Issue #0, Pages 18 & 19: Full Team Double Page Splash

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Seven Soldiers
©2005 DC Comics. All Rights Reserved.

by Grant Morrison & J.H. Williams III
Issue #0, Pages 18 & 19:
Full Team Double Page Splash
Graphite and ink on board
Signed by Grant Morrison & J.H. Williams III
22" x 17"

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In 2002 Grant Morrison had an idea to assemble a team of C-list Golden Age characters as a sort of DC version of the Avengers. By 2005 his mission had changed into a meta-series of seven, separate-but-intertwined titles book-ended by two, 48-page specials illustrated by powerhouse penciler J.H. Williams III. It won the Eisner Award for Best Limited Series...

Grant Morrison is ambitious. The Seven Soldiers of Victory project included 30 issues spread among seven, four-issue mini-series and two, double-sized one-shots released over a period of twenty months. Each individual series was illustrated by a different artist to keep the subjective perspectives of each team member separate from the macro-views of the prologue and finale. The series won the 2006 Eisner Award for Best Limited Series, and it’s safe to say that the two issues illustrated by renown Alan Moore co-conspirator J.H. Williams III (Promethia) had a lot to do with that. They were not only the most popular individual issues (representing the first and final pieces of the story), they were the best.

Pages 18 & 19 of Issue #0 are classic Williams. He uses the double page splash not for a superfluous action sequence, but to blend stylized flourishes into the narrative. Early hints of the Art Nouveau influence that would later win him a Harvey Award for Best Artist are present in the row of sigil-like glyphs that split a page of full-team panels. Fans of Morrison’s non-linear stories like Seaguy, The Filth and The Invisibles know of the importance the author places on symbols, and this page epitomizes that subversive element of his superhero work: nothing is incidental. Already at the start of this tale, important clues to the final outcome of the fable have been placed right out in the open, making this an important page in the context of the story, but also in the overall oeuvre of Morrison and Williams’ work together.


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