Today we take a look at one well known writer and artist that made a huge impact on Spider-Man just after the millennium started in 2000. Writer Paul Jenkins and artist Mark Buckingham. Before this British Spider-Man invasion, Paul Jenkins’ first comic book writing adventures started with Mirage Studies in 1988 where he worked as an editor after moving from the UK with an English degree. He was one of the main editors with the original Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles even working out licensing deals with the green team. After working on Hellblazer for DC in the early 90s, Paul’s first Marvel Comics work was with the relaunched Werewolf by Night series in 1998 and then quickly joining up with artist, Jae Lee on Marvel Knights: Inhumans maxi series the same year that won him an Eisner Award. He started writing regular Marvel books in 2000 ranging from The Hulk, which he became regular writer of until 2001, The Sentry and of course the classic Spider-Man: Webspinners tale of the Chameleon.

The Chameleon story caught instant fan attention and Paul became the regular writer of Peter Parker: Spider-Man with issue #20.
Peter Parker: Spider-Man #20 also marked artist, Mark Buckingham as regular artist for the title. Buckingham first showed up on the comic scene in 1987 with the comic magazine, The Truth where he first worked with Sandman creator, Neil Gaiman before moving over as inker for DC Comic’s Hellblazer. His most well known work is for Marvelman with Alan Moore but his first Marvel Comics work was with Generation X and Ghost Rider 2099 in the early 90s. His first Spider-Man work can be traced to the 1998 Marvel Comics Valentine Special and doing covers for Amazing Spider-Man during the Identity Crisis storyline where he was original creator of the Ricochet costume. However, it wasn’t until Peter Parker: Spider-Man #20 that he became regular artist for Paul Jenkins. The team created well known villains such as Fusion, The Mime Gang and of course our buddy, Kevin the leftover Cheese Cake.
Following the end of Peter Parker: Spider-Man, the title relaunched as Spectacular Spider-Man in 2003 with Paul Jenkins remaining as writer but Buckingham leaving and artist, Humberto Ramos taking over on the art for the next three years. During that time, Paul continued working on various other Marvel books such as Origin and taking over as writer of Wolverine while Buckingham moved to other projects before helping to launch, Fables. Paul continued working with both Marvel and DC Comics until 2013 when he left to work an exclusive with BOOM Studios and his own creative own projects.
While I have too many stories to list that were my favorites under the creative team, the ones that stand out the most is Peter Parker: Spider-man vol. 2 #35. A self contained story about a young boy who dreams of Spider-Man as his best friend as he deals with his mother’s descent into drug addiction and growing up without a father. The main character is actually about a half hispanic/half african american boy almost 11 years before Miles Morales debuted as the new Ultimate Spider-Man. The story ends on a bitter sweet note as the boy’s mother finally ODs and his loving aunt and uncle take custody of him and Spider-Man is revealed to be the father that the boy never knew. I am also a big fan of Fusion, who was an original villain who used hypnotic powers to make others believe he could absorb various other powers and blamed the death of his son on Spider-Man. With his son trying to pretend to swing like Spider-Man and dying as a result. I enjoyed their run so much I dressed up as TypeFace, a Z-list villain that the creative team created for Spider-Man that never really took off like Fusion did but just a few months ago. I posted the picture from 2000 and both Paul and Mark thought it was just classic. Thanks again guys, you made a Spider-Man fan happy with your stories.

9 Responses to “Creator Show Case #4 – Paul Jenkins and Mark Buckingham”

  1. #1 Iron Patriot says:

    Fantastic article! The Jenkins and Buckingham stuff is quite possibly my favorite Spidey. My picks for best stories were their first and last issues, in Peter Parker #20 and Spec #27. When I think of the Parker family, this is what comes to mind. Beautiful stories, and I’m sad it’s not on the radar as much. Wish they’d reunite on a limited series or a one-shot.

  2. #2 Adam T says:

    This is a great run. I liked a lot of what Jenkins’s did with Ramos, but his best stuff on Spider-Man really came when he worked with Buckingham. It’s interesting to me that you chose #35 as a high point. That is the one gap in my collection, which I am now going to have to fill in. I’ve got rid of a lot of my comics, but the Peter Parker run is something I hope never to part with.

    Like you I really liked Fusion, the Mimes and even Kevin. I can speculate for hours about what the neighbours dog was up to. A friend and I met Mark Buckingham at a comic-con last year and he was a very friendly, gracious creator. Whoever said don’t meet your heroes has never met Buckingham.

  3. #3 Dr. Pooper says:

    I always look back on this run fondly, 2 great creators. Right around #30 for both Spidey titles at the time is when I started picking up the books on a monthly basis and instantly I was hooked.

  4. #4 ryan3178 says:

    #33 is also a favorite of mine “Maybe Next Year” that talks about Peter’s memories with Uncle Ben going to the Mets game and them winning the week before he died. Its a heartwarming father/son story that just gets to you. #35 however wins because I’ve known kids in that story too much and sadly I never got to really have that constant going a regular outdoor activity with my own father. But both stories are so well written and drawn by the creative team.

  5. #5 Big Al says:

    He’s a lovely man and a genuine talent. I think his Spec run was sadly lacking though.

  6. #6 Lockdown says:

    Yes, Spec was not what we all had expected at all.

  7. #7 Iron Patriot says:

    According to the interview on the Crawlspace Podcast that wasn’t his fault, since editorial said he had to do long arcs with the big villains. I would’ve liked to have seen what he originally wanted to do, which was more like his Peter Parker run. Still, at least we got Poker Night, the story of the kid with cerebral palsy and the Final Curtain.

  8. #8 ryan3178 says:

    I really enjoyed Poker Night and Final Curtain but it did make me upset that editorial decided to “fix” what wasn’t broken to begin with.

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