ART AND ARTIFICE

Art and Artifice

Marshall Rogers 2005

Marshall Rogers

Jim Aparo - Spectre, Batman and Aquaman Artist

Marshall Rogers & Steve Englehart 2005
Dark Detective 2005
Published by DC Comics
©2005 DC Comics

Marshall Rogers original run in Detective Comics began in 1976. One of the things that distinguished his artwork then and distinguishes it in 2005 is some of the finest architectural renderings of cityscape in comics. Rogers seems to love the minutia of buildings juxtaposed to one another, and his expansive city backgrounds contain multiple interesting planes of depth.

Typically, superhero comic books teem with antiseptic drawings of urban places. Drawn with an eye toward creating a perspective effect for the herioc figures that are roaring about in the foreground, most cities are drawn as empty and impossibly clean backdrops. But with Rogers there is a livliness and literalness to his places, and the heroes fit into the graphic design of the area as if they are a part of it.

Marshall Rogers

Marshall Rogers

This two-page wide panel shows the higher floors of Gotham City as a world of its own, with the shiny modern facade of the glass-faced building acting as a mirror that shows the more-gothic building where perches Batman. Air ventilation ducts and iron stairs with a vertical brick chimney are details that helps this story come to visual life and present a feeling of reality. Four or five blocks of buildings are narrowly shown receding in the open space on the left-hand side. This place looks real.

Marshall Rogers

The buildings are real, but is this story real? Steve Englehart has written a frankly romantic tale, more or less like the original romance of his and Rogers run together in Detective Comics in 1977-78. Batman/Bruce Wayne is conflicted by his affection for Silver St. Cloud, a woman who ultimately breaks off their relationship when she sees the extent of the violent lifestyle he leads. It is the classic (or stereotype) catch-22 of the comic book hero - - the girl loves him because he is a hero, the girl can't be with him because of the danger of his being a hero.

The 2005 version is a reiteration of the same delimma, however Englehart and Rogers have concieved complications in which The Joker is running a crazed parallel political campaign to become governor against Silver St. Cloud's boyfriend Evan Gregory. At a political rally Bruce Wayne and St. Cloud cross paths, flashbacking the earlier story of their aborted love affair. The Joker promptly makes his appearance, and like the 1970s Englehart version he is still one part Marx Brothers and one part homicidal maniac.

A page from the 1980 Comics Journal interview with Marshall Rogers is below (Scroll down).

Marshall Rogers

MARSHALL ROGERS 2005

Marshall Rogers

MARSHALL ROGERS 1978

MARSHALL ROGERS 2005

MARSHALL ROGERS 2005

ROGERS INTERVIEW 1980

MARSHALL ROGERS 1978

Written by Erik Weems ©2005-2006
Artwork is by Marshall Rogers
Copyright 2005 DC Comics
The Comics Journal page is copyright to the Comics Journal 1980



Hopper Drawing

Early Flemish Painting


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