Batman v1 #338, 1981 - Investigating a murder of a clown, Robin goes through all the possible perpetrators and winds up with nothing. In this concluding back-up tale, Don Newton's artwork falters. Some panels are clumsily drawn and the layouts too contrived. The inking hinders it further, stiffening many of the faces and figures. The opening page credits are mostly unrecognizable due to poor print production, but Larry Mahlstedt is often credit as the inker. Comparing this work to the previous issue, however, the styles are clearly inconsistent. Other artists in this issue include Irv Novick, Frank McLaughlin and Jim Aparo. This is number 7 of 32 Batman issues with Newton art and/or covers.
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"Killer Under the Big Top" Newton story pencils (Dick Giordano? inks) 8 pages = **
 

Don Newton
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FOOM v1 #1, 1973 - Jim Steranko designed and edited this Marvel fanzine, in conjunction with a FOOM (Friends Of 'Ol Marvel) membership promotion. The issues comprised of mostly articles and games using repurposed imagery from comics. Steranko himself contributed artwork here and here, including the Spider-man illustration for the back cover mailing panel (see interior page below). This is number 1 of 4 Foom issues with Steranko art and/or covers.
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Steranko back cover pencils and inks = ***

Jim Steranko
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Daredevil v1 #173 marvel comic book cover art by Frank Miller
Frank Miller
Daredevil v1 #173, 1981 - After a series of brutal assaults, all fingers point to Melvin Potter, a reformed super-villain known as the Gladiator. DD takes up the cause to prove his innocence. The theme of violence and victimization pulses through this story, thanks to writer and artist Frank Miller. Pages are deftly divided into mostly small but effective panels. Highlights include the Gladiator's internal struggles depicted on page 13 and Daredevil's own helplessness and subsequent triumph. This is number 15 of 33 Daredevil issues with Miller art and/or covers.
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Miller cover pencils (Klaus Janson inks) = ***
"Lady Killer" Miller story
pencils (Klaus Janson inks) 22 pages = ***

Daredevil v1 #173 marvel comic book page art by Frank Miller
Frank Miller
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Eerie v3 #84, 1977 - A tormented young man envisions a gallery of mysterious images and memories. As he departs, Darklon The Mystic makes his arrival. Jim Starlin uses texture and greytones to enrich his already lively drawings. Each page is designed and sequenced for maximum effect. Shorter than previous episodes, Starlin's art is nonetheless exemplary. This story was later reprinted in >Darklon the Mystic #1. Housing the issue's various tales is a Frank Frazetta cover, first used on Eerie v3 #8. Other artists in this issue include Carmine Infantino and Jose Ortiz. This is number 4 of 6 Eerie issues with Starlin art and/or covers (not including reprints).
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"He Who Waits In Shadow" Starlin story pencils and inks 6 pages (black and white) = ****

Jim Starlin
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Jim Starlin
Vigilante v1 #39, 1987 - Up against the wall, a thug drops his switchblade while pressured by the Vigilante. This non-attributed Jim Starlin cover is simple and straightforward, but effective nonetheless. The crumbling brick wall in the background suggests a urban setting while showing little else. Other artists in this issue include Chuck Patton and Rick Magyar. This is number 1 of 1 Vigilante issues with Starlin art and/or covers.
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Starlin cover pencils and inks = ***

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Captain America v1 #162 marvel comic book cover art by Jim Starlin
Jim Starlin
Captain America v1 #162, 1973 - Cap goes mad on this nightmarish cover design. Heads of different characters surround the hero, all sharing the same oddly rounded proportions. Jim Starlin's pencils are lackluster, despite being smoothed over by inker Joe Sinnott. The monstrous face below is typical of Starlin's designs, the only distinguishing feature in an otherwise weak effort. This is number 1 of 1 Captain America issues with Starlin art and/or covers.
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Starlin cover pencils (Joe Sinnott inks) = **

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The Warlord v1 #37, 1980 - Continuing the back-up tale from the previous issue, Omac decides to join rather than fight a massive corporate oligarchy. Jim Starlin's distinctive approaches are present throughout the artwork. The artist employs varying page layouts and sequential close-ups to full effect. While a tad less polished than the previous issue, Romeo Tanghal's inks are sufficient. Other artists in this issue include Mike Grell and Vince Colletta. This is number 2 of 3 Warlord issues with Starlin art and/or covers.
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"The Decision" Starlin story pencils (Romeo Tanghal inks) 8 pages = ***


Jim Starlin
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Savage Tales v1 #5 conan marvel comic book cover art by Neal Adams
Neal Adams
Savage Tales v1 #5 featuring Conan the Barbarian, 1974 - Ka-Zar and Conan have equal emphasis on this majestic Neal Adams cover, signaling a transition in the headlining character. The artist's painted cover is a typically superb effort, one of several drawn for 1970s Marvel magazines. The lead story showcases Jim Starlin's only bronze age Conan. Markedly different, his layouts brilliantly combine decorative elements and thoughtful pacing (see interior page below). This story was later reprinted in color in Conan #64 with only slightly diminished quality. Other artists in this issue include Roy Krenkel, Tony Dezuniga, Val Mayerick, Joe Sinnott and John Buscema. This is number 2 of 5 Savage Tales issues with Adams art and/or covers and number 1 of 1 Savage Tales issues with Starlin art and/or covers.
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Adams cover painting = ***
"Secret of Skull River"
Starlin story pencils (Al Milgrom inks) 20 pages (black & white) = ****

Savage Tales v1 #5 conan marvel comic book page art by Jim Starlin
Jim Starlin
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Captain Marvel #28 marvel 1970s bronze age comic book cover art by Jim Starlin
Jim Starlin
Captain Marvel v2 #28, 1973 -The Avengers enter the fray, joining Captain Marvel in stopping the world conquering Thanos. Jim Starlin's opening splash of the heroes is more artistic and forceful than previous issues (despite John Romita's modifications on Captain America). Page layouts vary wildly but effectively, especially the dream-like distortions (page 14) and the Cosmic Cube's introduction (page 21). Perhaps Starlin's most impressive feat is page 18 (see interior page below), a mosaic of small panels that communicate events in almost complete silence. This story was later reprinted in Life of Captain Marvel #2 and #3. This is number 4 of 12 Captain Marvel issues with Starlin art and/or covers.
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Starlin cover pencils and inks = ***
"When Titans Collide” Starlin story pencils (Dan Green inks) 19 pages = ***

Captain Marvel #28 marvel 1970s bronze age comic book page art by Jim Starlin
Jim Starlin


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Barry Windsor Smith
Solar Man of the Atom v1 #10, 1991 - Solid black and blind embossed, this cover has Barry Windsor Smith's initials curiously placed on the lower left. Solar's origin concludes with a lengthy episode, more than double the usual page count. Still impressive, Barry Windsor Smith's visuals build toward the explosive climax at the end. The final spread, joined with the nine previous ones,  completes the "largest single comic panel ever created" (according to the publisher), measuring 26 and a half inches by 51 and a quarter inches. Other artists in this issue include Don Perlin. This is number 10 of 11 Solar issues with Smith art and/or covers.
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Smith cover pencils and inks = *
"Alpha and Omega part 10" Smith story pencils (Bob Layton inks) 16 pages = ***

Barry Windsor Smith
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Magnus Robot Fighter v1 #2, 1963 - A robotic figure called Mekman kidnaps the human government leaders and replaces them with identical, artificial people. Russ Manning's art for the second issue is representative of his clean, crisp style. His figure drawings seem more noteworthy this issue, from the battle between two Magnuses (pages 24-27) to his lovely rendition of Leeja and Magnus (see interior page below). The Aliens continue as a back-up feature, equally well drawn by Manning. This story was later reprinted in Magnus Robot Fighter #32. This is number 2 of 21 Magnus Robot Fighter issues with Manning art and/or covers (not including reprints).
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"Operation Disguise" Manning story pencils and inks 27 pages = ***
"Space Derelict"
Manning story pencils and inks 4 pages = ***

Magnus Robot Fighter v1 #2 gold key silver age 1960s comic book page art by Russ Manning
Russ Manning
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Walt Simonson
X-Factor v1 #14, 1987 - Cyclops fights for his life, alone against the ever adaptive Master Mold. Walt Simonson's cover seems simplistic in layout, allowing for too much negative space. The scene looks especially tame compared to the interiors. Simonson's penchant for drawing machinery results in some superb renditions of the  Sentinel. Kudos to Bob Wiacek for his seasoned inking. This is number 5 of 28 X-Factor issues with Simonson art and/or covers.
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Simonson cover pencils and inks = **
"The Mutant Program" Simonson story pencils (Bob Wiacek inks) 22 pages = ***

Walt Simonson
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Joe Kubert
Blackhawk v1 #266, 1976 - This long running war title gets revived during the bronze age. Joe Kubert delivers a symmetrical layout, prominently displaying the lead character while his team closely follows. A squadron of planes adds movement and further perspective. Expertly composed, Kubert's effort is a perfect example of an iconic premiere cover. Other artists in this issue include Dan Spiegle. This is number 1 of 2 Blackhawk issues with Kubert art and/or covers.
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Kubert cover pencils and inks = ****

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Marshall Rogers
Detectives Inc.: A Remembrance of Threatening Green v1, 1980 - Set in the seedier parts of New York City, this graphic novel introduces a pair of private investigators hired to solve a murder the police won't touch. Marshall Rogers delivers an ambitious piece of work at almost fifty pages long. The story divides up into chapter sections, providing the reader with breaks. He supplements his black and white artwork with varying shades of gray, using zipatone screens applied over the original artwork. The effect can be somewhat muddy on the nighttime scenes. The larger graphic novel format and longer page count also allows the artist to experiment with layout and pacing. Rogers' cover seems obscure and poorly colored, but his story art inside is daring and enthusiastic. This story was later reprinted in color in >Detectives Inc. #1 and >#2.
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Rogers cover pencils and inks = **
Rogers story pencils and inks 46 pages (black and white) = ****

Marshall Rogers


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Weird Mystery Tales v1 #2, 1972 - Originally slated for Spirit World magazine, Jack Kirby's tale of "Toxl the World Killer" combines sword & sorcery and science fiction. The artist follows the first page with a dramatic two page spread, introducing the character in an uncommonly static layout. That aside, Kirby's battle scenes are dependably violent, culminating in a splash of a planet's massive destruction. Other artists in this issue include Jack Abel and Howard Purcell (cover). This is number 2 of 3 Weird Mystery Tales issues with Kirby art and/or covers.
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"Toxl the World Killer" Kirby story pencils (Mike Royer inks) 12 pages = ***

Jack Kirby
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