Wednesday, February 2, 2011

A Savage Original!

This awesome cover by Big John Buscema, at the height of his powers, launched the brief Doc Savage run at Marvel. While Ross Andru was the artist on the interiors and Jim Steranko and later Gil Kane would do the subsequent covers in the series, this debut portrait of the Man of Bronze in action has the typical raw energy so natural to a Buscema image of this period.

Here's the original artwork to this wonderful cover. If anything, Buscema's graceful hand is even more in evidence on this black and white version.

But one detail on this original did jump out at me.

I'm not aware of any Kull cover that Buscema did during this time. The debut Kull the Conqueror cover was done by Marie Severin (over another Ross Andru interior no less). Perhaps Big John did a rejected Kull cover for that book. If so, I'd love to see it, if in fact it exists.

The artwork was repurposed a few years later when the debut two-parter was reprinted in the "Giant-Size" version of the comic. Doc has been altered here to resemble the model being used in the black and white magazine at the time.

All in all a very successful bit of labor for Big John Buscema, and Mighty Marvel.

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  1. It looks like it was inked by John's little brother Sal!

  2. Possibly it's Sal. That makes sense. But I think this is a rare instance where Big John inked himself. It just seems to my eye to have that feel, similar to the few Conan issues he did all by himself.

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