Dig These 13 Extraordinary JERRY ORDWAY SPLASH PAGES: A Birthday Celebration

The beloved artist was born 66 years ago, on Nov. 28, 1957…


Legendary comics creator Jerry Ordway is a triple threat. An accomplished inker, penciler and writer, Ordway has made his biggest impact at DC Comics.

Ordway came to the attention of DC through one of their licensed products, providing the art for a Golden Books stamp, coloring and activity book. Oddly enough, the cover design, whether subconsciously or not, harkened back to Fred Ray’s iconic cover for Action Comics #52 (Sept. 1942) showing Superman and a cadre of fellow heroes running toward the reader. Ordway would make a name for himself drawing Golden Agers, and their successors over the course of the 1980s, and was the perfect choice to illustrate the cover of the hardcover collection The Greatest Golden Age Stories Ever Told…which purposely homaged Action #52 and bears an even more striking resemblance to that Golden Age cover! Everything with Ordway was golden.

Like many Bronze Age fans, I first encountered Jerry Ordway’s work in All-Star Squadron #1. At the time, I wasn’t even really aware of inkers and what they contributed to comics, before encountering Ordway. But I noticed as All-Star Squadron went along that even though the pencil credits changed from Rich Buckler to Adrian Gonzalez, the textured, stippled look of the book stayed basically the same. When Jerry Ordway became the regular penciller of All-Star Squadron, I then realized, with no offense to Buckler or Gonzalez, that the real reason I liked the art in All-Star Squadron was Ordway.

In addition to being able to channel the comics trailblazers who came before him and nail the period mood and setting of the 1940s-based comic, Da Ordster had a penchant for drawing groups in a very dramatic fashion, much like Dick Dillin and George Perez. He could compose a large cast of characters in an exciting way, perfectly conveying Roy Thomas’ story, and giving every player something to do in every panel. Therefore, his group splash pages were always a real treat in All-Star Squadron, having probably the hugest cast of any super hero team, at least this side of the Legion of Super Heroes.

I didn’t have access to any direct market outlets, so I was sad when Jerry left the title to create Infinity Inc. with Thomas and inker Mike Machlan. Fortunately, not long after, I got to see him take on even bigger crowds of characters, inking George Perez on Crisis on Infinite Earths, and then, of course, followed him on to his long stint on the Superman titles, and the adaptation of the 1989 Batman film (the best comic movie adaptation ever). But it’s those Earth-Two adventures that made me a lifelong fan, so to celebrate his birthday this year, I’ve selected a few choice splash pages (in no particular order) from All-Star Squadron, and Infinity Inc. that show his affinity for the Golden Age and adjacent characters, and his ability to create exciting, character-filled panoramic action scenes. But he’s no slouch with solo spotlights either, as you’ll see!

All-Star Squadron #19. Pencils and inks by Ordway.

All-Star Squadron Annual #1. Pencils and inks by Ordway.

All-Star Squadron #29. Inks by Rick Magyar.

Infinity, Inc. #5. Inks by Mike Machlan.

All-Star Squadron #23. Inks by Machlan.

All-Star Squadron Annual #2. Pencils and inks by Ordway.

Infinity, Inc. #10. Inks by Machlan.

All-Star Squadron #25. Inks by Machlan.

Infinity, Inc. #10. Inks by Machlan.

All-Star Squadron #21. Inks by Machlan.

All-Star Squadron #24. Inks by Machlan.

Infinity, Inc. #1. Inks by Machlan.

All-Star Annual #2. Pencils and inks by Ordway.


— Dig JERRY ORDWAY’s Brilliant Golden Age GREEN LANTERN Homage Cover. Click here.

— THOMAS and ORDWAY: How INFINITY INC. Was Built From the Ground Up. Click here.

Regular 13th Dimension contributor Chris Franklin is a graphic designer, illustrator, writer, and podcaster, who co-hosts and produces several shows on the Fire and Water Podcast Network, including JLUCast, discussing Justice League Unlimited, another huge group of heroes!

Author: Dan Greenfield

Share This Post On


  1. Wow–so many memorable splash pages! Happy Birthday, Jerry!

    Post a Reply
  2. He’s a treasure! Kept me looking at comic books after I stopped buying them in college. I bought some of the ALL-STAR SQUADRON issues and his inking got me to buy CRISIS.

    Post a Reply
  3. Why is a talent like this not still working for DC? I loved his take on the JSA. Happy Birthday!

    Post a Reply
  4. Jerry is one of the all-time greats!

    Post a Reply
  5. Happy Birthday Jerry! DC needs to give us all a gift of an All-Star Squadron omnibus (or at the least a compendium) so we can admire more of your great work!

    Post a Reply
  6. Happy Birthday, Jerry! I hope they ask you and Roy to take over now that Geoff Johns has left the JSA!

    Post a Reply

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: