Dan Jurgens, ’81
The long history of American comics superheroes involves multiple artists drawing the same figures over the decades. Dan Jurgens has drawn and written for many of them, including Thor, Green Arrow, Spider-Man, and Captain America. But of all those characters and all those artists, only Dan Jurgens got to kill Superman.
His work writing 1992s Death of Superman stunned the nation, but Jurgens addressed the plot twist in a 1997 interview: J.F.K. and Elvis are more interesting in death than if they had lived," Jurgens explained, noting that the Man of Steels (temporary) departure led to some interesting existential reassessments of the superhero mythos.
Jurgens’s characters are boldly drawn, particularly in climactic battles, and he often has the privilege of drawing, writing, and creating his characters. One of his more intriguing inventions is Booster Gold, from 1986. With no super-powers of his own, this schemer from the 25th century steals historic superhero devices and time-travels to the 20th century, where he tries to be a kind of hero all his own. Not surprisingly, more existential reassessment follows.
Jurgens has worked for both of the comics-publishing titans, Marvel and DC. Hes reached a career point where interviewers casually refer to him as legendary. Yet he contentedly remains a Midwesterner, happy that modern technology allows his studio to be anywhere he pleases.