Archie Goodwin was born in Kansas City, Missouri, and lived in many small towns along the Kansas-Missouri border including Coffeyville. But he considered Tulsa, Oklahoma, where he spent his teen years at Will Rogers High School as his home town.
Goodwin moved to New York City to attend classes at what became the School of Visual Arts.
Goodwin died of cancer on 1 March 1998 after battling the disease for 10 years.
Goodwin first worked for Marvel Comics in 1968 and was the original writer on the Iron Man series which launched that year. According to Goodwin, when he entered editor Stan Lee's office to apply for a job with Marvel, Lee was in the middle of writing an Iron Man story and handed him photostats of the pages he was working on for his writer's test. Goodwin and artist George Tuska co-created the super villain, the Controller, in Iron Man #12 (April 1969).
Luke Cage, the first African American superhero to star in an eponymous Marvel comic book series, was created by Goodwin and artist John Romita Sr. in June 1972. While briefly writing The Tomb of Dracula series, Goodwin and artist Gene Colan introduced the supporting character Rachel van Helsing. Goodwin co-created with Marie Severin the first Spider-Woman, as well as writing her first appearance in Marvel Spotlight #32 (February 1977).
In 1976, Goodwin replaced Gerry Conway to become the eighth Editor-in-Chief of Marvel Comics, with the understanding that it would only be temporary until a permanent replacement could be found. He ultimately resigned at the end of 1977 and was replaced by James Shooter. While Editor-in-Chief, Goodwin secured the rights to publish the Star Wars adaptation and tie-in series, which then sold phenomenally well (helped by a dearth of other Star Wars merchandise at the time) at a point when the comics industry was in severe decline.
Goodwin also co-designed Marvel's New Universe line and created four of the eight series in the line. He explained, " Jim Shooter keeps saying of me: 'Well, here's this guy, in one meeting, he suddenly spews out half the ideas for the New Universe.' What that doesn't take into account is that for about five or six years I've had these half-formed notions and finally here is a situation where they would all fit in. ...it wasn't like I just went into the meeting and suddenly four concepts sprang full-blown from my brow."
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