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Joe Kelly
Born Joseph Kelly
Nationality American
Area(s) Writer
Notable works Uncanny X-Men
Action Comics

Joseph "Joe" Kelly is an American comic book writer who has written such titles as Uncanny X-Men, Action Comics, and JLA. As part of the comics creator group Man of Action, Kelly is one of the creators of the animated series Ben 10.


Comics career

Joey Kelly studied at New York University, where he was recruited into Marvel Comics' editor James Felder's Stan-hattan Project, a program that trained potential comic book writers at the university. Kelly's first published work for Marvel was 1996's 2099: World of Tomorrow #1-8 and Marvel Fanfare Vol.2 #2-3.

In 1997, Kelly began his first monthly assignment, Deadpool, initially pencilled by Ed McGuinness. The title was immediately well received by fans and critics. At one point it was due to be cancelled with #25, but a write-in and Internet campaign by fans led Marvel to reverse their decision. Kelly left the title with #33 in 1999. In 1997, Kelly also became the writer of Daredevil, on which he was accompanied by well-known Daredevil artist Gene Colan.

At around the same time he produced a Daredevil/Deadpool '97 Annual with artist Bernard Chang which pitted the two characters against each other and was generally well received. Kelly left Daredevil with #375 in 1998.

Kelly's next major Marvel assignment was in late 1997, at the company's then bestselling title, X-Men, where he worked with penciller Carlos Pacheco. However, Kelly's stint on the title, and his friend Steven T. Seagle's run on sister title Uncanny X-Men, was cut short when the creators quit, blaming constant editorial interference. Kelly's last issue was #85 in 1999.

Kelly then began to work for Marvel's competitor DC Comics, specifically their Action Comics title starring Superman with #760 in October 1999. He stayed on the title for almost five years (up until #813, May 2004), working mainly with penciler Pasqual Ferry.

During this run he authored What's so funny about Truth, Justice & the American Way? in Action Comics #775, which introduced The Elite (an Authority-like team of anti-heroes) and their leader Manchester Black. That issue was called "the single best issue of a comic book written in the year 2001" by Wizard Magazine.

In December 2000, Kelly had a short stint as writer on the Superboy comic (#83-93), again mostly working with his Action Comics collaborator Ferry.

In 2002 he began a long run on DC's JLA (#61-93) comic book with penciller Doug Mahnke. After their run on that title finished the same creative team launched a twelve-issue limited series Justice League Elite featuring some of the characters from Action Comics #775.[1] [2]

Also in 2002, DC published Green Lantern: Legacy - The Last Will & Testament of Hal Jordan a hardcover graphic novel by Kelly and artists Brent Anderson and Bill Sienkiewicz, which looked back at the life and career of Hal Jordan, who at that point was the Spectre.

Kelly has three creator-owned works: Steampunk, pencilled by Chris Bachalo and published by DC through Wildstorm's Cliffhanger imprint in 2000 (a second part, Drama Obscura, brought closure to the story, but Kelly has said he intends to eventually continue the book); M. REX with penciller Duncan Rouleau, which was published by the now-defunct Avalon Studios (it was cancelled after two issues); and Ballast, with penciller Ilya, a one-shot published by Active Images.[3]

In 2004 he collaborated with artist Ariel Olivetti on a Space Ghost series, published by DC, which depicted the character with a serious space opera tone and, for the first time, revealed his origins.[4] Next up is a similar mini, this time starring Jonny Quest.

Kelly is a part of the Man of Action collective of creators (along with Joe Casey, Duncan Rouleau, Steven T. Seagle), who created the series Ben 10, currently airing on Cartoon Network.

Kelly completed a run on DC's Supergirl. He has been announced to write a story for Amazing Spider-Man sometime this year. He also has a couple of series starting with Image Comics, Four Eyes[5] and I Kill Giants,[6] as well as a graphic novel Douglas Fredericks and the House of They.[7]

Kelly wrote the new Fantastic Four: World's Greatest Heroes episode "My Neighbour Was A Skrull" featuring the Skrulls, as well as the series premiere of Chaotic, a new animated series based on the trading card game.

In 2007, he taught a course in graphic novel writing at the Tisch School of the Arts at New York University.



DC Comics

  • Enginehead #1-6 (2004) with artist Ted McKeever.[8]
  • Action Comics #760-813
  • Justice League Elite #1-12 (2004-2005) with artist Doug Mahnke.
    • Volume 1 (tpb collects #1-4, Action Comics #775, JLA #100 and JLA Secret Files 2004 (lead story), 2005, DC ISBN 1-4012-0481-3)
    • Volume 2 (tpb collects #5-12, October 2007, DC ISBN 1-4012-1556-4)
  • JLA #61-90,100; collected in 5 volumes (except #83 and #90) as:
    • JLA Vol. 10: Golden Perfect (tpb collects #61-65, February 2003 ISBN 1563899418).
    • JLA Vol. 11: Obsidian Age Book 1 (tpb collects #66-71, June 2003 ISBN 1563899914).
    • JLA Vol. 12: Obsidian Age Book 2 (tpb collects #72-76, October 2003 ISBN 1401200435).
    • JLA Vol. 13: Rules of Engagement (tpb collects #77-82, July 2004 ISBN 1401202152).
    • JLA Vol. 14: Trial By Fire (tpb collects #84-89, October 2004 ISBN 140120242X)
  • JLA/Cyberforce (2006) Prestige format with artist Doug Mahnke.
  • Space Ghost #1-6 (2004-05) with artist Ariel Olivetti.
  • Superboy #83-93
  • Supergirl #7-#19 (2006-07)
    • Candor (tpb collects #6-9 and others, March 2007 ISBN 1401212263)
    • Identity (tpb collects #10-19 and Infinite Holiday Special #1, November 2007 ISBN 1401214843)
  • Superman
    • Godfall (tpb collects Action Comics #812-813, Adventures of Superman #625-626 and Superman #202-203, ISBN 1401203760)
    • Infinite Crisis (tpb collects Superman #226, Action Comics #836, Adventure of Superman #649, ISBN 140120953x)
  • Superman/Batman Annual #1 (2006)
  • Green Lantern: Legacy - The Last Will & Testament of Hal Jordan (2004) Graphic novel by artists Brent Anderson and Bill Sienkiewicz.

Marvel Comics


  • Steampunk (with Chris Bachalo, Cliffhanger) collected as:
    • Manimatron (tpb collects Catechism and issues #1-6, March 2001 ISBN 978-1-56389-762-7)
    • Drama Obscura (tpb collects #7-12, February 2003 ISBN 978-1-4012-0047-3)

Image Comics

  • Bad Dog (with Diego Greco, comic, 40 pages, February 4, 2009)
  • Douglas Fredericks and the House of They (with Ben Roman, graphic novel, 80 pages, December 2008, ISBN 1582409943)
  • Elephantmen #7
    • Captain Stoneheart and the Truth Fairy (with Chris Bachalo, deluxe hardcover with bonus pencils artwork and audio CD production of story, July 2008, ISBN 1582408653)
  • Four Eyes (with Max Fiumara, 2008)
  • I Kill Giants (with J. M. Ken Niimura, 2008)
  • M. Rex #1-2 (with Duncan Rouleau)

Other Works

  • Ballast (2005) Prestige format with penciller Ilya.
  • All Star Comics 80 Page Giant #1 (1999) Featured story "P.O.V. - Fable" (10 Pages) with artist Duncan Rouleau.
  • Batman: Gotham Knights #17 (2001) Featured story "A Moment in the Light" (8 Pages) with artist Aaron Wiesenfeld.
  • JLA Secret Files 2004 (2004) Featured story "Same Coin" (22 pages) with artists Doug Mahnke and John Byrne.
  • Secret Origins of Super-Villains 80 Page Giant #1 (1999) Featured story "Dreams in Smoke" (10 pages) with artist Jackson Guice.
  • Solo #6 (2005) Featured story "Drive" (8 pages) with artist Jordi Bernet.
  • Superman Metropolis Secret Files #1 (2000) Featured story "Metropolica" (22 pages) with artist Pasqual Ferry.
  • Superman Our Worlds at War Secret Files & Origins #1 (2005) Featured story "They Call Me Zed" (10 pages) with artist Alberto Saichann.
  • DC Infinite Christmas Special (2006) Featured story "All I Want for Christmas…" (10 pages) with artist Alé Garza.

Other collections

Issues of Action Comics #775 and JLA #61 were both included in Superman: The Greatest Stories Ever Told collection, and JLA: The Greatest Stories Ever Told collection respectively.

Awards and recognition

In 2010, he was was awarded "Best Book Of The Year" (for The Amazing Spider-Man), and "Best Character Of The Year" (for Spider-Man), in the Autopsy Awards for 2009.[9]



External links


Preceded by
Karl Kesel
Daredevil writer
Succeeded by
Scott Lobdell
Preceded by
Greg Rucka
Supergirl writer
Succeeded by
Tony Bedard
Preceded by
Scott Lobdell
X-Men (vol. 2) writer
Succeeded by
Alan Davis


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