Sunday, July 14, 2013

Early Tales of Suspense

Of the major pre-hero Marvel titles, I've done the best in completing sets of TALES OF SUSPENSE and TALES TO ASTONISH. I only lack a few issues of each in completing the runs that preceded the appearances of the superheroes who ended up dominating the titles. In the case of SUSPENSE it was Kirby' Iron Man who took over the book, and in ASTONISH it was Kirby's Ant-Man (later Giant Man) who eventually overshadowed the monster and aliens stories that had kept Goodman's comic book fortunes afloat during the mid to late 1950s.

Every time I see these books I am reminded once again of how much was stolen from Kirby and Ditko. (All comics pictured are from my personal collection.)

Lower grade, yes. But at least I have a copy of #1.

I know this is a Kirby cover, but this monster always seemed as if it was not created by the King. It just doesn't look like something he'd have concocted. Possibly it was inserted by another artist to meet the demands of the editor.

I've written about this book before. Again, it appears as if the original figure was removed and this one inserted into the cover art. Marvel did constantly worry about the Comics Code in those days, so perhaps the original monster was deemed too scary.

Every Kirby/Ditko monster had a theme. Perhaps requested by the editor, perhaps not. Cloud monster. Rock monster, Plant monster. Lizard monster. Etc.


Henry R. Kujawa said...

Was just on the phone telling someone (again) about how much Ditko & Kirby were ripped off-- not to mention Dan DeCarlo (who I believe passed away while a lawsuit he brought against Archie was still going on).

Ironic, the first cover is by Don Heck, looking better, sharper and more inspired than possibly anything he did after the mid-60's (did his being kicked off IRON MAN and later AVENGERS just take the wind out of his sails-- permanently?).

I'll say it again-- he was so good at sci-fi, with a proper inker (say, Syd Shores), HE should have been doing CAPTAIN MAR-VELL from the beginning (not Gene Colan). Please note the John Buscema layout of TOS #3 was later reused by Gene for the cover of MSH #12!

Henry R. Kujawa said...

Here's more...

James Robert Smith said...

Yeah, I think DeCarlo was suing over JOSEY & THE PUSSYCATS when he died.

I'd never noticed that about the TOS #3 and MSH #12!

When I was a kid Don Heck was not tops on my list of favorite artists. But I always enjoyed his sf stories and his Iron Man stories.

Kirk G said...

Still missing TOS #2, I see....
I didn't associate TOS #3 with MSH #12...I think the resemblance is rather slight!

James Robert Smith said...

Yeah, I still need to land a #2. Since I'm concentrating on completing my Kirby FF collection, I haven't targeted that specific issue. But I'll get one eventually.