Book Review: Icons: The DC Comics and Wildstorm Art of Jim Lee

  • Author: Bill Baker, Jim Lee
  • Artist: Jim Lee
  • Hardcover: 296 pages
  • Publisher: Titan Books
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1845765192
  • ISBN-13: 978-1845765194

A collection of hundreds of full-colour illustrations and pencils spanning the entire career of the hugely successful and popular artist Jim Lee, with an all-new cover by Lee. Including his work on Batman and Superman, Vertigo titles, and WildStorm heroes WildC.A.T.s, Divine Right and Deathblow, accompanied by exclusive interview material from the man himself.

Jim Lee, one of the comic book industry’s most successful artists, who over the last 20 years has become revered by fans and acclaimed by critics for creating some of the finest art in the comics world. Icons: The DC Comics and Wildstorm Art of Jim Lee gathers together, not only Lee’s art from Batman, Superman, Wonder Woman, Trinity, WildC.A.T.s, Gen13 and other comic book series’ and graphic novels that he has contributed his work to but, also never-before-seen work that he has done for films, action figure designs and sketches for friends. In addition to the massive amount of artwork, this massive four pound coffee table book also includes an interview with Lee, and all-new Legion of Super-Heroes story, written by Paul Levitz.

Make no mistake, this book is definitely a showcase for Lee’s art and I can honestly say I wish that I had two copies, one to keep intact and the other to carefully dissect pages from in order to frame some of the glossy, heavy stock 9″ x 12″ pages of art to hang on my wall. Attention to detail in the packaging is also apparent, the dust-jacket for the book is an amazing full-color portrait of Superman, Batman and Wonder Woman, and upon removal of the jacket you will find the image of that same cover printed in the raw pencil stage.

Lee is one of the most talented pencillers in modern comics and Titan Books have managed to assemble almost 300 pages of his work to prove it. The only problem that I found with the book is that some of the interview material was (for lack of a better term) lame. Personally, I didn’t find that it bolstered this showcase of Lee’s art. Quite frankly, I wish that they had simply placed a small biography of Lee at the beginning and allowed the artist himself (à la Director’s commentary) to drop notes about the art throughout the book instead. That is a very small complaint though, as Lee’s art itself makes up the vast majority of the book.

One thing that most readers will likely be astounded by is the level of detail in Lee’s art. It’s one thing to see it within a comic panel but to see it enlarged in a glossy book like this will give you a new appreciation for how much attention is given to every aspect of his art and as I did, within sketches you’ve likely seen a hundred times, you’ll see plenty of details that may have previously gone unnoticed. If you dig comics, this book is a “must have”.

I give Icons: The DC Comics & Wildstorm Art of Jim Lee Five out of Five Stars



Jason Moore
Written by Jason Moore

is a member of the Academy of Science Fiction, Fantasy and Horror Films and the Founder/Editor In Chief of SciFi Mafia®