Sunday 29 November 2009

Jim Steranko Part 2

Well after reading Dave Morris's comment I couldn't resist and here for Dave and the rest of you comic book devotees are just a sprinkling of additional and in many ways seminal images from the genius otherwise called Jim Steranko.

There's a cover with very obvious Salvador Dali references and a couple of pages from two Nick Fury tales, "Who Is Scorpio" and the wonderfully titled "Dark Moon Rise, Hell Hound Kill" and then a page that is frequently offered up as an example of Steranko's mind numbing artistry from Captain America No. 111 as an opiated Bucky slips through the portals of a nightmarish unconsciousness. Marvel editor Stan Lee's very creatively orientated approach to comic artists such as Steranko was to give them the outline of a plot and then let them write and illustrate it, which someone with the creative flair of Steranko was more than happy to oblige. An incident such as this which might otherwise have just taken a panel or two becomes a full page tour de force with lots of very hip for the time (1968) references to mind altering substances.

The repro is from a not brilliantly recolored edition that Marvel put out in 1984, if you want to see Steranko's Captain America artistry at it's optimum best then arm yourself with a copy of Marvel Masterwork's Captain America Volume 3 and a Nick Fury volume with Steranko's art is due out next month in the same series. I did try and get the Captain America Masterwork on the scanner but I would have pretty much needed to dismantle the book to get a succesful scan which is why you have the relatively crap 1984 edition instead.

Go get the Masterwork edition before it goes out of print and becomes horribly expensive - you won't regret it - promise!!!

All images © Marvel Comics 2010


  1. Thanks for putting that up, Peter. It's so weird - I haven't seen those pages for almost 40 years, yet seeing them now brings it all flooding back. It's like they're burned into my mind's eye. What great toys to find in one's subconscious attic :)

    The Black Hugh sequence reminded me that Steranko did the lead story in Tower of Shadows #1, and when I went looking for that on Wiki I found Steranko's original cover, rejected by Stan Lee:

  2. Oh Wow!!!

    Thanks for that Dave - it's just so amazing and a hundred times better than the cover they did run with. It was the source of a major bust up between Lee and Steranko and I can well understand why Steranko felt so let down.

  3. P.S. Treat yourself to the Masterwork reprint of Captain America (it's Volume 3 around £30.00 from Amazon Marketplace sellers) the restoration job they've done on both the artwork and the colouring is superb - much better than their earlier editions.

  4. Never seen the Dali cover before It's brilliant, did have a Marvel Nick Fury collection that had a few Steranko issues, such wonderful sense of design its clear to see the influence he has had on people like Steve Rude and in particular JH Williams.

  5. As I recall the Dali cover rather weirdly didn't feature Steranko's artwork inside. He missed issue 4, issue 5 was his last interior artwork and I think this was the cover from issue 7 by which time he'd pretty much dropped the series.