Roy William Thomas Jr. Biography

(Comic Book Writer)

Birthday: November 22, 1940 (Sagittarius)

Born In: Jackson, Missouri, United States

Roy William Thomas Jr., better known as Roy Thomas, is an award-winning American comic-book writer and editor. He has worked with both ‘Marvel’ and ‘DC.’ He shares the credit for creating some imposing characters such as ‘Wolverine,’ ‘Vision,’ ‘Carol Danvers’ aka ‘Ms. Marvel’ (sometimes also called ‘Captain Marvel’), and ‘Ultron.’ He has immensely contributed to the development and growth of stories based on superhero teams such as the ‘Justice Society of America,’ the ‘All-Star Squadron’ of ‘DC’ and ‘X-Men,’ ‘Fantastic Four,’ and ‘The Avengers’ of ‘Marvel.’ He is the first successor of legendary comic-book writer and editor Stan Lee, as the editor-in-chief at ‘Marvel Comics.’ He played an essential role in reviving the pulp-fiction sword-and-sorcery hero ‘Conan the Barbarian.’
Quick Facts

Age: 83 Years, 83 Year Old Males


Spouse/Ex-: Dann Thomas, Jean Maxey

Born Country: United States

Editors Artists & Painters

U.S. State: Missouri

More Facts

education: Southeast Missouri State University

awards: Alley Award-1969
Shazam Award-1971; 1973; 1974

Childhood & Early Life
Thomas was born on November 22, 1940, in Jackson, Missouri, US.
As a child, Thomas was a huge fan of comic books and also a member of comic fan clubs. He even created comic books and circulated them among friends and family.
He gained a BS in education from the ‘Southeast Missouri State University’ in 1961, majoring in history and social science.
He was an English teacher before his foray into the world of comics.
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Thomas’s career as an editor started with ‘DC Comics’ in late June and early 1965, but it lasted only for 8 days. However, following a letter to Stan Lee at ‘Marvel’ and a writer’s test, he was absorbed as a staff writer at ‘Marvel.’ Later, realizing that Thomas would be a valuable resource to his team, Lee made him the editorial assistant.
Although Thomas's debut at ‘Marvel’ was the romance-comic ‘Whom Can I Turn To?’ in the ‘Millie the Model’ spin-off, ‘Modeling with Millie,’ he mistakenly did not receive any credits for it due to a snag in the production. His first superhero script was ‘My Life for Yours,’ featuring ‘Iron Man’ in ‘Tales of Suspense,’ in January 1966. His next assignments were the teen-romance title ‘Patsy and Hedy’ and two stories of ‘Doctor Strange’ in ‘Strange Tales.’
Two of Thomas’s early long-term ‘Marvel’ titles were the World War II series ‘Sgt. Fury and his Howling Commandos’ and the mutant superhero team ‘Uncanny X-Men,’ originally published as ‘The XMen’ and ‘The Avengers.’ He helmed ‘The Avengers’ from 1966 to 1972.
Thomas and his colleague, artist Neal Adams, won the ‘Best Writer’ award and ‘Best Pencil Artist’ award, respectively, at the 1969 ‘Alley Award.’ Their collaboration is considered the creative highlight of the silver age of comic books, which spanned from the mid-50s to the late 60s.
Along with artist Barry Smith, Thomas reintroduced Robert E. Howard’s pulp-fiction superhero ‘Conan the Barbarian’ to the world of comics during the sunrise of the bronze age of comics. This period also witnessed him introducing ‘Red Sonja,’ based on Howard’s other character, the ‘Red Sonya of Rogatino.’
Thomas worked closely with Lee and Gerry Conway to create ‘Man-Thing’ in 1971. Later that year, he teamed up with Neal Adams, Sal Buscema, and John Buscema and created the ‘Kree-Skrull War’ story arc. The following year, Thomas and artist Ross Andru created ‘Marvel Team-Up,’ a spin-off of ‘Spider-Man.’ He is the first person to receive the writing credits for ‘The Amazing Spider-Man’ after Lee.
As Lee became ‘Marvel’s publisher in 1972 and left the space of the editor-in-chief vacant, Thomas stepped in. He held the post until August 1974.
In 1975, Thomas wrote the first joint publication of ‘Marvel’ and ‘DC,’ a 72-page ‘Wizard of Oz’ movie adaptation. His other comic-book adaptations include ‘Star Wars’ and ‘Tarzan’ in 1977.
In 1981, due to differences with the then-editor-in-chief, Jim Shooter, he left ‘Marvel’ and moved to ‘DC.’ During this stint with ‘Marvel,’ Thomas had left an indelible mark by co-creating and recreating compelling characters and engaging stories. Some of the characters, other than those mentioned earlier in the article, were ‘Morbius the Living Vampire,’ ‘Luke Cage,’ ‘Iron Fist,’ ‘Ghost Rider,’ ‘Doc Samson,’ ‘Valkyrie,’ ‘Brother Voodoo,’ ‘Werewolf by Night,’ ‘Banshee,’ ‘Killraven,’ ‘Yellowjacket,’ ‘The Black Knight,’ and ‘Adam Warlock.’
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After reassociating himself with ‘DC,’ Thomas not only introduced new characters and superhero teams but also reinvented those from the golden age of comics. This tie-up kept him busy until 1988. During this period, he also collaborated with his second wife, Danette Couto (who later legally changed her name to “Dann”), Ernie Colón, and Gerry Conway.
At ‘DC,’ his contributions include creations of ‘Arak, Son of Thunder,’ ‘Silver Swan,’ ‘All-Star Squadron,’ Infinity, Inc.,’ ‘Young All-Stars,’ and ‘Captain Carrot and His Amazing Zoo Crew!’
He played a significant role in reviving the World War II series superheroes ‘Superman,’ ‘Batman,’ and ‘Wonder Woman.’ Some of the other characters that were brought back into publication during Thomas’s longer stint with ‘DC’ were ‘Liberty Belle,’ ‘The Shining Knight,’ ‘Johnny Quick,’ ‘Robotman,’ ‘Firebrand,’ ‘The Tarantula,’ and ‘Neptune Perkins.’
Between 1985 and 1988, he also wrote and edited the series ‘America vs. The Justice Society,’ ‘Jonni Thunder AKA Thunderbolt,’ ‘Shazam!: The New Beginning,’ ‘Crimson Avenger,’ and ‘Secret Origins.’ His association with ‘DC’ ended with the adaptation of Richard Wagner’s ‘Ring Cycle.’ This was also a period of overlap. Apart from ‘DC,’ Thomas also wrote for ‘Marvel’s ‘New Universe’ and was involved actively in the publication of ‘Nightmask’s stories. He scripted titles starring ‘Dr. Strange,’ ‘Thor, ‘Conan’ and ‘The West Coast Avengers.’
With the turn of the decade, Thomas distanced himself from both ‘DC’ and ‘Marvel’ and took up assignments from independent companies. He wrote for issues of TV series tie-ins such as ‘The X-Files,’ ‘Hercules: The Legendary Journeys,’ and ‘Xena: Warrior Princess.’
As the new century dawned, he worked with ‘Heroic Publishing’ and ‘Dynamite Entertainment.’ The first decade of the new millennium ended with him adapting classic literature for the ‘Marvel’ imprint ‘Marvel Illustrated,’ which included ‘The Last of the Mohicans,’ ‘The Man in the Iron Mask,’ ‘Treasure Island,’ ‘The Iliad,’ ‘Moby-Dick,’ ‘The Picture of Dorian Gray,’ ‘The Three Musketeers,’ and ‘Kidnapped.’
In 2011, he wrote ‘DC Retroactive: Wonder Woman – The ‘80s.’ The following year, he wrote ‘Conan: The Road of Kings.’ He authored ‘75 years of Marvel: From the Golden Age to the Silver Screen,’ a 700-page hardcover history of ‘Marvel Comics,’ for ‘Taschen’ in 2014. The final newspaper comic strip of ‘The Amazing Spider-Man’ was published on March 23, 2019, which Thomas had been ghostwriting for Stan Lee since 2000.
Throughout his career, Thomas has received serval nominations and awards. Some of them are the ‘Alley Award,’ the ‘Shazam Award,’ the ‘Goethe Award,’ the ‘Angouleme International Comics Festival Award,’ the ‘Inkpot Award,’ the ‘Comic Fan Art Award,’ the ‘Roll of Honor’ at the ‘Eagle Awards,’ an honorary mention in ‘Fifty Who Made DC Great,’ the ‘Haxtur Award,’ the ‘Will Eisner Comic Book Hall of Fame,’ and the ‘Sergio Award from the Comic Art Professional Society.’
Family & Personal Life
Thomas and Jean Maxey eloped and married in July 1968.
Thomas married Dann in 1981.
Thomas is associated with the comic-book industry charity ‘The Hero Initiative.’
Thomas was also called “Rascally” Roy Thomas.
In 2005, Thomas secured a master’s degree in humanities from ‘California State University.’
Thomas appeared in a cameo (as a prison inmate) in the third season of the ‘Netflix’ series ‘Marvel’s Daredevil.’
Within 48 hours of Thomas’s meeting with Lee on November 10, 2018, for the book ‘The Stan Lee Story,’ Lee passed away.
February 23, 2019 was declared “Roy Thomas Day” by Jackson, Missouri. Thomas was handed a ceremonial key to the city.

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