Saturday, June 6, 2009

Marvels of Gil Kane: Marvel Team-Up Covers

Looking back at Gil Kane's career at Marvel, he never stayed on any series for a long time, unlike his long runs on DC Comics' Green Lantern and Atom.  Probably his longest association was with Spider-Man and Marvel Team-up.  He did many Team-Up covers, here are some of my favorites...

Marvel Team-Up 13 cover by Gil Kane

I've always enjoyed the dynamic figures of Captain America and Spider-Man on the cover to Marvel Team-Up #13.  John Romita obviously inked this cover--the line work on Grey Gargoyle and the two heroes is unmistakable.  The positioning of the characters and the camera angles are pure Kane.

Marvel Team-Up 3 cover by Gil Kane

Marvel Team-Up #3 featured Kane's co-creation Morbius, attempting to bite Spidey once again.  Curses, foiled by the Human Torch!  This was the first issue of a two part story.  Spidey and the Torch subdue Morbius and take him to Professor Xavier's school, in search of a cure for the vampire.

Marvel Team-Up 4 cover by Gil Kane

Marvel Team-Up #4 was a landmark issue, because it featured the X-Men.  You have to put this issue into historical context--the X-Men's own title was effectively cancelled with issue #66.  The X-Men title was kept alive with reprints from issue #67 to 93.  But the mutants had been missing from the Marvel Universe for a few years until the Beast appeared in Amazing Adventures and this guest spot in MTU #4.  You had to be hardcore if your followed the X-Men at this point in time, and this issue was a real treat.

They tried something new to make the X-Men more exciting and dangerous--by putting them in street clothes instead of costumes!  Cyclops wore a suit, Jean Grey wore a sweater, and Angel stripped off his shirt when he needed to spread his wings.  They really did look cool and hip in the 1970s fashions, especially with Kane's art style--he did the interior art as well as the cover.  Nuff said.

Update: Comment from my old MT blog...


very nice. a great series of posts, Richard, showcasing my favourite comic artist. Kane has never been equalled for sheer grace and dynamism, he was a master of the medium, a true giant who deserves to be up there with the Kirbys and the Sterankos and the Adams'.
and, for a shameless plug, if you're a fan of good old Gil Kane comics, why not check out " His Name Is. . . " my own little blog dedicated to the work of the great man himself. no critique, no flummery, no in-depth analysis - just Gil Kane comics. the address is here:
keep up the sterling work, fella!

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