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Paul Levitz

Paul Levitz
Levitz at the Comic New York symposium at Columbia University's Low Memorial Library on March 24, 2012.
Born (1956-10-21) October 21, 1956
Brooklyn, New York, US
Nationality American
Area(s) Writer, Editor, Publisher
Notable works
Legion of Super-Heroes,

Paul Levitz (born October 21, 1956)[1] is an American comic book writer, Keith Giffen, and John Byrne, and editor Karen Berger, who contributed to the 1980s revitalization of the company's line of comic book heroes.


  • Early life 1
  • Career 2
  • Techniques and materials 3
  • Personal life 4
  • Bibliography 5
  • References 6
  • External links 7

Early life

Levitz was born in Brooklyn, New York, to Hannah and Alfred Levitz. He attended Stuyvesant High School[2] during which time he co-wrote and published a comic fan magazine, The Comic Reader, which according to Levitz, was the first regularly published comics industry news fanzine. The Comic Reader won two Best Fanzine Comic Art Fan Awards.[3] One of Levitz's teachers, the future Pulitzer Prize winner Frank McCourt,[4] was impressed enough with Levitz's work that he arranged for Levitz to appear on McCourt's brother's radio show.[5]


During the course of his research for the fanzine, Levitz became well known at the offices of DC Comics, where in December 1972, editor Joe Orlando gave him his first freelance work, initially writing text pages and letter pages, and later working as a per diem assistant editor before writing stories. Levitz later studied business at New York University but had taken no formal education in writing, other than a journalism course. He dropped out after three years in order to concentrate on his writing career.[5]

Levitz at a May 22, 2010 signing for Legion of Superheroes (volume 6) #1 at Midtown Comics Times Square in Manhattan.

After serving as Joe Orlando's assistant editor, in 1976 Levitz "fulfilled a lifelong dream" by becoming the editor of Adventure Comics on the eve of his 20th birthday.[6] He notably served as editor for the Batman line of comics.

As a writer, Levitz is best known for his work on the title The Legion of Super-Heroes, which he wrote from 1977–1979 and 1981–1989. Levitz wrote All-New Collectors' Edition #C-55 (1978), a treasury-sized special drawn by Mike Grell, in which longtime Legion members Saturn Girl and Lightning Lad were married.[7][8] Levitz and artists James Sherman and Joe Staton crafted "Earthwar" an five-issue storyline in Superboy and the Legion of Super-Heroes #241–245 (July–Nov. 1978).[9] He and Keith Giffen produced "The Great Darkness Saga", one of the best known Legion stories, in Legion of Super-Heroes vol. 2, #290–294.[10] Comics historian Les Daniels observed that "Working with artist Keith Giffen, Levitz completed the transformation of Legion into a science-fiction saga of considerable scope and depth."[11] In August 1984, a new Legion of Super-Heroes series was launched by Levitz and Giffen.[12]

With artist Steve Ditko, Levitz co-created the characters Stalker[13] and the Prince Gavyn version of Starman.[14] He wrote the Justice Society series in All Star Comics during the late 1970s and co-created the Earth-2 Huntress with artist Joe Staton.[15] He and Staton provided the JSA with an origin story in DC Special #29.[16] Lucien the Librarian, a character later used in Neil Gaiman's The Sandman series, was created by Levitz and artist Nestor Redondo.

Levitz eventually became an editor, and served as vice president and executive vice president, before assuming the role of President in 2002.

In 2006, Levitz returned to writing the Justice Society with issue #82 of JSA, completing that volume before writer Geoff Johns' relaunch.

On September 9, 2009, it was announced that Levitz would step down as President and Publisher of DC Comics to serve as the Contributing Editor and Overall Consultant for the newly formed DC Entertainment,[17] and become the writer of both Adventure Comics vol. 2[18] and Legion of Super-Heroes vol. 6.[19]

Levitz mentioned in an August 2010 interview that he was working on "my first genuine book."[20] His 75 Years of DC Comics: The Art of Modern Mythmaking (ISBN 9783836519816) was published by Taschen America, LLC in November 2010.[21]

In addition to Legion of Super-Heroes, Levitz is writing the Kevin Maguire.[22] Levitz and Keith Giffen collaborated on the Legion of Super-Heroes issues #17 and 18 in 2013.[23][24] Levitz is writing a biography of comics creator Will Eisner which is scheduled for release in 2014.[25] Levitz received the "Dick Giordano Hero Initiative Humanitarian of the Year Award" in September 2013 at the Baltimore Comic-Con.[26]

Techniques and materials

Levitz is a Mac computer user.[20]

Personal life

Levitz has three children: Nicole, a public health executive; Philip, a lawyer; and Garret, who works in the entertainment industry.[27]

Levitz has named the run of All-Star Comics featuring the Justice Society of America as his favorite. He names Roger Zelazny as his favorite science fiction writer, J. R. R. Tolkien as his favorite fantasy writer, David McCullough as his favorite history writer and Agatha Christie as his favorite mystery writer.[20]



  1. ^  
  2. ^  
  3. ^ "Comic-Con International Special Guests," Comic-Con Magazine (Winter 2010), p. 42.
  4. ^ O'Shea, Tim (September 20, 2010). "Talking Comics With Tim".  
  5. ^ a b Interview with Paul Levitz at Midtown Comics Times Square; YouTube; May 22, 2010
  6. ^ "Dateline: Adventure," Adventure Comics #449 (Jan./Feb. 1977).
  7. ^ Ford, Jim (December 2012). "Superboy and the Legion of Super-Heroes".  
  8. ^ McAvennie, Michael; Dolan, Hannah, ed. (2010). "1970s". DC Comics Year By Year A Visual Chronicle.  
  9. ^ McAvennie "1970s" in Dolan, p. 178: "[Paul Levitz] demonstrated his great affinity for the Legion...when he and artist James Sherman waged "Earthwar".
  10. ^ Manning, Matthew K. "1980s" in Dolan, p. 198 "When [Levitz] wrote "The Great Darkness Saga", a five-issue epic that pitted the Legion against one of the most notorious villains of DC's long history, he and artist Keith Giffen crafted the most famous Legion story of all time and became fast fan favorites."
  11. ^  
  12. ^ Manning "1980s" in Dolan, p. 208: "As DC began to toy with the idea of relaunching some of their more popular titles using high-quality Baxter paper, the Legion of Super-Heroes was an obvious chioice. Utilizing the talents of writer Paul Levitz and artist Keith Giffen...the Legion was off and running in their own new title with a major new storyline...the Legion's other monthly comic changed its moniker to Tales of the Legion of Super-Heroes with issue #314."
  13. ^ McAvennie "1970s" in Dolan, p. 164: "This sword and sorcery title by scripter Paul Levitz and artist Steve Ditko epitomized the credo 'Be careful what you wish for.' The series' anti-hero was a nameless wanderer whose dreams of becoming a warrior brought him first slavery, then worse."
  14. ^ Manning "1980s" in Dolan, p. 186: "The second [feature in Adventure Comics #467] debuted a new version of Starman by writer Paul Levitz and illustrator Steve Ditko."
  15. ^ McAvennie "1970s" in Dolan, p. 175: "DC Super-Stars #17 (December 1977) While writer Paul Levitz and artist Joe Staton introduced the Huntress to the JSA in this month's All Star Comics #69, they concurrently shaped her origin in DC Super-Stars."
  16. ^ McAvennie "1970s" in Dolan, p. 175: "The genesis of comics' first superhero team...had been a mystery since the JSA's debut...Writer Paul Levitz and artist Joe Staton decided to present the definitive origin story."
  17. ^ Rogers, Vaneta (September 9, 2009). "Warner Bros. Creates DC Entertainment To Maximize DC Brands".  
  18. ^ Writer"Adventure"Levitz Releases Letter of Resignation, Announced As . Comic Book Resources. September 9, 2009. Archived from the original on May 8, 2013. 
  19. ^ McMillan, Graeme (January 14, 2010). "Paul Levitz Returns to the Future With Legion of Super-Heroes".  
  20. ^ a b c Comics Buyer's Guide #1668, August 2010, page 80
  21. ^ Gustines, George Gene (November 18, 2010). "Book Shelf '75 Years of DC Comics". The New York Times. Archived from the original on August 20, 2011. Retrieved August 20, 2011. 
  22. ^ Rogers, Vaneta (January 13, 2012). "Earth 2, Worlds' Finest"Paul Levitz Explains More About . Newsarama. Archived from the original on January 29, 2012. Retrieved January 29, 2012. 
  23. ^ Gerding, Stephen (November 9, 2012). "Legion of Super-Heroes"Exclusive: Levitz, Giffen Reunite on . Comic Book Resources. Archived from the original on January 30, 2013. Retrieved January 30, 2013. Arguably the most popular creative team the 31st century has ever seen, Paul Levitz and Keith Giffen are reuniting once again to tell the tales of DC Comics' teenage heroes from the future. 
  24. ^  
  25. ^ Rogers, Vaneta (August 27, 2013). "Paul Levitz Examines Will Eisner's Life & Work for New Book". Newsarama. Archived from the original on August 28, 2013. 
  26. ^  
  27. ^ "Backstory". Retrieved October 5, 2015.

External links

  • "DC Profiles #13: Paul Levitz" at the Grand Comics Database
  • Paul Levitz at the Grand Comics Database
  • Paul Levitz at the Comic Book DB
  • Paul Levitz at Mike's Amazing World of Comics
Preceded by
Jenette Kahn
Publisher of DC Comics
Succeeded by
Dan DiDio and Jim Lee
Preceded by
Jenette Kahn
President of DC Comics
Succeeded by
Diane Nelson
Preceded by
Joe Orlando
Adventure Comics editor
Succeeded by
Ross Andru
Preceded by
Jim Shooter
Superboy and the Legion of Super-Heroes writer
Succeeded by
Gerry Conway
Preceded by
Dennis O'Neil
The Brave and the Bold editor
Succeeded by
Dick Giordano
Preceded by
Julius Schwartz
Detective Comics editor
Succeeded by
Dick Giordano
Preceded by
Julius Schwartz
Batman editor
Succeeded by
Dick Giordano
Preceded by
Roy Thomas
Legion of Super-Heroes writer
Succeeded by
Keith Giffen and Tom and Mary Bierbaum
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