One might get a bit confused when they see the name “Atlas Comics.” For most, it means Marvel Comics between the Timely comics era (1930s-early 1950s) and the most notable Marvel Comics era (1961-present). But after leaving Marvel Comics in 1972, Martin Goodman soon after started a rival company called Atlas Comics in NYC. He would pay better, return artwork, and in doing so, attract some of the industry’s top talent to this upstart company. A few problems arose quickly though: first, the industry was beginning to sag and the big two were having sales problems, so imagine being the new kid on the block, trying to compete with two giants. Secondly, the staff was ill-equipped to handle the assignments in front of them (Goodman made some bad decisions that put his top two employees Larry Lieber and Jeff Rovin in a tough spot- per The Comic Book Journal and Comic Book Artists mags).
Atlas may have only been in business for a couple of years, but they did produce some interesting books. I’ve got a few horror titles they released but they also had crime, military, superheroes, etc. Wonderful work by people like Neal Adams, Russ Heath, Rich Buckler, Howard Chaykin, Steve Mitchell, Steve Ditko, Gary Friedrich, Frank Thorne, and Wally Wood! Take a look!
Taking a look at another Marvel heroine from the 1970’s (previously Spider-Woman), the Robert E. Howard creation, Red Sonja is ready to kick some butt! Of course, the title was part of the zeitgeist of the times, but Howard was a little ahead of time, to say the least. Creating a female character that could hold her own against any male warrior was something quite astonishing for the 1930’s. So, yeah, if you don’t know much about the work of the brilliant man who was Robert E. Howard, look him up!
The creative team is a bit of a mystery for me personally, as I’m not familiar with either the writer, Bruce Jones, or the artist, Frank Thorne. I can find plenty of work both gentlemen have done, but most are titles that are either not my thing (Heavy Metal) or just not something I’ve acquired yet (House of Mystery). The editor, “Rascally” Roy Thomas, on the other hand is very familiar to me, and his work especially in revitalizing the work of Howard, is very well-known to those in and around comics. Thank you, Mr. Thomas!