest Comics #215 (January 1973).[20] The House of Mystery's host Cain, a character modeled on writer Len Wein, was created by Haney with artist Jack Sparling and editor Joe Orlando.[21]

His later war comics work included the four page "Dirty Job," illustrated by Alex Toth, for Our Army at War #241 (February 1972), which has been described as Haney's "true masterpiece".[22][23] He wrote the "Unknown Soldier" feature in Star Spangled War Stories in 1971 and 1972. He returned in 1977 and oversaw the series being renamed after the character.[24] He wrote the retitled series until its cancellation with #268 (October 1982).[3]

Haney's stories in the 1960s and 1970s, especially with the Teen Titans and the Super-Sons, often dealt with youth culture and current issues, but by the late 1970s and early 1980s, Haney struggled to produce material that DC's editors considered timely or contemporary. This led to clashes with the DC editorial staff and ultimately to his departure from the comics industry[4]

Animation[edit]

In the 1960s Haney contributed scripts to the The New Adventures of Superman and The Superman/Aquaman Hour of Adventure cartoon shows; and in the 1980s, after leaving DC, wrote for several Rankin/Bass animated shows, including ThunderCats, Silverhawks and Karate Kat.[4]

Later life[edit]

When comics and animation work petered out in the late 1980s, Haney turned to other forms of writing, including a book on carpentry. He wrote a few additional comics scripts for DC including Elseworlds 80-Page Giant #1 (August 1999); Silver Age: The Brave and the Bold #1 (July 2000);[3] and the posthumously published Teen Titans Lost Annual #1 (March 2008).[25] His last few years were spent in San Felipe, Baja California, Mexico.[4]

Awards[edit]

Haney's industry recognitions included the 1968 Alley Award for Best Full-Length Story ("Track of the Hook" in The Brave and the Bold #79, drawn by Neal Adams); and a 1997 Inkpot Award from Comic-Con International.

Family[edit]

Haney's brother-in-law was Ned Chase, the father of actor Chevy Chase.[26]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "United States Social Security Death Index," index, : FamilySearch, Robert G Haney, November 25, 2004. Accessed March 13 2013
  2. ^ a b Catron, Michael (January 5, 2011). "Bob Haney Interviewed by Michael Catron Part One (of Five)". The Comics Journal. Archived from the original on April 6, 2012. Retrieved April 6, 2012. 
  3. ^ a b c d e f Bob Haney at the Grand Comics Database
  4. ^ a b c d Evanier, Mark (December 5, 2004). "Bob Haney, R.I.P.". News From Me. Archived from the original on April 6, 2012. Retrieved April 6, 2012. 
  5. ^ Irvine, Alex; Dolan, Hannah, ed. (2010). "1950s". DC Comics Year By Year A Visual Chronicle. Dorling Kindersley. p. 93. ISBN 978-0-7566-6742-9. "In 'The Rock of Easy Co.!' written by Robert Kanigher and Bob Haney, with art by Ross Andru, the reader was introduced to Sgt. Frank Rock of Easy Company." 
  6. ^ McAvennie, Michael "1960s" in Dolan, p. 109: "In August's House of Secrets #61, writer Bob Haney and artist Lee Elias used a black diamond to transform Dr. Bruce Gordon into Eclipso."
  7. ^ Guay, George (November 1981). "The Life and Death of the Doom Patrol". Amazing Heroes (Fantagraphics Books) (6): 39. 
  8. ^ McAvennie "1960s" in Dolan, p. 111: "They were never given a team name when scribe Bob Haney and artist Bruno Premiani spun them against Mister Twister. However, this first team-up of Robin, Kid Flash, and Aqualad came to be classically regarded as the inaugural story of the Teen Titans."
  9. ^ McAvennie "1960s" in Dolan, p. 115: "Writer Bob Haney and artist Nick Cardy added another member to the ranks of the newly formed Teen Titans: Wonder Girl."
  10. ^ McAvennie "1960s" in Dolan, p. 116: "The Teen Titans earned their own series after successful tryouts in both The Brave and the Bold and Showcase. Scribe Bob Haney and artist Nick Cardy promptly dispatched Robin, Aqualad, Wonder Girl, and Kid Flash...as the newest members of the Peace Corps."
  11. ^ McAvennie "1960s" in Dolan, p. 114: "Scribe Bob Haney and artist Ramona Fradon were truly in their element...Haney and Fradon's collaborative chemistry resulted in [Rex] Mason becoming Metamorpho."
  12. ^ Daniels, Les (1995). DC Comics: Sixty Years of the World's Favorite Comic Book Heroes. Bulfinch. p. 136. ISBN 0821220764. 
  13. ^ Stroud, Bryan (May 2013). "Metamorpho in Action Comics". Back Issue! (TwoMorrows Publishing) (64): 22–27. 
  14. ^ Reed, Bill (May 22, 2007). "365 Reasons to Love Comics #142". Comic Book Resources. Archived from the original on April 6, 2012. Retrieved April 6, 2012. 
  15. ^ McAvennie "1960s" in Dolan, p. 115: "By issue #50, The Brave and the Bold developed into the ultimate team-up book. The Brave and the Bold #59 added one final element to the team-up theme, when writer Bob Haney and artist Ramona Fradon partnered Batman with Green Lantern."
  16. ^ McAvennie "1960s" in Dolan, p. 134: "When writer Bob Haney paired Green Arrow with Batman...artist Neal Adams targeted the Emerald Archer for a radical redesign."
  17. ^ Eury, Michael (August 2013). "The Batman of Earth-B: The Caped Crusader's Bravest and Boldest Writer, Bob Haney". Back Issue! (TwoMorrows Publishing) (66): 2–5. 
  18. ^ McAvennie "1960s" in Dolan, p. 123: "Aqualad found romance under the sea when scripter Bob Haney and artist Nick Cardy introduced him to fellow young Atlantean Tula, also known as Aquagirl."
  19. ^ McAvennie "1960s" in Dolan, p. 125: "Aquaman advisor Dr. Vulko debuted in September's The Brave and the Bold #73 in a story by scribe Bob Haney and artist Sal Trapani."
  20. ^ McAvennie "1970s" in Dolan, p. 157: "Scribe Bob Haney and artist Dick Dillin introduced the DC Universe to an alternate timeline starring the World's Finest offspring in January's World's Finest Comics #215."
  21. ^ Waid, Mark (w). "House of Mystery #1 DC Publishes Its First Horror Comic" Millennium Edition: House of Mystery 1 (September 2000)
  22. ^ Reed in "365 Reasons to Love Comics #142"
  23. ^ Levitz, Paul (2010). "The Bronze Age 1970-1984". 75 Years of DC Comics The Art of Modern Mythmaking. Taschen America. p. 540. ISBN 9783836519816. "It was undeniable, however, that the audacity of depicting the Prince of Peace's crucifixion in Our Army at War was attention getting. This story, arguably veteran writer Haney's most prestigious work, enriched by the magnificent [Alex] Toth art, was certainly that." 
  24. ^ McAvennie "1970s" in Dolan, p. 172: "Writer Bob Haney and artist Dick Ayers had no intention of terminating the Unknown Soldier...allowing DC to rename the [Star Spangled War Stories] series after the [character], starting with issue #205."
  25. ^ Shutt, Craig (January 9, 2008). "Haney and Cardy’s Lost Teen Titans Annual!". Comics Buyer's Guide. Archived from the original on June 30, 2013. Retrieved June 30, 2013. 
  26. ^ Catron, Michael (January 7, 2011). "Bob Haney Interviewed by Michael Catron Part Three (of Five)". The Comics Journal. Archived from the original on April 6, 2012. Retrieved April 6, 2012. "Ned Chase. He’s Chevy Chase’s father." 

External links[edit]

Preceded by
Robert Kanigher
All-American Men of War writer
1955–1963
Succeeded by
Robert Kanigher
Preceded by
France Herron
The Brave and the Bold writer
1956–1979
Succeeded by
Gerry Conway
Preceded by
Jack Miller
Aquaman writer
1966–1968
Succeeded by
Steve Skeates
Preceded by
n/a
Teen Titans writer
1966–1970
Succeeded by
Robert Kanigher
Preceded by
Steve Skeates
Teen Titans writer
1971–1973
Succeeded by
Bob Rozakis
Preceded by
Steve Skeates and Dennis O'Neil
World's Finest Comics writer
1972–1979
Succeeded by
Dennis O'Neil