Mark Bagley

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Mark Bagley
MarkBagley2.jpg
Bagley signing autographs at the March 2012 Toronto Comic Con in Canada.
Born (1957-08-07) August 7, 1957 (age 56)
Frankfurt, West Germany
Nationality American
Area(s) Penciller
Notable works
Ultimate Spider-Man
New Warriors
Thunderbolts

Mark Bagley (born August 7, 1957) is an American comic book artist. He has worked for Marvel Comics on such titles as The Amazing Spider-Man, Thunderbolts, New Warriors, and Ultimate Spider-Man and for DC on such titles as Justice League of America, Batman and Trinity.

Early life[edit]

Mark Bagley was born to a military family in Frankfurt, West Germany.[citation needed]

Career[edit]

After his work in the military and at Ringling College of Art and Design, Bagley continued trying to break into the comic industry. While working a construction job, he suffered a severe injury to his leg while using a handsaw that required 132 stitches. He eventually ended up working for Lockheed Martin making technical drawings.[citation needed]

Marvel Comics[edit]

Marvel Try-out contest[edit]

In 1983, Marvel Comics Editor-in-Chief Jim Shooter created the Marvel Try-out Book to draw new talent into the comic book industry. The contest involved a deconstructed comic book which contestants could complete and submit to Marvel. The winner would be awarded a professional assignment with Marvel.

At the time, Mark was 27 years old and living in Marietta, Georgia.[1] He had almost given up on trying to find a job in comics and was satisfied with his position at Lockheed Martin. Bagley was reluctant to enter the contest because the deconstructed comic cost $15. A good friend of his handed him the book and persuaded Mark to enter the contest. Bagley would go on to win first place for penciling, beating out thousands of other hopefuls.[1] After winning the contest, Mark didn't hear from Marvel for several months. After approaching Shooter at a Comic Convention, Bagley was assigned to a series of low-profile penciling jobs. Some of these jobs included Visionaries, a comic book based on a 1980s toy line, books in New Universe line, and backup stories in Captain America. A majority of Bagley's work during this time was for the first series of Marvel Universe trading cards.

The New Warriors[edit]

In 1990, Tom DeFalco and Ron Frenz created a team of teenage superheroes called the New Warriors.[2] Marvel created a new series based on these heroes and assigned Bagley and Fabian Nicieza to the title. Bagley stayed on the title until #25, at which point he left to transition directly onto Amazing Spider-Man.

The Amazing Spider-Man[edit]

A couple of years into the New Warriors run, New Warriors editor Danny Fingeroth became responsible for the Spider-Man line of titles. At the same time, Erik Larsen vacated his spot as penciller on Spider-Man's flagship title The Amazing Spider-Man. Fingeroth decided to take a chance on Bagley, who was a relatively inexperienced artist to be assigned to what was arguably Marvel's flagship title. After a rough start, Bagley hit his stride on The Amazing Spider-Man and eventually grew to be considered the definitive Spider-Man artist of the mid-1990s — his artwork was used extensively for licensed material, appearing on everything from plates and cups to credit cards and even video games like The Amazing Spider-Man: Lethal Foes; released exclusively in Japan.

Bagley also holds the distinction of being the artist on Marvel's first web-based comic book, featuring Spider-Man, which appeared on Marvel's official website.

Thunderbolts[edit]

Bagley next collaborated with writer Kurt Busiek on a new team of superheroes, the Thunderbolts. The title enjoyed modest success and though its sales declined over time, the decline was so slow — and the fan base was so dedicated — that the title continued to be published even after Bagley left the title in 2001 (with issue #50).

Ultimate Spider-Man[edit]

In 2000, Marvel's then-publisher Bill Jemas was looking to relaunch Marvel's primary franchises in a way that would make them accessible to newer readers. Ultimate Spider-Man would be a title that began the Spider-Man mythos from the beginning set in modern times. Bagley was assigned to Ultimate Spider-Man with writer Brian Michael Bendis. They went on to enjoy the longest continuous run of any creative team on a mainstream Marvel superhero comic, beating the record set by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby with Ultimate Spider-Man #103 (published in December 2006). During this period, Bagley also collaborated with Bendis on The Pulse. Bagley left Ultimate Spider-Man with issue #111 in July 2007. His next project was a four-issue arc on Bendis' Mighty Avengers, which became his last work for Marvel before signing an exclusive contract with DC Comics.

Bagley's long and successful run on Ultimate Spider-Man earned him recognition in Wizard Magazine's top ten artists of the 00's in Wizard #219. Ranked #2 on the list, article writer Mark Allen Haverty noted of Bagley, "no other artist came close to the number of comics Bagley sold {in the 2000s}, nor the number of Top 20 comics he was a part of."

DC Comics[edit]

In 2008, Bagley signed an exclusive three-year contract with DC Comics.[3] His first assignment as a DC exclusive, the weekly comic Trinity written by Kurt Busiek, completed in mid-2009.[4]

Bagley's first assignment at DC post-Trinity was four issues of Batman, written by Judd Winick. This was in the post-Battle for the Cowl world, with Dick Grayson having taken over as the Dark Knight. He was succeeded by former Batman artist Tony Daniel.[5]

Following Batman, Bagley was paired with writer James Robinson on Justice League of America following the departure of previous writer Dwayne McDuffie.[6] Bagley drew most of issues #38–53.

Return To Marvel[edit]

In 2011, Bagley ended his collaboration with DC and returned to Marvel and Ultimate Spider-Man, by then known as Ultimate Comics: Spider-Man. He drew the eventful "Death of Spider-Man" arc in issues #156–160. The arc reunited him with his original Ultimate Spider-Man collaborator, Brian Michael Bendis, for the first time since Bagley's departure from Marvel.

Bagley and Brian Michael Bendis re-teamed again for a creator-owned series, Brilliant, which is published through Marvel's Icon Imprint. It has similarities to Mark Millar's own Icon comic, Kick-Ass, as it explores the idea of superheroes existing in the real world, however unlike Kick-Ass, the characters have actual super-powers.[7]

Brian Michael Bendis and Bagley will also work on Avengers Assemble, an Avengers title that they will produce concurrently with Brilliant. To differentiate between other Avengers books, Assemble will consist of the Avengers roster present in the upcoming Avengers film, but the book will be set in present Marvel continuity.[8]

As part of the Marvel NOW! initiative, Bagley has taken over pencilling duties on Fantastic Four alongside new writer Matt Fraction.[9]

Art style[edit]

According to Bagley, drawing crowd scenes are his "weak point", because he becomes worn out on them, and finds them difficult to render in a timely fashion. He also dislikes drawing Captain America.[10]

Personal life[edit]

Bagley and his wife Pattie have a daughter, Angie.[11]

Selected works[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Shooter, Jim. "Bullpen Bulletins," Marvel Comics cover-dated February 1986.
  2. ^ Thor vol 1 #411
  3. ^ "Mark Bagley 'Back To Marvel' In Six Months?". Bleeding Cool. April 18, 2010.
  4. ^ Wilkins, Alasdair (May 31, 2009). "Our Interview With Trinity Creator Kurt Busiek". io9.
  5. ^ "Some BATMAN news to kick off the week". DC Comics. July 6, 2009
  6. ^ "Some news for you: Robinson, Bagley step aboard JUSTICE LEAGUE OF AMERICA". DC Comics. June 18, 2009.
  7. ^ Schedeen, Jesse (March 19, 2011). "C2E2: Bendis & Bagley Get Brilliant". IGN.
  8. ^ Mase, Poet (October 19, 2011). "Bendis Assembles the Avengers". IGN.
  9. ^ Phegley, Kiel (August 10, 2012). "Fraction, Bagley & Allred Official On 'Fantastic Four"/'FF'". Comic Book Resources.
  10. ^ Brucie, Dylan (March 2007). "Ultimate Spider-Man". Wizard Xtra!. p. 112.
  11. ^ "About the Author". Ultimate Spider-Man, Volume 2 (Marvel Comics, February 2003).

External links[edit]

Preceded by
None
New Warriors artist
1990–1992
Succeeded by
Darick Robertson
Preceded by
Erik Larsen
The Amazing Spider-Man artist
1991–1996
Succeeded by
Steve Skroce
Preceded by
None
Thunderbolts artist
1997–2001
Succeeded by
Patrick Zircher
Preceded by
None
Ultimate Spider-Man artist
2000–2007
Succeeded by
Stuart Immonen