In over 75 years of his existence, Superman has been drawn by some of the greatest artists in the history of the comics industry. In that time, some of those artists were on the book for so long, or were so influential on the character that they are forever associated with Superman. These are five of the best artists who have helped define Superman over the years.
Throughout his career, Jon Bogdanove has worked for both DC and Marvel. For Marvel he is known mostly for his work on Power Pack and X-Factor, however, he is most well known as one of the longest running Superman artists, and one of the artists who defined the character for the 90s. Bogdanove drew Superman: The Man of Steel from issue #1 in 1991 until he left the book in 1999 with issue #85. He and his writing partner on that book also created the character of Steel together as part of the Reign of the Supermen storyline, cementing their place in the Superman legacy forever.
Curt Swan drew Superman longer than any creator has ever worked on a single character in the history of anything. Curt Swan's first work on Superman was in 1948 and his last work for Superman was Superman: The Wedding Album in 1996. Superman: The Wedding Album was actually Swan's last professional work, as he died that same year. Swan didn't draw the character straight, of course, but you would still be hard pressed to find another creator associated with a character for that long, even non-consecutively. In the 1960s was when Curt Swan became forever associated with Superman, as he was instrumental in developing Superman for the Silver Age, and he would continue to draw Superman until the Crisis on Infinite Earths. Curt Swan even drew the comic book adaptations for the films Superman III and Superman IV: The Quest for Peace. If you pick up any random Superman comic from the 60s, 70s or early 80s, odds are it will have interior art by Curt Swan.
Ed McGuinness was the name most associated with Superman during the early part of the 2000s. He worked on some of the biggest storylines of that decade, including Emperor Joker and Our Worlds At War. He has also done some stellar work on Hulk and Deadpool, most notably illustrating the Red Hulk epic, but he will forever be associated with Superman. The animated film Superman/Batman: Public Enemies had animation based on McGuinness' artwork, because it was also based on a storyline that had originally been illustrated by him.
Dan Jurgens created Booster Gold in 1985. In 1989, he began his long association with Superman when he became the writer/penciller of The Adventures of Superman, an association that would run for six years straight, although he has returned to Superman several times since he stopped illustrating the main Superman title in 1995. From 1991 to 1993 he actually illustrated both Superman and The Adventures of Superman. While he stopped drawing Superman in 1995, he did continue on the book as the writer for another four years. While working on Superman he created Doomsday and the Cyborg Superman.
John Byrne redefined Superman for an entire generation, re-creating the character from the ground up after the Crisis on Infinite Earths. Prior to his work on Superman, Byrne had previously been known for his work with Chris Claremont on the X-Men. Byrne's first work on Superman was the Man of Steel miniseries in 1986, which served to reintroduce the character's origin for the post-Crisis reboot of the DC Universe. After that, he served as writer and artist on both Action Comics and Superman, and later also took over writing duties on The Adventures of Superman with artist Jerry Ordway. He worked on Superman for only two years, but cemented his name to the Superman legacy in that time, becoming the person most associated with the character since Curt Swan. Elements from Byrne's time on Superman have been used in the Superboy television series, Superman: The Animated Series, Lois and Clark: The New Adventures of Superman and even on Smallville to an extent.
So there you have it, five of the most influential artists to ever work on Superman. Who was your favorite Superman artist? Who would you like to see take on Superman in the future? Let us know in the comments section below.