Frank Robbins

Franklin Robbins (September 9, 1917[1] – 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
Frank Robbins c. 1975
BornSeptember 9, 1917
Boston, Massachusetts
DiedNovember 28, 1994 (aged 77)
San Miguel de Allende, Mexico
Area(s)Writer, Penciller
Notable works
Detective Comics
The Invaders
Johnny Hazard

Early life

Born in Boston, Robbins was in his teens when he received a Rockefeller grant and scholarships to the Boston Museum and the National Academy of Design in New York.


Robbins' early career included work as an assistant to Edward Trumbull on his NBC building murals, and creating promotional materials for RKO Pictures.

Comic strips

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.[2] 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.[3]

Comic books

Cover for Johnny Hazard #7 (April 1949)

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[4] as of issue #149 (July 1968) and began writing Batman and Detective Comics the following month.[5] Robbins and artist Irv Novick crafted the story which revealed the last name of Batman's butler Alfred Pennyworth in Batman #216 (Nov. 1969).[6] 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.[7] 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".[8][9]

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.[10] 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.[11] Man-Bat was co-created by Robbins and Neal Adams in Detective Comics #400 (June 1970).[12] Robbins and Novick created the Ten-Eyed Man in Batman #226 (Nov. 1970)[13] and the Spook in Detective Comics #434 (April 1973).[14] Robbins helped launch the Plop! title[15] and briefly drew DC's licensed version of The Shadow[16] before moving to Marvel Comics. There he launched the Invaders series with writer Roy Thomas in 1975[17] and co-created the characters Union Jack,[18] Spitfire,[19] and the Kid Commandos.[20] Other Marvel work included Captain America[21] 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).[5] 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.[22]


The Frank Robbins collection at Syracuse University has 1,090 original Johnny Hazard strips, consisting of 934 daily strips and 156 Sunday strips.[23]


Interior pencil work (except where noted) includes:

DC Comics

Marvel Comics

Standard Comics


  1. ^ Miller, John Jackson (June 10, 2005). "Comics Industry Birthdays". Comics Buyer's Guide. Iola, Wisconsin. Archived from the original on October 30, 2010.
  2. ^ "Frank Robbins". Lambiek Comiclopedia. 2012. Archived from the original on October 14, 2012.
  3. ^ Markstein, Don (2010). "Johnny Hazard". Don Markstein's Toonopedia. Archived from the original on December 15, 2013. Retrieved December 15, 2013.
  4. ^ Levitz, Paul (2010). "The Silver Age 1956-1970". 75 Years of DC Comics The Art of Modern Mythmaking. Cologne, Germany: Taschen. p. 325. ISBN 9783836519816. 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.
  5. ^ a b Frank Robbins at the Grand Comics Database
  6. ^ Forbeck, Matt; Dougall, Alastair, ed. (2014). "1960s". Batman: A Visual History. London, United Kingdom: Dorling Kindersley. p. 103. ISBN 978-1465424563. Writer Frank Robbins and artist Irv Novick revealed Alfred's last name as Pennyworth.CS1 maint: Extra text: authors list (link)
  7. ^ "Batman No. 220" (Mar, 1970) - Letter Page
  8. ^ McAvennie, Michael; Dolan, Hannah, ed. (2010). "1960s". DC Comics Year By Year A Visual Chronicle. London, United Kingdom: Dorling Kindersley. p. 135. ISBN 978-0-7566-6742-9. 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)
  9. ^ Robbins, Frank (w), Novick, Irv (p), Giordano, Dick (i). "One Bullet Too Many!" Batman 217 (December 1969)
  10. ^ Greenberger, Robert; Manning, Matthew K. (2009). The Batman Vault: A Museum-in-a-Book with Rare Collectibles from the Batcave. Philadelphia, Pennsylvania: Running Press. p. 26. ISBN 0-7624-3663-8. 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.
  11. ^ Wells, John (May 2013). "The Master Crime-File of Jason Bard". Back Issue!. Raleigh, North Carolina: TwoMorrows Publishing (64): 39–43.
  12. ^ McAvennie "1970s" in Dolan, p. 140: "Scripter Frank Robbins and artist Neal Adams [issued] 'The Challenge of the Man-Bat!'"
  13. ^ McAvennie "1970s" in Dolan, p. 141: "Scripter Frank Robbins and artist Irv Novick gave Batman two handfuls of trouble in this issue."
  14. ^ Manning, Matthew K. "1970s" in Dougall, p. 114: "Scripter Frank Robbins and penciller Irv Novick introduced a new villain, the green-robed Spook, in this comic."
  15. ^ McAvennie "1970s" in Dolan, p. 156
  16. ^ Schweier, Philip (July 2016). "Shedding Light on The Shadow". Back Issue!. Raleigh, North Carolina: TwoMorrows Publishing (89): 12–14.
  17. ^ Sanderson, Peter; Gilbert, Laura, ed. (2008). "1970s". Marvel Chronicle A Year by Year History. London, United Kingdom: Dorling Kindersley. p. 170. ISBN 978-0756641238. In 1975, [Roy] Thomas and adventure comic strip artist Frank Robbins created the Invaders.CS1 maint: Extra text: authors list (link)
  18. ^ Sanderson "1970s" in Gilbert (2008), p. 175: "In July [1976], Roy Thomas and artist Frank Robbins introduced the British World War I hero Union Jack."
  19. ^ Sanderson "1970s" in Gilbert (2008), p. 178
  20. ^ Sanderson "1970s" in Gilbert (2008), p. 186: "In May [1978], the Invaders team of writer Roy Thomas and artist Frank Robbins introduced the Kid Commandos, a World War II team of costumed teen super heroes."
  21. ^ Sanderson "1970s" in Gilbert (2008), p. 168
  22. ^ Aushenker, Michael (Spring 2013). "The Mexican Sunset of Frank Robbins". Comic Book Creator. Raleigh, North Carolina: TwoMorrows Publishing (1): 14–21.
  23. ^ "Frank Robbins Cartoons". Syracuse University. n.d. Archived from the original on October 30, 2013.

External links

Preceded by
Leo Dorfman
Superboy writer
Succeeded by
Leo Dorfman
Preceded by
Gardner Fox
Batman writer
Succeeded by
Len Wein
Preceded by
Gardner Fox
Detective Comics writer
Succeeded by
Archie Goodwin
Preceded by
Archie Goodwin
Star Spangled War Stories writer
Succeeded by
David Michelinie
Preceded by
Michael Kaluta
The Shadow artist
Succeeded by
E. R. Cruz
Preceded by
The Invaders artist
Succeeded by
Alan Kupperberg
Preceded by
Sal Buscema
Captain America artist
Succeeded by
Jack Kirby
Baron Blood

Baron Blood is the name of several fictional supervillains appearing in American comic books published by Marvel Comics.

Brain Drain (comics)

Brain Drain is a fictional character appearing in American comic books published by Marvel Comics.

Copperhead (Marvel Comics)

Copperhead is the name of three different fictional characters appearing in American comic books published by Marvel Comics. The first Copperhead was Lawrence Chesney, who made his debut in Daredevil #124 (Aug 1975) and was created by writers Len Wein and Marv Wolfman, and artist Gene Colan. The second Copperhead, Arthur Reynolds, was a coworker of Chesney and stole his costume after Chesney was killed. Reynolds first appeared in Human Fly #8 (Apr 1978) by writer Bill Mantlo and artist. Frank Robbins. The third person to use the name Copperhead is totally unrelated to the first two characters, Davis Lawfers, who took the name from the snake of the same name. Lawfers first appeared in Captain America #337 (1988) created by writers Mark Gruenwald and Ralph Macchio and artist Tom Morgan.

Chesney's mental illness caused him to think he was Copperhead, a pulp fiction hero he grew up reading. Chesney would leave copper pennies on the eyes of his murder victims. When he began to target the writer and publisher of the original Copperhead stories he was stopped by Daredevil. During the fight Chesney was struck by lightning and killed. Reynolds worked with Chesney as a museum guard and later discovered Chesney's secret identity. Using the costume he planned to rob the museum where he worked as a guard, but was stopped by White Tiger and the Human Fly.

The third Copperhead, was originally a henchman of Viper, given a suit with built in powers based on the Copperhead. Teamed up with Fer-de-lance, Black Racer, and Puff Adder they formed the Serpent Squad, a ploy to get them accepted into the Serpent Society. The group is accepted by Sidewinder and the Serpent Society, enabling them to help push Sidewider out of power, allowing Viper to take control of the group. When Viper is deposed later on Copperhead leaves the Serpent Society. He later returned to the Serpent Society and became part of Serpent Solutions when the group was reorganized in 2015.

Crusaders (Marvel Comics)

The Crusaders is a group of fictional characters appearing in American comic books published by Marvel Comics. The characters first appear in The Invaders #14 (March 1977) and were created by Roy Thomas, Jack Kirby, and Frank Robbins.

Destroyer (Marvel Comics)

The Destroyer is the name of three fictional superheroes appearing in American comic books published by Marvel Comics. One of the earliest creations of major comics-industry figure Stan Lee, the original incarnation first appeared in the 1940s during what historians and fans call the Golden Age of comic books. Modern incarnations created by Roy Thomas and Frank Robbins appeared in Invaders #18 (July 1977), and Invaders #26 (March 1978). The Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe clarifies that all three versions of the character are considered canon.

Harvey Frank Robbins

Harvey Frank Robbins is a land-owner who has been engaged in "a tense and prolonged conflict [with] government land-management officials" over his Cattle ranch near Thermopolis, Wyoming, resulting in a Supreme Court case claimed to be "potentially far more dangerous to the rights of property owners than the notorious Kelo v. New London decision."The previous owner of the ranch had given an easement over the land to the Bureau of Land Management, but the BLM failed to record the easement, so it ended when Robbins purchased the land. According to an article in Legal Times by two supporters of Robbins:

Realizing their mistake, the agents ordered Robbins to sign over the easement, and when he refused, they grew belligerent. “The federal government doesn’t negotiate,” one official told him. Instead, they promised that Robbins’ refusal would “come to war” and that they would give him a “hardball education.” Then they began a vendetta against him that would last to the present day.They cancelled his right of way over government-owned land, repeatedly harassed the guests at his ranch, cited him for minor infractions while letting similar violations by his neighbors go unnoticed, and brought him up on criminal charges of interfering with federal agents during their duties. The jury acquitted him after deliberating for less than 30 minutes.After enduring years of such treatment, Robbins sued, arguing, among other things, that the BLM agents had violated his Fifth Amendment right to exclude others from his property. The trial court and the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit agreed.The government then challenged the Tenth Circuit's decision via an appeal by six BLM employees. They claim that decision exposes federal employees to damages liability merely for carrying out their regulatory duties for the benefit only of the government, not themselves. The case also raises questions about RICO's applicability towards government officials, and "[w]hether the Fifth Amendment protects against retaliation for exercising a 'right to exclude' the government from one’s property outside the eminent domain process".In June 2007, the Supreme Court ruled in favor of the government and sent the case back to the lower courts.

Irv Novick

Irving "Irv" Novick (; April 11, 1916 – October 15, 2004) was an American comics artist who worked almost continuously from 1939 until the 1990s

Johnny Hazard

Johnny Hazard was an action-adventure comic strip created by cartoonist Frank Robbins for King Features Syndicate. It was published from 1944 until 1977 with separate storylines for the daily strip and the Sunday strip.

Legion of Monsters

Legion of Monsters is the name of different fictional superhero teams appearing in American comic books published by Marvel Comics.


Man-Bat (Robert Kirkland "Kirk" Langstrom) is a fictional supervillain appearing in comic books published by DC Comics, commonly as an adversary of the superhero Batman.

==Publication in Detective Comics #400 (June 1970) and was created by Frank Robbins and Neal Adams in collaboration with editor Julius Schwartz. Man-Bat was the star of his own eponymous series in 1975–1976, which lasted two issues before being cancelled.

Master Man (Marvel Comics)

Master Man is the name of three fictional characters that appear in comic books published by Marvel Comics.

Patrick Kake

Patrick Paul Kake is a New Zealand actor. He is best known for his role as Oreius the centaur in The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe. He also appeared as the character Mauser for 23 of the 28 episodes of the TV series Cleopatra 2525, and was the voice of Scaletex in Power Rangers: Operation Overdrive. He also portrayed the character of Frank Robbins in the film 30 Days of Night, with Josh Hartnett, and has been in six episodes of Hercules: The Legendary Journeys as the roles of Hercules double, Hercules, Sovereign double and Lynk.

Scorchy Smith

Scorchy Smith was an American adventure comic strip created by artist John Terry that ran from 1930 to 1961.Scorchy Smith was a pilot-for-hire whose initial adventures took him across America, fighting criminals and aiding damsels in distress. Later, Scorchy traveled the world fighting spies and foreign aggression.

Spirit of '76 (Marvel Comics)

The Spirit of '76 (real name William Naslund) is a fictional character appearing in American comic books published by Marvel Comics. Created by writer Roy Thomas and artist Frank Robbins as part of a World War II-era superhero team, the Crusaders, and patterned on the DC Comics group the Freedom Fighters, the character first appeared in The Invaders #14 (March 1977). The Spirit of '76 was the equivalent of Freedom Fighters member Uncle Sam, originally a Quality Comics character. In the stories, the character briefly assumed the role of Captain America after the original – Steve Rogers – was presumed dead. However, he was killed in action.

Spitfire (comics)

Spitfire (Lady Jacqueline Falsworth Crichton) is a fictional superheroine appearing in American comic books published by Marvel Comics. The character was created by Roy Thomas and Frank Robbins. Her character was first introduced in the Invaders comic book series as an intended replacement for the Union Jack character, but the costume design did not fit the female torso so the character of Spitfire, named after the Supermarine Spitfire fighter plane, was created.

Ten-Eyed Man

The Ten-Eyed Man is a fictional character in DC Comics. He first appeared in Batman #226 and was created by Frank Robbins, Irv Novick, and Dick Giordano.


U-Man (Meranno) is a fictional character appearing in American comic books published by Marvel Comics.

Union Jack (comics)

Union Jack is the name of three fictional superheroes appearing in American comic books published by Marvel Comics. Created by Roy Thomas and Frank Robbins, the first Union Jack first appeared in Invaders #7 (July 1976), a second incarnation from the same creators appeared in The Invaders #21, and a third incarnation was created by Roger Stern and John Byrne for Captain America Vol. 1 #254 (February 1981).

Following The Invaders, Union Jack has been featured as a regular character in ongoing series Knights of Pendragon, New Invaders and Invaders Now, as well two self-titled mini-series.

Warrior Woman (Marvel Comics)

Warrior Woman is a fictional character appearing in American comic books published by Marvel Comics.

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