Kurt Busiek (/ˈbjuːsɪk/; born September 16, 1960) is an American comic book writer. His work includes the Marvels limited series, his own series titled Astro City, and a four-year run on The Avengers.
Kurt Busiek at the Stumptown Comics Fest, 2012
|Born||September 16, 1960|
Busiek was born in Boston, Massachusetts. He grew up in various towns in the Boston area, including Lexington, where he befriended future comic book creator Scott McCloud. Busiek did not read comics as a youngster, as his parents disapproved of them. He began to read them regularly around the age of 14, when he picked up a copy of Daredevil #120 (April 1975). This was the first part of a continuity-heavy four-part story arc; Busiek was drawn to the copious history and cross-connections with other series. Throughout high school and college, he and McCloud practiced making comics.
During this time, Busiek had many letters published in comic book letter columns, and originated the theory that the Phoenix was a separate being who had impersonated Jean Grey, and that therefore Grey had not died — a premise which made its way from freelancer to freelancer, and which was eventually used in the comics. Busiek explains, "A couple of years later, after I’d broken in, I attended my first convention as a pro, in Ithaca, New York, and I stayed at Roger Stern's house. And we were talking about how much we liked the new X-Men, and he said, 'It's just a pity there's no way to bring Jean Grey back,' and I said, 'Sure there's a way, there's always a way.'"
During the last semester of his senior year, Busiek submitted some sample scripts to editor Dick Giordano at DC Comics. None of them sold, but they did get him invitations to pitch other material to DC editors, which led to his first professional work, a back-up story in Green Lantern #162 (March 1983). After writing four fill-in issues of Power Man and Iron Fist, he was given the series as his first regular assignment. Busiek was a fan of the work his predecessor, Mary Jo Duffy, had done on Power Man and Iron Fist, and emulated her lighthearted, humorous approach, not knowing that the editorial staff disapproved of this approach and had taken Duffy off the series because of it. He was fired from the series for the same reasons as Duffy, after only six issues as its regular writer. In 1985, he wrote a Red Tornado limited series.
In 1993, Busiek and artist Alex Ross produced the Marvels limited series which, as comics historian Matthew K. Manning notes, "reinvigorated painted comics as a genre, went on to become an acclaimed masterpiece, and spawned more than its own fair share of imitators." Busiek and Pat Olliffe crafted the Untold Tales of Spider-Man series beginning in September 1995. He created the Thunderbolts, a group of super-villains disguised as super-heroes, with the final page of the first issue of the series revealing that the Thunderbolts were actually the Masters of Evil, a surprise twist carefully guarded by Marvel. In February 1998, Busiek launched The Avengers vol. 3 with penciler George Pérez and Iron Man vol. 3 with artist Sean Chen. Busiek and Carlos Pacheco collaborated on the Avengers Forever limited series in 1998–1999. This replaced the Avengers: World in Chains series which the two had previously planned to work on. Busiek continued as writer of The Avengers through 2002, collaborating with artists such as Alan Davis and Kieron Dwyer. His tenure culminated with the "Kang Dynasty" storyline. In 2003, Busiek re-teamed with Pérez to create the JLA/Avengers limited series.
Busiek has worked on a number of different titles in his career, including Arrowsmith, The Liberty Project, The Power Company, Shockrockets, Superman: Secret Identity, JLA, and the award-winning Kurt Busiek's Astro City. In the 1990s, work on some of Busiek's more challenging, less mainstream projects, most notably Astro City, was repeatedly delayed by health problems brought about by mercury poisoning.
In 2004, Busiek began a new Conan series for Dark Horse Comics. In December 2005, he signed a two-year exclusive contract with DC Comics. During DC's Infinite Crisis event, he teamed with Geoff Johns on a "One Year Later" eight-part story arc titled "Up, Up and Away!" that encompassed both Superman titles. In addition, he began writing the DC title Aquaman: Sword of Atlantis from issues #40–49. Busiek became the sole writer of the Superman series with issue #654 (Sept. 2006) and Carlos Pacheco became the series' artist. Busiek and Pacheco developed an extended storyine featuring Arion coming into conflict with Superman. The plotline concluded in Superman Annual #13. Busiek wrote a 52-issue weekly DC miniseries titled Trinity, starring Batman, Superman and Wonder Woman. Each issue except for the first featured a 12-page main story by Busiek, with art by Mark Bagley, and a ten-page backup story co-written by Busiek and Fabian Nicieza, with art from various artists, including Tom Derenick, Mike Norton and Scott McDaniel.
Busiek teamed with Alex Ross on Dynamite Entertainment's Kirby: Genesis, an eight-issue miniseries which debuted in 2011. The series, which was their first full collaboration since Marvels 17 years previous, featured a large group of Jack Kirby's creator-owned characters, the rights to which were acquired by Dynamite, such as Silver Star, Captain Victory, Galaxy Green, Tiger 21 and the Ninth Men. Ross co-plotted, handled designs, and oversaw the series overall with Busiek, who scripted the story.
In June 2013, Busiek relaunched his Astro City series as part of DC's Vertigo line. Busiek commented that "Astro City's always been aimed at a more sophisticated reader, which I think suits Vertigo. Plus our backlist sales are closer to a Vertigo pattern than DCU." The ongoing Astro City series concluded as of issue #52 in 2018.
Busiek is married to Ann Busiek. Both Kurt and Ann Busiek were rendered by Alex Ross as New Yorkers who react to the invasion of Silver Surfer and Galactus on page 17 of Marvels #3. Kurt is later used as the model for a wandering drunk on page 33 of the same issue.
Busiek's work has won him numerous awards in the comics industry, including the Harvey Award for Best Writer in 1998 and the Eisner Award for Best Writer in 1999. In 1994, with Marvels, he won Best Finite Series/Limited Series Eisner Award and the Best Continuing or Limited Series Harvey Award; as well as the Harvey Award for Best Single Issue or Story (for Marvels #4) in 1995. In 1996, with Astro City, Busiek won both the Eisner and Harvey awards for Best New Series. He won the Best Single Issue/Single Story Eisner three years in a row from 1996–1998 for Astro City, and for Conan: The Legend #0 in 2004. Busiek won the Best Continuing Series Eisner Award in 1997–1998, as well as the Best Serialized Story award in 1998. In addition, Astro City was awarded the 1996 Best Single Issue or Story Harvey Award, and the 1998 Harvey Award for Best Continuing or Limited Series.
Writer Kurt Busiek offered a solution: what if Jean Grey had never been Phoenix?CS1 maint: Extra text: authors list (link)
Writer Kurt Busiek took the Justice League of America's fabled android, Red Tornado, for a spin in this four-issue miniseries drawn by Carmine Infantino.CS1 maint: Extra text: authors list (link)
Arion of Atlantis, unseen for years until Infinite Crisis, appears before Superman to warn him of hellish times to come.
| Power Man and Iron Fist writer
| Thunderbolts writer
| The Avengers writer
Jim Lee and Jeph Loeb
| Iron Man writer
(with Roger Stern in 1998–2000)
| Aquaman writer
Greg Rucka and Geoff Johns
| Superman writer
(with Geoff Johns in 2006)
The 100, The 10, and The 1000 are fictional organized crime groups appearing in comic books published by DC Comics. The 10 debuted in Superman #665 (September 2007) and was created by Kurt Busiek and Rick Leonardi. The 100 debuted in Superman's Girl Friend Lois Lane #105 (October 1970) and was created by Bob Kanigher. The 1000 debuted in Booster Gold #2 (March 1986) and was created by Dan Jurgens.Amazing Fantasy
Amazing Adult Fantasy and its retitled final issue, Amazing Fantasy, is an American comic book anthology series published by Marvel Comics from 1961 through 1962, with the latter title revived with superhero features in 1995 and in the 2000s. The final 1960s issue, Amazing Fantasy #15 (cover-dated Aug. 1962), introduced the popular superhero character Spider-Man. Amazing Adult Fantasy premiered with issue #7, taking over the numbering from Amazing Adventures.Arrowsmith (comics)
Arrowsmith is a fantasy comic book by writer Kurt Busiek and penciller Carlos Pacheco, published by Wildstorm's Cliffhanger imprint. It first premiered as a six-issue miniseries in 2003.Astro City
Kurt Busiek's Astro City is an American superhero anthology comic book series centered on a fictional American city of that name. Created and written by Kurt Busiek, the series is mostly illustrated by Brent Anderson, with character designs and painted covers by Alex Ross.
The first volume was published from 1995 to 1996 by Image Comics. In 1996, a second volume was launched under the Homage Comics imprint of Image partner studio WildStorm, which was then acquired by DC Comics, where the series later transitioned to the WildStorm Signature Series imprint and continued until 2010. During this period it switched from a regular ongoing series to a sequence of periodic mini-series and special issues. A third, ongoing volume was launched under DC's Vertigo imprint in 2013 and concluded in 2018, reverting to occasional miniseries and original graphic novels. Counting all series, mini-series and special issues, over 100 issues have been published.Bloodshed (comics)
Bloodshed (real name Wyndell Dichinson) is a fictional supervillain appearing in American comic books published by Marvel Comics. It is also the name of a supervillain in Marvel's Razorline imprint, as well as a character in comics from an acquired company, Malibu Comics.Bluebird (Marvel Comics)
Bluebird (Sally Avril), sometimes rendered Blue Bird, is a fictional character appearing in American comic books published by Marvel Comics. She is usually depicted as a supporting character in the Spider-Man series.Cyclone (Marvel Comics)
Cyclone is the alias of a number of fictional characters appearing in American comic books published by Marvel Comics.Headsman (comics)
Headsman is a fictional character appearing in American comic books published by Marvel Comics. His apparent real name is Cleavon Twain (a play on the words "cleave in twain") though it's unclear if this is his actual birth name or simply an alias.Insect Queen (DC Comics)
Insect Queen is the name of several fictional characters appearing in American comic books published by DC Comics.JLA/Avengers
JLA/Avengers (Issues #2 and #4 titled Avengers/JLA) is a comic book limited series and crossover published in prestige format by DC Comics and Marvel Comics from September 2003 to March 2004. The series was written by Kurt Busiek, with art by George Pérez. The series features the two companies' teams of superheroes, DC Comics' Justice League of America and Marvel's Avengers.Lethal Legion
The Lethal Legion is the name of six teams of fictional characters appearing in American comic books published by Marvel Comics.Maximum Security (comics)
"Maximum Security" was a comic book story line and company-wide crossover that ran through a three-issue, self-titled limited series and individual issues of the other titles published by Marvel Comics with a cover date of either December 2000 or January 2001. In it, a multitude of alien civilizations that have previously interacted with Earth join forces to prevent humans from interfering further with galactic affairs. To accomplish this, they designate Earth as a penal colony.
The miniseries and its crossover in the pages of Avengers were written by Kurt Busiek.
Marvel collected half of the story arc in trade paperback on November 24, 2010.Power Company
The Power Company was a team of professional superheroes-for-hire in the DC Comics universe. The team, created by Kurt Busiek and Tom Grummett, first appeared in JLA #61 (February 2002). They subsequently starred in an epoynmous series that ran for eighteen issues, from April 2002 to September 2003, also written by Busiek.Rumiko Fujikawa
Rumiko Fujikawa is a fictional character, a supporting character appearing in American comic books published by Marvel Comics. Created by writer Kurt Busiek and artist Sean Chen, the character made her first appearance in Iron Man vol. 3 #4 (May 1998). Chen used porn star Kobe Tai as the model for Rumiko's appearance.Scorcher (comics)
Scorcher is a fictional character appearing in American comic books published by Marvel Comics.Untold Tales of Spider-Man
Untold Tales of Spider-Man is an American comic book series starring Spider-Man published by Marvel Comics for 26 issues (#1–25, and a -1 issue between #s 22 and 23) from September 1995 to October 1997.
The comic was part of an experiment for Marvel where they published a number of new titles for only 99 cents, in the hope that they would attract new, young readers who might have been put off by the then US$1.50/1.95 standard prices for comic books. Uniquely among those titles, Untold Tales' stories presented new stories set in Spider-Man's early super-hero career.
The series was primarily written by Kurt Busiek and pencilled by Pat Olliffe, though Roger Stern, Tom DeFalco, and Ron Frenz also contributed.What The--?!
What The--?! was a Marvel Comics comic book series self-parodying the Marvel Universe, similar in vein to the 1960s series Not Brand Echh. It was billed as "The Marvel mag of mirth and mayhem!" The series ran for 26 issues from August 1988 through Winter 1993, with issue #26 being a "Fall Special". It typically contained a series of short stories with comedic takes on Marvel heroes and villains, such as having Spider-Ham substitute for Spider-Man.