After beginning his writing career on DC horror titles, David Michelinie moved to Marvel. He and co-writer/inker Bob Layton established Iron Man’s battle with alcoholism, use of specialized armor variants and vendetta against Doctor Doom, as well as other aspects of the character that endure to this day. Michelinie’s unique blend of action, suspense and humor distinguished not only Iron Man, but also Amazing Spider-Man. With artist Todd McFarlane, he introduced the vicious vigilante Venom; he also wrote the first Venom limited series, Lethal Protector. Michelinie’s run as Amazing writer was second in length only to that of Stan Lee himself, while he also authored tie-in titles Spectacular Spider-Man, Web of Spider-Man and Spider-Man. He moved from Marvel’s flagship character to DC’s with a stint on Superman’s Action Comics, later returning to the world of Tony Stark for writing collaborations with Bob Layton on Iron Man: Legacy of Doom and Iron Man: The End.
Bob Layton began as a prolific and popular inker for Charlton, Marvel and DC Comics, where he first teamed with longtime collaborator David Michelinie on Claw the Unconquered and Star Hunters. The Michelinie-Layton duo’s writing work on Iron Man (1978-1982 and 1987-1989) is one of the most popular and influential interpretations of that character. Leaving Marvel in 1990, he became a key writer/artist/editor at Valiant Comics, where he co-created characters such as X-O Manowar and rose to the post of editor in chief before departing. He still does occasional freelance work for DC and Marvel, notably Michelinie-Layton reunion projects Iron Man: Bad Blood (2000), Iron Man: Legacy of Doom (2008) and Iron Man: The End (2009).
A former animator for cult cartoonist Ralph Bakshi, Paul Smith penciled Uncanny X-Men during a brief but pivotal run that included Rogue joining the team, Storm’s controversial makeover, Wolverine’s near-marriage and Cyclops’ wedding to future villain Madelyne Pryor. He then moved to Doctor Strange, Marvel Fanfare and others, later drawing the acclaimed X-Men/Alpha Flight miniseries. With James Robinson, he created DC’s groundbreaking Golden Age miniseries, highlighting the publisher’s wartime heroes like few before or since. His work for other companies includes First’s Grimjack and Image’s Leave It to Chance; he returned to Marvel to pencil the miniseries Kitty Pryde: Shadow and Flame, revisiting some themes from his Uncanny work.
Beginning as Stan Lee’s production assistant, Herb Trimpe (1939-2015) went on to pencil a seven-year run on Marvel mainstay Incredible Hulk — during which he debuted the future X-Man, Wolverine — as well as 1970s classics Marvel Team-Up, Shogun Warriors and Godzilla. He was equally prolific during the 1980s on Nick Fury, The ’Nam and G.I. Joe; the 1990s saw him illustrate Marvel’s First Family on Fantastic Four Unlimited. Trimpe’s war-story credits also include the introduction of the Phantom Eagle, the WWI aviator hero whose adventures were later chronicled by Garth Ennis.