A fixture of superhero comics since the ’70s, artist Walter Simonson has amassed an impressive page count and more than enough modern classics of the genre (Manhunter, Thor) to earn his living legend status. Despite his accomplishments, however, Simonson hasn’t had a decent showcase for his work as a writer/artist for a few years—a situation rectified with DC’s The Judas Coin, a 100-page original graphic novel tracing the fate of one of the cursed pieces of silver Judas Iscariot got paid for betraying Jesus.
- The Judas Coin
- By Walter Simonson, DC Comics, $23.
Consisting of a half-dozen short stories, each featuring the same coin and a different act of betrayal in a different century, it gives Simonson the opportunity to draw six very different settings and some rarely seen historical heroes: the Golden Gladiator, the Viking Prince, pirate Captain Fear, Old West gambler Bat Lash and a futuristic version of Manhunter. Plus, Batman. Because even living legends like Simonson can always use Batman’s help selling comics.
It’s the sort of big, sprawling canvas any artist would envy, and few could fill as well as Simonson does.