Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Gene Colan Casts His Spell on Dr. Strange


Artist Gene Colan had already been drawing Iron Man and the Sub-Mariner for three years, when he took a crack at something completely different in late 1968:





This is Colan's first work on Dr. Strange, teamed up with inker Tom Palmer (who had pencilled the issue prior to this one), during Strange's brief solo series following the character's run in--what else?--Strange Tales. Colan didn't have long to make his mark on the Master of the Mystic Arts, since the series would be cancelled after another eleven issues--yet his work on Strange here would be long remembered, and he would return to the character again in 1975 to briefly team with writer Steve Englehart in Strange's second series.

It's interesting to see how Colan and Palmer provide Strange with more detail in this early work than in later stories. Here, for instance, Strange's eyes are much more developed and noticeable than Colan would provide either Strange or Dracula in the '70s:




Also in this story, Dormammu recounts to Strange how he survived his epic battle with Eternity, which Colan depicts through flashback scenes. It's a rare opportunity to compare the work of two of Strange's most classic and distinguished artists--Steve Ditko in the original battle, and Colan in a "re-enactment":







I can't help but be curious as to how Colan would have depicted a less condensed version of the battle; but I'm quite fond of Ditko's work on it, and perhaps this sampling of Colan's interpretation should suffice.

NEXT: a look at the art of "Adam Austin" (Colan's pseudonym during his days at both DC and Marvel), and his first work on the invincible Iron Man!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

By and large, I like Gene Colan's art, especially on characters such as Iron Man. Based on the panels presented here, I think the good Doctor comes out looking clunky. A bit to thick and blocky. Perhaps he was just retaining water?

The Prowler (currently retaining cupcakes and pie).

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