Every day this month I will share with you the first (at least as far as I know) U.S. professional work by a notable comic book creator. Here is an archive of the creators who have been featured so far.
Today’s featured creator is Steve Englehart!
Steve Englehart has had a prolific career as a comic book writer, perhaps most notably during the 1970s, when he had legendary runs on Captain America, The Avengers, Justice League of America and Detective Comics. It’s rare for any comics from this era to resonate with modern viewers, and yet Englehart has had multiple runs that have received a great deal of attention today (with only his Justice League run not currently in print as a collection).
While he gained fame as a writer (today he is a popular novelist), Englehart began his comics career as an art assistant to the great Neal Adams. In fact, Englehart’s first comic book work was as an artist, on a Vampirella story for Warren Publishing. I am going to skip that one and show you his second story, because his second story as an artist was also the first story he was involved as a writer!
Gardner Fox had done the script for an issue of Warren’s Eerie (#35), and Englehart was the artist (again, though, since he was working with Adams, Adams was helping him on the art – some inks, some layouts, etc.), and he fiddled with Fox’s script. Can you imagine your first writing job being to mess around with the script of a great like Gardner Fox?
Here is the result (from September 1971)…
In February 1972, Englehart’s first solo writer job came out for Marvel Comics, in Monsters on the Prowl #15…
Soon after, he was given the regular assignment on the just-started Beast series in Amazing Adventures and, well, the rest is history!