Countdown to Infinite Crisis
Ralph "Rags" Morales (//) is an American comic book artist known for his work on various books for DC Comics, including Identity Crisis, Countdown to Infinite Crisis, Batman Confidential, and The New 52 reboot of then Superman-centric Action Comics.
Rags Morales was born in New York. He is of Puerto Rican descent, and grew up in a predominantly white suburb of the city. Morales attended a number of vocational art classes, including The Kubert School in Dover, New Jersey.
Morales' first professional work was penciling 19 issues of Forgotten Realms with writer Jeff Grubb as part of the TSR line of books. Following Forgotten Realms, Morales co-created and pencilled Black Condor.
Morales left DC Comics to do work for Valiant Comics, including Turok, Archer & Armstrong and Geomancer. He also did some licensed work on a Sliders comic book, and work for Wizards of the Coast. After Valiant closed, Morales returned to his TSR roots, doing work for Dungeons and Dragons magazines and novella work for HarperCollins, such as Isaac Asimov's Robotics and pen and ink work for Margaret Weis' Testament of the Dragon. He also taught anatomical illustration at a vo-tech school.
In 1999, Morales was made the penciler on DC's on Hourman, penciling 20 of that series 25 issues before it was canceled in 2001. Over the course of the following year, he drew nine intermittent issues of JSA between issue #9 and issue #34, before moving onto Hawkman with writer Geoff Johns. It was also on Hawkman that he first worked with inker Michael Bair, with whom he has worked on most of his projects since. At the time Morales said "when I saw the magic that Michael Bair added to my work, I knew I had to stick with this dude".
After Hawkman, Morales illustrated Brad Meltzer's limited series Identity Crisis. Because of the importance of Identity Crisis to DC's ongoing company-wide storyline, and because of the number of characters in it, including minor ones that had barely been seen in years, Morales used copious amounts of reference materials for character studies, including the use of famous actors' faces to give the characters unique facial features, and sometimes updating their costumes in the process. The series was eventually selected by The Young Adult Library Services Association (YALSA)'s 2007 recommended list of Great Graphic Novels For Teens.
Morales and Bair worked on Nightwing during Peter Tomasi's run as writer on that title. He later worked on Superman/Batman #53 - 56, which were among the seven issues collected in to the Finest Worlds hardcover in 2009, and in trade paperback form in 2010.
Regarding his figure work, Morales finds stock, poster-like standing poses difficult, preferring the more communicative movement seen among characters in narrative sequences, a forte he feels helped him attain the Identity Crisis assignment.
- Archer & Armstrong #13 (1993)
- Bloodshot #9 (1998)
- Eternal Warriors: Mog #1 (1998)
- Geomancer #1-3, 5-6 (1994–95)
- Sliders Special #2 (along with Dean Zachary) (1997)
- Turok, Dinosaur Hunter #4-6, 10-13, 15-16, 24-27, 30, 34 37-38, 41-44, 47 (1993–96)
- Action Comics, vol. 2, #1-18 (with Grant Morrison, 2011)
- Batman Confidential #13-16 (2008)
- Black Condor #1-6, 9-12 (1992–93)
- Blackest Night: Tales of the Corps, miniseries, #1 (with writer Geoff Johns, 2009)
- First Wave, miniseries, #1-6 (with writer Brian Azzarello, 2010)
- Forgotten Realms
- Hawkman, vol. 4, #1-12, 15-17, 20-25 (with writers Geoff Johns/James Robinson, 2003–04)
- Hourman #1-11, 14-16, 18-19, 21, 23-25 (1999–2001)
- Identity Crisis, miniseries, #1-7 (with writer Brad Meltzer, 2004–05)
- JSA, vol. 2, #26-27 (2001); #83-85 (along with Luke Ross, 2006)
- JSA: Classified #19-20 (with writer Scott Beatty, 2007)
- Nightwing #140-142, 145, 148 (with writer Peter Tomasi)
- Wonder Woman, vol. 2, #215-217, 219, 221, 223 (with writer Greg Rucka, 2005–06)
- C.V.R. the Bard (September 20, 2021). "Talkin' Mags With Rags: An Interview with Esteemed Comic Book Artist Rafael 'Rags' Morales As Transcribed By C.V.R. The Bard". Comic Crusaders. Archived from the original on September 21, 2022. Retrieved February 17, 2022.
- O'Donnell, Chuck (April 18, 2010). "Morris County school specializes in training comic-book artists". NorthJersey.com. Archived from the original on September 23, 2015. Retrieved February 18, 2022.
- Solan, Colin. "PBR Interviews - Interview with Rags Morales". Paperbackreader.com. Archived from the original on June 12, 2007. Retrieved 2008-04-27.
- "A 15 Year Success Story". Newsarama. Retrieved 2008-04-27.[dead link]
- Singh, Arune (November 12, 2002). "Rags To Riches: Morales Talks 'Hawkman'". Comic Book Resources.
- "YALSA 2007 Great Graphic Novels". icv2.com. Retrieved 2008-04-27.
- Renaud, Jeffrey (October 16, 2007). "Strange How the Night Moves: Tomasi talks 'Nightwing'". Comic Book Resources.
- Rogers, Vaneta. "Checking in with Rags Morales - 'Super/Bat'". Newsarama. October 15, 2008
- "On Sale in OCTOBER '11" Archived 2009-04-27 at the Wayback Machine. DC Comics. Retrieved October 26, 2011.
- Hyde, David. "History Happens Now". The Source. June 10, 2011
- First Comics News - Inkwell Awards Adds New Special Ambassadors
- Inkwell Awards Launches 11th Season with New Special Ambassadors Rags Morales, Dan Parsons