Joe Kelly (writer)

Joseph Kelly (born 1971) is an American comic book writer, penciler and editor who has written such titles as Deadpool, Uncanny X-Men, Action Comics, and JLA. As part of the comics creator group Man of Action Studios, Kelly is one of the creators of the animated series Ben 10.

Joe Kelly
Joe Kelly by Gage Skidmore.jpg
Kelly at the 2012 Wondercon
BornJoseph Kelly
1971 (age 48–49)
Notable works
Uncanny X-Men
Action Comics
I Kill Giants


Kelly attended Freeport High School and went on to receive his MFA at New York University's Tisch School of the Arts, where he still teaches Writing for Animation/Writing for Comics. At NYU, he was recruited into Marvel Comics' editor James Felder's Stan-hattan Project, a program that trained potential comic book writers at the university. After six months of working in the class, Felder offered Kelly a job scripting Fantastic Four 2099 over a Karl Kesel plot.[1] Kelly took the assignment, but his 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 penciller 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.[2][3]

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. (Early in his career, Kelly had described working with Sienkiewicz as his dream collaboration.[1]) An interview with Kelly also appeared in the first volume of Writers on Comic Scriptwriting from Titan Books.

Kelly and Marvel Chief Creative Officer Joe Quesada prepare a March 31, 2012 sneak preview of Ultimate Spider-Man for fans at Midtown Comics in Manhattan, the day before the series' broadcast TV debut.

Kelly has produced 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.[4]

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.[5] Next up is a similar mini-series, 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. Around the same time Ben 10 began to air, he was also hired as a story editor on TMNT: Fast Forward. With Man of Action Studios, he is also a Supervising Producer on Disney/Marvel's Disney XD series, Ultimate Spider-Man.

Kelly has written DC's Supergirl and Marvel's Amazing Spider-Man. He has published creator-owned work through Image Comics, including Four Eyes[6] and I Kill Giants,[7] as well as a graphic novel Douglas Fredericks and the House of They.[8]

Kelly wrote the 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. He also co-wrote Darksiders, a video game for THQ.

In 2007, he shot a short film, Brother's Day, which was a selection in the Brooklyn International Film Festival.


Marvel ComicsEdit

  • 2099:
  • Daredevil:
    • "The Politics of Infamy" (with Stephen JB Jones, in Over the Edge #10, 1996)
    • "Aftermath" (with Pasqual Ferry, in #358, 1996)
    • "A Question of Trust" (with Cary Nord, in #365, 1997)
    • "A Time to Say Farewell" (with Gene Colan, in #-1, 1997)
    • "Prison without Walls" (with Gene Colan, in #366, 1997)
    • "Cruel & Unusual Punishments" (with Gene Colan, in #367, 1997)
    • "Widow's Kiss" (with Gene Colan and Ariel Olivetti, in #368–370, 1997)
    • "Fallout" (with Ariel Olivetti, in #371, 1998)
    • "Devil and the Demon" (with Ariel Olivetti, in #372, 1998)
    • "Weight of the World" (with Ben Raab and Richie Acosta, in #373, 1998)
    • "So Little Time to Save the World" (with Jonathan Barron and Ariel Olivetti, in #374, 1998)
    • "With a Little Help from My Friends" (with Chris Claremont and various artists, in #375, 1998)
  • Marvel Fanfare #2–3: "Wendigo Instinct" (with Pop Mhan, anthology, 1996)
  • What If...?:
  • X-Men:
    • Wolverine Annual '96: "The Golden Temple" (with Tommy Lee Edwards, 1996)
    • Juggernaut: "A Night in Spite" (with Duncan Rouleau, one-shot, 1997)
    • Deadpool (plot assist by James Felder on #20 and 26):
      • Classic: Volume 1 (tpb, 264 pages, 2008, ISBN 0-7851-3124-8) includes:
      • Classic: Volume 2 (tpb, 256 pages, 2009, ISBN 0-7851-3731-9) collects:
        • "That Wacky Doctor Game" (with Ed McGuinness, in v1 #2–5, 1997)
        • "Paradigm Lost" (with Aaron Lopresti, in v1 #-1, 1997)
        • "Typhoid" (with Ed McGuinness, in v1 #6–8, 1997)
        • Daredevil/Deadpool Annual '97 (with Bernard Chang, 1997)
      • Classic: Volume 3 (tpb, 280 pages, 2009, ISBN 0-7851-4244-4) collects:
        • "Heroes Reburned" (with Ed McGuinness, in v1 #9, 1997)
        • "Road-Trip Roulette" (with Shannon Denton, in v1 #10, 1997)
        • "With Great Power Comes Great Coincidence" (with Pete Woods, in v1 #11, 1997)
        • "The Drowning Man" (with Pete Woods, in v1 #12–13, 1998)
        • "Landau, Luckman and Lake" (with Walter McDaniel, in v1 #14–17, 1998)
      • Classic: Volume 4 (tpb, 296 pages, 2011, ISBN 0-7851-5302-0) collects:
        • Deadpool/Death Annual '98 (with Steve Harris, 1998)
        • "Payback" (with Walter McDaniel, in v1 #18–19, 1998)
        • "Justice, Order, & Luck" (with Pete Woods, in v1 #20, 1998)
        • "You Only Die Twice" (with Yancey Labat, in v1 #0, 1998)
        • "Dead Reckoning" (with Walter McDaniel, in v1 #21–25, 1998–1999)
      • Classic: Volume 5 (tpb, 272 pages, 2011, ISBN 0-7851-5519-8) collects:
        • Baby's First Deadpool Book (with various artists, one-shot, 1998)
        • "Mouthful of Malice, Head Full of Cheese" (with Pete Woods, in v1 #26, 1999)
        • "Take My Wife... Please!" (with Walter McDaniel and Pete Woods, in v1 #27–29, 1999)
        • "Truth and Lies" (with Pete Woods and David Brewer, in v1 #30–33, 1999)
      • Dead Head Redemption (tpb, 240 pages, 2011, ISBN 0-7851-5649-6) collects:
        • "Pinky Swear" (with Rob Liefeld, in v2 #900, anthology, 2009)
      • The Wedding (tpb, 168 pages, 2014, ISBN 0-7851-8933-5) collects:
        • "The Niagara Bride" (with Paco Medina, in v3 #27, co-feature, 2014)
      • All New Deadpool #1-4, (2016)
      • Deadpool's Greatest Hits (2016)
    • X-Men v2:
      • Zero Tolerance (tpb, 320 pages, 2000, ISBN 0-7851-0738-X) includes:
      • "A House in Order/Life Lessons" (with Carlos Pacheco, in #71–72, 1998)
      • "The Elements within Us" (with Joe Casey and Jeff Johnson, in #73, 1998)
      • "Rituals" (with Carlos Pacheco, in #74, 1998)
      • "Anatomy of a Monster" (with Germán García, in #75, 1998)
      • "A Boykie and His Dinges" (with Mat Broome, in #76, 1998)
      • "Stormfront; Little Morlock Lost" (with Germán García, in #77–79, 1998)
      • "Power Play" (with Steven T. Seagle and Chris Bachalo, in Uncanny #359, 1998)
      • "Children of the Atom, Part 2" (with Brandon Peterson, in #80, 1998)
      • "Jack of Hearts, Queen of Death!" (with Adam Kubert, in #81, 1998)
      • The Hunt for Professor X (tpb, 368 pages, 2015, ISBN 0-7851-9720-6) includes:
        • "Parts 2, 4 and 6" (with Adam Kubert, in #82–84, 1998–1999)
      • Magneto: Rogue Nation (tpb, 192 pages, 2002, ISBN 0-7851-0834-3) includes:
        • "A Tale of Two Mutants" (with Alan Davis, in #85, 1999)
    • Spider-Man/Deadpool #1-5, 8-10, 13-14 and 17-18 (with Ed McGuinness, 2015-2016)
  • Spider-Man:
  • Heroes Reborn: The Return (tpb, 288 pages, 2009, ISBN 0-7851-3748-3) includes:

DC ComicsEdit

Image ComicsEdit



External linksEdit

Preceded by
Mark Waid
Deadpool writer
Succeeded by
Christopher Priest
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