From Micronauts and Alpha Flight, to The Fury of Firestorm and Captain Atom, artist Pat Broderick has illustrated hundreds of comic book stories throughout his long career. We got to speak to the prolific artist at this year’s Rhode Island Comic Con about his work with Marvel and DC, and a gestating horror western comic (with writer Mike Baron) called Bronze Star that we all hope to see in the future.
Many fans were introduced to your work through your run on Marvel’s Micronauts. What are your memories of working on the comics?
Pat Broderick: Well, I was already a big Michael Golden nerd and I was happy to see another comic that he was illustrating when Micronauts came out in 1979, so I was fan of the book from the start.
I remember Mike sending me a giant box of the toys because as an artist on a comic based on a toy line, you had to be sure that everything was accurate to the toys that you put into the comic. So I did my best to faithfully represent the characters and the box that Mike sent was just full of toys and they were all in the same box, which was difficult to sort through. If you remember, those toys and figures had a lot of small parts.
How did you end up working with Gerry Conway on The Fury of Firestorm?
Broderick: At that point I had left Marvel and went over to DC Comics and I was immediately put on Legion of Super Heroes. I spoke to my editor and told him that I didn’t want to do a team book anymore, and I had recently done a Firestorm back-up story in an issue of The Flash, so when the title become on-going, I started on it with Gerry.
Gerry and I worked “Marvel-style” on the book, and it went very well. Gerry is a fan of putting comedy in his stories, so when we were plotting, I suggested a scene where Ronnie Raymond transforms in the shower after practice, and he loved it. It was very easy working with Gerry on it.
You went from The Fury of Firestorm to Captain Atom and Green Lantern. Do you feel like science fiction-based heroes are the one that you gravitated towards?
Broderick: Yes, I was commonly offered sci-fi titles in that era, although I did work on Swamp Thing as well in that period, which is obviously more horror-based. I wasn’t supposed to work on Captain Atom at first, but Dick (Giordano) asked me if I would when it became available and I said yes, particularly since Cary Bates was writing it.
I also did Lords of the Ultra-Realm for DC after saying that I didn’t want to do a team book, and I ended up doing a comic with about 28 characters in it!
What can you tell us about the horror western comic, Bronze Star, that you are working on with Mike Baron?
Broderick: Bronze Star is a story that takes place after the Civil War and involves a soldier running North after the end of the war and the fall of the Confederacy. Once he gets to Canada, he is able to become a sheriff and the horror elements start to creep in.
Mike is very amicable to work with and I’ve never had so much fun working on a comic before, so we hope that people get to see it soon.