Bill Mantlo

Of all places, we head to the National Underwriter Life & Health Magazine today, after their publication of a long, detailed, and unbiased account of the life and times of Bill Mantlo, which focuses in depth on his troubled health in recent times. The creator of Black Lightning for DC and Cloak & Dagger for Marvel, Mantlo’s work within comics started as a colourist and quickly moved up to fill-in writing for Marvel. In time, this turned into full-time writing assignments on titles like ROM and The Incredible Hulk, working alongside writers like Chris Claremont and artists like John Byrne and George Tuska.

It was during his time at Marvel that he helped create The Winter Guard, building life into characters new and old to form a unique superhero team made up of a blond lady who could manipulate dimensions, some robots, a God or two, a man who turned into a bear, and an angry ginger communist who gave Comics Vanguard their name. It’s that combination of silliness and engagingly bizarre characters which made Mantlo so popular with fans.

Mantlo is nowadays perhaps best-known for the tragic hit-and-run accident which left him with serious injuries, which have sadly kept him from writing for almost twenty years now. But his legacy continues to inspire writers and artists to this day, and his characters remain fan-favourites. This past Wednesday, Mantlo turned 60. Happy Birthday, Bill!


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