Steve Englehart pays tribute to his artistic collaborator …


(UPDATED 1/22/2018: Marshall Rogers would have been 68. Sadly, he died in 2007. To remember one of my very favorite artists, I called upon his Batman collaborator, Steve Englehart, to write a tribute and he graciously agreed with this bittersweet remembrance. It’s as timeless now as it was when we first published it. — Dan)



Think, for a moment, about the thing you most love to do. Now, if that’s the thing most people know about you, add that in. Got it? Now imagine that somebody won’t ever let you do it. That’s the problem Marshall Rogers faced at the end of his life.

He was known to most people as one of the great Batman artists, possibly the greatest of all time — and he wasn’t allowed to draw Batman. He had burst unheralded on the scene along with Terry Austin as the artistic end of the definitive Batman.

He had gone on for another couple of years as the great Batman artist. Then he’d turned his attention to other things — and when he tried to come back, he was treated as if he had never existed — as if the stories he’d done had just appeared out of thin air.


He got no credit, no bonuses, not even an attaboy. Thirty years went by, without a week that someone didn’t ask him, “Why don’t you do Batman anymore?” as if it were up to him.

Finally, to help sell one of the movies that were generated by those definitive Batman stories, he was asked to do a sequel. He did, and then the company wanted to put him back in the drawer again.


But the fan reaction was such that they reluctantly green-lit a third series … and their reluctance played out every day in the obstacles they threw up before him, foreshadowing a future where drawing the Batman would cause him more and more anxiety.

The thing he loved to do, the thing everybody knew him for, the thing that filled his life just then, was dying before his eyes. And then he died, at the age of 57.

But strangely, stubbornly, the work lives on despite it all, and that means Marshall Rogers is with us still.

Englehart and Rogers (and Austin) were the team that brought back Hugo Strange and Deadshot from obscurity, and delivered one of the absolutely greatest Joker stories of all time, “The Laughing Fish.” I’m proud to say that Rogers is one of the very few artists whose work graces the walls of my home. As I’ve written before, it kills me that their full, classic collaboration is no longer in print, though you can get Rogers’ portion in the posthumously published “Legends of the Dark Knight: Marshall Rogers” from DC. Their Detective Comics run lasted from #471-#476. The first two chapters of that story, featuring art by Walt Simonson, ran in #469-#470. Rogers remained on the title for a couple issues after Englehart left. They reunited with the “Dark Detective” mini-series in 2005. Here’s a cover gallery, led by the print I have framed on my wall. — Dan






— For the MARSHALL ROGERS Index of stories and tributes, click here.

Author: 13th Dimension

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  1. What a great run that was. I remember how in the “early days” of comic shops we were all eagerly awaiting each next issue! Loved ’em all.

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    • He inspired me then, he continues to inspire me today. Marshall Rogers will live forever!

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  2. ok, this is good so far as it goes, and i remember marshall fondly (i even still have the full set of those prints you show) but what’s the real story behind the prohibition dc had? where can we read about it?

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  3. The definitive Batman artist for me. I can’t believe he wasn’t allowed to work on the character though. What’s that story?

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  4. When it was announced that DC was dedicating a volume of Legends of the Dark Knight to Rogers’ stories, I was thrilled, believing they’d publish his complete Batman work (the stories, the reprint edition covers, the portfolio, etc.). I was so disappointed by the lack of material I wrote them about it. Arguably the greatest penciller of The Batman’s adventures, and he gets so little respect from DC. Pathetic and infuriating.

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  5. I have four pieces of original art hanging in my TV room. Three of them are by Jack Kirby and the fourth is a Marshall Rogers Batman cover. That should let you know in what regard I hold Marshall’s art

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  6. I want DC to hire Steve Englehart to write a stand-alone, non-continuity relaunch of the “Batman and Robin” title starring the classic and traditional Bruce and Dick team. The art should be by either Jerry Ordway or Joe Quinones. If writing an ongoing is too much for Mr Englehart at this stage, then bring in Andy Fish to assist him as a co-writer.

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  7. With the upteenth relaunch of the DC universe, I feel like they would have have brought Marshall back (either on new 52 or a 70s mini) and he would have experienced a surge in popularity. Can you imagine a Marshall Rogers month, with him doing variant covers? I dream of what could have been…

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  8. Marshall Rogers’ run on Mister Miracle was one of my prize possessions as a kid. His work, along with Gil Kane’s, inspired me to become an artist.

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  9. Amazing Artist! Big lost for the comic book industry.

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