On December 10th 1963, Marvel Comics published Tales of Suspense #39 by Stan Lee, Larry Lieber and Don Heck, which introduced the world to the cool exec with a heart of steel, Iron Man.
Throughout his comics career, Iron Man has always provided an opportunity for creators to tell more complex and mature stories within the superhero genre, and the character has emerged as a household name thanks to a number of successful feature films.
Womenswear in superhero costumes hasn’t always been about skintight, sexy unitards. In the early Silver Age of comics, readers saw the inception of the mystically-inspired heroine; one imbued with passive or non-contact abilities such as invisibility, telepathy, or magic. Especially common at Marvel, these mystic or faux-mystic heroines offered a contrast to the superhero brute force of their male colleagues, but they also had something else in common; the headdress.
Costume design is one of the great strengths of the superhero genre, a way to establish distinctive visual shorthand for a character and reveal key details about concept, purpose, and personality. But which is the best superhero costume of all time? This month, we're asking you to decide, by voting up your favorites and voting down the rest. When we have your votes, we'll compile a list of the greatest super-costumes of all time.
This week we're looking at some quintessential costume designs decade-by-decade, starting with five costumes from the 1960s; the era of the Jean Grey mini dress and the Creeper's flowing mane. These costumes are products of their time, but are they dated, or are they classic?
Don Heck is something of an odd man out when it comes to comics history. He was one of the architects of the Marvel Universe, co-creating Iron Man, Hawkeye, and other famous characters; he was held in high esteem by his peers – yet he's rarely mentioned in the same breath as Romita, Ditko, Kirby, Buscema, Ayers, and other Silver Age greats. He was, for many years, the Avengers artist, but often goes unnoticed when fans make their lists of the definitive super-team pencillers. He defined the down-to-earth qualities of Marvel while his contemporaries were pushing toward the cosmos, rooting his characters in reality as others pushed the boundaries of possibility. And while that precise mix of magnificent and mundane was what truly defined Marvel, his contributions were nevertheless destined to be overshadowed by the flashier offerings that the rest of the bullpen provided.
The latter day appreciation of Heck's work continues with TwoMorrows' publication of Don Heck: A Work Of Art, is a handsome full-color hardcover recounting the artist's life story. The layout is clean and clear, the printing is up to TwoMorrows' usual high standards, and the selection of art is nothing short of superb – from published pages and panels, to roughs and sketches, to pieces shot directly from Heck's original art, it's all here, and all reproduced beautifully.
We make a regular practice at ComicsAlliance of spotlighting particular artists or specific bodies of work, as well as the special qualities of comic book storytelling, but because cartoonists, illustrators and their fans share countless numbers of great pinups, fan art and other illustrations on sites like Flickr, Tumblr, DeviantArt and seemingly infinite art blogs that we’ve created Best Art Ever (This Week), a weekly depository for just some of the pieces of especially compelling artwork that we come across in our regular travels across the Web. Some of it’s new, some of it’s old, some of it’s created by working professionals, some of it’s created by future stars, some of it’s created by talented fans, and some of it’s endearingly silly. All of it’s awesome.
Guardians of the Galaxy #1 hits stores today, a new series by Brian Michael Bendis and Steve McNiven that hopes to boost the profile of Marvel's space-faring super-team ahead of next summer's movie release, so that when your non-comics friends ask you, "Who are these Guardians of the Galaxy?", you don't answer, "the who-dians of the what-now?"
But... who are the Guardians of the Galaxy? They're actually talking owls from a series of fantasy novels about... no, sorry, my editor is telling me that is not correct. Let's see... the series tells the story of Jack Frost, Santa Claus, the Sandman and... no, I'm getting another note here, hang on... A talking raccoon and a tree? That can't be right.
If you're feeling a little confused, don't panic! ComicsAlliance is here to tell you everything you need to know about the Gladiators of the Gridiron! And then some.
Today is Valentine's Day, and as we've been doing all month, ComicsAlliance is celebrating this time of hearts and flowers with some of the most tragic stories of love gone wrong from the pages of Romance Comics...
As we head towards Valentine's Day, ComicsAlliance is offering up a daily tribute to love, as depicted in the somewhat dubious world of Romance Comics! Today's entry: Our Love Story #25's "The Loves of a Model...
As we head towards Valentine's Day, ComicsAlliance is offering up a daily tribute to love, as depicted in the somewhat dubious world of Romance Comics! Today's entry, Teen-Age Romance #84's "An Older Man...
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