Marvel Comics in the ‘80s: Not Just for Kids Anymore
In the 1980s, many comics took a turn down some dark, grim and gritty alleyways thanks to these innovative writers at the House of Ideas.
When you think of the grim and gritty ‘80s, one of the first names to pop up is Frank Miller. His career kicked off at Marvel in 1979 with one-off penciling gigs on books like JOHN CARTER WARLORD OF MARS #18, and his association with Daredevil began with DAREDEVIL #158 that same year. But he began co-writing that title in 1980 with Roger McKenzie before taking over as both writer and penciler with issue #168, assisted by legendary inker Klaus Janson.
Following up Frank Miller's groundbreaking run on DAREDEVIL proved no small feat, but Ann Nocenti was up for the task. Three issues after Miller left, she debuted on the title and would become the series writer with DAREDEVIL #238. Aside from the exceptions of a few fill-ins, Nocenti guided the blind lawyer from Hell's Kitchen through the end of the decade into the 1990s, coming to an end with issue #291.
J. M. DeMatteis
Though he might be more commonly associated with Super Hero stories with a comedic angle, J. M. DeMatteis got down and dirty in the ‘80s. He took DEFENDERS to some dark places during his run, killed the Red Skull to end his epic CAPTAIN AMERICA run in issue #300, rolled along with GHOST RIDER on many a supernatural ride, and explored some of what made the Sub-Mariner the man he is today in PRINCE NAMOR.
Steven Grant kicked around the Marvel Universe for a while and then, in 1986, he left his stamp on the industry when he wrote the very first solo PUNISHER limited series. In the span of that five-issue series, Grant and Mike Zeck sent Frank Castle on a drug-addled rampage, locked him up in jail and continued him down the dark paths that fans have come to expect from the skull-wearer.
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