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Roger Stern has written for radio, television, the stage, and the Internet, creating scripts for everything from sketch comedy to flash-animation. For ten years, he was the senior writer of the Superman series for DC Comics. Stern has written hundreds of stories about such diverse characters as Green Lantern, Supergirl, Starman, and the Justice League for DC Comics; and Spider-Man, Captain America, the Incredible Hulk, and the Avengers for Marvel. His first prose novel, The Death and Life of Superman, was a New York Times bestseller.
You just gotta love these Marvel Visionaries tomes, dontcha?
This new one surveys the career of one John Romita Jr., beginning with one of his earliest works in 1977, up until 2002.
Now, the more you love comics, the more you will love this book. But even a novice or neophyte will find this stuff terrific.
The introduction is written by his father; it's a lovely piece, as one would expect from a proud father, but it also sets up the subsequent comic stories in proper perspective, as one would expect from a legendary comic artist who spent over 20 years as Art Director at Marvel Comics. An artist who's earliest work was on Daredevil, and who's Spider-Man is considered by many to be definitive.
The first little tale, a minor piece from a Spider-Man annual, is flat and relatively unsophisticated...his father's influence clearly visible in the faces of Peter and Mary Jane. But the second one, from his early, noteworthy run on "Iron Man", shows a huge leap in storytelling technique. This particular story was one dealing with Tony Stark's alcoholism, and it demonstrates Romita's growing confidence.
JRJR (as he signs stuff) was learning, and learning fast.
We then get two Spider-Man stories...even an uninitiated reader will notice a significant improvement in story pacing and composition, even if the inking renders the drawings less dramatic.
Up next: an X-Men tale from 1984, and this is where things really start coming together. Facial expressions are better, fight scenes are better, anatomy is better...
The next story, the first Star-Brand, simply shows off his new, bold drafting ability, and his ability to create a "new" character from scratch.Read more ›
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