Steve Gerber, Sadly

Wow. Steve Gerber has died. He was only 60, but illness doesn't always wait for you to finish what you were saying. And the man had a lot to say. Howard the Duck, Omega the Unknown, Foolkiller, Man-Thing, Son of Satan... His work sent the 1970s spinning into an entirely original - and very strange - direction. The blogosphere is going to be knee deep in homage pieces today, and I'm ill-equipped to say anything better or even new, but I'll say this:

The George Lucas-produced disaster that was the Howard the Duck movie is going to be a sore point for me in the next few days. Already, someone in my home (IN MY HOME!) has grimaced when I mentioned Howard's creator had passed away. Grrr. No worries. I made him connect with my loss by telling him Gerber was also script editor on such animated series as Transformers and G.I. Joe. Ahhh now he gets it.

Personally, my favorite creation of Gerber's is Thundarr the Barbarian. The post-apocalyptic barbarian show with the moon broken in half? Remember that? Man, I used to love that show when I was a kid.
Steve Gerber (1947 - 2008)
Gone too soon, but didn't waste his time while it lasted


Matthew Turnage said...

Wow. I knew he'd been ill, but this is still quite a blow. I may have to reread Essential Howard The Duck soon. Rest in peace, Steve.

Anonymous said...

This is awful. I'm a recent convert to Gerber's 70s Marvel stuff, particularly Man-Thing and The Defenders. He was one of the sharpest and most original creators during the Bronze Age.

I had to idea he was involved with Thundarr though! I loved that show.

Siskoid said...

But now that you know, it kinda makes sense, doesn't it? Like something that would step out of Man-Thing's swamp.

Anonymous said...

Gerber did Thundar? Weird. All I recall about that show was the Kirby-designed characters.

Something of Gerber's that hasn't gotten much mention today is his classic Phantom Zone mini-series for DC in the early 80's. Great characterization, big action, and mindblowing cosmic stuff.

Matthew Turnage said...

Thanks for the reminder about the Phantom Zone mini-series, Mark. That's one I'll have to pull out as well.

Siskoid said...

Phantom Zone is new to me. I'd never heard of it until these past couple days in the wave of Gerber homage, which is very odd since I probably know more about that era than any other.

The one cover I've seen looks interesting to say the least (Krypton head exploding)!

Bill D. said...

I knew about Kirby's connection to Thundarr, but I never knew Gerber was involved until today. And now with both of those pieces of info in my head, as you say, a lot about that show falls into place.

And I loved it as a kid, right up until the point where I was old enough to realize that this took place after the world ended, and pretty horribly at that from the look of things, at which point it freaked me out for a couple of years.

Anonymous said...

(whoops...screwed up the first post)

What was so cool about the Phantom Zone mini (besides the cinematic scope) was how Gerber plucked an obscure ex-Phantom Zone prisoner out of an old Superman story (Quex-Ul) who'd reformed, was released and (astoundingly) was given a job at the Daily Planet. Gerber made Charlie (Quex-Ul) Kweskill the centerpiece of the mini-series which, along with the moody artwork of Gene Colan (Gerber's Howard the Duck collaborator) elevated it far beyond what you'd expect from the standard "Phantom Zone breakout" storyline.

Check it out. It should still be fairly easy (and cheap) to pick up.

Anonymous said...

He will be missed.

I loved Thundarr - even blogged about it briefly last year.

And loved his take on the Defenders, its the definitive one in my view.

I grabbed the Essential Howard the Duck vol 1 recently, but I find the concept funnier than the actual comic.


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