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Steranko cover/art; Scorpio app. (6/68)
Steranko cover/art; Scorpio app. (6/68)Thanks to the Infinity Formula, which caused him to age at a much slower rate than most mortals, Nick Fury was able to continue his patriotic exploits well beyond his action in WWII with the Howling Commandos. Cashing in on the fever for James Bond and espionage heroes that ruled the roost in the mid-60s, the TV show, The Man From U.N.C.L.E., influenced Stan Lee to bring the cigar-chomping Fury back into the Marvel Universe, albeit, now a little older, sleeker, and at a higher rank. Introduced in the pages of Strange Tales, Nick Fury, Agent of S.H.I.E.L.D. would share the anthology book with Doctor Strange for thirty-three issues, before earning his own title. Inaugurated by Jack Kirby, the Strange Tales Nick Fury feature would then be passed on to the capable hands of Jim Steranko, who initially inked Kirby’s pencils, but soon took over at the primary artist, and soon ignited a firestorm of fandom for the spy thriller stories. Employing the psychedelic and pop art forms that were very popular in the decade, Steranko became an overnight sensation and quickly went on one of the most celebrated creative periods of the Silver Age. It was only a matter of time until Nick Fury would end up with his own title, which only enjoyed a short run of fifteen issues, but the series is now considered a milestone in the history of comics, breaking barriers between comic books and “art,” making the public take comics more seriously as an art form as not just a disposable entertainment for children and pre-teens. The first issue of Nick Fury’s solo title is entirely drawn, written, and colored by the tireless Steranko, who also composed the iconic cover design, and the incredible centerfold has to be seen to be believed. If one is interested in the rich history of the comic book form, this issue is one of the important comics that helped change the industry, expanding on what was acceptable in comics, while at once appealing to a new audience of readers and influencing everything that would come after its release.
James F. Steranko is an American graphic artist, comic book writer/artist, comics historian, magician, publisher and film production illustrator. His most famous comic book work was with the 1960s superspy feature "Nick Fury, Agent of S.H.I.E.L.D." in Marvel Comics' Strange Tales and in the subsequent eponymous series. Steranko earned lasting acclaim for his innovations in sequential art during the Silver Age of Comic Books, particularly his infusion of surrealism, pop art, and graphic design into the medium. His work has been published in many countries and his influence on the field has remained strong since his comics heyday. He went on to create book covers, become a comics historian who published a pioneering two-volume history of the birth and early years of comic books, and to create conceptual art and character designs for films including Raiders of the Lost Ark and Bram Stoker's Dracula.
Joe Sinnott is an American comic book artist. Working primarily as an inker, Sinnott is best known for his long stint on Marvel Comics' Fantastic Four, from 1965 to 1981, initially over the pencils of Jack Kirby. During his 60 years as a Marvel freelancer and then salaried artist working from home, Sinnott inked virtually every major title, with notable runs on The Avengers, The Defenders and Thor.