Jim Lee

April 20, 2014 | 8:00 a.m.

WonderCon: Batman 75 celebration has Jim Lee, Bruce Timm, Kevin Smith

In 75 years of stories, Batman’s greatest obstacle has always been his humanity, Kevin Smith told an applauding capacity crowd in a Bat-cavernous space Saturday at WonderCon. “That’s the only thing that stops him,” the filmmaker said, “and you see the frustration as he’s portrayed throughout every medium…. It’s only when he hits the ceiling of his humanity that he can possibly be stopped. And, as we’ve seen, even then sometimes he overcomes it.” Smith, who hosts the “Fatman on Batman” podcast, was joined on the Batman 75 celebration panel by his “Batman ’66 Meets the Green Hornet” comic co-writer Ralph Garman, superstar artist and DC Comics co-publisher Jim Lee (“Batman: Hush,” “All-Star Batman and Robin, the Boy Wonder”), essential Caped Crusader animator Bruce Timm (“Batman: The Animated Series,” “Batman: Mask of the Phantasm”), longtime popular Bat-voice actor Kevin Conroy […]
Oct. 05, 2013 | 6:00 a.m.

Jim Lee talks Batman, Italy and the psychology of villains

DC Comics co-publisher and comics heavyweight Jim Lee is photographed at DC Entertainment's headquarters in Burbank, Calif., on Oct. 1, 2013. (Jay L. Clendenin / Los Angeles Times)
This post has been corrected, as detailed below. Jim Lee is no small name in the world of comics. With more than 25 years in the industry, Lee has worked on “Batman,” “Superman,” “Fantastic Four,” “X-Men,” “Punisher: War Journal” and dozens of other titles across publishers. The San Diego-based artist first made his mark in the Marvel world; 1991′s “X-Men” No. 1, penciled by Lee and co-written with Chris Claremont, sold a record-breaking 8 million copies. In 1992, Lee and six other artists co-founded Image Comics, and Lee formed WildStorm Productions (later sold to DC). Lee returned to Marvel in 1996 before moving to DC Comics in 1998. There, his story arc “Batman: Hush,” written by Jeph Loeb, became a massive success, critically as well as commercially. In 2010, Lee was named DC Comics co-publisher along with Dan DiDio, and […]
Sept. 10, 2013 | 4:19 p.m.

X-Men 50th anniversary: Five artists who defined Marvel’s mutant team

When “The X-Men” debuted 50 years ago, it was part of a wave of Marvel Comics spearheaded by writer/editor Stan Lee, working alongside a stable of artists who were inventing exciting new superheroes at an extraordinary pace. After the phenomenal success of “The Fantastic Four,” Marvel developed a reputation as a publisher with innovative, sophisticated ideas about what heroes could be, eschewing the bland Boy Scout-ery of Superman and Batman in favor of characters who were cranky, vain, pigheaded and sometimes literally monstrous. The X-Men were the apotheosis of the Marvel way: a team of teenaged mutants shunned by society because they’d developed their powers through a freak of evolution and not as a byproduct of any noble scientific endeavor (as was the case with most of the other Marvel front-loners). But it took a while for the concept to […]
Sept. 04, 2013 | 12:00 p.m.

X-Men 50th anniversary: 50 images from the Marvel mutants’ evolution

X-Men: 50 images (featured image)
A correction has been added to this post. See below for details. The X-Men’s 50th anniversary arrives in the inimitable style of Marvel’s uncanny mutants, with a comics crossover event, “Battle of the Atom,” that involves team members from past, present and future. As “X-Men: Battle of the Atom” No. 1 lands today, Hero Complex takes a look back at the first 50 years of the mutant franchise’s evolution, with 50 images and detailed captions (which you can turn on and off) in the gallery above. There are major moments here across multiple media — classic story lines, key introductions, hit movies — but also a few notable false starts. It’s a journey that begins with Stan Lee and Jack Kirby’s “X-Men” No. 1, dated September 1963, and follows the “Strangest Super-Heroes of All” from their important but low-selling early […]
July 18, 2013 | 7:49 a.m.

Comic-Con 2013: We Can Be Heroes, CBLDF and the con’s charitable side

Artist and DC Comics co-publisher Jim Lee draws Superman on the tailgate of the Kia Sorento that will be auctioned on EBay to raise funds for We Can Be Heroes, which works with other groups to fight famine in the Horn of Africa. (Kirk McKoy / Los Angeles Times)
The car has seven seats — each with an emblem representing a hero: Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, Aquaman, Green Lantern, Cyborg and the Flash. But it isn’t for the Justice League: It’s for the eventual winner of a charity auction. As part of its We Can Be Heroes fundraising campaign to fight famine in the Horn of Africa, DC Entertainment unveiled the eighth and final Justice League-themed car with art designed by superstar artist and DC Comics co-publisher Jim Lee, who finished the super-custom Kia Sorento’s look live during a news conference at the Comic-Con Interactive Zone at Petco Park just before the start of the pop-culture expo on Wednesday. Lee said the ride is “definitely worthy of the Justice League, and something you will definitely not misplace when you go to the parking garage.” The EBay auction for it […]
June 11, 2013 | 1:30 p.m.

Superman at 75: 10 key comic covers in the Man of Steel’s history

(DC Entertainment)
When Superman first leaped onto the scene 75 years ago in “Action Comics” No. 1, he was the only game in town. The now-iconic character was the world’s first comic book superhero, created by writer Jerry Siegel and artist Joe Shuster when they were still high school students in Cleveland in the early 1930s. Superman eventually landed his own comic title, movie serial, TV series, Broadway musical and several blockbuster movies, including this weekend’s “Man of Steel,” which stars Henry Cavill as Supes. In the comics, the cape-wearing, crime-fighting Kryptonian paved the way for the likes of Batman, Wonder Woman and Spider-Man. From 1938’s “Action Comics” No. 1 to 2013’s “Superman Unchained” No. 1, here are 10 covers that tell the story of a constant but changing superhero. Click through the gallery above for a look at the covers, courtesy of […]
April 04, 2013 | 8:00 a.m.

‘Superman Unchained’: Scott Snyder, Jim Lee want to knock you over

Jim Lee and Scott Snyder (featured image)
Think Superman and Batman are intimidating to criminals? Try writing for both of them. As Scott Snyder adds the upcoming “Superman Unchained” to his duties on the acclaimed, high-charting “Batman” and other projects, the Eisner Award-winning writer says he has to put on “horse blinders” to focus away from the pressure. He cites the “golden rule” of the class he teaches at Sarah Lawrence College: You can only write the comic that you’d like to read. “And with a story like this,” he said, “or with Batman, you have to follow that rule … and believe that because you love the characters enough, that in the DNA of that story will be the things that everybody else loves too – hopefully.” The new series, drawn by superstar artist and DC Comics co-publisher Jim Lee, arrives in Superman’s 75th anniversary year. […]
Oct. 11, 2012 | 4:30 p.m.

NYCC: Jim Lee, Scott Snyder launching new Superman comic in 2013

(Jim Lee / DC Comics)
Artist Jim Lee and writer Scott Snyder — two of the comics industry’s most popular talents — are launching a new Superman title in 2013. The comic’s title has yet to be finalized, but the new series was announced during the DC Entertainment Superman panel at New York Comic Con. The announcement comes on the heels of Snyder’s “Batman” No. 13 release — the first book in the much-hyped, Joker-centric “Death of the Family” story line. “It’s very strange to commute from Gotham to Metropolis,” Snyder said Wednesday. “One is very dark, and one is very bright, and the characters are incredibly different from one another.” VIDEO: Jim Lee reflects on a life in art Despite those differences, Snyder spoke of drawing inspiration from the kinship between Bruce Wayne and Clark Kent. “The friendship and the relationship between those characters […]
Aug. 27, 2012 | 4:10 p.m.

Jim Lee reflects on a life in art — and the art of life

Jim Lee video (featured image)
This October, Jim Lee will reach a special moment in a very special career. The most celebrated comic book artist of his generation will mark his silver anniversary — that’s right, it’s been 25 years since “Alpha Flight” No. 51 announced the arrival of a major new force. The polish and composition confidence of Lee’s earliest work hinted that he might be the heir of “X-Men” and “Fantastic Four” star John Byrne (who also created “Alpha Flight”), and over time his maturing style took on the evocative power and sinew that suggested he might also be a latter-day Neal Adams. But long before Lee was a powerhouse figure in the comics industry and co-publisher of DC Entertainment, he was just a kid who liked to draw. “When I was a kid I never felt that what I was drawing really […]
June 18, 2012 | 12:38 p.m.

If ‘Watchmen’ is a bible, then are the prequels heresy?

With just two issues published (and the third arriving Tuesday), the DC Comics expansion of the “Watchmen” mythology is still a Rorschach test — people look into its ink and find shapes that suit their own imported opinion, hope, outlook or agenda. The passion and debate stirred up DC’s “Before Watchmen” prequels is the subject of the fifth episode of “Hero Complex: The Show,” which is a special on-stage edition featuring my interview with DC Comics co-publishers Jim Lee and Dan DiDio at the recent Los Angeles Times Festival of Books. “Before Watchmen” may end up as the biggest story of the year in comics, but so far there’s more to say than to see. The “Before Watchmen” plan is a major mosaic with 35 pieces to it (that’s 34 issues spread across seven separate titles and then the single-issue coda of “Before Watchmen: […]
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