American writer (1911-1986). Born in Brooklyn
, he started his professional career as a lawyer
. After getting his degree at St. John's College
and being admitted to the New York bar, he spent two years as an attorney. But the Great Depression wasn't a particularly great time to be a lawyer, so he took on some side work writing scripts for Detective Comics
After writing stories about Steve Mallone, District Attorney and Zatara the Magician, Fox worked with fellow writer Bill Finger on Batman, introducing two of the Dark Knight's first supervillains (Doctor Death and the Monk) and creating the Batplane and the Batarang. Fox also co-created the Golden Age versions of the Sandman, Starman, and Dr. Fate -- he even created Fate's costume, a task normally left to the artist.
After a short period at Columbia, where he created Skyman and the Face, Fox returned to DC, where he created the Flash and Hawkman, and was named head writer -- this allowed him to get a byline for the first time ever. DC decided to shoehorn eight popular characters into a single comic in All Star Comics #3 and since Fox had created half of the characters they planned to use (Flash, Hawkman, Sandman, and Dr. Fate), he was chosen as the writer -- he ended up creating the Justice Society of America, the first superteam in comics.
Fox picked up a lot of work during World War II, when he was one of the few comics writers who wasn't drafted. He worked on more books for DC, plus Timely and EC -- in fact, he was briefly EC's head writer. As superheroes became less popular after WWII, he began working on Westerns, funny animals, and science fiction comics -- sci-fi was actually one of his specialties. He created Adam Strange, a human archaeologist who regularly donned a jet-pack, a ray gun, and a retro-pulp finned helmet to fight alien monsters on the planet Rann.
As DC began reviving its superhero franchises, Fox put a strong science fiction stamp on some of the new heroes, reinventing Hawkman as a policeman from the planet Thanagar and the Atom as a scientist using a fragment of a white dwarf star to shrink to subatomic sizes. He also co-created the Silver Age version of the Flash, Barry Allen, re-invented the Justice Society as the Justice League of America, and wrote the ground-breaking "Flash of Two Worlds" story that introduced DC's multiverse. He also started writing Batman again, reviving the Riddler and the Scarecrow.
Fox was pushed out at DC in the late 1960s after he and some other long-time DC creators, including Bill Finger, Otto Binder, and Arnold Drake, asked the company for health insurance and other benefits. DC had a nasty habit of treating their employees like dirt, so Fox and the other old-timers got the boot. Not at all fair for a guy who'd written over 4,000 comic book stories and created some of your most popular characters, is it?
At this point, Fox turned to non-comics prose, which he'd worked at off-and-on since the '40s. Among his novels were a number of series, including the Llarn, Kothar, and Kyrick series, along with novels like "One Sword for Love," "Escape Across the Cosmos," "The Arsenal of Miracles," "The Hunter Out of Time," and "Conehead." In addition to science fiction and fantasy, he also wrote Westerns, horror, crime, espionage, historicals, and even romances.
There are three different DC characters named after Fox -- Guy Gardner, one of the Green Lanterns; Gardner Grayle, the Atomic Knight; and Nelson Gardner, Captain Metropolis from "Watchmen."
The History of Superhero Comic Books
The Internet Speculative Fiction Database
The Internet Movie Database
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