A Marvel of a Legacyby L-Johnson
Mark Gruenwald was a comic book writer and editor who was hired by Marvel Comics in 1978. In the late 1980s he became executive editor, with a particular focus as the keeper of continuity in the Marvel universe. His credits include Spider-Man, Captain America, Daredevil, Fantastic Four, X-Men, as well as writing for the Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe. Mark was famous for his near-perfect recollection of even the most trivial details when it came to the Marvel world. Fans tried to stump him with obscure questions in an annual contest, but it was discontinued when it became apparent that he would never lose.
Mark was a lover of comics, and put himself into his work, literally. After he passed away from a heart attack in 1996, his ashes were, at his request, mixed with the ink and used to print Squadron Supreme, a reprint of a 1985 comic he wrote. Although his death was unexpected, his desire that his ashes be made part of a comic was known by many of his friends and family. They decided to honor his legacy by including his ashes in the ink for the first-run trade paperback print of his Squadron Supreme series. Mark’s widow, Catherine, wrote in the book’s forward, “He has truly become one with the story.”