Sub-Mariner #64, 1973 “Voyage into Chaos”

Prince Namor of Atlantis was never a character that was one of my favorites. Oh, I like the character more than I dislike him, but he just never impressed me unless he was part of a team (like the Avengers). I recently grabbed a couple of back issues of Subby, and really enjoyed them. Now, granted, the writer is the awesome Steve Gerber (RIP), with art by Don Heck (RIP) (pencils), and Don Perlin (inks), so that really raised the level of the content in my opinion. You also get perennial favorites Glynis Wein on colors, and Artie Simek providing letters (and Roy Thomas editing). Again, characters are great, but the creative force behind them is what really matters.

A story involving Subby fighting racial inequality (basically), is the plot, with undersea friends and foes galore. Heck and Perlin make a great team, and you’ll agree when you see the pages below. Namor is his royal, condescending self, while the ocean backgrounds look fabulous. A quick cameo by Namorita, Namor in chains, and at the mercy of a WOMAN, nonetheless! There is also a back-up story from Gerber featuring artwork by Howard Chaykin and Joe Sinnott! And what a fantastic cover by the team of Rich Buckler and Bill Everett (RIP)!

 

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Marvel’s Unsung Heroes! -Don Heck!

Back in the very early days of Marvel Comics, there were only a couple of employees, and a few “work for hire” guys. We know of Lee, Kirby, and Ditko, but there was another face that was there from beginning as well. His name is Don Heck, and this man is responsible for co-creating many of our favorite characters (Hawkeye, Black Widow, The Mandarin, Iron Man, Wonder Man, Count Nefaria, The Swordsman, The Collector, Living Laser, Black Goliath, and Mantis)…yeah, you get the point. If not for his work the movies that now dazzle us a couple of times a year, would be less inviting, for sure.

His work on the Avengers really stands out for me personally, but not to be missed are his renditions of Dracula and Dr. Strange, too! Don passed away in 1995, from lung cancer. He may be gone, but his magnificent work lives on! I mean, who else could draw Morbius tossing a crab into the ocean or Dracula fighting a giant heart? So, here’s to you, Don Heck, may your work live on forever!

 

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Chamber of Darkness #1, 1969. “Tales of Maddening Magic”

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Lets be honest for a moment…who doesn’t love Jazzy John Romita?!? Of course, that was rhetorical! Just look at this offering from 1969. The credits on the interiors are just as impressive too! Stan Lee, John Buscema, John Verpoorten, Denny O’Neil, Tom Sutton, Gary Friedrich, Don Heck, and Frank Giacoia! I chose this one for not only the awesome Romita cover, but also because it’s Big John Buscema’s birthday today, too! Enjoy!

Giant Size Dracula #4, 1974! “The Demon of Devil’s Lake”

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You know, I’m a huge fan of the Tomb of Dracula series, mostly because of Gene Colan and Marv Wolfman, but anything with Dracula is worth reading in my opinion! Check out this great cover by Gil Kane! This story was exceptional, and I look forward to talking about the entire series, plus great books like this Giant Size offering from David Kraft, Marv Wolfman, Don Heck, Frank Springer, Artie Simek, Petra Goldberg, and Len Wein! Enjoy!