Monday, February 7, 2011

Monster Monday: Six Macabre Covers by Adams, Ploog, Land, Kane and Brunner

In the past years on this blog, I've shown dozens of covers and illustrations from Marvel's Legion of Monsters during the 1970s.  Here are a few of my favorites.

Tomb Of Dracula 1 cover by Neal Adams

Tomb of Dracula #1, cover by Neal Adams from 1972.  This kicked off the whole Monster craze at Marvel which would last a few years.   This title didn't really take off until issue 7 0r 8, when Marv Wolfman took over as writer, but it was my absolute favorite in terms of both story and art.  Neal Adams actually got to draw a story for this character in the black and white magazine, Dracula Lives #2.  Click on all posts tagged Tomb of Dracula for more.

Mike Ploog Monster of Frankenstein 2 cover, 1972

The Monster of Frankenstein #2 continued Marvel's spin on Mary Shelley's novel.  The cover by Mike Ploog captures how distraught the Monster was after finding his Bride, murdered by his enemy, Dr. Frankenstein.  I loved this cover so much, I traced it and convinced girls at school that I had created it all on my own.  Hey--at least I stole from one of the best.  Click on all posts tagged Frankenstein for more.


Werewolf by Night, from the one-shot special published in 2007.  This is the only modern era cover in this bunch, for two reasons.  One, I couldn't get a great scan of Werewolf by Night #1.  Two, Greg Land did knock it out of the park with this cover, which appears to have been a character he waited a long time to draw for Marvel.  The story by Mike Carey was very good as well.  Too bad Marvel didn't continue on with this direction.  Click on all posts tagged Werewolf by Night for more.

Ghost Rider in Marvel Spotlight 8, cover by Mike Ploog, 1972

Ghost Rider, from Marvel Spotlight #8, again a cover by Mike Ploog from the early 70s.  I liked the whole idea of taking Ghost Rider and pitting him against a different type of magic in the southwest.  I also remember Evel Knivel in this time period, getting ready to jump Snake River Canyon.  Click on all posts tagged Ghost Rider for more.

Adventure Into Fear 23

Adventure into Fear #23 featuring The Man Called Morbius--The Living Vampire.  I just love Gil Kane and the way he drew this cover, I've featured it umpteen times.  In looking at this, I realize that with modern versions of Morbius, they get rid of the costume and have him wearing a trenchcoat or something.  But that original costume uses primary colors and just pops out on the page.  Click on all posts tagged Morbius the Living Vampire for more.

Man-Thing 1 1974 cover by Frank Brunner

Man-Thing, his first issue spinning out of Fear, with a cover by Frank Brunner in 1974.  When he first appeared in Fear, Manny didn't even take up the whole issue.  Somehow he became the most unlikely star that Marvel ever had, outside of Howard the Duck (who appeared in this issue as well).  Brunner's portrait of the muck monster is a great one for a first issue cover.  Click on all posts tagged Man-Thing for more.  Nuff Said!


  1. I loved all of Marvel's monsters - when I was ten or so they used to really creep me out. I had very few of them, but Frankenstein sticks in my mind and memory. Now I have all of the wonderful Gene Colan Dracula thanks to the Essentials. I wish Marvel would try things like this again and branch out from just superheroes; the 70's were a time when the company would try anything.

  2. I agree. They have tried to reboot the Monster guys several times, but they always failed. IMHO, the failure happened because they insisted on rebooting the character and straying away from the character core. Werewolf by Night, when you look at the early issues, would make a great CW show: 18 year old guy who lives in Malibu discovers he comes from a line of lycans. Sister is 16 and will become a Werewolf in 2 years--ticking time bomb.

    Marvel tried rebooting Ghost Rider several times, but the Jason Aaron series had a modicum of success, critically, because it took the essential elements of what made Johnny Blaze work. It didn't throw away anything, but he made it work in the modern era. Even the goofy eyeball villain was cool.

    Crossgen is some hope for Marvel to branch out into new genres. It's very promising that they are putting Mark Waid back in charge of a steampunk detective series like Ruse. I hope everyone will buy that and give it a chance.

    What Marvel should try to do, I believe, is try and revive some of these barbarian characters. Do a high epic fantasy series. Although come to think of it...which barbarian characters did they own outright?