THE OFFICIAL ROY THOMAS
CHARACTERS, CONCEPTS AND CREATIONS
"RASCALLY" ROY THOMAS
JOHN "THE MEGO STRETCH HULK" CIMINO
A special thanks to Dann Thomas for always having the biggest smile in the room and enduring through the endless barrage of e-mails for this project.
"The Laborer is worthy of his hire."
It's a bit hard to believe, when I look back at all the comicbook characters I was fortunate enough to get to co-create or at least co-develop. But I'd grown up in smalltown Missouri loving comics, so when I got a chance to work in the field in 1965, at the ripe old age of 24, I grabbed it, and soon would be working for Marvel Comics and Stan Lee as his editorial assistant and "staff writer." I suppose Banshee was the first super-type I dreamed up, although Stan wouldn't let the character be a woman, as he should have been. I wasn't wild about the idea of making up heroes for Marvel, since I wouldn't own any part of them or be able to control their destinies past a certain point, but I did it anyway in the sense of heroes like Wolverine, Iron Fist, Warlock, the (second) Vision, Morbius, Black Knight, Son of Satan, et al. Some of them I wrote... others I never (or virtually never) scripted but turned over immediately to other talented people to scribe, and they almost always did me proud.
Of course, I co-created some characters for DC, too, in the 1980s... but my Marvel list is far more extensive, since it involves the period from 1965 to 1980, and then again from the latter 1980s through at least the tail end of the 20th century. Actually, I just made up a few characters for my story in Marvel's SAVAGE SWORD OF CONAN #10-11 released in late 2019 and X-MEN LEGENDS vol. 2 #1-2 released in 2022, and they are included here. In other fields, Gerry Conway and I created the black Amazon Zula for the film that became "Conan the Destroyer" (even suggesting Grace Jones for the part, which worked out well)... and maybe I made up one or two for TV animation, as well... but I think I gave my best effort to the comics. Naturally, John Cimino and I know we probably forgot somebody-or-other that will later occur to us (or to someone else who sees the lists), and we hope, and trust people will let us know if they run across some character or concept that I may have played a part in and simply forgot to list. I don't want to take any credit away from anyone who deserves it--after all, I nearly always co-created characters with an artist at the very least, since the only characters I ever drew the first picture of as well as wrote were Hyperion, Nighthawk, Dr. Spectrum, and the Whizzer (of the Squadron Sinister/Supreme), 3D Man, and Union Jack (of THE INVADERS), plus audio-describes images of Man-Ape and Red Wolf and a few others that will be listed... but hopefully those folks have their own lists, which I applaud, or this database will encourage them to do so.
|The pioneers of comicbook fandom face front in 1963 (from L to R): Roy Thomas and then-girlfriend Linda Rahm (ALTER EGO's first photographed "Joy Holiday"), Jerry and Sondra Bails, and Bilijo and Ruth White.|
What can you say about Roy Thomas? His accolades in the comic business are almost without equal and his writing style was completely unique to anything that was being done at the time. He was the first true fanboy of the medium to break into the field and brought along a fan-like enthusiasm with a vast wealth of literary knowledge to his stories which made them deeper than anything that had been done before. While Stan Lee defined the 1960s with witty banter and contagious flair, it was Roy who took the reins from Stan and gave comic stories a new depth that even the most sophisticated reader could respect. Roy blossomed into the best comicbook writer of the 1970s (as nobody won more industry and fan writing awards during that decade) and became Stan Lee's protégé and eventual successor as Marvel's editor-in-chief.
|Stan Lee and Roy (or the Man and his protégé) in 1970 creating magic to captivate the world.|
But enough about Roy's writing skills, let's get to his creations. As Roy stated above; he didn't like to create comicbook characters because he knew he wouldn't be able to own them. Well, maybe he should've practiced what he preached because own them or not, Roy Thomas has indeed created or I should say co-created a bunch of comicbook characters (and when we add in all the historical characters he revamped into comicbook form, the number gets even more ridiculous). One thing I can say for certain is that there are probably only a handful of creators in the history of comics that have co-created more (even less if you want to talk about characters known all over the world that have shaped pop culture and brings in billions to Hollywood from movies and television for BOTH Marvel and DC--how many creators can make that claim??). How many in total, we may never know the answer for certain, but from the size of this database--IT'S A HELLUVA LOT!!!
Yup, this thing is really BIG and was a monumental task to compile. Roy and I both buckled down and did months of research; we went over Roy's "official" lists, had long phone/email conversations to gather information, dug through all our comics, got some assistance from others including collaborator Jean-Marc Lofficier and scoured the internet so many times we lost count. What we discovered was there were so many minor and insignificant background characters that didn't have big roles in the stories or just had brief appearances, and there were also a bunch of revamped or alternate-reality versions of characters in stories from NOT BRAND ECHH, WHAT IF, CONAN, pulps, novels, literature and the like. Same can be said about certain paraphernalia or vehicles Roy co-created that were so minuscule, they found their way into comicbook obscurity. Things could've gotten pretty monotonous, but we like to be as complete as we can so we tried to get in the more important ones (can anyone say Adam Klink?), especially if someone or something had a few recurring roles or used by other writers in later years. Hey, Roy has been writing comics waaay longer than I've been alive so there's literally thousands of pages of secondary characters he put into his stories, so we're sorry if "Rocky," "Sally," "Mr. Calkin" and all the others don't make it in this database because we can only do so much. Hopefully, if anyone locates a "Roy Thomas co-creation" we didn't list and thinks it should be, let us know and we'll add it. Roy will even give you a nice shout out online on The Roy Thomas Appreciation Board on Facebook! So, if you're not already a member, join today.
We think you'll enjoy the fruits of our labor with these comprehensive lists we put into three categories: MARVEL COMICS (split into 2 parts), DC COMICS, and MISCELLANEOUS (this category also includes all Roy's fan letters). Included with each entry is a picture, listing of first comicbook appearance, who Roy co-created the concept with and any background information he wanted to include. Hopefully all those mistakes on the internet about who created what (that drives Roy and I both crazy) can be put to rest. We can't save everything in the comicbook world from wannabe historian trolls and fanboy mistakes but when it comes to Roy Thomas, at least we can do our part to give you the correct information straight from the source (so for crying out loud, Roy had nothing to do with the creation of Misty Knight and Polaris). But we're not perfect either, so if you spot a mistake we made or have a question, let us know. This is an ever-evolving database and we appreciate when fans give us more input to expand it further.
In ending, Roy and I hope you'll enjoy this project we put our "blood, sweat and tears" into (and yes, I cried a bunch of tears). Through all the research and rewrites, I'm honestly very happy with the end result. And the best part is, despite how much information is jam-packed into this thing, I've made it really easy to understand and navigate through, you can just sit back and enjoy the experience. So here's to all the readers, researchers and fans; a fun and accurate resource on the comicbook magic of "Rascally" Roy Thomas, one of the greatest writer/creators of popular fiction and an exclusive member of the Mount Rushmore of Marvel Comics alongside Stan Lee, Jack Kirby and Steve Ditko.
"You take away a man's humanity, if you take away their credit."
Click one of the three links below
LINKS TO OTHER "MEGO STRETCH HULK" AND
"RASCALLY ROY" HERO ENVY ARTICLES...
THE ROY THOMAS SPIDER-MAN COSTUME
THE UNCANNY BUT TRUE CREATION OF THE WOLVERINE
DAYS OF GRIMLOCK, ELVIS PRESLEY AND ROY THOMAS
THE "OFFICIAL" MARVEL COMICS ROY THOMAS APPRECIATION PRINT
THE SECRET ORIGIN OF THE JIM STARLIN THANOS BUST
MY MARVEL CAMEO
THE LAST SPIDER-MAN DAILY NEWSPAPER STRIP
THE LAST GATHERING WITH STAN LEE
LINK TO THE BLEEDING COOL ARTICLE ON THE ROY THOMAS DATABASE
LINK TO THE BLEEDING COOL ARTICLE ON THE ROY THOMAS DATABASE
ROY THOMAS PROTECTS STAN LEE'S LEGACY
FIVE INCREDIBLE THINGS ABOUT THE HULK
MARVEL COMICS: ROY THOMAS'S 10 BEST SUPERHEROES
This is an awesome public service! Thank you! Thanks to Roy, too for all the years of great comics! :-)ReplyDelete
This has been fun to browse through and an amazing resource of information for future generations. I'll be coming back again and again. My only concern is if this will lead to some disputes from others.ReplyDelete
It could, but we are also talking about Roy Thomas. Who happens to be a little bit more than the average comic creator. He's one of the true royal icons who has over 50 years of fighting in the trenches for the credits of creators both alive and long past. The guy who's whole life is about keeping the flames of the forgotten creators burning bright because they don't have a voice. The guy who started comic fandom along with Jerry Bails and always told the truth about the industry and quickly gained respect from its creators like the legend Gardner Fox and Bill Finger.Delete
Yeah, that guy.
Roy has an impeccable track record and is one of the only guys who reached the ultimate power position in comics and was always still well-liked or at least respected by his peers (not many can claim that). And when Stan Lee himself had a question about comics, he always called Roy for the answer because he knew that Roy would always tell him the facts without fail.
That's why we believe in Roy Thomas.
Something like this should be made for all the comic creators. Not many will be bigger than Roy Thomas' but can you imagine a databse on Stan Lee and Jack Kirby? That would be something.ReplyDelete
Great response from the legend Marv Wolfman.ReplyDelete
This is pretty great, John. I'd love one of my own but haven't got a clue how to do it. All the best for the new year. If you speak to Roy give him and Dann my best.
I would love to see a database on Marv Wolfman! And honestly mad respect to him because he's humble and modest. He accepts and respects other people's interpretation of his characters.Delete
Great response from legend Paul LevitzReplyDelete
It's a cool project, John, though probably more work than most of us are willing to do.
Great to see this response from Jean-Marc Lofficier who can finally see the final product of his help.ReplyDelete
That is truly an outstanding piece of work, John. You deserve heaps of congratulations!
Have a very, very good New Year; take good care of Roy!
Nice job John and well needed for someone who has the contributions to the industry like Roy does. I commend you on it. My only complaint is that the design of this database is poor and dated.ReplyDelete
Thanks for the critique, I appreciate it. I've gotten some mail about this. But my purpose wasn't to make the database flashy, it was to make it a clear and concise resource. I could've went all out, got a website and gave it more color, explosions, options or whatever, but I wanted Roy's work to speak for itself without much distraction. I wanted the readers to understand the info and become educated on Roy's contributions, rather than being impressed with bells and whistles. My mindset was to have the database be like an old history book, the plainness of it wouldn't impress you, but if you read it, then it would blow you away because the information was so good. I hope it does that.Delete
Roy really exposed many new generations to many of forgotten heroes. Like John Carter of Mars & Hugo Danner/Gladiator. If not for Roy I would had never heard of Philip Wylie's Gladiator (1930). Which was actually written by him in 1926.ReplyDelete
What a wonderful piece of work this database is. Judging from what you both said, I'm sure this was a project that was incredibly difficult to make. But it's so well needed and i hope other creators will follow your lead. Roy Thomas is one of the "true" royal legends of comics, top 10 for sure. And when it comes to Marvel he's on the Mount Rushmore along with Stan Lee, Jack Kirby and Steve Ditko without question.ReplyDelete
This is an invaluable resource that is well needed and not plauged with mistakes like other databases are. And the best thing is, Roy Thomas and his manager put it together, it doesn't get any better than that!
In closing, I would like to thank you for all the hard work and giving the comic book industry something to cherish for years to come. You are a National Treasure Mr. Thomas, and the world is better off with you and your work in it.
First, absolute gratitude for all Roy Thomas has done! 2nd, I remember when Roy Thomas played an imposter on the TV game show "To Tell The Truth"... Anyone else remember when it was and who the "stand up" celebrity was?ReplyDelete
Nice to see my drawing of Roy as The Watcher from my "What If The Spider Had Been Bitten By A Radioactive Human?" in WHAT IF No. 8. Still getting reprint checks, too!ReplyDelete
Hola zRoy soy Leo de Chile. Quiero enseñarte mis creaciones de personajes.ReplyDelete
¿Me ayudarias a difundir mi Universo?