Garry Leach, comic book artist who co-created Miracleman, dies

Miracleman by Gary Leach
Miracleman by Gary Leach (Image credit: Marvel Comics)

Garry Leach, one of the most regular contributors to 2000 AD, passed away on March 26, according to the publisher's website.

Born in 1954, Leach began his work with the British comic magazine in 1978. He worked on several tales in the Future Shocks line of stories as well as some early adventures of comic book staple Judge Dredd. During his work with the publisher, Leach would meet and work with future collaborator Alan Moore.

Leach's partnership with Moore reached its heyday in 1981 when the pair joined to update the golden age hero Marvelman. The series, which would eventually come to be known as Miracleman due to copyright issues, saw Leach's distinctive brushwork and talent for depicting gruesome scenes of urban destruction fuse with Moore's somber writing to deconstruct the superhero genre. 

When artist Alan Davis succeeded Leach to continue the story, Leach inked several of the first stories, seamlessly introducing Davis to the project and continuing to leave his mark on the grim superhero tale. Today, Miracleman is cited by many to be a seminal work in not just the superhero genre, but the comics industry as a whole. 

Post-Miracleman, Leach continued his work with 2000 AD and Warrior, contributing to more Future Shocks and Judge Dredd storylines. Then in 1999, Leach took his "sharp-lined realism" to DC, where he teamed with Garth Ennis and John McCrea to craft seven issues of the darkly comedic Hitman title. In 2008, he and J. Michael Straczynski and Chris Weston joined up for The Twelve, a comic that saw Leach returning to the world of Golden Age heroes to deconstruct and illuminate the characters.

Leach's passing has been mourned by Marvel Comics' official Twitter account, as well as the accounts of such comic professionals as David Aja, Si Spurrier, and Dave Gibbons. Green Lantern artist Liam Sharpe also took to Twitter to praise the late artist, saying:

"Very sad to hear of Garry Leach's passing. An astonishing storyteller & one of the industry's finest draughtsmen. His take on Miracleman and the Warpsmith stories were comic perfection. MM was very much an influence on my recent GL run. But more than that, he was a lovely bloke."

Garry Leach was 67. Marvel Comics is planning to release his work on Miracleman, as well as the rest of the seminal series, in an omnibus this September.

Grant DeArmitt
Freelance writer

Grant DeArmitt is a NYC-based writer and editor who regularly contributes bylines to Newsarama. Grant is a horror aficionado, writing about the genre for Nightmare on Film Street, and has written features, reviews, and interviews for the likes of PanelxPanel and Monkeys Fighting Robots. Grant says he probably isn't a werewolf… but you can never be too careful.