Rick Leonardi

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Leonardi at the 2012 New York Comic Con
Born (1957-08-09) August 9, 1957 (age 62)
Notable works
Cloak and Dagger
Green Lantern Versus Aliens
New Mutants
Star Wars: General Grievous
Uncanny X-Men
Batman Beyond
and the Scarlet Witch

Rick Leonardi (born August 9, 1957) is an American comics artist who has worked for various series for Marvel Comics and DC Comics, including Cloak and Dagger, The Uncanny X-Men, The New Mutants, Spider-Man 2099, Nightwing, Batgirl, Green Lantern Versus Aliens and Superman. He has worked on feature film tie-in comics such as Star Wars: General Grievous and Superman Returns Prequel #3.

Early life[edit]

Rick Leonardi was born August 9, 1957[1] in Philadelphia, and grew up in Haverhill, Massachusetts. He graduated from Dartmouth College in 1979 and started drawing for Marvel Comics the following year.[2]


Rick Leonardi's first published comics artwork appeared in Thor #303 (Jan. 1981).[3] He collaborated with writer Bill Mantlo on two limited series: The Vision and the Scarlet Witch (Nov. 1982–Feb. 1983)[4] and Cloak and Dagger (Oct. 1983–Jan. 1984). Leonardi's works in the 1980s include various fill-in issues of The Uncanny X-Men and The New Mutants.[3]

He is credited, along with fellow illustrator Mike Zeck, of designing the black-and-white costume to which Spider-Man switched during the 1984 Secret Wars miniseries, and later wore for a time. According to writer Peter David, the costume began as a design by Zeck that Leonardi embellished.[5] 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[6] although in a 2007 Comic Book Resources story, fan Randy Schueller claims to have devised a version of a black costume for Spider-Man in a story idea that he was paid for.[7] Leonardi and writer Tom DeFalco created the Rose in The Amazing Spider-Man #253 (June 1984).[8] For DC Comics, Leonardi was one of the artists on Batman #400 (Oct. 1986)[9] and he drew the Batgirl story in Secret Origins vol. 2 #20 (Nov. 1987).[10] Back at Marvel, Chris Claremont and Leonardi introduced the fictional country of Genosha in Uncanny X-Men #235 (Oct. 1988).[11] From 1992 to 1994, Leonardi was the regular penciler for the first 25 issues of Spider-Man 2099 with writer Peter David.[12] Leonardi later launched the Fantastic Four 2099 series with Karl Kesel.[13] Leonardi drew the 2000 intercompany crossover miniseries Green Lantern Versus Aliens.[3] He drew one of the tie-in one-shots for the Sentry limited series in 2001.[14]

His subsequent series work includes Nightwing,[15] on which he was the regular penciler for issues #71-84 from 2002 to 2003 and Batgirl, of which he drew issues #45–52 from 2003 to 2004. Subsequent miniseries he drew include Star Wars: General Grievous in 2005, and the 2006 movie tie-in, Superman Returns Prequel #3. He followed up that with other superhero titles such as Superman #665 and #668 (2007), JLA: Classified #43 (November 2007), Witchblade #112 (January 2008), and the 2008 miniseries DC Universe: Decisions.[3] Leonardi drew the Vigilante series that debuted from DC in December 2008.[16]

Leonardi and inker Wade Von Grawbadger are the illustrators on the 2019 Batman Beyond arc written by Dan Jurgens which debuted with issue #31 in April 2019. Although Leonardi had worked on Batman before, this assignment is his first time working on the future-based Batman Beyond, whose concept is similar to Spider-Man 2099, which Leonardi co-created.[17]


Leonardi sketching Cloak and Dagger at the 2011 New York Comic Con

Dark Horse Comics[edit]

DC Comics[edit]

Event Comics[edit]

Marvel Comics[edit]

New Paradigm Studios[edit]


  1. ^ Miller, John Jackson (June 10, 2005). "Comics Industry Birthdays". Comics Buyer's Guide. Iola, Wisconsin. Archived from the original on February 18, 2011.
  2. ^ "Rick Leonardi". Lambiek Comiclopedia. December 21, 2006. Archived from the original on June 9, 2012. Retrieved May 1, 2013.
  3. ^ a b c d Rick Leonardi at the Grand Comics Database
  4. ^ DeFalco, Tom; Gilbert, Laura, ed. (2008). "1980s". Marvel Chronicle A Year by Year History. London, United Kingdom: Dorling Kindersley. p. 208. ISBN 978-0756641238.CS1 maint: extra text: authors list (link)
  5. ^ David, Peter; Greenberger, Robert (2010). The Spider-Man Vault: A Museum-in-a-Book with Rare Collectibles Spun from Marvel's Web. Philadelphia, Pennsylvania: Running Press. p. 86. ISBN 0762437723. According to Tom DeFalco, Rick Leonardi did some additional tweaks on it, such as having the legs of the spider symbol join around in the back. Ron Frenz was the first penciler to actually render it in the comics.
  6. ^ David, Peter. "The Wacko Theory"; Comics Buyer's Guide June 4, 1993; Reprinted in the collection But I Digress (1994); pp. 104–106
  7. ^ Cronin, Brian (May 16, 2007). "Comic Book Urban Legends Revealed Extra: Randy Schueller's Brush With Comic History". Comic Book Resources. Archived from the original on October 23, 2013.
  8. ^ DeFalco "1980s" in Gilbert (2008), p. 218: "Created by writer Tom DeFalco and artist Rick Leonardi, the [Rose] tended his rose garden as he casually ran his various criminal enterprises."
  9. ^ Manning, Matthew K.; Dougall, Alastair, ed. (2014). "1980s". Batman: A Visual History. London, United Kingdom: Dorling Kindersley. p. 163. ISBN 978-1465424563.CS1 maint: extra text: authors list (link)
  10. ^ Manning "1980s" in Dougall, p. 168
  11. ^ DeFalco "1980s" in Gilbert (2008), p. 238: "Intended to criticize South Africa's policy of apartheid, Genosha was a fictional island located off the east coast of Africa that first appeared in this issue [#235] by writer Chris Claremont and artist Rick Leonard."
  12. ^ Manning, Matthew K. "1990s" in Gilbert (2008), p. 260: "Writer Peter David and artist Rick Leonardi's Spider-Man 2099 character was first glimpsed in a sneak preview in the pages of The Amazing Spider-Man #265 in August 1992."
  13. ^ Manning "1990s" in Gilbert (2008), p. 278: "This eight-issue series was written by Karl Kesel with art by 2099 veteran penciller Rick Leonardi."
  14. ^ Manning "2000s" in Gilbert (2008), p. 302
  15. ^ Manning "2000s" in Dougall, p. 263
  16. ^ Arrant, Chris (November 10, 2008). "Returning to the Gun: Marv Wolfman on Vigilante". Newsarama. Archived from the original on December 8, 2013.
  17. ^ Arrant, Chris (January 10, 2019). "Spider-Man 2099's Rick Leonardi Joins DC's Batman Beyond". Newsarama. Archived from the original on April 15, 2019. Retrieved January 12, 2019.

External links[edit]

Preceded by
Spider-Man 2099 penciller
Succeeded by
Joe St. Pierre
Preceded by
William Rosado
Nightwing penciller
Succeeded by
Michael Lilly