iFanboy Upstarts: Clayton Henry

Beneath the A-List of high profile artists commanding top dollar and top billing on comics titles, there’s a number of artists who piece together the worlds and jump between titles as a reliable and talented support network to keep the comics engines running. Some of today’s biggest artists began their career doing this work, while others continue to do it year after year. This week’ s iFanboy Upstart has become a veritable workhouse at Marvel and DC, working on over two dozen titles in the past eight years without yet finding the right spot to make a name for himself. Yet.

Jamaican-born Clayton Henry got into drawing at an early age: four, to be exact. But it wasn’t until five years later at the age of 9 did find his way into comics, via a copy of Uncanny X-Men #201. Henry was continually enrolled in art from 4th grade up through college, and got his break into comics from the most unlikely of places: the Wu-Tang Clan. In 1999, Henry was tapped to draw Image’s Nine Rings of Wu-Tang, a five issue series based on ideas from the Staten Island rap group. After that, the artist briefly did another independent series, Area 52, while pitching his work to the Big Two. Although he received rejection letters at first, in 2003 he got his shot at the big time with a short in Marvel’s X-Men Unlimited #40. Showing his process there, the House of Ideas quickly employed him on titles like Exiles, Alpha and miniseries such as New X-Men: Hellions, X-Men: Apocalypse vs. Dracula. 2006 saw his profile ratchet up a notch as he was being used as a relief artist on Uncanny X-Men, X-Men, Incredible Hercules and Agents of Atlas. In 2009, Henry jumped across town to the offices of DC doing the Legion of Super-Heroes back-up in Adventure Comics, but came back to Marvel soon after to do launch a new Spider-Girl series with Paul Tobin. Henry’s quickly settled into being a go-to artist to call for publishers looking for a quick and quality fill-in issue, and he’s scheduled to step in on DC’s Suicide Squad series beginning with issue 7.

Although Henry’s yet to make his mark with a definable run on any one title, if you piece together his body of work from a single issue here and a small arc there you begin to see the makings of a special kind of talent. It’s a mystery to me why he hasn’t got a bigger project yet, but what do you think? Review some of his work below and tell us.



  1. I’m surprised he hasn’t gotten a bigger project yet. He’s kinda like Ryan Stegman in that he had to do a lot small projects before he got the big title.

    Clayton Henry, as shown in the front page image, did draw one of the greatest panels in comic book history with Herc giving the thumbs up. That’s not hyperbole by the way. I dare you to look at that image and not laugh at it, I dare you!

  2. I remember Clayton from his Chuck Austen Uncanny Days, and i loved him them, though i wish i read more of him now.

  3. Wow, this artist has some awesome work. I really like this clean style and it reminds me of R.B. Silva who drew the super fun Jimmy Olson one-shot and is currently making the New 52 Superboy issues look amazing.

    I wanted to check out the new Suicide Squad but I wasn’t a big fan of the current artist…but I may be giving the book a real chance with #7 when Clayton Henry comes on board.

  4. I liked Henry when I first saw him in Exiles, and have always enjoyed his work. I think part of why he hasn’t gotten a bigger project may be his style. I’m a much brighter feel, which doesn’t work with a lot of current comic books. He’d do great on a Spidey title, I think, or a light-hearted team book.

  5. He’s got a nice clean style.

  6. Found him on that one Alpha Flight series. The reason I picked it up. Super awesome.

  7. Love him, he’s just never on something I can bring myself to buy.

  8. I’ve been a big fan of his for a very long time. He’s one of my look to’s on my DA account. His linework is insanely awesome.

  9. Love that FF picture! I’ve read comics with him here and there, wish he had a long run on something, he has a great style.

  10. I brought his entire Alpha Flight run after reading his issues inan Exiles trade. I love this guys art but didnt know he was on Legion so looks like in getting the trade of that too. Someone give him one of the big charactewrs to draw please!