After Ryan left the title just before the Heroes Reborn event, he became a freelancer, working on Superman: the Wedding Album and Flash. He returned at the tail end of the 90’s as part of the MC2 line, where he’d be reunited with DeFalco. In 2005, Ryan, the former artist of the Spider-Man newspaper strip, was chosen as the daily artist for the Phantom strip, a job he’d hold until his death. In addition, he spent several years illustrating the Sunday strip.
That Ryan isn’t particularly well-known, even among comic book fans, is not correlated to his talent as a storyteller. Not particularly flashy, Ryan, along with relative contemporary Ron Frenz, was a sort of throwback to an earlier era of clean lines and strong anatomy at a time not particularly known for either. That ability to draw simple, clean characters helped Ryan become one of Marvel’s most prolific trading card artists.
A fan of the industry since childhood, Ryan was fortunate enough to make his living drawing. His contributions, even of the invisible cleavage variety, should not be forgotten.