Thursday, August 09, 2012


This has always been one of my favorite early Marvel Comics covers. It's not a very spectacular cover--not the typical dynamism of your average Jack Kirby cover art. However, there's something in its archaic charm that has always appealed to me. It was one of the earlier comics I picked up when I first realized that my parents owned a bookstore and that I could take home as many comics as I wanted to read.

One thing that I've always wondered about with these multi-panel covers is whether they were requested by the editor, Stan Lee, or if they were just an anomaly from the egos of Jack Kirby and Steve Ditko, both of whom produced them from time to time.

In my experience as a back-issue comics dealer, this is one of the early superhero books that turns up quite often. I seemed to always have at least one of these in stock at any given time, so I know it sold well when it first hit the stands. I will assume that the cover art appealed to other kids as much as it appealed to me. I didn't have to search very long for this copy to my collection when I decided to add this title to my want list.

I'm not sure who inked this cover. Whoever it was did a really good job. I like the heavy inks over Kirby's pencils.

I've always wondered how Carl Burgos felt about seeing his creation (the Human Torch) re-launched without his input or approval. It had to be painful. I seem to recall reading that he did start with a lawsuit to regain control of his intellectual property but that he had to abandon the attempt for lack of funds. (Interior art by Jack Kirby, Steve Ditko, and Gene Colan.)

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