Home Metal Men Foes Background Stories Adverts Wanted Partners

This is the background area and by that I mean the area which actually made the Metal Men happen, the artists, the ink men, the pencil men, the editors and story liners. Here you will find information regarding these people who made it all happen

Ink Men
Pencil Men


Writer: Robert Kanigher

Robert Kanigher (June 18, 1915 - May 6, 2002) was a prolific comic book writer whose career spanned five decades.

Kanigher's career as a writer started early, with his short stories and poetry being published in magazines. He won The New York Times Collegiate Short Story Contest in 1932. Kanigher also wrote for radio and authored several plays.

Kanigher's earliest comics work was in such titles as Fox Feature Syndicate's Blue Beetle, MLJ/Archie Comics's Steel Sterling and The Web, and Fawcett Comics Captain Marvel Adventures.

In 1943 Kanigher wrote How to Make Money Writing for Comics, one of the earliest works on the subject. That same year he also wrote How to Make Money Writing for Radio.

Kanigher joined All-American Comics, a precursor of the future DC Comics, as a scripter in 1945, and was quickly promoted to editor. He wrote for The Justice Society of America, Hawkman, Green Lantern, and edited Wonder Woman in addition to scripting the title. He created a number of new characters at this time, including Black Canary, Rose and The Thorn and The Harlequin.

Starting in 1952, Kanigher began editing and writing the "big 5" DC Comics' war titles: G.I. Combat, Our Army at War, Our Fighting Forces, All-American Men of War, and Star-Spangled War Stories. His creation of Sgt. Rock with Joe Kubert is considered one of his most memorable contributions to the medium. Later in his career he also created other popular action series features, such as Enemy Ace, The Unknown Soldier, and, with Russ Heath, The Haunted Tank and Sea Devils.

In the late 1950s and 1960s, Kanigher had a hand in creating many other characters, including Viking Prince, Balloon Buster, the Metal Men and the Batman villain Poison Ivy. Kanigher also scripted the first appearance of the Barry Allen Flash in Showcase #4, the comic generally credited with reviving superheroes and launching the Silver Age of Comics. In 1974, drawing on a classic novel, he introduced Rima the Jungle Girl to the DC Universe in her own title.

Back to page top

Pencil Man: Ross Andru
Ross Andru (June 15, 1927 - November 9, 1993) was an American comic book artist and editor. He is best known for his work on The Amazing Spider-Man and Wonder Woman and for co-creating the Metal Men (with writer Robert Kanigher in Showcase # 37 in 1962) and the Punisher (with writer Gerry Conway in The Amazing Spider-Man #129 in 1974).

His most frequent collaborator was inker Mike Esposito, as the two worked together on various projects over a span of four decades. Working with Esposito, Andru was the co-founder of his own comic book company, MR Publications in 1951 and dipped his hand into self-publishing two times after that with the companies MikeRoss in 1953 and Klevart Enterprizes in 1970. Another venture into self-publishing, in 1990, failed before funding could be found.

Andru's first professional comic book work was for the Tarzan newspaper strip in 1948.

In the 1950s and early 1960s Andru worked primarily on DC's war comics, contributing material regularly to titles such as All American Men of War (1953-1964), GI Combat (1957), Our Army At War (1953) (later known as Sgt. Rock), Our Fighting Forces (1955) and Star Spangled War Stories (1954-1966).

In the late 1950s he began to be assigned to more super-hero work, as he started runs on The Flash (1959), Rip Hunter, Time Master (1961) and Showcase where he drew the "Sea Devils" feature as well as co-created the Metal Men. During this period Andru also did his nine-year Wonder Woman stint, (starting at #98 in 1958 and running until 1967) where he and writer Kanigher reinvented the character, introducing the Silver Age version and her supporting cast.

In the early 1970s, Andru left DC for Marvel Comics. Initially he did short runs on such titles as Marvel Team-Up in 1972. In 1973, he began his long stint as regular penciller on Amazing Spider-Man, which at that point was Marvel's highest-selling monthly comic.

It was during that run that Andru and writer Conway introduced the Punisher, who was conceived as an antagonist for Spider-Man. Although Andru is credited with designing the Punisher's distinctive costume, Conway has claimed that Andru worked from design sketches Conway provided. The character has gone on to become a popular star of numerous comic books as well as two movies.

In 1976. Andru pencilled the first large-scale comic book intercompany character crossover Superman vs. The Amazing Spider-Man, in a story written by Conway and co-published by Marvel and DC.

In 1978, Andru returned to DC to work as an editor. During this period his art appeared mostly on the covers of such titles as Action Comics and Superman. Working with writer Marv Wolfman and collaborator Mike Esposito, he also co-created the syndicated comic strip The Unexplained in 1979. In the 1980s he returned to interior work, on titles including as Jonah Hex (1982-1984), Vigilante (1984) and Blue Beetle (1987).

His last work was for Archie Comics' Zen, Intergalactic Ninja in 1993, on which he was teamed once again with Mike Esposito. In 2006 both Andru and Esposito are the subjects of a major biography titled Partners For Life.

Back to page top

Ink Men: Mike Esposito
Mike Esposito Born in New York City in 1927 it was Mike's dream to become an animator for walt Dsiney Studios, but when his parents wouldn't let him move to California, he decided to enter the comics industry.

He met his good friend later collaborator Ross Andru while attending the Music and Art High School in Manhattan. After graduation he was drafted into the army where he illustrated comics and posters for the armed services.

He went to work at Fiction House and then DC after being demobilized, and then in the early fifties he and Andru opened up their own studio producing comics for various publishers and then for their own company, Mike/Ross Publications. The team produced some of the wildest and horrifying comic covers of the period. During this period they continued to work at DC, particularly on the war series' and at Standard Publishing, a company that produced horror comics almost as good as EC.

When the comic industry faltered after the Frederic Wertham witch hunt on comics, the collaborative duo discontinued their production studio and for the next 15 years, almost all of their work was at DC Comics.

The most memorable titles the duo worked on were the Star Spangled War Stories series with the dinosaur battles, a fabulous series of Wonder Woman issues and the fan favorite the Metal Men.

For a short period in the middle sixties at Marvel, where he inked numerous stories including several memorable issues of the Hulk in Tales to Astonish, under the alias of Mickey Demeo. Everyone remembers those great stories from TTA in the #60's.

In the early seventies, Sol Brodsky persuaded the team to jump ship to a new stsrtup company called Skywald publications. But the company didn't last. With poor properties and worse circulation, Skywald was soon forced in bankruptcy.

After this collapse, Mike went back Marvel and Ross went back to DC, ending the collaboration of over 25 years in the comics business.

At Marvel, Mike Esposito worked on the Spider-Man comic for several years and the comic strip as well. He also worked on numerous other titles under the pseudonym Joe Gaudioso. During this time Marvel & DC decided to team up their two most popular characters for a one shot comic book, Superman vs. Spider-Man. There was at first an attempt to have the team of Andru & Esposito work on the book, but scheduling made this impossible.

He worked as art director at Marvel for several years and finally Andru & Esposito collaborated on a Spider-Man graphic novel called Fear Itself which drew acclaim from fans.

In the eighties, Mike went to Archie to become art director, where he continues his career of fifty years in comics.

Back to page top


Copyright themetalmen.com
Copyright DC Comics
Contact The Metal Men