Power Man v1 #48, 1977 - With his friends held hostage, Power Man must kidnap Misty Knight, but not before her boyfriend Iron Fist intervenes. The action starts immediately on the opening splash, which seems stiff compared to the rest of the story. John Byrne's drawings display a fresh enthusiasm. Characters from two parallel timelines converge, culminating in a second, more explosive splash page (see interior page below). The ensuing fight between the two heroes is superbly choreographed. Note that Iron Fist's appearance occurs not long after the cancellation of his own series. Other artists in this issue include Gil Kane (cover). This is number 1 of 11 Power Man issues with Byrne art and/or covers.
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"Fist of Iron, Heart of Stone" Byrne story pencils (Dan Green inks) 17 pages = ****

John Byrne
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Weird Mystery Tales v1 #16, 1975 - Due to a local bumpkin's hoax, neighborhood kids become frightened of a farmer's scarecrow. Alex Nino's coarse artistic style has a unnerving quality all on its own. His erratic line sometimes leads to distorted faces on certain characters, but is well-suited for the mystery genre. His bold vertical panels on the opening page are surpassed only by the horrific, but exquisitely drawn ending. Other artists in this issue include Frank Robbins and Luis Domingez (cover). This is number 5 of 6 Weird Mystery Tales issues with Nino art and/or covers.
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"Neely's Scarecrow" Nino story pencils and inks 6 pages = ****

Alex Nino
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Warfront v1 #39 featuring Dynamite Joe, 1967 - Told in a mere three pages, Wally Wood chronicles the advent of the P-51 Mustang plane helped change the course of World War Two. The artist's drawings seem convincing from the onset, appropriately emphasizing the aircraft rather than the pilots. This true story culminates in several well-composed panels of aerial dogfights. Other artists in this issue include Bill Draut and Mort Meskin. This is number 3 of 3 Warfront issues with Wood art and/or covers.
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"The Trap" Wood story pencils and inks 3 pages = ***

Wally Wood 
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Conan the Barbarian v1 #16 marvel comic book cover art by Barry Windsor Smith
Barry Windsor Smith
Conan the Barbarian v1 #16, 1972 - The issue features Barry Smith's superb work from Savage Tales #1, reprinting the tale in color for the first time. Resized from the original magazine format, most of the details thankfully survive (excluding some mild nudity). An earlier Conanesque tryout from Chamber of Darkness #4 is also included, drawing comparisons between the two. Smith wraps these reprints in a brand new cover, artfully drawn and composed. This is number 16 of 22 Conan the Barbarian issues with Smith art and/or covers.
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Smith cover pencils and inks = ***
"The Frost Giant's Daughter" Smith story pencils and inks 11 pages (first time in color) = ****

Conan the Barbarian v1 #16 marvel comic book page art by Barry Windsor Smith
Barry Windsor Smith
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77 Sunset Strip v1 #1, 1962 - Following a handful of Four Color Comics issues, these LA detectives graduate into their own title. All three stories are approachable, thanks to Russ Manning's confident line. Each tale has its strengths, but the tale of Kookie's accidental exchange with a spy stands out as exceptional. Many scenes occur during the evening, calling for greater contrast and depth. The thin diagonal lines of rain also increase excitement and visual interest (see interior page below). A contents page on the inside front cover borrows panels from each of the respective stories. This is number 5 of 6 77 Sunset Strip issues with Manning art and/or covers.
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"The Mix Up" Manning story pencils and inks 10 pages = ****
"Blaze of Revenge" Manning story pencils and inks 12 pages = ***
"The Ruby Caper " Manning story pencils and inks 9 pages = ***
"It's Manslaughter"/"It's Murder" Manning text illos pencils and inks 1 page = **
"Business World Espionage" Manning i
nside back cover pencils and inks = ***

77 Sunset Strip v1 #1 dell tv 1960s silver age comic book page art by Russ Manning
Russ Manning
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Showcase v1 #57 Enemy Ace dc comic book cover art by Joe Kubert
Joe Kubert
Showcase v1 #57 featuring Enemy Ace, 1965 - Not only does this issue mark the character's fourth appearance, but his first solo book as well. Joe Kubert's dramatic cover is partially diminished by the abundant text, but he more than compensates on the interiors. Enemy Ace meets his match in a Canadian fighter pilot known as the Hunter. The artist draws each aerial dogfight with a palpable enthusiasm. On page 19, burning Allied planes fall like leaves around a display of war trophies. This clever metaphor conveys the human cost behind Enemy Ace's reputation. This is number 8 of 19 Showcase issues with Kubert art and/or covers.
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Kubert cover pencils and inks = ***
"Killer of the Skies"
Kubert story pencils and inks 24 pages = ***

Showcase v1 #57 Enemy Ace dc comic book page art by Joe Kubert
Joe Kubert
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E-Man v1 #7, 1975 - In his second back-up story of the series, Rog-2000 encounters a haunted house on a dark and stormy night, with a title reference to Emily Bronte's classic novel. For a humorous parody, it is surprisingly well drawn for its genre. John Byrne' large opening panel sets the perfect tone with its gradated zipatone background and painterly wind-blown leaves. His brushwork is more skillful than others, evidenced by the textures on the burning house (page 7). This story was later reprinted in the 1985 compilation Rog 2000. Other artists in this issue include Joe Staton (art and cover). This is number 2 of 4 E-Man issues with Byrne art and/or covers.
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"Withering Heights" Byrne story pencils and inks 7 pages = ***

John Byrne
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Marvel Spotlight v1 #8 Ghost Rider marvel comic book cover art by Mike Ploog
Mike Ploog
Marvel Spotlight v1 #8 on Ghost Rider, 1973 - A canyon in the Southwestern desert beckons Johnny Blaze, leading him to attempt a death-defying motorcycle jump. Mike Ploog's pencils are hopelessly mismatched with Jim Mooney's conservative inking. The darker mood of previous issues gives way to a lighter, more sanitized look. Although Ploog emerges in certain panels, his style is largely suppressed. By contrast, the artist's cover showcases his distinctive, fluid approach. This is number 7 of 8 Marvel Spotlight issues with Ploog art and/or covers.
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Ploog cover pencils (Frank Chiaramonte inks) = ***
"The Hordes of Hell"
Ploog story pencils (Jim Mooney inks) 20 pages = *

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Bernie Wrightson
Sword of Sorcery v1 #2, 1973 - Continuing the adventures of Fafhrd the Barbarian and the Gray Mouser, Howard Chaykin's cover pencils are loose and erratic compared to later works. Bernie Wrightson's inks are recognizable, but lack definition. The inside story fares better, with Neal Adams, Wrightson and others bringing clarity and interest to the initial pencils. This is number 2 of 2 Sword of Sorcery issues with Adams art and/or covers and number 2 of 3 Sword of Sorcery issues with Wrightson art and/or covers.
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Wrightson cover inks (Howard Chaykin pencils) = **
"Revenge of the Skull of Jewels" Wrightson, Adams partial story inks (Howard Chaykin pencils) 23 pages = ***


Neal Adams
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Western Gunfighters v1 #24, 1957 - A new marshal runs up against the local bully in this gritty frontier tale. The majority of Alex Toth's panels are purposefully dark and moody, suggesting the pervasive fear of the townspeople. The artist infuses each page with an abundance of textures to increase interest and depth. One of the many excellent scenes is the depiction of the bully's gang in the shadows of a leafy tree (page four). Another is the climactic gunfight, where the marshal draws his weapon with unexpected speed. Alex Toth delivers one of the best western tales of his career. Other artists in this issue include Chuck Miller, Pete Morisi, Don Heck, Joe Maneely and John Severin (cover). This is number 1 of 1 Western Gunfighters issues with Toth art and/or covers.
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"His Back to the Wall" Toth story pencils and inks 7 pages = *****

Alex Toth
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Incredible Hulk v2 #222, 1978 - Hounded once again by the US Army, the Hulk finds refuge with a boy who holds a dark secret. Jim Starlin's layouts are adequate, but his pencils are overwhelmed by inker Alfredo Alcala. Even the two splash pages are heavily laden with& texture, weighing down both the figures and backgrounds. While recognizable, Starlin's drawings are buried too deep to be effective. Other artists in this issue include Ernie Chua (cover). This is number 2 of 2 Incredible Hulk v2 issues with Starlin art and/or covers.
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"Feeding Billy" Starlin story pencils (Alfredo Alcala inks) 18 pages = **

Incredible Hulk v2 #222 marvel comic book page art by Jim Starlin
Jim Starlin
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Rima the Jungle Girl v1 #2 dc bronze age comic book cover art by Joe Kubert
Joe Kubert
Rima the Jungle Girl v1 #2, 1974 - Nestor Redondo continues his outstanding work on this adaptation of Green Mansions. Details abound throughout the story, including the superb spread of a jaguar encounter and the beautifully sumptuous dream captured on page eight. His flair for the exotic manifests itself in the various South American settings. Alex Nino continues his short Space Voyagers tales, drawing aliens and planets with graphic clarity. Joe Kubert's cover is loose yet compelling. This is number 2 of 6 Rima issues with Redondo art and/or covers, number 2 of 5 Rima issues with Nino art and/or covers and number 2 of 7 Rima issues with Kubert art and/or covers.
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Kubert cover pencils and inks = ***
"Flight From Eden" Redondo story pencils and inks 14 pages = *****
"The Delta Brain" Nino story pencils and inks 5 pages = ***



Rima the Jungle Girl v1 #2 dc bronze age comic book page art by Nestor Redondo
Nestor Redondo
Alex Nino
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Matt Baker
The Texan v1 #6, 1949 - This fine Matt Baker cover is unusually crowded, especially with the inset on the lower left. Two cowboys fight it out while an errant bullet nearly misses an armed woman behind them. Actually seeing the bullet's path is a technique often used during the golden age, helping lead the reader's eye from foreground to background. This is number 3 of 11 Texan issues with Baker art and/or covers.
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Baker cover pencils and inks = ***

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