It’s easy sometimes to forget what a long legacy of great artists DC Comics has worked with over the years. Thankfully, they shine the spotlight on many of these individuals through the release of graphic novel collections featuring their work. They’ve recently published volumes concentrating on masterminds such as Alan Moore, Neal Adams, Jack Kirby, and Archie Goodwin.
Alan Moore is best known as the co-creator and writer of “Watchmen.” However, his artistic reach exceeds far beyond that. “DC Universe by Alan Moore” shows off the scribe’s genius through stories featuring Swamp Thing, Superman, Batman, Robin, Green Lantern, Green Arrow, and others. It also gives time to lesser-known characters such as the Phantom Stranger, the Vigilante, Voodoo, Deathblow, and the Omega Men to name a few. The art for the different stories is provided by greats like Jim Aparo, Jim Baikie, Brian Bolland, Paris Cullins, George Freeman, Dave Gibbons, Klaus Janson, Kevin O’Neill, Joe Orlando, George Perez, Kurt Schaffenberger, Curt Swan, Rick Veitch, Bill Willingham, and Al Williamson.
“Batman Illustrated by Neal Adams Volume 3” is the final collection of this legendary artist’s defining take on the Dark Knight. Adams ushered in the modern era of the character through his GRIM appearance and darker storylines provided by Denny O’Neil and others. Just to give readers a hint of how influential Adams’ work is on the Batman mythos, the book includes the first appearances of Ra’s and Talia Al Ghul and the initial use of the Lazarus Pit. We’re talking about the villain that orchestrated the events of what is considered the greatest trilogy of Batman films ever. Adams was a part in creating that.
“The Jack Kirby Omnibus Volume 2” is a collection of one of the comic book industry’s greatest artists and writers. It contains his only work with the Justice League featuring Batman, Superman, and Wonder Woman. They were known at the time as the Super Powers thanks to the toy line the series promoted. The Sandman, Atlas, Kobra, Kung Fu Fighter, Manhunter, and the Dingbats of Danger Street also make appearances in this hardcover graphic novel compilation.
“Tales of the Batman: Archie Goodwin” gives fans of the Dark Knight a hardcover collection of the writer’s entire catalog of work with the character from 1973 to 2000. It includes art by Jim Aparo, Howard Chaykin, Alex Toth, Walter Simonson, Marshall Rogers, Dan Jurgens, and more. The different looks these talents bring to the table for each story give this book a wider appeal for fans who appreciate various styles of artwork. Goodwin’s Manhunter stories are featured here as well.
All of these books will remind longtime comic book fans of how great the artists and writers are and were. They also serve as lessons for new readers on the rich history and talented men who paved the way for the modern era of comic books. Let it never be said that DC Comics doesn’t respect and give tribute to the artists and writers that made them one of the greatest comic book publishers of all time.
For more articles by Eric Shirey, check out:
“Batman: The Dark Knight Volume 2: Cycle of Violence” Pits Our Hero Against a Grimmer Scarecrow
“Nightwing Volume 2: Night of the Owls” Pits Hero Against Old and New Foes
“Batman Noir: Eduardo Risso: The Deluxe Edition” Celebrates Talented Artist