Roger Stern

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Roger Stern
Roger Stern (Ithacon 2010).jpg
Stern photographed at Ithacon 35, Part II in 2010
Born (1950-09-17) September 17, 1950 (age 72)
Noblesville, Indiana[1]
Notable works
Action Comics
The Amazing Spider-Man
The Avengers
Captain America
Doctor Strange
Power of the Atom
Triumph and Torment

Roger Stern (born September 17, 1950) is an American comic book author and novelist.


Early career[edit]

In the early 1970s, Stern and Bob Layton published the fanzine CPL (Contemporary Pictorial Literature), one of the first platforms for the work of John Byrne.[1][2] CPL rapidly became a popular fan publication, and led to the two forming an alliance with Charlton Comics to produce and publish "the now-famous Charlton Bullseye magazine".[2] During the mid-1970s, both Marvel and DC were publishing in-house "fan" publications (FOOM and The Amazing World of DC Comics respectively), and Charlton wished to make inroads into the superhero market, as well as "establish a fan presence," leading to the alliance with CPL to produce the Charlton Bullseye.[2] This led to Charlton giving Layton and Stern "access to unpublished material from their vaults by the likes of Steve Ditko, Jeff Jones and a host of others."[2]


The Hobgoblin character co-created by Stern. Art by John Romita Jr.

Stern broke into the industry as a writer in 1975 as part of the Marvel Comics "third wave" of creators, which included artists John Byrne and Frank Miller, and writers Jo Duffy, Mark Gruenwald and Ralph Macchio. Stern worked as an editor from 1976 to 1980.[3] Jim Shooter claims that Stern co-plotted (as a ghostwriter) his last few stories for DC Comics in 1976.[4] Stern wrote the "Guardians of the Galaxy" feature in Marvel Presents #10-12 in 1977.[5] He briefly collaborated with Byrne on Captain America. The two produced a story wherein Captain America considered running for the office of President of the United States,[6] an idea originally developed by Roger McKenzie and Don Perlin. Stern, in his capacity as editor of the title, had originally rejected the idea but later changed his mind about the concept.[7][8] McKenzie and Perlin received credit for the idea on the letters page at Stern's insistence.[9] His first regular monthly book was as staff writer for The Incredible Hulk taking over for departing Len Wein in 1978.[10] Stern later became the writer of The Spectacular Spider-Man with issue #43 (June 1980).[11] He then took over The Amazing Spider-Man with issue #224 (January 1982).[12] In addition to his Spider-Man work, Stern is known for his lengthy stints on Doctor Strange, and The Avengers.[13] In 1982, he co-created Marvel's second Captain Marvel[14] and the Hobgoblin, both with artist John Romita Jr.[15][16] Stern wrote "The Kid Who Collects Spider-Man" in The Amazing Spider-Man #248 (January 1984), a story which ranks among his most popular.[15][17] Stern ended his run with Amazing Spider-Man #250 (March 1984), chiefly due to his difficulty working with new Spider-Man editor Danny Fingeroth.[18] Later that same year, he co-created the Avengers spin-off The West Coast Avengers, with artist Bob Hall.

In 1987, after a dispute with editor Mark Gruenwald over upcoming storylines, Stern was fired from The Avengers.[19] He began freelancing for DC Comics, where he was one of the core Superman writers for almost a decade, working on Superman (vol. 2), Action Comics, and Superman: The Man of Tomorrow. He contributed to such storylines as "Panic in the Sky"[20] and "The Death of Superman" which revived interest in the character in the early 1990s. He created the Eradicator in Action Comics Annual #2[21][22] and later incorporated the character into the "Reign of the Supermen" story arc beginning in The Adventures of Superman #500.[23] Stern wrote the 1991 story wherein Clark Kent finally revealed his identity as Superman to Lois Lane.[24][25] In Summer 1995, Stern and artist Tom Grummett created a new quarterly series, Superman: The Man of Tomorrow.[26] Additionally, Stern was one of the many creators who worked on the Superman: The Wedding Album one-shot in 1996 which featured the title character's marriage to Lois Lane.[27] Besides his work on Superman, Stern (with co-plotter Tom McCraw) wrote Legionnaires from 1996 to 1999. Other work for DC included a relaunched Atom series, drawn by Dwayne Turner[13] and the co-creation of the Will Payton version of Starman with artist Tom Lyle.[28]

In 1996, Stern returned to Marvel to write the miniseries Spider-Man: Hobgoblin Lives,[29] and contributed to three issues of Spectacular Spider-Man in 1998 which featured the first confrontation between Norman Osborn and Roderick Kingsley.[30] Over the next four years, he wrote the short-lived Marvel Universe series, as well as such miniseries as Avengers Two, Avengers Infinity, and Spider-Man: Revenge of the Green Goblin. Stern collaborated with Avengers writer Kurt Busiek on Iron Man and the miniseries Avengers Forever, and with John Byrne on Marvel: The Lost Generation.[13]

After a major editorial shuffle at Marvel in 2000 left him without assignments, Stern began writing for European publisher Egmont, for whom he produced scripts for Fantomen (The Phantom), and Panini UK, for whose Marvel Rampage magazine he wrote Spider-Man and Hulk stories.[13] Stern and Busiek co-wrote the Darkman vs. Army of Darkness limited series which was drawn by artist James Fry and published by Dynamite Entertainment. In 2007, Stern wrote an issue of The All-New Atom and reunited with Byrne to produce a five-issue story arc for JLA Classified for DC in 2008.

The next year, Stern returned to Marvel, where he wrote new stories for Giant-Size Incredible Hulk, The Amazing Spider-Man,[31] Young Allies 70th Anniversary Special, Amazing Spider-Man Family, Web of Spider-Man (vol. 2), Captain America and The Many Loves of the Amazing Spider-Man. He collaborated again with Busiek, co-writing several issues of Marvels: Eye of the Camera, the sequel to the Marvels miniseries.[13] Stern has continued to freelance for Marvel, writing the 2010 miniseries Captain America: Forever Allies and Captain America Corps, another miniseries, in 2011.[13] In 2012, he worked on an issue of the limited series Hulk Smash Avengers with artist Karl Moline, and wrote issue 156.1 of Peter Parker: Spider-Man (vol. 2). In 2015, he contributed a story to Spider-Verse Team-Up #1.

As part of Marvel Comics' 80th Anniversary the one-shot Avengers: Loki Unleashed! by Roger Stern and artist Ron Lim that takes place after Stern's famous "The Siege" storyline, has been published in September 2019.[32]

For the Binge Books label of publisher Sitcomics, Stern wrote the 68-page comic book Heroes Union #1 (August 2021), pencilled by Ron Frenz and inked by Sal Buscema.[33]

Graphic novels[edit]

Stern has also written a number of graphic novels, including Doctor Strange & Doctor Doom: Triumph and Torment; Superman for Earth; The Incredible Hulk vs. Superman; Superman: A Nation Divided; and Untold Tales of Spider-Man: Strange Encounters.


In addition to his comics work, Stern has written three novels: The Death and Life of Superman (Bantam Books, 1993), Smallville: Strange Visitors (Warner Books, 2002), and Superman: The Never-Ending Battle (Pocket Books, 2005). The Death and Life of Superman was a New York Times bestseller in hardcover and was released as a mass market paperback in 1994; a new trade paperback edition was released by Barnes & Noble in 2004.

Personal life[edit]

Stern married Cornell University chemistry teacher Carmela Merlo in Ithaca, New York, on June 19, 1982, at a ceremony attended by many Marvel staffers, including editor-in-chief Jim Shooter.[34]


DC Comics[edit]

DC Comics/Marvel Comics[edit]

Marvel Comics[edit]

Panini UK[edit]

  • Marvel Rampage #8–10, 12–14 (2005)

Other publishers[edit]


  1. ^ a b Cooke, Jon B. (March 2001). "Rog-2001: Sterno Speaks! Writer Roger Stern on the CPL/Gang-Charlton Connection". Comic Book Artist. Raleigh, North Carolina: TwoMorrows Publishing. Archived from the original on March 9, 2012. Retrieved February 25, 2012.
  2. ^ a b c d Vasseur, Richard (May 30, 2006). "Bob Layton Legendary Comic Book Writer and Artist". Jazma Online. Archived from the original on April 8, 2008. Retrieved February 25, 2012.
  3. ^ Roger Stern (editor) at the Grand Comics Database
  4. ^ Vaughn, J. C. (June 2009). "Jim Shooter's First Day at Marvel Comics". Back Issue!. Raleigh, North Carolina: TwoMorrows Publishing (34): 19.
  5. ^ Buttery, Jarrod (July 2013). "Explore the Marvel Universe of the 31st Century With...The Guardians of the Galaxy". Back Issue!. Raleigh, North Carolina: TwoMorrows Publishing (65): 26–27.
  6. ^ DeFalco, Tom; Gilbert, Laura, ed. (2008). "1980s". Marvel Chronicle A Year by Year History. London, United Kingdom: Dorling Kindersley. p. 198. ISBN 978-0756641238. The National Populist Party asked Captain America to run for President of the United States in this issue by writer Roger Stern and artist John Byrne {{cite book}}: |first2= has generic name (help)
  7. ^ Cronin, Brian (May 10, 2010). "The Greatest Roger Stern Stories Ever Told!". Comic Book Resources. Archived from the original on October 26, 2011. Retrieved February 20, 2012.
  8. ^ Brady, Matt (November 28, 2002). "Looking Back:Stern & Byrne's Captain America". Newsarama. Archived from the original on January 25, 2009. Retrieved February 20, 2012. The story, according to Stern, actually began a year previous, when Roger McKenzie and Don Perlin were the creative team on Captain America, and Stern was an editor at Marvel. McKenzie and Perlin wanted Cap to run for office and win, setting up four years' worth of stories in and around Washington, D.C. and the duties of the president. While it could've made for a great pop-culture civics lesson, Stern 86'd the idea.
  9. ^ Khoury, George. "The Roger Stern Interview: The Triumphs and Trials of the Writer". Marvel Masterworks Resource Page. Archived from the original on March 9, 2012. Retrieved February 20, 2012. I made sure that 1) Roger McK. and Don knew about it, and 2) they were credited with the idea on the letters page.
  10. ^ "Interview With Roger Stern, October 2006".
  11. ^ Manning, Matthew K.; Gilbert, Laura, ed. (2012). "1980s". Spider-Man Chronicle Celebrating 50 Years of Web-Slinging. London, United Kingdom: Dorling Kindersley. p. 114. ISBN 978-0756692360. Writer Roger Stern would begin his long tenure as a Spider-scribe with an impressive run on Peter Parker, The Spectacular Spider-Man, beginning with this issue illustrated by Mike Zeck. {{cite book}}: |first2= has generic name (help)
  12. ^ Manning "1980s" in Gilbert (2012), p. 126: "Writer Roger Stern moved from the helm of Peter Parker, The Spectacular Spider-Man to sit behind the wheel as the new regular writer of The Amazing Spider-Man with this issue."
  13. ^ a b c d e f Roger Stern at the Grand Comics Database
  14. ^ DeFalco "1980s" in Gilbert (2008), p. 209: "Created by writer Roger Stern and artist John Romita, Jr., this new Captain Marvel soon went to New York to ask the Avengers to teach her how to control her new abilities."
  15. ^ a b 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. pp. 68–69. ISBN 978-0762437726. Writer Roger Stern is primarily remembered for two major contributions to the world of Peter Parker. One was a short piece entitled 'The Kid Who Collects Spider-Man'...[his] other major contribution was the introduction of the Hobgoblin.
  16. ^ Manning "1980s" in Gilbert (2012), p. 133: "Writer Roger Stern and artists John Romita, Jr. and John Romita, Sr. introduced a new - and frighteningly sane - version of the [Green Goblin] concept with the debut of the Hobgoblin."
  17. ^ Cronin "Stern and guest-artist Ron Frenz tell the heartfelt tale of a little boy who might be Spider-Man's biggest fan. Spidey visits the boy and has a nice talk with him (and naturally, there is a twist to the tale)."
  18. ^ Greenberg, Glenn (August 2009). "When Hobby Met Spidey". Back Issue!. Raleigh, North Carolina: TwoMorrows Publishing (35): 13.
  19. ^ Gruenwald, Mark. "Mark's Remarks," Avengers #288 (March 1988).
  20. ^ Manning, Matthew K.; Dolan, Hannah, ed. (2010). "1990s". DC Comics Year By Year A Visual Chronicle. London, United Kingdom: Dorling Kindersley. p. 253. ISBN 978-0-7566-6742-9. In this seven-part adventure...writers Dan Jurgens, Jerry Ordway, Roger Stern, and Louise Simonson, with artists Brett Breeding, Tom Grummett, Jon Bogdanove, and Bob McLeod assembled many of DC's favorite characters to defend the world. {{cite book}}: |first2= has generic name (help)
  21. ^ Wallace, Dan (2008). "Eradicator". In Dougall, Alastair (ed.). The DC Comics Encyclopedia. London, United Kingdom: Dorling Kindersley. p. 116. ISBN 978-0-7566-4119-1.
  22. ^ Stern, Roger, Jerry Ordway, George Pérez (w), Swan, Curt, Jerry Ordway, George Pérez (p), Breeding, Brett; Statema, John (i). "Memories of Krypton's Past" Action Comics Annual 2 (May 1989), DC Comics
  23. ^ Manning "1990s" in Dolan, p. 259: "The issue also featured four teaser comics that introduced a group of contenders all vying for the Superman name...The Eradicator returned in a preview tale by writer Roger Stern and artist Jackson Guice."
  24. ^ Stern, Roger (w), McLeod, Bob (p), McLeod, Bob (i). "Secrets in the Night" Action Comics 662 (February 1991), DC Comics
  25. ^ Manning "1990s" in Dolan, p. 249: "With their nuptials looming, Clark thought it was time to reveal his dual identity to the love of his life, in this landmark issue by writer Roger Stern and artist Bob McLeod."
  26. ^ Manning "1990s" in Dolan, p. 271: "Superman gained a new quarterly title to ensure his weekly appearance on comic book store racks in...Superman: The Man of Tomorrow #1, by writer Roger Stern and penciller Tom Grummett."
  27. ^ Manning "1990s" in Dolan, p. 275: " The behind-the-scenes talent on the monumental issue appropriately spanned several generations of the Man of Tomorrow's career. Written by Dan Jurgens, Karl Kesel, David Michelinie, Louise Simonson, and Roger Stern, the one-shot featured the pencils of John Byrne, Gil Kane, Stuart Immonen, Paul Ryan, Jon Bogdanove, Kieron Dwyer, Tom Grummett, Dick Giordano, Jim Mooney, Curt Swan, Nick Cardy, Al Plastino, Barry Kitson, Ron Frenz, and Dan Jurgens."
  28. ^ Manning "1980s" in Dolan, p. 235: "New Starman Will Payton debuted in his own ongoing series in October [1988] by writer Roger Stern and artist Tom Lyle."
  29. ^ Cowsill, Alan "1990s" in Gilbert (2012), p. 234: "The mystery of the Hobgoblin's true identity was finally solved in this three-issue miniseries by writer Roger Stern and artist Ron Frenz."
  30. ^ Cowsill "1990s" in Gilbert (2012), p. 242
  31. ^ Cowsill "2010s" in Gilbert (2012), p. 329
  32. ^ "Roger Stern Returns to Avengers for Loki Unleashed One-Shot". CBR. June 12, 2019. Retrieved August 21, 2019.
  33. ^ "It's TV You Read!". Sitcomics. Retrieved April 24, 2021.
  34. ^ Shooter, Jim. "Bullpen Bulletins," Marvel Comics cover-dated December 1982.

External links[edit]

Preceded by The Incredible Hulk writer
Succeeded by
Preceded by Captain America writer
(with John Byrne in early 1980)
Succeeded by
Preceded by The Amazing Spider-Man writer
Succeeded by
Preceded by
Steven Grant
The Avengers writer
Succeeded by
Preceded by Fantastic Four writer
Succeeded by
Preceded by
John Byrne
Superman writer
Succeeded by
Preceded by
John Byrne
Action Comics writer
Succeeded by
Preceded by
Tom McCraw and
Tom Peyer
Legionnaires writer
with Tom McCraw

Succeeded by
Preceded by Iron Man writer
(with Kurt Busiek)
Succeeded by