Wednesday, July 11, 2018

Bob Powell's Hulk from Tales to Astonish #74, dec 1965

Recently I asked a fellow comic fan what ever happened to Bob Powell after the Golden Age? Was he working in the 60's
Turns out Bob Powell did draw comics in the 60's and for Marvel no less. 

Bob Powell was a Golden Age artist who got his start in Eisner's studio drawing Mister Mystic, Black Hawk and Jungle girl comics among other things. After the war, he would start his own studio and do some great Romance, Horror and War comics full of mood and precision detail. 

I love to see Marvel's Silver Age comics drawn by people other than the big three (Kirby, Ditko and Heck) and so, to see Powell's interpretation of the Hulk was really fun.

The Hulk was co-created by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby in 1962 in Hulk #1 (May 1962). I think the Kirby/Ayers Hulk is my favorite early Hulk. Ayers brought a sensitive, playful look that complimented Kirby's crud but powerful pencils so well.

From Hulk #5 (jan 1963) by Lee, Kirby, Ayers.
Hulk #1, (May 1962) by Lee/Kirby/Reinman

In Powell's version of the Hulk we see a Hulk slightly more realistic and gritty than he was drawn before, as if he was coming out of a WWII, horror or crime comic. giving the Hulk a more somber and gritty feel to the art.

Bob Powell's Hulk from Tales To Astonish #74 (Dec 1965)

In Powell's Hulk art, the Hulk's face is the most noticeably different element. At times it looks too detailed, too realistic, or oddly proportioned. It seems that the Hulk is deceptively hard to draw as can be see here, Powell, a seasoned pro struggling to capture the his look but it's fascinating all the same for the all the skill honed over the years that he does bring to it. 

One interesting thing about this is that it often looks as if Powell is using 50's pro wrestlers like Tor Johnston as models for his look as much as Kirby pages. 

If space wasn't limited I'd enjoy going more into Powell's past and comparing him at his height to these Marvel pages. But then again, this blog is a forum to explore comics that I hope will stimulate others to dig into them as well. Comics are a wonderful medium to mine for interesting material and inspired art. 

Tales to Astonish 74, December 1965

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