Comic book artist Rich Buckler, who worked for both Marvel and DC Comics in the 1970s and 1980s, has died at the age of 68.

Born in Detroit, Michigan, Buckler came out of the first wave of comics fans.  He attended the Detroit Triple Fan Fair in 1965, which is generally considered the first comic book convention, and within a few years was involved in running the show.  By 1967 Buckler had published his first mainstream work, a 4-page historical story that appeared in Flash Gordon #10.  Just a few years later Buckler was producing back-up stories for DC’s Lois Lane comics, and got a big break from Marvel who commissioned him to draw the first three issues of Don McGregor’s Black Panther in 1973-1974.

In 1974 Marvel put Buckler on its flagship Fantastic Four comic, and it was during this period that Buckler, in conjunction with writer Doug Mench, created his most famous character the antihero cyborg Deathlok, who debuted in Astonishing Tales #25 (Aug. 1974).  Later in the 1970s Buckler moved to DC where he and Roy Thomas and Jerry Ordway created the World War II superhero team, the All-Star Squadron.  Thomas refashioned the already established backstories of the All-Star Squadron heroes, an example of “retconning” or “retroactive continuity changes”—in fact Thomas coined the term “retcon” in an All-Star Squadron letters column.

Buckler’s career was not without controversy.  In 1983 the Comics Journal singled him out as a “swipe artist,” accusing him of stealing poses and compositions.  Buckler sued the Comics Journal, but later dropped the suit.  Buckler worked on The Spectacular Spider-Man in 1985, but his decision to go with Archie Comics to work on a revival of the Red Circle Comics superheroes didn’t pan out as the line was short-lived, as were the comics that Buckler later edited for Solsun Publications.