The Thing that Couldn’t Die: Jim Steranko Spotlight

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The Thing that Couldn't Die
Artist Spotlight – Jim Steranko

This week is going to be rather short ladies and gents. I'm preparing for Indiana Comic Con and I'm running out of time! Speaking of the above mentioned con, the artist spotlighted in this article will be there. Yes, Jim Steranko himself will be there, so if you're coming to Indianapolis this weekend, make sure you stop by and talk to him, as he is a living artist legend.

Jim Steranko's art has been featured at The Louvre Museum, The Winnipeg Art Gallery, and The Sydney Opera House. He's also collaborated with Steven Spielberg, George Lucas, and Francis Ford Coppola on some of their most popular movies. And to top it off, Steranko was inducted into the Will Eisner Comic Book Hall of Fame in 2006.

We are going to switch the format around here and start off with key issues this time around, followed by some recommended reading and a gallery of iconic Steranko covers. Lastly, don't forget the BONUS!

Spyman #1

The 1st published work of Steranko was in Harvey's Spyman #1. Steranko wrote the 20-page story “The Birth of a Hero” and penciled the first page, which includes a diagram of a robotic hand that was printed as an inset on artist George Tuska's cover. Strange Tales #151 features Steranko's 1st work with Marvel, in which he did pencil and ink finishes over Jack Kirby layouts.

Strange Tales #151

Strange Tales #153

Steranko's 1st Marvel cover art can be found on an awesome cover with Strange Tales #153. Perhaps his most well known work in comics began with Nick Fury, Agent of S.H.I.E.L.D #1. This cover personifies the late 60s and early 70s in so many ways and is one of my top 10 favorite Marvel covers.

Nick Fury: Agent of SHIELD #1

Strange Tales #157

Two more Steranko keys include Strange Tales #157 and Strange Tales #163. Strange Tales #157 is the 1st Appearance of the Living Tribunal, who had a key role in the Infinity Gauntlet story. Clay Quartermain‘s 1st Appearance is in Strange Tales #163. Quartermain is a former love interest of Jessica Jones and was also part of the U.S. military's Hulkbusters operation.

Strange Tales #163

X-Men #49

X-Men #49 features the 1st Appearance of Lorna Dayne (AKA Polaris) and Mesmero. Another beautiful Steranko cover, X-Men #50 shows classic and beautiful artwork centering on Polaris.

X-Men #50

Hulk King-Size Special #1

Another iconic cover, Hulk King-Size Special #1 includes an Inhumans cross-over story and is hard to find in high grade with the fully bound spine. Captain America #110 is the 1st Appearance of Madame Hydra, who later becomes Viper. Viper appeared in the 2013 movie The Wolverine.

Captain America #110

Nick Fury, Agent of SHIELD #4

Nick Fury, Agent of S.H.I.E.L.D. #4 features the origin of Nick Fury. Another cover that is a must have in any collection and has evaded my PC thus far is Nick Fury, Agent of S.H.I.E.L.D. #6. Just take a long look at this cover, and you will be hooked too!

Nick Fury, Agent of SHIELD #6

Here is a small gallery of great Steranko covers, some of which can be found relatively cheap.

  Here are four books worth checking out for some stupendous Steranko reading and/or artwork.

BONUS! Plus a fun fact! Jim Steranko is also a magician, not to mention an illustrator, musician, art director, fire-eater, designer, escape artist, filmmaker, pop-culture lecturer, and publisher. Here are four rare books worth finding as they have major long term potential. Kort is Now in Session is a magician book illustrated by Steranko and Steranko Cards is written and illustrated by Steranko. Steranko's Supergirls Pin-Up Calendar is hard to find in tact with all twelve months (Beware searching for this calendar as it is NSFW as it does contain nudity). And lastly, The Block, which was an anti-drug comic book distributed to elementary schools nationwide. There are currently zero original copies available on eBay and I imagine not very many copies made it alive from the elementary schools, let alone in high grade.

 

As always, thanks for reading, and yes, I do still believe in heroes!

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