Jaime Hernandez Draws DC Superheroes in the 1980s

Knowledge Waits is a feature where I just share some bit of comic book history that interests me.

In the very early 1980s, before Jaime Hernandez first published Love and Rockets as an independent comic book, he did some spot illustrations for Fantagraphics. Back in the day, Fantagraphics would often pepper The Comics Journal and Amazing Heroes with art submitted by artists. In 1981, the Hernandez Brothers put out Love and Rockets #1. The following year, Fantagraphics took over publishing the iconic independent series, with Jaime being best known for Locas, a story following a group of characters over the course of a number of decades, basically since they were young punks in the early 1980s until now, when they're middle-aged adults. The two main characters in Locas are Margarita Luisa "Maggie" Chascarrillo and Esperanza Leticia "Hopey" Glass.

Anyhow, I thought it would be fun to spotlight some of Herneandez's spot illustrations in those Fantagraphics magazines from the 1980s, to show folks that might have missed these awesome drawings the first time around (it's not like they're collected, ya know?).


This is the first piece, from way back in 1980!


Hernandez did this gorgeous drawing to go along with part two of a Supergirl history by Dwight Decker in Amazing Heroes #19.


This one went along with part of that aforementioned Supergirl history. You see, when Supergirl first came to Earth, her existence was kept a secret by Superman. She was his emergency weapon. The issue, of course, is that he did this sort of unilaterally and it wasn't exactly the most fair thing in the world and over the years, a number of people have had a little fun with Superman's treatment of Supergirl. Here, Hernandez draws Supergirl forcing Superman to let her reveal her existence to the world.


This pin-up that ran in Comics Journal was later used by John Byrne to explain to Frank Miller that Miller ought to have Robin be female in the then-upcoming Dark Knight Returns series. So this is probably the most historic of all of the drawings featured.


Another beautiful Wonder Woman piece by Hernandez.

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