Comics

Marvel Remembers Rich Buckler

Recalling the life and career of a remarkable artist.

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Photo by Luigi Novi

Marvel Comics recognizes the passing of artist Rich Buckler with sincere appreciation for not only his creative talents, but for his steadfast work ethic over many years of projects. He’d touched nearly every single major character in the Marvel Universe since his first work for the House of Ideas, and left a lasting impact on his multitude of fans.

Buckler’s early years growing up in Detroit, Michigan fed into his love of comics and his involvement with some of the first comic conventions in the nation. Before long he’d scored comic work of his own, and by 1972 he could claim projects at both major companies, Marvel and DC.

In 1974, the artist found himself on a dream of a series, FANTASTIC FOUR. For more than two years he worked on stories and covers that included such characters as Annihilus, Darkoth, Doctor Doom, Namor, the Inhumans, and of course, the famous foursome of heroes themselves. That same year, he collaborated with writer Don McGregor on the legendary Black Panther story-arc in JUNGLE ACTION, as well as creating the infamous future cyborg Deathlok along with writer Doug Moench in the pages of ASTONISHING TALES. Deathlok proved to be a point of fascination with readers for many years to come, leading to multiple interpretations of the character and his eventual appearance on film in the “Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.” TV series.

By the end of the 1970s, Buckler had worked on an incredible host of Marvel heroes and villains, including the Avengers, Daredevil, Black Goliath, the Inhumans, the Champions, Thor, Power Man, and the Defenders. In addition, he also started a young George Perez on a path to greatness by hiring the rookie artist to be his assistant at his studio.

Buckler gravitated back to DC and in 1977 worked almost exclusively for Marvel’s Distinguished Competition until he returned for the most part to the House of Ideas for grand second Marvel era in the 1980s. He began a collaboration with writer Peter David on SPECTATCULAR SPIDER-MAN in 1985, and together they produced one of the web-slinger’s most acclaimed storylines, “The Death of Jean Dewolff,” over a memorable four issues later that year.

From the dawn of the 1990s and into the new millennium, Buckler worked for several companies, most prominently among them Archie Comics, Continuity, and Dynamite. He’ll be remembered for his innate sense of design, his way with a cover, and his strong belief in insuring the next generation of comic creators would be made up of a diverse range of backgrounds and personalities.