Wednesday, 14 May 2014


Whilst Jolly JACK KIRBY was beavering away at DC COMICS
during the first half of the '70s, casual observers could be forgiven for
thinking he'd never really left MARVEL After all, there was a number
of reprint mags churning out Jack's back catalogue from the '60s, and
no doubt some newer readers thought, at first glance, that they were
contemporary tales - at least until they spotted that little box that
said "Originally presemted in..."

MARVEL SPECTACULAR was one such reprint mag, which
came out in 1973 and reprinted Jack's THOR work, inked (mostly)
by VINCE COLLETTA. The quality of reproduction is a bit hit-and-
miss (no doubt not doing Vince's reputation as an inker any favours),
but it was great to see these stories again, along with the TALES OF
ASGARD series as back-up in the book. The TOA episodes didn't
appear alongside the same main strips as they had in their original
printings, but it hardly mattered as I don't recall them ever
being connected story-wise anyway.

Unfortunately, I only have four issues (must dig up some more
one day), but that gives us a dozen spectacular images to salivate
over, which is more than enough for one sitting don't you think?


(Incidentally, issue #2 was slightly water-damaged when I got it,
revealing signs of newsprint on the cover from the mag above it in
the bundle. Likewise, the splash page shows newsprint from the inside
cover ad, but I've tried to reduce the effects in order to increase your
enjoyment. Who else spoils you like this, eh? If you feel like leaving
a comment telling me how wonderful I am, I won't object. Hey,
where'd everybody go?!)


Colin Jones said...

The only Thor/Hercules/Pluto story I remember is the one that appeared in Marvel Treasury Edition #4 which I bought on holiday in 1977 even though it was dated 1974. I don't know why a shop would be selling a three-year old Treasury Edition but at the same time I also bought the Conan Treasury Edition with Red Nails/Rogues In The House in it which was two years old ! What on earth is he wearing on his head in that second splash page - Kirby really came up with some weird and spectacular headgear over the years !

Kid said...

Looks like a bear climbing into an old-fashioned drinking fountain to me, CJ. I bought that Thor Treasury Edition in 1974, but the one I have now is one I got at the tail end of the '70s - from a newspaper vendor in Glasgow who had a stack of them at his feet. I think that some mags got lost in distributors' warehouses for years and, when they were finally rediscovered, would then make an appearance in shops.

baab said...

When I was a very young boy I very quickly came to terms with the fact that Vince Colletta inking Jack Kirby was not the same as anyone else inking Jack and I accepted it.

Dare I say he added a 'realism' to it.

And the proof is in the article.

Kid said...

I always thought that Vince's inking gave more to Jack's art than it ever took away, Baab. He certainly made Jack's musculature in his drawings more realistic-looking.

Paul McScotty -Muir said...

I never liked Vince Colletta's inking style except when it was on Kirby's art especially on Thor, their two styles just worked really well (imho) and for many years Thor was my favourite Marvel comic. However, Colletta on almost anyone else for me ( especially Sal Buscema) was a no no

Kid said...

Funnily enough 'though, McScotty, I liked his inking of John Buscema's pencils on Thor. Maybe there was just something about Thor's universe that suited Colletta's inks.

B Smith said...

Why did those reprint titles look so muddy? They presumably weren't shooting from the original art...was it copies of original issues, subsequently tidied up?

Kid said...

I think it was just down to using poor stats made from copies of file stats of original art. By the time they'd been coloured and the plates had been made, Colletta's fine inking detail had been lost in many instances. I think also ('though I'm not 100% sure) that this may have been the period they were printing from plastic plates, which wore out far faster than metal ones.

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