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A Month of Art Stars – Pete Woods

Every day this month I’m going to feature a current comic book art “star,” someone whose work I absolutely love.

I’m mostly going to try to keep from the biggest names as much as possible, because, really, do I need to talk more about the awesomeness of JH Williams, Frank Quitely and Darwyn Cooke? Here‘s the archive of the artists mentioned so far!

In honor of not re-inventing the wheel, this is basically a reprinting of a Comic Book Alphabet of Cool bit I did awhile back.


Pete Woods originally broke into the comic industry in the mid 90s, working as an intern at Wildstorm. While at Wildstorm, he had the chance to do fill-in work here and there. I remember seeing his work on an issue of Warren Ellis’ Stormwatch and thinking, “I’ve never heard of this guy, but he’s actually pretty good.”

Stormwatch got him work on Backlash…

Perhaps based off of his Stormwatch (or Backlash) work, Woods did a fill-in stint on Ellis’ former title, Excalibur.

Not Woods’ best work, but it got him his next gig, a nice run on Deadpool with Joe Kelly.

Woods even drew the acclaimed Deadpool #11, which is not in any trade paperback collections by Marvel, which is weird, because it was one of the strongest Marvel issues of the 90s.

After Deadpool, Woods went to DC, where he really established himself as the artist on Robin.

On Robin, Woods went from being a good artist to being a great artist, drawing the book for almost FIFTY issues (with very few missed issues – if any, I don’t recall any offhand, but I figure he had to take AN issue off here and there, right?).

From Robin, Woods went to Detective Comics.

Then he did a short stint on Catwoman leading up to One Year Later.

Woods helped bring Superman back from One Year Later.

A DC exclusive artist now, Woods’ tenure at DC, which should have been on a major upswing, instead hit a bit of a down note.

First, Woods reunited with his Catwoman partner, Will Pfeifer, to do Amazons Attack, which was one of the most panned series of 2007 (Woods’ art was still very good, though!).

Then Woods did a few issues of Countdown to Final Crisis.

Then he began working on Infinity, Inc. Inc. for about five issues before it was inevitably cancelled (not said as an insult of the book, but come on, when you have to completely retool a book FIVE ISSUES IN, it usually is not a great sign of longevity).

This is disheartening, because Pete Woods is one of the best artists DC has, and I’d love to see him do high profile work again. It’s bizarre, and more than a bit annoying, to see a guy do the standard “do small stuff then work your way up to big stuff” journey, only to go right back down to small stuff.

Now DC seems to be mostly using him on special projects, which is fair enough, but this guy is amazing, and I’d really love to see some high-profile stuff from him – an extended run, perhaps.

Here is the website of his Studio, Periscope Studios and here is his personal website.


In Final Crisis Revelations #2, in the half-page center-spread house ad for the Superman books, Pete Woods is listed along with Geoff Johns as the creative team for Action Comics.

Haven’t seen a word about this anywhere else. If it’s true, does that mean Gary Frank is out and Pete is in?

Don’t forget Woods’ work on the back-up strips in X-Men: Deadly Genesis. That was hardly the best X-Men story, but Woods’ art for the origins of the forgotten X-Men squad made Brubaker’s story much more enjoyable.

Like Brain said Pete’s doing ‘Special’ projects like New Krypton one-shots until Gary Frank comes back.

*A fill-in for Action Comics. Until Gary comes back, sorry.

If he’s slow then DC could use him as a cover artist, i mean look at the Infinity Inc. cover. WOW.

@Codename assassin

Sure. Just seemed odd to promote like that.

Don’t forget, Pete also did fill-in issues of Harley Quinn when Terry Dodson couldn’t fulfill his contract….errrr, needed a break, while he was drawing Robin. I think his Robin run is one of the best books DC was churning out in the 90s. Back when Dixon was at the apex of writing the counter-Bat books.

Another excellent choice.

Wow- this is very flattering! Thanks Brian! (Although some of this stuff I would prefer NOT to remember).

To clear things up a bit– I am doing the lion’s share of the New Krypton Special. Following that I am doing the Action Comics chapters of the arc coming out of New Krypton (beginning with 871). Following THAT if all goes according to plan and schedule I have a longer term Superman related project with one of the most talented and respected writers in the industry (I mean besides the talented and respected writers I ALREADY have the great privilege of working with).

As far as Infinity Inc. goes– at that time I had several offers of projects that were higher profile. I elected to go with Infinity Inc. because I liked the concept and I actually WANTED a book that was lower profile so I could unwind a bit. Unfortunately I don’t think that book had a chance to find it’s audience for many reasons- not just editorial.

Thanks again Brian, I really appreciate the nod!


Nice, Pete. Looking forward to it.

Might his initials be.. JMS? Or KB?

His work on Up up and away was great, I’d love the see him as a regular artist on either if the main Superman books.

Great choice of artist.

I really love Mr Woods’ work; his run on Superman OYL was just beautiful, as was the one-shot for Superboy-Prime he did for the Sinestro Corps War. His faces are so expressive and his action scenes are so fluid. I’d love to see him work on JLA or JSA.

Thanks again Brian, I really appreciate the nod!

No prob, Pete, you totally deserve all the plaudits you can get!


September 15, 2008 at 12:01 am

I first discovered, and loved, his work on the ‘Back In Action’ Superman arc, written by Kurt Busiek.
Even the corniest of heroes in that arc didn’t look corny.

Well, except for Blue Jay, but I dare an artist to draw him where he isn’t corny.

Extremely underrated. And best artist the recent “Catwoman” book ever had. (and yes, he did better work than Darwyn Cooke on the book).

Additionally, it’s an absolute crime that he’s not on a higher-profile book for DC. GL Corps could use his glorious pencils (tired of the sloppy b.s. the book has right now).

Peter, A very nice article and summary of your successes so far.

Love, Dad and Ginny

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