10 Best Tim Sale Comics of All Time

Legendary comic book artist Tim Sale died this week at the age of 66, and the comics industry expressed their love and admiration for the artist on social media. The sale leaves behind a fantastic creative legacy, including iconic Batman works like The Long Halloweena landmark miniseries that inspired animated and live-action films.

Sale’s distinctive artwork has also provided iconic journeys for many Marvel Comics characters, including Spider-Man and Captain America. Tim Sale’s best comics reflect his inventive style and boundless creativity, delivering enduring interpretations of the superhero genre’s greatest characters.


haunted knight

Batman perched with his cape floating behind him in the Haunted Knight cover art

haunted knight collects many of Sale’s early Batman comics, including Batman: Legends of the Dark Knight Halloween Special #1, Batman: Madness A Legends of the Dark Knight Halloween Special #1, and Batman: Ghosts Legends of the Dark Knight Halloween Special #1. These stories from the early 1990s show Sale creating his own style from the start.

RELATED: 10 Best Batman Comic Issues From The 1990s

Sale shows how he combines classic comic book work with a visual sense that interprets history in imaginative ways, especially “Ghosts,” a story that picks up on Charles Dickens. A Christmas Carol as inspiration to send a message to Batman about living life beyond the mask.

Captain America: white

Captain America Raises His Shield and Screams in Marvel Comics

Sale often leans on a 1960s sensibility in his best DC and Marvel Comics work, but in Captain America: whitehe shows his adaptability by going back to the 1940s. This miniseries revisits the origins of Captain America and Bucky Barnes during World War II and allows Sale to adopt a slightly more angular style.

Sale’s inventiveness emerges in his use of charcoal and ink wash in his linework, creating a very unique look for the book, which took many years to complete. The first number, Captain America: white #0 released in 2008, and the series was finally completed in 2015.

Hulk: Gray

Close up of the Hulk's face in grey.

Sale often overdoes the bodies in his best comics, giving the Joker an almost lopsided jawline. In Hulk: Gray, he brings a chunky, monstrous look to the colossal Marvel series. His Hulk is reminiscent of the original character of Jack Kirby in his blocks but is distinguished by the finesse of the line.

The story goes back to the origins of the Hulk, allowing Sale to reimagine classic Marvel Comics moments in his unique style. Sale’s often simple but always dramatic use of color works extremely well here.

Superman for all seasons

Superman flies with Metropolis behind him in a DC comic.

Superman: for all seasons brings Sale’s signature bodywork to the Man of Steel. His take on the classic superhero remains singular, giving Superman a dramatic chin and a rugged appearance somewhat reminiscent of 1940s Fleischer cartoons.

RELATED: 10 Best Batman Comic Issues From The 1970s

This 1998 miniseries easily ranks among the best arcs in Superman comics history for its unique use of changing seasons to reflect different periods of Superman’s life. It continues Sale’s storied collaboration with writer Jeph Loeb, with the two contributing to a staggering lineup of memorable comics for Marvel and DC in a relatively brief span of time.

Daredevil: Yellow

Daredevil springs into action in Marvel Comics.

Daredevil: Yellow launches the so-called “color” trilogy of Sale and Loeb’s Marvel Comics series. This early 2000s miniseries begins with Dirty returning to Matt Murdock’s comic book roots in his original yellow suit, an outfit that only lasted the first seven issues of the original 1960s series. .

Sale’s ability to switch between small, intimate panels and huge canvas-like pages works perfectly in this series, which oscillates between Murdock writing a letter to Karen Page and reminiscing about her early fights.

dark victory

The neon red silhouette of Batman in the cover of Dark Victory

dark victory discusses the fallout from The Long Halloween. This 1999 miniseries expanded the roster of characters, giving Sale a chance to bring his unique take on classic characters like Robin. His iconic Batman silhouettes, creating the hero from negative space, are some of the best takes on the Dark Knight.

The series follows Batman as he grapples with Two-Face, one of his greatest comic book villains, as he tears Gotham apart in a war sale rendered with brutally simple efficiency.

Spider-Man: Blue

Spider-Man swings through the air in Marvel Comics.

Sale’s line art often reflects a cleaner, simpler aesthetic common to the 1960s, making him the ideal choice for Spider-Man: Blue. This standout 2002 miniseries, among the best arcs in Spider-Man comic book history, features Peter Parker reminiscing about how he fell in love with Gwen Stacy.

Sale’s style fits perfectly with the flashbacks of 1960s stories drawn by John Romita Sr. and serves as a showcase of Sale’s ability to straddle the past and the modern at the same time.

Catwoman: When in Rome

Catwoman drives a Vespa in the When in Rome comic.

Catwoman: When in Rome remains a key comic book landmark for the classic character. Sale reinterprets her in this 2004 limited series as essentially Audrey Hepburn from roman holidays, a take that became instantly iconic and lasting in its impact on later iterations. He was also inspired for his redesign by French fashion designer René Gruau.

RELATED: 10 Best Batman Comic Issues From The 1980s

This comic, among Sale’s many collaborations with Loeb, also introduces the concept that mobster Carmine Falcone is actually Catwoman’s father, an idea later picked up in The Batman.

Confidential Superman

Superman's Confidential Kryptonite

Confidential Superman combines two great late comic talents. Sale teams up with Darwyn Cooke to present an updated look at Superman’s origin in this brief 2007 series. All-Star Superman, Among the Best Grant Morrison has always had comics.

Sale and Cooke’s first story arc depicts Superman’s first and unfortunate encounter with Kryptonite and deals with his coming to terms with his own uncertain mortality.

The Long Halloween

Cover of Batman Along Halloween

The Long Halloween ranks among the best Tim Sale comics as well as the best Batman comics of all time. This complex mystery distills the essence of Batman as a detective as he investigates a series of bizarre murders early in his career. Sale’s distinctive line work creates an instantly iconic silhouette for the Dark Knight.

The book’s influence on later comics, animated films, and live-action speaks to its quality, and Sale’s takes on Batman’s Rogues Gallery remain as memorable today as they were in 1996. .

RELATED: Batman’s Comic Book Villains, Ranked From Laughable To Coolest

Superman Jonathan Pa Kent DC Comics

Man of Steel Missed the True Meaning of Superman’s Loss of His Father

About the Author