Bill Mantlo : biography
William Timothy Mantlo (born November 9, 1951)Comics Buyer’s Guide #1636 (December 2007); Page 135 is an American comic-book writer, primarily at Marvel Comics, best known for his work on two licensed toy properties whose adventures occurred in the Marvel Universe: the Eagle Award-winning Micronauts and the long-running Rom. An attorney, he also worked as a public defender. Mantlo was the victim of a hit-and-run accident in 1992 and has been in institutional care ever since.
Education and early career
Bill Mantlo was born in Brooklyn, New York City, the oldest of three sons of William W. and Nancy Mantlo.Seitz, Lee K. , Rom Spaceknight Revisited! (fan site). Accessed Feb. 2, 2009. . Growing up as a comics fan, Mantlo attended Manhattan’s High School of Art & Design. In college at the Cooper Union School of Art,"Micromails: Meet the Micro-Makers: Bill Mantlo," Micronauts No. 7 (Marvel Comics, July 1979). he focused on painting and photography. Following his graduation, Mantlo held various civil servant positions and worked as a portrait photographer.
A connection with a college friend in 1974 led Mantlo to a job as an assistant to Marvel Comics production manager John Verpoorten. Mantlo’s first credits were as a colorist, as he worked on several issues that appeared between October 1974 and April 1975. Soon afterword, Mantlo wrote a fill-in script for a Sons of the Tiger story in Deadly Hands of Kung Fu, which led to a permanent writing position on that title., BEM: The Comics News Fanzine #24, July 1979, via InnerspaceOnline.com. Accessed Feb. 2, 2009. . While scripting Deadly Hands, Mantlo and artist George Pérez created White Tiger, comics’ first Puerto Rican superhero.
Around this time, Marvel’s then editor-in-chief Marv Wolfman instituted a policy to avoid the many missed deadlines plaguing the company. The policy was to have fill-in stories at the ready, should a titles be in danger of missing its deadline. Mantlo quickly became the "fill-in king", creating stories under very tight deadlines, many of which did find their way into print. By the mid to late 1970s he had written issues of nearly every Marvel title.
Later, he became a regular writer at Marvel, notably for the licensed properties Micronauts and Rom, also known as Rom: Spaceknight. On Christmas Day 1977, Mantlo’s son Adam opened a new present, a line of the Mego Corporation’s Micronauts action figures. Seeing the toys, Bill Mantlo was instantly struck by inspiration to write their adventures. Convincing then editor-in-chief Jim Shooter to get the comics license for these toys, Mantlo was hired to script their series., Amazing Heroes #7, December 1981, via InnerspaceOnline.com. Accessed Feb. 15, 2009. . Mantlo and Michael Golden (the artist on Micronauts) took a few bits of colorful plastic and built an entire (subatomic) universe around them, with its own history, mythology, personalities, and even an alphabet. Ultimately, the Micronauts comic won the 1979 Eagle Award for Favourite New Comic Title.
Other notable work included the creation of the superhero pair Cloak and Dagger, and well-regarded runs as the regular writer on The Incredible Hulk, Iron Man, Peter Parker: The Spectacular Spider-Man, and Alpha Flight.
By the mid-1980s, he enrolled in law school. Though he continued writing for Marvel, his workload began to decrease due to disputes with management.Kelly, Dave "Mantlo Wants Cloak and Dagger Back! Bill Mantlo’s Fall From Grace" Amazing Heroes No. 156 January 1, 1989 Fantagraphics pp. 48–50 He wrote briefly for DC Comics in 1988, scripting the Invasion! miniseries. By this time he had passed the bar exam, and in 1987 began working as a Legal Aid Society public defender in The Bronx.Mantlo, Bill. , The New York Times, January 19, 1990. Accessed Feb. 15, 2009. .Johnson, Dan. "Marvel’s Toy Story: Rom’s Sal Buscema and Micronauts’ Jackson Guice: A ‘Pro2Pro’ Interview", Back Issue #16