Saturday, June 28, 2008

Michael Turner passes away

I had hoped to take today off from the blog to soak in the announcement about the new creative team on Supergirl.

Or I thought I might blog later on about the reveal that Linda Danvers will appear in Reign in Hell. There will be a post I promise.

But I just found out that Michael Turner passed away yesterday after a long battle with chondrosarcoma of the pelvis. He was 37. This is completely depressing.

Turner became one of the hot artists in the market after co-creating Witchblade and creating Fathom and Soulfire. He was revered (or vilified depending on your taste) for his stylized drawings of women. His fans said he drew beautiful, sexy, and powerful females. His detractors said his women often looked emaciated with impossible anatomy. I was one of the rare people who was in the middle. I thought his art at times was amazing, but never included him in my mental 'favorite artists' list.

In 2004, he teamed with Jeph Loeb to reintroduce Kara Zor-El to the DC Universe in issues 8-13 of the Superman/Batman title. He updated her costume and gave her a distinctive Turner look which has defined Kara for the 21st century. He simply became the artistic template for Supergirl. The art in that arc was phenomenal guest starring many notables from the DCU and ranging from Gotham to Paradise Island to Apokolips to Kansas.

Many of his drawings of Kara have become iconic, the image people think of when they think of the current Kara. Here are a few:

They have been put on posters.

They have been made into action figures.

They have been put on t-shirts.

And made into statues.

I would be remiss if I did not include what I felt was his best cover at DC, Identity Crisis 4. This is absolutely everything Wonder Woman should be.

For his contribution to the Supergirl mythos, I salute him. With the comic community, I feel a great sadness and recognize the loss to the field.

To his family, I send my condolences.

Rest in peace, Michael Turner.


Heath Edwards said...

RIP, indeed...
i first caught turner's art on fathom. i had just gotten into comics, and fathom was my first glimpse outside superman and the x-men. i was completely blown away by the beautiful artwork. i love his art, and all the interviewers i've read have only had good things to say about him...

Anj said...

Thanks again.

And you're right in that all the obits and testimonies I read talk about what an absolute nice guy he was.

It is amazing that for a 'super-star' in the field, he was so apporachable and easy going.