Marvel Entertainment’s Executive Vice President and Creative Director, Joe Quesada has announced that he’s leaving the company after 22 years. The former Editor-in-Chief of the company’s comic division made the revelation in a post on social media, telling fans the time has come for him to move on. Adding that his love for the company, its characters, and his coworkers runs deep, the 60-year-old New York native said he has an exciting new chapter that’s about to begin. So the timing of his resignation feels right.
Quesada’s career began in the 1990s as a comic book artist for publishers like DC and Valiant. He later formed Event Comics, where he published his creator-owned character, Ash – a firefighter who gains superpowers from a time-displaced regeneration device. Then in 1998, along with frequent collaborator Jimmy Palmiotti, he was contracted to run the Marvel Knights series which showcased titles like Daredevil and Black Panther. Those stories gave the comic book giant its first major sales success following the company’s brush with bankruptcy in the mid-‘90s.
After two years as creative lead for Marvel Knights, Quesada was promoted to Editor-in-Chief after Bob Harras left in 2000. During his tenure, he was responsible for popular comic series like the adult-focused MAX line and Marvel’s Ultimate Universe line. He was also instrumental in revamping the Avengers franchise and major crossovers like House of M, Civil War, and Secret Invasion. Under his tutelage, a new generation of creators like Brian Michael Bendis (Ultimate Spider-Man, New Avengers), Ed Brubaker (Captain America, Daredevil), Matt Fraction (The Immortal Iron Fist, Uncanny X-Men), and J. Michael Straczynski (The Amazing Spider-Man) made their mark at the comic book company.
At the time, Joe Quesada was also known for his willingness to directly engage with readers through his regular web column, Cup O’ Joe, and at panels at comic book conventions. Ten years later, the writer and artist was promoted again. This time he took on the role of Chief Creative Officer, and later creative director of Marvel Entertainment. Despite having a less public-facing role, Quesada’s presence continued to be felt, with his X-Men artwork being featured in 2017’s Logan. He also lent his voice to Joe, a recurring character in the 2017 animated series Marvel’s Spider-Man.
Speaking about Quesada’s exit via IGN Marvel’s current Editor-in-Chief C.B. Cebulski said as an artist and a storyteller, Joe is second to none in what he’s accomplished in the comics industry. “From the day I started at Marvel years ago, he’s embodied the heart of Marvel and the work we do. And he’s taught me and so many others how to do the same,” he said. Cebulski added that following in his footsteps is no easy task since he set the creative bar so high. “But he’s always gone above and beyond to lend me his ear as a mentor and offer his sage advice when needed,” he said of his former colleague.
Marvel boss, Kevin Feige also released a statement regarding Quesada’s resignation, saying few know Marvel Comics like Joe did. “His countless contributions have helped create characters and stories that will never stop growing and evolving, he said via IGN. Feige added that he’s grateful for Quesada’s creative leadership and collaboration over the years and wished him nothing but the best for whatever comes next.