One of my favourite artists of all time is John Romita Jr. He was the illustrator on the first X-Men issue I ever picked up (#195), and I’ve followed his work ever since. For the most part JRJR has been fantastic, lending his distinctive style to Thor, Spider-Man, Daredevil, and so many more. But a few years ago, beginning with World War Hulk, I started feeling as though the artist had lost his inspiration, at least when it came to superheroes. His work, to my eyes, was no longer popping; sadly, I felt as though JRJR was bored.
A few months ago it was announced that the artist was leaving his Marvel home to work for DC. Honestly, I felt betrayed. How could a man so loyal to the Marvel Universe cross the fence? And then, when I read he’d be working on Superman, and saw some initial sketches, I was dismayed. “He’s done,” I thought.
Today, John Romita Jr.’s first issue of Superman was released, and I couldn’t be more happy to wrong.
Working with DC’s main scribe, Geoff Johns, JRJR’s artwork appears revitalized. It’s crackling with a life I haven’t seen from him in superheroes in far too long. The work feels familiar, but that’s because, to my eyes at least, it harkens back to some of my favourite art by him. His interpretations of Clark Kent and Perry White are spot on, yet still filled with his inimitable style, while his action scenes once more posses some serious punch (kudos to inker extraordinaire Klaus Janson for his great work as well). Johns, meanwhile, has come up with a strong first issue that guarantees I’ll be back next month.
I won’t get into the details of plot and such; instead, I simply encourage comic fans to head out to their shop or visit the DC App and pick-up Superman #32. You won’t be disappointed in the story or the art.
Welcome back, John Romita Jr.!
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