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Steve Englehart (1947)

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  Summary  

Steve Englehart is an American novelist. In his earlier career he was a comic book writer best known for his work at Marvel Comics and DC Comics, particularly in the 1970s. His pseudonyms have included John Harkness and Cliff Garnett.

  Biography  

 early life
Steve Englehart majored in psychology at Wesleyan University, where he was a member of The Kappa Alpha Society, earning his Bachelor of Arts degree in 1969.

 career
Englehart's first work in comics was as an art assistant to Neal Adams on a story in Warren Publishing's black-and-white horror comics magazine Vampirella #10 . However, Englehart found his true calling as a writer. Influenced by writer Roy Thomas, who edited his first stories for Marvel, Englehart brought a complex, freewheeling style to Marvel's comics, often dealing with philosophical or political issues in a superhero story, such as a celebrated run on Captain America that reflected the then-ongoing Watergate scandal.

Thomas said in a 2007 interview that Englehart:


 Marvel Comics
Englehart wrote The Avengers from 1972 to 1976. During his time on that title, he wrote several major storylines including "The Avengers Defenders War", the "Celestial Madonna", and "The Serpent Crown".

In the fall of 1972, Englehart and writers Gerry Conway 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."

Englehart had a potent run on Doctor Strange , in which Strange's mentor, the Ancient One, died, and Strange became the new Sorcerer Supreme. Englehart and Brunner, audaciously, also created a multi-issue storyline in which a sorcerer named Sise-Neg ("Genesis" spelled backward) goes back through history, collecting all magical energies, until he reaches the beginning of the universe, becomes all-powerful and creates it anew, leaving Strange to wonder whether this was, paradoxically, the original creation (Marvel Premiere #14). Editor-in-chief Stan Lee, seeing the issue after publication, ordered Englehart and Brunner to print a retraction saying this was not God but a god, so as to avoid offending religious readers. The writer and artist concocted a fake letter from a fictitious minister praising the story, and mailed it to Marvel from Texas; Marvel unwittingly printed the letter, and dropped the retraction order.

Describing that time, Englehart said in 1998,

We'd rampage around New York City. There was one night when a bunch of us, including Jim Starlin, went out on the town. We partied all day, then did some more acid, then roamed around town until dawn and saw all sorts of amazing things .

Englehart reconciled the existence of Captain America and sidekick Bucky in Marvel's 1950s precursor, Atlas Comics, an anomaly that had been ignored since Cap's 1964 reintroduction to Marvel, in which his newly-retconned history stated that the 1950s Captain America had been a different character. This was followed by an extended storyline of Steve Rogers becoming so profoundly disillusioned with the United States that he temporarily abandoned his Captain America identity to become Nomad until he decided to refocus his purpose as the defender of America's ideals, not necessarily its government.

 DC Comics
In 1976, following a falling out with a new editorial regime at Marvel, Englehart moved to DC Comics to revamp all of their main characters, including Superman, Batman, Flash, and Green Lantern. To that end, he wrote Justice League of America #139-146 and 149-150, with artist Dick Dillin, and an eight-issue arc of Batman stories in Detective Comics #469-476,with pencilers Walt Simonson and Marshall Rogers and inker Terry Austin. In this arc, he recreated the Batman as a pulp-oriented, dark character; recreated the Joker as a true homicidal maniac; and introduced a sexual love interest for a superhero for the first time, in Silver St. Cloud. This storyline was dubbed "the definitive Batman," and adapted as the first Batman film in 1989, with Englehart providing the development. The comic was reprinted in trade paperback in 1999 as Batman: Strange Apparitions.

Englehart temporarily left comics at this juncture, moving to Europe before his first issue of Detective was published. During this time he wrote a fantasy/occult novel, The Point Man, which was republished in 2010.

A 25-page Englehart-Rogers story featuring Madame Xanadu, originally commissioned for Doorway to Nightmare, sat in inventory for years before being published as the one-shot Madame Xanadu in 1981, in DC's first attempt at marketing comics specifically to the "direct market" of fans and collectors.

In the early 1980s, he worked as a game designer for Atari, and has done freelance work in the field since on such games as Tron 2.0 and Bard's Tale IV.

 Return to Marvel
In 1983, Marvel's creator-owned imprint Epic Comics published Coyote, a series he had earlier created at Eclipse Comics with Rogers, in collaboration with artist Steve Leialoha .

Englehart returned to mainstream Marvel comics later that decade with stints on West Coast Avengers, the second Vision and the Scarlet Witch miniseries , Silver Surfer , and Fantastic Four

Simultaneously, Englehart wrote DC Comics' Green Lantern, and in 1987 wrote the DC crossover series Millennium.

 Other work
In 1992, he co-created the Ultraverse comics universe for Malibu Comics and wrote Night Man and the superhero-team series The Strangers. Night Man was later adapted for a syndicated television series which ran for two seasons. Englehart wrote three episodes of the television series.

For Claypool Comics, he wrote the supernatural series Phantom of Fear City #1-12 (May 1993 - May 1995).

Throughout the remainder of the 1990s, he wrote a series of young adult books for Avon, including the DNAgers series and the Countdown series. Countdown to Flight was selected by NASA for its school curriculum on the Wright Brothers. He also worked in animation, with episodes of Streetfighter and G.I. Joe Extreme, and wrote one of the three episodes in Disney's Atlantis: Milo's Return film.

He wrote a screenplay for an unproduced film, Majorca. The screenplay was published as a book by Black Coat Press. He has admitted to writing the novel Hellstorm in the TALON Force series under the house pseudonym Cliff Garnett.

In the early 2000s, Englehart returned to comics briefly, and in 2005, he reunited with Rogers and Austin on the miniseries Batman: Dark Detective, elements of which were adapted into the Batman film The Dark Knight.

 Novels
In the mid-2000s, Englehart turned his 1980 novel, The Point Man, into Book Zero for a series concerning its hero, Max August. The first sequel, The Long Man, was published in 2009, and The Plain Man in 2011. In the series, Max became immortal in 1985 and is dealing with the consequences two decades later in real time.

  Personal life
Englehart married Marie-Therese Beach in 1975. They have two sons, Alex and Eric.

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