Industry legend Chris Claremont is best known for his epic sixteen-year run on Uncanny X-Men. Claremont’s focus on the themes of prejudice and tolerance struck at the hearts of comics fans, and he built an unparalleled following during the next three decades. Under his pen, the X-Men franchise spawned a vast array of spin-offs, many of them written by Claremont himself. His other credits include Iron Fist, Ms. Marvel, Power Man and Spider-Woman. Claremont has returned to the X-Men universe in New Exiles, GeNext, X-Men Forever, Chaos War: X-Men and Nightcrawler.
After co-creating DC’s Swamp Thing in 1972, Len Wein moved to Marvel for lengthy runs on some of the company’s biggest titles — Amazing Spider-Man, Fantastic Four, Incredible Hulk and Thor — and helped bring the landmark Giant-Size X-Men #1 into the world, changing Marvel forever. Returning to DC as an editor, Wein oversaw an influx of British writing talent, highlighted by Alan Moore’s historic Watchmen miniseries. Wein also has worked in television and animation, returning to his roots to develop a Swamp Thing screenplay. He has written comic-book adaptations of The Simpsons and Futurama.
As a boy, artist Dave Cockrum (1943-2006) dreamed of working in the comic-book industry; after a six-year stint in the Navy, he headed straight for the big time. With a natural talent for illustrating super heroes, Cockrum landed a gig on Legion of Super-Heroes for DC Comics. Soon after his debut, Cockrum showcased his knack for innovative costume designs, becoming the first artist to revamp the look of the classic futuristic super-hero team since its original Silver Age debut. After leaving Legion in 1975, Cockrum collaborated with writer Len Wein to create a new lineup of X-Men – including Wolverine, Nightcrawler and Colossus. Cockrum’s bold new mutants quickly caught the attention of comic-book fans, transforming X-Men into a best-selling title. Although Cockrum has reduced his artistic output in recent years, his strong influence on modern creators remains steadfast – as evidenced by the release of The Uncanny Cockrum Tribute Book in 2004, boasting contributions from more than 75 notable writers and artists.
John Byrne has worked continuously in the comics industry as both writer and artist since 1975. After he initially collaborated with writer Chris Claremont on Iron Fist, Byrne and Claremont moved on to X-Men for a run still regarded as one of the title’s finest. Byrne contributed an equally famed stint on Fantastic Four, earning comparisons to the original Lee/Kirby issues for his imaginative plotlines and dynamic artwork. He also spun Alpha Flight into its own title. In 1986, he revamped DC’s flagship hero, Superman, reimagining the Man of Steel in a historic project heralded by a Time magazine cover. His remarkable contribution to the Marvel Universe extends to memorable associations with virtually every major hero, including celebrated runs on Captain America, Iron Man, Sensational She-Hulk, Namor the Sub-Mariner and Thing. In the 21st century, Byrne’s considerable body of work includes IDW’s Star Trek and Angel.