Franklin Robbins (September 9, 1917 – November 28, 1994) was a notable American comic book and comic strip artist and writer, as well as a prominent painter whose work appeared in museums including the Whitney Museum of American Art, where one of his paintings was featured in the 1955 Whitney Annual Exhibition of American Painting.
Frank Robbins c. 1975
|Born||September 9, 1917|
|Died||November 28, 1994 (aged 77)|
San Miguel de Allende, Mexico
Robbins' early career included work as an assistant to Edward Trumbull on his NBC building murals, and creating promotional materials for RKO Pictures.
In 1939, the Associated Press hired Robbins to take over the aviation strip Scorchy Smith which he drew until 1944. Robbins created his Johnny Hazard strip in 1944 and worked on it for more than three decades until it ended in 1977. Robbins' Johnny Hazard comic book was published by Standard Comics from August 1948 to May 1949. The Sunday strips were reprinted in a full-color volume published by the Pacific Comics Club. Other reprints were published by Pioneer Comics and Dragon Lady Press.
In 1968, Robbins began working as a writer for DC Comics. His first story for that publisher appeared in Superman's Girl Friend, Lois Lane #83 (May 1968). He became the writer of Superboy as of issue #149 (July 1968) and began writing Batman and Detective Comics the following month. Robbins and artist Irv Novick crafted the story which revealed the last name of Batman's butler Alfred Pennyworth in Batman #216 (Nov. 1969). Although, it was later revealed that Robbins had simply used the name created by former DC editor Whitney Ellsworth for the Batman syndicated comic strip. The Robbins and Novick team was instrumental in returning Batman to the character's gothic roots, such as in the story "One Bullet Too Many".
Working with editor Julius Schwartz and artists Neal Adams and Irv Novick, he would revitalize the character with a series of noteworthy stories reestablishing Batman's dark, brooding nature. He introduced Jason Bard as a supporting character in Detective Comics #392 (Oct. 1969) and later wrote a series of backup stories featuring the character. Man-Bat was co-created by Robbins and Neal Adams in Detective Comics #400 (June 1970). Robbins and Novick created the Ten-Eyed Man in Batman #226 (Nov. 1970) and the Spook in Detective Comics #434 (April 1973). Robbins helped launch the Plop! title and briefly drew DC's licensed version of The Shadow before moving to Marvel Comics. There he launched the Invaders series with writer Roy Thomas in 1975 and co-created the characters Union Jack, Spitfire, and the Kid Commandos. Other Marvel work included Captain America and Ghost Rider as well as the licensed characters Human Fly and Man from Atlantis. His final new comics work was published in the black-and-white magazine The Tomb of Dracula vol. 2 #2 (Dec. 1979). He moved to San Miguel de Allende, Mexico, and spent his final years focusing on painting. He died of a heart attack on November 28, 1994.
Interior pencil work (except where noted) includes:
In 1969, Superboy...swerved radically from the complacent Super-house style once writer Frank Robbins came aboard...Overnight the comic was reinvented with realistic teen angst, natural dialogue, and a sex appeal that was only aided by the inks of good-girl artist Wally Wood.
Writer Frank Robbins and artist Irv Novick revealed Alfred's last name as Pennyworth.CS1 maint: Extra text: authors list (link)
When Dick Grayson moved out of Wayne Manor to begin college, writer Frank Robbins and artist Irv Novick orchestrated a chain reaction of events that forever altered Batman's personality.CS1 maint: Extra text: authors list (link)
Editor Julius Schwartz had decided to darken the character's world to further distance him from the camp environment created by the 1966 ABC show. Bringing in the talented [Dennis] O'Neil as well as the innovative Frank Robbins and showcasing the art of rising star Neal Adams...Schwartz pointed Batman in a new and darker direction, a path the character still continues on to this day.
In 1975, [Roy] Thomas and adventure comic strip artist Frank Robbins created the Invaders.CS1 maint: Extra text: authors list (link)
| Superboy writer
| Batman writer
| Detective Comics writer
| Star Spangled War Stories writer
| The Shadow artist
E. R. Cruz
| The Invaders artist
| Captain America artist
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