For the tenth volume in their Modern Masters series, Tomorrows Publishing has chosen Kevin Maguire as their subject and I could not be happier. Maguire has always been a bit of a mystery to me...you seldom here much about him and interviews have been few and far between. George Khoury and Eric Nolen-Weathington make up for all that with a book-length interview with Maguire and the presentation of a ton of previously unpublished artwork.
After a short stint working under John Romita Sr. in Marvel's art corrections department in the mid-80's, Kevin moved to DC where he was to work on a titled called Wild Card which was later scrapped for legal reasons because of its similar title to George R.R. Martins Sci-Fi anthology series called "Wild Cards." Kevin mentions he had the chance to go back to Marvel to work on Silver Surfer but instead he took Justice League at DC, jumping at the chance to draw Batman, Superman, Wonder Woman, The Flash...all those classic DC heroes...and instead ended up with Blue Beatle, Booster Gold, Guy Gardner and Maxwell Lord. It turned out to be a match made in Heaven as Maguire, along with Keith Giffen and J.M. DeMatteis turn this title into one of the most popular books of the late 80's with a lighter, more humorous take that may have upset some older fans, but was being eaten up by a younger generation.
The new Justice League was focused as much on the relationships between the various heroes as much as it was battling super foes and Maguire's art with his photo-realistic facial expressions, was perfectly suited for the book's style. It was a memorable two-year stint that breathed new life into a title that had been failing for years. I'd go as far to say that this trio virtually rescued the JLA and are the reason that the book remains popular today, some twenty years later.
Maguire comes across as very reserved, but honest and sincere. Among the other topics he discusses is his Adventures of Captain project that he eventually lost after a few issues when he was late on his deadlines. Kevin has moved from project to project over the years. Whether through choice or circumstance he hasn't stayed for long on any title, which is a shame because he's a tremendously gifted artist.
The last 30 pages of the are a gallery of his work that includes many unpublished pieces. One of my favorites is an alternate take on his famous Justice League #1 group cover that features characters like Daredevil, The Submariner, Hellboy, Big Barda, The Sandman, and Black Bolt.
Reviewed by Tim Janson