I had started looking at my favorite comic book creators with my last blog found here. I quickly realized that I had a list of 10 people that I wanted to share, and also realized that breaking them up into groups of 5 may be the most feasible way to address it. The listings are in no order, just as they have come to me.
Ready for part 2???
The man in the fedora is Dennis O’Neil who I most remember for his work with the Batman and his family of books with DC Comics. He remained the editor of the Bat-books up until his retirement in 2000 but he had also left his mark on other characters for the company such as Green Arrow, Green Lantern and Superman. However there is one character that O’Neil created that caught my eye and my imagination…..Azrael The Avenging Angel.
The character is one of the most important in the history of Batman and the Batman universe as he was selected by Bruce Wayne himself to replace him as The Dark Knight when the villain Bane broke the back of Bruce. This could not have been an easy character to develop for O’Neil as he was steeped in spirituality, insanity and was a pure fighting machine who was groomed from birth. One of the most amazing and under appreciated characters in all of comics.
When Marvel Comics decided to relaunch Thor as a monthly comic book title back in September 2007, they decided to give the artistic duties to someone who had only had brief chances to show his immense talent in the industry. That person was Olivier Coipel. His previous work for DC Comics was often criticized by the fans but Coipel may be the most gifted artist to draw Thor since the character was first created. His run on Thor was short, much too short for Thor fans, but he left a huge impression. As well as shoes to fill.
One of the lasting impressions that Coipel left on the fans of Thor is the current costume. He was tasked with designing something new for The Thunder God and the chainmal / black tunic costume hits the ball out of the park. It is new but still very much identifiable as Thor. Notice Coipel also drew Thor with a sense of power but also nobility. His impact on me as a fan of Thor is that now I think of his Thor when I think of the character.
My very first introduction to Todd McFarlane is probably the same as most people my age. His work on Marvel Comics “The Amazing Spider-Man” was…well….amazing! McFarlane brought a whole new artistic style to the character and fans ate it up like it was candy. That is not the only claim to fame he has though, as he was one of 7 creators to leave Marvel and DC Comics at the same time and founded Image Comics. This venture created a third viable option not just for comic readers but those who in the industry. He also created one of the most popular independent comic book characters in history in Spawn.
J. MICHAEL STRACZYNSKI
When Thor was relaunched back in 2007, J. Michael Straczynski was tasked with the writing duties and Olivier Coipel was given the artistic duties. Thor was being relaunched and JMS was tasked with re-introducing the character to a world that had not seen him for a few years. The stories crafted by JMS were amazing and he is responsible for one of my favourite issues of Thor of all time, Thor volume 3 issue #3. Thor confronts Iron Man about the clone Tony made of him, the Super Hero Registration act that led to Marvel’s “Civil War” and the death of Captain America. It was a heavy issue.
If there is a man who is just as important and influential as Stan Lee for the popularity of comic books, it is Jack Kirby. The man who was nicknamed “The King,” had a huge hand in creating many of the core characters in the Marvel Universe at launch and was the usual artistic vision that would illustrate the words of Lee. Kirby also had a huge impact on DC Comics as he created Darkseid, Orion and the New Gods. He was one of the first huge names to jump from the rival companies, had a hand in creating some of best known characters at the “Big Two” companies and is a true legend.
Jack Kirby is one of the few writers who was a master at blending mythology, technology and an organic feel to his work. He helped forge the 9 mystical realms that the Agardians traverse in Thor and also created the worlds that make up the New Gods. He was a visionary who had a simple style that worked very effectively in telling a story. The perfect live action interpretation of Kirby’s style is Heimdall’s Observatory in the Thor movie in 2011.
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