Creator Spotlight – Jim Lee

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What more can be said about artist Jim Lee and his talent that hasn’t already been said? The same applies with Jim Lee as the previous InvestComics Creator Spotlights, his art is immediately recognizable. A style unto itself and many have tried to emulate since Jim blew up some 29 years ago. The man worked his way through the ranks at a quick steady pace. Only took him about 5 years to have complete creative control of one of Marvel’s flagship titles; the X-Men. With the release of X-Men #1 (1991), making that particular book the biggest selling comic of all time up until recently with the release of Marvel’s Star Wars #1 with a bazillion variant covers. Later on, he then went on to take over a couple of DC’s fanship characters; Batman and Superman. This dude is the real deal.

Take a look at the checklist below and buy this man’s work. It’s a thing of beauty as well as collecting a legend in the making.

 

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Samurai Santa #1 (1986) First published comic work; Solson Publications.

The Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe Deluxe Edition #17 (1987) First professional work regarding the big two. And it was with Marvel. Penciled one page, character Eel. This comic is NOT recognized as Lee’s first Marvel work because it’s not as sexy as the next book. Absolute nonsense.

Alpha Flight #51 (1987) This comic is dubbed as Jim’s first Marvel work when in actuality it really isn’t. The nonsense of “well he did only one character in the Handbook comic” is as bad as the “cameo” appearance of Wolverine. Wolverine was on a full page in #180 (his name is said too!) and Jim’s art is IN the Handbook comic. Let’s quickly analyze the ridiculousness of this. If Rembrandt painted a “small” picture and then painted another one that was “bigger” in size or “more” of a painting……which is his first work? Right?!

Alpha Flight #55 (1988) First cover art. Collaboration. With interior pencils.

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Alpha Flight #61 (1988) First solo cover. Many first pencils on characters in this book. Lots of X-Men characters.

Marvel Age #67 (1988) Cover art. First Punisher art.

The Punisher War Journal #2 (1988) Cover art. Collaboration with Carl Potts. First Daredevil art.

The Mutant Misadventures of Cloak and Dagger #3 (1989) Cover art with Carl Potts. First Cloak and Dagger art.

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Conan the Barbarian #219 (1989) Issue #218 Collaboration cover with Scott Williams. Issue #219 solo cover.

Transformers #53 (1989) Jim Lee Cover art. Won’t see Jim doing any Transformers anytime soon again.

Uncanny X-Men #248 (1989) First X-Men book, not his first official go around with the X-Men characters though. Pencils and cover, Claremont writes.

Alpha Flight #75 (1989) First Spider-Man, Hulk, Captain America art and others. Cover only.

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Marvel Super-Heroes #1 (1990) Cover art with characters Black Panther, Moon Knight and others.

Quasar #13 (1990) – A Lee Quasar cover.

Captain America #383 (1991) – Cap cover collaboration with the awesome Ron Lim.

Conan the Barbarian #242 (1991) – This awesome cover shows the amazing style of Jim.

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Guardians of the Galaxy #10 (1991) – First Guardians cover, a collaboration with Jim Valentino.

Spider-Man #10 (1991) – Jim inks Todd McFarlane art.

Marvel Age #104 (1991) – An original X-Men cover with Scott Williams.

X-Men #1 (1991) – ….Was the biggest selling comic book of all time until recently. Artist, collaboration writing with Chris Claremont, Cover art with Scott Williams.

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WildCats #1 (1992) – First Image comic. Complete creative control.

The American: Lost in America #1 (1992) – Rare Dark Horse cover. First Dark Horse work.

H.A.R.D. Corps #1 (1992) – Rare Valiant cover with great Bob Layton.

Pizza Hut Super Savings Book Featuring X-Men (1993) – A scarce giveaway comic Penciler with John Byrne and Andy Kubert. Great creative company right. Pizza is okay too.

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Spawn #9 (1993) – First appearance Angela. Jim Lee Angela poster included with Todd McFarlane inks.

Batman: Legends of the Dark Knight #50 (1993) – Lee’s first DC work and Batman too. Took 7 years to get over here! Batman pinup page. He’ll go on to own the Batman character later on.

CBS Presents Action Zone #1 (1994) – Free comic promoting WildCats and Teenage Mutants Ninja Turtles cartoons. First and only Lee TMNT.

Mega Marvel #3 (1994) – Awesome Silver Surfer cover. A big boy book, no pictures. A trade paperback.

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The Savage Dragon #13 X (1994) – Pencils and cover; The Image X issue. The regular issue was done by the Savage Dragon master Erik Larsen.

Union #7 (1995) – Collaboration interior pencils, but that cover looks vaguely familiar doesn’t it? (See Batman #608).

Batman Black and White #1 (1996) – First Batman cover. Second DC work.

Fire From Heaven #2 (1996) – Pencils original Alan Moore story. Cover as well.

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The Savage Dragon 13 InvestComics

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Fantastic Four #1 (1996) – Jim, takes creative control of Fantastic Four in a restart. Writes, Pencils, and cover. A match made in heaven? The perfect match never panned out the way it should have. Maybe it’s because…….

Iron Man #1 (1996) – Jim stretches himself out in 1996. Writes Iron Man with Scott Lobdell.

Avengers #8 (1997) – First Avengers book. Collaboration cover art. Written by Walt Simonson.

Flinch #1 (1999) – First Vertigo work. Rare book, pencils only.

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Batman Gotham Knights #1 (2000) – Pencils a story written by Warren Ellis!

Orion #12 (2001) – Pencils the Darkseid character and we love Darkseid. Writer Walt Simonson.

Just Imagine Stan Lee With Jim Lee Creating Wonder Woman (2001) – Artwork and written by Stan Lee. Cover art too.

Supergirl #63 (2001) First Supergirl. Cover art only.

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Superman The Man of Steel #119 (2001) – First Superman art. Cover only.

Flash #179 (2001) – Cover art. First Flash art.

Wonder Woman #175 (2001) – First Wonder Woman art in continuity. Cover only. Ebay loves this comic ($$).

Batman #608 (2002) – Jim Lee begins regular series art. X-men was the first coming of Jim Lee, here is the pinnacle. The second coming.

Batman #612 (2003) – One of the most noticeable famous covers from Jim Lee ever. Second print is scarce and very high priced. Look for the second print comic to grab tremendous value before the movie hits next year. BUY this comic now while you can still get it for a decent price. 

 

Batman 612 InvestComics

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Superman Man of Steel 119 InvestComics

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Wizard #150 (2004) – Superman variant cover. Wow.

Superman #204 (2004) – First regular art on Superman title. Cover is opposite of Batman #608. Lee’s work on the title did not leave an indelible mark as it did on Batman. Still sold very well though.

Wizard #155 (2004) – A Batman/Superman collaboration cover with Alex Ross.

Countdown to Infinite Crisis #1 (2005) – Another collaboration cover with Alex Ross.

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All Star Batman & Robin, The Boy Wonder #1 (2005) – Jim teams up with legend Frank Miller here. Lee on Pencils and cover art, Miller writes. A creative dream team that wouldn’t last that long.

Captain Atom: Armageddon #1 (2005) – First Captain Atom art. Cover only.

Infinite Crisis #1 (2005) – Geoff Johns writes with an amazing Lee cover.

Red Sonja Claw The Devil’s Hand #1 (2006) – A collaboration cover with the amazingly talented Gabriele Dell’Otto. First Dynamite Entertainment art.

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Invincible #51 (2008) – Cover art. Written by Robert Kirkman.

Action Comics #1 (2011) – A ridiculous sketch Superman variant (4th Printing). Just wow.

Justice League #12 (2012) – Art and cover. The “Kiss” issue. This cover was a very popular one among fanboys. It’s the height of the Superman/Wonder Woman relationship. A hot book for a little while. If the movies ever follow the relationship from the books (which wouldn’t happen right?), then this book is golden….again.

Aquaman #15 (2013) – Aquaman Lee variant cover.

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Superman Unchained #1 (2013) – Another awesome Superman sketch cover. Regular series artist and cover(s). Supposed to be the BIG Superman book. DC ended the series after nine issues.

Superman Unchained #9 (2015) – Last issue in series features this gorgeous sketch over. Absurd.

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Invest wisely. Read comics.

Carpe Diem.

Jay Katz

 

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2 thoughts on “Creator Spotlight – Jim Lee

  1. Market dictates that Hulk 181 is valued more than Hulk 180. Understandable that first cameo of character is less valuable than first story. Amount of content matters in the eyes of collectors. So one panel is trivial while many panels are more significant.

    • We appreciate your input tp, but it was a rhetorical question. We are well aware of “why”, we don’t agree.

What do you think? InvestComics would like to know.