Celebrating the Unpopular Arts

It’s Marvel Art Wednesday!

Writing these Silver Age Reread posts, I’ve never denied my heart lies with DC more than Marvel. The reread has taught me that Marvel did some brilliant stuff; at the same time there’s so much mediocre stuff that I feel Marvel’s overrated. By 1968, Jack Kirby’s running out of steam, Daredevil never had any steam and Silver Surfer is pretentious crap. Though as noted at the link, new talent keeps things going: John Romita on Spider-Man, Arnold Drake writing Iron Man and so on.

Much as it pains me, however, I can’t deny that in 1968, Marvel has it all over DC in the art department. Infantino’s no longer drawing. Jack Abel’s inking Curt Swan on those stories I blogged about Monday and it’s a bad combination.

While I don’t dislike Dick Dillin, he’s an unsatisfying substitute for Gil Kane drawing the Atom or Green Lantern (Mike Sekowsky on Green Lantern isn’t a good substitute either). Jerry Grandenetti is no Neal Adams or Murphy Anderson on Spectre.

DC does have Jim Aparo on Aquaman, Neal Adams drawing Deadman and Brave and the Bold. Nevertheless, when I look at the books purely as eye candy, Marvel looks so much better. For example, these John Romita scenes from Amazing Spider-Man #65.

Gene Colan is channeling the Ditko Force in Doctor Strange #174.

I love this John Buscema splash page from Avengers #58.And Jim Steranko on X-Men #50 makes the book look the best it ever has.

I may be biased but I can still appreciate quality.



  1. DarkKnight

    Agree 100%. Things will get better for DC art wise in the 70s thanks to Adams, Aparo, Wrightson, Kirby, Grell, & Garcia-Lopez but it won’t be until the mid 80s that DC catches up to Marvel art wise. The ironic part is it will be due to mostly Marvel artists who jumped ship to DC for various reasons.

  2. Carmine Infantino, Joe Kubert, Gil Kane and Alex Toth were DC’s golden generation of the ’40s. By 1968 for a brief spell, none were doing regular superheroes for National.
    Infantino you mentioned, Kubert as usual was chiefly Mr War; Kane was going through his flipping between companies and projects (Blackmark?), so no regular GL or Atom; and Toth, who drew JSA and solo titles as a young man but is probably just as well known among comics cognoscenti for Zorro, westerns, Eclipso, Hot Wheels and TV cartoons, etc, was stewing in his various feuds (he’d pee’d off editors Schwartz and Kubert in oft repeated anecdotes involving a cheque and a changed script, respectively).
    Joe Orlando gave some mystery stuff to Toth, who also seemed to be tolerated by the likes of Schiff and Boltinoff: I recall an Atom & Flash Brave & Bold.
    Dillin looked great when inked by fellow Dick, Giordano, as did Irv Novick a bit later on Batman.
    But the overpowering, busy Sid Greene (who was all over Flash, GL and JLA in the two years previous to 1968, it seemed)? Nah.
    Yeah, Colan was wasted on D.D. Steranko, a genius without doubt, but his anatomy seemed slightly off to me at times.

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