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Fox, Gardner F

Entry updated 23 December 2023. Tagged: Author, Comics.

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(1911-1986) US lawyer and author, who began writing in 1937 for DC Comics, including Superman. Arguably his most important work was for Comics: though it is claimed that he published at least 160 books under various names – not all are given here; some are Westerns with fantastic elements – this total pales beside his 4000 or more comic-book stories, also under a variety of names. He created The Flash as well as the first Superhero team, the Justice Society of America, in 1940; in the 1960s he was one of those responsible for reviving many of the superheroes from the 1940s, and also created new characters, like The Atom and Adam Strange. He began publishing sf/fantasy in non-graphic form with "The Weirds of the Woodcarver" for Weird Tales, September 1944. He used several pseudonyms at this time, including Jefferson Cooper, Jeffrey Gardner and James Kendricks, though not for sf. He was an active contributor to Planet Stories from 1945, and soon established a reputation for historical romances like The Borgia Blade (1953), not beginning to publish sf novels, either under his own name or under his later pseudonyms Rod Gray, Simon Majors and Bart Somers, until Jules Verne's Five Weeks in a Balloon (1962), which novelizes the film of the Jules Verne novel.

Fox's first sf novel proper is Escape Across the Cosmos (1964), in which a man fights a menace from another Dimension; his best is probably The Arsenal of Miracles (1964 dos), which places a Space Opera narrative within a Galactic Empire frame, with a romantically conceived hero who prefigures the interest in Heroic Fantasy which dominated Fox's later output. His sf series are the two fantasy-like Alan Morgan adventures – Warrior of Llarn (1964) and Thief of Llarn (1966) – and the Commander Craig space operas: Beyond the Black Enigma (1965) as by Bart Somers and Abandon Galaxy! (1967) as by Bart Somers. Fox was an efficient storyteller with no visible pretensions to significance or thematic originality. For his comics work he was inducted into the Will Eisner Award Hall of Fame in 1999. [JC/PN]

Gardner Francis Fox

born New York: 20 May 1911

died Jamesburg, New Jersey: 24 December 1986



Alan Morgan

Commander Craig

  • Beyond the Black Enigma (New York: Paperback Library, 1965) as by Bart Somers [Commander Craig: pb/]
  • Abandon Galaxy! (New York: Paperback Library, 1967) as by Bart Somers [Commander Craig: pb/]



Lady from L.U.S.T.


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