William Marshall Rogers III (January 22, 1950 – March 24, 2007), known professionally as Marshall Rogers, was an American comics artist best known for his work at Marvel and DC Comics in the 1970s.
Marshall Rogers, New York City, 1979
|Born||William Marshall Rogers III|
January 22, 1950
Flushing, New York
|Died||March 24, 2007 (aged 57)|
|Area(s)||Penciller, Inker, Colourist|
Rogers was born in the Flushing neighborhood of the New York City borough of Queens, and raised there and in Ardsley, New York. He took up mechanical drawing in high school, and then attended Kent State University in Ohio, where he studied architecture. He said later that he felt this
would keep my parents happy, because it's a legitimate profession, and would allow me some artistic outlet as I worked. Well, I quickly found out that the world wasn't ready for another Frank Lloyd Wright ... and I would end up doing parking lots and designing heating / cooling systems. I had wanted to draw and be imaginative. And then there was one last stumbling block, and that was calculus. ... I just couldn't grasp those weird theories that were running around.
He studied architectural drawing, and his work was characterized by detailed rendering of buildings and structures.
He left college in 1971 before graduating, and returned home to New York, where he discovered his family was moving to Denver, Colorado, where his father's employer, Johns Manville, was relocating. Opting to remain, he completed a 52-page story he had begun in college and presented it in 1972 as a sample to Marvel Comics production manager John Verpoorten, who found Rogers' work wanting. To earn a living, Rogers did illustrations for men's magazines that he described as "[r]eal low-grade schlock sleazo magazines that had illustrations to precede the stories". When one client went bankrupt owing him at least $1,000, a friend, Jim Geraghty, offered him a rent-free house for the winter in Easthampton, New York, on Long Island, in exchange for "four or five illustrations" for a local art project. The following summer he worked in a hardware store for several months, was fired, and while living on unemployment benefits approached the short-lived Atlas/Seaboard Comics and, he said:
was given a couple of very small assignments. One was to design a costume for a kung-fu character they were going to establish, and another was to do a couple of illustrations for a back-up feature in a black-and-white monster book. The kung-fu costume I designed was rejected because they said, 'It was too good,' which meant, I felt, the costume was too intricate to draw over and over. The black-and-white illustrations were used. One appeared in the back of the black-and-white monster book on a little game-page they called 'Dr. Frankenstein's Brain Twisters.'
At some unspecified point, Rogers recalled, he "bounced in and out of a shipping clerk job" and did some retouching work for DC Comics on reprints of 1940s Batman stories. He continued showing samples to both Marvel and DC, and in 1977, his artwork began interesting Marie Severin and Vince Colletta, the two companies' respective art directors. "That got me my first job; it wasn't really the drawing ability", he said in 1980, "as much as my design capabilities."
Some of his first comic-book work appeared in the black-and-white magazine The Deadly Hands of Kung Fu, where he worked with writer Chris Claremont on a story featuring the "Iron Fist" supporting characters Misty Knight and Colleen Wing as the Daughters of the Dragon. He eschewed the grey wash that was used in other black-and-white comics stories in favor of applying screentone.
With writer Steve Englehart, Rogers penciled an acclaimed run on the Batman in Detective Comics #471-476 (Aug. 1977 - April 1978), providing one of the definitive interpretations that influenced the 1989 movie Batman and that was adapted for the 1990s animated series. The Englehart and Rogers pairing was described in 2009 by comics writer and historian Robert Greenberger as "one of the greatest" creative teams to work on the Batman character. DC Comics writer and executive Paul Levitz noted in 2010: "Arguably fans' best-loved version of Batman in the mid-1970s, writer Steve Englehart and penciller Rogers's Detective run featured an unambiguously homicidal Joker...in noirish, moodily rendered stories that evoked the classic Kane-Robinson era." In their story "The Laughing Fish", the Joker is brazen enough to disfigure fish with a rictus grin, then expects to be granted a federal trademark on them, only to start killing bureaucrats who try to explain that obtaining such a claim on a natural resource is legally impossible. The supervillain Deadshot was redesigned by Rogers during his Detective Comics run. Rogers also penciled the origin story of the Golden Age Batman in Secret Origins #6 (Sept. 1986) with writer Roy Thomas and inker Terry Austin.
The two also did a sequel miniseries, Batman: Dark Detective, and worked together on other series, including Marvel's The Silver Surfer and a short run on DC's revived Mister Miracle. Englehart and Rogers' first Batman run was collected in the trade paperback Batman: Strange Apparitions (ISBN 1-56389-500-5), and the second run in Batman: Dark Detective (ISBN 1-4012-0898-3). Rogers remained as artist on Detective Comics for a few issues after Englehart's departure from the series. With writer Len Wein, he co-created the third version of the supervillain Clayface. Rogers' other Batman work included a story arc in Batman: Legends of the Dark Knight that was begun by writer Archie Goodwin and completed by James Robinson.
An Englehart-Rogers story featuring Madame Xanadu that sat in inventory for a few years was published as a one-shot in 1981, in DC's first attempt at marketing comics specifically to the "direct market" of fans and collectors. In 1986, Rogers drew a graphic novel adaptation of "Demon with a Glass Hand", an episode of The Outer Limits television series, based on a script by Harlan Ellison. It was the fifth title of the DC Science Fiction Graphic Novel series.
At Eclipse Comics during the early 1980s, he collaborated on the graphic novel Detectives Inc. with writer Don McGregor, drew the Scorpio Rose series and the first Coyote series written by Englehart, and wrote and drew his own whimsical series Cap'N Quick & A Foozle. In 1992, McGregor and Rogers crafted a two part-story for Marvel in Spider-Man issues #27-28 dealing with bullying and gun violence.
Rogers' mother was Ann White Rogers. He had a sister, Suzanne, and an adopted son, Russell Young.
Rogers died on March 24, 2007, at his home in Fremont, California. His Batman collaborator Steve Englehart said he was told by Spencer Beck, Rogers' agent: "His son found him. They think it was a heart attack, and that he might have been dead for a while."
Comics work (interior pencil art, except where noted) includes:
Even though their Batman run was only six issues, the three laid the foundation for later Batman comics. Their stories include the classic 'Laughing Fish' (in which the Joker's face appeared on fish); they were adapted for Batman: The Animated Series in the 1990s. Earlier drafts of the 1989 Batman movie with Michael Keaton as the Dark Knight were based heavily on their work.
Rogers drew highly detailed architectural features for the moody backdrops of Batman's exploits, down to the individual bricks in the buildings of Gotham.
...first-time collaborators Steve Englehart and artist Marshall Rogers firmly entrenched Batman in his dark, pulp roots.CS1 maint: Extra text: authors list (link)
Batman was now a true creature of the night, and every artist and writer team worth their creative salt wanted a piece of him. One of the greatest of such pairs consisted of writer Steve Englehart and artist Marshall Rogers...when Rogers joined Englehart in Detective Comics issue #471 (August 1977), their styles meshed with such ease that the result gave the impression of years' worth of collaboration.
After a total overhaul by artist Marshall Rogers, Deadshot developed the iconic look that would last for decades.CS1 maint: Extra text: authors list (link)
Madame Xanadu, a 32-page/$1.00 comic that marks DC's first attempt at marketing comics specifically to fans and collectors, went on sale in early April. The book contains a 25-page tale by Steve Englehart and Marshall Rogers entitled 'Dance for Two Demons' ... The tale was originally commissioned for Doorway to Nightmare but was put into DC's inventory when that title was cancelled.
Writer Don McGregor and artist Marshall Rogers created one of the most original Spidey stories of the year with this two-part tale. The story told of events that happened after bullied 12-year-old Elmo Oliver found a gun dropped by a bad guy during a shootout...Once again, a Spider-Man story provided a platform for real-life issues.CS1 maint: Extra text: authors list (link)
Marshall did a portfolio called 'Strange' in 1979 that had Batman-esque plates, sans Batman. ... It is also worth noting that in 1981, courtesy of Sal Quartuccio Publishing, Marshall Rogers released 'The Batman', a color portfolio consisting of four plates (if you purchased the signed edition of the portfolio, you received a fifth plate) that allowed Rogers to illustrate Batman and his world unencumbered by comic book panels.
| Detective Comics artist
| Doctor Strange artist
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Coyote is an American comic book series created by Steve Englehart and Marshall Rogers.DC Special Series
DC Special Series was an umbrella title for one-shots and special issues published by DC Comics between 1977 and 1981. Each issue featured a different character and was often in a different format than the issue before it. DC Special Series was published in four different formats: Dollar Comics, 48 page giants, digests, and treasury editions. Neither the umbrella title nor the numbering system appear on the cover; the title "DC Special Series" appeared only on the first page in the indicia. Most issues featured new material, but eight issues were reprints of previously published material.Daughters of the Dragon
The Daughters of the Dragon are the duo of Colleen Wing and Misty Knight, fictional characters appearing in American comic books published by Marvel Comics. They first appeared as a team in Deadly Hands of Kung Fu #32 (January 1977) in a story titled Daughters of the Dragon written by Chris Claremont and illustrated by Marshall Rogers. This followed the introduction of each individual character in mid-1970s Iron Fist stories.Detective Comics
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These two early graphic novels were not superhero or science fiction/fantasy stories, and A Remembrance of Threatening Green (1980) was the first naturalistic graphic novel to follow Will Eisner's influential A Contract with God. The Gay League's "LBGT Comics Timeline" cites the book as "featuring the first lesbian characters in mass-market comics".Eclipse Magazine
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Many of the features from Eclipse were carried over into the color anthology Eclipse Monthly, which ran from August 1983 to July 1984.Eclipse Monthly
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John Marshall Rogers (born June 26, 1948 in Rochester, New York) is a Senior United States Circuit Judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit.Marshall Rogers (basketball)
Marshall Lee Rogers (August 27, 1953 – June 15, 2011) was an American professional basketball player and former NCAA basketball scoring champion with Pan American University.Steve Englehart
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Sumner High School, also known as Charles H. Sumner High School, is a St. Louis public high school that was the first high school for African-American students west of the Mississippi River. Together with Vashon High School, Sumner was one of only two segregated public high schools in St. Louis City for African-American students. Established in 1875 only after extensive lobbying by some of St. Louis' African-American residents, Sumner moved to its current location in 1908.The Superman Family
The Superman Family was an American comic book series published by DC Comics from 1974 to 1982 featuring supporting characters in the Superman comics. The term "Superman Family" is often used to refer to the extended cast of characters of comics books associated with Superman. A similarly titled series Superman Family Adventures was launched in 2012.