Monday, 19 September 2011

The Awesomeness of Alan Davis

I just read a report that said Alan Davis was coming onboard the Captain America title being written by Ed Brubaker, and I am absolutely ecstatic about the news!  Alan Davis is one of the best in the business, for various reasons.

There are certain art styles I just don't care for.  I don't like sketchy lines (John Romita Jr.), greatly exaggerated proportions (Rob Liefeld), or highly stylized (Chris Bacchalo) art styles.  I like clean lines, easily identifiable figures, and clear storytelling. 

Too many artists these days do not do a good job of telling the story.  The pictures might be pretty, but I find I have to wait for the next issue to come out so I can read the 'Previously In" page just to figure out what in the world happened.  In other rarer exceptions, an artist is an excellent storyteller but the pictures aren't the prettiest; I find John Romita Jr is a perfect example here.  He is a master at laying out the story, I never have any trouble whatsoever at following the story.  I find his images, however, to be sketchy, blocky, and not very attractive to look at.  I really hate saying that since I loved his old art style from his first run on Spider-Man, but it's the way I feel.

Alan Davis combines the best of both worlds.  He lays his pages out brilliantly, the story very easy to follow.  His images are gorgeous, another huge plus.  And on top of all of that, he has that old school work ethic down cold; I can't ever remember a book being delayed when Alan Davis has been on the art.

It probably doesn't hurt that Davis is an accomplished writer as well; for example, he penned and penciled JLA: The Nail, which was a fabulously fun Elseworlds story that looked at the DCU without a Superman.  The sequel explored the idea of a rookie Superman looking to learn from other more established heroes like Wonder Woman and the Martian Manhunter, as opposed to being the inspiration for other heroes himself.

When Avengers Prime was announced, I decided to pick it up even though I am very anti-Bendis-on-Avengers because I wanted to see the Big Three bury the hatchet.  As I got into the series though I quickly realized the story was garbage.  Bendis ignored a whole pile of Thor continuity (a big no-no when the book is set in the Nine Realms of Asgard!) that makes the book read more like a What If...? than an incontinuity comic.  Some of the dialogue is absolutely horrid, and it just takes a lot of fun out of the book.  However, I stuck with the book for one reason; the art of Alan Davis.  Even drawing a bunk storyline Davis brought his A game and made one gorgeous read.  I'd love to get my hands on an un-lettered digital copy of the book to re-do the dialgoue for my own pleasure...ah, to dream.

Anyway, Brubaker has proven to be a great fit for Captain America, and the addition of Alan Davis is only going to make this book better.  I never expected Steve McNiven to stick around for very long, so I'm glad Marvel has put a Grade A professional on the book as his replacement.  With the Captain America: The First Avenger coming out on DVD soon and the Avengers movie next year, Marvel needs to have top talent on their Avengers franchise books, and they have clearly done so with Captain America.

Now if only the would give The Mighty Thor to Kieron Gillen and get Bendis off of the Avengers I would be a happy boy!

1 comment:

  1. I feel the same way. If you got a Davis on the book you know your going to get a book with some good art.

    I too stuck around for the end of Avengers Prime because I like Davis' art that much. I even bought a Thor one shot he did a few years back just because he was doing the art.