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1/26 – Curious Cat Asks…

Who was the best regular Avengers artist? Perez? Buscema? Someone else?



Don Heck. Simple, clean linework, strong storytelling, with ocassional expressive flourishes.

Kirby’s my close second, and Perez my third.

I’d probably go with Perez, since he’s the guy I grew up on. But if someone wanted to say John Buscema, I wouldn’t argue.

John Buscema/Tom Palmer. Hands down.


January 26, 2008 at 2:27 pm

P̩rz РIn any and all of his runs.

Joe Sinnott. Yes, he is an inker, but a superb one. He made Al Milgrom’s pencils just perfect for the Roger Stern issues.

Tom Fitzpatrick

January 26, 2008 at 2:47 pm

Perez. A-men.

Now, will someone puh-leaze put that curious cat out of its misery!

George Perez all the way, followed by John Buscema. John Byrne also did some great work on Avengers and Avengers West Coast.

George Pérez by a long stretch, with John Buscema in second. Honorable mentions to Jack Kirby, Neal Adams, Steve Epting, Don Heck & Paul Ryan. John Byrne should probably be mentioned in there somewhere– even though I didn’t like the stories so much, the art on WCA was nice to look at.

John Buscema.

Buscema pretty much invented the visual style that made the Avengers distinct from the other Kirby-created Marvel books. As great as Perez was on the Avengers, he was following Buscema. The same is true with Byrne and everyone else who has ever done the title ‘right’. Plus, Perez and Byrne both had other team books that they left MUCH larger visual stamps on.

Okay, the Yankee thing was too bizarre… but this one, I couldn’t stay away from…

People have been mentioning him, but I have to reiterate what great work John Byrne did on the original title. I’m talking specifically the Nefaria trilogy and the Michelinie issues.

Byrne and Perez are considered masters of the 70’s/80’s superhero team, and while Perez is rightfully credited as being Mr. Cram-Every-Detail/Ten-Panels-Per-Page, I actually think Byrne had a much clearer grasp on how to draw team books that made them more accessible than they’d ever been before. His choreography was top notch. His layouts were crystal clear. No matter how many characters were involved — and think about the Nefaria trilogy where it’s the Avengers vs. the Lethal Legion (two full teams going at it) — you were never lost at to who was where and what the action was.

Having said that, Perez has only gotten better with team books over time, while Byrne I think peaked with X-Men/Avengers/FF. But that wasn’t the question, was it…?

(that thunder-like sound you hear, btw, is Byrne raging at the heavens for someone expressing an opinion on his work that I’m certain differs from his)



Big John.

For his runs in the 60’s and then the 80’s John Buscema is surely the definative Avengers artist. Clean lines, great composition and fantastic story-telling, John had it all. The only Avengers artist to pencil issues in four different decades I think?

Who was his best inker though, Tom Palmer or George Klein?

Maybe I should pretend to think about it for a while, but it’s Perez for sure.

Has to be Perez. The Avengers have attracted plenty of great artists, but Perez tops the list for me.

I echo Joe Casey’s sentiments about Byrne’s Nefaria trilogy and Michelenie run. For pure comic book action I don’t think it gets better than that.

But Perez was great. Definitely the best Ultron artist.

I think I’ll ultimately go with 60’s John Buscema. If I understand correctly, he mainly did breakdowns during the 80’s Stern run, and I don’t think those issues looked quite as good, but the Roy Thomas issues just scream “classic” off every page. And his covers were just too cool to ignore (got a soft spot for the cover of #79 with Grim Reaper and the Lethal Legion. That’s how to draw a rogues gallery!).

I’m going first-run Perez. Because he WASN’T cramming back then, merely juggling with aplomb. Later, he crammed. And I agree w/Joe Casey about Byrne peaking w/simultaneous X-MEN and AVENGERS runs. Ye Gods, he made the Absorbing Man a credible menace!

Byrne and Perez were definitely my favorites

Definitely ’60s Buscema followed by Buscema/Palmer. That team with Roger Stern is the best run of Avengers period.

I’m actually reading through the John Buscema/George Klein classics right now -“You’ll believe an android can cry!” and so on. That stuff is untouchable, my friends.

Love the John Byrne years when David Michelinie was writing. The Hawkeye solo issue is probably my favorite single issue of the series, and no one can draw Scarlet Witch sexy like Byrne can.

George Perez drew the best Wonder Man, back in his initial return to life -but, there again, you’ve got John Buscema drawing Wondy’s first issue back (#158?). There is no greater artist for the series than Buscema.

Kirby got it started, and Don Heck established the visual template (his Kang issues are fantastic), but the series caught fire when Buscema stepped up. Look back at the first appearance of Ultron, in #54; look at panel 1, page 3. The Wasp is out of costume and walking down the street, and guys sitting in the window next to her are going nuts. There is so much ZAP in that one panel, it’s like something Norman Rockefeller would have done.

What can I say? I liked Byrne’s run. I also enjoyed Epting grow as an artist during his run. His art from his first issues is completely different than his last issues (which is different from his art now). He continues to grow and improve.

Tom Palmer solidified the look of The Avengers for over ten years. For MY money, he’s the man for the Avengers. He inked over some of the best in the business, but kept the look consistent for his entire run.

For pencils, George Perez is tops, with Big John second. Perez’ second run was better than his first. I didn’t like Byrne on the Avengers for some reason. Normally I’m a big fan of Kirby, but his Avengers just didn’t do it for me.

FWIW: Wally Wood didn’t have a long run, but everything he did was gold. Likewise with Neil Adams. Adams had less than ten issues, but they were ALL artistic masterpieces.

Big John Buscema with a bullet.

Perez, Byrne and Kirby were all just as good, but Buscema was on the book for so much longer than those guys that it’s hard for this old fart to think of The Avengers as being anything other than “John’s book”.

Epting’s 1990s run on the title looked like Buscema-Lite, but his own style has blossomed quite a bit since then. I’d love to see Marvel give Steve a shot at the title.

Of course, I’d also like to see just one Avengers team with a roster that blends new and classic members with a flavor that better resembles… well, nearly every permutation of the Avengers published from 1993 to 2004 in a Marvel Universe less “Post-9/11 real-world cynical” than the current titles. Seeing as we’ll probably never get that book back, it’s probably best to leave Steve on better books.

1963. Not 1993. Eyes must be going.

And get off my lawn!

Paul Ryan. Am I the only one who remembers this guy? He was awesome, and his work with the late great Mark Gruenwald on DP7, Quasar, and Avengers was top notch.

Kirby wins any comic he worked on. The other answers are nonsense.


I’m gradually (re)working my way through the entire run, via the GIT DVD collection, and I continue to be amazed — as I was in the ’60s and ’70s — by the power and drama of John Buscema’s work.

Big John remains, for me, the best and most consistent of Marvel’s “classic period” Big Three. His Avengers work is the stuff of legend.

1. Buscema
2. Deodato
3. Epting
4. Byrne
5. Heck

For me it has to be George Perez. His first run on the Avengers was a revelation back in the 70’s and his return in the 90’s was a joy.

Neal Adams (whose all-too-brief Avengers run is gorgeous– Tom Palmer was such a great inker for him. I love Adams’ Avengers work better than a good chunk of his DC stuff), George Perez and John Buscema.


January 27, 2008 at 8:53 am

I have a real soft spot for those old Don Heck issues.
Truly classic stuff that I could read/look at all day.
Maybe it’s the nostalgia of it (issues 21 & 22 were the first I had ever read/seen), but that run has a strong place of honor in my mind.

I also was a big fan of Steve Epting’s run, and even though it was only a shadow of his quality which he produces today, you could still see the work was strong.
It only suffered due to it’s (perhaps mandated) similarity to Image stuff.

Byrne’s work on the title (not West Coast) was beautiful, classic Byrne, and some of the best work on the title by anyone. However, at the time, ANYTHING Byrne worked on had that level of quality. It’s just that he gave a fantastic flair to the characters.

John Buscema’s work was iconic.
No way around it.
He truly gave the Avengers their overall template.
His later work on the title, however, looked a bit rough (inker perhaps?) but still maintained the quality of bombast that he was called to the plate to deliver.

Those are my top 4.
If I HAD to choose only ONE… it would have to be DON HECK.
But only because the old-time look that was present in those issues deeply resonates with me.

I’ll give 2nd place to John Byrne’s issues.
His work back then was a hallmark of Marvel comics and the bar which I looked at all other art of the time.


Did everyone forget Barry Smith’s brief run? Of course this was before the Windsor.

1 Perez
2 Buscema
3 Kirby
4 Byrne
5 Heck

I can’t decide between Perez & Buscema, so I’ll chicken out and put them at a tie for first.

Kirby created the book and brought back Captain America, but I don’t put his Avengers on the same level as his FF, Cap, Thor, or New Gods. It was still very good super-hero comics, of course. Neal Adams is the best Avengers artist who didn’t draw enough Avengers comics to really count as “regular,” and Alan Davis is a close second.

As a long-time Avengers fan, all I can say is… I just can’t decide!!! George Perez was the first name to come to mind. But then almost immediately after, John Buscema’s name also occurred to me. I really cannot pick one over the other. So, as far as I’m concerned, Perez and Buscema are tied for first place.

Perez. Buscema. Byrne (vol. 1, anyway).

On the flipside, while I know that they were fine artists elsewhere, Bob Brown and George Tuska were my least favorite artists on the title.

definitely George Perez but Neil Adams and barry Windsor Smith – issues are also lovely.

Perez….Byrne and Buscema. But I think a lot with my choices has to also do with the inkers working with those artists…(Gene Day’s inks on Byrne’s pencils in issue #181 were damn gorgeous !!!). Plus the stories written for these artist were incredible. Ahhhh….good art and intelligent stories both in the same book. Those were the days my friend.

Perez. To be fair, I never read the Buscema issues, but to me, Perez is the creator synonomous with the Avengers.

George Perez. Easy.

There were other great artists (all of whom have been mentioned, I think), like Buscema, Byrne, Epting.

(Paul Ryan? Seriously?)

Buscema, Perez, Adams, Kirby, Heck … in that order.

The mind boggles.

I don’t think one can fault AVENGERS fans for not placing Kirby at the top of their favorite artists lists for this title. Sure he is THE Jack Kirby, but his influence on this single title is not as great as his influence on Fantastic Four, or Thor, or New Gods. He was the first artist on the book, but the book featured already-esta characters

Don Heck is unjustly overlooked usually, but for all that Avengers was his book for so long, I’ve got to give the nod to John Buscema’s work from 41-97 (not coninuous, but that run), especially the Klein-inked issues. (Had Kirby been inked by Stone for all his issues, Kirby would have won my vote, though.)

For all the later artists, Perez wins out. Honorable mention to Byrne, Ordway, Milgrom, Epting (the only bright spot on a very long run of Bob Harras scripted stories), and Paul Ryan who really should get more love from fans than he does.

IF we’re including West Coast Avengers, Dave Ross deserves an honorable mention also.

Didn’t realize that posted.

I was going to say “already-established characters” and also mention that Kirby didn’t get to really let loose and establish the look-and-feel of the series the way that other artists mentioned in this thread did. Look at all the hallmarks that John Buscema provided– Ultron, The Vision, Arkon, the early Quinjets, Yellowjacket, Wasp’s outfit-of-the-week. Kirby gave us Baron Zemo, the Space Phantom and Kang. His most long-lived Avengers contribution was arguably Jarvis, and that was from Tales of Suspense.

That’s not a slam of Jack Kirby, just a realization that he was more creative elsewhere.

Mobelius Rodelius

January 30, 2008 at 10:36 am

60’s Buscema and Byrne are both more legitimately visually appealing to a modern reader (i.e. someone who didn’t read any of these issues as a kid) than Perez.

That said, Olivier Coipel’s brief run a few years ago was probably the best the Avengers have ever looked. Take off the nostalgia goggles and see if I’m not right.


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