Paul Smith was the artist on Uncanny X-Men from 1982-1983 and his clean lines and sharp design sense have endeared him to many comic fans. Today we celebrate his rendition of many amazing characters from Marvel and DC Comics!
Above, we have a scan of an original Wolverine drawing from the ol’ Canucklehead’s entry in The Official Handbook of the Marve Universe!
Here’s a lovely Doctor Strange image, also from TOHOTMU. I know I cannot be the only person who loves seeing art on the original drawing pages. There’s something authentic and beautiful about art before the days of Photoshop. Smith’s Doctor Strange is a lesson on how to depict such a visually complex character with ingenuous economy.
Shape-shifitng bad girl Mystique is up next, reminding us what a simple yet elegant costume she used to have. I prefer this version of Raven Darkholme to her running around naked.
This action packed commission features Spider-Man fending off Wolverine, Kitty Pryde and Lockheed the dragon! Good luck with that, Spidey!
The Holy Trinity of DC Comics gets the Paul Smith treatment! I love his versions of Wonder Woman (nice costume!), Batman (really looks like a detective) and Superman (who is a bit older looking than I normally think of him, but it works). I can totally see this moment being taken from an awesome Elseworlds tale.
Batman discovers Catwoman in the middle of a heist! Selina is certainly holding that drill with an air of authority (You gotta love a woman with power tools)! Who knew that she brought kitties with her on her escapades! I certainly admire Smith’s take on this classic era, but my eyes keep going back to the safe door and how wonderfully designed it is. So awesome!
The Watchmen! I think Dave Gibbons would be honored to see this version of the iconic characters of his and Alan Moore’s seminal work!
I’ve always loved it when the Justice League of America is presented as a gathering of friends as well as a team of crime-fighters. This image nails both aspects of the JLA perfectly!
Cyclops is seriously smashing stuff so hard that it doesn’t even exist anymore! Smith’s illustration of Scott Summer’s Jim Lee designed costume is aces!
Gambit,as featured on the cover of X-Men Universe #6, looks rough, tough and ready to tumble! One of my favorite aspects of Smith’s art is his presentation of hair. Gambit looks like he’s been running some product through those locks to get that bad boy look.
The Vision has the abilities to be solid as diamond or as intangible as a ghost. Both powers are inherent in this amazing character study. Spooky closeup of the android as the shadows play across his face.
Savage Land jungle lord Ka-Zar and his loyal sabretooth tiger Zabu pose for a peaceful moment while on patrol.
Great character studies of Green Lanterns Hal Jordan and (my personal favorite) Alan Scott.
I hope you have enjoyed these beautiful pieces of artwork by Paul Smith! For more by this legendary artist, check out Leave it to Chance and Kitty Pride: Shadow and Flame. Cliff Chiang has an amazing homage to Paul Smith’s era of the X-Men on his blog (definitely peruse it for some jaw-dropping art).