Monday, June 15, 2009

Monster Mondays: Steranko's Invisible Man and Tower of Shadows

Beginning...a week of covers by the legendary Jim Steranko!

However, these aren't necessarily his most famous covers from the 1960s.  No, most of these covers were published in 1972, the year I first encountered the work of this impressive artist.

Supernatural Thrillers 2 cover by Steranko 1972

There were times when I could impress my elementary school teachers with my knowledge of Greek mythology (derived from Hercules in the Avengers), Norse mythology (Thor, of course), and classics like the Invisible Man, from Supernatural Thrillers #2 in 1972.  Steranko sells this cover beautifully.  It transports you back to a 19th century English pub with all the background details.  I was intrigued by the Invisible Man unraveling his bandages, removing his glasses, etc.  The adaption inside was well executed, recapturing the essence of the story in one issue.

Supernatural Thrillers 1 cover by Steranko 1972

Steranko also drew the cover to the first issue of Supernatural Thrillers, featuring an adaption of Theodore Sturgeon's short story, IT!  A few years later in Astonishing Tales, another character called IT! (a 30 foot tall stone giant) would take over that book.  Marvel recycled the IT! logo that you see here.  When I started to read science fiction stories a few years later, I sought out the writers I knew about from Marvel: Sturgeon and Harlan Ellison in particular.

Tower of Shadows 1 rejected cover by Steranko

There's one more Marvel horror cover that Steranko did in the 1970s, and it's infamous--because Stan Lee rejected it!  Tower of Shadows #1 featured a short story by Steranko, and he drew this cover along with it.  This was obviously a bone-headed decision on Stan Lee's part.  Steranko's cover is awesome and if he had let it go, surely Tower of Shadows #1 would have been a collector's item.  You can read on Wikipedia about Steranko's disagreement with Lee over this cover.  Nuff said.

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