Friday, December 31, 2010

Episode #155: Stuart Immonen!

Stuart Imonen is a Canadian comic book artist and writer. His wife Kathryn also works as a comic book writer. I featured his Superman mini-series Superman: Secret Identity, which was written by Kurt Busiek, back in episode #99. Immonen studied art at York University in Toronto. His first comic book work was the self published series Playground. He began working for DC Comics and Marvel in 1993.

My first exposure to Stuart's art was in Legion Of Super-Heroes (vol. IV, known as the 5 Years Later Legion) #39, January 1993, published on November 17, 1992. I later followed his work on Action Comics, Superman and The Adventures Of Superman.

For Marvel, Stuart worked such titles as Hulk, X-Men, Ultimate Fantastic Four, Ultimate X-Men and Nextwave.

Immonen also has worked for Image and Top Cow.

In 2005 he wrote the book, 50 Reasons To Stop Sketching At Conventions, which detailed the reasons why he no longer draws sketches for fans at conventions. Stuart became the second artist on Ultimate Spider-Man, after original artist Mark Bagley ended a run of drawing the first 111 issues of the title. Stuart worked through issue #133. As of this episode he is the artist on New Avengers.

Stuart has drawn two web comics, Never As Bad As You Think, and Moving Pictures, which used the story of the theft of Eurpoe's art treasures by the Nazi;s during WWII as a backdrop for the plot. This latter web comic was collected into a paperback edition by Top Shelf Productions in the summer of 2010.

The first Sturart Immonen Superman story featured in this episode is Bizarro's World parts I & V, Superman #87, March 1994 and #88, April 1994. Both issues were written by Dan Jurgens. Immonen was listed as guest penciller. Josef Rubinstein was the inker, John Costanza the letter and Glenn Whitmore was the colorist. This story introduced the second Bizarro Superman, who was created by Lex Luthor as a test subject to find a cure for the clone disease that was felling clones, including Lex Luthor, Jr. By part 5, Superman and Lois rescued Bizarro, but not in tome to spare his life.

The next story came from Action Comics #758, October 1999. The untitled story was co-plotted by penciller Immonen and writer Mark Millar, inked by Jose Marzan, Jr., lettered by Bill Oakley and lettered by Glen Whitmore. Superman fought what I call a lobster clawed robot, operated by Intergang. The robot's inventor, an Intergang operative, used the situation to double cross Boss Moxie, Intergang's leader, to become its new master.

The final Stewart Immonen story of this episode is Final Night, a mini-series that was published weekly, with the cover date of November 1996. It brought back a classic Legion nemesis, the Sun Eater,  from Adventure Comics #352, January 1967. In Final Night, the Sun Eater attacked Earth's Sun and was consuming it. Earth's heroes, and some of it villains like Lex Luthor, banded together to defeat the threat. In spite of his weakening powers, Superman volunteered for the suicide mission of deploying their weapon to kill the Sun Eater and restart the Sun. His place on the spaceship was taken by Ferro Lad, a member of the Legion team sent into their past to help in the crisis. Hal Jordan, now the villain Parallax, sacrificed himself to destroy the Sun Eater and restore the Sun.

Next Issue: The Supermobile!

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