Sunday, January 17, 2010

Battlefront #4, Battle Action #13,Battle #47,48

Up for today are 4 Atlas war comics. First up is Battlefront #4. This has a knockout cover by Jerry Robinson. Just like issue #5 that I cover here,this is such a well designed cover and the vibrant colors work with Robinson's image. The title of this tale is "The Death-Trap Of General Chun!". This issue is also a full length tale broken up into chapters. Robinson does a great job on this issue and look forward to finding issues #1-3 and see how he did. I have some romance stories he did at the same time for Atlas and they are stunning.

Battle Action #13 has a nice cover by Harry Anderson. Anderson has a really solid style that I like so much. In fact,I have been trying to get more of the books he has worked on. Years ago,I was with a friend and we were looking at old comics and really liked one cover from a 1950's Atlas comic and we could not figure out who did it. Then not too long after,the Comics Journal had an article and story by Harry Anderson. There was a showcase of his covers and the one we were trying to guess on was by Harry. So since then I have been on the lookout for his work. His work to me is a cross between Bill Everett and Graham Ingels. Anderson only did the cover but there is some good art in this issue. Artists include Paul Hodge,Al Gordon,Al Eadeh and John Forte. The standout in this issue is John Forte's work. John Forte is more known for his work at DC Comics on Legion of Super-Heroes and Jimmy Olsen but I prefer the work he did at Atlas. Its more loose and not as stiff as he would later become. Forte did some great precode horror jobs for Atlas that are worth hunting down. The title is Thirst! and worth being reprinted. Bill Everett did a job for Atlas on Mussolini that should be reprinted too. Many of these war books have bland stories that when they do one one real events they stand out. Maybe the artists felt like doing a better job on them. Al Eadeh's Viking story is the best work I have seen of his so far.

Battle # 47 has a scratchy drawn cover that looks like Carl Burgos or Sol Brodsky to me but I have a hard time telling their work apart at times. The online site Atlas tales lists Carl Burgos as the artist and I will go with them. The art inside is by Gene Colan,Vic Carrabotta,Dick Ayers, Joe Orlando and Dave Berg. The Gene Colan art is the standout in this issue for me. Love anything by Gene Colan so to see some work of his I have never seen is a treat. This issue has a light humor touch to it. Colan's ability for facial expressions is already serving him well this early in his career.

Battle # 48 has a cover by the great Joe Maneely. One of the best all-time American comic book artists. The work he did on Yellow Claw and Black Knight was the first work I ever saw of his and it knocked me out. They were reprinted in various Marvel giants and always remembered the name. Joe did a super job on a Frankenstein story in Menace that holds up well today. The artists inside this issue include Bob Forgione,Jack Abel,Paul Reinman,Pete Morisi,Gene Colan and one story I can't make out who it is. The Morisi and Colan jobs are the standouts. I'm guessing its a nice tip of the hat to George Tuska's influence on Morisi's work that one of the characters last name in the story is Tuska.

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