Joseph "Joe" Quesada (born December 1, 1962) is an American comic book editor, writer and artist, who was the Editor-in-Chief at Marvel Comics between 2000 and 2011, and a very polarising figure indeed. Started off as an artist, probably best known for his work on Daredevil. He took the editor job in 2000 and, while comic sales have risen since he took over, they are still a shadow of the sales in the The Silver Age of Comic Books through the 1980s. He was the longest-serving Marvel editor-in-chief other than Stan Lee, and is the first artist to attain that position.
Currently holds the position of Marvel's Chief Creative Officer, tasked to "ensure that all portrayals of Marvel's characters and stories remain true to the essence of Marvel history."note
Is part of an interesting Production Posse with Kevin Smith. He was the artist for Kevin Smith's Daredevil comic, did the intro to Mallrats, and actually appeared in Chasing Amy and Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back. He also was a guest on Smith's Fatman on Batman podcast.
His editorial decisions include:
- The creation of three successful imprints: Marvel MAX, Ultimate Marvel, and Marvel Knights
- Attempting to avoid the comic book stereotype of Death Is Cheap and prevent C-List Fodder by adopting a "dead is dead" policy, which was later ignored to bring back Psylocke, Colossus, Magneto, and Harry Osborn. Quesada stated that the policy wasn't an absolute mandate, but rather a rule of thumb to present to writers so that stories requiring a death or resurrection of a character wouldn't become frequent or produced without gravity.
- Changing the Sins Past story arc of JMS' Spider-Man to replace Peter Parker with Norman Osborn as the father of Gwen Stacy's children, as that would make Spider-Man appear too old.
- Spider-Man's One More Day, which attempts to make Peter Parker Younger and Hipper by dissolving his marriage to Mary Jane Watson... via a deal with a Satan expy.
- The Spider-Girl ongoing title, which was Marvel's longest-running comic starring a solo female superheroine, was canceled seemingly for good. Spider-Girl also happens to be Peter and Mary Jane's daughter.
- X-Men: Jean Grey coming Back from the Dead was also corrected by having her killed off, despite her massive Character Development since then.
- He evidently preferred Emma Frost being altered to more of a Heel–Face Turn and Spoiled Brat than even when she was a villain. So he "rewarded" Emma by sticking her into Jean's place, including being Scott Summers's Love Interest, which started with them kissing over Jean's grave.
- He and Brian Michael Bendis had The Wasp killed off, again claiming that her now widowed husband, Hank Pym, is now "more interesting" without her.
- Forced Wolverine and Nick Fury to drop their iconic cigars, which they'd had for roughly 30 and 40 years respectively.
- The Decimation of Mutants that happened after House of M, which reduced the number of mutants (hundred of thousands, though obviously only a tiny percentage were named characters) to just 198. Apparently, this was done to counter Quesada's perceived Uniqueness Decay of mutants.
- Censoring trade paperbacks.
- He likes big, big, BIG crossover events.
Joe Quesada's work provides examples of:
- All Deaths Final: When Joe Quesada took over as Editor-in-Chief of Marvel Comics, he instituted a "Dead means dead" policy. It didn't last very long because, by his own admission, it was like closing the gate after all the horses have already escaped. Gwen Stacy was almost brought back as well.
- Animesque: Joe's early 90's work with Ninjak was influenced by Manga.
- Author Tract: In One Moment in Time, Mary Jane conflictingly tells us that marriage is just a piece of paper, while ALSO telling us that children should not be born out of wedlock.
- Backstory Horror: In his often forgotten mini-series Daredevil: Father we find out that the man Matt lost his sight saving was actually an abusive drunk who molested his own daughter...seriously.
- Big Applesauce: Daredevil and Spider-Man are New Yorkers, like Quesada himself.
- C-List Fodder: The dead is dead policy was supposed to give writers pause before using lower-tier characters a Sacrificial Lamb. Unfortunately it also prevented previously killed characters (like Jean Grey, Colossus, Moira MacTaggert and Psylocke) from being brought back.
- The Cameo: Has appeared in some of the View Askewniverse films. The Starter Villain in the Daredevil movie is named after him.
- Creator's Pest: As the chief architect of One More Day, it should come as no surprise that he has no love for Mary Jane Watson.
- Crisis Crossover: While Quesada was EIC, the main Marvel books had Avengers Disassembled, which lead to House of M (Which also continued into Messiah Complex, Messiah War, and Second Coming for the X-Men books), Civil War, World War Hulk, Secret Invasion which lead into Dark Reign and then Siege. Meanwhile, Marvel Cosmic had Annihilation (happening at the same time as the Civil War on Earth), followed by a sequel called Annihilation: Conquest. War of Kings spun out into Marvel Cosmic from Secret Invasion (fitting, considering the Skrull are space villains), and the fallout from THAT finally finishes with The Thanos Imperative. In the Alternate Universe Ultimate Marvel there was Ultimatum.
- The Dark Age of Comic Books: Quesada started out at Valiant in the early Nineties. Before he became a major player for Marvel, he helped introduce a modern version of Golden Age hero The Ray and co-created Azrael (who would become Batman during Knightfall) at DC.
- Dark Is Not Evil: He colors the heroic Daredevil dark red with lots of black shading.
- Death Is Cheap: Tried to Avert this with the aforementioned Dead is Dead Policy, later Played Straight with the aforementioned characters brought back to life.
- Executive Meddling:
- Back from the Dead due to the "whoever is dead stays dead" policy, though that mandate probably kept them from killing characters willy nilly as well. Writers of the X-Men had difficulty bringing fan favorites
- Though JMS was part of the planning process, he fought with him over the execution of Spider-Man: One More Day to the point that JMS wanted his name removed.
- Flip-Flop of God: Joe Quesada was adamant that the mainstream Marvel Universe would never crossover with the Ultimate Marvel Universe, and is on record saying that the idea would be creatively bankrupt. Fast-forward to 2012, where Marvel launched a heavily-publicized crossover between Peter Parker, the mainstream universe Spider-Man, and Miles Morales, the new Ultimate Spider-Man. This was largely done to celebrate Spider-Man's 50th anniversary, as well as cash-in on the success of the The Amazing Spider-Man movie. The two worlds would be merged after Secret Wars (2015).
- Glowing Eyes of Doom: When he draws Daredevil's face in shadow, he still puts in two reddish slits where his eyes would be. Mephisto's eyes glow as well. Also a case of Red Eyes, Take Warning.
- Minimalistic Cover Art: The cover for Guardian Devil has a solid black background, and a blood red Daredevil cradling a white (as in no color) girl.
- One of Us: Obviously a comic book fan.
- Red and Black and Evil All Over: Inverted with Daredevil, who looks sinister and terrifying but is a hero. Mephisto, on the other hand, is a straight example: he looks like a devil, and yes, he's basically the equivalent of the Devil himself in the Marvel Universe.
- Running Gag: Did we finish that last crossover? Good, start another one. Fans have noticed that characters tend to have their marriages ended. Also, while the stated intention is to explore storylines where they are single, the characters tend to get paired with another love interest not long after.
- Running the Asylum: Joe is one of the many comics executives that like bringing back elements of the comics from when he was a kid by trying to undo the past 20 years of comics that current fans enjoy.
- Shrug of God: Quesada infamously responded to questions and objections about how OMD's magical retcon works or how it would affect past and future continuity with "It's magic! We don't have to explain it!"
- Smoking Is Not Cool: Had Wolverine drop his smoking habit to avert Smoking Is Cool.
- Stuffed into the Fridge: Superheroes having their wives killed or erased from history makes them 'more interesting'.
- What Could Have Been: When J. Michael Straczynski first thought up what ended up as the ridiculously controversial Sins Past storyline (which revealed that Gwen Stacy had had a child with Norman Osborn, he planned for Peter Parker to be the father, but Quesada felt that this would age the character too much. JMS also originally planned a very different version of One More Day, in which many events in Peter's life were changed by his helping Harry Osborn through his drug addiction. This would result in Norman Osborn never returning to being the Green Goblin, Gwen Stacy never dying, Harry and MJ never breaking up, and, in effect, Peter never marrying MJ. This was rejected for being too much of a Retcon: While it might have made for a better story than OMD, it also would've COMPLETELY ERASED the last 35 years of Mervel continuity (and well over 95% of Spider-Man continuity), effectively a Crisis on Infinite Earths-style reboot, replacing the entire Marvel Universe with an alternate timeline.
- Writer on Board: A number of readers suspect he dislikes the institution of marriage in general and married women in particular, pointing to both the number of prominent married Marvel women killed off (Janet van Dyne-Pym, Jean Grey-Summers) or Put on a Bus (Mary Jane Watson-Parker) during his tenure in the EIC's chair, and the fact that his ex-wife was said to have treated him terribly during their marriage. Suddenly any male character is "more interesting" without his wife or longtime love interest, and said love interest often gets a date with a bus, or worse, a bridge, even if (like the aforementioned Jean and Janet) said love interest has years of history as much more than just "male character x's lover." The X-Men also had a storyline where Cyclops was having issues with his marriage and ended up having an affair with Emma Frost.