Monday, November 28, 2011

Review: Marvel Masterworks- Atlas Era Journey Into Mystery Vol. 3

Collects Journey Into Mystery Nos. 21-30 (cover dates January, 1955- January, 1956)
Writers: Paul S. Newman, Carl Wessler and others.
Artists: Ross Andru, Fred Kida, Joe Maneely, John Forte, Joe Kubert, Mike Esposito, Gene Colan, Dick Ayers, Manny Stallman, Ann Brewster, John Tartaglione, John Severin, Jay Scott Pike, Bob Powell, Doug Wildey, Reed Crandall, Joe Orlando and more. 
Artwork by John Severin
Journey Into Mystery began as a Horror/ Mystery anthology title. These issues see an abrupt decline in quality, as the Comics Code Authority is implemented and the creators are neutered by censorship. The first few post-code issues are the worst, with there being nary a scare or twist. The stories remain weak but the art improves shortly thereafter. 
Artwork by Reed Crandall
Many of the artists featured in this book are remembered and loved by comics fans. Some did work for Harvey (Bob Powell), others for EC (Reed Crandall and Joe Orlando). Some of them are “no name” creators lost to the mists of time or are simply not household names. One of these artists, John Tartaglione, deserves a shout out. His photo realistic artwork is a direct influence on Tony Harris (Starman, Ex Machina), from his “camera angles” down to his panel composition. It's downright eerie at times. 
Artwork by Manny Stallman
 Even though this is not the most illustrious example of '50s Horror comics, it does have a few moments worthy of your attention (and money). I am on board for the next few volumes, which will finish out the run. There is some choice artwork ahead from Wally Wood, Al Williamson, Bill Everett and many of the aforementioned artists.
The OCD zone- This is how I like my books. Nice paper, excellent restoration and colors true to the original color palette. Sewn binding that makes the book lay as flat and spread as wide as a drunken sorority girl. These Marvel Masterworks will be treasured Shaw family heirlooms that will outlast me.

1 comment:

  1. "lay as flat and spread as wide as a drunken sorority girl" Okay, I laughed out loud at that! Great analogy!