Iconic Superman Editor Mike Carlin Retires From DC After 37 Years
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Iconic Superman Editor Mike Carlin Retires From DC After 37 Years

Mike Carlin, the longtime DC editor who was notably the Superman Group’s editor during the “Triangle years” of Superman titles, the most famous of which included Superman’s death in 1992, retired from DC after 37 years with the company.

Carlin made the announcement on the Facebook page of his wife, Janice Woltag Cohen, where he explained his lifelong association with DC that began when he was a small child, through his rise through the ranks of the company after his Superman days, from Group Editor to VP Executive Editor to Senior Group Editor once again to his current role in DC Entertainment’s animation division.


RELATED: 30 Years Ago Superman Came Back From The Dead

When did Mike Carlin start in DC?

Carlin worked as an intern at DC when he was in high school in the 1970s. After graduating from college, Carlin began working for Marvel on their riff on mad magazine, Madwhere Carlin was a regular contributor (like Michael Carlin) in the very early 1980s…

He was later hired as associate editor to Mark Gruenwald. He rose through the ranks at Marvel, eventually becoming an editor himself, while also working as a freelance writer for Marvel. He was the author of Thing current series and Captain America, both under Mark Gruenwald. Then he and Gruenwald swapped roles in 1985, with Gruenwald taking over writing duties on Captain America, and Carlin becoming his editor on the series. Carlin was fired from Marvel in 1986.

Fortunately, a number of Marvel creators had recently moved to DC, including John Byrne, the star writer/artist who wrote and drew The Fantastic Four for Marvel, which Carlin had edited for two years before being fired (around the same time that Byrne’s run on the book ended). So with Byrne now in DC on Superman And action comicsCarlin was hired to work with Andy Helfer on the Superman books, with Carlin taking over from Helfer on the books in late 1987. One of Carlin’s first major editorial accomplishments on the Superman books was the transition from action comics into a weekly anthology in 1988.

Beginning in 1990, Carlin began hosting “Superman Summits” with the writers and artists of Superman titles. Starting in 1991, Carlin achieved one of the most notable editorial achievements when he launched the “triangle”, a cover label that showed the order in which you were supposed to read the three (soon to be four) Superman titles. In other words, all four Superman titles essentially existed as a weekly story, only with each creative team having their own separate supporting cast as well. It was very complicated, but Carlin and its creators succeeded for years.

In 1992, one of the Superman Summits floated the idea that became Superman’s Death, one of the most famous superhero comic book stories of all time.

Superman's torn cape as a flag in The Death of Superman

Carlin and the creators then brought Superman back in a hit storyline, Reign of the Supermen, which also introduced all-new hit characters like Superboy and Steel. Carlin won the Eisner Award for Best Editor in 1994.

In 1996, Carlin was named editor at DC. He helped coordinate with his former boss, Mark Gruenwald, in the historic DC vs. Marvel crossed event in 1996…

DC meets Marvel

Returning as the group’s editor in 2003, Carlin was the editor of the hit mini-series, Identity crisiswhich was a major turning point for the DC Universe in the 21st century.

RELATED: Who Were the Pallbearers at Superman’s Funeral 30 Years Ago?

What has Mike Carlin done for DC in recent years?

Carlin moved to Burbank when DC closed its New York offices. In 2011, he became Creative Director of Animation at DC Entertainment, a role he held for the past twelve years until his current retirement.

On the Facebook post, Carlin shared his original ID when he started working at DC.

Mike Carlin's DC ID Card

Carlin noted: “After nearly 37 years, I have literally seen hundreds of them come and go. Alas, dear reader, I did not know them all well…but what I did know was that each of he was here at DC for the same reason I was: we loved comic books…and, in particular, DC Comics (oh, and other jobs were probably out of our reach, anyway). employee didn’t like comics or DC Comics when he got here…they did as they were writing their parting note” and concluded by saying, “The short version: I was dreaming of ‘being in DC…my dream has come true…now it’s your turn!’

Source: Facebook

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