I’ve been a fan of John Romita, Jr. since I’ve collected comics. He started working for Marvel the year I was born, drawing a story in Amazing Spider-Man Annual #11 (actually he created the Prowler for Amazing Spiderman #78 in 1969 at the age of 13, the character was used by Stan Lee and John Buscema in the actual story) and has drawn some of the company’s most noteworthy runs and events in history.
He started off on some classic Iron Man and Spider-Man runs, helping to create characters like Justin Hammer, Bethany Cabe, Hobgoblin, Madame Web, and Hydroman.
He would return to both titles several times, during the second Armor War in Iron Man, and a fantastic run on Spider-Man with J. Michael Straczynski, including the silent 9/11 memorial issue.
He was the artist behind Marvel’s first event mini-series, Contest of Champions, in which we first saw one of his many talents – the ability to draw a great crowd scene:
John Romita, Jr. and Ann Nocenti had an acclaimed two-year run on Daredevil where he co-created Typhoid Mary, and Blackheart Mephisto’s son, as well as numerous guest stars. This led to the classic Man Without Fear mini-series by JRJR and Frank Miller, re-telling the origin of Daredevil, Elektra and the Kingpin. Throughout the 90’s he worked on titles such as Peter Parker: Spider-Man, Punisher: War Zone, his second stint on Uncanny X-Men, Thor and Cable’s very first mini series, Blood and Metal. He then went on to become Marvel’s “Event Guy,” working on the return of the Eternals with Neil Gaiman, World War Hulk with Grek Pak, and the massive neo-classic Avengers vs. X-men miniseries.
And let’s not forget, John Romita, Jr. has had his brushes with D.C. before, taking part in both Amalgam and Elseworlds with Thorion of New Asgard and the Punisher vs Batman crossover.
Plus he did draw the 8 issue mini-series of Marvel’s psuedo-Superman, the Sentry:
The creative of team of Geoff Johns and John Romita, Jr. is guaranteed to be an instant classic and the shot in the arm the Superman title needs. With the New 52 reboot, Action was in good hands with Morrison until the Diggle debacle, but Pak and Kuder picked up the ball and have been doing some amazing work on the title.
Superman itself was a hiccup out of the gate with editorial problems from the get-go with George Perez and, although Lobdell and Roccafort did a great job on their run, the title was eclipsed by the creative talent on Batman/Superman (Pak and Jae Lee), Superman Unchained (Scott Snyder and Jim Lee) and Superman/Wonder Woman (Charles Soule and Tony Daniel). With DC’s main creative director and the former Mr. Marvel at the helm of this book, it’s sure to push limits in terms of storytelling and sales!
But not only is John Romita, Jr. good for Superman and DC, Superman and DC is good for John Romita, Jr. Look, the guy has drawn just about every character in the Marvel Universe and, as I’ve said before, if Jack Kirby is the King of Comics, then John Romita, Jr. is the Crowned Prince!
Just like Kirby’s defection to DC in the seventies led to a slew of creations that are still in use today: New Gods, The Demon, Forever People, Kamandi, Mr. Miracle, Omac and much, much more, just imagine what JRJR can bring to the reader at DC! Imagine a New Gods title by Azzarello and Romita, Jr., Legion of Superheroes with Giffen and Levitz, Justice League of America by Kindt, Hawkman by Palmiotti and Romita, Jr. This list is endless! Romita jr. will get to flex his creative wings with an all new universe, and by his giant portfolio at Marvel, we can see how he is not just perfect for Superman’s big superhero action adventures, but any genre in the DCU:
Grim and Gritty:
Big and Bombastic:
Mystical and Magical
The guy can draw damn near anything! And I for one am looking forward to his run on Superman. I hope that John Romita, Jr. is just starting a DC career that will be as long and as fruitful as his Marvel one!
Welcome to the New 52 JRJR!