Monday, 24 April 2017

The Son Of Satan: Dance With The Devil, My Red-Eyed Son!



Here's a lost masterpiece, one of the sadly few times the mighty Russ Heath worked for Marvel in the Bronze Age. Here, Russ is obviously, and spectacularly, channeling Hieronymus Bosch, the 14th century religious painter whose terrifying visions of Hell are still, hundreds of years later, the template for all ideas of the inferno. Which means that this is the best version of Hell in comics ever done by anyone.












We take a short break here, to show off what would've been the next page, but that was rejected by the Comics Code, and that I'm astounded anybody, from Bill, Russ and Archie upwards, ever thought they'd get away with.


And here's the hastily assembled replacement page, put together in an afternoon by Archie & Jazzy John.





That last page looks out of place too, looking a bit like Herb Trimpe inked by Al Milgrom, maybe. Was there another rejected page there?

Monday, 17 April 2017

John Bolton's New Avengers



Here's king of the Bronze Age TV tie-in annual, John Bolton, with a couple of gorgeous pieces from the 1978 New Avengers book. There's puns aplenty from Steed, and boy does Bolton make the most of Purdey's patented ballet / kung fu high kicking skills. The first strip in particular is very in keeping with the show, like in the panel where Steed meets Professor L. Sing ( ouch! ), and he rests his bowler on the demon skull on the mantelpiece. Steed would absolutely do that.
Sadly, Gambit doesn't get to do his much-imitated-in-the-playground Nescafe hand move, but you can't have everything, can you?
















Sunday, 16 April 2017

Hawk, Son Of Tomahawk



And then what happened is Tomahawk aged about 30 years, seemingly between issues, and found himself with an Indian wife, Moon Fawn, and two sons, Young Eagle, and Shaggy lookalike Hawk who, without so much as a by your leave, stole the old western ranger's book right out from under him. Kids eh?
Probably an attempt to juice up a failing title by introducing a 'Now' teenager as it's star, ( and to be any more 'Now' than Hawk, you'd have to be The Super Sons ) this title hadn't really changed in essence, and Son Of Tomahawk was still a great book, with Bob Kanigher & Frank Thorne still on top form.
Tomahawk himself had moved from rugged adventurer to grizzled retiree, though he could still open up a can a' whup ass on anyone who sassed him and his multi-cultural family. Plus how often do you get to see a comic strip hero grow old anyway?
Unfortunately, the idea didn't sell, and Hawk never really had a chance to show what he could do before the book was cancelled. A shame, as a generational adventure strip is a pretty good idea.
Here's the kid's debut.















Wednesday, 12 April 2017

All The Myriad Ways & Means To Die




Here's two versions of the same story, adapted from Larry Niven's original, a tale that's probably the last word in alternate realities. Or one of the last words...
You won't mind one bit reading the same piece twice, as the first ( from Psycho #9 ) is by Jeff Jones, while the other ( from Unknown Worlds Of Science Fiction #5 ) is from Howard Chaykin.
Plus, as you'll see, two subtly differing versions of the same story is entirely in keeping here.