Comic book creator Carlos Pacheco has died at the age of 60, Spanish news sources have confirmed.
Carlos Pacheco, best known as an artist for both Marvel and DC across the past three decades, initially broke into the comics industry working for Planeta-DeAgostini Comics, a Spanish-Italian publisher specializing in reprints of American material. His first superhero comic book work appeared in that company’s Marvel Héroes #41 in 1991, before he went on to co-create two miniseries featuring original characters with writer Rafael Marín. That work would catch the attention of editors at Marvel UK, who quickly brought him onboard the nascent Overkill line of titles it was creating at the time.
Pacheco's clean-lined, dynamic work on titles like Dark Guard would swiftly win him gigs at both Marvel and DC, with fill-in work on Mark Waid’s Flash run at the latter and a run of issues for Marvel’s X-Men office, including the four-issue Bishop miniseries in 1994, as well as the two-part X-Universe mini created as part of the fan-favorite Age of Apocalypse crossover. From that point on, he was a regular in Marvel’s line, illustrating issues of Fantastic Four, Excalibur, and X-Men, before teaming with writers Kurt Busiek and Roger Stern for the acclaimed Avengers Forever miniseries; that mini would also see Pacheco’s pencils inked by Jesus Merino for the first time, forming a creative bond that would go on for years.
Following an all-too-brief run on the Fantastic Four franchise — first on a 2000 Inhumans miniseries that saw him work with Marín again after a number of years, and then on the main Fantastic Four series, where he co-wrote (initially with Marín, and then with Jeph Loeb) and illustrated — Pacheco returned to DC, where he primarily worked with Kurt Busiek, on the creator-owned Arrowsmith series as well as the main Superman title, and Geoff Johns, with whom he worked on both the JLA/JSA: Virtue and Vice graphic novel and the early issues of Johns’ Green Lantern run. Additionally, Pacheco illustrated an arc of Superman/Batman with Jeph Loeb.
In 2009, Pacheco signed a new exclusive contract with Marvel, where his work included Age of Ultron, Captain America, and Ultimate Comics: Avengers. His final comics work was the cover for Marvel’s Damage Control #2 in September of this year. Upon its release, he announced that he was retiring due to being diagnosed with the neurodegenerative disease Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis.
Pacheco’s passing has been commemorated on social media from publishers and creators alike:
Lamentamos la muerte de Carlos Pacheco.— Panini Cómics España (@PaniniComicsEsp) November 9, 2022
Nuestro pésame y todo el cariño a familia y amigos.
Hemos aprendido de él, de su ARTE, hemos disfrutado de su compañia, de su humor, de su vitalidad y de su imbatible y contagioso gusto musical. Es una pérdida terrible. pic.twitter.com/IMc5z8k8eU
Pacheco was one of a kind. A drawing style that synthesized past cartooning sensibilities with a thoroughly contemporary vigor to create a look that resonated with readers new and old. Each page was like a new bite of delicious chocolate cake you could never grow sick of eating.— Phillip Hester (@philhester) November 9, 2022
It’s impossible to summarize what Carlos Pacheco has meant for the Spanish artists, today a great has gone, descansa en paz maestro…— Jorge Fornés (@jfornes74) November 9, 2022
Rest in peace Carlos Pacheco… pic.twitter.com/bZf21l4sIH
Carlos Pacheco… what an amazing, brilliant, fully-realized creature of comic art he was, and also what a gent. Only met him a few times over the years, but he was always very kind. You left a mark, sir, and you’ll be missed. RIP. pic.twitter.com/8SVY0A8cKV— Cully Hamner (@CullyHamner) November 9, 2022
He will be sorely missed by fans and professionals.