Is there a word for a sense of nostalgia felt for a time period you have no real connection to and weren’t even born in, but it just does more for you than what today does? Because I have that with the Silver Age. Specifically the Silver Age of DC Comics just after Marvel had shown up on the scene forcing them to try and patchwork their characters together and just before “Crisis On Infinite Earths” would usher in the Bronze Age. And I think Darwyn Cooke has a lot to do with that. I first saw Darwyn Cooke’s art in the film adaptation of “DC: The New Frontier” which lead me to seek out the comic itself. Cooke took characters from the DC Universe and looked at their progression from the Gold and Silver Ages of comics and charted an origin of the Justice League and DC Comics as we know it in one cohesive story. It’s a story I hold dear to my heart as I look wistfully into the distance wondering just what happened to the innate sense of wonder and optimism held in those characters that is crystallised in the artwork of Darwyn Cooke.
Not that I can put Cooke in a box with his retro styled artwork for DC and call it a day. No, Darwyn Cooke is a much more diverse artist for that. While work like “DC: The New Frontier” was about capturing the clean, almost art deco style of the Silver Age his work on adapting the novels of Richard Starking’s Parker has shown a much more noir-oriented side to Cooke’s art. This is also shown in his work for today’s “All-Star Western” #34 finale issue.
Darwyn Cooke is an important artist for me as his work harkens back to a time I wish I could experience and through work like “DC: The New Frontier”, I can.
Cover to “The Spirit” #10
Cover to “Batman Beyond” #1
Cover to “Batwing” #24
Cover to “Catwoman” #1
Cover to “Batman/The Spirit” #1
Cover to “All-Star Western” #34
Variant cover to “Justice League” #33
Cover to “Spider-Man’s Tangled Web” #11