Paul Levitz

Paul Levitz (/ˈlɛvɪts/; born October 21, 1956)[1] is an American comic book writer, editor and executive. The president of DC Comics from 2002–2009, he has worked for the company for over 35 years in a wide variety of roles. Along with publisher Jenette Kahn and managing editor Dick Giordano, Levitz was responsible for hiring such writers as Marv Wolfman and Alan Moore, artists such as George Pérez, Keith Giffen, and John Byrne, and editor Karen Berger, who contributed to the 1980s revitalization of the company's line of comic book heroes.

Paul Levitz
Lozu-levitz2
Levitz in 2014
BornOctober 21, 1956 (age 62)
NationalityAmerican
Area(s)Writer, Editor, Publisher
Notable works
Legion of Super-Heroes,
Batman
AwardsInkpot Award 2002

Early life

Levitz was raised in Brooklyn, New York.[2] during which time he revived the defunct comic news fanzine, The Comic Reader, which according to Levitz, was the first regularly published comics industry news fanzine. Under Levitz's editorship The Comic Reader won two Best Fanzine Comic Art Fan Awards.[3] One of Levitz's teachers, Frank McCourt,[4] was impressed enough with Levitz's work that he arranged for Levitz to appear on McCourt's brother's radio show.[5]

Career

During the course of his research for The Comic Reader, Levitz became well known at the offices of DC Comics, where in December 1972, editor Joe Orlando gave him his first freelance work, initially writing text pages and letter pages, and later working as a per diem assistant editor before writing stories. Levitz later studied business at New York University but had taken no formal education in writing, other than a journalism course. He dropped out after three years in order to concentrate on his writing career.[5]

5.22.10PaulLevitzByLuigiNovi4
Levitz at a May 22, 2010, signing for Legion of Superheroes vol. 6 #1 at Midtown Comics Times Square in Manhattan

After serving as Joe Orlando's assistant editor, in 1976 Levitz "fulfilled a lifelong dream" by becoming the editor of Adventure Comics on the eve of his 20th birthday.[6] In 1978, he succeeded Julius Schwartz as the editor of the Batman line of comics.[7]

As a writer, Levitz is best known for his work on the title The Legion of Super-Heroes, which he wrote from 1977–1979 and 1981–1989. Levitz wrote All-New Collectors' Edition #C-55 (1978), a treasury-sized special drawn by Mike Grell, in which longtime Legion members Saturn Girl and Lightning Lad were married.[8][9] Levitz and artists James Sherman and Joe Staton crafted "Earthwar" a five-issue storyline in Superboy and the Legion of Super-Heroes #241–245 (July–Nov. 1978).[10] He and Keith Giffen produced "The Great Darkness Saga", one of the best known Legion stories, in Legion of Super-Heroes vol. 2, #290–294.[11] Comics historian Les Daniels observed that "Working with artist Keith Giffen, Levitz completed the transformation of Legion into a science-fiction saga of considerable scope and depth."[12] In August 1984, a new Legion of Super-Heroes series was launched by Levitz and Giffen.[13]

With artist Steve Ditko, Levitz co-created the characters Stalker[14] and the Prince Gavyn version of Starman.[15] He wrote the Justice Society series in All Star Comics during the late 1970s and co-created the Earth-2 Huntress with artist Joe Staton.[16] He and Staton provided the JSA with an origin story in DC Special #29.[17] Lucien the Librarian, a character later used in Neil Gaiman's The Sandman series, was created by Levitz and artist Nestor Redondo. Levitz was one of the contributors to the DC Challenge limited series in 1986.[18]

Levitz eventually became an editor, and served as vice president and executive vice president, before assuming the role of president in 2002. In 2006, Levitz returned to writing the Justice Society with issue #82 of JSA, completing that volume before writer Geoff Johns' relaunch.

On September 9, 2009, it was announced that Levitz would step down as president and publisher of DC Comics to serve as the Contributing Editor and Overall Consultant for the newly formed DC Entertainment,[19] and become the writer of both Adventure Comics vol. 2[20] and Legion of Super-Heroes vol. 6.[21]

Levitz mentioned in an August 2010 interview that he was working on "my first genuine book."[22] His 75 Years of DC Comics: The Art of Modern Mythmaking (ISBN 9783836519816) was published by Taschen America, LLC in November 2010.[23]

In addition to Legion of Super-Heroes, Levitz wrote the Worlds' Finest series, which was initially drawn by George Pérez and Kevin Maguire.[24] Levitz and Keith Giffen collaborated on the Legion of Super-Heroes issues #17 and 18 in 2013.[25][26] Levitz wrote a biography of comics creator Will Eisner which was scheduled for release in 2014.[27] He joined the board of directors of Boom! Studios in February 2014.[28] He wrote a new five-page story titled "The Game", which was drawn by Neal Adams, for the Action Comics: 80 Years of Superman hardcover collection.[29]

Library of Congress celebration of Action Comics and Superman
The Library of Congress hosting a discussion with Dan Jurgens and Levitz for Superman's 80th anniversary and the 1,000th issue of Action Comics.

Awards

Levitz received an Inkpot Award at the San Diego Comic-Con in 2002[30] and the "Dick Giordano Hero Initiative Humanitarian of the Year Award" in September 2013 at the Baltimore Comic-Con.[31]

Personal life

Levitz has three children: Nicole, a public health executive; Philip, a lawyer; and Garret, who works in the entertainment industry.[32]

Levitz has named the run of All-Star Comics featuring the Justice Society of America as his favorite. He names Roger Zelazny as his favorite science fiction writer, J. R. R. Tolkien as his favorite fantasy writer, David McCullough as his favorite history writer and Agatha Christie as his favorite mystery writer.[22]

Bibliography

DC Comics

See also

  • Shoot (Hellblazer)— completed by Warren Ellis et al as the 141st issue of John Constantine, Hellblazer in 1999, Paul Levitz canceled "Shoot" before publication due to the theme of attacking the root cultural and societal causes of school shootings. It was finally released in 2010, after many more school shootings, to enormous critical praise and condemnation of Levitz's timidity. The editorial interference resulted in Ellis' resignation as series writer, aborting a critically acclaimed run on the comic. (See full Wikipedia article linked above for details.)

References

  1. ^ Miller, John Jackson (June 10, 2005). "Comics Industry Birthdays". Comics Buyer's Guide. Iola, Wisconsin. Archived from the original on October 30, 2010. Retrieved December 12, 2010.
  2. ^ Gustines, George Gene (February 7, 2006). "DC Comics' Man Upstairs Readjusts His Writer's Cap". The New York Times. Archived from the original on January 29, 2012. Retrieved January 29, 2012.
  3. ^ "Comic-Con International Special Guests," Comic-Con Magazine (Winter 2010), p. 42.
  4. ^ O'Shea, Tim (September 20, 2010). "Talking Comics With Tim". Comic Book Resources. Archived from the original on May 9, 2013.
  5. ^ a b Interview with Paul Levitz at Midtown Comics Times Square; YouTube; May 22, 2010
  6. ^ "Dateline: Adventure," Adventure Comics #449 (Jan./Feb. 1977).
  7. ^ Manning, Matthew K.; Dougall, Alastair, ed. (2014). "1970s". Batman: A Visual History. London: Dorling Kindersley. p. 130. ISBN 978-1465424563. As the decade drew to a close, longtime Batman editor Julius Schwartz finally passed the torch on to Paul Levitz, marking the end of an era.CS1 maint: Extra text: authors list (link)
  8. ^ Ford, Jim (December 2012). "Superboy and the Legion of Super-Heroes". Back Issue!. Raleigh, North Carolina: TwoMorrows Publishing (61): 55–58.
  9. ^ McAvennie, Michael; Dolan, Hannah, ed. (2010). "1970s". DC Comics Year By Year A Visual Chronicle. London, United Kingdom: Dorling Kindersley. p. 177. ISBN 978-0-7566-6742-9. Only an oversized treasury edition could have contained Superboy and the entire Legion of Super-Heroes' battle with the Time Trapper...and the long-awaited wedding of Lightning Lad and Saturn Girl...Legion favorites Paul Levitz and Mike Grell were up to the enormous challenge with the popular tale 'The Millennium Massacre'.CS1 maint: Extra text: authors list (link)
  10. ^ McAvennie "1970s" in Dolan, p. 178: "[Paul Levitz] demonstrated his great affinity for the Legion...when he and artist James Sherman waged "Earthwar".
  11. ^ Manning, Matthew K. "1980s" in Dolan, p. 198 "When [Levitz] wrote "The Great Darkness Saga", a five-issue epic that pitted the Legion against one of the most notorious villains of DC's long history, he and artist Keith Giffen crafted the most famous Legion story of all time and became fast fan favorites."
  12. ^ Daniels, Les (1995). "The Legion of Super-Heroes Teenagers from Outer Space". DC Comics: Sixty Years of the World's Favorite Comic Book Heroes. New York, New York: Bulfinch Press. p. 123. ISBN 0821220764.
  13. ^ Manning "1980s" in Dolan, p. 208: "As DC began to toy with the idea of relaunching some of their more popular titles using high-quality Baxter paper, the Legion of Super-Heroes was an obvious chioice. Utilizing the talents of writer Paul Levitz and artist Keith Giffen...the Legion was off and running in their own new title with a major new storyline...the Legion's other monthly comic changed its moniker to Tales of the Legion of Super-Heroes with issue #314."
  14. ^ McAvennie "1970s" in Dolan, p. 164: "This sword and sorcery title by scripter Paul Levitz and artist Steve Ditko epitomized the credo 'Be careful what you wish for.' The series' anti-hero was a nameless wanderer whose dreams of becoming a warrior brought him first slavery, then worse."
  15. ^ Manning "1980s" in Dolan, p. 186: "The second [feature in Adventure Comics #467] debuted a new version of Starman by writer Paul Levitz and illustrator Steve Ditko."
  16. ^ McAvennie "1970s" in Dolan, p. 175: "DC Super-Stars #17 (December 1977) While writer Paul Levitz and artist Joe Staton introduced the Huntress to the JSA in this month's All Star Comics #69, they concurrently shaped her origin in DC Super-Stars."
  17. ^ McAvennie "1970s" in Dolan, p. 175: "The genesis of comics' first superhero team...had been a mystery since the JSA's debut...Writer Paul Levitz and artist Joe Staton decided to present the definitive origin story."
  18. ^ 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): 37–38.
  19. ^ Rogers, Vaneta (September 9, 2009). "Warner Bros. Creates DC Entertainment To Maximize DC Brands". Newsarama. Archived from the original on May 9, 2013.
  20. ^ "Levitz Releases Letter of Resignation, Announced As Adventure Writer". Comic Book Resources. September 9, 2009. Archived from the original on May 9, 2013.
  21. ^ McMillan, Graeme (January 14, 2010). "Paul Levitz Returns to the Future With Legion of Super-Heroes". io9. Archived from the original on May 9, 2013. Retrieved January 14, 2010.
  22. ^ a b Comics Buyer's Guide #1668, August 2010, page 80
  23. ^ Gustines, George Gene (November 18, 2010). "Book Shelf 75 Years of DC Comics". The New York Times. Archived from the original on August 20, 2011. Retrieved August 20, 2011.
  24. ^ Rogers, Vaneta (January 13, 2012). "Paul Levitz Explains More About Worlds' Finest, Earth 2". Newsarama. Archived from the original on January 29, 2012. Retrieved January 29, 2012.
  25. ^ Gerding, Stephen (November 9, 2012). "Exclusive: Levitz, Giffen Reunite on Legion of Super-Heroes". Comic Book Resources. Archived from the original on November 12, 2012. Retrieved January 30, 2013. Arguably the most popular creative team the 31st century has ever seen, Paul Levitz and Keith Giffen are reuniting once again to tell the tales of DC Comics' teenage heroes from the future.
  26. ^ Johnston, Rich (January 25, 2013). "Keith Giffen Leaves Legion of Superheroes After Two Issues?". BleedingCool.com. Archived from the original on May 9, 2013. Retrieved January 30, 2013.
  27. ^ Rogers, Vaneta (August 27, 2013). "Paul Levitz Examines Will Eisner's Life & Work for New Book". Newsarama. Archived from the original on August 28, 2013.
  28. ^ Wilson, Matt D. (February 28, 2014). "BOOM! Studios Brings Former DC Comics President Paul Levitz Onto Board Of Directors". ComicsAlliance. Archived from the original on July 30, 2016. Boom! Studios announced...that the former DC Publisher and President would be joining its board of directors, where he'll serve as a consultant and adviser for the nine-year-old publisher.
  29. ^ Arrant, Chris (January 23, 2018). "What's Inside Action Comics #1000 Hardcover Companion". Newsarama. Archived from the original on January 23, 2018.
  30. ^ "Comic-Con International's Newest Inkpot Award Winners!". San Diego Comic-Con International. 2013. Archived from the original on May 2, 2015.
  31. ^ Spurgeon, Tom (September 8, 2013). "Your 2013 Harvey Awards Winners". The Comics Reporter. Archived from the original on February 20, 2014.
  32. ^ "Backstory: Paul Levitz". PaulLevitz.com. n.d. Archived from the original on December 23, 2014. Retrieved October 5, 2015.

External links

Preceded by
Jenette Kahn
Publisher of DC Comics
1989–2009
Succeeded by
Dan DiDio and Jim Lee
Preceded by
Jenette Kahn
President of DC Comics
2002–2009
Succeeded by
Diane Nelson
Preceded by
Joe Orlando
Adventure Comics editor
1977–1979
Succeeded by
Ross Andru
Preceded by
Jim Shooter
Superboy and the Legion of Super-Heroes writer
1977–1979
Succeeded by
Gerry Conway
Preceded by
Dennis O'Neil
The Brave and the Bold editor
1978–1981
Succeeded by
Dick Giordano
Preceded by
Julius Schwartz
Detective Comics editor
1979–1981
Succeeded by
Dick Giordano
Preceded by
Julius Schwartz
Batman editor
1979–1981
Succeeded by
Dick Giordano
Preceded by
Roy Thomas
Legion of Super-Heroes writer
1981–1989
Succeeded by
Keith Giffen and Tom and Mary Bierbaum
Preceded by
Marv Wolfman
The New Teen Titans writer
1987
Succeeded by
Marv Wolfman
Action Comics 1000

Action Comics #1000 (cover dated Early June 2018) is the thousandth issue of the original run of the comic book/magazine series Action Comics. It features several Superman stories from a variety of creators, including previously unpublished artwork by Curt Swan, who drew Superman for decades. It was a commercial and critical success, being the most-ordered comic of the month.

All Star Comics

All Star Comics is an American comic book series from All-American Publications, one of three companies that merged with National Periodical Publications to form the modern-day DC Comics. While the series' cover-logo trademark reads All Star Comics, its copyrighted title as indicated by postal indicia is All-Star Comics, with a hyphen. With the exception of the first two issues, All Star Comics told stories about the adventures of the Justice Society of America, the first team of superheroes, and introduced Wonder Woman.

Batman Family

Batman Family was an American comic book anthology series published by DC Comics which ran from 1975 to 1978, primarily featuring stories starring supporting characters to the superhero Batman. An eight-issue miniseries called Batman: Family was published from December 2002 to February 2003.

The term "Batman Family" is most commonly used as the informal name for Batman's closest allies, generally masked vigilantes operating in Gotham City.

DC Challenge

DC Challenge was a 12-issue comic book series produced by DC Comics from November 1985 to October 1986, as a round robin experiment in narrative. The series' tagline was "Can You Solve It Before We Do?"

DC Comics Presents

DC Comics Presents is a comic book series published by DC Comics from 1978 to 1986 which ran for 97 issues and 4 annuals and featured team-ups between Superman and a wide variety of other characters of the DC Universe. A recurring back-up feature "Whatever Happened to...?" had stories revealing the status of various minor and little-used characters.

DC Special

DC Special was a comic book anthology series published by DC Comics originally from 1968 to 1971; it resumed publication from 1975 to 1977. For the most part, DC Special was a theme-based reprint title, mostly focusing on stories from DC's Golden Age; at the end of its run it published a few original stories.

DC Super Stars

DC Super Stars was a comic book anthology series published by DC Comics from March 1976 to February 1978. Starting off as a reprint title, it finished its run with original stories. A recurring feature of the title's early run was "DC Super-Stars of Space", special issues reprinting Silver Age science-fiction stories starring such characters as Adam Strange, Hawkman, the Atomic Knights, Space Cabbie, Captain Comet, Tommy Tomorrow, the Star Rovers, and Space Ranger.

The series' middle period was marked by theme issues — Aquaman, heroes with guns, sports, magic-users — until issue #12, which heralded the title's second original story, featuring Superboy. From that point until DC Super Stars was cancelled after issue #18, the series contained new stories about a range of different characters (some being showcased for their own titles), as well as a collection of "secret origin" stories. The Bronze Age Huntress made her first appearance in DC Super Stars #17 (November/December 1977) in a story written by Paul Levitz and drawn by Joe Staton and Bob Layton.

Earthwar

"Earthwar" is a story arc that was published by DC Comics, and presented in Superboy and the Legion of Super-Heroes #241-245 (July–November 1978). It was written by Paul Levitz, pencilled by James Sherman and Joe Staton and inked by Bob McLeod. The story arc features the efforts of the Legion of Super-Heroes to halt a massive intergalactic war involving the United Planets, the Khunds, the Dominators, the Dark Circle and the sorcerer Mordru.

The story arc also features the first appearance of Shvaughn Erin, a long-running supporting character in the various Legion titles.

Legion of Super-Heroes (1958 team)

The 1958 version of the Legion of Super-Heroes (also called the original or Preboot Legion) is a fictional superhero team in the 31st century of the DC Comics Universe. The team is the first incarnation of the Legion of Super-Heroes, and was followed by the 1994 and 2004 rebooted versions. It first appeared in Adventure Comics #247 (April 1958) and was created by Otto Binder and Al Plastino.

Naltor

Naltor is a fictional planet first depicted in stories of DC Comics' Legion of Super-Heroes set in the 30th and 31st Centuries. It was portrayed as being the home of several Legion members, most prominently Dream Girl and her sister White Witch.

Natives of the planet are noted for their ability of precognition, providing them with glimpses of the future. Some Naltorians are without this ability, known as being "future blind" on Naltor. Mysa Nal is one of these Naltorians, which is what led her to study magic instead. Due to their precognitive abilities, it was implied that Naltor was a highly affluent planet, running an effective stock market and known for its investment banking sector amongst the other United Planets.

The planet is ruled by a High Seer, who has extensive abilities in this regard. Named High Seers pre-Zero Hour were Kiwa Nal (the mother of Dream Girl and White Witch) and Beren. During the Five Year Gap period of Legion history, Nura Nal left the Legion to succeed Beren as High Seer.

Naltor is home to the Naltor Dreamers, a popular Moopsball team. It is also known for being a matriarchal planet. In the Silver Age, it was said that Naltorian family members all had surnames different from each other. White Witch was, for example, said to be called Xola Aq, not sharing her sister Nura's surname. This was retconned when White Witch was reintroduced by Paul Levitz and Keith Giffen in the 1980s.

In the Waid/Kitson "reminagined" continuity, there is another Naltorian Legionnaire, Dream Boy.

Omega (comics)

Omega is a fictional DC Comics entity created to be the physical embodiment of universal hate. Omega first appeared in Superboy and the Legion of Super-heroes vol. 2, #250 (April 1979), and was created by Jim Starlin (as Steve Apollo), Paul Levitz, and Dave Hunt.

Sklarian Raiders

Sklarian Raiders are fictional characters appearing in the Legion of Super-Heroes comic books published by DC Comics, notably as a group of all female space pirates. Created by Paul Levitz, James Sherman, and Bob Wiacek they first appeared in Superboy and the Legion of Super-Heroes #233 (November 1977).

Stalker (comics)

Stalker is a fictional antihero and swords and sorcery character published by DC Comics. The character debuted in Stalker #1 (June/July 1975), and was created by Paul Levitz and Steve Ditko. The art in all four issues of Stalker was handled by the team of Ditko (pencils) and Wally Wood (inks).

Tales of Ghost Castle

Tales of Ghost Castle was a horror-suspense anthology comic book series published by DC Comics in 1975. Tales of Ghost Castle was "hosted" by Lucien, who later became an important supporting character in Neil Gaiman's The Sandman. Much of the artwork in the series was by Filipino artists, many of whom had been recruited by Joe Orlando and Carmine Infantino in their 1971 recruiting trip to the Philippines.

Writers on Tales of Ghost Castle included Sergio Aragonés, Robert Kanigher, Paul Levitz, David Michelinie, Jack Oleck, Martin Pasko, and Mal Warwick. Artists on the series included Aragonés, Bill Draut, and the Filipino artists Ernie Chan, E.R. Cruz, Buddy Gernale, Alex Niño, Frank "Quico" Redondo, Nestor Redondo, and Ruben Yandoc.

Tellus (comics)

Tellus is a fictional DC Comics superhero and a member of the Legion of Super-Heroes featured in the 30th century. Tellus was co-created by writer Paul Levitz and artist Steve Lightle.

The World's Greatest Superheroes

The World's Greatest Superheroes was a syndicated newspaper comic strip featuring DC Comics characters which ran Sunday and daily from April 3, 1978, to February 10, 1985. It was syndicated by the Chicago Tribune/New York News Syndicate.

Initially starring Superman, Batman, Robin, Wonder Woman, The Flash and Black Lightning, it underwent several title changes, as the focus changed to primarily feature Superman.

Writers: Martin Pasko scripted at the beginning. Paul Levitz took over October 15, 1979 until March 22, 1981, with his initial story coming from a Pasko idea. Gerry Conway then picked up the assignment. A continuity from Mike W. Barr followed, appearing October 26, 1981 through January 10, 1982. Paul Kupperberg handled continuities from January 11, 1982, until the end, including a segment from January 12 through March 12, 1981, that he ghosted for Levitz. Bob Rozakis wrote all but two of The Superman Sunday Special.

Artists: Initially dailies and Sundays were pencilled by George Tuska and inked by Vince Colletta. At various times from April 25 until November 13, 1982, the strip was worked on by Tuska, Colletta, José Delbo, Bob Smith, Frank McLaughlin and Sal Trapani. Delbo and Trapani then illustrated the feature from November 14, 1982 until the end.

Time Warp (comics)

Time Warp is the name of a science fiction American comic book series published by DC Comics for five issues from 1979 to 1980. A Time Warp one-shot was published by Vertigo in May 2013.

Weird Mystery Tales

Weird Mystery Tales was a mystery horror comics anthology published by DC Comics from July–August 1972 to November 1975.

Worlds' Finest

Worlds' Finest is a comic book published by DC Comics, a reimagining of the classic World's Finest Comics, with a similar name but a differently-placed apostrophe. It was announced in January 2012 and launched in May 2012 with a July 2012 cover date. The series was part of a second wave of The New 52 reboot and was one of six titles replacing previously cancelled titles.

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