Rich Buckler

For the U.S. Representative from Minnesota, see Rich T. Buckler.
Rich Buckler

Born (1949-02-06) February 6, 1949
Detroit, Michigan, United States
Nationality American
Area(s) Writer, Penciller
Pseudonym(s) Ron Validar
Notable works
All-Star Squadron
Astonishing Tales (Deathlok)
Fantastic Four
Superman vs. Shazam!
World's Finest Comics

Rich Buckler (born February 6, 1949)[1] is an American comic book artist and penciller, best known for his work on Marvel Comics' Fantastic Four in the mid-1970s and for creating the character Deathlok in Astonishing Tales #25. Buckler has drawn virtually every major character at Marvel and DC, often as a cover artist.


As a teenager in Detroit, Buckler attended the initial iterations of the Detroit Triple Fan Fair (one of the first regular fan convention that featured comics as a major component). He eventually ran the convention[2] along with originator Robert Brosch in 1969–1970.[3]

Buckler's first comics work was as a teenager with the four-page historical story "Freedom Fighters: Washington Attacks Trenton" in the King Features comic book Flash Gordon #10 (Nov. 1967). At DC Comics, he drew the "Rose and the Thorn: backup stories in Superman's Girl Friend, Lois Lane #117-121 (Dec. 1971-April 1972).[4]

From September 1973 to January 1974, Buckler drew the first three issues of writer Don McGregor's acclaimed Black Panther series in Jungle Action. In 2010, Comics Bulletin ranked McGregor and Buckler's run on Jungle Action third on its list of the "Top 10 1970s Marvels".[5] When given the chance in 1974 to draw the Fantastic Four title, Buckler fulfilled a decade-long dream;[6] he stayed on the title for two years. During this period, Buckler created Deathlok a character which debuted in Astonishing Tales #25 (Aug. 1974).[7] Also during this period, Buckler hired the young George Pérez as his studio assistant.[8]

Buckler collaborated with writer Gerry Conway on a "Superman vs. Shazam!" story published in All-New Collectors' Edition #C-58 (April 1978).[9][10] The Incredible Hulk newspaper strip was drawn by Buckler for approximately six months in 1979.[11] A Justice League story by Conway and Buckler originally intended for All-New Collectors' Edition saw print in Justice League of America #210-212 (January 1983-March 1983).[12][13][14] He and Roy Thomas launched All-Star Squadron with a special insert in Justice League of America #193 (August 1981)[15] which led to the new team's own title the following month.[16] Buckler worked for Archie Comics in 1983-1984, when that publisher briefly revived its Red Circle Comics superhero line and personally recruited Cary Burkett to write the Mighty Crusaders title.[17] In 1985 he returned to Marvel and briefly drew The Spectacular Spider-Man with writer Peter David, where they produced the "The Death of Jean DeWolff" storyline.[18] He also served as editor for a short-lived line of comics by Solson Publications, where in 1987 he created Reagan's Raiders.[19]

He is the author of two books: How to Become a Comic Book Artist[20] and How to Draw Superheroes .[21] In 2015, he became an Inkwell Awards Ambassador.[22] He has noted that "a capable and skillful inker is, for pencil artists, a veritable treasure."[23]


Buckler has a reputation as a "swipe" artist,[24] with his early work in particular filled with "homages" to artists such as Jack Kirby,[25] John Buscema, and Neal Adams.[26] After being publicly accused of the practice by The Comics Journal in 1983,[27] Buckler denied the charges[28] and sued the magazine for libel.[29] He later dropped the suit.[30]


DC Comics

Marvel Comics

Other publishers


  1. Miller, John Jackson (June 10, 2005). "Comics Industry Birthdays". Comics Buyer's Guide. Iola, Wisconsin. Archived from the original on October 29, 2010. Retrieved December 12, 2010.
  2. Cooke, Jon B. "Rich Buckler Breaks Out! The Artist on Deathlok, T'Challa, and Other Marvel Tales," Comic Book Artist Collection, Volume 3 (TwoMorrows Publishing, 2005).
  3. Bails, Jerry (n.d.). "Buckler, Rich F.". Who's Who of American Comic Books, 1928–1999. Archived from the original on February 18, 2016.
  4. Cassell, Dewey (May 2013). "A Rose By Any Other Name...Would Be Thorn". Back Issue!. Raleigh, North Carolina: TwoMorrows Publishing (64): 28–32.
  5. Sacks, Jason (September 6, 2010). "Top 10 1970s Marvels". Comics Bulletin. Archived from the original on August 3, 2013. Retrieved August 3, 2013.
  6. Thomas, Roy. "Bullpen Bulletins," Marvel comics cover-dated January 1974.
  7. Sanderson, Peter; Gilbert, Laura, ed. (2008). "1970s". Marvel Chronicle A Year by Year History. London, United Kingdom: Dorling Kindersley. p. 166. ISBN 978-0756641238. Created by artist Rich Buckler and writer Doug Moench, the original Deathlok was Colonel Luther Manning, a soldier in an alternate, post-apocalyptic future.
  8. O'Neill, Daniel Patrick (July 1994). "Career Moves". Wizard (35). Archived from the original on September 7, 2009.
  9. Hamerlinck, P.C. (December 2012). "When Worlds Collide The Colossal-Sized Confrontation Between Superman and Captain Marvel". Back Issue!. Raleigh, North Carolina: TwoMorrows Publishing (61): 65–68.
  10. All-New Collectors' Edition #C-58 at the Grand Comics Database
  11. Cassell, Dewey (February 2014). "Smashing into Syndication: The Incredible Hulk Newspaper Strip". Back Issue!. Raleigh, North Carolina: TwoMorrows Publishing (70): 37–40.
  12. Justice League of America #210 at the Grand Comics Database
  13. Wells, John (October 24, 1997), "'Lost' DC: The DC Implosion", Comics Buyer's Guide (1249), p. 132
  14. Wells, John (December 2012). "The Perils of the DC/Marvel Tabloid Era". Back Issue!. Raleigh, North Carolina: TwoMorrows Publishing (61): 6.
  15. Catron, Michael (June 1981). "Thomas Revives WWII Superheroes". Amazing Heroes. Fantagraphics Books (1): 28–30. All-Star Squadron, DC's new World War II-era superhero series debuts in May in a 16-page preview insert in Justice League of America #193.
  16. Manning, Matthew K.; Dolan, Hannah, ed. (2010). "1980s". DC Comics Year By Year A Visual Chronicle. London, United Kingdom: Dorling Kindersley. p. 195. ISBN 978-0-7566-6742-9. The creative team of writer Roy Thomas and artist Rich Buckler on All-Star Squadron offered readers a nostalgic glimpse back in time, albeit through the slightly distorted lens of Earth-2's history.
  17. Cobb, Bradley S. (2001). "Cary Burkett Interview". The Mighty Crusaders Network. Archived from the original on June 23, 2012. Retrieved June 23, 2012.
  18. Manning, Matthew K.; Gilbert, Laura, ed. (2012). "1980s". Spider-Man Chronicle Celebrating 50 Years of Web-Slinging. London, United Kingdom: Dorling Kindersley. p. 150. ISBN 978-0756692360. Revered as one of the finest Spider-Man stories ever told, this four-part saga, written by Peter David and penciled by Rich Buckler, was a decidedly dark tale for the usually lighthearted web-slinger.
  19. Reagan's Raiders at Don Markstein's Toonopedia
  20. Buckler, Rich (1986). How to Become a Comic Book Artist. Solson. ISBN 0-9615671-1-2.
  21. Buckler, Rich (1987). How to Draw Super-Heroes. Solson. ISBN 0-9615671-5-5.
  22. Inkwell Awards Ambassadors
  23. First Comics News Press Release - Rich Buckler Made Inkwell Awards Ambassador
  24. Cooke, Jon B. "Dan Adkins' Strange Tales: The Artist on his Visits to the World of Wood and the House of Ideas", Comic Book Artist Collection TwoMorrows Publishing, 2005, p. 42.
  25. O'Neill:
    Question: What did you do as Buckler's assistant?
    Pérez: Basically, I helped him with layout. Or I'd go through his swipe file — batches of comics — looking for suitable swipes for the story he was doing. Since at the time he was doing Thor and Fantastic Four, that meant lots of Jack Kirby books.
  26. Gillis, Peter B. Letter about Rich Buckler swipes, The Comics Journal #45 (March 1979), pp. 22.
  27. "Plagiarism: Rich Buckler Signs his Name to Jack Kirby's Work," The Comics Journal #83 (Aug. 1983), pp. 33-35.
  28. "Rich Buckler Answers His Critics," The Comics Journal #86 (November 1983), pp. 28-31.
  29. "Rich Buckler Sues Comics Journal and two of its Writers for Libel," The Comics Journal #88 (Jan. 1984), p. 13.
  30. "Buckler Drops Comics Journal Libel Suit," The Comics Journal #93 (Sept. 1984), pp. 11-12.
Wikimedia Commons has media related to Rich Buckler.
Preceded by
Barry Windsor-Smith
The Avengers artist
Succeeded by
John Buscema
Preceded by
John Buscema
Fantastic Four artist
Succeeded by
George Pérez
Preceded by
José Luis García-López
World's Finest Comics artist
Succeeded by
Trevor Von Eeden
Preceded by
Keith Pollard
Fantastic Four artist
Succeeded by
Walt Simonson
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