John Romita, Jr.


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Here's a man who has spent his entire career with Marvel, drawing everything from Iron Man to the X-Men, Hulk to Star Brand, Cable to the Batman/Punisher crossover, Daredevil to Thor, Spider-Man to The Punisher. At a time when high-priced, superstar independent creators couldn't be bothered to publish a comic but two to three times a year, Romita, Jr. was illustrating two books a month.

His ability to tell a story and convey emotions are unmatched, yet he's often overlooked by the comic book fan base because he doesn't draw larger-breasted, nearly-nude women on every page. Because he didn't break away from Marvel to do his own thing it seems as if the fans are punishing him by turning a blind eye to a cornerstone of Marvel's creative community.

Unfortunately, his shining moment came in the wake of 9/11 with the black-covered Amazing Spider-Man #36. Romita, Jr. bled his heart and soul into those 22 short pages, but instead of telling you myself, I'll provide the following quote:

John Romita Jr.'s artwork throughout is the aspect of the book that I have no complaints about. His visuals are incredible, and he manages to convey the heroes' presence for the most part without undercutting the real heroism of the firefighters, police and rescue workers. In fact, this story is as much about the real rescue efforts as Spider-Man's reaction to the tragedy, at least in visuals. We're so accustomed to seeing heroes using their powers by attacking others, it was nice to see them using it to rescue and rebuild for a change. Romita's work on this issue represents a career best, and given his impressive career, that's saying something.

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