Cary Bates

Cary Bates (born 1948)[1] is an American comic book, animation, television and film writer. He is best known for his work on The Flash and Superman

Cary Bates
Notable works
Action Comics
Captain Atom
The Flash


Early career

Bates began submitting ideas for comic book covers to DC Comics at the age of 13, and a number of them were bought and published, the first as the cover to Superman #167 (Feb. 1964).[2][3] Bates began to sell stories to DC when he was 17.[4][5]

Bates is best known for his work for DC Comics on such titles as Action Comics, Captain Atom, The Flash, Superboy and the Legion of Super-Heroes, and Superman. He began working for the publisher in 1963 and continued to do so until the early 1990s. Among his contributions to the Superman mythos, he and artist Curt Swan co-created the supervillains Terra-Man[6] and the 1970s version of the Toyman[7] as well as the superhero Vartox.[8] In November 1972, Bates and artist Art Saaf launched the first Supergirl series.[9] Bates wrote two stories which featured a superhero wedding. In Superboy Starring the Legion of Super-Heroes #200 (Feb. 1974), the characters Bouncing Boy and Duo Damsel were married[10] and Justice League of America #121 (Aug. 1975) featured the marriage of Adam Strange and the character's longstanding love interest Alanna.[11] Superman #300 (June 1976) featured an out-of-continuity story by Bates and Elliot S. Maggin which imagined the infant Superman landing on Earth in 1976 and becoming a superhero in 2001. The tale was an inspiration for Mark Millar's Superman: Red Son limited series published in 2003.[12] Bates would end the marriage of another character when he wrote The Flash #275 (July 1979) wherein the title character's wife, Iris West Allen was killed.[13]

Bates appeared in his own comics as himself several times, alongside superheroes such as the Silver Age version of the Flash[14] and the Justice League of America.[3][15][16]


Bates and artist Kurt Schaffenberger were the creative team for The New Adventures of Superboy, a series debuting in January 1980, which took the character out of the Legion of Super-Heroes and back into solo adventures.[17] He and artist Carmine Infantino crafted a Batman backup story for Detective Comics #500 (March 1981).[18][19] Infantino returned to The Flash title with issue #296 (April 1981) and he and Bates collaborated on the series, including issue #300 (Aug. 1981) which was in the Dollar Comics format[20] until its cancellation with issue #350 (October 1985). A major shakeup occurred when The Flash would inadvertently kill his wife's murderer, the Reverse-Flash, in The Flash #324 (Aug. 1983).[21] This led to an extended storyline titled "The Trial of the Flash" in which the hero must face the repercussions of his actions. Bates became the editor as well as the writer of The Flash title during this time and oversaw it until its cancellation in 1985.[22] "The Trial of the Flash" was collected in a volume of the Showcase Presents series in 2011.[23]

His final Superman stories were "Trapped in IMP-TV" in Superman #421 and "Superman for a Day" in Action Comics #581 (both cover dated July 1986).[2] Bates was one of the contributors to the DC Challenge limited series in 1986.[24] In 1987 and 1988, he wrote some stories for Marvel Comics' New Universe line and created the Video Jack series at Epic Comics with Keith Giffen.[2] His post-Superman work for DC included a Captain Atom series with Pat Broderick[25] and the Silverblade limited series with Gene Colan.[2][3]

Later career and other work

His other work includes the comic strips The Lone Ranger (1980–1983),[26] Buck Rogers in the 25th Century (1981–1983), and Disney's Gargoyles during the 1990s. In 2008 he returned after a 20-year absence to Marvel and wrote True Believers, a limited series about a team trying to uncover secrets in the Marvel Universe.[27]

He was head scriptwriter on the 1988–1992 live action Superboy television series,[3] and co-wrote (with Mario Puzo and John Briley) the 1992 film Christopher Columbus: The Discovery, produced by Superman: The Movie producers Alexander and Ilya Salkind.

Bates made a return to writing Superman, this time as an Elseworlds story titled Superman: The Last Family of Krypton, published in August 2010.[2] Bates worked on the DC Comics nostalgic event DC Retroactive writing stories for the one-shot specials DC Retroactive: Flash - The '70s (with art by Benito Gallego and Sal Buscema), and DC Retroactive: JLA - The '70s (drawn by Gordon Purcell and Andy Smith), both released with September 2011 cover dates.[28]


Comics work includes:

DC Comics

Marvel Comics

Warren Publishing

  • Creepy #83, 89, 92, 95, 99-100, 102, 109-111 (1976–1979)
  • Eerie #81, 96, 99-105, 107-109, 117 (1977–1980)
  • Vampirella #59, 67, 75, 79-80, 82, 111 (1977–1983)


  1. ^ ""Batdance" to "Bateson," Reading Room Index to the Comic Art Collection". East Lansing, Michigan: Michigan State University Libraries Special Collections. n.d. Archived from the original on March 5, 2016.
  2. ^ a b c d e Cary Bates at the Grand Comics Database
  3. ^ a b c d Eury (ed.), Michael (February 2013). "A Super Salute to Cary Bates". Back Issue!. Raleigh, North Carolina: TwoMorrows Publishing (62): 18–19.CS1 maint: Extra text: authors list (link)
  4. ^ Cronin, Brian (June 3, 2005). "Comic Book Urban Legends Revealed #1". Comic Book Resources. Archived from the original on March 10, 2012. Retrieved March 9, 2012.
  5. ^ Stroud, Bryan D. (October 14, 2011). "Cary Bates Interview". The Silver Age Sage. Archived from the original on August 29, 2012.
  6. ^ McAvennie, Michael; Dolan, Hannah, ed. (2010). "1970s". DC Comics Year By Year A Visual Chronicle. London, United Kingdom: Dorling Kindersley. p. 150. ISBN 978-0-7566-6742-9. Scripter Cary Bates and artist Curt Swan chose an inopportune time for Superman to meet Terra-Man, a spaghetti Western-garbed menace who rode a winged horse and wielded lethal alien weaponry.CS1 maint: Extra text: authors list (link)
  7. ^ McAvennie "1970s" in Dolan, p. 158: "Writer Cary Bates and artist Curt Swan gave Superman all the 'fun' he could handle with the savvy new Toyman in Action Comics #432."
  8. ^ McAvennie "1970s" in Dolan, p. 161: "Fans of John Boorman's 1974 sci-fi film Zardoz, starring Sean Connery in revealing red spandex, could appreciate writer Cary Bates and artist Curt Swan's inspiration for Vartox of Valeron."
  9. ^ McAvennie "1970s" in Dolan, p. 153: "Following a decade of back-up action and three years headlining Adventure Comics, Supergirl finally starred in her own series. For the inaugural issue, Cary Bates and artist Art Saaf enrolled Linda Danvers in college."
  10. ^ McAvennie "1970s" in Dolan, p. 159: "Bouncing Boy and Duo Damsel became the first Legionnaires to tie the knot. The wedding planners were writer Cary Bates and artist Dave Cockrum."
  11. ^ McAvennie "1970s" in Dolan, p. 165: "In August's Justice League of America #121, Adam Strange said 'I do' to his long-time love, Alanna, in a story by scripter Cary Bates and artist Dick Dillin."
  12. ^ Stroud, Bryan D. (December 2013). "Superman #300". Back Issue!. Raleigh, North Carolina: TwoMorrows Publishing (69): 31–33.
  13. ^ McAvennie "1970s" in Dolan, p. 182: "Life for the Fastest Man Alive screeched to a halt after writer Cary Bates and artist Alex Saviuk played 'The Last Dance' for the Flash's wife, Iris West Allen."
  14. ^ Bates, Cary (w), Novick, Irv (p), Blaisdell, Tex (i). "The Day I Saved the Life of the Flash" The Flash 228 (July–August 1974), DC Comics
  15. ^ Bates, Cary; Maggin, Elliot S. (w), Dillin, Dick (p), McLaughlin, Frank (i). "Where on Earth Am I?" Justice League of America 123 (October 1975), DC Comics
  16. ^ Bates, Cary; Maggin, Elliot S. (w), Dillin, Dick (p), McLaughlin, Frank (i). "Avenging Ghosts of the Justice Society!" Justice League of America 124 (November 1975), DC Comics
  17. ^ Manning, Matthew K. "1980s" in Dolan, p. 186: "After recently departing the pages of Superboy and the Legion of Super-Heroes, Superboy was free to pursue his own this premiere issue written by Cary Bates and illustrated by Kurt Schaffenberger."
  18. ^ Manning "1980s" in Dolan, p. 193
  19. ^ Greenberger, Robert (December 2013). "Memories of Detective Comics #500". Back Issue!. Raleigh, North Carolina: TwoMorrows Publishing (69): 54–57.
  20. ^ Weiss, Brett (December 2013). "The Flash #300". Back Issue!. Raleigh, North Carolina: TwoMorrows Publishing (69): 58–60.
  21. ^ Manning "1980s" in Dolan, p. 203: "Written by Cary Bates, with art by Flash legend Carmine Infantino, the story saw...[the Flash] accidentally break the Reverse-Flash's neck."
  22. ^ Cary Bates (editor) at the Grand Comics Database
  23. ^ Bates, Cary (2011). Showcase Presents: Trial of the Flash. DC Comics. p. 592. ISBN 1-4012-3182-9.
  24. ^ Greenberger, Robert (August 2017). "It Sounded Like a Good Idea at the Time: A Look at the DC Challenge!". Back Issue!. Raleigh, North Carolina: TwoMorrows Publishing (98): 42.
  25. ^ Manning "1980s" in Dolan, p. 229: "March [1987] debuted the new Captain Atom in his first DC series, by writer Cary Bates and penciler Pat Broderick."
  26. ^ "Bates and Heath Premiere Lone Ranger - NY Times Syndicate Revives Classic Comic Strip". Comics Feature. New Media Publishing (12/13): 21. September–October 1981.
  27. ^ Richards, Dave (July 21, 2008). "Keep 'Em Honest: Bates on 'True Believers". Comic Book Resources. Archived from the original on February 8, 2012. Retrieved February 7, 2012.
  28. ^ Rogers, Vaneta (July 11, 2011). "Cary Bates Flash-es Back, Visits Retro Earth-Prime". Newsarama. Archived from the original on March 10, 2012. Retrieved March 9, 2012.

Further reading

  • Strickler, Dave. Syndicated Comic Strips and Artists, 1924-1995: The Complete Index. Cambria, CA: Comics Access, 1995. ISBN 0-9700077-0-1.

External links

Preceded by
Leo Dorfman
Action Comics writer
Succeeded by
Marv Wolfman
Preceded by
Len Wein
The Flash writer
Succeeded by
Mike Baron
(The Flash vol.2)
Preceded by
Elliot S! Maggin
Superman writer
Succeeded by
Gerry Conway
Preceded by
Dennis O'Neil
Justice League of America writer
Succeeded by
Elliot S! Maggin
Preceded by
Gerry Conway
Superman writer
Succeeded by
Elliot S! Maggin and
Bob Rozakis
Preceded by
Captain Atom writer
Succeeded by
Kelly Puckett
Captain Atom

Captain Atom is a fictional superhero appearing in American comic books published by DC Comics. Captain Atom has existed in three basic incarnations.

Doctor Megala

Doctor Heinrich Megala is a scientist who is responsible for the creation of one of the universe's most powerful forces, Captain Atom, as well as his close confidante and ally. Possessing a genius level intellect, he has a deeper understanding of the Quantum Field than anyone else and the understanding of many other highly advanced forms of science that he's managed to turn to practical application. He is also responsible for creating the X-Ionizer technology capable of cutting Captain Atom's skin and the skin of most invulnerable metahumans.


Faora is the name of several fictional female supervillains appearing in American comic books published by DC Comics, commonly in association with Superman. All of them have some connection to Superman's home planet of Krypton. The character was created by Cary Bates and Curt Swan, and first appeared in Action Comics #471 (May 1977). Most commonly, Faora is an ally and sometimes the wife and/or lover of Superman's Kryptonian nemesis General Zod.

General Wade Eiling

For the other DC Comics character, see General.General Wade Eiling, sometimes known as The General, is a villain who appears in comics published by DC Comics.

General Eiling appeared as a recurring character on the first season of the television series The Flash played by Clancy Brown.

Golden Eagle (comics)

Golden Eagle is the name of two fictional characters published by DC Comics.

Golden Glider

Golden Glider (Lisa Snart) is a fictional character, a supervillain appearing in comic books published by DC Comics. She is the younger sister of Captain Cold and an enemy of The Flash.

Lisa Snart made her live appearance on the first season of The Flash played by Peyton List. She reappeared in the second season.

Janus Directive

"The Janus Directive" was an eleven-part comic book crossover first published by DC Comics between May and June of 1989. Among the creators who contributed to the storyline were writers John Ostrander, Kim Yale, Paul Kupperberg, Cary Bates and Greg Weisman and artists John K. Snyder III, Rick Hoberg, Rafael Kayanan, Tom Mandrake and Pat Broderick.

Kirt Niedrigh

Kirt Niedrigh is a fictional character, a semi-reformed supervillain in the DC Comics Universe. Created by Cary Bates and Mike Grell, Niedrigh is a former hopeful for the Legion of Super-Heroes under the guise of Absorbancy Boy. After being rejected from the team, years later he resurfaced as Earth-Man leading a group of supervillains calling themselves the "Justice League of Earth", which help to enforce a xenophobic agenda that Earth has adopted. He first appears in Superboy and the Legion of Super-Heroes #218 (July 1976), and reappeared as Earth-Man in Action Comics #858 (Late December 2007), the first part of the "Superman and the Legion of Super-Heroes" story arc.

Major Force

Major Force (Clifford Zmeck) is a fictional character appearing in comic books published by DC Comics.

Patty Spivot

Patricia "Patty" Spivot is a fictional character who appears in various DC Comics publication and was created by writer Cary Bates and artist Irv Novick. She is a friend and partner of the second Flash Barry Allen. She first appeared in "Five-Star Super-Hero Spectacular" (DC Special Series #1, September, 1977).Spivot appeared as a recurring cast member on The CW television series second season of The Flash played by Shantel VanSanten. This version was a detective of the Central City Police Department.

Superboy (comic book)

Superboy is the name of several American comic book series published by DC Comics, featuring characters of the same name. The first three titles feature the original Superboy, the legendary hero Superman as a boy. Later series feature the second Superboy, who is a partial clone of the original Superman.


The Supermobile is the fictional vehicle for the comic book superhero Superman. It is capable of duplicating all of his abilities in situations where he finds himself powerless. It was introduced in a story entitled "It's a Bird... It's a Plane... It's Supermobile!", published in Action Comics # 481, cover dated March 1978.


Terra-Man (real name Toby Manning) is a fictional character and supervillain who appears in Superman stories published by DC Comics.

True Believers (comics)

True Believers is an American comic book limited series from Marvel Comics, written by Cary Bates, with art by Paul Gulacy.It is also the name of an obscure group of Spider-Man villains.

Tyr (DC Comics)

Tyr is a fictional supervillain in the DC Universe. He first appeared in Superboy Vol. 1, #197 (September 1973), and was created by Cary Bates and Dave Cockrum. His name is taken from Týr, the one-handed Norse god of war.


Tyroc is a fictional character in the DC Universe, a member of the Legion of Super-Heroes in the 30th and 31st centuries. Created by writer Cary Bates and artist Mike Grell, he first appeared in Superboy #216 (April 1976), a year before Black Lightning, making him one of DC's first black costumed superheroes.


Vartox is a fictional superhero published by DC Comics. Vartox bears a striking resemblance to Scottish actor Sean Connery and his name and appearance are regarded as an allusion to the movie Zardoz in which Connery starred.

Vril Dox

Vril Dox, also known as Brainiac 2, is a fictional character published by DC Comics. He first appeared in Superman #167 (February 1964), and was created by Edmond Hamilton, Cary Bates, and Curt Swan.

Wildfire (comics)

For the Golden Age Quality Comics character, see: Wildfire (Golden Age).Wildfire is a fictional DC Comics superhero. Created by Cary Bates and Dave Cockrum, the character debuted in Superboy and the Legion of Super-Heroes #195 (June 1973). The story is set in a fictional universe's 30th and 31st centuries.

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