Joe Quesada, the one-time overseer of the Marvel Knights line who went on to become editor-in-chief and then chief creative officer for Marvel, has announced he’s leaving the company after more than 20 years.
Quesada took to social media to announce his departure, noting that he won’t “ever be too far away, cheering my Marvel family on and contributing from time to time.” He hinted he has a project with them coming later this year:
“As you can imagine, my love for the company, its characters, and all my coworkers runs deep, but I have an exciting new chapter that’s about to begin, so the time feels right,” he said.
Quesada joined Marvel in 2000 as editor in chief after spearheading the Marvel Knights line alongside Jimmy Palmiotti in the late 1990s. Known primarily as artists, the duo and their Event Comics imprint struck a deal to take over and edit several Marvel titles, including Daredevil, Inhumans and Punisher, among many others. The line proved successful enough that Quesada was hired as EiC, following the departure of Bob Harris.
Working with new president Bill Jemas, the two of them ushered in a new era and new approach at Marvel, launching the Ultimate line, the MAX line aimed at more mature content and storyline changes like the “One More Day” storyline that saw the elimination of Spider-Man’s marriage from continuity and the “No More Mutants” retcon that saw most of Marvel’s mutant population lose their powers. He also put an emphasis on the book market by making trade paperbacks a regular part of how content would be released by the company.
In 2010, he was named Chief Creative Officer, overseeing how Marvel character were portrayed in other media besides just comics, making him a creative force behind the scenes of Marvel’s growing movie business. In 2019, when Kevin Feige was promoted to Chief Creative Officer of Marvel Entertainment and Marvel Studios, Quesada was named executive vice president and creative director.