Existing characters who became (way) more popular thanks to their artists
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Moon Knight and Elektra thanks to Sienkiewicz.

Wolverine thanks to which one artist in particular?  Good Q. 

Psylocke thanks to Jim Lee, no question. 

Surfer thanks to Tradd. (:

Who else...

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I don’t know about “way more popular” but Miller raised the bar for both Daredevil and Batman.  McFarlane did the same for Spider-Man and Keown did for Hulk. 
Let’s not forget Starlin for Captain Marvel and Steranko for Nick Fury!

Edited by Timely

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15 minutes ago, jjonahjameson11 said:

Adams- GL and Batman

Adams art on the Phantom Stranger before Aparo.

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25 minutes ago, Timely said:

I don’t know about “way more popular” but Miller raised the bar for both Daredevil and Batman.  McFarlane did the same for Spider-Man and Keown did for Hulk. 
Let’s not forget Starlin for Captain Marvel and Steranko for Nick Fury!

Miller saved DD from cancellation.

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1. The New Mutants due to Sienkiewicz

2. Daredevil due to Miller. 

3. Shadow due to Kaluta (DOA before him for generation).

4. Warlock due to Starlin.

 

 

 

 

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Frank Miller moved the needle due more to the writing I think.

Aside from the ones listed, I can't think of any artists that moved an obscure or 3rd tier character up.

Grant Morrisons writing bumped up animal man is the only other example that comes to mind. 

Malvin

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Sometimes it's hard to say whether the writer or artist deserves more credit for making an existing character more interesting. I'm thinking of Levitz/Giffen on LSH or North/Henderson on Squirrel Girl or Fraction/Aja on Hawkeye.

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Jamie McKelvie’s redesign of Captain Marvel was a big reason for her rise in popularity years before the movie. 

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3 hours ago, exitmusicblue said:

Wolverine thanks to which one artist in particular?  Good Q. 

Byrne for generating huge interest in the New X-Men, from which Wolverine became a break-out star, and then Miller for the Wolverine mini-series, which turned him into a mega-star.

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Thanos due to Starlin.

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7 hours ago, stinkininkin said:

I'm as big an Adams fan as there is, but Adams on Phantom Stranger (for one issue and some covers) was but a blip and did not move the needle IMO. Adams GL and Batman? Massive

The Phantom Stranger run operated with a pretty small needle, so it didn’t take much to move. We aren’t talking Batman, here.

The first issues of the run were a mix of original art and reprinted pages. With issue 4, the one he drew, he introduced the now classic medallion and cape, while turning the direction of the book to more supernatural horror from mystery. His covers, which ran until the late teens of the issues, particularly after Len Wein started writing, I think are amazing.

They also made me a fan, and as far as I’m concerned, that is a pretty big needle.

 

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7 hours ago, stinkininkin said:

I'm as big an Adams fan as there is, but Adams on Phantom Stranger (for one issue and some covers) was but a blip and did not move the needle IMO. Adams GL and Batman? Massive

Let me add that Adams’s art did not save Green Lantern/Green Arrow from cancellation. The only time I had a letter to the editor published was in the Flash, where Green Lantern then moved as a back-up. I complained about the loss of his book and the end of GL/GA, but the editors politely pointed out the sales weren’t there to keep it going. So, while his work had a profound effect on fans, artists and writers, it wasn’t like the impact on sales for Daredevil.

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2 hours ago, Rick2you2 said:

Let me add that Adams’s art did not save Green Lantern/Green Arrow from cancellation. The only time I had a letter to the editor published was in the Flash, where Green Lantern then moved as a back-up. I complained about the loss of his book and the end of GL/GA, but the editors politely pointed out the sales weren’t there to keep it going. So, while his work had a profound effect on fans, artists and writers, it wasn’t like the impact on sales for Daredevil.

Adams on GL/GA did increase sales, but there was shenanigans at play in the distribution and retail supply chain.  It has been written about several times, I just don't recall the details.  Robert Beerbhom (sp) wrote some in-depth articles about it and they were printed, at least in part, in earlier issues of Comic Book Artist or Alter Ego.  I no longer recall which publication.  Neal Adams also shared some information on the shenanigans at play and tried to explain them to Carmine Infantino, imploring him not to cancel GL/GA, but Carmine didn't understand what Neal was trying to explain to him.  At least, that's the story according to Neal.

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Kirby brought Cap back, even if it was ages ago at the beginning of Marvel. He did a nice job of reintroducing and reusing old golden age characters (Human Torch is a good example, too). I think you could look to a number of silver age Marvel and DC artists who mined the GA comics to bring characters whose popularity had waned to the modern age. DC even had some sweet silver age covers where the artists would show the “new” and “old” groups, like the iconic JSA cover.

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