iFanboy Upstarts: Mikel Janin

He’s only done five full length comics in the American market, but Spanish artist Mikel Janin has quickly become one of the stand-out creators in DC’s New 52 relaunch. Currently penciling Justice League Dark, Janin mixes photo-realism with a solid cartooning background that makes him a perfect fit in the DC comics line. Currently the dark horse — literally — of the Justice League family of titles, he’s no doubt given the title a much-needed edge that’s kept it ahead of many other DC books.

Janin came onto Justice League Dark after doing only two small projects for DC: a short in 2011’s JLA 80-Page Giant #1 and the one-shot Flashpoint: Deadman And The Flying Graysons later that year. The only other work he had in America up until that point was a short way back in in a 2008 issue of Heavy Metal, which was imported from Janin’s native Spain. It’s there in Spain that Janin honed his craft, but all the while he was sending sample pages to both Marvel and DC to get their attention. You’ll see in the art samples I’ve included below how Janin’s style evolved, but also a unique more cartoony style more reminiscent of of Crash Bandicoot than DC’s gritty Dark line. It’s through those samples you’ll see how dynamic Janin can be, and opens up the mind for where he mind end up next.

Look below at samples of his work from Justice League Dark, his sample pages and his Spanish work, and let us know where you think Janin will end up next.


  1. He is amazing. He draws the most realistic faces without using photo tracing,,,One of my favorite’s of the new 52 next too Guillem March.

  2. His art is pretty great.

  3. He is the reason I dropped JL: Dark. It’s just too stiff, posed, and melodramatic for my tastes.

  4. Wow, he draws a fantastic Green Arrow!

  5. I REALLY want to read Thief now. Ferret jewel thief!!!

  6. I think he’s good but I find it hard to distinguish between some of the women in JL Dark.

  7. Anywhere know where that Green Arrow/Ragman page is from? It reminds me of that JLA 80-Page Giant from last year or 2010, don’t remember which.

  8. is that Blacksad art?

  9. Good on ya, mate! He’s why I’ve enjoyed JLD.

  10. As I was scrolling down I was thinking he would be a perfect fit for Thor and then he appeared so aside from that I think he would be good on Red Hood and the Outlaws when Rocafort burns out!

  11. Thanks a lot for the post and the comments! Very appreciated!
    Just I’d like to note that the “Crepusculon 2: Luna Lunera” cover (Twilight parody) is not mine, but Vicente Cifuentes’. I just did an interior pin-up for this title.
    It’s a bit harshing dealing face to face with your old crap! 😀

  12. I’d never considered picked up JLD until I saw these panels. This is why Upstarts is a really smart use of the website.

    That said I kind of want to pick it up and it be standalone. I want something magical that doesn’t interact much with the rest of the DCU. Like how Authority rarely touched on the rest of Wildstorm. I just don’t want to feel like there is tonnes more in the background that I’m missing. I know the book begins with the traditional heroes being unable to fight a mystical foe but is there much more crossover in with the DCU. Obviously there is Dove but…

  13. Great art!

    He’s a guy who makes me want to get JLA: Dark. I mean I like Lemire and Milligan but the idea of a ‘Magic’ JLA isn’t something that thrills me….But Janin’s art is something that makes me wanna buy it. I saw a page where it’s Deadman inside someone’s brain. God that was a fantastic page, made me want to own it.

  14. This guy is amazing. I bought JL Dark for 3 issues just for the terrific art. He definitely needs to get some more work!

  15. I’ve picked up every issue of JLD because of the art. The story spins it’s wheels too much sometimes. the art however is always nice, though inconsistent now and then. I look forward to seeing this guy’s art evolve.

  16. I love the detail this guy puts in the backgrounds, it’s incredible. His style is so clean and detailed, much better than some of the books i’m currently buying *cough* Greg Tochinni *cough*.

  17. I feel like he’s got the perfect “acting” skills in his characters for a very dramatic and dark book like JLD. While Milligan’s writing is fairly solid on the book, Janin’s the reason I’ve kept coming back.