Classics Illustrated: The War of The Worlds (1954)

After seeing a post in a FB group a while back, I started to wonder- which is my oldest comic? Well, it took some investigating, but I can now say that it’s this issue of Classics Illustrated that is my oldest comic book (1954). It’s not in the greatest shape, but I’m pretty sure I only paid a buck or two for it at a local show. The film is of course iconic, but when I saw this comics, it called to me.

Honestly, I’m not familiar with the creators of this adaptation at all but after doing some research, I’ve found that the artist (cover and interiors) Lou Cameron is nothing short of a superstar. As far as the writer of this adaptation, I found absolutely nothing about Harry G. Miller. Not sure if that’s because he’s just been forgotten or his work load was minimal. Either way, he did a fine job on this one.

 

 

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Amazing Adventures #35, 1976 “The 24-Hour Man”

You know, there are certain creators, for one reason or another, that simply made the Bronze Age of comics what it was, and will always be. What is/was it? A fantastical time where the stories were more than just entertainment for a certain demographic. They were meaningful, articulate, a sign of the times, picturesque, thrilling, frightening, and so on. Well, that’s how I feel anyway. There were titles and concepts that brought out the best in the medium and it the creators certainly should get the lion-share of the credit.

In this installment, we’ll be taking a look at one certain title, and it’s two main collaborators. Amazing Adventures started off as a book like most of the time period did initially. A superhero book full of solid, established talent (Jack Kirby, John Buscema, etc.) and proven characters (The Avengers, Ka-Zar, etc.). Soon after the early issues though, people like Neal Adams and Roy Thomas came along, and the title took a slight turn towards the vibe that would define the decade/age. In issue #18, we saw the first appearance of a character called “Killraven,” and the title would change forever.

A few different creators wrote the series for a couple of issues, but when Don McGregor came aboard (issue#21), along with artists like Herb Trimpe, Rich Buckler, and even Gene Colan, the title started gaining series momentum. It apexes with the arrival of an artist named P. Craig Russell, in issue #27 (along with an incredible cover by Jim Starlin). This team was perfect for this new concept (War of the Worlds), grabbing some ideas from the H.G. Wells book, and creating new material and scenarios. These two men were nothing short of revolutionaries in the industry, and are right at the top for listing creators of that age! In this specific issue, Russell gives us a dynamite cover, and is assisted by Keith Giffen & Jack Abel (finished art/inks) with the artwork on the interiors. Irv Watanabe letters, Janice Cohen is the colorist, and ‘Marvelous Marv’ Wolfman, the editor!

 

 

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Amazing Adventures #27, 1974 “The Death Breeders”

What better way to get back on track, then with a book based off of the works of H. G. Wells! In the 1970’s, Marvel adapted some stories from “War of the Worlds” in their Amazing Adventures title. They were nothing short of spectacular, and with the creators that were behind this wonderful run, it’s no wonder why they were so awesome. In this epic sci-fi story, we get Killraven, as his ship is attacked by a monstrosity from under the surface. He and his warrior friends must survive that, then free a captive woman who holds some answers they need!

Everything awesome about this issue starts with the cover. Let’s be honest, when you can get Jim Starlin to do a cover for a sci-fi story, you’re already guaranteed some buyers, even if the story and art on the inside are sub-par. But wait, they aren’t! Writer, Don McGregor, brings us this fantastic tale, and not to be outdone, is artist extraordinaire, P. Craig Russell! Jack Able on inks, Petra Goldberg on colors, and John Costanza lettering rounds out the creative team! Throw in Roy Thomas as editor, and you get a book that brings you everything you ever loved about the 1970’s!

 

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