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Karl Kesel

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Title: Karl Kesel  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
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Subject: Fantastic Four, Marvel Apes, Barbara Kesel, 2011 in comics, Dingbats of Danger Street
Collection: 1959 Births, American Comics Artists, American Comics Writers, Living People, People from New York
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia

Karl Kesel

Karl Kesel
Born (1959-01-07) January 7, 1959
Victor, New York
Nationality American
Area(s) Writer, Inker
Notable works
Hawk and Dove vol. 2
Superboy vol. 2

Karl Kesel (born January 7, 1959,[1] Victor, New York) is an American comics writer and inker whose works have primarily been under contract for DC Comics. He is a member of Periscope Studio.


  • Biography 1
    • DC Comics 1.1
    • Marvel Comics 1.2
    • Dark Horse Comics 1.3
    • Gorilla Comics 1.4
    • Personal life 1.5
  • Bibliography 2
    • Dark Horse Comics 2.1
    • DC Comics 2.2
    • DC/Marvel 2.3
    • Image Comics 2.4
    • Marvel Comics 2.5
    • Marvel/DC 2.6
  • Awards 3
  • References 4
  • External links 5


DC Comics

Karl Kesel's first work for History of the DC Universe and John Byrne on Legends and Superman vol. 2.[2] With his then-wife Barbara Kesel, he co-wrote a Hawk and Dove miniseries in 1988 which was drawn by Rob Liefeld.[3] Kesel and artist Tom Grummett are the creators of the modern Superboy character, Kon-El, who debuted in the "Reign of the Supermen" story arc, starting from The Adventures of Superman #500 (June 1993).[4] An ongoing Superboy series was launched by Kesel and Grummett in February 1994.[5] In 1996, Kesel and artist Stuart Immonen produced The Final Night limited series.[6] That same year, Kesel was one of the many creators who contributed to the Superman: The Wedding Album one-shot wherein the title character married Lois Lane.[7] Kesel wrote the Batman and Superman: World's Finest ten-issue limited series[8] (April 1999-Jan. 2000) which explored the Post-Crisis history of the two with each of the ten issues taking place one year after the other. He and artist Terry Dodson launched a Harley Quinn ongoing series in December 2000.[9]

Marvel Comics

Kesel's first work for Marvel Comics was inking a Vision story in Avengers Spotlight #23 (Oct. 1989).[2] He inked Mark Bagley's cover art for the Japan-exclusive Super Famicom video game The Amazing Spider-Man: Lethal Foes in 1995. Kesel wrote Daredevil issues #353-364 (June 1996-May 1997)[2] and in 2002 wrote the story, "Remembrance of Things Past" in which it was revealed that Ben Grimm, the Thing of the Fantastic Four, is Jewish.[10] Kesel wrote and drew a "lost" Captain America comic strip from the 1940s which was published on Marvel Digital Comics Unlimited.[11] In 2011, he scripted a Hulk and the Human Torch story which had been plotted by Jack C. Harris and drawn by Steve Ditko in the 1980s. It was published by Marvel as Incredible Hulk and the Human Torch: From the Marvel Vault #1 (August 2011).[2][12]

Dark Horse Comics

Kesel worked with comic book illustrator Brandon McKinney on issues #6 and #13 of the comic series Aliens: Space Marines published by Dark Horse Comics, which accompanied alien figures in the first line of Alien figures released by Kenner in 1992.

Gorilla Comics

In 2000, Kesel and his former Superboy collaborator Tom Grummett created Section Zero as part of the Gorilla Comics imprint at Image Comics. Gorilla Comics was intended to be a creator owned company financed by a comics related website,[13] The website proved to be a financial failure, leaving the creators to personally finance their own books. Along with the other Gorilla Comics creators, Kesel and Grummett attempted to continue the series they started, but these efforts proved to be unsuccessful.[14] In January 2012, Kesel announced that he and Grummett would be relaunching Section Zero as a webcomic on the Mad Genius Comics website.[15][16] The previously published stories are being posted on the site and new material will be added as it is completed.[17]

Personal life

For several years, he was married to fellow comics writer Barbara Kesel (née Randall), with whom he wrote Hawk and Dove; they have since divorced.


Comics work (as writer unless noted) includes:

Dark Horse Comics

DC Comics


  • Challengers of the Fantastic #1 (1997)
  • Spider-Boy Team-Up #1 (1997)

Image Comics

  • George Pérez's Crimson Plague #1 (Section Zero preview) (2000)
  • Section Zero #1-3 (2000)

Marvel Comics



Kesel has been nominated for a number of Eisner Awards, "Best Inker" (1991[18] and 1992[19]) and "Best Cover Artist" (1992).[19]


  1. ^  
  2. ^ a b c d e f Karl Kesel at the Grand Comics Database
  3. ^ Manning, Matthew K.; Dolan, Hannah, ed. (2010). "1980s". DC Comics Year By Year A Visual Chronicle.  
  4. ^ Manning "1990s" in Dolan, p. 259: "The issue also featured four teaser comics that introduced a group of contenders all vying for the Superman name...A cloned Superboy escaped captivity in a yarn by writer Karl Kesel and artist Tom Grummett."
  5. ^ Manning "1990s" in Dolan, p. 265: "Superboy set up camp in picturesque Hawaii in his new ongoing title written by Karl Kesel and with art by Tom Grummett."
  6. ^ Manning "1990s" in Dolan, p. 274: "In this four-issue miniseries by writer Karl Kesel and artist Stuart Immonnen, the heroes of the present united with the Legion of Super-Heroes and the New Gods in an attempt to stop a 'sun-eater'."
  7. ^ 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."
  8. ^ Manning "1990s" in Dolan, p. 289: "Batman and Superman reunited in April [1999] in the ten-issue limited series World's Finest...The series was written by Karl Kesel."
  9. ^ Cowsill, Alan "2000s" in Dolan, p. 297: "Written by Karl Kesel and drawn by Terry Dodson, the double-sized first issue dealt with Harley's twisted relationship with the Joker."
  10. ^ Kesel, Karl (w), Immonen, Stuart (p), Koblish, Scott (i). "Remembrance of Things Past" Fantastic Four v3, 56 (August 2002), Marvel Comics
  11. ^ Hudson, Laura (March 5, 2010). "Exclusive: 1940s Captain America Strip Coming Daily at Marvel Digital".  
  12. ^ Armitage, Hugh (April 22, 2011). "Lost Steve Ditko Comic Unveiled".  
  13. ^ Yarbrough, Beau (December 28, 2000). "State of the (Ape) Nation: How Healthy is Gorilla?".  
  14. ^ Dean, Michael (June 8, 2001). "The Case of the Disappearing Gorilla: The Banana Trust Explains How Not to Start a Comics Line". The Comics Journal #234.  
  15. ^ Parkin, JK (January 3, 2012). returns as a webcomic"Section Zero"Kesel and Grummett’s . Comic Book Resources. Archived from the original on March 4, 2012. Retrieved March 4, 2012. 
  16. ^ Kesel, Karl (January 2, 2012). "Back to ZERO!". Archived from the original on March 4, 2012. Retrieved March 4, 2012. 
  17. ^ Kesel, Karl; Grummett, Tom (2012). "Section Zero"Archive for . Retrieved March 4, 2012. 
  18. ^ 1991 Will Eisner Comic Industry Award Nominees and Winners, Comic Book Awards Almanac
  19. ^ a b 1992 Will Eisner Comic Industry Award Nominees and Winners, Comic Book Awards Almanac

External links

  • Karl Kesel at Periscope Studio
  • Karl Kesel at the Comic Book DB
  • Karl Kesel at Mike's Amazing World of Comics
  • Karl Kesel at the Unofficial Handbook of Marvel Comics Creators
Preceded by
Jerry Ordway
The Adventures of Superman writer
Succeeded by
Louise Simonson
Preceded by
Superboy vol. 3 writer
Succeeded by
Eddie Berganza
Preceded by
J. M. DeMatteis
Daredevil writer
Succeeded by
Joe Kelly
Preceded by
Barbara Kesel
Superboy vol. 3 writer
Succeeded by
Jay Faerber
Preceded by
Harley Quinn writer
Succeeded by
A.J. Lieberman
Preceded by
Carlos Pacheco, Rafael Marín,
and Jeph Loeb
Fantastic Four writer
(with Carlos Pacheco and Rafael Marín in early 2002)
Succeeded by
Adam Warren
Preceded by
Mark Waid
Fantastic Four writer
Succeeded by
J. Michael Straczynski
Preceded by
Matt Fraction
Fantastic Four writer
(with Matt Fraction)
Succeeded by
James Robinson
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