Michael Layne Turner (April 21, 1971 – June 27, 2008)
Michael Turner was born in Crossville, Tennessee, on April, 21, 1971, student at the University of Tennessee. Shortly before graduating, he moved to Aspen, Colorado, then to San Diego California , where he taught martial arts. It was in San Diego that he developed an interest in comics.
Turner was discovered by Marc Silvestri at a convention, and hired by Silvestri's Top Cow Productions as an artist. He initially did background illustrations for Top Cow titles before co-creating Witchblade. In the summer of 1998 he debuted the creator-owned Fathom, having also worked on his new series Soulfire. As well as an artist, Turner was an award-winning water skier, held an instructor level red sash in martial arts , and was an avid video game player. In March 2000, Turner was diagnosed with Chondrosarcoma, a form of cancer, in the right pelvis. He was treated at UCLA Medical Center with surgery in which he lost a hip, 40% of his pelvis, and three pounds of bone. The surgery was followed by nine months of radiation therapy.
Turner departed Top Cow in late 2002 to found his own comic book publishing company, Aspen MLT Inc. (where MLT stands for Michael Layne Turner), located in Santa Monica, with a studio in Marina del Rey, California. The release of comics from Aspen was delayed by a year-long lawsuit with Top Cow Productions over the rights to Fathom, and over the rights to the unreleased titles Soulfire (initially called Dragonfly) and Ekos, both of which Turner had begun development on before leaving Top Cow and before his diagnosis of cancer. Aspen and Top Cow settled the lawsuit out of court in 2003.
In 2004 Turner contributed covers to various DC Comics titles, including The Flash and Identity Crisis. He also provided cover art and co-wrote the "Godfall" story arc that ran in the three main Superman titles in early 2004. He also illustrated the six-issue "Supergirl from Krypton" story arc in Superman/Batman. His creator-owned title Soulfire also began publication in 2004, and Fathom resumed publication in that year as well, though this time with Aspen MLT rather than Top Cow.
On August 6, 2005, Marvel Comics announced the signing of Michael Turner to a work-for-hire deal for a six-issue project and covers. This would turn out to be at least the variant covers for the miniseries Civil War and the new Wolverine ongoing series Wolverine: Origins. In addition Turner had been announced as the artist on Ultimate Wolverine.
He created online comic adaptations for the NBC television series "Heroes".
Death and tribute
Turner died June 27, 2008 at the Santa Monica Hospital in California, of complications from bone cancer.[ He is survived by his mother Grace Crick, his brother Jake Turner, and his fiancee Kelly Carmichael. Fathom (vol. 3) #1, which was published on Wednesday, August 6, 2008, featured a tribute to Turner in the form of a stylized blue ribbon in the upper right hand corner of its cover, and its first page was a memorial to him, including a photograph of him at his drawing board.
• Codename: Strykeforce #14 (Image, 1995)
• Ballistic #1-3 (Top Cow). 3-issue solo miniseries of the female character of the Cyberforce series.
• Witchblade #1-8, 10-23, and 25.(Top Cow)
• Tomb Raider/Witchblade (Top Cow)
• Fathom (vol. 1) #0, 1/2, 1-14 (Aspen Comics, 2003)
• Superman/Batman #8-13 (DC Comics, 2004) The re-introduction of Kara Zor-El/Supergirl to the DC Universe.
• Soulfire (vol. 1) (Aspen Comics, 2004-2008)
Variant incentive cover for Justice League of America #12.
• Action Comics #812-813
• Adventures of Superman #625-626
• Flash (vol. 2) #207-211 (2004). Turner drew five covers for this series written by Geoff Johns, who also works in a creator-owned project with him, the series Ekos.
• Identity Crisis #1-7 (2004). Turner drew all covers for this series.
• Justice League of America (vol. 4) #0-12 (2006-07). Turner drew various covers, shifting between regular and variants, for the first thirteen issues of the series.
• Supergirl (vol. 4) #1-3, 5 (2005). Turner drew variant covers for the first issue of this new series, featuring the Kara Zor-El Supergirl's return to continuity in his Superman/Batman story arc.
• Superman (vol. 2) #202-203, 205 (2004)
• Superman/Batman #8-13, 26 (2004-06). Turner drew a first and second print for #8 as well as a variant for #8. He drew one of two covers for #10, the other being drawn by Jim Lee. He drew two covers for #13. He drew both covers for #26, the issue dedicated to the passing of Jeph Loeb’s son Sam.
• Teen Titans #1 variant (2003). Two covers were published for this issue in a 50/50 split. The Turner cover was also later used for the first trade paperback of the series.
• Wildstorm Winter Special (DC/Wildstorm, 2004). Cover with the characters Zealot, Apollo, Midnighter, Jack Hawksmoor and Deathblow.
• Black Panther (vol. 3) #18 (variant), 23 (2006-2007)
• Civil War #1-7 (2006-07). Each issue of the miniseries has three covers, one "regular cover" by series penciller Steve McNiven, one "variant cover" by Turner, and one "sketch variant cover" by Turner. He also did another cover featuring Iron Man, Captain America, and Wolverine printed as an Aspen Exclusive Variant, much like Civil War: X-Men #1.
• Hulk (vol. 2) #1, 6 variant covers (2008)
• Ultimate X-Men #75 (2006) To introduce Ultimate Cable in 2006, Marvel commissioned Turner to the cover for the first book of the storyline.
• Incredible Hulk (vol. 2) #100 (2006) Turner drew a "green hulk" variant as well as a "gray hulk" variant for this issue.
• Ms. Marvel (vol. 2) #1 (2006)
• Onslaught Reborn #1 (2006) Turner drew a "B" cover with Rob Liefeld drawing the "A" cover for this issue.
• Fallen Son: The Death of Captain America #1-5 (2007) Turner drew the variant covers for this entire series in a 50/50 split with the various artists of the individual issues.Leinil Yu, Ed McGuinness, John Romita, Jr., David Finch, and John Cassaday respectively.
• Ultimate Wolverine Turner was set to pencil the covers and interior art for this series, written by Jeph Loeb
• Sub-Mariner (vol. 2) #1, 5
• World War Hulk Turner drew an Aspen Comics exclusive variant cover for the first issue available at AspenComics.com
• Spider-Man/Red Sonja #1-5 (2007)
• Wolverine: Origins #1 variant (2006). The regular cover of this issue was done by Joe Quesada.
• Uncanny X-Men #500 (2008) With Greg Land and Alex Ross providing 50/50 variants, Turner drew a chase variant cover featuring some of the most notable male members of the mutant team for this milestone issue, while Terry Dodson utilized female members for his variant.
• The Darkness (vol. 1) #7, 11 - variant covers (1997-98)
• Witchblade #27, 50, 86, 100, 103 - variant covers
Mr. turner was a great artist and caring friend. All who knew him, loved him. He is missed terribly.