Images © DC Comics, Inc.
For me there are three flavors of fill-in artist. First, there’s the one who has nearly the same style as the regular artist, so I might not even notice the difference at first. I see a lot of that at DC these days. Second, there’s the fill-in of jarringly poorer quality than the regular artist. Don’t see too many of those now. Third, there are fill-ins by artists whose work I really like but had never thought of for the book in question. These are also rare, but very welcome, and this is one. Walt Simonson has been a favorite since I first saw his art on the Manhunter feature in DETECTIVE COMICS decades ago, and I still like it just as much. Yes, his style is somewhat jarring on this title, being quite different from the usual art, but I don’t care, I still love it. I think Walt combines the dynamic energy of Jack Kirby with the kind of loose, spontaneous line art we used to see when artists like Gil Kane or Carmine Infantino were allowed or had time to ink their own work. It’s almost an animated feel, but more realistic than typical TV cartooning. (And in this case, the actual inks are by veterans Dan Green and Sean Parsons, but it’s the loose feel of the drawing I’m talking about.)
Oh yes, the story! Writer Paul Levitz is juggling lots of storylines, and has taken this issue to do a “day in the life” of the Legion across the known worlds. Not content with that, he also works in a subtle winter holiday ending of sorts that fits the theme perfectly.
A page with not much happening physically that still manages to be full of life and some nice character moments. Lots more like this. Well done, all.