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Artist: Walt Simonson

Banes at 12:00AM, Sept. 3, 2015

image by Walt Simonson

I read a lot of Marvel Comics back in the day. The Hulk, Spider Man, The X-Men…it was actually the ORIGINAL X-Men I really loved (which I read in reprints). Right around the time I was discovering those old Stan Lee/Jack Kirby X-Men stories, the team actually reunited as “X-Factor”. Great timing for me as a reader!

The series was okay. I liked the five characters a lot. But where it really came together was when Louise Simonson and then her husband Walt Simonson took over the writing and art, respectively.

The artwork in particular appealed to me. I already knew Walt Simonson's work from THOR. I didn't collect that series, but had picked up a few issues here and there. The artwork suited THOR perfectly. It had an…I don't know, an “epic”, “mythological” feel to it (I'm not sure what that even means, but I dug it). It always seemed to stand apart from the rest of the Marvel Universe. The jagged-edged characters gave it a certain gravity.

Every time I picked up an issue, it was thrilling. Wish I'd read it more regularly, but there was only so much comic money available!

There were powerful, powerful moments in those comics. I still remember reading about Balder the Brave, Thor's friend, the greatest warrior of Asgard, who was in Hel and encountered everyone he'd ever killed in battle - and to escape, had to slay them again.

Then there was the battle where Loki actually joined forces with Thor and their father Odin. I didn't even collect the series, but the images (and writing) are still with me. They made a huge impact.

And of course, Walt Simonson also created the story about Thor being turned into a frog! Great stuff…though unlikely to be the plot of the next Thor movie, I'm guessing…

In any case, I enjoyed his half dozen issues of X-Factor (too short!) and his work on THOR is deservedly considered one of the most legendary runs in comics. I just read it's available in a big, 1000 page collection. I think I may treat myself!

…So, why do I bring up Walt Simonson? Well, he's a fantastic artist, who happened to have his 69th birthday yesterday! So kudos and best wishes to one of the greats!



shastab24 at 10:17AM, Sept. 3, 2015

That X-Factor issue is one of the few that was at my house growing up, and it's what introduced me to my favorite Marvel character, Artie Maddicks. It's great.

KimLuster at 4:52AM, Sept. 3, 2015

All I know is I want the next Thor movie to have Frog-Thor in it ;)

Abt_Nihil at 4:07AM, Sept. 3, 2015

Wonderful nod to one of superhero comics' legendary creators. (Happy Birthday!)

cdmalcolm1 at 2:56AM, Sept. 3, 2015

Happy birthday Walt.

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