Walt Disney's Zorro / Four Color Comics v2 #1003, 1959 - Bandits kidnap Don Diego's faithful manservant, raising the ire of a certain caped crusader. Well paced and laid out, Alex Toth's drawings are spontaneously rendered but maintain just enough detail and clarity. A masterful demonstration of light and shade is shown on the interior page below. Even more impressive is opening panel in the second tale, a Spanish-style courtyard setting where Toth dapples shadows on the two foreground figures. These stories were later reprinted in Zorro v2 #5. This is number 6 of 8 Zorro issues with Toth art and/or covers (not including reprints).
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"The Marauders of Monterey" Toth story pencils and inks 26 pages = ***
"The Enchanted Bell" Toth story pencils and inks 6 pages = ***
"Monterey's Famous Firsts" Toth inside back cover pencils and inks (black and white) = *

Zorro Four Color #1003 1950s dell comic book page art by Alex Toth
Alex Toth
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Neal Adams
Batman v1 #232, 1971 - Ras Al Ghul makes his first appearance, establishing himself as one of Batman's most fascinating foes. Neal Adams' cover depicts him in pencil, creating a powerfully omniscient image. Inside, both Robin and Ras Al Ghul's daughter are kidnapped and a worldwide hunt for them ensues. Traveling to Calcutta, India and Tibet, Adams beautifully captures and contrasts the settings. The splash on page 12 suggests the vastness of the Himalayas while a face is not-so-subtlely embedded in the mountainous background. There are too many finely rendered scenes to mention, including a brief recap of Batman and Robin's respective origins. This story was later reprinted in Limited Collectors' Edition #C-51 and Best of DC #51.
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Adams cover pencils and inks = ***
"Daughter Of The Demon" Adams story pencils (Dick Giordano inks) 22 pages = ***

Batman v1 #232 dc comic book page art by Neal Adams
Neal Adams
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Man-Thing v1 #9 marvel 1970s bronze age comic book cover art by Mike Ploog
Mike Ploog
Man-Thing v1 #9, 1974 - Frustrated by living in the swamp, an old woman's hatred begins to manifest itself into demonic forms. Mike Ploog's characters seem a bit too comical for the theme, yet his rendition of the Man-Thing continues to impress. Unfortuately, the meager inks of Frank Chiaramonte fail to add much needed definition to the pencils. The two page spread of corpses emerging from the bog (pgs. 26-27) is a squandered opportunity, with very little detail and an absence of depth. Ploog's hand is still evident but poorly served. This is number 5 of 7 Man-Thing issues with Ploog art and/or covers.
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Ploog cover pencils and inks = ***
"Deathwatch" Ploog story pencils (Frank Chiaramonte inks) 18 pages = **

Man-Thing v1 #9 marvel comic 1970s bronze age comic page art by Mike Ploog
Mike Ploog
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John Byrne
Human Fly v2 #9, 1978 - This obscure John Byrne cover depicts a precarious rescue by the Human Fly. The woman's upraised arm is poorly foreshortened and disproportionate to her head. The worm's eye view seems to apply only to the foreground, resulting in a mildly distracting inconsistency. On the plus side, the background is nicely detailed and Terry Austin's inks do justice to Byrne's pencils. Curiously, of the two guest stars inside, the White Tiger appears on the cover rather than the more popular Daredevil. Other artists in this issue include Frank Robbins and Mike Esposito. This is number 1 of 1 Human Fly issues with Byrne art and/or covers.
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Byrne cover pencils (Terry Austin inks) = **

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Steve Ditko
Pacific Presents v1 #1, 1982 - Another of Steve Ditko's strange but likable creations, the Missing Man fights crime with his extended free-floating limbs. Although some pages are populated with small, crowded panels, the characters are oddly distinctive and lovingly drawn. Equally noteworthy is a Rocketeer installment by Dave Stevens (art & cover), paying homage to both artist Frank Frazetta and the notorious pin-up Betty Page. This is number 1 of 3 Pacific Presents issues with Ditko art and/or covers.
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Ditko partial cover pencils and inks = ***
"Missing Man Meets the Queen Bee" Ditko story pencils and inks 18 pages = ***

Pacific Presents v1 #1 - Steve Ditko art 1980s pacific comic book page
Steve Ditko
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