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Michael Fleisher
Born Michael L. Fleisher
November 1, 1942 (1942-11-01) (age 67)
Nationality American
Area(s) Writer
Notable works Jonah Hex

Michael L. "Mike" Fleisher (born November 1,[1] 1942) is an American comic book writer. He came to the attention of Joe Orlando whilst working on comic book encyclopedias and subsequently got solid work throughout the Seventies and Eighties. After a failed lawsuit, he worked for the British comics magazine 2000 AD for a number of years in the early Nineties before largely leaving the industry.

Fleisher is probably best known for writing DC's Jonah Hex character for more than a dozen years, first beginning in 1974 in Weird Western Tales (taking over from the character's creator, John Albano), then from 1977-1985 in his own, self-titled comic, with a series set in the character's original wild west setting and then in the Hex series (1985-1987) which transported the character into a post-World War III setting, making him the lead in a sci-fi feature, following the events of the Crisis on Infinite Earths limited series. His brief run for the same company on The Spectre with artist Jim Aparo in Adventure Comics is, however, probably his best known work having attracted attention for the many inventive and violent ways in which the Spectre administers retribution on wrong-doers.

Michael Fleisher is the half-brother of champion bridge player Martin Fleisher.



Harlan Ellison, in a 1979 Comics Journal interview,[2] described Fleisher and his comics work using emphatic terms such as "crazy", "certifiable", "twisted", "derange-o", "bugfuck", and "lunatic". Opinions varied as to whether Ellison's comments were entirely unflattering. For years Ellison and his friend Isaac Asimov had been comedically abusing each other in print and public in a similar style. Thick-skinned readers interpreted the comments as rhetorical backwards compliments and affectionately begrudging curses of Fleisher's singular talent for the macabre, similar to comments at a roast.[3][4]

But a "devastated and appalled" Fleisher believed Ellison had been recklessly and falsely implying Fleisher himself was insane.[3]

Fleisher sued Ellison, The Comics Journal, and interviewer Gary Groth, for libel, asking $2,000,000 in damages;[5] the case came to court in 1986, and resulted in a verdict for the defendants.[3][6][7]

Selected bibliography



  • Junker (with John Ridgway)
    • "Junker Part 1" (in 2000 AD #708-716, 1990-1991)
    • "Junker Part 2" (in 2000 AD #724-730, 1991)
  • Rogue Trooper (Friday):
    • "Circus Daze" (with John Hicklenton, in Rogue Trooper Annual 1991, 1990)
    • "Golden Fox Rebellion" (with Ron Smith, in 2000 AD #712-723, 1991)
    • "Saharan Ice Belt War" (with Simon Coleby, in 2000 AD #730-741, 1991)
    • "Apocalypse Dreadnought" (with Ron Smith, in 2000 AD #780-791, 1992)
    • "Scavenger of Souls Prologue" (with Simon Coleby, in 2000 AD #850-851, 1993)
    • "Scavenger of Souls" (with Chris Weston, in 2000 AD #873-880, 1994)


  • Wrath of the Spectre (200 pages, June 2005, ISBN 1-4012-0474-0)
  • Showcase Presents Jonah Hex Volume 1 (with Tony DeZuniga, Doug Wildey, José Luís Garcia-López and others, 526 pages, November 2005, ISBN 1-4012-0760-X)
  • Essential Spider-Woman Volume 1 (collects Marvel Spotlight #32, Marvel Two-In-One #29-33 and Spider-Woman #1-25, 576 pages, December 2005, ISBN 0-7851-1793-8)
  • Essential Spider-Woman Volume 2 (collects Spider-Woman #26-50, Marvel Team-Up #97, Uncanny X-Men #148, 608 pages, July 2007, ISBN 0-7851-2701-1)


  • The Encyclopedia of Comic Book Heroes Volume One: Batman (Collier Books, 1976, ISBN 0-02-080090-8) (DC Comics, 2007, ISBN 978-1-4012-1355-8)
  • The Encyclopedia of Comic Book Heroes Volume Two: Wonder Woman (Collier Books, 1976, ISBN 0-02-080080-0) (DC Comics, 2007, ISBN 978-1-4012-1365-7)
  • The Encyclopedia of Comic Book Heroes Volume Three: Superman (aka The Great Superman Book) (Warner Books, Inc., 1978, hardback ISBN 0-517-53677-3, paperback ISBN 0-446-87494-9) (DC Comics, 2007, ISBN 978-1-4012-XXXXX)
  • Chasing Hairy (St, Martin's Press, 1979, ISBN 0-312-13139-9)
  • Kuria Cattle Raiders: Violence and Vigilantism on the Tanzania/Kenya Frontier (University of Michigan Press, 2000, hardback ISBN 0-472-11152-3, paperback 0-472-08698-8)


  1. ^ Comics Buyers Guide #1636 (December 2007); Page 135
  2. ^ Groth, Gary. "Harlan Ellison interview," The Comics Journal (Winter 1980), pp. 68-107.
  3. ^ a b c The Insanity Offence: The Fleisher/Ellison/Comics Journal Libel Case, Ansible #48, February 1987
  4. ^ Cusick, Rick Bugfuck!, Gauntlet #9, volume II, 1995
  5. ^ "Newswatch: Notice From The Editors," The Comics Journal #59 (October 1980), p. 19.
  6. ^ "Newswatch: Comics Journal wins Fleisher libel suit," The Comics Journal #113 (December 1986), p. 11.
  7. ^ The Comics Journal #115 (April 1987), pp. 51-142: Special section on the Fleisher lawsuit, including the testimony of Ellison, Groth, and Jim Shooter; the disposition of Dean Mullaney, closing arguments; and jurors' recollections.


External links


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