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John Romita Sr is as synonymous with Marvel as is Stan Lee. Stan was the definitive writer and visionary of the Marvel Universe, but Jazzy John was the ultimate catcher to all of Stan's pitches. Arguably the most important contributor to Marvel canon with Jack Kirby, and arguably the definitive Spider-Man artist, John Romita has left his mark creating, defining and/or designing some of Marvel's most, well, Marvelous characters. From being (in our humble opinion) the definitive Spider-Man artist to helping design many of Marvel's major characters from Wolverine and the Punisher to Spider-Woman, The Kingpin and so many more. And, though it was Stan Lee and Steve Ditko who co-created Spider-Man and Peter Parker, and helped us love the boy with the problems we all grew up with, it was Jazzy John who allowed Peter to grow up and have the same problems many had growing up, and glamorized Peter Parker and rounded out his stable of characters from Gwen Stacy and Harry Osborne, and who also gave us the unbelievable entrance by Mary Jane Watson, showing us just how Peter had hit the jackpot!
And John Romita Jr. has also created a rich body of work that few can follow in his footsteps. Having outgrown the shadow of his father early in his career, John Romita Jr. has shown the world why he is "Mr. Marvel". From his early days working with Bob Layton on the Iron Man issues featuring the controversial issues of Tony Stark's alcoholism, to his jump to stardom in the early '90's on the Uncanny X-Men (almost a decade after his first stint on the Uncanny X-Men with Chris Claremont), to his unbelievable work on
Daredevil: Man Without Fear with Frank Miller and Al Williamson, John proved that he was one of only a few artists who can shine working with a master such as Frank Miller. Moving in to the new millennium, John's work on Thor was nothing short of amazing, as well as working on Daredevil with Ann Nocenti and Al Williamson. But nothing has been more tailor made for John Jr's art than Marvel's flagship title - Spider-Man! His return on Peter Parker, Spider-Man proved that he was Marvel's best choice for a Spider-Man artist, and when Joe Michael Straczynski took hold of Marvel's flagship title, it was John Jr's art that made the great stories shine as well as they did! One thing that's kept John's art fresh is his ability to move from character to character. It definitely is bitter sweet to see John leave Spider-Man and run around the Marvel Universe on characters such as The Eternals (with Neil Gaiman), proving that once again, John Jr. is the artists artist who can tackle such great projects, and even on his run on the World War Hulk (yes, Hulk does indeed Smash!), one is mesmerized by his incredible artwork. What's amazing is, that as of this writing, John Romita Jr. will be returning to Amazing Spider-Man #568, and this fan, Nick Barrucci, President of DYNAMIC FORCES, feels the excitement and energy to his return. These are the things that we live for in comics. it's rare to know when a series is going to be great because a great artist is working on it. We are fortunate to be on the ground floor, again, but the anticipation is something that will only be quenched with the first read of a series that will be great.
The Romit's are one of the few royal families in comics. If you haven't had a chance to fully appreciate their work, here's your chance. it's a fun ride. I hope you enjoy it as much as we have in putting this book together! With an introduction by Alex Ross and an afterword by Stan "The Man" Lee, this hard cover book is perfect for every Spider-Man fan young and old!