5- (Tie) John Romita Jr/Mark Bagley
Both these artists had significant runs on Amazing Spider-Man, Peter Parker: Spider-Man, and of course, Bagley's marathonic 100 issue run on Ultimate Spider-Man, a run almost unheard of in modern comics. Both artists have very distinct styles and yet there is one thing in common that I enjoy about both, their story-telling. Their panel-to-panel flow is something every artist should study. I know sometimes I hear the same argument that John Romita Jr's art is too dark or too blocky for Spider-,Man, but I will defend his Spider-Man 'till the end! Romita Jr has always had an ability to create great mood and atmosphere with his art, and his attention to the little details I feel is sometimes a bit underrated.
Mark Bagley's art just has "classic" and "timeless" written all over it, even as early as when he took over Amazing Spider-man from Eric Larsen, just in time for Spidey's anniversary. His smooth story-telling and great facial expressions and body language made him a natural for Spider-Man. And what impresses me about both is how they evolved as artists in the time they've had their runs in Spider-Man.
Both artists managed to evolve and update their art to keep up with the times and somehow became even better artists. And this is why I can't really pick one over the other, but hey, lists like these are just relative and different from person to person, in the end, they are two veteran artists that have cemented their legacies in the comic book industry, and i'm just happy to have witnessed most of their artistic evolution.
4- Mike Wieringo
All I can add is just how fun and wonderful his energetic, fluid, almost animated art was on Spider_man and just about every title he ever touched.
3- Steve Skroce
Skroce was introduced at a time there was a big boom in the Spider-Man creative teams (that saw Wieringo and Romita jr on board, and even John Byrne at one point). His art was just perfect for Spider-Man. His art is very stylized and seemed like an implosion of all of my favorite artists and a flair of even anime/manga all in one. His attention to details in the background, his action scenes, it all screamed frenetic energy, and yet he also knew how to do the more subtle, quiet moments, he is definitely a well rounded artist. It's a shame he does not make comics anymore after he started doing storyboarding work for major Hollywood movies (like The Matrix trilogy and V For Vendetta), but I encourage you to find not only his Spidey run, find his runs on X-Man, Gambit, Wolverine (which he also wrote), and Youngblood (those two issues written by Alan Moore!), and of course his creator owned Frankenstein comic.
2- Humberto Ramos
As most know he had his USA debut in comics with Milestone Media/DC Comics in Hardware and made his way to become the regular artist on Impulse. He would do on and of again things with Marvel like X-Nation and a gust spot on Uncanny X-Men, or a Gen 13 oneshot for Jim lee's Wildstorm, but it was his creator owned Crimson that brought him much attention as part of the joint venture that was Cliffhanger! along with Joe Madureira and J Scott Campbell. After Crimson wrapped up he would develop another series named Out There at Cliffhanger! as well and the Revelations mini-series through Dark Horse after he left Cliffhanger/DC Comics. He did Revelations with writer Paul Jenkins, who of course, started their collaboration on Sensational Spider-Man.
Jenkins and Ramos had a spectacular run including the return of the Green Goblin and Dr. Octopus. He would eventually leave Spidey to do other works in Marvel like wolverine, but soon enough he would go back to Spidey, this time Amazing Spider-Man, along with writer Dan Slott, in yet another attempt by Marvel to save the character after the even bigger mess they had made with the One More day storyline.
Ramos' art is expressive, energetic, fluid, just the right amount of perfect for the friendly neighborhood aspect of Spider-Man. When a brand new issue #1 of Amazing Spider-Man came out, it was Humberto Ramos doing the art, which speaks volumes about him and cements his status as one of the biggest Spider-Man artists in the history of the franchise.
And now, without further ado, my all-time favorite Spider-artist is.....
1- Todd McFarlane
It wasn't until back issues, reprints, and trades that i was finally able to see most of his run, and after reading and watching interviews, I appreciated all the artistic risks he took on the title. How he dared to modernize the comic and give it a fresh, unique look that still stands to this day. Arguably one of the most influential comic book artists of all time, he took Spider-Man to a whole other level, to the point he still holds the record for the most sold single issue by a writer/artist with Spider-Man #1.
His art was in your face, overflowing with energy to the point where even the quiet more mundane scenes seemed to leap right off the page. And yes, the poses seemed, well, really impossible for for any human being to pull of, yes, but at least concede this: damn if it didn't look cool!!! It looked even cooler in some of the small nods to his poses in the Sam Reimi Spider-Man films. Of course, he swore off doing any work for Marvel or DC ever again due to his responsibilities at Image Comics, but I'm still hoping somehow, someday, maybe there will be a Spawn/Spider-Man crossover and we'll all get to see the master work on Spider-Man once more.
As always, thank you all for reading and if you have an artist you loved on Spidey, don't be shy and sound off on the comments section below. Next week, my top 5 favorite Spider-Man writers. Until then have a good one!
-Alvaro Cortes Jr