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Gerry Conway (1952)

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  Summary  

Gerard F. "Gerry" Conway is an American writer of comic books and television shows. He is known for co-creating the Marvel Comics vigilante The Punisher and scripting the death of the character Gwen Stacy during his long run on The Amazing Spider-Man. At DC Comics, he is known for co-creating the superhero Firestorm and for writing the Justice League of America for eight years. Conway is also notable for scripting the first major, modern-day intercompany crossover, Superman vs. the Amazing Spider-Man.

  Biography  

 Early career


Born in New York City, New York, United States, Conway grew up a comic fan; a letter from him appears in Fantastic Four #50 , written when Conway was 14. He published his first professional comic book work at 16, with the 6½-page horror story "Aaron Philips' Photo Finish" in DC Comics' House of Secrets #81 . He continued selling such anthological stories for that series and for Marvel's Chamber of Darkness and Tower of Shadows through the end of 1970, by which time he had also published one-page, text short stories in DC's All-Star Western #1 and Super DC Giant #S-14 . He published his first continuing-character story in DC's semi-anthological occult comic The Phantom Stranger #10 .

Conway broke into Marvel Comics through Marvel editor Roy Thomas:


Following his first continuing-character story for Marvel, with his script for the jungle lord Ka-Zar in Astonishing Tales #3 , Conway began writing superhero stories with Daredevil #72 . He quickly went on to assignments on Iron Man, The Incredible Hulk, and both "The Inhumans" and "The Black Widow" features in the split book Amazing Adventures. Conway would eventually script virtually every major Marvel title, as well as co-create (with writers Roy & Jean Thomas and artist Mike Ploog) the lycanthropic lead character of the feature "Werewolf by Night", in Marvel Spotlight #2 ; and write the premiere issue of Marvel's The Tomb of Dracula, introducing the longstanding literary vampire into the Marvel universe. He scripted the first Man-Thing story, in 1971, sharing co-creation credit with Stan Lee and Roy Thomas.

 Spider-Man and intercompany rotation


At 19, Conway began scripting The Amazing Spider-Man, one of Marvel's flagship titles. His run, from issues #111–149 (August 1972 – October 1975), included the landmark death of Gwen Stacy story in #121 . Eight issues later, Conway and Andru introduced the Punisher as a conflicted antagonist for Spider-Man. The character went on to become a popular star of numerous comic books and has been adapted into three movies. Conway additionally wrote Fantastic Four, from #133–152 (April 1973 – Nov. 1974).

Conway in 2009 reflected on writing flagship Marvel characters at a very young age:


In the fall of 1972, Conway and writers Steve Englehart and Len Wein crafted a metafictional unofficial crossover spanning titles from both major comics companies. Each comic featured Englehart, Conway, and Wein, as well as Wein's first wife Glynis, interacting with Marvel or DC characters at the Rutland Halloween Parade in Rutland, Vermont. Beginning in Amazing Adventures #16 , the story continued in Justice League of America #103 , and concluded in Thor #207 . As Englehart explained in 2010, "It certainly seemed like a radical concept and we knew that we had to be subtle and each story had to stand on its own, but we really worked it out. It's really worthwhile to read those stories back to back to back — it didn't matter to us that one was at DC and two were at Marvel — I think it was us being creative, thinking what would be really cool to do."

Conway returned to DC Comics in mid-1975, beginning with three books cover-dated Nov. 1975: Hercules Unbound #1, Kong the Untamed #3, and Swamp Thing #19. He wrote a revival of the Golden Age comic book series All Star Comics which introduced the character Power Girl. Shortly afterward, he was chosen by Marvel and DC editors to script the historic intercompany crossover Superman vs. the Amazing Spider-Man #1, a 96-page, tabloid-sized, $2 one-shot, at a time when comic books sold for 25 cents.


He continued writing for DC, on titles including Superman, Detective Comics , Metal Men, Justice League of America, 1st Issue Special #11 starring Codename: Assassin, and that of the licensed character Tarzan. Conway briefly returned to Marvel where he succeeded Marv Wolfman as editor-in-chief in March 1976, but held the job only briefly, relinquishing the post before the month was out and succeeded in turn by Archie Goodwin.

For a time, a confluence of publishing schedules resulted in Conway stories appearing in both Marvel and DC comics in the same month: The prolific Conway's comic books with January 1977 cover-dates alone, for example, are Marvel's The Avengers, The Defenders, Captain Marvel, Iron Man, The Spectacular Spider-Man and the premiere issues of Ms. Marvel and Logan's Run, and Superman and Action Comics.

 DC Comics and later career
After leaving Marvel's editorship, he again wrote exclusively for DC for the next decade writing both major and lesser titles — from those featuring Superman, Wonder Woman, and the Legion of Super-Heroes to such books as Weird Western Tales, Atari Force and Sun Devils. He had an eight-year run on Justice League of America, writing most issues from #151-255 (Feb. 1978 - Oct. 1986). Conway wrote two additional Superman projects in the oversized tabloid format, Superman vs. Wonder Woman, drawn by José Luis García-López, and Superman vs. Shazam, drawn by Rich Buckler.

He co-created the characters Firestorm with artist Al Milgrom and Steel, the Indestructible Man with artist Don Heck in the premiere issues of the respective titular comics. He additionally co-created the characters Vibe and Gypsy. As writer of Batman #337-359 (July 1981 - May 1983) and the feature "Batman" in Detective Comics #497-526 (Dec. 1980 - May 1983), he introduced the characters Killer Croc and Jason Todd, the latter of whom became the second Robin, succeeding original sidekick Dick Grayson.

Conway was a frequent collaborator with Roy Thomas. Together they wrote a two-part Superman-Shazam team-up in DC Comics Presents #33-34 (May–June 1981); the Atari Force and Swordquest mini-comics packaged with Atari 2600 video games; and three Justice League of America-Justice Society of America crossovers. Conway contributed ideas to the funny animal comic Captain Carrot and His Amazing Zoo Crew!, created by Thomas and Scott Shaw. Thomas and Conway were to be the co-writers of the JLA/Avengers intercompany crossover, but editorial disputes between DC and Marvel caused the project's cancellation.

Conway returned to Marvel in the 1980s and served as the regular writer of both The Spectacular Spider-Man and Web of Spider-Man from 1988 until 1990. He relinquished writing duties on both titles when he became the story editor of the television series Father Dowling Mysteries.

Conway's last recorded comics credit for many years was Topps Comics' "Kirbyverse" one-shot NightGlider #1 , scripting from a Roy Thomas plot. Conway returned to comics in 2009 and wrote DC Comics' The Last Days of Animal Man, with artist Chris Batista.

 Books, comic strips, screenplays
In addition to comics, Conway published two science-fiction novels: The Midnight Dancers and Mindship He also wrote the February 14 - December 3, 1983 dailies of the syndicated newspaper comic strip Star Trek, based upon the 1960s TV series.

Conway as well moved into screenwriting in the 1980s, starting with the animated feature Fire and Ice , co-written with Roy Thomas, based on characters created by Ralph Bakshi and Frank Frazetta. Conway and Thomas wrote the story basis for Stanley Mann's screenplay for the film Conan the Destroyer .

Conway wrote, and later produced, such TV series as Father Dowling Mysteries, Diagnosis: Murder, Matlock, Jake and the Fatman, Hercules: The Legendary Journeys, Baywatch Nights, Pacific Blue, Silk Stalkings, Perry Mason telefilms, Law & Order, The Huntress, Law & Order: Criminal Intent, and an episode of Batman: The Animated Series.

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  Sources

Whole or part of the information contained in this card come from the Wikipedia article "Gerry Conway", licensed under CC-BY-SA full list of contributors here.