Sunday, June 6, 2010

Mark Bagley

I have the feeling that I'm in the minority here, but...I hate Mark Bagley's art. I don't deny that he is talented in the technical aspect of art. But there's a different between being technically correct and being aesthetically pleasing.

Don't believe me?

They both look like they're having strokes and then look at Luke's eyes in the third panel. THEY'RE LOOKING IN DIFFERENT DIRECTIONS.

Luke is...passable here (his mouth looks a little weird though). But there's just something weird going on with Jessica. With Bagley's art, I can't define what is wrong with it, except it's just FREAKISH. There's something with the lips though, those always look weird. Jessica just looks like she's dead or dying here. I like the attention to detail with the hair though. I think as long as he's not drawing faces then he's okay.

It might just be that he can't draw women though. Because even from Ultimate Spider-Man I recall being freaked out by MJ and Gwen, but not so much by Peter or Kingpin or that friend of Flash's or Harry. But then again, Luke Cage looks weird most of the time, and Ben Urich is looking the worse for wear.

Anyway, looking at the picture above, I remember not liking the depiction of Jessica here, but it looks fine now. (I just checked out the bigger picture and I know why I saved this image: Jessica' eyes are two different sizes. Bagley does this A LOT.) JJJ looks great though. And he was consistently great throughout The Pulse (which is where these images were taken from). So I guess there was no point putting this picture in, except JJJ kinda looks like Nick Fury and that makes me happy.

So about consistency: sometimes Bagley's depictions of women are really pretty, like this:

See? Pretty! (I left in the Jonah heads for the WTF factor. I particularly like the one on the right. There are a million things that look could be signifying)

I hate most of Bagley's art, but I haven't seen a portrayal of Spider-Man that I enjoy more than his:

I haven't seen a lot of his portrayals of costumed characters so I can't say for sure, but I think Bagley's strength does lie with the costumes. His drawing of the Green Goblin in The Pulse was very creepy and well done, and every time he draws Spider-Man in Ultimate Spider-Man, it's awesome.

But still, I haven't read an artist that fills me with such visceral...something. It's not really dislike, because like I said, some of his art is really good. I don't really know. But look at the drawing of Jessica laying on Luke's chest again. I think I physically recoiled when I saw that. Not even Liefeld does that to me, except I find his art more funny than anything. I think I have to see more of Bagley's stuff to make a more informed judgment.


  1. Concur. Actually I don't think you're part of a minority at all. Many people I know and myself don't understand how he's still working as an artist.

    I really disliked this guy's work in Ultimate Spidey... his teenagers looked like small adults with large eyes. And the male faces looked the same while the female faces looked the same.

    Every guy had the same kind of nose and mouth, unless they were a different ethnicity, and the same can be said for all the gals.

    And I don't know how to explain it but... when I see one of his faces, no matter the expression, it looks to me like a really bad carving out of wax that is slowly starting to melt.

  2. Count me in too. I can't stand Mark Bagley's art. I bought his entire run of the New Warriors Thunderbolts which was probably some of his best work. After that I just got burned out on his art work. He draws thing and everyone the same every issue. Mark Bagley is a good storyteller but not a great storyteller. I also don't think he draws splash pages very well. I can't remember that last time he drew a splash page that just blew me away. I met him at a con once and he did not impress me. All I could think was, "Wow, that guy full of himself! What an ass."