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Rembering Mark Gruenwald, Mike Wieringo

by Matthew Price Published: August 12, 2009

Marvel’s Tom Brevoort points out today is the day that two comic-book luminaries passed away:  Marvel writer/editor Mark Gruenwald (1953-1996) and “Fantastic Four” and “Tellos” artist Mike Wieringo (1963-2007).

Both of these guys were among my favorites.  Their work is top-notch, and those who knew them say that they were personally great guys as well.

Gruenwald, longtime writer of “Captain America,” was my favorite writer growing up, and a big part of why Cap is my favorite Marvel character. 

I’ve written about Gruenwald before; you can read my take on his “President Fires Cap” storyline at the end of this article, and some about how it compares to the modern Brubaker run in this article.

Sadly, not much of his work is in print, though Marvel has brought the first 2/3 of his “Fighting Chance” storyline in Captain America — his final storyline — back into print, with plans for all of it.   There’s also a recent hardcover collection available of his “Hawkeye” storyline.  There are also collections of his first issues on the New Universe title “D.P. 7,” and the work many consider his best, “Squadron Supreme.”

Wieringo was a guy I first noticed on “Flash” with Mark Waid, where he also introduced the character of Bart Allen, aka Impulse.  Wieringo was a great fit for the fleet-footed Flash team, and he had a 12-issue run on the title.

His next major project was “Tellos” for Image Comics, with writer Todd DeZago.  This fantasy epic — now collected in one compendium — was possibly the high point of Wieringo’s career, and it’s unfortunate that the falling fortunes of the industry in the late 90s forced Wieringo away from it.

Wieringo is also remembered for his classic collaboration with Waid on “Fantastic Four,” a run that many consider among the most classic adventures of the team.

Some of the last work completed by Wieringo before his death of a heart attack was “Friendly Neighborhood Spider-Man” with writer Peter David and “Fantastic Four and Spider-Man” with writer Jeff Parker.

- Matt Price

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by Matthew Price
Features Editor
Features Editor Matthew Price has worked for The Oklahoman since 2000. He’s a University of Oklahoma graduate who has also worked at the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette and was a Dow Jones Newspaper Fund intern for the Dallas Morning News. He’s...
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