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Tuesday, October 09, 2007

1st Anniversary Week, Part 2: Liberty & Justice Page - 2003

sgThis is my all-time favorite Aquaman shot, and it's the second page of my all-time favorite Aquaman sequence(click here to see a super-big version).

The first couple pages of Alex Ross and Paul Dini's wonderful
JLA: Liberty and Justice treasury comic are devoted to introductory sequences of some of the JLAers, showcasing their powers.

Page six features Aquaman stopping a whaling ship from sinking a harpoon into one his finny friends, by catching it one-handed out of the air, which is cool enough; but then we get this masterful, breathtaking full-page shot.

To me, Aquaman has never looked more imposing, more majesterial, more awesome. "Those who use force will find it returned in kind--and killing is never tolerated." Yes, yes, and again yes.

One time I went searching on Ross' official site, since I had heard he was selling some of these original pages. I saw this one, and heart leapt--it was for sale! Then I saw the price--fifteen grand. My heart sank.

Not that it's not worth it(oh, it is), but obviously I don't--and, let's be honest, probably never will--have that kind of cash lying around, so it's remote at best that I'd ever own it.


...I just went back and checked, and those two pages are still for sale.



Anonymous said...

I love Alex Ross's stuff. Some people say they get bored because action scenes look more like still pictures, but they are really whenever I look at them, my jaw drops down.

Anonymous said...

PS. I checked out your portfolio site and I am loving your art.

Anonymous said...

Alex Ross definitely GETS Aquaman. When the recent JUSTICE got started, for example, it kicked off with Aquaman getting beaten, kidnapped, and killed (?). I thought, WHOA, what's happening, I thought Ross was a fan...! but...by the end, he was definitely back on top, and his last scene with Black Manta TOTALLY ROCKED. So did his appearance in LIBERTY & JUSTICE. Oh, and I like that he speaks Russian in that series. Does he know all the world languages, or just Russian and Japanese? (which coincidentally are the two languages I *happened* to study.)

Michael Jones said...

If it hasn't yet been pointed out to you, check out this link for a JLA song featuring aquaman:
Happy Anniversary.

Luke said...

Very cool picture. I am with you when it comes to Ross and "iconic" character images like that. (I really dig his portrait covers for JSA and his JLA and JSA poster series as well.)

Aquaman stopping whalers makes sense, especially in the modern context of whaling. I'm pretty sure he has been okay with commercial fishing in the past, since it is a legitimate food chain thing, but I wonder how he would take to the giant trawler ships which just catch everything at once. Probably not too kindly.

Plaidstallions said...

At last year's San Diego Comic Con, the sales person worked my wife and I hard on this piece. My wife turned to me and said "It's nice but for that kind of money, I need to see the whole JLA" SIGH!

We were only playing serious buyer anyway.....

Anonymous said...

It's been said here before, but I think Ross pretty much single-handedly brought classic Aquaman back. He made it "cool" to like the orange and green, and in a round-about way, made "Arthur the Barbarian" look like a real loser.


Anonymous said...


I'd agree with the take on Ross - but would expand it from just Arthur to pretty much the whole DC universe!

I know a few die-hards who don't "get" him; but I think he's kinda the (bear with me, here...) Speilberg of the printed art world.

Speilberg took the kind of often cheap genre stuff he loved as a kid, and with considerable talent, ramped it up into things like INDIANA JONES, E.T., CLOSE ENCOUNTERS, etc. Keeping the wonder that attracts kids, but making it "good enough" to be accessible to adults, too.

Several guys have tried to ape Ross at this; but he's still The Master.

-Craig W.

rob! said...

i felt a little robbed when Dini and Ross did books on Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman...and Captain Marvel.

but i know their love for CM knows no bounds, and even after two decades + in the pop culture wilderness, he is still very well known to the rest of the non-comic-reading world.

but i still dream, one day, of a treasury-sized, dini-and-ross-produced Aquaman book.

Anonymous said...

Yeah, I would KILL for that Rob.

Anonymous said...


I know how you feel, buddy. I shot over to Ross' site after the first issue of Justice was released in the vain hope of snagging a page. I found my dream page - Arthur battling Manta ...


Not that Ross' work isn't worth the price he's asking but there's no way short of a lottery win I'm ever going to lay hands on it.

I guess I should be grateful for the art I do own, which is all pretty neat ...

... but that page is so sweet ...

The Masked Vigilante said...

I bought a print of this for $20 last month at the Chicago Comic-Con. I looked at, then came back around about five more times to look at it again. Couldn't get it out of my head, bought it, gonna get it framed.

The print I bought doesn't have the text, but still. It's majestic, it's gorgeous, and it has such a great peace & love vibe to it, with all the other whales and dolphins leaping out of the water in celebration that they have this protector on their side.

Had to have it and it's my best purchase of the trip!