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Thursday, April 3, 2014

Bill Everett -- An AMAZING MAN

One of my favorite comic artists is Bill Everett.
But Bill Everett wasn't just an artist, he was also a writer, and a creator of comic book characters.
His biggest creation played a major role in the formation and development of comics as we know them today.

At 21 years of age, Bill Everett sold his first comic book page of artwork for $2 in 1938. 
It featured his first comic book character creation,  Skyrocket Steele, 
a "Buck Rogers"-like space adventurer. 
featured Skyrocket Steele on the cover, even though Bill Everett's creation didn't make his debut until issue #2. 
Cover art by Bill Everett, one of his first published comic artworks.


"As related from the diary of Bill Everett"
Everett's next creation, DIRK THE DEMON

Everett's next creation to hit the news-stands was AMAZING-MAN, in September 1939. 
Though Centaur Comics art director Lloyd Jacquet is credited for co-creating Amazing-Man,
 it was Everett who scripted and drew his origin in the debut issue (#5), 
as well as his adventures in subsequent issues.
Cover art by Bill Everett.

The stage is set for Everett's biggest creation.
Though created before AMAZING-MAN for for the ill-fated MOTION PICTURE FUNNIES WEEKLY #1, Everett's original 8-page story about Namor, The SUB-MARINER was repackaged and sold to Martin Goodman (with an added new 4 pages) for MARVEL COMICS #1.
In October, 1939, THE SUB-MARINER debuted and, along with compatriot Carl Burgos' creation THE HUMAN TORCH, changed the face of comics forever. With Marvel's addition of  Simon and Kirby's CAPTAIN AMERICA, which debuted two years later, THE SUB-MARINER and THE HUMAN TORCH would make up the trinity of characters that would remain at the heart of Marvel Comics for the next two decades and beyond.

From MARVEL COMICS #1, 1939.

From MARVEL COMICS #1, 1939.

Well, if comics fans liked ONE under-water hero, 
why not create another one?
Bill Everett's THE FIN debuted in Marvel's 

Speaking of aquatic themes, we can't forget about Everett's HYRDOMAN, created in 1940, a hero who could transform himself into living water!

In the 1950's Everett was one of Stan Lee's best artists for Marvel's Atlas period, where he contributed dozens of fantastic stories and incredibly detailed and moody covers, such as these examples,
many of these comics I purchased solely based on the beautiful Bill Everett cover artwork:

Everett worked for Marvel doing comics through the 60's and into the early 70's, using his artistic abilities to draw such popular characters as the HULK, DR. STRANGE, and his own SUB-MARINER. He did many covers, pencils, and inks for a variety of comics. In 1964, along with Stan Lee, Everett used his creative powers again and helped create DAREDEVIL, drawing the 1st issue (Jack Kirby also had a hand in designing the character, giving him his billy club, and Steve Ditko and Sol Brodsky helped finish the artwork, handed in at a late hour).
My slightly beat up issue of DAREDEVIL #1
Cover art by Jack Kirby and Bill Everett.

A tasty pin-up of the Black Widow from DAREDEVIL #81, 1971

In 1973, Everett drew his last comic. 
His final comic work was drawing his famous creation Namor the Sub-Mariner 
that saw print in 1975's SUPER-VILLAIN TEAM-UP #1. 

This death announcement and eulogy by Steranko appeared in  1973. 
I scanned this from TALES OF THE ZOMBIE #2.

Yes, Bill Everett was an amazing man.
He was one of comics greatest creators, and an incredibly talented artist.

Today's story scans come from AMAZING-MAN COMICS #5, 1939,
and reveal the debut of the AMAZING-MAN!

Story and art by Bill Everett.




AMAZING-MAN COMICS #5, cover art Bill Everett


  1. Love the talking *Schmut* on the cover of Marvel Tales 127. Funny & Horrific @ the same time.

    1. Ahh, yes, the phallic gargoyle, once erect and jutting out of the building, his angry head poised high and defiant, now flaccid and rather snarky. I love the details Everett gave to the artwork. He lavished love and attention to those minute details, and that made his work rise above the pack.