David Michelinie

David Michelinie (/ˌmɪkəˈlni/;[1] born May 6, 1948)[2] is an American comic book writer best known for scripting Marvel Comics' The Amazing Spider-Man and Iron Man and the DC Comics feature Superman in Action Comics. Among the characters he created or co-created are Venom, Carnage, Scott Lang/Ant-Man and War Machine.[3][4]

David Michelinie
Born (1948-05-06) May 6, 1948
Pseudonym(s)Barry Jameson
Notable works
Action Comics
The Amazing Spider-Man
Iron Man

Early career

Some of Michelinie's earliest work appears in DC Comics' House of Secrets and a run on Swamp Thing (#14–18 and #21–22), the latter illustrated by Nestor Redondo.[5] Michelinie and artist Ernie Chan created Claw the Unconquered in 1975.[6] Michelinie did a run on Aquaman in Adventure Comics which led to the revival of the Sea King's own title in 1977.[7] In the Aquaman story in Adventure Comics #452, Black Manta killed Aquaman's son, Arthur Curry Jr. by suffocation. The infant's death has affected the character ever since. While writing the Karate Kid series, Michelinie used the name "Barry Jameson" as a pseudonym.[8] With artist Ed Davis, he created Gravedigger in Men of War #1 (Aug. 1977).[9] The Star Hunters were created by Michelinie with editor Joe Orlando and artist Don Newton,[10] debuted in DC Super Stars #16 (Sept.–Oct. 1977), and featured in their own short-lived series.[5] The original storyline for Madame Xanadu in Doorway to Nightmare #1 (Feb. 1978) was developed by Michelinie and Val Mayerik.[11]

Marvel Comics

Among Michelinie's best-known work are his two runs on Iron Man with co-plotter/inker Bob Layton,[12] in the late 1970s and early 1980s which introduced the character's serious problem with alcoholism and his specialized power armor variants. He introduced two of Stark's closest comrades, Bethany Cabe[13] and Jim Rhodes[14] as well as new enmities with Justin Hammer[15] and Doctor Doom. His most noted cliffhanger was when Tony Stark was thrown out of S.H.I.E.L.D.'s helicarrier and had to don his armor completely to use its flight function before he hit the ground. After leaving the title in 1981, Michelinie reunited with Layton on the book late in 1986, and along with penciller M. D. Bright, closed out preceding writer Dennis O'Neil's Advanced Idea Mechanics arc and launched the "Armor Wars", during this time he and Layton introduced the Ghost.[16] Michelinie left Iron Man again after issue #250, closing his second collaboration with Layton with a sequel to their Iron Man-Doctor Doom time travel episode from issues #149-150.

Michelinie was one of the writers of The Avengers from 1978 to 1982 and worked with artists John Byrne and George Pérez.[5] During this time he and Byrne created Scott Lang in The Avengers #181 (March 1979)[17], and he created the Taskmaster with Pérez in The Avengers #195 (May 1980).[18]

From 1987 to 1994, Michelinie wrote The Amazing Spider-Man series, which featured the art of Todd McFarlane, Erik Larsen, and Mark Bagley, while introducing the supervillains Venom in issue #298 (March 1988)[19] and Carnage in #361 (April 1992).[20] Michelinie had planned to introduce Venom earlier and included a "teaser" scene in Web of Spider-Man #18, in which Peter Parker is pushed by an offscreen Venom into the path of an oncoming train, the symbiote being immune to Spider-Man's "spider sense" that would have normally warned him of the attack. This was the first of what was to be several clues leading to the reveal of Venom. Michelinie left Web of Spider-Man shortly after and was not able to continue the introduction of Venom until his time writing The Amazing Spider-Man.

Behind Stan Lee, Michelinie had the second longest run on The Amazing Spider-Man as a writer.

Valiant, back at DC and Future Comics

In the early 1990s David Michelinie worked at Valiant Comics on the titles Rai, H.A.R.D. Corps, Turok: Dinosaur Hunter and Magnus, Robot Fighter.

He began working for DC again with the launch of the Justice League Task Force series in 1993 with artist Sal Velluto.[21] In 1994, Michelinie became the writer of Action Comics which he stayed on for three years. As one of the five principal Superman writers at that time he co-wrote Superman: The Wedding Album in 1996. David Michelinie and artist Paul Ryan are the only comic book creators to have contributed to the wedding issues of both Spider-Man (Peter Parker marrying Mary Jane Watson in The Amazing Spider-Man Annual #21, 1987)[22][23] and Superman (Clark Kent) marrying Lois Lane in Superman: The Wedding Album (Dec. 1996).[24] He also wrote issues of Superman Adventures and Steel as well as the miniseries Legion: Science Police, Superman's Nemesis: Lex Luthor and Superman vs. Predator, his last credited work for DC Comics in 2000. The same year, he joined forces with Bob Layton again for the miniseries Iron Man: Bad Blood for Marvel Comics.

Michelinie returned to comics by teaming-up with Bob Layton and Dick Giordano to form Future Comics, where he wrote the series Freemind, Metallix and Deathmask. The company closed in 2004.

Later Career

In 2007, Michelinie wrote Kolchak Tales: The Frankenstein Agenda #1-3 for Moonstone Books. Also for Moonstone, he wrote several prose short stories which appeared in the anthologies The Phantom Chronicles (2007), Werewolves: Dead Moon Rising (2007) and The Avenger: The Justice Inc. Files (2011).

In 2008, he and Layton collaborated again on a four-issue Iron Man: Legacy of Doom miniseries and in 2009 on the one-shot Iron Man: The End for Marvel Comics. It was followed by the one-shot What If? Iron Man: Demon in an Armor in 2011 and a four-issue-follow-up on the "Armor Wars" storyline published as Iron Man #258.1-258.4 in 2013. He returned to his creation Venom with stories for Venom #150 (2017) and Venom Annual #1 (2018), both with artist Ron Lim.

As screenwriter, Michelinie worked on two episodes of the animated series Iron Man: Armored Adventures (with Bob Layton as co-writer) and wrote the short films Hellevator (2011) and Nobody's Tomorrow (2018).[25]


DC Comics

Marvel Comics

Valiant Comics

Image Comics/Valiant Comics

Future Comics

  • Death Mask #1-3 (2003)
  • Freemind #0-7 (2002–2003)
  • Metallix #0-6 (2002–2003)


  • Kolchak Tales: The Frankenstein Agenda #1-3 (2007)


  1. Big Shots: David Michelinie (Creator of Venom)
  2. Miller, John Jackson (June 10, 2005). "Comics Industry Birthdays". Comics Buyer's Guide. Archived from the original on October 30, 2010. Retrieved December 12, 2010.
  3. "Venom and Ant-Man Creator Argues "Co-Creator" Credit". Comicbook.com. Retrieved 2018-12-13.
  4. "VENOM, SCOTT LANG, CARNAGE, TASKMASTER 'Co-Creator' Says Take Out the 'Co'". Newsarama. Retrieved 2018-12-13.
  5. David Michelinie at the Grand Comics Database
  6. McAvennie, Michael; Dolan, Hannah, ed. (2010). "1970s". DC Comics Year By Year A Visual Chronicle. London, United Kingdom: Dorling Kindersley. p. 163. ISBN 978-0-7566-6742-9. David Michelinie's pen and Ernie Chan's pencils and inks provided the magic for this fantasy series that introduced Claw the Unconquered, a barbaric outlander with a deformed claw-like right hand.CS1 maint: extra text: authors list (link)
  7. McAvennie "1970s" in Dolan, p. 175: "The Sea King's fans were thrilled to see their hero resurface in his own title...Scribe David Michelinie and artist Jim Aparo chronicled Aquaman's [adventures]."
  8. Karate Kid #2 (May–June 1976) at the Grand Comics Database
  9. McAvennie "1970s" in Dolan, p. 174: "Writer David Michelinie and artist Ed Davis presented an atypical war hero in Ulysses Hazard."
  10. DiFruscio, Mark (June 2009). "Star Crossed: Remembering DC's Star Hunters". Back Issue!. Raleigh, North Carolina: TwoMorrows Publishing (34): 60–67.
  11. McAvennie "1970s" in Dolan, p. 176: "Writer David Michelinie and artist Val Mayerik introduced Madame Xanadu."
  12. Sanderson, Peter; Gilbert, Laura, ed. (2008). "1970s". Marvel Chronicle A Year by Year History. London, United Kingdom: Dorling Kindersley. p. 187. ISBN 978-0756641238. Writer David Michelinie and inker Bob Layton began their classic run co-plotting The Invincible Iron Man with issue #116.CS1 maint: extra text: authors list (link)
  13. Sanderson "1970s" in Gilbert (2008), p. 187: "In December [1978], co-plotters David Michelinie and Bob Layton, and penciler John Romita, Jr....came up with Bethany Cabe, a highly capable professional bodyguard and a different sort of leading lady."
  14. Sanderson "1970s" in Gilbert (2008), p. 188: "Writer David Michelinie and artists John Byrne and Bob Layton introduced James Rhodes Tony Stark's best friend and future super hero War Machine in The Invincible Iron Man #118."
  15. Sanderson "1970s" in Gilbert (2008), p. 189: "Tony Stark's billionaire nemesis Justin Hammer made his first appearance in The Invincible Iron Man #120 by writer David Michelinie and artist John Romita, Jr. and Bob Layton."
  16. DeFalco, Tom "1980s" in Gilbert (2008), p. 233: "Although actually called 'Stark Wars', the story arc that became known as 'Armor Wars began in [Iron Man #225] and ran until June 1988."
  17. Rivera, Joshua (July 17, 2015). "Ant-Man is such a complicated comic-book character, it's a miracle they made a pretty good movie about him". Business Insider. Archived from the original on August 16, 2015.
  18. DeFalco "1980s" in Gilbert (2008), p. 197: "Created by writer David Michelinie and artist George Pérez, Taskmaster could mimic any physical skill he had ever seen."
  19. Manning, Matthew K.; Gilbert, Laura, ed. (2012). "1980s". Spider-Man Chronicle Celebrating 50 Years of Web-Slinging. London, United Kingdom: Dorling Kindersley. p. 169. ISBN 978-0756692360. In this landmark installment [issue #298], one of the most popular characters in the wall-crawler's history would begin to step into the spotlight courtesy of one of the most popular artists to ever draw the web-slinger."CS1 maint: extra text: authors list (link)
  20. Cowsill, Alan "1990s" in Gilbert (2012), p. 197: "Artist Mark Bagley's era of The Amazing Spider-Man hit its stride as Carnage revealed the true face of his evil. Carnage was a symbiotic offspring produced when Venom bonded to psychopath Cletus Kasady."
  21. Manning, Matthew K. "1990s" in Dolan, p. 259: "Writer David Michelinie and artist Sal Velluto introduced a different type of Justice League in their new ongoing series ''Justice League Task Force."
  22. Manning "1980s" in Gilbert (2012), p. 164: "Plotted by Marvel Editor-in-Chief Jim Shooter and written by David Michelinie with pencils by Paul Ryan, this issue wasn't the standard wedding comic fare."
  23. The Amazing Spider-Man Annual #21 at the Grand Comics Database
  24. Manning "1990s" in Dolan, p. 275: " The behind-the-scenes talent on the monumental issue appropriately spanned several generations of the Man of Tomorrow's career. Written by Dan Jurgens, Karl Kesel, David Michelinie, Louise Simonson, and Roger Stern, the one-shot featured the pencils of John Byrne, Gil Kane, Stuart Immonen, Paul Ryan, Jon Bogdanove, Kieron Dwyer, Tom Grummett, Dick Giordano, Jim Mooney, Curt Swan, Nick Cardy, Al Plastino, Barry Kitson, Ron Frenz, and Dan Jurgens."
  25. "David Michelinie". IMDb. Retrieved 2018-12-13.
Preceded by
Bill Mantlo
Iron Man writer
(with Bob Layton in 19781981)
Succeeded by
Dennis O'Neil
Preceded by
Tom DeFalco
The Avengers writer
Succeeded by
Bob Budiansky
and Danny Fingeroth
Preceded by
Danny Fingeroth
Iron Man writer
(with Bob Layton)
Succeeded by
Dwayne McDuffie
Preceded by
Jim Owsley
The Amazing Spider-Man writer
Succeeded by
J. M. DeMatteis
Preceded by
Roger Stern
Action Comics writer
Succeeded by
Stuart Immonen
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