Details are still sketchy, but comic book artist Marshall Rogers died Sunday at the relatively young age of 57.  Heidi MacDonald has the press statement from DC Comics here.  Newsarama broke the story here.  A website dedicated to Rogers has temporarily suspended operation. One of the most exciting artists of his generation, Rogers was an innovator who brought new life to characters such as Batman, Dr. Strange, The Silver Surfer, and Mr. Miracle.

Rogers broke into the business in the late 1970s with a memorable run with writer Steve Englehart and inker Terry Austin on the Batman stories in Detective Comics.  This short run of stories is considered one of the high points in the nearly seventy-year history of the Batman canon.  So influential were the Englehart/Rogers/Austin Batman stories that they have been reprinted and collected several times, and served as the inspiration for Tim Burton’s 1989 Batman movie and several episodes of Batman: The Animated Series

Rogers went on to draw several other comic book series, including Mr. Miracle for DC Comics and Dr. Strange, Silver Surfer, and GI Joe for Marvel.  Just last year he reunited with Englehart and Rogers for a Batman mini-series, marking the team’s return to the character for the first time since 1978. 

Rogers brought a new sense of storytelling and layout to the comics business, formed in part by his architect’s training and in part by his innate sense of composition.  He was followed by a horde of imitators, including Todd McFarlane (Spawn), who’s entire style was copped from Rogers’ work. I’ve been a fan of Rogers since I first saw his work 30 years ago.  PopCult extends our heartfelt condolences to his family.