With the recent passing of George Perez and Neal Adams, I realize that it's essential to give people their proverbial flowers while they can still smell them. To that end, I wanted to talk about one of the comic industry's top talents: Jim Lee.
Like Adams before him, Lee's style has become synonymous with DC Comics over the last 20 years. By becoming DC's resident "house artist," Lee has shaped the visual language for some of the most iconic characters in all comics. So much so, Lee was chosen to redesign the seven pillars of DC when the publisher rebranded in 2011. And while the designs didn't have the staying power DC hoped they would, you have to give Lee credit for the steps he took to modernize certain characters' aesthetics. Some of Lee's designs have influenced the cinematic costumes of DC's biggest heroes.
As if helping to secure the future of the industry's oldest company wasn't enough, Lee was also instrumental in establishing comics' most progressive publisher in Image comics. Lee's legacy as a creator may have been cemented at DC, but Image was responsible for solidifying his identity as a comic book innovator.
With May being Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage month, taking time to recognize one of the most important Asian American creators in comics was a no-brainer. If you have the time, check out Lee's work on Superman: For Tomorrow. Compared to Lee's extensive Batman output, the book is often overlooked, which is criminal as it gives the Man of Steel a contemporary edge.