Superman ushered in the Golden Age of comics, an instant icon from the start. His legendary exploits during those early years were largely the product of a select few artists, including Joe Shuster. Shuster’s relationship with DC Comics deteriorated and other artists began to make their mark on the Man of Steel in the late 1940s and early 1950s.
Although events like Crisis on Infinite Earths or Infinite Crisis revised almost the entire story of Superman’s Silver Age outside of the books, the enormous contribution of many talented artists who kept the superhero strong for decades cannot be erased.
10 Dick Dillin
Artist Dick Dillin came to DC Comics towards the end of the Silver Age in 1968. He had an astonishing twelve-year career as a pencil in the Justice League of America. Dillin drew 115 issues of the book from 1968 until his death in 1980. Dillin’s epic run on the book gave him the opportunity to draw DC’s greatest heroes, including Superman. Dillin co-created the Red Tornado during this period and was behind bringing the Earth-2 version of Black Canary to the team after Wonder Woman departed.
Batman: The Best Artists of the Silver Age, Ranked
Superman: The Greatest Artists of the Bronze Age, Ranked
9 Ross Andru
Ross Andru left his mark on all of DC Comics in the Silver Age. He was also one of the best Spider-Man artists of the time. Andru drew the Wonder Woman comic for years, beginning in 1958, and later made his mark on Superman by drawing covers and stories inside Superman’s Girlfriend, Lois Lane. During his tenure he tried to create a more modern Lois, trying to distinguish himself from the Man of Steel. Andru also co-created the original version of the Suicide Squad on the pages of The Brave and the Bold in 1959.
8 Jim Mooney
Jim Mooney is one of the best Batman artists of the Silver Age, but he also made his mark on Superman. He started out as a ghost artist for Bob Kane in Batman, but graduated to a more prominent role with his success on Supergirl. Mooney drew various issues and covers for Adventure Comics, a long-running title that regularly featured Superman alongside his Kryptonian cousin, Kara Zor-El. Mooney also drew for Marvel Comics, including Spider-Man.
7 Kurt Schaffenberger
Kurt Schaffenberger worked at DC Comics for more than thirty years. He started in 1957 and worked on a variety of Superman titles. Like Ross Andru, he was heavily involved in Superman’s Girlfriend, Lois Lane. He drew almost all of his adventures in the book’s first ten years, from 1958 to 1968.
He later played a major role in the continuity of Shazam’s character, the original Captain Marvel, in DC after having started at a different company, Fawcett Comics. DC acquired the rights to the entire Marvel family of characters in 1972.
6 Al Plastino
Al Plastino is an important figure in Superman’s Silver Age story. His classic, clean line of work reflects the character’s early simplicity and classic traits. Plastino started out in DC featuring sample pages of Superman’s art. He drew several Superman titles during his long tenure with the company, including Superman’s Girlfriend, Lois Lane, and Superboy. Plastino is perhaps best known for Superman # 168, released in April 1964, in which Superman goes on a secret mission for the late President John F. Kennedy.
5 Murphy Anderson
Murphy Anderson left an indelible mark on DC Comics in the Silver Age. He designed the costume for Adam Strange, co-created the Atomic Knights, who would become members of Batman and the Outsiders, and helped bring Hawkman to prominence in the 1960s. Anderson also drew a variety of Superman covers and stories. He drew various issues of Action Comics, Superman’s friend Jimmy Olsen, and Superman’s main title during the Silver Age.
4 Wayne Boring
Wayne Boring is often considered one of the greatest Superman artists of all time. He succeeded Joel Shuster in the book in the late 1940s and continued to draw the character throughout the 1950s. He also worked closely with Shuster during the Golden Age, beginning in 1942. He continued to work occasionally on the character until the 1960s. before DC Comics let him go for asking for better pay and benefits. Before his death, Boring would return to Superman in 1986 in Secret Origins # 1.
3 Dave Fleischer
Many Superman fans are somewhat familiar with Max Fleischer’s animated series, but may not realize that the iconic series is actually the product of two brothers: Max and Dave. Dave Fleischer is generally overlooked for his contribution to Superman’s legacy, but it is impossible to distinguish him from Max.
Dave Fleischer eventually left the production company after disputes with his brother, which took most of the credit. Although the cartoon series was produced during the 1940s, its enduring success made it a television standard in the 1950s and 1960s, where many fans saw it for the first time.
2 Max Fleischer
Max Fleischer’s contribution to the public consciousness of Superman is hard to overstate. The iconic Art Deco style of the original cartoon had a major influence on later animated series, especially Batman: The Animated Series, one of the best superhero shows of the 90s. Max Fleischer also contributed to the success of the Popeye the cartoon. Sailor and Betty Boop and invented the Rotoscope, a device that would be invaluable to entertainers well into the 2000s.
1 Swan Curt
Curt Swan is one of the greatest Superman artists of all time. He began working on the character in 1948 and continued through the 1950s and 1960s. He also drew the daily Superman comic strip until 1960. For many, Swan became the era-defining Superman artist, as their more modern Superman. and muscular it replaced the classic version of the Golden Age of its predecessors. Swan drew the character in the mid-1980s, and his last work with Superman was the classic 1986 story, « What Happened to the Man of Tomorrow? »