This week’s featured artwork is presented as a Happy Birthday tribute (only a few days late!) to master artist and Kirby inker extraordinaire, Mike Royer, who was born 83 years ago on June 28, 1941. As with the Radioactive Man Movie Adaptation cover I showcased last week, this one is also an RM cover for an issue written by the late, great Batton Lash — 2004’s Bongo Comics Presents Radioactive Man #9.

As I mentioned, Batton always supplied layouts with his scripts, so this Jack Kirby Fourth World cover pastiche features layouts by Bat, pencils by me, and inks by none other than the primary embellisher of The New Gods, Forever People, Mister Miracle, et al, Mike Royer!

Kirby and Royer

You may recall from last week that Batton had suggested we get Jerry Ordway to ink the RM cover that was inspired by Jerry’s Batman ’89 movie special, and likewise he also suggested we hire Mike to ink the cover of his Fourth World sendup, tying the parody more intimately to its source material. But this time Bongo not only hired Royer to ink the cover, but to also embellish the entire 22-page “Obrian and the New Guards” epic!

The interior story was penciled by Mighty Mike DeCarlo, and I think the King would have been delighted to have his early ’70s opus skewered by such a powerhouse team! Batton, Mike, and Mike perfectly parodied the original Fourth World comics, right down to the Kirby hype blurbs on the cover, and they were expertly aided by Karen Bates’ luring letters and the cosmic coloring of Nathan Kane and Chris Ungar!

It was a joy to edit this issue of the Atomic Avenger’s series, and a genuine thrill to have my cover pencils inked by an artist of Mike’s stature and talent! So, a belated Happy Birthday to Mike Royer! Morrison says: “Don’t ask! Just celebrate it!”

Want more MORRISON MONDAYS? Come back next week! Want a commission? See below!


— When BART SIMPSON Met WALLY WOOD… Sort of. Click here.

— The Four Fantastic COMIC BOOK GUY Variant Covers That Honor KIRBY, PEREZ, BUSCEMA and MOREClick here.

Eisner winner Bill Morrison has been working in comics and publishing since 1993 when he co-founded Bongo Entertainment with Matt Groening, Cindy Vance and Steve Vance. At Bongo, and later as Executive Editor of Mad Magazine, he parodied the comics images he loved as a kid every chance he got. Not much has changed.

Bill is on Instagram (@atomicbattery) and Facebook (Bill Morrison/Atomic Battery Studios), and regularly takes commissions and sells published art through 4C Comics.

Author: Dan Greenfield

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