||This article's lead section may not adequately summarize key points of its contents. (May 2015)|
Zeck at the 2013 Wizard World New York Experience in Manhattan
September 6, 1949 |
"Kraven's Last Hunt"
Marvel Super-Heroes Secret Wars
Master of Kung-Fu
Mike Zeck was born in Greenville, Pennsylvania, to Michael and Kathryn Jean Zeck. He attended the Ringling School of Art in 1967, and after graduation worked at the Migrant Education Center in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.
Zeck began his comics career in 1974, doing illustration assignments for the text stories in Charlton Comics' animated line of comics, which led to work on their horror titles. During this period he lived briefly in the Derby, Connecticut, area where Charlton was headquartered.
In 1977, Zeck started working for Marvel Comics on Master of Kung Fu with writer Doug Moench. In 2010, Comics Bulletin ranked Moench and Zeck's work on Master of Kung-Fu sixth on its list of the "Top 10 1970s Marvels". Zeck later worked on Captain America and drew covers for G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero.
Zeck illustrated the Marvel Super-Heroes Secret Wars limited series in 1984. For this series, he designed a new black-and-white costume temporarily worn by Spider-Man. The plot that developed as a result of Spider-Man's acquisition of the costume led to the creation of the Spider-Man villain known as Venom
In 1986, Zeck collaborated with writer Steven Grant on a Punisher miniseries which was later collected as The Punisher: Circle Of Blood and an original hardcover graphic novel of the character three years later.
Zeck illustrated the 1987 Spider-Man storyline "Kraven's Last Hunt", written by his former Captain America collaborator J. M. DeMatteis, which is considered to be one of the quintessential stories in Spider-Man's history, as well as the definitive Kraven the Hunter storyline. DeMatteis remarked, "Because Mike nailed the plot elements so perfectly in his pencils—every action, every emotion, was there, clear as a bell—I didn’t have to worry about belaboring those elements in the captions or dialogue. I was free to do those interior monologues that were so important to the story. If any other artist had drawn “Kraven’s Last Hunt” ... it wouldn’t have been the same story." In 2004, Zeck's cover of Web of Spider-Man #32, which depicts Spider-Man escaping the grave into which he has been interred by Kraven, was recreated as a 12-inch tall resin diorama statue by Dynamic Forces.
Zeck has worked for DC Comics as well. He contributed to Who's Who: The Definitive Directory of the DC Universe in the mid-1980s. Zeck drew the covers for the "Ten Nights of the Beast" storyline in Batman #417-420 (March-June 1988) and these covers were later collected in a portfolio. His other credits for the publisher include Batman: Legends of the Dark Knight, Legends of the DC Universe, and Deathstroke, The Terminator. In 1999, he collaborated with writer Mark Waid on The Kingdom (illustrating issue #2, with Ariel Olivetti illustrating issue #1), a sequel to Kingdom Come.
- Monster Hunters #4 (That Old Gang of Mine, 6 pages)
- Action Comics #600 (1988, one page)
- Batman: Legends of the Dark Knight #0, 69-70 (1994-1995)
- Big Book of Little Criminals (1996)
- Big Book of Weirdos (1995)
- Challengers of the Unknown #16, 18 (1998)
- Detective Comics #600 (1989, one page)
- The Kingdom #2 (1999)
- Legends of the DC Universe #20-21, 80-Page Giant #1 (1998-1999)
- Superman Gallery #1 (1993, one page)
- Superman: The Man of Steel Gallery #1 (1995, one page)
- The Unexpected #221 (1982)
- Who's Who in the Legion of Super-Heroes #6 (1988)
- Who's Who: The Definitive Directory of the DC Universe #1, 18 (1985-1986)
- The Amazing Spider-Man #293-294 (1987)
- Amazing Spider-Man Annual #24 (Sandman back-up story) (1990)
- Amazing Spider-Man: Soul of the Hunter #1 (1992) (sequel to "Kraven's Last Hunt")
- Captain America #224, 258-259, 261-270, 272-283, 286-289, Annual #8 (1978-1986)
- Captain America vol. 3 #50 (2002)
- Clive Barker's Hellraiser #10 (1991)
- Defenders #130 (1984)
- Epic Graphic Novel: The Punisher - Return to Big Nothing (1989)
- Fantastic Four Roast #1 (1982)
- Rampaging Hulk #16 (1979)
- Logan's Run #6 (1977) (Thanos back-up story)
- Marvel Super-Heroes Secret Wars #1-3, 6-12 (1984-1985)
- Marvel Team-Up #94 (1980)
- Master of Kung-Fu #55, 59-60, 64, 66-69, 71-102 (1977-1981)
- Ms. Marvel #22 (1979)
- Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe #2-14 (1983-1984)
- Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe Deluxe Edition #3, 6-7, 9-14, 16, 18-20 (1985-1988)
- Power Man and Iron Fist#51-52 (1978)
- The Punisher #1-5 (1986)
- Savage Sword of Conan #14 (1976)
- Solarman #2 (1990)
- Spectacular Spider-Man #22, 42-43, 46, 118, 131-132 (1978-1987)
- Spider-Man: Redemption #1-4 (1996)
- Web of Spider-Man #6, 31-32 (1985-1987)
- Damned (4-issue mini-series, 1997)
- "Mike Zeck". Lambiek Comiclopedia. October 29, 2012. Archived from the original on November 13, 2012.
- Sacks, Jason (September 6, 2010). "Top 10 1970s Marvels". Comics Bulletin. Archived from the original on August 3, 2013. Retrieved August 3, 2013.
- DeFalco, Tom; Gilbert, Laura, ed. (2008). "1980s". Marvel Chronicle A Year by Year History. Dorling Kindersley. p. 217. ISBN 978-0756641238.
- DeFalco "1980s" in Gilbert (2008), p. 217: "Designed by Mike Zeck, [the costume] became a black-and-white alien symbiote that could produce unlimited webbing and respond to Spider-Man's thoughts."
- David, Peter; Greenberger, Robert (2010). The Spider-Man Vault: A Museum-in-a-Book with Rare Collectibles Spun from Marvel's Web. Running Press. p. 86. ISBN 0762437723.
According to Jim Shooter...Mike Zeck did the actual design. Ron Frenz was the first penciler to actually render it in the comics.
- David, Peter. "The Wacko Theory"; Comics Buyer's Guide June 4, 1993; Reprinted in the collection But I Digress (1994); pp. 104-106
- Grant, Steven; Zeck, Mike (2008). Punisher: Circle of Blood. Marvel Comics. p. 176. ISBN 978-0-7851-2331-6.
- Grant, Steven; Zeck, Mike (1989). The Punisher: Return to Big Nothing. Marvel Comics. p. 64. ISBN 978-0871355539.
- DeFalco "1980s" in Gilbert (2008), p. 231: "The six-issue story arc...ran through all the Spider-Man titles for two months."
- George, Richard (July 12, 2006). "Spider-Man: Kraven's Last Hunt HC Preview". IGN. Archived from the original on December 27, 2013.
- "Kraven's Last Hunt – Review". Weekly Comic Book Review. October 19, 2010. Archived from the original on December 8, 2013.
- Wiacek, Win (October 1, 2007). "Spider-Man: Kraven's Last Hunt". Now Read This!. Archived from the original on December 27, 2013.
- Johnson, Dan (August 2009). "In Our Sights: Kraven's Last Hunt". Back Issue!. TwoMorrows Publishing (35): 5.
- Woods, Lance (2004). "DF Statue Bags Spidey from Kraven's Last Hunt". Diamond Comics. Archived from the original on December 27, 2013. Retrieved July 7, 2013.
- Manning, Matthew K.; Dolan, Hannah, ed. (2010). "1980s". DC Comics Year By Year A Visual Chronicle. Dorling Kindersley. p. 212. ISBN 978-0-7566-6742-9.
- Manning, Matthew K.; Dougall, Alastair, ed. (2014). "1980s". Batman: A Visual History. Dorling Kindersley. p. 171. ISBN 978-1465424563.
- Greenberger, Robert; Manning, Matthew K. (2009). The Batman Vault: A Museum-in-a-Book with Rare Collectibles from the Batcave. Running Press. p. 37. ISBN 0762436638.
Batman became the subject of several artist portfolios released by DC Comics in the 1980s, including a set of plates by Mike Zeck.
- Manning "1990s" in Dolan, p. 286: "Writer Mark Waid returned to the kingdom he helped envision with this series of specials designed as a sequel to the hit miniseries Kingdom Come. With two bookends entitled The Kingdom (illustrated by Ariel Olivetti and Mike Zeck)...these one-shots provided updates to the lives of the Kingdom Come characters."
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