John Carbonaro, the comics fan who became a publisher in 1981 when he bought the rights to T.H.U.N.D.E.R. Agents, passed away on Feb. 25. He was 58.
Created in 1965 by Wally Wood, T.H.U.N.D.E.R. Agents was published by Tower Comics until the company went out of business in 1969. Carbonaro purchased the dormant property more than a decade later, but soon became entangled in a lengthy legal battle to prove ownership, in a dispute with business acquaintance David Singer, and to demonstrate T.H.U.N.D.E.R. Agents hadn’t lapsed into the public domain. His friend Robert Sodaro recounts that history here.
Carbonaro published several T.H.U.N.D.E.R. Agents comics himself in the early ’80s under the JC Comics banner, but also licensed the characters to other companies, such as Archie Comics and Penthouse.