Robert Bernstein (comics)

Robert Bernstein (comics)

Robert Bernstein (died circa 1988, age 69), sometimes credited as "R. Berns", is an American comic book writer active from at least 1946. He is best known for his work on several titles in DC Comics' Superman line, and for establishing the origin and most of the mythos of the superhero Aquaman.

With various artists, Bernstein co-created the characters Congorilla, Aqualad / Tempest and Aquagirl for DC, and the Jaguar for Archie Comics' "Archie Adventure Series" superhero line.


Early career

Bernstein's first recorded credit is a five-page story in Spark Publications' "Golden Lad" #4, featuring the character Swift Arrow. Other early work includes text fillers for DC Comics and Fawcett Comics, as well as a 1947 Green Lantern story.

For Marvel Comics' 1950s iteration, Atlas Comics, Bernstein wrote several stories of the masked Western character Black Rider. Like most comics professionals of this time, Bernstein went largely uncredited, often receiving credit belatedly in modern-day reprints of his work.

During the 1950s, Bernstein confirmably scripted war stories for Atlas' "War Comics" and DC's "All-American Men of War", "G.I. Combat", "Our Army At War", "Our Fighting Forces", and "Star Spangled War Stories"; psychological drama in EC Comics' "Psychoanalysis" and "Shock Illustrated"; and superhero stories, working with celebrated artist Jack Kirby on at least one Green Arrow tale, in "World's Finest Comics" #99 (Feb. 1959).

uperman and Aquaman

Bernstein's first recorded Superman story, for DC Comics, is "The Oldest Man In Metropolis", in "Action Comics" #251 (April 1959). Later work include the DC titles "Superman's Girl Friend, Lois Lane", "Superman's Pal, Jimmy Olsen", "Superboy" (as well as the later Superboy feature in "Adventure Comics"), and features starring Green Arrow, Supergirl, and Aquaman, a 1940s Golden Age character he reintroduced with artist Ramona Fradon in "Adventure Comics" #260 (May 1959) and scripted through at least #282 (March 1961), introducing major characters along the way.

Later, during what historians and fans call the Silver Age of Comic Books, Bernstein scripted stories of the Archie Comics character the Fly, and, with plots by Marvel editor-in-chief Stan Lee, some of the earliest Iron Man and Thor stories, in, respectively "Tales of Suspense" and "Journey into Mystery". He also scripted some Human Torch stories, plotted by penciler Jack Kirby, in "Strange Tales".

Bernstein's last known original DC story is "King Superman versus Clark Kent, Metallo" in "Action Comics" #312 (May 1964). Bernstein adapted the famed radio character The Shadow for Archie Comics that same year, and his last known comics work are the two stories in "The Shadow" #3 (Nov. 1964).


* [ The Grand Comics Database]
*"The Comics Journal" #127 (Feb. 1989): "Bernstein Dead at 69"
* [ Creators of the Silver Age Superman Family]
* [ Classic Comic Books: "Superboy", by Michael E. Grost]
* [ Don Markstein's Toonopedia: Congorilla] and [ The Jaguar]
* [ The Unofficial Tempest Biography]
* [ Superman Artists: Silver Age Who File]
* [ Comics Should Be Good!: "Comic Book Urban Legends Revealed" #33 (Jan. 12, 2006)]
* [ POV Online: "Why did some artists working for Marvel in the sixties use phony names?" by Mark Evanier]

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