On May 5, 2021, David Anthony Kraft was out surveying his vast kingdom at the top of Screamer Mountain in Clayton, Ga. when he heard the most villainous laughter. Having written some of the classic stories during the Bronze Age of Comics at Marvel, worked as a rock journalist covering groups such as Rush and KISS, and even doing scripting stints in TV (Gem and the Holograms, GI Joe, Street Fighter) and at DC (just to name a few), David was well-versed in the nefarious. He had been an avid reader of “monster books” as a child and had even sold monster stories of his own to his good friend Jim Salicrup (Tales From The Crypt) and Amazing Stories. So, yeah…he knew a villain when he heard one.
David, known to his friends as DAK, pulled his flaming sword from the ether and ran down the garden path of his mountain home in a full-on samurai mode – he had become very knowledgeable of swords and fighting and samurai through all his research on his newest and extremely successful project with co-creator Onrie Kompan: Yi Soon Shin, so he was confident in his skills.
DAK found the villain sipping tea in the gazebo and reading copies of Marvel Masterworks: The Savage She-Hulk Volumes I and II. It was clear the villain was studying up on his opponent, because DAK wrote She-Hulk starting with Issue #2 (his very good friend, mentor, and boss Stan Lee wrote the first issue).
DAK assessed his opponent and snorted with contempt. The guy was a total cliché.
He had greasy black hair.
And had a thin, anemic mustache (of course).
And bad teeth.
Oh, and warts! Everywhere on his face. Lots and lots of warts.
DAK wasted no time (he knew a villain when he saw one). With a war-cry, he charged the villain and swung his sword. It struck the tiny, delicate cup of tea. The fine china crashed to the floor, the sound loud in the stillness of the day:
“You think you can defeat me?” The villain leapt to his feet and away from DAK’s swinging, flaming sword. “I have read all your comics. Your Defenders’ run…Even the stuff you did at DC Comics. I KNOW you. And I know your weaknesses.”
And that’s when the villain pulled from the ether a bottle of single malt scotch. But not just any single malt, a 25-year-old McCallan. The sight of the scotch made DAK pause and remember a gift of that very same bottle from his beloved wife, Jennifer Lorraine Bush-Kraft (whom he always called “pet” or “jpet”). It was that pause that was his undoing. The villain struck out with a bolt of energy that was green and putrid. The moment the energy struck our hero, he felt it settle in his lungs and take hold.
But DAK wasn’t defeated. Despite the illness attempting to take hold of his body, he fought. He swung at the villain over and over until he backed him into a corner. The villain begged for his life, but DAK knew he had to see this to the end. He could feel his body weakening and he wanted to get back to his castle at the top of his kingdom where his wife and son, Bryce William Davidson Bush-Kraft, would be waiting. He struck out at the villain one last time, taking off his head.
DAK fought the illness in his lungs and made his way home to his family. For a while, his amazing good health and strength of will kept him from succumbing. But the villain had chosen his weapon well. The deadly Covid-19 virus (and related pneumonia) were sneaky and tenacious.
On May 19, 2021, our hero decided the continued fight against the villain’s virus really just sucked, and that it might be nice to visit his friends, Stan Lee and Roger Slifer. He kissed his lover of 14 years and wife of only one year, jpet, and told her to tell their son how much he loved him, and then he hopped on a bright yellow Norton two-stroke motorcycle and rode off into the sunset, grinning from ear to ear with the knowledge that he was loved so deeply by his wife, their son, and her family.
He couldn’t fit anyone on his motorcycle, so he left behind his beloved wife, Jennifer Lorraine Bush-Kraft; their son, Bryce William Davidsson Bush-Kraft; and his step-children – Jenniferann Bush, Jacqueline Bush, Kizzie Bush, Adam Bush; and extended family in North Dakota.
In lieu of flowers, DAK and his family would prefer donations to be made to comic writers in need via the Hero Initiative: https://www.heroinitiative.org.
Posted online on May 24, 2021