Goodwin, Archie 1937-1998

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GOODWIN, Archie 1937-1998

(Robert Franklin, a pseudonym)


Born September 8, 1937, in Kansas City, MO; died of cancer, March 1, 1998, in New York, NY; married Anne T. Murphy; children: Jennifer, Seth. Education: Cartoonists and Illustrators School (now New York City School of Visual Art), graduated 1958; attended University of Oklahoma.


"On Stage" comic strip, assisted cartoonist Leonard Starr, 1959-60; Fishing World magazine, drew comic art page, 1959-64; Redbook magazine, assistant art director and spot illustrator, 1959-64; Harvey Comics, created "Hermit" comic strip, appearing in Alarming Adventures, 1962; Warren Publishing, writer and editor-in-chief for Creepy, Eerie, and Blazing Combat magazines, 1965-70; Marvel Comics, freelance writer for superhero comic books, including Dr. Strange, Sub-Mariner, The Incredible Hulk, and Iron Man, 1968-75; DC Comics, writer for Batman and Manhunter series and editor for war comics, 1972-74; Warren Publishing, writer and editor, 1974-75; Marvel Comics, editor in chief, founder and editor of anthology magazine Epic Illustrated and Epic Comics imprint, which published the work of independent artists, 1975-88; DC Comics, group editor, editor of titles including Starman, Azrael, and Batman: Legends of the Dark Knight, 1989-98. As independent writer, worked on numerous comic series, including Batman, Wolverine, Spider-Man, and The Incredible Hulk; wrote for newspaper syndicated comic strips, including "Secret Agent X-9," "Star Wars," and "Tarzan"; with Al Williamson, created "Secret Agent Corrigan" comic strip for King Features Syndicate, 1966-76; ghostwrote "Captain Kate" strip for King Features, 1966-69; ghostwrote, under pseudonym "Robert Franklin," His Name Is Savage (1968) and Blackmark (1971), both illustrated by Gil Kane; worked on Batman series and Manhunter series for National Comics, early 1970s; wrote comic adaptations of The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi; wrote for daily "Star Wars" comic strip; worked on comic adaptations of movies Alien and Close Encounters of the Third Kind.


Academy of Comic Book Arts' Shazam Awards, 1975, Best Dramatic Writer and Best Short Story, for contribution to Manhunter, with artist Walter Simonson; Eisner Award, 1997, for contribution to Batman Black & White; and others.



(Editor) Mike Saenz and William Bates, Iron Man: Crash, Epic Comics (New York, NY), 1988.

Marvel Comics Presents Wolverine, Nick Fury: The Scorpio Connection, Marvel Comics (New York, NY), 1990.

(With others) Creepy: The Classic Years (originally published as Creepy, numbers 1, 2, 4-10, 12-17), Harris Publications (New York, NY), 1991.

(With Tom Sutton and José Gonzales) Vampirella vs. the Cult of Chaos, Harris Publications (New York, NY), 1991.

(With Pepe Moreno) Generation Zero (originally published in Epic Illustrated, numbers 17-24, April 1983-June 1984), DC Comics (New York, NY), 1991.

Batman: Night Cries, Volume 11 of Batman series, art by Scott Hampton, DC Comics (New York, NY), 1992.

Eerie: Greatest Hits, art by Angelo Torres and others, Harris Publications (New York, NY), 1994.

Deadly Pursuits, Volume 1, "Classic Star Wars" series, art by Al Williamson, Dark Horse Comics (Milwaukie, OR), 1994.

The Rebel Storm, Volume 2, "Classic Star Wars" series, art by Al Williamson, Dark Horse Comics (Milwaukie, OR), 1995.

(Editor) Alan Grant and Kevin O'Neill, Batman: Mitefall: A Legends of the Dark Mite Special, DC Comics (New York, NY), 1995.

Escape to Hoth, Volume 3, "Classic Star Wars" series, art by Al Williamson, Dark Horse Comics (Milwaukie, OR), 1995.

The Empire Strikes Back (originally published as Star Wars, numbers 39-44, Marvel Comics), "Classic Star Wars" series, art by Al Williamson and others, Dark Horse Comics (Milwaukie, OR), 1997.

Return of the Jedi (originally published as Star Wars: Return of the Jedi, numbers 1-4, Marvel Comics), "Classic Star Wars" series, art by Al Williamson and others, Dark Horse Comics (Milwaukie, OR), 1997.

(With Roy Thomas and Don Glut) Doomworld, Book 1 of "Star Wars: A Long Time Ago …" series, Dark Horse Comics (Milwaukie, OR), 2002.

(With Walter Simonson, Herbe Trimpe, and others) Dark Encounters, Book 2 of "Star Wars: A Long Time Ago …" series, Dark Horse Comics (Milwaukie, OR), 2002.

(With Carlos Garzon, David Michelinie, and Larry Hama) Resurrection of Evil, Book 3 of "Star Wars: A Long Time Ago …" series, Dark Horse Comics (Milwaukie, OR), 2002.


American comic-book writer and editor Archie Goodwin created and/or influenced some of the best-known comic books published from the 1960s through the 1990s. He worked for both DC and Marvel Comics, as well as for Warren Publishing and others. While at Marvel, he founded the comics magazine Epic Illustrated and Marvel's popular Epic Comics imprint, which published independent comics and allowed creators to retain rights to their work. Goodwin is best known for his award-winning Manhunter series and for his work on Batman and on the Star Wars comic books adapted from the Lucasfilm Star Wars movie trilogy. Goodwin also worked on such comic-book classics as The Incredible Hulk, Spider-Man, Iron Man, and Wolverine. Working at DC Comics until his death in 1998, at age sixty, of cancer, Goodwin was editor of the acclaimed series Batman: Legends of the Dark Knight, Starman, and Azrael at the time of his death, in addition to overseeing a team of editors on other publications.

Born in Kansas City, Missouri, and raised in Tulsa, Oklahoma, Goodwin loved comics as a youth, particularly the work of Harvey Kurtzman. Educated at what is now the New York City School of Visual Art and the University of Oklahoma, he gained most of his early training in writing daily comic strips under the tutelage of cartoonist Leonard Starr, with whom he worked on the comic strip "On Stage." After working in the art department at Redbook magazine for five years, Goodwin began writing for Warren Publishing's comic magazines Eerie and Creepy and was soon made editor of these and of Blazing Combat, an antiwar comic series in line with Goodwin's own antiwar sentiments. In an interview with Jon B. Cooke for Comic Book Artist, conducted shortly before his death, Goodwin said of his stance on the Vietnam War, "My personal feelings were that we shouldn't have been there but at the same time my feeling was also that what I'm most interested in is telling the story of the people who get caught up into the war, whether it's a war we should be in or not."

Working with many artists over the years, Goodwin learned to tailor his writing to the style of his collaborating artist. Goodwin alternated between working for comics publishers and freelancing as a comics writer, a career that gave him great flexibility and a capacity to work on a wide range of story lines. In the interview with Cooke, he said that Batman was his favorite DC Comics character and that Manhunter made up his favorite early experience working on DC's Detective Comics series. A contributor to The World Encyclopedia of Comics observed that Goodwin "was responsible for helping Batman regain the aura of mystery and intrigue that was once its trademark."

In a 1996 interview with Jim Morrow for Echo Station, Goodwin talked about his experiences writing and editing the comic book and comic strip adaptations of the Star Wars films. Asked about his creation of new characters, Goodwin said, "I tried to think what would fit logically in the Star Wars universe: what would contrast with the regular ongoing cast, what would fit the needs of the particular story I was working on." As far as working with the original Lucasfilm characters, Goodwin said: "One of the real pleasures of doing Star Wars is that you've seen the actors handle the lines and what they bring to the characters. You can hear their voices in your head as you write and it makes it a lot easier to do dialogue.… I wish I had been able to do a little more with Leia.… I always felt that I never got to do as much with her in the strip as maybe I could have." The "Star Wars" comic strips were compiled in three volumes in a series of graphic novels: Deadly Pursuit, The Rebel Storm, and Escape to Hoth, written by Goodwin and illustrated by Al Williamson. In a review for Voice of Youth Advocates, Katharine "Kat" Kan described the books as "fast-paced, slam-bang action stories which sweep the reader along." The series tells the story of Han Solo, Princess Leia, and Luke Skywalker and friends in the interval between the first and second Star Wars films. Running from a bounty hunter, the characters discover Darth Vader's new space ship under construction. Meanwhile, an awakened monster demolishes the Rebel Alliance base, and Luke creates a new base after crashing on a deserted planet.

The World Encyclopedia of Comics contributor observed, "Goodwin wrote Marvel's most intelligent and believable action stories. Rarely was there a lack-lustre or skimpy Goodwin script." In an obituary for the DC Comics Online Newsletter, DC's executive vice president and publisher Paul Levitz was quoted as saying, "If the ultimate test of an editor is the quality of work produced under his auspices, Archie goes unchallenged as the ultimate editor.…the best talent in comics consistently did their best work for him, and asked for the opportunity to do more.…As a writer, he stood atop his profession longer than anyone." Levitz also called Goodwin "the consummate professional and as true a gentleman as anyone I've ever met."



Horn, Maurice, editor, The World Encyclopedia of Comics, Volume 1, Chelsea House (New York, NY), 1976.


Booklist, April 1, 1995, review of Deadly Pursuit, p. 1415.

Voice of Youth Advocates, June, 1997, Katharine "Kat" Kan, "Star Wars," review of Deadly Pursuit, Rebel Storm, and Escape to Hoth, pp. 92-93.


Comic Book Artist, (#1, March, 1998), Jon B. Cooke, "Archie's Comics: Archie Goodwin Talks about DC in His Last Interview."

Echo Station, (June 9, 1996), Jim Morrow, "Another Star Wars Classic: Writer/Editor Archie Goodwin."

Lambiek, (August 4, 2003) "Archie Goodwin."



Comics Journal, (#202, March, 1998), "Archie Goodwin."

DC Comics Online Newsletter, (March, 1998), "Archie Goodwin Dies at 60."*

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Goodwin, Archie 1937-1998

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