Notable events of 1985 in comics. See also List of years in comics.
- 1 Events and publications
- 2 Deaths
- 3 Exhibitions and shows
- 4 Conventions
- 5 Awards
- 6 First issues by title
- 7 Initial appearances by character name
- 8 References
Events and publications
- More independent publishers enter the marketplace: Aircel Comics, Arrow Comics, Blackthorne Publishing, Dragon Lady Press, NOW Comics, Sirius Comics, Strawberry Jam Comics, and Wonder Comics all publish their first titles. In addition, David Anthony Kraft's Comics Interview publishes its first comic book titles (it had been publishing the Comics Interview magazine since 1983).
- After 41 years as a publisher, Charlton Comics folds.
- Marvel Comics publishes Heroes for Hope: Starring the X-Men, an all-star benefit book for African famine relief and recovery.
- February: Bill Tidy's The Fosdyke Saga comes to an end after having been in syndication for 14 years.
- Tales of the Teen Titans #50: Donna Troy marries Terry Long. (DC Comics)
- With issue #150, Marvel Comics cancels the Spider-Man title Marvel Team-Up (Web of Spider-Man will debut two months later).
- March 17: First publication of Greg Evans' Luann.
- Peter Parker, the Spectacular Spider-Man #100: "Breakin'!" written and drawn by Al Milgrom.
- "The Surtur Saga" comes to a conclusion in Thor #353 by Walt Simonson.
- In London an exhibition of Tomi Ungerer's artwork and cartoons is wrecked with spray-paint by feminist activists led by Valerie Wise who protest against his S&M erotic cartoons.
- Crisis on Infinite Earths 12-issue "maxi-series" debuts, produced by DC Comics to simplify their then-50-year-old continuity. Written by Marv Wolfman, and illustrated by George Pérez (pencils/layouts), with Mike DeCarlo, Dick Giordano, and Jerry Ordway (who shared inking/embellishing chores). The series eliminates the concept of the Multiverse in the fictional DC Universe, and depicts the deaths of such long-standing superheroes as Supergirl and the Barry Allen incarnation of the Flash.
- Marvel Comics publishes New Mutants Special Edition #1. Written by Chris Claremont, it is the first X-Men related art by fan-favorite Art Adams with inks by Terry Austin. It continues in Uncanny X-Men Annual #9 again by Claremont and Adams with inks by Al Gordon, Mike Mignola, and Adams, himself.
- July 29: Jimmy Johnson's Arlo and Janis makes its debut.
- Secret Wars II debuts continuing the adventures of the Beyonder from the original Secret Wars series.
- In Middelkerke, Belgium, the first edition of the comics festival Stripfestival Middelkerke is organized, though it's still named Milky Way Stripfestival at this point.
- DC publishes Superman Annual #11: "For the Man Who Has Everything," by the future Watchmen team of Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons.
- September 15: The first episode of Gleever's comic strip Oktoknopie is published in the Dutch children's magazine Taptoe.
- The "Who Is Sensor Girl?" storyline, written by Paul Levitz, begins in Legion of Super-Heroes #14 (and continues through issue #27).
- Mighty Crusaders vol. 2, with issue #13, is cancelled by Archie Adventure Series.
- Crisis on Infinite Earths #7: The death of Supergirl.
- With issue #350, DC Comics publishes the final issue of The Flash (volume 1).
- "The Death of Jean DeWolff" story arc, written by Peter David, begins in Peter Parker, the Spectacular Spider-Man #107 (eventually running through issue #110).
- Music for Mechanics, the first Love and Rockets collection, is published by Fantagraphics.
- The Vision and the Scarlet Witch vol. 2 #1, the first issue of a 12–issue limited series.
- November 18: Bill Watterson's Calvin and Hobbes makes its debut.
- Crisis on Infinite Earths #8: The death of Barry Allen / The Flash. (DC Comics)
- With issue #50, Arak, Son of Thunder (1981 series) is canceled by DC Comics.
- Tales of the Teen Titans, with issue #59, becomes a reprint book. (DC Comics)
- Iron Man #200: "Resolutions!" by Denny O'Neil, Mark D. Bright, and Akin & Garvey. Tony Stark resumes the identity of Iron Man and defeats Iron Monger. (Marvel Comics)
- In Australia the annual comics awards, the Stanley Awards, are established.
- The Warlord #100: double-sized issue, "Skartaris Unchained," by Michael Fleisher and Adam Kubert. (DC Comics)
- Uncanny X-Men #200: "The Trial of Magneto," by Chris Claremont, John Romita, Jr., and Dan Green. (Marvel Comics)
- Thundercats #1: "Survival Run". (Star Comics)
- December 31: The Dreamer, by Will Eisner, is published by Kitchen Sink.
Specific date unknown
- The Dutch comics magazine Eppo changes its name into Eppo Wordt Vervolgd, to tie in with the popularity of the TV show Wordt Vervolgd (1983-1997), which deals with comics and cartoons. Under this new name it continues until 1988.
- The final issue of the Flemish comics magazine/fanzine Stripgids is published. It will be relaunched in October 2006.
- January 4: Otto Milo, Dutch film critic, comics artist and cartoonist, dies at age 62.
- January 10: José Luis Salinas, Argentine comics artist (Hernán el corsario, The Cisco Kid), passes away at age 76.
- February 5: Cees Bantzinger, Dutch comics artist (Knobbel), drowns himself in a river out of shame over his war past. He is 70 years old.
- March 24: Dick Kinney, American animator, screenwriter and comics writer (Donald Duck, Scrooge McDuck), dies at age 68.
- March 27: Don Rico, American novelist and comics writer (Jann of the Jungle, Leopard Girl, Lorna the Jungle Girl), dies at age 72.
- April 11: Bill Zaboly, American comics artist (Otto Honk, worked on Popeye, Wash Tubbs, Our Boarding House), dies at age 74.
- April 15: Andries Brandt, Dutch comics artist and writer (Holle Pinkel, Horre, Harm en Hella, Aafje Anders, Tina en Debbie, Roel Dijkstra), passes away at age 86.
- May 5: Erkki Tanttu, Finnish comics artist (Rymy-Eetu), dies at age 77.
- May 11: Chester Gould, American comics artist (Dick Tracy), dies at age 84.
- May 22: Wolfgang Reitherman, German-American animator and film director (Walt Disney Company), dies at age 75.
- June 21: Charles Wojtkoski (usually credited as "Charles Nicholas"), American comics artist (Blue Beetle), dies at age 63.
- July: Ernie Hart, American comics writer and artist (Super Rabbit), dies at age 64.
- July 8: Frank Hampson, British comics artist (Dan Dare), dies at age 66.
- July 13: Einar Norelius, Swedish illustrator and comics artist (Pelle Svanslös, Jumbo I Djungeln), passes away at age 85.
- August 6: Ken Ernst, American comics artist (continued Don Winslow, Mary Worth), dies at age 67.
- August 25: Pino Zac, Italian illustrator, cartoonist, comics artist and animator (Gatto Filippo), co-publisher of the magazine Il Male, dies at age 55. 
- October 15: Sandro Angiolini, Italian comics artist (Isabella, Vartan), dies at age 65.
- October 18: Jack Kent, American comics artist (King Aroo), dies from leukemia at age 65.
- October 23: Adolphe Barreaux, American comics artist (Sally the Sleuth, The Enchanted Stone of Time), passes away at age 86.
- October 26: Cecil Langley Doughty, British illustrator and comics artist (Dick Turpin, continued Jack O'Lantern), dies at age 71. 
- October 30: Manon Iessel, French illustrator and comics artist (Capucine), dies at age 76.
- November 23: Roger Brand, American comics artist (Creepy, Eerie, Jungle Jim and Web of Horror), dies of liver failure at age 42.
- November 24: C. Buddingh', Dutch poet and comics writer (Spekkie en Blekkie, Jesje en Josje), dies at age 67.
- December 6: Walter B. Gibson, American magician, novelist and comics writer (The Shadow), dies at age 88.
- December 19: Jean Ache/Jean Huet, French animator and comics artist (Achille, Archibald, Arabelle, La Dernière Sirène, Nic et Mino, Tonton Molécule, Pat'Apouf, Amanda La Pin-Up Fantôme), passes away at age 62.
- December 20: Al Peclers, aka Pec, aka J.B. Stone, Belgian comics artist and caricaturist (Tchantchès, Les Aventures de Jolliker, L'Or du Foumouala, Roger la Bagarre, Jehan Niguedouille, Texas Jim, Timothée), passes away at an unknown age.
- December 25: Jackie Ormes, American comics artist (Torchy Brown), dies at age 74.
Specific date unknown
- Mies Deinum, Dutch illustrator and comics artist (Sambo de Olifant, Dieren-jamboree and Myra het Elfje), passes away at age 77 or 78.
- Sam Fair, British comics artist (Meddlesome Matty, Addie and Hermy, Musso the Wop), passes away at age 76.
- Xiaoying Yue, Chinese comics artist (The Colorful Road), dies at age 63 or 64.
Exhibitions and shows
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- Jan. 25-27: Angoulême International Comics Festival (Angoulême, France) — 12th annual festival
- April: 1st Annual Victoria International Cartoon Festival (Victoria, British Columbia, Canada)
- May 29–June 2: Salon International de la Bande Dessinee de Montreal (Montreal, Quebec, Canada)
- June: Heroes Convention (Charlotte, North Carolina)
- June 13–16: BD '85 (Sierre, Switzerland)
- June 22–23: Colorado Comic Art Convention (Auraria Campus Student Center, Denver, Colorado) — fifth and final iteration of the show; guests include Michael Kaluta, Elaine Lee, Stan Phillips, and Drew Litton
- July 5–7: Chicago Comicon (Ramade O'Hare, Rosemont, Illinois) — guest of honor: Sergio Aragonés
- July 5–7: Dallas Fantasy Fair (Dallas, Texas) — guests include Gil Kane, Wendy Pini, Kenneth Smith, and Gary Groth
- August 1–4: San Diego Comic Con (Convention and Performing Arts Center and Hotel, San Diego, California) — 6,000 attendees; official guests: Ben Bova, Jack Cummings, Jack Davis, Gil Kane, Harvey Kurtzman, Alan Moore (in his only U.S. convention appearance), Dan O'Bannon, Jerry Ordway, Alex Schomburg, Julius Schwartz, Jerry Siegel, Louise Simonson, Walt Simonson
- August 2–4: Atlanta Fantasy Fair (Omni Hotel & Georgia World Congress Center, Atlanta, Georgia) — official guests include Newt Gingrich, Frederick Pohl, Theodore Sturgeon, Gerald W. Page, Ted White, Forrest J Ackerman
- September 21–22: King Kon Comic & Fantasy Convention (Eastern Michigan University Student Union, Ypsilanti, MI):
- September 21–22: United Kingdom Comic Art Convention (University of London Union, London, England) — first annual edition; £7.50 admission charge for both days; guests include Steve Bissette, Bill Sienkiewicz, Dave Sim, Marv Wolfman, Brian Bolland, John Bolton, Eddie Campbell, Alan Davis, Hunt Emerson, Brett Ewins, Dave Gibbons, Ian Gibson, Denis Gifford, Alan Grant, Garry Leach, David Lloyd, Mike McMahon, Alan Moore, Steve Moore, Paul Neary, Kevin O'Neill, Ron Smith, Dez Skinn, Bryan Talbot, and John Wagner
- November: Mid-Ohio Con (Richland County Fairgrounds, Mansfield, Ohio) — guests include John Byrne
- November 30–December 1: Creation Comic Book Convention (Roosevelt Hotel, New York City) — 15th annual show; guests include Jim Shooter, Chris Claremont, Robin Curtis, Frank Ashmore, and Terrance Dicks
Presented in 1986 for comics published in 1985:
- Favourite Comic Book: Swamp Thing, written by Alan Moore (DC Comics)
- Favourite Graphic Novel: American Flagg! Hard Times, by Howard Chaykin (First Comics)
- Favourite Single or Continued Story: Crisis on Infinite Earths #1-9
- Favourite New Comic Title: Miracleman, written by Alan Moore (Eternity Comics)
- Favourite Comic Cover: Swamp Thing #34, by John Totleben (DC)
- Favourite Character: Batman
- Favourite Supporting Character: John Constantine, from Swamp Thing
- Character Most Worthy of Own Title: Wolverine
- Favourite Group or Team: The X-Men (Marvel Comics)
- Favourite Group Book: The New Teen Titans, by Marv Wolfman (DC)
- Favourite Writer: Alan Moore, Swamp Thing (DC)
- Favourite Artist: George Pérez
- Favourite Inker: Terry Austin
- Favourite Specialist Comics Publication: Amazing Heroes
- Favourite Artist: Alan Davis
- Favourite Writer: Alan Moore
- Favourite Comic: 2000 AD (Fleetway)
- Favourite Comic Album: Nemesis Book III (Fleetway)
- Favourite Comic Character: Halo Jones
- Favourite Villain: Torquemada, from Nemesis the Warlock
- Favourite Supporting Character: Meggan (Captain Britain)
- Character Most Worthy of Own Title: Halo Jones
- Favourite Single or Continued Story: Halo Jones Book Two (2000 AD #406-415)
- Favourite New Comic: Captain Britain (Marvel UK)
- Favourite Comic Cover: Captain Britain #6, by Alan Davis
- Favourite Specialist Comics Publication: Speakeasy
- Best Single Issue: Swamp Thing Annual #2, by Alan Moore, Steve Bissette, and John Totleben (DC Comics)
- Best Continuing Series: Swamp Thing, by Alan Moore, Steve Bissette and John Totleben (DC)
- Best Black & White Series: Cerebus by Dave Sim (Aardvark-Vanaheim)
- Best Finite Series: Crisis on Infinite Earths, by Marv Wolfman and George Pérez (DC)
- Best New Series: Zot!, by Scott McCloud (Eclipse Comics)
- Best Graphic Album: Beowulf (First Comics)
- Best Artist: Dave Stevens, for The Rocketeer (Comico)
- Best Writer: Alan Moore, for Swamp Thing (DC)
- Best Art Team: Steve Bissette and John Totleben, for Swamp Thing (DC)
- Best Cover: Swamp Thing #34, by Steve Bissette and John Totleben (DC)
- Best Comics Publication: Comics Buyer's Guide (Krause Publications)
First issues by title
America vs. the Justice Society (4 issues)
Crisis on Infinite Earths (12-issues)
The Shadow War of Hawkman (4 issues)
- Release: December. Writer: Peter Sanderson.
The Bozz Chronicles (6 issues)
Eternals (12 issues)
Longshot (6 issues)
Moon Knight: Fist of Khonshu (6 issues)
- Release: June.
Moonshadow (12 issues)
Nightcrawler (4 issues)
- Release: November. Writer/Artist: Dave Cockrum.
The One (6 issues)
Secret Wars II (9 issues)
Squadron Supreme (12 issues)
- Release: June by Fishwrap Productions. Writer/Artist: Steven Moncuse.
Initial appearances by character name
- Fel Andar, in The Shadow War of Hawkman #1
- Anti-Monitor, in Crisis on Infinite Earths #02 (May)
- Bekka, in DC Graphic Novel #04: The Hunger Dogs
- Black Mask, in Batman #386 (August)
- Black Mass, in Justice League of America #234 (January)
- Cadre, in Justice League of America #235
- John Constantine, in Swamp Thing #37 (June)
- Fastball, in Justice League of America #234 (January)
- Kimiyo Hoshi, in Crisis on Infinite Earths #04 (July)
- Jinx, in Tales of the Teen Titans #56 (August)
- Kid Devil, in Blue Devil #14 (July)
- Kole, in The New Teen Titans #09 (June)
- Lady Quark, in Crisis on Infinite Earths #04 (July)
- Alexander Luthor, Jr., in Crisis on Infinite Earths #01 (April)
- Doctor Mid-Nite (Beth Chapel), in Infinity, Inc. #19
- Mister Bones, in Infinity, Inc. #16
- Onyx, in Detective Comics #546 (January)
- Pariah, in Crisis on Infinite Earths #1
- Shadow Thief (Hammer), in Vigilante #14
- Superboy-Prime, in DC Comics Presents #87 (November)
- Rick Tyler, in Infinity, Inc. #20 (November)
- Looker in Batman and the Outsiders #25 (September)
- Mogo in Green Lantern #188 (May)
- Marcie Cooper in Infinity Inc. #14 (May)
- Nightfall in Justice League of America #234 (January)
- Syonide in Batman and the Outsiders #19 (March)
- Jonni Thunder in Jonni Thunder #01 (February)
- Yolanda Montez in Infinity Inc. #12 (March)
- Elizabeth Chapel in Infinity Inc. #19 (October)
- Shrike in Justice League of America #235 (February)
- Bolphunga in Green Lantern #188 (May)
- David Winston in Vigilante #23 (November)
- Chroma in Infinity Inc. #14 (May)
- Mekanique in Infinity Inc. #19 (October)
- Weasel in Firestorm #38 (August)
- Tellus in Legion of Super-Heroes #14 (September)
- Lord Volt in Crisis on Infinite Earths #04 (July)
- Princess Fern in Crisis on Infinite Earths #04 (July)
- Brian Banner, in The Incredible Hulk #312
- Bushmaster II, in Captain America #310 (October )
- Guido Carosella (Strong Guy), in New Mutants #29 (July)
- Diamondback (Rachel Leighton), in Captain America #310 (October)
- Dennis Dunphy (Demolition Man), in The Thing #28 (October)
- Erg, in Power Pack #12 (July)
- Fenris (Andrea & Andreas Von Strucker), in Uncanny X-Men #194 (June)
- Firestar, in Uncanny X-Men #193 (May)
- Flag-Smasher, in Captain America #312 (December)
- Freedom Force, in Uncanny X-Men #199 (November )
- Kofi Whitemane, in Power Pack #16 (November )
- Legion, in New Mutants #25
- Longshot, in Longshot #1 (September )
- Mojo, in Longshot #3 (November )
- Nimrod, in Uncanny X-Men #191 (March)
- Normie Osborn, in The Amazing Spider-Man #263 (April )
- Rattler, in Captain America #310 (October )
- Scourge of the Underworld, in Iron Man #194 (May)
- Silver Sable, in The Amazing Spider-Man #265 (June)
- Sin-Eater, in Peter Parker, The Spectacular Spider-Man #107 (October )
- Skrullian Skymaster, in Squadron Supreme #1 (August)
- Tabitha Smith, in Secret Wars II #5 (November )
- Alistair Smythe, in The Amazing Spider-Man Annual #19
- Sharon Ventura, in The Thing #27 (September )
- Casey Jones, in Raphael #1 (Mirage Studios)
- Druuna, in Morbus gravis (Dargaud)
- Krillin, in Dragon Ball chapter #25 (Shueisha)
- Emanuel Santana, in Scout #1 (Eclipse Comics)
- She Cat, in Femforce #1 (AC Comics)
- Manning, Matthew K. (2010). "1980s". In Dolan, Hannah (ed.). DC Comics Year By Year A Visual Chronicle. Dorling Kindersley. p. 213. ISBN 978-0-7566-6742-9.
Comics didn't get any bigger than this. Crisis on Infinite Earths was a landmark limited series that redefined a universe. It was a twelve-issue maxiseries starring nearly every character in DC Comics fifty-year history and written and drawn by two of the industry's biggest name creative talents - writer Marv Wolfman and artist George Pérez.
- T.H. "Comix Artist Richard Brand Dead," The Comics Journal #107 (Apr. 1986).
- Bernardi, Luigi. "Angoulême : Grandezza e Miserie delle BeDe," Orient Express #30 (Mar. 1985), pp. 110-112.
- "Peer Pressure," The Comics Journal #105 (Feb. 1986), pp. 69–74.
- Detroit Free Press (September 20, 1985), p. 34.
- "Weekender Guide," New York Times (Nov. 29, 1985).
- Moore profile, Who's Who of American Comic Books, 1928–1999.
- Manning "1980s" in Dolan, p. 215: "[The Outsiders] saw the popular team given the enhanced quality of a Baxter-format series...written by Mike W. Barr and drawn by Jim Aparo."
- Manning "1980s" in Dolan, p. 212: "In this limited series by writer Roy Thomas and penciler Rafael Kayanan, the JSA was taken to trial following a modern-day witchhunt."