Immonen Week, Day 2: Big Two Beginnings

Read Immonen Week, Day 1: New Kid on the Block.


After four years of working in the independent arena of American comics, Stuart Immonen got his shot at the big time when both Marvel and DC inquired with him about working. His first project for DC was a story by Len Wein about Martian Manhunter for their anthology series Showcase, which opened the door to take over Legion of Super-Heroes from Jason Pearson with issue #39. In fact, his debut story in Showcase didn’t appear until a year later in Showcase ’93 #10.

For one reason or another, the Legion of Super-Heroes and its sister titles have been a proving ground for many of today’s big artists, from Immonen to Mike Grell, Olivier Coipel, Chris Sprouse and Francis Manapul. Immonen worked on the series for 23 back-to-back issues during this “Post-Zero Hour” era, while also doing fill-in issues of Superman and covers for Valor and Legionnaires.

And while Legion of Super-Heroes was his main gig, he couldn’t turn down smaller work across town at Marvel’s House of Ideas, doing work on annuals for X-Men, The Incredible Hulk and Wonder Man as well as a team and editor he’d become known for years later, Avenger and Tom Brevoort, with a cover for The Official Marvel Index to Avengers #2.

In this time, Immonen’s linework went through tremendous evolution; following the likes of Jason Pearson, Adam Hughes and Chris Sprouse on the Legion titles saw him nick some of their hallmarks to create an easier transition to his work. Although exclusive contracts were largely unheard of in the early 90s, interior artists are almost effectively exclusive to a book if they’re the series artist; despite that, showed an ambitious work regimen even back then with additional assignments.

It’s during these three years that you begin to see some of Immonen’s strengths shine through; from his ability to draw and organize a team book effectively to working in the interchangeable system with multiple writers, as well as editors and inkers. Immonen also did his first work with characters that would later be his hallmarks – Superman and the Avengers. It’s also during this time that Stuart began working with his long-time inker Wade Von Grawbadger. Grawbadger started around the same time Immonen did, inking for a number of Atlanta-area artists from Joe Phillips to Tony Harris.

Here's a sampling of some of the work Immonen did during this time. Post your own favorites from this era and when you first found the artist's work.








Check out the rest of Immonen Week:

Day 1: New Kid on the Block
Day 3: Seeing Superman in Red & Blue
Day 4: We Have Ignition!
Day 5: The Two Sides of Stuart Immonen


  1. Man his style really has changed hasn’t it? But I’m pretty sure he can draw back to this style, and about 1,000 other styles, without a problem.

    I first saw his work with Ultimate Spider-Man and although that’s basically the style he works with now I didn’t think much of it. But then I read NEXTWAVE and I completely realizes just how talented the man is. That epic sequence towards the end of the book with endless splash pages deserves some type of bar for artists to hit for now on.

  2. He was awesome on Legion.  And your right about having some great artists on those books.