Sad news broke on social media this morning.
David Anthony Kraft worked on some of the earliest childhood favorites of my comics-reading life, starting with Secret Society of Super-Villains #2 (Aug. 1976), which featured the Bronze Age debut of Captain Comet. As recounted a few years back, I bought this issue at the Village Smoke Shop at the personal dawn of the hobby for me. Kraft would go on to write the third and fourth issues as well, giving us one of the wildest and most extended slugfests in comic-book history.
After following Gerry Conway’s lead on SSOV, Kraft would follow Conway again when he took over the Defenders title from him at Marvel just a short time later. This was a delicate time, as Conway had just booted the brilliant Steve Gerber off the book after an all-time run, but Kraft did a wonderful job. Following Gerber’s wildly entertaining “Headmen” saga, Kraft gave us the Scorpio saga, starting is issue #46 (Apr. 1977) and concluding in the fiftieth anniversary issue (Aug. 1977). He’d go on to give us even more great stuff, including the Ringer, the Presence, Dollar Bill, Lunatik, Patsy (Hellcat) Walker’s many misadventures making coffee, and (another all-time fave of mine) the “Defender for a Day” storyline that ran from issue #62 (Aug. 1978) to #64 (Oct. 1978).
Then, after Stan Lee authored her debut, Kraft would go on to write every issue thereafter of She-Hulk’s original series, Savage She-Hulk , from issue #2 (Mar. 1980) to #25 (Feb. 1982). Again, there was a lot of fun to be found here, particularly this stretch near the end where Kraft was introducing new and interesting supervillains in nearly every issue—the Grappler, Man-Elephant, the Seeker, Radius, and Torque may be long forgotten by most of my contemporaries, but they remain much loved by yours truly.
Kraft may be best remembered by most modern fans for his publishing Comics Interview from 1983 to 1995. He actually got started with interviews for FOOM several years earlier (and served as the editor of the mag in its final years). In fact, I believe he was the interviewer for all the FOOM material I cited for my Steve Gerber/Man-Thing series of posts from 2014.
Personally, I will always remember him as a writer of great & fun superhero comics. I’m just sorry he didn’t write more of them.
R.I.P., David Anthony Kraft.