Monday, August 20, 2012

Marvel Team-Up

No art lover can lose with this

Marvel Trivia Question

Which Marvel artists teamed up on an issue featuring a battle royal
between Iron Man and the Sub-Mariner--and why?

After an injured Iron Man was forced to face the Sub-Mariner in armor already damaged from a prior battle, artist Gene Colan was all set to conclude the fight in the next issue, with a rejuvenated and fighting-mad Iron Man ready to take on Namor--when, two pages into the battle, Colan got the flu, according to the opening page credits. As fortune would have it, Jack Kirby, a workhorse who had drawn just about every character Marvel has, was able to step in and complete the issue.

Aside from the incredible battle that occurred between Namor and Iron Man, the concluding issue offers a rare comparison between the two drawing styles of these legendary artists.

Take a look first at Colan's work, seen here
when Namor still had the upper hand against a weakened Iron Man:

Colan is a unique artist in the comics medium, in that each panel seems meant to stand on its own, rather than contributing to the pacing of the story as a whole. The fight between Iron Man and Namor looks more like a ballet than a life-or-death struggle.

Cut to Jack Kirby's take, which comes on like gangbusters:

You can practically feel the room shake with Kirby's rendering.

Though to tell you the truth, I never have preferred either artist's rendering of Iron Man or Sub-Mariner. Kirby, while obviously having a knack for conveying Iron Man in battle, prefers a less modern approach to the character. And Colan's "presentation" style, while suitable for Daredevil's flair, doesn't seem a good fit for Iron Man's reliance on his armor and weapons in battle; and his Sub-Mariner relies almost totally on his chest and shoulders to convey his regal bearing.

But I'm sure you'd like to get back to a few more rounds of the battle:

Iron Man never does score a TKO, because Namor breaks off the battle to pursue Warlord Krang, an enemy he's been tracking. (The reason he was so pissed at Iron Man is because his interference had apparently allowed Krang to escape.) Again, Marvel has kept everyone happy. Sub-Mariner readers can cry foul because Namor was kept from his element; and Iron Man readers certainly have no cause to complain. Though the real treat for readers in both camps was in having two distinguished artists give their take on the same battle. Marvel undoutedly simply breathed a collective "whew!" that a deadline was met; but for those of us who followed both Colan's and Kirby's work, it was a rare side-by-side glimpse at two very different, yet compelling, styles of comic book art.

1 comment:

danny duda said...

Two of the greats - 3 counting Stan Lee, writer. Nothing compares.