Bob Layton is an American comics writer, artist, designer, and editor with over 6,400 comic books credited to his name – a creative yardstick rivaled only by the late Stan Lee. He is most noted for his work on Marvel Comics titles such as Iron Man and Ant-Man, and for co-founding Valiant Comics.
In the late 1970s, Bob’s overhaul and relaunch of Iron Man moved that character from the cancellation list to one of Marvel’s all-time bestselling series. The classic Iron Man story “Demon in a Bottle” has been voted by fans as “one of the top 20 comic stories of all time” and the successful Iron Man movies of the past decade are largely based on his work, which the films’ Special Features editions note.
Also while at Marvel, Bob launched the first mini-series in comic book history with his highly-praised “Hercules: Prince of Power”. That series, which Layton wrote and drew, spawned several successful sequels, a graphic novel, and is still available to this day in trade paperback format.
In 1985, Layton helped launched Marvel’s “X-Factor” series, which broke the company’s all-time sales record for a single comic. He is also a co-creator of the new Ant-Man franchise and many of the characters appearing in the hit Marvel films “Ant-Man” and “Ant-Man and the Wasp” including the second film’s villain, Ghost.
A live-action adaptation of Layton’s classic Iron Man story “Armor Wars” will be coming to Disney Plus in 2022, starring Don Cheadle as War Machine, another of Bob’s creations. While “Armor Wars” was a huge hit when first published in July of 1988, it has continued to be compiled in numerous trade paperbacks and reprint comics over nearly four decades.
Layton drew a myriad of covers during his time at Marvel, encompassing their entire catalog of characters. He also co-created DC Comics’ The Huntress, who appeared in the Warner Brothers’ film “Birds of Prey”.
As co-founder and co-architect of the original Valiant Comics Universe, Layton served as that company’s Vice President and Editor-In-Chief. Under his creative management, Valiant went from a two million dollar, venture capital start-up to eventually become the third-largest comics publisher in North America in 1993. His success at Valiant led to the sale of the start-up company for $65 million dollars in cash and stock to Acclaim Entertainment in 1995. Under the Acclaim umbrella, he created major story concepts and art designs for the highly-successful ’90s video game “Turok: Dinosaur Hunter” (over 1.5 million units sold, the biggest seller in Acclaim’s history). Valiant Entertainment continues to create movie content based on Bob’s original creations, such as 2020’s “Bloodshot” starring Vin Diesel for Sony Pictures.
Layton has creative credits in 14 Marvel Studios films, as well as a host of other television and movie acknowledgments. He has worked with such luminaries as Academy Award nominees Edward James Olmos (“Stand and Deliver”, “Blade Runner”, “Battlestar Galactica”) and Robert Downey Jr. (“Iron Man”, “The Avengers”, “Chaplin”), Jon Favreau (“Iron Man”, “Elf”, “The Mandolorian”), Kevin Feige (Marvel Studios), David Heyman (The Harry Potter Films), Dante Harper (“Edge of Tomorrow”, “Mission Impossible”, “Alien: Covenant”) and the late, great George Romero (“Night of the Living Dead”).
Layton is currently Chief Creative Officer and Co-Founder of Box Monkey Pictures, a Multi-Media Company co-helmed with his business partner, Michele Grant. Box Monkey Pictures is dedicated to producing fun and thought-provoking films and television, for an international market, based on existing properties and concepts created exclusively for Box Monkey Pictures by Layton.
Without a doubt, Layton has earned every part of the title given to him by his peers as “one of the industry’s true visionaries”.