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Chris Sprouse resurfaces with news of new Tom Strong series

In the tectonic shifts of talent, stories and continuity known as DC Comics’ New 52, a number of creators had seemingly been lost amid the dust. However, we’ve received word that one is about to come up for air: Artist Chris Sprouse (Tom Strong, Supreme, The Midnighter) just posted news — and copious samples — from the forthcoming miniseries Tom Strong and the Planet of Peril.

Written by longtime Alan Moore associate Peter Hogan, this new series is an interesting anomaly surviving the implosion of the America’s Best Comics line and its parent imprint Wildstorm. Publishing news aside, it looks like a lot of fun.

In a blog post from earlier this month, Sprouse revealed he’s made it known to his DC editors that he’d like to do more “mainstream DC characters,” but to date the only things recently published by him in that arena have been some stray covers for The Legion of Super-Heroes, the Star Trek/Legion of Super-Heroes crossover and T.H.U.N.D.E.R. Agents. Sprouse did sneak in a rare non-DC gig recently, contributing a story to IDW Publishing’s Rocketeer Adventures 2 #3, which is overseen by Sprouse’s former DC/Wildstorm editor Scott Dunbier.

In the future, however, Sprouse is doing more than just this new Tom Strong series. He’s making a rare jaunt into that mainstream DC universe — albeit still on the fringes — with  a 30-page story with writer David Tischman for DC’s Batman Digital and some work for DC’s licensing department that could show up on anything from candy bars to Underoos.

In a way, Sprouse’s career at this point reminds me of that of fellow DC stalwart Cliff Chiang a few years ago. At the time, DC seemingly didn’t know quite what to do with Chiang’s talents, but after teaming up with Brian Azzarello on the under-the-radar Doctor Thirteen strip, the duo managed to pitch and score Wonder Woman just in time for the New 52. While I’m well aware Sprouse isn’t one of the fastest artists in comics, it seems he’s someone DC could do much, much more with — with Sprouse himself pining for that chance.

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Comments

11 Comments

THESE are the Moore characters that are meant to, and should, be exploited. I cannot wait for this.

Tom Strong was undoubtedly my favorite ABC title, so this is welcome news. And I agree that Chris Sprouse is underrated and underused. i hope that changes in the future.

Would love to see Sprouse jump to Marvel and do a long run on FF. I think he would bring the appropriate sense of wonder to the title.

This is wonderful news and I hope it also leads to DC finally releasing the third Tom Strong Deluxe Edition.

Matt Laaksonen

July 25, 2012 at 12:13 pm

I love Tom Strong!

It blows me away though that DC would be willing to publish a Superman analogue that is at least ten times as interesting and fun as Superman himself.

And Sprouse actually getting some mainstream work?! They need to get Waid back and have those two do a Challengers of the Unknown book… or a new Adam Strange series.

Tom Strong is really much more akin to Doc Savage than Superman. But I do agree that Tom is ten times as interesting as Superman :)

Matt Laaksonen

July 25, 2012 at 1:05 pm

It really feels like the intention was to take Superman back to his roots as a pulp sci-fi hero live Doc Savage and Hugo Danner.

Stuff like Millenium City and Paul Saveen… as well as a few of his other rogues… are definitely inspired by the Superman mythos.

With his age, and using flashbacks to set up current adventures… they are all really following a formula that Moore used with another Superman analogue… Supreme.

I wish they would’ve pronoted ABC instead of Watchmen.

Tom Strong by Darwyn Cooke
Top Ten by JMS and JG Jones
The Cobweb by Cooke ans Conner
Greyshirt by Azzarello and Bermejo
Tesla Strong by Paul Tobin and Coleen Coover

Matt Laaksonen

July 25, 2012 at 1:59 pm

I would love to see Steve Moore and Art Adams reunited for a Jonni Future mini or one-shot graphic novel.

Jonni Future was the best of the Terrific Tales anthology series… absolutely brillaint set of shorts.

That someone as talented (and willing) as Chris Sprouse is not currently working regularly in the comics industry blows my mind.

what Benjamin J said – and more, CS has never had a high-profile, monthly (super-hero/mainstream) gig – Supreme or Midnighter may have been the closest (I have an old Batman Annual abt 2-face he did and he probably did some other spots here and there), but with art-style-preferences how they are now (esp at Marvel w/the Dodsons and Imommens getting regular gigs) it’s kind of odd.

In short, CS is awesome, get him on a book and take my money

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