Today, let’s take a look at a great artist who is on a bit of a tough luck string when it comes to his art gigs.
Pete Woods originally broke into the comic industry in the mid 90s, working as an intern at Wildstorm. While at Wildstorm, he had the chance to do fill-in work here and there. I remember seeing his work on an issue of Warren Ellis’ Stormwatch and thinking, “I’ve never heard of this guy, but he’s actually pretty good.”
Stormwatch got him work on Backlash…
Perhaps based off of his Stormwatch (or Backlash) work, Woods did a fill-in stint on Ellis’ former title, Excalibur.
Not Woods’ best work, but it got him his next gig, a nice run on Deadpool with Joe Kelly.
Woods even drew the acclaimed Deadpool #11, which is not in any trade paperback collections by Marvel, which is weird, because it was one of the strongest Marvel issues of the 90s.
After Deadpool, Woods went to DC, where he really established himself as the artist on Robin.
On Robin, Woods went from being a good artist to being a great artist, drawing the book for almost FIFTY issues (with very few missed issues – if any, I don’t recall any offhand, but I figure he had to take AN issue off here and there, right?).
From Robin, Woods went to Detective Comics.
Then he did a short stint on Catwoman leading up to One Year Later.
Woods helped bring Superman back from One Year Later.
A DC exclusive artist now, Woods’ tenure at DC, which should have been on a major upswing, instead hit a bit of a down note.
First, Woods reunited with his Catwoman partner, Will Pfeifer, to do Amazons Attack, which was one of the most panned series of 2007 (Woods’ art was still very good, though!).
Then Woods did a few issues of Countdown to Final Crisis.
And now he’s working on Infinity, Inc. for the next few issues before it is inevitably cancelled (not said as an insult of the book, but come on, when you have to completely retool a book FIVE ISSUES IN, it usually is not a great sign of longevity).
This is disheartening, because Pete Woods is one of the best artists DC has, and I’d love to see him do high profile work again. It’s bizarre, and more than a bit annoying, to see a guy do the standard “do small stuff then work your way up to big stuff” journey, only to go right back down to small stuff.