Ann Nocenti

Ann Nocenti

Born (1957-01-17) January 17, 1957
Nationality American
Area(s) Writer, Editor
Notable works
Longshot, Daredevil

Ann "Annie" Nocenti (born January 17, 1957)[1] is an American journalist, writer, teacher, editor, and filmmaker. She is best known for her work in comic books. As an editor for Marvel Comics, she edited New Mutants and The Uncanny X-Men. With artist collaborators, she created such Marvel characters as Typhoid Mary, Blackheart, Longshot, Mojo, and Spiral.

Nocenti is particularly noted for her outspoken political views. Some focus on the status of women in society, as well as the role of government in Nocenti's work, particularly during her run on the Marvel superhero comic book Daredevil, which caused conflict with editorial.[2]

Early life

When Ann Nocenti was a child, her parents frowned upon comics, though there were some in her house, including Archie Comics, a "Pogo" anthology that Nocenti loved, and a Dick Tracy anthology whose grotesquely-rendered characters piqued Nocenti's curiosity, more so than the heroes.[3] Nocenti attended college at SUNY New Paltz,[4] during which she discovered the work of Robert Crumb.[3]



After graduating from SUNY New Paltz,[4] she discovered the superhero genre when she answered an ad in the Village Voice, which led to her being given her first published comics job at Marvel Comics by editor Dennis O'Neil.[3] Nocenti made her comics writing debut with a six-page mythological story, drawn by Greg LaRocque, in the Marvel anthology Bizarre Adventures #32 (August 1982).[5] She got her first regular comics assignment with Marvel's superhero series Spider-Woman, starting with issue #47 (December 1982). It was not a promising assignment; Marvel had already decided to end the series with issue #50 (June 1983) due to flagging sales.[6] With heavy guidance from editor Mark Gruenwald (who had himself written the series for a time), Nocenti ended the series with the death of the titular character, a decision she came to regret. She recalled, "It was before I understood the intense, personal attachment the readers have to the characters. In retrospect, I realized it wasn’t a nice thing to kill a character off. As I worked in the field for a while, I developed a strong personal attachment to a lot of characters and I realized how alive they were."[6] Shortly after, Nocenti lent a hand to Spider-Woman's resurrection in Avengers #240–241 as "story consultant".

She went on to write an issue each of Doctor Strange and Star Wars before writing the four-issue miniseries Beauty and the Beast (December 1984–June 1985), featuring the superheroes Dazzler and the Beast.[5] During this period Nocenti was on staff at Marvel, working as an assistant editor for Carl Potts[7] on such titles as The Incredible Hulk, The Defenders, Doctor Strange, and The Thing.[8]

Nocenti with Whilce Portacio and Arthur Adams at the 2015 East Coast Comicon, during the 30th anniversary year of their collaboration on Longshot, and the first time they had appeared in public together since publication of that miniseries

Nocenti and artist Arthur Adams created the character Longshot in a titular, six-issue miniseries (September 1985 – February 1986).[5][9] Explaining the concept of the character, which Nocenti borrowed from existentialist writers, she states, "Longshot is the idea of stripping someone of everything that they are. I never read comics, so the idea of a hero to me was different. I couldn't think of it in terms of a 'super hero' hero. I thought of it more as a conceptual hero. Not having a comic book background, I tend to come up with the metaphysics before I come up with the characters. I knew that I wanted to deal with the metaphysics of luck. It was a concept that interested me...what luck is, what probability is, how you could shift probabilities towards yourself. What are the repercussions of that? So, I did a character centered around that idea.[10] At the time, Nocenti was pursuing her Master's degree at the School of International and Public Affairs, Columbia University, working at the magazine Lies of Our Times, and reading the work of writers such as Marshall McLuhan, Noam Chomsky, Edward S. Herman and Walter Lippmann. Longshot's archvillain, Mojo, a slaver and dictator who rules his dimension through the television programs he produces, was created as a direct result of these influences. A character named Manufactured Consent after the Chomsky book of the same name, who appeared in the Nocenti's 1990 book The New Mutants Summer Special in 1990, was also born of these works.[3]

After collaborating with Adams on the Spider-Man feature in Web of Spider-Man Annual #2 (September 1986), and with penciler Mike Mignola on a short backup story there, Nocenti teamed with artist Barry Windsor-Smith on Daredevil #236 (November 1986). Two issues later, she became the regular writer for a four-and-a-quarter year run from #238–291 (January 1987 – April 1991), minus issues #246 and #258. John Romita Jr. joined as penciler from #250–282 (January 1988 – July 1990), and was generally inked by Al Williamson. Nocenti specifically addressed societal issues, with Murdock, now running a non-profit urban legal center, confronting sexism, racism, and nuclear proliferation while fighting supervillains. Nocenti introduced the popular antagonist Typhoid Mary in issue #254 (May 1988).[11] as well as the demon Blackheart in #270 (September 1989).[12]

In addition to contributing occasional stories to such anthologies as Marvel Comics Presents and Marvel Fanfare, and writing a handful of Spider-Man fill-ins,[5] Nocenti also produced the graphic novel Someplace Strange in collaboration with artist John Bolton. She also wrote The Inhumans Graphic Novel in 1988, and the 1998 X-Men novel Prisoner X.

For the DC Comics imprint Vertigo, Nocenti wrote the 16-issue run of Kid Eternity (May 1993 – September 1994). Later in the mid-1990s, for Marvel, she wrote a four-issue miniseries each starring Typhoid Mary and the supernatural supervillain Nightmare. After writing two issues of Marvel's The All New Exiles in 1996, plus the four-page dramatic story "Old Man", with artist Bolton, in the Dark Horse Comics anthology Strange Wink #3 (May 1998),[5] Nocenti left comics to pursue journalism. She returned briefly, in 2003 and 2004, writing four Batman stories for DC.

Nocenti was among the writers for Daredevil #500 published in August 2009.[13]

Nocenti wrote Green Arrow starting with issue #7 published in March 2012.[14][15] In September 2012, Nocenti became the writer of Catwoman with issue #0.[16][17] She launched a Katana series the following February.[18][19]

Journalism and film

In 1990s, Nocenti began to focus on journalism and filmmaking. She edited High Times magazine for one year (2004) and was an editor on Prison Life Magazine. Her journalism has been published in The Nation,[20] Print, Utne, Heeb, The Brooklyn Rail, CounterPunch,[21] Filmmaker, and Details, as well for Nocenti's story "The Most Expensive Road Trip in the World" was collected in The Best American Travel Writing 2008, edited by Anthony Bourdain (Houghton Miifflin). She was an editor and writer for Stop Smiling, guest editing the "Gambling Issue". As editor of the screenwriting magazine Scenario,[22] Nocenti published the original versions of screenplays and interviewed directors and screenwriters.

Nocenti co-directed the documentary The Baluch,[22][23] shot in Baluchistan, and made the short Creep for Glass Eye Pix.[24]

In 2009, Nocenti taught screenplay writing in Haiti[22] and in 2012 wrote a series for HiLobrow about that country.[25]

Cameos and homages

Nocenti appears on the photo cover of Spider-Woman #50, in costume as Tigra.[6]

Nocenti makes a cameo appearance in The Incredible Hulk #291 (January 1984). At the time Nocenti was assistant editor to Larry Hama on The Incredible Hulk and X-Men. She also appeared in a spoof comic strip in 1984's The Defenders #127.

Arthur Adams visually based the character Ricochet Rita in the Longshot limited series on Nocenti.[26]

In Ultimate X-Men, a re-imagination of the X-Men in the alternate universe Ultimate Marvel imprint, the superhero Longshot has the civilian name Arthur Centino — his last name an anagram of "Nocenti" and his first name an homage to artist Arthur Adams, the original character's co-creators.[27]

Personal life

Nocenti lives in New York City.[4]


As a writer

Marvel Comics

DC Comics

Other publishers

As an editor


  1. Miller, John Jackson (June 10, 2005). "Comics Industry Birthdays". Comics Buyer's Guide. Iola, Wisconsin. Archived from the original on October 29, 2010.
  2. Mithra, Kuljit (October 1998). "Interview with Ann Nocenti". Archived from the original on January 21, 2013.
  3. 1 2 3 4 Keller, Katherine (November 2, 2007). "Writer, Creator, Journalist, and Uppity Woman: Ann Nocenti". Sequential Tart.
  4. 1 2 3 Vandam, Malone (March 5, 2007). "Annie Nocenti on the World's Most Dangerous Hunting Expedition". New Paltz Journal. Archived from the original on June 11, 2012.
  5. 1 2 3 4 5 Ann Nocenti at the Grand Comics Database
  6. 1 2 3 Johnson, Dan (August 2006). "Marvel's Dark Angel: Back Issue Gets Caught in Spider-Woman's Web". Back Issue! (17). Raleigh, North Carolina: TwoMorrows Publishing. pp. 57–63.
  7. "Bullpen Bulletins," Marvel comics cover-dated February 1984.
  8. Ann Nocenti (editor) at the Grand Comics Database
  9. DeFalco, Tom; Gilbert, Laura, ed. (2008). "1980s". Marvel Chronicle A Year by Year History. London, United Kingdom: Dorling Kindersley. p. 222. ISBN 978-0756641238. Ann Nocenti wanted to introduce a character who was a clean slate. One with no history, no past, and no prejudices. A man without a memory. With Arthur Adams and Whilce Portacio providing the art, Nocenti wrote the six-issue limited series Longshot.
  10. Ringgenberg, Steve (August 1985). Marvel Age #29. p. 13-15.
  11. DeFalco "1980s" in Gilbert (2008), p. 237: "Mary was first introduced in Daredevil #254 by Ann Nocenti and artist John Romita Jr."
  12. DeFalco "1980s" in Gilbert (2008), p. 242
  13. Richards, Dave (June 22, 2009). "WWPhilly: Simons on Daredevil's New Direction". Comic Book Resources. Archived from the original on July 3, 2013.
  14. Doran, Michael (October 13, 2011). "NYCC 2011: Ann Nocenti To Take over Green Arrow in 2012". Newsarama. Archived from the original on August 24, 2013.
  15. Campbell, Josie (October 13, 2011). "NYCC: Ann Nocenti Returns To Comics With Green Arrow". Comic Book Resources. Archived from the original on October 27, 2012.
  16. Manning, Matthew K.; Dougall, Alastair, ed. (2014). "2010s". Batman: A Visual History. London, United Kingdom: Dorling Kindersley. p. 330. ISBN 978-1465424563. Catwoman received a new origin in this flashback issue by writer Ann Nocenti and artist Adriana Melo.
  17. Campbell, Josie (July 6, 2012). "Ann Nocenti Takes Over Catwoman with #0 Issue". Comic Book Resources. Archived from the original on October 15, 2012. Retrieved August 24, 2013.
  18. Manning "2010s" in Dougall, p. 336: Katana #1 "This issue was written by Ann Nocenti and drawn by Alex Sanchez."
  19. Campbell, Josie (November 15, 2012). "Ann Nocenti Hangs Up Green Arrow, Unsheathes Katana". Comic Book Resources. Archived from the original on June 20, 2013. Retrieved August 24, 2013.
  20. Johnston, Rich (November 14, 2011). "Ann Nocenti On Occupy Wall Street". Bleeding Cool. Archived from the original on August 18, 2012. Retrieved August 24, 2013. Nocenti spent her downtime from the industry over the past decade working in decidedly more political realms, including doing work for and for The Nation.
  21. Nocenti, Annie (May 16, 2006). "Letter from Haiti: 'Jesus Was a Zombie?'". CounterPunch. Archived from the original on October 15, 2012. Retrieved July 13, 2009.
  22. 1 2 3 "Ciné Institute: Our Teacher — Annie Nocenti". Ciné Institute. n.d. Archived from the original on April 18, 2012. Annie Nocenti is a filmmaker and screenwriter. She was the Editor of Scenario, the magazine of screenwriting art. She has most recently shot two documentaries in Pakistan, The Baluch about the Baluch insurgency and Disarming Falcons about the ancient art of falconry.
  23. Nocenti, Annie (December 8, 2006). "Letter from Baluchistan: A Call to Resistance: The Khan of Kalat Gathers the Tribes". The Brooklyn Rail. Archived from the original on May 12, 2013. Retrieved July 13, 2009.
  24. "Creep". Glass Eye Pix. December 15, 2008. Archived from the original on June 5, 2013.
  25. Nealon, Tom (January 17, 2012). "Annie Nocenti". Archived from the original on March 24, 2013.
  26. Khoury, George; Nolen-Weathington, Eric (2006). Modern Masters, Vol. 6: Arthur Adams. Raleigh, North Carolina: TwoMorrows Publishing. p. 23. ISBN 978-1893905542. The character, Rita...was based visually on the story's writer, Ann Nocenti.
  27. Cronin, Brian (August 18, 2005). "Comics Should Be Good". Comics Should Be Good. Archived from the original on May 7, 2006. Retrieved August 24, 2013. Centino is an anagram guessed it, Longshot's OTHER creator, Ann Nocenti.
  28. Kushins, Josh (October 13, 2011). "Ann Nocenti to write for Green Arrow". DC Comics. Archived from the original on August 24, 2013.
  29. Kushins, Josh (December 9, 2011). "Artist Harvey Talibao Joins Green Arrow #7". DC Comics. Archived from the original on August 24, 2013.
  30. Cheng, Jennifer (February 11, 2013). "Young Romance: The New 52 Valentines Day Special #1". Comic Book Resources. Archived from the original on July 23, 2013. Retrieved August 24, 2013.

External links

Wikimedia Commons has media related to Ann Nocenti.
Preceded by
Danny Fingeroth
Daredevil writer
Succeeded by
D.G. Chichester
Preceded by
Judd Winick
Catwoman writer
Succeeded by
Sholly Fisch
Preceded by
Sholly Fisch
Catwoman writer
Succeeded by
Genevieve Valentine
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