From when I first started reading Marvel Comics seriously in the early 1980s, one of my favorite writers was J.M. DeMatteis (and he still is). At the time, he was writing Captain America, Marvel Team-Up, and The Defenders. His Cap run is one of the best the world has ever seen, and while he tends not to get the same credit as your Roger Sterns, your Mark Waids, your Ed Brubakers, his run is truly one of the best and most influential, including the definitive Red Skull story (complete with expanded origin). His Marvel Team-Up was part of a golden age of Spider-Man that also included Roger Stern’s run on Amazing Spider-Man and Bill Mantlo’s on Spectacular Spider-Man. And his run on The Defenders was simply superb, bringing depth and brilliance to the Son of Satan, Hellcat, Devil-Slayer, Nighthawk, and Valkyrie, and also introducing the Gargoyle.
In the years since, DeMatteis has given us some amazing comics work, from the “Kraven’s Last Hunt” storyline — one of the greatest Spider-Man stories ever told — to his collaboration with Keith Giffen on the Justice League titles (and also on the independent comic Hero Squared) to the magnificent fantasy miniseries Moonshadow (which I reviewed on my Patreon) to his hilarious graphic novel Greenberg the Vampire to his brilliant miniseries Brooklyn Dreams to some amazing scripting work for various DC animated properties and so so so much more.
DeMatteis’s work has always greatly appealed to me, from his naturalistic dialogue to his strong use of humor, from his fantastic ability to get at the human motivations behind both his heroes and his villains to his general belief in the goodness of human beings. (He also has a sense of hippie mysticism that continues to appeal to this particular child of hippies.)
And now, he’s launching his own multiverse through Spellbound Comics, which is currently a campaign on Kickstarter.
I can’t recommend this highly enough, just on the strength of DeMatteis’s writer credit. It includes four titles, each of which plays to a different strength of DeMatteis’s: Anyman, a superhero tale that should be tremendous fun, with art by David Baldeón; Godsend, which will seem to play to his cosmic strengths and questioning of people’s place in the universe, with art by Matthew Dow Smith; Layla in the Lands of After, an all-ages fantasy that’s right in his wheelhouse, with art by Shawn McManus; and Wisdom, a weird wild West tale, with art by Tom Mandrake.
I’m eagerly supporting this Kickstarter, and you should consider doing so too. DeMatteis’s work is always worth it.