Jerry Ordway

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Jeremiah Joseph Ordway
10.14.12JerryOrdwayByLuigiNovi.jpg
Ordway at the 2012 New York Comic Con.
Born (1957-11-28) November 28, 1957 (age 56)
Nationality American
Area(s) Penciller, Inker, Writer
Notable works
The Adventures of Superman
All-Star Squadron
Crisis on Infinite Earths
Infinity, Inc.
The Power of Shazam!
Superman,

Jeremiah "Jerry" Ordway[1][2] (born November 28, 1957)[3] is an American writer, penciller, inker and painter of comic books.

He is known for his inking work on a wide variety of DC Comics titles, including the continuity-redefining Crisis on Infinite Earths (1985–1986), his long run working on the Superman titles from 1986–1993, and for writing and painting the Captain Marvel original graphic novel The Power of Shazam! (1994), and writing the on-going monthly series from 1995–1999. He has provided inks for artists such as Curt Swan, Jack Kirby, Gil Kane, John Buscema and Steve Ditko.[4]

Early life and influences[edit]

Ordway was inspired in his childhood by Marvel Comics, and dreamed of drawing Daredevil, Spider-Man, and the Avengers. (To date he has only worked on the latter.)

Among the artists he considers influential are Curt Swan, Jack Kirby, Gil Kane, John Buscema, Steve Ditko, all of whose pencils he would later ink over. He cites Gene Colan, Wally Wood, Alex Raymond, Hal Foster and Roy Crane as early inspirations. He names contemporaries such as Lee Weeks, John Romita, Jr., Ron Garney, Mike Weiringo and Alan Davis, and inkers such as Joe Sinnott, Dick Giordano, Tom Palmer and Klaus Janson.[4]

Jerry Ordway attended Milwaukee Technical High School,[5] where he took a three-year commercial art course, before joining a commercial art studio as a typographer in 1976. He subsequently worked his way "from the ground floor up at the art studio" between 1978 and 1981.[2][4]

Comics career[edit]

Before beginning his professional career as an inker, Jerry Ordway entered the comics industry as an artist and publisher for small-press comics fanzines. Ordway discovered Marvel comics in "June of 1967," and wrote in 1975 (aged 17) that he had "been drawing superheroes [ever] since." His first published work, a story entitled "The Messenger", appeared in Tim Corrigan's Superhero Comics No. 4 (April, 1975), and his own self-published fanzine Okay Comix followed in May–June, 1975.[1] Okay Comix featured stories by Ordway and his friend Dave Koula, and art predominantly by Ordway himself. Ordway's own hero "Proton" headlined the 'zine, which featured a pin-up of a character "called Acrobat" who was "the first superhero [Ordway] created. His birth was Dec. 1969."[6]

Spending the late 1970s working as a painter in a commercial art studio in Milwaukee, between 1978 and 1979, he provided illustrations for a number of fanzines and pro-zines, including Omniverse and The Comics Journal. His first professional work was for Western Publishing's Golden Books on young-reader Marvel books, and the Superheroes Golden Beginning Stampbook '79.[2][4]

DC Comics[edit]

Having produced comics-related artwork for fanzines and licenced publishers, Ordway attended "a talent search at the 1980 Chicago Comicon," held by DC Comics. After showing them his "DC related artwork from the Golden Books," he "walked away with a promise of work."[4] This work began in the summer of 1980 for "DC's anthology comics," (including Weird War Tales and Mystery in Space[2]) in which he "inked Carmine Infantino, Trevor Von Eeden, as well as Joe Staton, and Dave Cockrum." After continuing to work at the art studio for a further six months, inking comics for DC by night, Ordway began "freelancing full time in February 1981." During the mid-1980s, he "shared a studio with other artists, including Machlan, Pat Broderick, and Al Vey."[4]

At DC, he would illustrate All-Star Squadron, a series which he helped launch in an insert preview in Justice League of America No. 193 (Aug. 1981).[7] With writer Roy Thomas, he co-created Infinity, Inc. in All-Star Squadron No. 25 (Sept. 1983)[8] and the new team was launched in its own series in March 1984.[9] Ordway inked DC Comics Presents Annual No. 4 (1985) over artist Eduardo Barreto's pencils and was one of several artists on Batman Annual No. 9 (July 1985), and more notably inked George Pérez's pencils on the epic crossover miniseries Crisis on Infinite Earths in 1985. Ordway inked Superman artist Wayne Boring's pencils for a retelling of the definitive Golden Age Superman origin story written by Roy Thomas in Secret Origins No. 1 (April 1986), which he considers a particular favorite.[4] Ordway was the penciller and inker for the DC Comics adaptation of the 1989 Batman film which was published as a "movie special".[7]

Ordway has noted that "Inking is a weird job, because as much as you put into it, the page still belongs to the penciler."[4]

Superman[edit]

In 1986, along with writer/artist John Byrne and writer Marv Wolfman, Ordway revamped Superman, in the wake of the Ordway-inked continuity-redefining maxiseries Crisis on Infinite Earths. Launching, with a revised origin and new continuity, in Byrne's miniseries, The Man of Steel, Superman soon returned to featuring in a number of titles. After the titular title Superman was cancelled and replaced with The Man of Steel, it was relaunched as The Adventures of Superman, continuing the numbering of the original Superman series, with Wolfman as writer and Ordway as artist.[10]

When Wolfman departed the title, Byrne briefly took over scriptwriting duties before Ordway assumed the mantle of writer-artist and took over the series solely. Switching from The Adventures of Superman, Ordway took over as writer-artist on the companion title Superman (vol. 2) between 1989 and 1991, before later returning to Adventures of Superman as writer (and sometimes as cover artist) from issues #480-500 from 1991-1993. Ordway was the writer and primary artist for the story in which Clark Kent proposes to Lois Lane.[11][12] While writing for the Superman family of titles, Ordway cowrote such storylines as "Panic in the Sky"[13] and "The Death of Superman" storyline in 1992. After seven years working on the character, Ordway largely left the Superman titles in 1993, although he would make frequent returns to the character as writer and throughout his career, co-writing Adventures of Superman with Karl Kesel from issues #539-540, 558-562, 564-567 in 1996, and 1998-1999.[7]

During the 50th anniversary celebrations for Superman, he inked John Byrne's pencils for the cover of the March 14, 1988 issue of Time magazine[14] and an interior spread celebrating the Man of Steel's anniversary. Ordway has produced a large number of covers for DC from 1982 onwards, including for issues of Secret Origins and the painted cover art to the hardcover reprint collection The Greatest Golden Age Stories Ever Told.[15] He produced the cover art for the prestige format graphic novels, Superman: The Earth Stealers in 1988 where he inked Curt Swan's pencils and Superman For Earth (1991), among other work.[7]

Captain Marvel[edit]

Main article: The Power of Shazam!

In 1994, Ordway masterminded the return of the original Captain Marvel to the DC Universe with the 96-page hardcover graphic novel The Power of Shazam!, which he both wrote and painted. The story saw Ordway depict the revamped origins of the former-Fawcett Comics superhero. It proved to be a success, and was followed by an on-going monthly series, also titled The Power of Shazam! (which ran between 1995 and 1999). Ordway wrote and provided painted covers for the entire run of the regular series, as well as illustrating fill-in issues between series-regular artists Peter Krause and Mike Manley.[16] Towards the end of the series run, he again took on the dual role of writer & artist.

Non-DC work[edit]

During the mid-1980s, Ordway provided covers and occasional artwork to titles from a number of different comics companies. Companies included Richard and Wendy Pini's WaRP Graphics, AC Comics, Charlton Comics, Paragon Publications and fan-turned-pro Marty Greim. For Eclipse Comics, Ordway provided pencils for a short "Epilogue" story in Mark Evanier's DNAgents No. 18 (Jan 1985).[7] He produced Munden's Bar for First Comics, and provided pencils and inks on an issue of T.H.U.N.D.E.R. Agents.[2]

For Image Comics, Ordway co-created the character WildStar with Al Gordon in 1993, and published his creator-owned one-shot The Messenger in July 2000.[7]

Although the vast majority of Ordway's professional work has been produced for DC, Ordway inked issues of Marvel's Fantastic Four. He produced occasional work for Marvel between 1984 and 1988, then returned a decade later to write and illustrate a three-issue arc of Avengers (vol. 3) #16–18 (1999), as well as penciling the four-issue crossover mini-series Maximum Security (#1–3 and prologue Dangerous Planet) in 2000–2001.[7]

Other DC work[edit]

As well as inking most of Crisis on Infinite Earths, Ordway inked the second of DC's continuity-redefining event titles in 1994 by inking writer-artist Dan Jurgens' pencils on Zero Hour: Crisis in Time.[17] To celebrate the twentieth anniversary of the original Crisis, DC published Geoff Johns' Infinite Crisis limited series (Dec 2005 – Jun 2006), for which Ordway provided the artwork for the flashback scenes set on Earth-Two, including a recreation of the cover to Action Comics #1, which he cites as another favorite piece of his.[4] In the wake of Infinite Crisis, he inked Dan Jurgens' pencils once again in the "History of the Multiverse" back-up stories in the weekly comic book Countdown (issues No. 39 and No. 38, Chapters 11 and 12) (October 2007).[7]

In 2001, he drew the one-shot Just Imagine... Stan Lee with Jerry Ordway Creating the JLA as part of Marvel-stalwart Stan Lee's foray into the DC Universe, in which the two of them re-imagined DC's Justice League of America. He inked the last year (May 2002 – May 2003) of the Batman-related title Azrael: Agent of the Bat (#88 – #100), and provided the artwork for a six-issue story arc in Wonder Woman (vol. 2, issues #189–194), with writer Walt Simonson in 2003. From 2003-2008, he provided new covers to Superman: The Man of Steel series of six trade paperbacks, collecting the early adventures of the Post-Crisis Superman.[7]

His work since 2008 includes pencilling three issues of The Brave and the Bold (volume 2) (#11–13, May–July 2008) with writer Mark Waid, and pencils for Justice Society of America Annual No. 1 (Sept. 2008), alongside some interior artwork for the on-going Justice Society of America series during late 2008.[7] In 2012, Ordway worked on a Challengers of the Unknown storyline for DC Universe Presents with DC Co-Publisher Dan DiDio.[18] Later that same year, he drew a Human Bomb limited series which was written by Justin Gray and Jimmy Palmiotti.[19]

Personal life[edit]

Ordway is married to Peggy May Ordway (b. 1959).[2][3]

Bibliography[edit]

As writer[edit]

The issues listed include those where writing credits are for at least one story included in the issue.

Title Issue(s) Cover Dates
Americomics No. 2 June 1983
Adventures of Superman #426
#443
#445–451
#453–456
#480–500
#539–540
#558–562
#564–567
March 1987
August 1988
October 1988 – February 1989
April 1989 – July 1989
July 1991 – Early June 1993
October 1996 – November 1996
June 1998 – October 1998
February 1999 – May 1999
Adventures of Superman Annual #2 1987
Superman #29
#34–47
#49–55
#110
March 1989
August 1989 – September 1990
November 1990 – May 1991
March 1996
Superman: The Legacy of Superman #1 1993
The Power of SHAZAM! 1994
Lois and Clark, The New Adventures of Superman 1994
Doomsday Annual #1 1995
The Power of SHAZAM! #1–47 March 1995 – March 1999
Showcase `96 #7 August 1996
The Power of SHAZAM! Annual #1 1996
Fandom's Finest Comics 1997
The Batman Chronicles #7 Winter 1997
The Power of SHAZAM! 1,000,000 November 1998
Superman: The Man of Steel 1,000,000 November 1998
The Avengers #17–18 June 1999 – July 1999
Domination Factor: Avengers #1.2–4.8 November 1999 – February 2000
Hulk #9-11 December 1999 – February 2000
Domination Factor: Fantastic Four #1.1–4.7 December 1999 – February 2000
The Messenger July 2000
USAgent #1–3 August 2001 – October 2001
Joker: Last Laugh Secret File #1 December 2001

As artist[edit]

DC

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Ordway, Jerry "What? Another 'zine?" in Ordway's Okay Comix No. 1 (May–June, 1975), p. 2
  2. ^ a b c d e f Jerry, Bails; Ware, Hames. "Jerry Ordway". Who's Who in American Comics. Archived from the original on March 1, 2012. Retrieved March 1, 2012. 
  3. ^ a b Miller, John Jackson (June 10, 2005). "Comics Industry Birthdays". Comics Buyer's Guide. Archived from the original on October 29, 2010. Retrieved December 12, 2010. 
  4. ^ a b c d e f g h i "Jerry Ordway interview". RoughHouseInk. 2006. Archived from the original on March 1, 2012. Retrieved March 1, 2012. 
  5. ^ "Jerry Ordway". Lambiek Comiclopedia. August 27, 2010. Archived from the original on May 6, 2012. 
  6. ^ Okay Comix No. 1 (May–June, 1975), p. 24
  7. ^ a b c d e f g h i j Jerry Ordway at the Grand Comics Database
  8. ^ Manning, Matthew K.; Dolan, Hannah, ed. (2010). "1980s". DC Comics Year By Year A Visual Chronicle. Dorling Kindersley. p. 203. ISBN 978-0-7566-6742-9. "The children of the original Justice Society of America made their smash debut in this issue by writer Roy Thomas and penciler Jerry Ordway...All-Star Squadron #25 marked the first appearances of future cult-favorite heroes Jade, Obsidian, Fury, Brainwave Jr., the Silver Scarab, Northwind, and Nuklon." 
  9. ^ Manning "1980s" in Dolan, p. 207: "Written by DC's Golden Age guru Roy Thomas and drawn by Jerry Ordway, Infinity, Inc. was released in DC's new deluxe format on bright Baxter paper."
  10. ^ Manning "1980s" in Dolan, p. 226: "The original Superman title had adopted the new title The Adventures of Superman but continued the original numbering of its long and storied history. Popular writer Marv Wolfman and artist Jerry Ordway handled the creative chores."
  11. ^ Ordway, Jerry (w), Jurgens, Dan; Breeding, Brett; Gammill, Kerry; Swan, Curt; Ordway, Jerry; Byrne, John (p), Breeding, Brett; Janke, Dennis; Byrne, John; Ordway, Jerry (i). "Krisis of the Krimson Kryptonite, Part 4: The Human Factor" Superman v2, 50 (December 1990)
  12. ^ Manning "1990s" in Dolan, p. 247: "When [Clark Kent] proposed to his longtime love Lois Lane, he did so in a modest fashion...Lois accepted and comic book history was made, served up by writer/artist Jerry Ordway."
  13. ^ Manning "1990s" in Dolan, p. 253: "In this seven-part adventure...writers Dan Jurgens, Jerry Ordway, Roger Stern, and Louise Simonson, with artists Brett Breeding, Tom Grummett, Jon Bogdanove, and Bob McLeod assembled many of DC's favorite characters to defend the world."
  14. ^ Friedrich, Otto (March 14, 1988). "Superman at 50". Time Archive 1923 to the Present. Time. Retrieved December 26, 2011. 
  15. ^ The Greatest Golden Age Stories Ever Told. DC Comics. 1990. p. 288. ISBN 0-930289-57-9. 
  16. ^ Manning "1990s" in Dolan, p. 269: "Writer Jerry Ordway chronicled the further adventures of Billy Batson, the World's Mightiest Mortal, in the new ongoing effort The Power of Shazam!, alongside artists Mike Manley and Peter Krause."
  17. ^ Manning "1990s" in Dolan, p. 266: "In DC's newest summer blockbuster Zero Hour, writer/artist Dan Jurgens and finisher Jerry Ordway crafted a five-issue story that began with issue #4, and counted backward to zero."
  18. ^ "DiDio Takes "Challengers of the Unknown" Into "DCU Presents"". Comic Book Resources. November 10, 2011. Archived from the original on February 29, 2012. Retrieved February 29, 2012. 
  19. ^ Campbell, Josie (September 14, 2012). "Exclusive: Palmiotti & Gray Detonate a 'Human Bomb'". Comic Book Resources. Archived from the original on June 13, 2013. Retrieved June 13, 2013. "Jerry is the artist on it and we could not be happier." 

External links[edit]

Preceded by
Adrian Gonzales
All-Star Squadron artist
1983–1984
Succeeded by
Rick Hoberg
Preceded by
n/a
Infinity, Inc. artist
1984–1985
Succeeded by
Don Newton
Preceded by
Al Gordon
Fantastic Four inker
1985
Succeeded by
Al Gordon
Preceded by
n/a
The Adventures of Superman artist
1987–1989
Succeeded by
Dan Jurgens
Preceded by
John Byrne
The Adventures of Superman writer
1988–1989
Succeeded by
Dan Jurgens
Preceded by
Roger Stern (as writer)
Kerry Gammill (as artist)
Superman vol. 2 writer/artist
1989–1991
Succeeded by
Dan Jurgens
Preceded by
Dan Jurgens
The Adventures of Superman writer
1991–1993
Succeeded by
Karl Kesel
Preceded by
John Byrne
Hulk writer
1999–2000
(with Ron Garney)
Succeeded by
Paul Jenkins
Preceded by
Phil Jimenez
Wonder Woman artist
2003
Succeeded by
Drew Johnson