The Artist's Spider-Man

The Artist's Spider-Man: Humberto Ramos' Exuberant Exaggeration
Humberto Ramos has been a consistent presence on the Spider-Man titles for the past 14 years or so, but he actually came to the character nearly a decade into his career. Before tackling Spidey, Ramos worked on Milestone books, including Hardware, and numerous books for DC Comics, most notably a two-year run on Impulse with writer Mark Waid. Then he moved onto Wildstorm and helped found the Cliffhanger publishing imprint, where he produced 24 issues of his creator-owned comic Crimson with writer Brian Augustyn. It wasn't until 2002 that Ramos worked on a Spider-book.
The Artist's Spider-Man: Marcos Martin's Ultramodern Nostalgia
Though the story that brought it about was among the most controversial Spider-Man stories ever published, the soft reboot that came with 2008's "Brand New Day" branding infused the Spidey titles with a massive influx of energy and talent. In addition to the rotating Spider-Man "Brain Trust" concocting some of the most exciting stories in years, the books were gorgeous, with art from the likes of Steve McNiven, Chris Bachalo, Paolo Rivera, Phil Jimenez, and Salvador Larroca, among others. Yet one artist really stood out among that incredible pool of talent: Marcos Martin, who penciled and inked five arcs of Amazing Spider-Man between 2008 and 2011. Though all the artists who worked on the series during that period turned in gorgeous work, Martin truly put his stamp on the character.
The Artist's Spider-Man: Mark Bagley's Generational Jump
Among Spider-Man fans, Mark Bagley is largely known as the artist of Ultimate Spider-Man, and with good reason. The Ultimate line was a shot in the arm for a character who had taken a downward turn in the mid-90s, with an overlong and largely panned story, The Clone Saga. He hadn't fully returned to the spotlight, despite some good follow-up stories. But to peg Bagley as just the artist of an astonishing run on Ultimate Spidey is to undercut his accomplishments on the regular Marvel U version of the character a full decade earlier. And it's all pretty good.
The Longevity and Adaptability of John Romita Jr.
With the exception of his father, who still occasionally picks up a pencil or inking brush, nobody has been drawing Spider-Man longer than John Romita Jr. Over the course of nearly 40 years with the character (longer if you count that he came up with the idea for The Prowler for 1969's Amazing Spider-Man #78), Romita has penciled somewhere in the range of 140 Spider-Man comics. Of course, longevity and productivity aren't the only hallmarks of a great artist, and Romita Jr. has done far more than simply pump out issues. He has changed with the times, adapted his style, and co-created some cornerstone Spider-Man characters.
The Artist's Spider-Man: McFarlane's Transformative Dynamism
Ask anyone who was alive and reading comics in the late 1980s and early 1990s to name a Spider-Man artist, and nine times out of 10, you'll always get the same name: Todd McFarlane. Plenty of artists in the 1970s and '80s did great work on the character, and the black costume put a new coat of paint on him, but nobody since John Romita transformed the character like McFarlane did. The character was still instantly recognizable as Spider-Man, but lots of the details changed to pull the character into the 1990s, and all the while, there was an undeniable, unmistakable energy to the art.
The Artist's Spider-Man: The Moody Atmosphere of Mike Zeck
Like many other superheroes, the 1980s were the decade when Spider-Man went dark. In Spidey's case, it was a literal shift into darkness, as the new black costume, which Peter Parker got in 1984's Marvel Super Heroes Secret Wars #8, by Jim Shooter and Mike Zeck, signaled a tone change in a character known for bright colors, soap opera drama and clever quips. Zeck is among the artists spotlighted in this series who drew the fewest total Spider-Man comics, yet his work on the definitive dark 1980s story, "Kraven's Last Hunt," marks him as Spider-Man artist of note. Much of the imagery from that story shaped Spider-Man stories for much of the next three decades.
The Artist's Spider-Man: Ross Andru's Kinetic Consistency
Ross Andru didn't draw the most iconic Spider-Man story of the 1970s --- Gil Kane was the artist of 1973's "The Night Gwen Stacy Died" --- but in his five-year run as artist on The Amazing Spider-Man from 1973 to 1978, Andru served as an artistic foundation during a time when Marvel lost some footing with its flagship character. In addition to co-creating The Punisher, Andru (born Rossolav Andruskevitch) brought many of the (admittedly uneven) ideas of the era to life in a way that has enabled many of the characters and concepts to endure, if even only as punchlines. Say what you will about Rocket Racer and Big Wheel --- two of Andru's other co-creations --- but you know them when you see them.
The Artist's Spider-Man: John Romita Sr.'s Muscular Melodrama
Over the past half a century, many artists have put their own spin on the hero who came to be Marvel’s best known and best-loved character, Spider-Man. With this series, The Artist's Spider-Man, ComicsAlliance takes a look at the artists who made the character their own, and had the biggest influence on those that followed. Steve Ditko co-created Spider-Man, but the artist who arguably made him a mainstream superhero was his successor, John Romita Sr. Working with writer Stan Lee, Romita polished many of the rough edges that Ditko intentionally made part of the Spider-Man's DNA, and in the process made him the highly adaptable character he is today.
The Artist's Spider-Man: The Weirdness of Steve Ditko
Over the past half a century, many artists have put their own spin on the hero who came to be Marvel's best known and best-loved character, Spider-Man. With this series, ComicsAlliance takes a look at the artists who made the character their own, and had the biggest influence on those that followed. It's not that hard to define co-creator Steve Ditko's contribution to the design of Spider-Man. Just look at any drawing of the character. Ditko is responsible for basically all of the basics: The luchador mask, the big eyes, the webbing motif in the red areas, the contortions, the webs under his arms, the movement within a panel, the whole deal.