www.cbr.com

Revisiting the Whirlwind Arrival of Stephen Platt on Moon Knight

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

The late 1990s was a fascinating time in comic book history. 1991 and 1992 were the absolute zenith when it came to individual comic book sales, but what 1993 had was an insane VARIETY of comic book titles that were selling a ton. Every person and their brother was launching an interconnected comic book line and they were SELLING. They weren't selling in the millions, but they were selling enough that everyone was making plenty of money. So much of the industry was being driven by the appeal of certain superstar artists. I don't want to say "cult of personality," because that seems like an insult and I don't mean it as an insult, but what I mean is that if you were a hot artist, you could launch a comic book series and sell 100,000 copies pretty easily. However, by late 1993, the industry had sort of settled down a bit when it came to "hot" artists. Marvel's hottest artists from 1991 had all left to form Image and then those artists spent 1992 recruiting the NEXT batch of hot artists to leave Marvel and then a handful of hot artists stayed at Marvel. There were still wild cards like Joe Quesada (launching a Valiant series, Ninjak, in 1993) but for the most part, the players had been set on the game board.

Continue scrolling to keep reading Click the button below to start this article in quick view.

Thus, when someone new burst on to the scene, it was like a frenzy. That was what it was like when Stephen Platt took over art duties on a soon-to-be-canceled Marvel series, Marc Spector: Moon Knight, with issue #55...

Platt was a young artist and still clearly learning his craft. His covers stood out a good deal more than his early sequentials, but his Todd McFarlane-like covers were more than enough to make fans say, "Wow, who is THAT guy?!"

Two months after Moon Knight #55 came out, Stephen Platt was nowhere to be found in Wizard's Top 10 Artists...

But then that same month, Moon Knight #55 hit Wizard's "Top 10 Hot Books" list...

Then the frenzy in fandom went crazy.

Platt did a McFarlane homage for the cover of Moon Knight #57...

And writer Terry Kavanagh was good enough to give Platt the chance to draw a lot of superheroes in an Infinity Crusade tie-in...

including a Spider-Man vs. Moon Knight sequence...

Platt is still mostly just riffing on McFarlane layouts, but at the same time, he's clearly growing as a sequential artist.

Meanwhile, over at Wizard, he was ALL over the Top Ten Charts...

This is from Wizard #30...

That issue is notable for that's when Platt debuted on the Top 10 Hot Artists list...

He rose to NUMBER FOUR the next month!

As he continued to dominate the Top 10 Comics list...

At the end of 1993, Wizard also had an amusing bit about how big Platt was destined to be in 2003...

Amazingly, as Moon Knight ended with #60...

Platt had drawn so much attention that the book (which was barely selling 50,000 copies when he took over) cracked the Top 100!

Marvel tried to get Platt to take over art duties on Cable, but Rob Liefeld instead lured him to Image to draw Prophet, with a special variant cover becoming hot before Platt arrived on the series...

Here's his Prophet debut...

After the huge hype influx, Platt's popularity settled down...

He was still highly regarded, though. He did a creator-owned series for Image, Soul Saga, but he then began to work as a concept artist and I believe he mostly works outside of the comics field today.

But man, for a little while there, Splatt-mania was a real sight to be seen.

If anyone has a suggestion for a future Knowledge Waits (basically, anything comic book related that you think would be interesting to see me write about), drop me a line at brianc@cbr.com

Was the Joker's Brutal Murder of Jason Todd Cut From Dark Knight Returns?

More in CBR Exclusives