Rags Morales was a big-time comic book artist. From JSA with writer Geoff Johns to Hawkman (also with Johns) to Action Comics with comics great Grant Morrison, Morales’ pencils graced many DC Comics books over the past 15+ years. His ability to convey realistic action and useful muscularity showed how superheroics remained relevant; how comics themselves helped stay relevant. Never quite succumbing to the pouch-era, Morales’ JSA proved his diversity, penciling Hawkman’s defined physique and Hawkgirl’s lean yet strong frame. His magnum opus, Identity Crisis, proved he was a force to be reckoned with in the world of comics. The event comic allowed him to pen his take on every DC character out there, including a terrific Wonder Woman full of strength, presence, and beauty. The goddess rarely looked better.
Rags Morales IS a big-time comic book artist. His most recent run on Action Comics proved how capable Morales still remained. When DC Comics set out to completely reboot their universe, they picked two superstars in the aforementioned Morrison and Morales to create one of their flagship characters. His run on Action Comics put a solid twist on the new Jim Lee-designed Superman, keeping it from becoming muddled in the somewhat haphazardly defined Clark Kent of the rest of the New 52 lineup. From the cape to the boots, everything made sense both in the context of harkening back to a classic 75 year old character and creating a ‘new’ character for a theoretically new audience.
Mr. Morales also branched out in more ways than just helping define a new Superman for a new era. Recently let go from an exclusive deal with DC Comics, he penned a few issues for writer Jonathan Hickman’s New Avengers run. Tasked with drawing the burgeoning conflict between Marvel’s Illuminati (consisting of Tony Stark, Black Panther, Namor, and more) and the Great Society (who strike a not-so-coincidental resemblance to DC’s Justice League), he shined in an exposition-heavy run of issues that required a capable reader.
From the early days of Valiant Comics to his historic run at DC, Morales created many great stories for fans. It’s easy for a fan or reviewer to point towards the scriptor and say ‘Wow, this guy really wrote a great story!’, but it’s harder to realize the merits of an artist beyond the ‘that looks cool’ mentality of many (including sometimes this very blog). His ability to convey subtle facial features, bombastic action scenes and fluid sequential storytelling leaves him heads and shoulders above many in the profession. May he continue to shine for years to come!
Interview with Rags starts at 7 minutes