Comic Book Coffee, number 123: Imperial Guard #3


Comic Book Coffee, number 123: Imperial Guard #3, penciled by Chuck Wojtkiewicz, inked by Ray Snyder, written by Brian Augustyn, lettered by Janice Chiang and colored by Brad Vancata, published by Marvel Comics in March 1997.

Following the events of Onslaught’s assault on humanity, Earth’s Mightiest Heroes are missing & presumed dead. The Shi’ar Imperial Guard has traveled to Earth to try to fill the void left by the Avengers and Fantastic Four. Meanwhile Rick Jones, mourning his lost friends, wonderers over coffee at a NYC greasy spoon with his wife Marlo Chandler if now is his opportunity to finally step into the spotlight and be the hero the world needs, little realizing he’s once again being manipulated by the Kree Supreme Intelligence.

This was an unusual miniseries in that Brian Augustyn and Chuck Wojtkiewicz were both known for their work for DC Comics, and they came over to Marvel to chronicle the adventures of the Imperial Guard, who were thinly-veiled expies of DC’s Legion of Super-Heroes. Imperial Guard was an unusual but enjoyable three issue story. A large part of the appeal was Wojtkiewicz’s art style. In a decade where hyper-detailed artwork had become the hot trend, Wojtkiewicz was one of those artists who instead chose to work in a cartoony, animated style instead.

Wojtkiewicz’s earliest work in comics was in 1984 on the independent superhero book Southern Knights created by Henry & Audrey Vogel. In 1991 Wojtkiewicz began working for DC on their Impact Comics imprint which revamped the Archie Comics / Red Circle line of heroes. He penciled The Jaguar and The Crusaders, both of which were enjoyable and much too short-lived. In late 1993 Wojtkiewicz became the penciler on Justice League International and then Justice League America, the latter of which he remained on until mid 1996. More recently he’s worked on storyboards and toy designs, as well as drawing a handful of independent comic books.

For further info on the Imperial Guard miniseries please check out my recent retrospective.

About Author