Mark Gruenwald

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Mark Gruenwald
Mark Gruenwald (early 1990s).png
Mark Gruenwald, photographed at a comic convention in New York City in the early 1990s.
Born (1953-06-18)June 18, 1953[1]
Oshkosh, Wisconsin[2]
Died August 12, 1996(1996-08-12) (aged 43)
Pawling, New York[2]
Nationality American
Area(s) Writer, Penciller, Editor
Notable works
Captain America
Squadron Supreme
Quasar
Awards Comics Buyer's Guide Fan Award 1987, 1996

Mark E. Gruenwald (June 18, 1953 – August 12, 1996) was an American comic book writer, editor, and occasional penciler known for his long association with Marvel Comics.

Biography[edit]

Early career[edit]

Gruenwald got his start in comics fandom, publishing his own fanzine, Omniverse, which explored the concept of continuity. Before being hired by Marvel, he wrote text articles for DC Comics official fanzine, Amazing World of DC Comics. Articles by Gruenwald include "The Martian Chronicles" (a history of the Martian Manhunter) in issue #13[3] and several articles on the history of the Justice League in issue #14.[4]

Entry to Marvel[edit]

In 1978 he was hired by Marvel Comics, where he remained for the rest of his career. Hired initially as an assistant editor in January 1978, Gruenwald was promoted to full editorship by Marvel editor-in-chief Jim Shooter in 1982, putting Gruenwald in charge of The Avengers, Captain America, Iron Man, Thor, Spider Woman, and What If.[5][6] During this period, he shared an office with writer/editor Denny O'Neil, whom Gruenwald considered a mentor.[7]

Penciler[edit]

During the years 1982–1984, Gruenwald did fill-in pencil work for a handful of Marvel comics, most notably the 1983 Hawkeye limited series, but also issues of What If?, Marvel Team-Up Annual, The Incredible Hulk, and Questprobe.[8]

The artwork of Merlyn the Archer in Who's Who: the Definitive Directory of the DC Universe[8] Volume XV is the only artwork by Gruenwald for a comics company besides Marvel.

Writer[edit]

In 1982, Gruenwald, Steven Grant, and Bill Mantlo co-wrote Marvel Super Hero Contest of Champions,[9] the first limited series published by Marvel Comics. As a writer, Gruenwald is best known for creating the Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe[10] and his ten-year stint as the writer of Captain America (from 1985 to 1995) – during which he contributed several notable characters such as Crossbones, Diamondback and U.S. Agent. He made a deliberate effort to create villains who would be specific to Captain America, as opposed to generic foes who could as easily have been introduced in another comic.[11] At one point Gruenwald owned a replica of Captain America's shield – the same shield now owned by Stephen Colbert.[12]

His 60-issue run on Quasar[13] (1989–1994) realized Gruenwald's ambition to write his own kind of superhero. However, he considered his magnum opus to be the mid-1980s 12-issue miniseries Squadron Supreme, which told the story of an alternate universe where a group of well-intended superheroes decide that they would be best suited to run the planet. Gruenwald was highly loyal to each series he wrote. In addition to his lengthy stint on Captain America, he wrote the entire runs of both Quasar (save for one issue) and D.P.7,[14] and Jim Salicrup recalled that when Gruenwald was taken off of Spider-Woman after only 12 issues, he "was crushed."[15]

Executive editor[edit]

On September 1, 1987, Gruenwald became Marvel's executive editor,[11] with a particular remit as the keeper of continuity. Gruenwald was famous for a perfect recollection of even the most trivial details.

In the pages of Thor,[16] writer Walt Simonson created the Time Variance Authority, a cosmic bureaucracy that regulates the Marvel Multiverse.[17] Simonson paid homage to Gruenwald by having the TVA's staff all be clones of Gruenwald; no one could keep track of everything but him.

Gruenwald (or "Gru" or "Grueny" as he was often referred to) was a recurring character with Tom DeFalco in the single-panel comic The Bull's Eye that ran in "Bullpen Bulletins" in the late 1980s–early 1990s. These strips ran as filler pages in comics during the majority of DeFalco's run as editor-in-chief, and Gruenwald was often depicted as a caricature and foil for DeFalco's antics.

Death[edit]

In 1996, Gruenwald succumbed to a heart attack, the result of an unsuspected congenital heart defect. Gruenwald was a well-known practical joker, and due to his young age, many of his friends and co-workers initially believed the reports of his death to be just another joke. Just days prior, he had done one of his trademark cartwheels down the halls of the Bullpen. A longtime lover of comics, Gruenwald made it known amongst his friends and families that his one desire was to have his ashes used in part of a comic. In accordance with his request, he was cremated, and his ashes were mixed with the ink used to print the first printing of the trade paperback compilation of Squadron Supreme.[18]

Personal life[edit]

Gruenwald married singer Belinda Glass in May 1981.[19] They later divorced, and he married Catherine Schuller on October 12, 1992 in New York after a year's courtship. Catherine was the executrix of the famous will that indicated he wanted his cremains to be put into a comic book upon his death. Gruenwald had a daughter, Sara.[2]

Legacy[edit]

The Amalgam Comics book The Exciting X-Patrol #1 (June 1997) is dedicated to Gruenwald's memory.

In the DC Universe, a building in Gotham City was named the Von Gruenwald Tower, and in the novel Captain America: Liberty's Torch written by Tony Isabella and Bob Ingersoll, the lawyer kidnapped to defend the similarly kidnapped Captain in a mock trial before a militia is named Mark Gruenwald, and is described with the same general physical attributes and personality as the real Gruenwald. The lawyer acts heroically throughout the story.[20]

In Richard Starkings' Elephantmen, the executive director of the Information Agency where almost all of the main characters of the series work is called Gruenwald and bears a strong resemblance to Mark Gruenwald, down to his personal traits. In an interview with Newsarama, Richard Starkings confirmed that the character was based on his dead friend.[21]

In volume four of Nova from Marvel Comics, the new director of Project Pegasus is named Dr. Gruenwald.

In 2006, Gruenwald was officially named the "Patron Saint of Marveldom" in the new "Bullpen Bulletins" pages.[22]

Selected bibliography[edit]

Regular Writer[edit]

  • Spider-Woman #9–20 (Marvel Comics, December 1978 – November 1979) – (#17–20 with outside plot assists)
  • Marvel Two-in-One #53–58, 60–72 (Marvel Comics, July 1979 – February 1981) – (co-writer #53-58, 60, 64–72)
  • Thor #299–302, 304–307 (Marvel Comics, September 1980 – May 1981) – (co-writer)
  • What If? #25–28 (Marvel Comics, February 1981 – August 1981) – (Eternals story)
  • Thor #311–314 (Marvel Comics, September 1981 – December 1981) – (Tales of Asgard story; co-writer)
  • Marvel Super Hero Contest of Champions #1–3 (Marvel Comics, June 1982 – August 1982) – (limited series; co-writer)
  • Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe #1–15 (Marvel Comics, January 1983 – March 1984) – (limited series; co-writer #4–14)
  • Hawkeye #1–4 (Marvel Comics, September 1983 – December 1983) – (limited series)
  • Captain America #307–422, 424–443 (Marvel Comics, July 1985 – September 1995)
  • Squadron Supreme #1–12 (Marvel Comics, September 1985 – August 1986) – (limited series)
  • The Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe (vol. 2) #1–20 (Marvel Comics, December 1985 – March 1987) – (limited series; co-writer)
  • Captain America Annual No. 8 (Marvel Comics, 1986)
  • D.P.7 #1–32 (Marvel Comics, November 1986 – June 1989)
  • D.P.7 Annual No. 1 (Marvel Comics, November 1987)
  • The Pitt (Marvel Comics, March 1988) – (one-shot; co-writer)
  • The Draft (Marvel Comics, July 1988) – (one-shot; co-writer)
  • "The Saga of the High Evolutionary: Parts 1–11" (Marvel Comics, 1988) – (back-up story in most 1988 Marvel Annuals)
  • Squadron Supreme: Death of a Universe (Marvel Comics, 1989) – (one-shot)
  • Quasar #1–58, 60 (Marvel Comics, October 1989 – July 1994)
  • The Avengers #319–324 (Marvel Comics, July 1990 – October 1990) – (Avengers Crew story)
  • U.S. Agent #1–4 (Marvel Comics, June 1993 – September 1993) – (limited series)
  • Captain America Annual No. 12 (Marvel Comics, 1993)
  • Avengers: The Terminatrix Objective #1–4 (Marvel Comics, September 1993 – December 1993) – (limited series)
  • Starblast #1–4 (Marvel Comics, January 1994 – April 1994) – (limited series)
  • Starmasters #1–3 (Marvel Comics, December 1995 – February 1996) – (limited series)
  • Combo Man #1 (Marvel Comics, January 1996) – (one-shot)
  • Captain America: The Legend No. 1 (Marvel Comics, September 1996) – (one-shot)
  • Thor: The Legend No. 1 (Marvel Comics, September 1996) – (one-shot)

Fill-in Writer[edit]

  • Thor #281–282 (Marvel Comics, March 1979 – April 1979) – (co-writer)
  • The Defenders No. 77 (Marvel Comics, November 1979) – (co-writer)
  • The Avengers #185–187 (Marvel Comics, July 1979 – September 1979) – (co-writer)
  • The Avengers No. 189 (Marvel Comics, November 1979) – (co-writer)
  • "The First Celestial Host!" What If? No. 23 (Marvel Comics, October 1980) – (Celestials story)
  • The Amazing Spider-Man No. 208 (Marvel Comics, September 1980) – (co-writer)
  • ROM No. 24 (Marvel Comics, November 1981) – (co-writer)
  • Marvel Team-Up No. 113 (Marvel Comics, January 1982)
  • "Gore Galore." Bizarre Adventures No. 31 (Marvel Comics, April 1982) – (Hangman story)
  • What If? No. 32 (Marvel Comics, April 1982) – (Avengers story)
  • The Defenders #108–109 (Marvel Comics, June 1982 – July 1982) – (co-writer)
  • "The Prophet." Bizarre Adventures No. 32 (Marvel Comics, August 1982) – (Aquarian story)
  • What If? No. 34 (Marvel Comics, August 1982) – (co-writer)
  • Marvel Team-Up Annual No. 5 (Marvel Comics, 1982)
  • ROM Annual No. 1 (Marvel Comics, 1982) – (co-writer)
  • Thor Annual No. 10 (Marvel Comics, 1982) – (co-writer)
  • Bizarre Adventures No. 34 (Marvel Comics, February 1983)
  • "What if the Universe Ceased to Exist?" What If? No. 43 (Marvel Comics, February 1984)
  • Fantastic Four Annual No. 18 (Marvel Comics, November 1984) – (co-writer)
  • Daredevil No. 234 (Marvel Comics, September 1986)
  • Kickers, Inc. No. 5 (Marvel Comics, March 1987) – (co-writer)
  • New Mutants Annual No. 4 (Marvel Comics, 1988)
  • Justice No. 15 (Marvel Comics, January 1988) – (co-writer)
  • The Avengers No. 290 (Marvel Comics, April 1988) – (co-writer)
  • West Coast Avengers (vol. 2) No. 40 (Marvel Comics, January 1989)
  • "The Initiation of Quasar." The Avengers Annual No. 18 (Marvel Comics, 1989) – (Quasar story)
  • "Inferno Aftermath." X-Factor Annual No. 4 (Marvel Comics, 1989)
  • "Rate the Hunks." Avengers West Coast Annual No. 4 (Marvel Comics, 1989)
  • "It Came From Within." Marvel Comics Presents No. 29 (Marvel Comics, October 1989) – (Quasar story)
  • "The Savior of Lost Artifacts." Fantastic Four Annual No. 22 (Marvel Comics, 1989)
  • "Acts of Vengeance: Epilogue." Avengers Annual No. 19 (Marvel Comics, 1990)
  • "Girls Don't Wanna Have Fun!" Impossible Man Summer Vacation Spectacular No. 1 (Marvel Comics, August 1990) – (Quasar story; co-writer)
  • The Avengers No. 325 (Marvel Comics, October 1990)
  • "Brothers." Captain America Annual No. 10 (Marvel Comics, 1991) – (Bushmaster story)
  • "Test Flight." Captain America Annual No. 11 (Marvel Comics, 1992) – (Falcon story; co-writer)
  • Fantastic Four Annual No. 25 (Marvel Comics, 1992) – (Citizen Kang, Part 3)
  • Avengers Annual No. 21 (Marvel Comics, 1992) – (Citizen Kang, Part 4)
  • Fantastic Four Annual No. 27 (Marvel Comics, 1994)
  • Over the Edge No. 2 (Marvel Comics, December 1995) – (Doctor Strange story)
  • Fantastic Four: The Legend No. 1 (Marvel Comics, October 1996) – (one-shot)
  • Sensational Spider-Man '96 No. 1 (Marvel Comics, November 1996) – (Spider-Woman story; one-shot)
  • New Mutants Annual No. 4

Penciller[edit]

  • What If? No. 32 (Marvel Comics, April 1982) – (Avengers story; co-penciller; inks also)
  • What If? No. 34 (Marvel Comics, August 1982) – (co-penciller)
  • Marvel Team-Up Annual No. 5 (Marvel Comics, 1982)
  • The Incredible Hulk vol. 2 No. 279 (Marvel Comics, January 1983)
  • Hawkeye #1–4 (Marvel Comics, September 1983 – December 1983) – (limited series)
  • "What if the Universe Ceased to Exist?" What If? No. 43 (Marvel Comics, February 1984)
  • Questprobe No. 1 (Marvel Comics, August 1984)

Editor-in-Chief[edit]

Executive Editor[edit]

  • The War #1–4 (Marvel Comics, June 1989 – March 1990)

Editor[edit]

  • What If? #17–18 (Marvel Comics, October 1979 – December 1979)
  • Man-Thing #1–3 (Marvel Comics, November 1979 – March 1980)
  • Fantastic Four #216–217 (Marvel Comics, March 1980 – April 1980)
  • Marvel Treasury Edition No. 25 (Marvel Comics, June 1980) – (Hulk and Spider-Man story)
  • Iron Man #160–232 (Marvel Comics, July 1982 – July 1988)
  • Captain America #272–288 (Marvel Comics, August 1982 – December 1983)
  • Captain America #290–306 (Marvel Comics, February 1984 – June 1985)
  • Captain America Annual #6–7 (Marvel Comics, 1982–1983)
  • Thor #322–338 (Marvel Comics, August 1982 – December 1983)
  • Thor #340–354 (Marvel Comics, February 1984 – April 1985)
  • Thor No. 356 (Marvel Comics, June 1985)
  • Thor Annual #10–13 (Marvel Comics, 1982–1985)
  • The Avengers #223–242 (Marvel Comics, September 1982 – April 1984)
  • Avengers Annual #11–17 (Marvel Comics, 1982–1988)
  • Hercules #1–4 (Marvel Comics, September 1982 – December 1982)
  • Marvel Two-in-One No. 91 (Marvel Comics, September 1982)
  • Spider-Woman #46–50 (Marvel Comics, October 1982 – June 1983)
  • What If? #35–37 (Marvel Comics, October 1982 – February 1983)
  • The Vision and the Scarlet Witch #1–4 (Marvel Comics, November 1982 – February 1983) – (limited series)
  • Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe #1–15 (Marvel Comics, January 1983 – May 1984) – (limited series)
  • West Coast Avengers #1–4 (Marvel Comics, September 1984 – January 1985) – (limited series)
  • The Avengers #252–303 (Marvel Comics, February 1985 – May 1989)
  • The Thing #23–36 (Marvel Comics, May 1985 – June 1986)
  • West Coast Avengers (vol. 2) #1–35 (Marvel Comics, October 1985 – August 1988)
  • West Coast Avengers Annual #1–3 (Marvel Comics, 1986–1988)
  • The Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe (vol. 2) #1–20 (Marvel Comics, December 1985 – February 1988) – (limited series)
  • The X-Men vs. The Avengers #1–4 (Marvel Comics, April 1987 – July 1987)
  • Solo Avengers #1–20 (Marvel Comics, December 1987 – July 1989)
  • Avengers Spotlight #21–40 (Marvel Comics, August 1989 – January 1991)
  • Nick Fury vs. S.H.I.E.L.D. #1–6 (Marvel Comics, June 1988 – November 1988) – (limited series)
  • Black Panther (vol. 2) #1–4 (Marvel Comics, July 1988 – October 1988) – (limited series)
  • The Star Brand No. 14 (Marvel Comics, July 1988)
  • Wolverine/Nick Fury: The Scorpio Connection (Marvel Comics, 1989) – (one-shot)
  • Captain Marvel (vol. 2) No. 1 (Marvel Comics, November 1989) – (one-shot)
  • Inhumans Special No. 1 (Marvel Comics, April 1990) – (one-shot)
  • Marvel Super-Heroes (vol. 3) #1–2 (Marvel Comics, May 1990 – July 1990)
  • X-Men Spotlight on... Starjammers #1–2 (Marvel Comics, May 1990 – June 1990) – (limited series)
  • Black Knight #1–4 (Marvel Comics, June 1990 – September 1990) – (limited series)
  • The Avengers No. 382 (Marvel Comics, January 1995)
  • Rune/Silver Surfer No. 1 (Malibu Comics/Marvel Comics, April 1995) – (one-shot)
  • Cosmic Powers Unlimited #1–5 (Marvel Comics, May 1995 – May 1996)
  • Inhumans: The Great Refuge No. 1 (Marvel Comics, May 1995) – (one-shot)
  • Silver Surfer (vol. 3) #106–122 (Marvel Comics, July 1995 – November 1996)
  • Thunderstrike No. 23 (Marvel Comics, August 1995)
  • Lunatik #1–3 (Marvel Comics, December 1995 – February 1996) – (limited series)
  • Captain Marvel #1–6 (Marvel Comics, December 1995 – May 1996)
  • DC Versus Marvel/Marvel Versus DC #1–4 (DC Comics/Marvel Comics, February 1996 – May 1996)
  • The Avengers #398–402 (Marvel Comics, May 1996 – September 1996)
  • Iron Man #328–332 (Marvel Comics, May 1996 – September 1996)
  • Avengers Unplugged #5–6 (Marvel Comics, June 1996 – August 1996)
  • Uncanny Origins #1–2 (Marvel Comics, September 1996 – October 1996)
  • Incredible Hulk: Hercules Unleashed No. 1 (Marvel Comics, October 1996) – (one-shot)
  • Journey into Mystery #503–505 (Marvel Comics, November 1996 – January 1997)
  • Batman/Captain America (DC Comics/Marvel Comics, December 1996) – (one-shot)
  • Silver Surfer/Superman No. 1 (DC Comics/Marvel Comics, January 1997) – (one-shot)
  • Superman/Fantastic Four (DC Comics/Marvel Comics, April 1999) – (one-shot)

Assistant Editor[edit]

Colorist[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "M E Gruenwald". United States Social Security Death Index. Retrieved March 12, 2013. The United States Social Security Death Index gives date of death as '15 August 1996.' 
  2. ^ a b c "Mark Gruenwald Marvel Comics Editor, 43". The New York Times. August 18, 1996. Archived from the original on November 12, 2013. Retrieved August 8, 2013. 
  3. ^ Amazing World of DC Comics No. 13 (Oct. 1976)
  4. ^ Amazing World of DC Comics No. 14 (March–April 1977)
  5. ^ "Avengers Assemble! A Memo From... Mark!" Avengers No. 222 (Marvel Comics, August 1982).
  6. ^ Shooter, Jim. "Bullpen Bulletins," Marvel comics cover-dated November 1983.
  7. ^ Gruenwald, Mark (October 1987). "Mark's Remarks". Marvel Comics. 
  8. ^ a b Mark Gruenwald's credits as an artist at the Grand Comics Database
  9. ^ DeFalco, Tom; Gilbert, Laura, ed. (2008). "1980s". Marvel Chronicle A Year by Year History. Dorling Kindersley. p. 208. ISBN 978-0756641238. Plotted by Mark Gruenwald, Steven Grant, and Bill Mantlo, and penciled by John Romita, Jr., Contest of Champions eventually saw print in June 1982. 
  10. ^ DeFalco "1980s" in Gilbert (2008), p. 210: "As soon as he became an editor, he proposed Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe. Its first volume ran for fifteen issues and included a full image of each character, their vital statistics, their brief history, an explanation of their powers, and any unique weaponry they used."
  11. ^ a b Zimmerman, Dwight Jon (January 1988). "Mark Gruenwald". Comics Interview (54) (Fictioneer Books). pp. 5–23. 
  12. ^ Jones, Seth (August 11, 2007). "WWC: Civil War & Remembrance Panel -Updated!". Comic Book Resources. Archived from the original on October 4, 2012. Retrieved September 29, 2008. 
  13. ^ DeFalco "1980s" in Gilbert (2008), p. 242
  14. ^ DeFalco "1980s" in Gilbert (2008), p. 228: "Created by editor Mark Gruenwald and artist Paul Ryan, D.P. 7 was published under the New Universe imprint."
  15. ^ Hembeck, Fred (2006). "The Fred Hembeck Show: Episode 72 - The Mark Gruenwald Show". Asitecalledfred.com. Archived from the original on June 18, 2013. 
  16. ^ Simonson, Walt (w), Buscema, Sal (p), Blevins, Bret; Williamson, Al (i). "Without Justice, There Is No Peace!" Thor 372 (October 1986)
  17. ^ Nolen-Weathington, Eric; Ash, Roger (2006). Modern Masters, Volume 8: Walter Simonson. TwoMorrows Publishing. p. 71. ISBN 978-1893905641. I used Mark Gruenwald as my middle management guy. Mark was delighted. 
  18. ^ Cronin, Brian (June 3, 2005). "Comic Book Urban Legends Revealed #1". Comic Book Resources. Archived from the original on July 31, 2013. Retrieved September 29, 2008. 
  19. ^ Shooter, Jim. "Bullpen Bulletins," Marvel comics cover dated August 1982.
  20. ^ Isabella, Tony; Ingersoll, Bob (1998). Captain America: Liberty's Torch. Berkley Books. p. 272. ISBN 978-0425166192. 
  21. ^ Wigler, Josh (April 21, 2010). "Starkings' Elephantmen Turns 25". Comic Book Resources. Archived from the original on February 14, 2011. When I found myself looking for a character who knew more about the world of the Elephantmen than anyone else in that world, I thought of Mark, who in many ways knew more about the Marvel Universe than anyone else. 
  22. ^ DeFalco "1980s" in Gilbert (2008), p. 235: "He died unexpectedly on August 12, 1996 and was named the patron saint of Marvel in 2006."

External links[edit]

Preceded by
Tom DeFalco
Marvel Comics Group Editors-in-Chief:
Avengers titles

Bob Budiansky, Spider-Man titles
Bobbie Chase, Marvel Edge titles
Bob Harras, X-Men titles
Carl Potts, licensed-property titles
1994–1995

Succeeded by
Bob Harras
Preceded by
David Anthony Kraft,
Roger Slifer
Marvel Two-in-One writer
(with Ralph Macchio)

1978–1981
Succeeded by
Tom DeFalco
Preceded by
Roy Thomas
Thor writer
(with Ralph Macchio)

1980–1981
Succeeded by
Doug Moench
Preceded by
Mike Carlin
Captain America writer
1985–1995
Succeeded by
Mark Waid
Preceded by
John Byrne
Avengers writer
1990
(back-up stories; main stories by Fabian Nicieza)
Succeeded by
Larry Hama