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Comics Eye:Jim Lee and the Justice League
In the world of comics, in my opinion there are only a few legendary artists in my mind who have forged their own path to comic book greatness.
Buscema, Frazetta, Kirby, Romita,Ross and McFarlane are a few of the many names that I could mention, but there is one artist who in my mind has redefined the way we see a comic book hero and that's none other than Jim Lee.
Now before anyone jumps all over me, Jim Lee is one of the elite artists of a new age of comics. His work with Frank Miller as writer on the sporadic and often times controversial series "All Star Batman and Robin the Boy Wonder made us take a look at his pages and say "Oooh!"
His pages have that effect me, and I have a very jaded attitude toward comic art. I grew up seeing such phenomenal artists as Kirby define Whole Galaxies and Celestial Beings. I've seen the artwork of Steve Ditko on such comic icons as Dr. Strange and a certain web crawler called Spiderman.
I've also seen the the work of Alex Ross on so many titles as writer/artist that it's almost become common place, but there's just something about Lee's art that resonates with me. And if I were to compare him to any one artist that I could mention from the pool of talent that have put pencil to paper for our viewing pleasure, I would have to compare his work to that of Neal Adams.
If you take a look at the work that he's done on such iconic DC characters as Superman and Batman, I think you have to say to yourself "I just can't see anyone else drawing these heroes now," it's almost like having your favorite flavor of ice cream everyday after your tonsils are removed...but then that flavor just stopped coming because you got better after that operation.
Now here's the skinny, with DC's The New 52 re-boot of the Justice League. I've had the opportunity to see Lee put his pencil to paper and give me some of the best art I've ever seen on the members of the Justice League (of America-that was the original name for this all-star team of heroes) and I'm just in awe for his work, and no I'm sorry for me with these first 6 issues it was all about Jim Lee and his efforts, not that of writer Geoff Johns.
I just finished reading the final issue of the first story arc, and let me tell you Lee's interpretations of not only the heroes, but of the dark lord of Apokolips himself Darkseid are just beyond words...hey look if your a fan boy you already know that Darkseid is an evil character to start with and his renderings had to reflect and capture a certain essence of not only evil, but of almost limitless power.
I never had any conception in my mind of what a Lee Darkseid would look like, so there were no preconceived notions of what the lord of Apokolips should look like, I mean come on...this is Darkseid we're talking about here...
But I can't convey how awesome his interpretation of the character is. He's huge, he strong in a way that's beyond "Hulkish," and Lee's take on the character still has that sense of total evil about him, and you're totally thrilled to see him defeated and sent packing back to Apokolips.
I'm not sure if this ends Lee's run on Justice League, but I do know that the series will have a new arc starting with issue #7, and it looks like we will be seeing The Phantom Stranger in these pages along with a storyline that involves a certain person named Pandora, and oh the tales we will read in this storyline.
I think that issue #6 ends Jim Lee's run on this title, and from what I've heard thus far artist Gene Ha is on board as a guest artist for the next story arc. Here is a page of art for issue 7.