Thursday, January 6, 2011

Silent But Sparkly!


Above is the cover featuring the debut of the cosmically aware Captain Marvel. He's a hero who is leaving his Kree roots behind him, and becoming the universal protector we're more familiar with. During the change he not only becomes "cosmically aware", a rather hefty term suggesting he's at one with everything and so empowered by that connection, but he becomes a blond and he picks up a sparkly trail when he flies.


Here's the original artwork for this great cover by Jim Starlin. Notice how the face is different than the published version. Now there's a face only a mother could love. It's no wonder they had John Romita touch it up.


As for Marvel's sparkly trail, that is a clear homage to another hero, one defunct at the time Marvel was revised.


Captain Atom as co-created and illustrated by Steve Ditko had the sparkly trail from the get-go. His was some sort of radioactive residue which was left in his wake. Mar-Vell's was apparently "photonic" in nature and presumably much less potentially dangerous to the general populace. Ironically Captain Atom went from being a blond to a silver-haired hero later in his career.


Here's a version of the Charlton Captain by Mar-Vell's godfather, Jim Starlin. Note the sparkles are in place.

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3 comments:

  1. "Notice how the face is different than the published version. Now there's a face only a mother could love. It's no wonder they had John Romita touch it up."

    During the 70s and 80s, Marvel'e editors often had John Romita (He wasn't "Sr", then.) modify character faces on the covers.
    (Finding Romita faces on Kane or Kirby bodies became a game for me.)
    It reminded me of how DC had Al Plastino and Murphy Anderson modify Jack Kirby's Superman heads in his books, both on the covers and the interiors.
    Today, DC or Marvel rarely do that sort of thing, even when it's desperately-needed! :-(

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  2. I'll never be like you guys, I could stare at the picture all day and never guess that a different artist touched up the face. Thanks for sharing this stuff with me!

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  3. Britt- I'm touching on the Al Plastino stuff in the Fourth World in a post a bit later. Some of that touch up can be quite jarring.

    Dave- It comes from reading too many damn comic books I'm afraid. Now take modern comic artists-- I can't tell who any of them are.

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