Alan Davis is an English writer and artist of comic books, known for his work on titles such as Captain Britain, The Uncanny X-Men, ClanDestine, Excalibur, JLA: The Nail and JLA: Another Nail. Alan Davis was born on 18 June, 1956, and began his career in comics on an English fanzine. His first professional work was a strip called The Crusader in Frantic Magazine for Dez Skinn’s revamped Marvel UK line.
Davis’s big break was drawing the revamped Captain Britain story in The Mighty World Of Marvel. As Davis never realized artists drew at a larger size than what was published, his art was drawn as the same size as it would be on publication. Afterwards, Alan Moore took over writing duties on Captain Britain. Davis and Moore, as creators, formed a close working partnership, also creating D.R. and Quinch for 2000AD. Later, Davis replaced Garry Leach on Marvelman in Warrior and yet again worked with Moore. He also drew the story, Harry Twenty on the High Rock in 2000AD.
Davis later fell out with Moore over creative differences on Marvelman. The two also disagreed over whether their Captain Britain work should be reprinted by Marvel Comics in the United States. He drew 14 issues of the monthly Captain Britain title which was later reprinted in trade paperback.
In 1985 Davis was hired by DC Comics to draw their Batman and the Outsiders title, written by Mike W. Barr. His work proved popular enough for him to be assigned artistic duties on Detective Comics, Batman’s main series, in 1986, again with Barr writing. During the Batman: Year Two storyline, however, Davis encountered difficulties with his editor and left after just the first chapter (his replacement was Todd McFarlane) during the storyline. In 1991, Davis returned reuniting with writer Barr to draw the sequel to Year Two, Batman: Full Circle.
In 1987 he jumped to Marvel Comics. Here he formed a new efficacious creative team with writer Chris Claremont and, after two New Mutants annuals and three popular episodes for Uncanny X-Men, the duo launched Excalibur, one of the most popular (and amusing) US comics of 1980s. The team featured Captain Britain and Meggan together with former X-Men members Kitty Pryde, Nightcrawler and Rachel Summers. The stories, set in England, pivoted mainly on cross-dimensional capers (including several Lewis Carroll-ish stories featuring the Crazy Gang and the bizarre team called the Technet) based on Moore’s Captain Britain stories of early 1980s. Davis’ artwork showed at its best on this series, thanks to effective inks provided by Paul Neary and, later, Mark Farmer.
Davis left with #24, but returned with issue #42, this time also as writer, showing a passion for creating new, pleasant characters of his own, which included Feron, Cerise, Micromax and Kylun. Davis confirmed this in creating a complete new series of characters maintaining some of the English-mythology related Excalibur themes, the unlucky ClanDestine team of 1994. Created for Marvel UK and written and drawn by Davis, it ended with N°12 (last four numbers not by Davis) but was briefly revamped by Davis for a cross-over with X-Men.
Davis created ClanDestine for Marvel UK, but the series achieved little success despite critical praise.
During much of the 1990s Davis drew many of Marvel and DC Comics major characters and titles including JLA: The Nail, The Avengers and Killraven. He was also commissioned to write both main X-Men series in 1999 (providing art for X-Men as well), but he left the following year.
Starting in October 2002 he wrote and drew for Marvel a six-issues miniseries revamping a famous comics character of 1970s, Killraven. After a return to Uncanny X-Men, working again with Claremont, Davis wrote and drew in 2006-2007 a six-issue Fantastic Four: The End limited series for Marvel Comics, not to be confused with a similar one-shot written by Stan Lee and drawn by John Romita Jr. In February 2008, Davis wrote and pencilled a new ClanDestine 5-parts series and “Truth of History” a Thor one-shot for Marvel.