Robot 6

‘Truth’ writer Robert Morales passes away

truth1Writer Robert Morales, who collaborated with Kyler Baker on the 2003 Marvel miniseries Truth: Red, White & Black, passed away this morning in his Brooklyn home. He was 54.

“We spoke on the phone for many years, at least once a week and often more. I am shattered,” author Samuel Delany wrote in a Facebook post announcing Morales’ death. “His many friends will miss him deeply. He had agreed to be my literary executor, and the idea that he would pre-descease me never entered my head. For me and many others he was an indispensable friend. To say he will be deeply missed is an incredible understatement.”

A longtime entertainment journalist and former arts editor at Vibe, Morales had worked with Baker on satirical cartoons for the magazine before the two reunited for Truth, published during a period when Marvel was taking creative risks with such comics as Grant Morrison’s New X-Men, Peter Milligan and Mike Allred’s X-Statix, and Ron Zimmerman and John Severin’s Rawhide Kid, and its short-lived Tsunami imprint.

Controversial almost from the moment it was announced, Truth uses the Tuskegee Experiments as inspiration to re-examine the history of the Super-Soldier serum, depicting a regiment of black soldiers who undergo medical experiments during World War II in an attempt to recreate the lost formula that produced Captain America.

“”I wrote a proposal that was so staggeringly depressing I was certain they’d turn it down,” Morales said in 2002. “But they didn’t.”

Current Marvel Editor-in-Chief Axel Alonso, who oversaw the miniseries, recalled in a 2011 interview with Comic Book Resources, “When we posted our first image of Isaiah Bradley — the silhouette of an African-American man in a Captain America costume — the media latched onto it as a story of interest, but a lot of internet folks lined up against it, assuming, for whatever reason, that it would disparage the legacy of Steve Rogers. By the time the story was done, the dialog around the series had substantially changed. One high-profile reviewer even wrote a column admitting he’d unfairly pre-judged the series, that he now saw it was about building bridges between people, not burning them — which I deeply respected. It’s especially meaningful when you edit a story that functions as a little more than pure entertainment.”

Morales followed Truth with a stint on Captain America with artist Chris Bachalo.

He’s survived by his mother and father.

(via The Beat)

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Comments

11 Comments

senshi yo nemure, black cap and first super-soldier

“Truth: Red, White & Black” was a story that touched me deeply. It made me appreciate the Captain America character more than ever before. I now proudly own a hardcover edition. We will probably not see the Disney controlled Marvel take risks like that in the future. We should be glad that Robert Morales gave us something during that window of opportunity when creativity could evolve into something special.

R.I.P. Mr. Morales.

This series got me back into reading comics and I always thought it and the Vertigo series Unknown Soldier were two of the best stories that incorporated history and morality as important parts of the story. Rest in peace sir, you will be missed.

Elite 1 (@EEs76)

April 18, 2013 at 1:21 pm

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Young Avengers was what got me interested in “Truth: Red, White, and Black” – and I’m glad that I have a (softcover) copy in my collection. RIP, Mr. Morales, and thank you.

Jason Fattorusso

April 18, 2013 at 3:32 pm

I loved the story from the start. It was a very bold move and great move, to add to the legacy of Cap the way he did. Bradley is amazing, and i feel will be part of Cap’s history forever. R.I.P Mr Morales.

Ugh! Infantino, Clarke, Gladir, now Robert–and so young, too. Can our creators stop dying for at least a couple months?

Condolences to his friends and family.

I am unaware of the series, i will be looking for the TPB later as I am interested in reading controversial stories.

This is a shock. And nobody want to say he died of what, wich is frustrating. At least with Michael Turner, we knew he was ill.

Would have loved seeing him write other mainstream stuff.

RIP

I’m shocked! This is a really sad news.
I remember the amazement when I first red Truth.
My prayers are with his family now.
He will be deeply missed.

RIP

“We will probably not see the Disney controlled Marvel take risks like that in the future.”

We haven’t seen Marvel take risks like that since TRUTH came out, long before Disney got involved, long before there was a movie empire.

That said, I bought TRUTH for the Kyle Baker art and I stayed for the compelling read and followed Morales when he worked on the main Cap book for a short run. He should have been a bigger name in comics.

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