Tom DeFalco (born June 26, 1950) is an American comic book writer and editor known for his association with Marvel Comics, and in particular his run on Spider-Man. He also created a whole host of iconic characters for the company which endure to this day. DeFalco is known for his laid back style, having a less-powerful personal vision compared to others while being open to his co-worker's ideas.
From 1987 to 1994, DeFalco replaced the infamous Jim Shooter as Editor-In-Chief. His run is well-regarded, even if the era (the speculation boom) was less so, and instead Marvel's problems were primarily blamed on Ron Perelman. He resigned from his position after disagreements with the upper management, but stayed on with Marvel as a writer.
In addition to his work on Spider-Man, he's also known for overseeing the Marvel 2099 line, creating the New Warriors, Thunderstrike, Darkhawk, and creating and penning Spider-Girl, an Alternate Universe story starring Mayday Parker (daughter of Peter and Mary Jane).
Outside of his large involvement with Marvel, he got his start at Archie Comics, and has still worked with them on occasion. Notably, he is at least partially responsible for the line of digest-sized Archie comics which have been a mainstay of American supermarket checkout aisles for decades, having proposed the idea early on in his career.
- Darkhawk (1991): Co-created the character, though he wasn't officially credited for it at the time.
- Kid Colt (2009): A revival of the Western hero for one of Marvel's early digital comic lines.
- Marvel 2099 (1992): Oversaw the futuristic line, which was his attempt to try something different and capture new readers.
- New Warriors (1989): Assembled the team, and created Night Thrasher, they were introduced in an issue of Thor, though he never personally wrote for them in their own books.
- Machine Man (1980): His first major title, though it only last four issues before cancellation.
- Maximum Carnage (1993): A Bat Family Crossover of Spider-Man titles, of which he served a major part in the writing.
- Spider-Girl (1998-2009): An Alternate Universe created to entice younger, female readers in a male-centric industry. Starring May "Mayday" Parker, daughter of Peter and Mary Jane, in a possible future where she becomes the next Spider hero in the family. While never quite reaching A-list status, Spider-Girl holds the distinction of being the longest-running continuous superhero comic lead by a female protagonist, at 11 years.
- Spider-Ham (1983): The humorous cartoon pig with Spidey's powers debuted under his writing, and has become beloved in his own right.
- The Amazing Spider-Man (1963) (1984-1987): Notable in this era is that he expanded Mary Jane's backstory, introduced the Symbiote that would lead to Venom, and created the Silver Sable, which endure to this day. Also, infamously, DeFalco penned The Amazing Spider-Man #270, wherein Spider-Man fought, and won, against Firelord, a former Herald of Galactus. It's still held to this day as a supreme example of Popularity Power though Spider-Man fans and writers genuinely love it for being one of Peter's all-time great underdog triumphs. DeFalco returned in the '90s as part of a writing team and wrote stories for Spider-Man Unlimited and the crossover Web of Death that significantly developed the character of Doctor Octopus notably expanding on his childhood and backstory and early life. Much of his work on Doc Ock helped to define the character in later series and adaptations. Ironically during The Clone Saga he was the hatchet man required to write the issue that killed Doc Ock off, though he made a point to bring him back as soon as he could.
- Thor (1988-1993): In this run, he introduced Thunderstrike and the New Warriors.
- Thunderstrike (1993-1995): Created the character in an issue of Thor and later penned his solo series for two years.
- Fantastic Four (1961): He wrote Fantastic Four during the mid-90s, during which he did some things that caused grief for both fans (temporarily killing off Mister Fantastic and Doctor Doom; putting the Invisible Woman in a Stripperific outfit; retconning that the Human Torch really married a Skrull named Lyja, not Alicia Masters; and having The Thing get his face mauled by Wolverine) and staff (the higher-up were annoyed by a scene of Scott Lang slamming Fantastic Four: The Animated Series).