Sunday, November 16, 2014

The Art Institute of Zwen: Steve Lightle

Welcome to Steve Lightle Week here at the Legion of Super Bloggers

Steve Lightle was born on November 19, 1959. So all this week we here at The Legion of Super-Bloggers will be celebrating another artist born in November who had a profound effect on the Legion of Super-Heroes!

It started off quietly enough. Keith Giffen and Paul Levitz (along with inker Larry Mahlstedt) were creating a *new* Legion of Super-Heroes book, to be sold only on the Direct Market. Paul and Keith had a whopper of a storyline planned to kick off the book, where the Legion of Super-HEROES faced off against the Legion of Super-VILLAINS....and not all the members would make it back. At the same time, the "old" Legion book would continue, now called Tales of The Legion of Super-Heroes. DC needed an artist for that book, and gave newcomer Steve Lightle a try-out for it. Of course...he didn't get that assignment...but three months later, editor Karen Berger called Steve up and offered him the Baxter Series! Artist Keith Giffen had begged off, mid-storyline, citing space fatigue.

Steve brought a new eye and a fabulous sense of "future sense" to the series, redesigning or tweaking several Legionnaires' looks. Then, in Legion #14, he and Paul added five Legionnaires to the book. Fan-favorite Polar Boy, Cosmic Boy's younger brother Magnetic Kid, and three brand-new characters:  Quislet, a kooky character  made up entirely of energy, designed by Steve; Tellus, a telekinetic amphibian who Steve also designed; and Sensor Girl, masked woman of mystery. These last two characters made Legion history, literally, as the first non-humanoid Legionnaire in the series 25+ year history, and as the driving force for the series for the following year. (And you'll never guess who she ended up being...!)

Steve Lightle left the on-going book after approximately a year, but continued to do covers for many, many years. He is, absolutely, one of the men people think of when they think "Legion Artists." However, Steve has also done work for Marvel, and after he left the Legion he worked on the "new" Doom Patrol on its first five issues.

You can find him on the internet at Lunatick Press.

To kick off this week-long celebration of Steve, here are some wonderful Steve Lightle pieces. Some are well-known, and some are more rare. All are fantastic.

Legion poster done for History of the DC Universe portfolio

Story and Art by Steve (about Mon-El, one of his favorites)

Original Aquaman Concept drawing 

Commission from 2013

 Commission from 2014

One post isn't enough to showcase all of Steve's great art!
So check his birthday post on Wednesday, as well as other days during the week!!

1 comment:

  1. This comes as a total surprise to me. Thank you for honoring me with this lavish attention. As a lifelong fan of the Legion of Super-Heroes, it was a thrill to be given a chance to contribute to the series. It's even more rewarding to see that my contribution is still remembered after all these years. Sincerely, Steve Lightle