I was looking at some wonderful Joe Kubert art recently and thought how well he would have been art Marvel on a title like Thor or Conan (as well as Sgt Fury of course!). What other Silver Age DC artists would have worked well at Marvel? Dick Dillin on Avengers? Nick Cardy on Spider-Man?
My definitive vote goes to Jim Aparo. The guy could draw Anything! :)
Imagine him on the eqivalent of his DC books - Dr Strange (for Spectre), Daredevil or Captain America (for Batman) and Sub-Mariner (for Aquaman).
I admit, I'm not ther biggest Jim Aparo fan in the world. However... I can easily imagine him on DAREDEVIL (instead of Bob Brown) or CAPTAIN AMERICA (instead of Frank Robbins-- I can't say Sal, CAP is my FAVORITE Sal work!). Also, SUB-MARINER (instead of Don Heck or George Tuska).
Hard to imagine him on DR. STRANGE, however... except, if you slotted him in in every episode of MARVEL PREMIERE before Englehart & Brunner took over. That rotating art thing was a disaster, no matter how good any of it was in any given issue. Also, I could picture him following Englehart, Colan & Palmer, when all 3 left abruptly (THANK YOU, Gerry Conway). That period, with Alfredo Alcala, Rudy Nebres, Craig Russell, Al Milgrom, Jim Starlin (story & layouts only), and Tom Sutton... OY. It screams out for a SINGLE, consistent artistic vision to hold it together. Come to think of it, after Stern, Sutton & Chan became the book's "new regular team", NONE of those 3 guys really stuck around that long or that consistently. What WAS going on with all those fill-ins, until, finally, all 3 guys were gone, and instead, we got Claremont, Colan & Green, which was a TOTAL DISASTER???
Yeah, Jim Aparo strikes me as "consistent" and "dependable". So's Gene Colan, but that later run, I know from reading interviews there was a lot of bad stuff going on behind-the-scenes, and I'm sure it hurt his artwork in the process. (Plus, Dan Green, who'd stared out so good a few years earlier, was unfortunately one of those inkers whose quality of work PLUNGED further down with each passing year. My favorite later work of his was when he switched to pencilling. He & Terry Austin (with Roger Stern again) did some STUNNING issues.
The only reason I think Aparo wouldn't have fitted in at Marvel was he not only liked to ink his own pencils but do his own lettering too. One of the reasons I admired him so much, as opposed to being a fan, is he could create a comic from a completely blank page, and there aren't many that were doing that back then. Frank Robbins did that at DC IIRC but I don't believe he did that at Marvel. That's the mark of a true artist, he probably would have done the colours if they let him. :)
Just wanted to add: When I think of Jim Aparo's work it's Batman (B&B), Aquaman and Spectre. Had he gone to Marvel they may have tried him out on the Marvel equivalents: Daredevil, Sub-Mariner and Dr Strange.
I read the first issue of Charlton's Hercules at Comic Book Plus the other other day. This was a series about the adventures of Hercules in antiquity drawn by Sam Glanzman. (The site only has the first issue; my guess is the others are still under copyright.) As a back-up feature the comic had "Thane of Bagarth" by Steve Skeates and Jim Aparo. The title character of this is one of the nobles of the elderly Beowulf. It's worth a look. The comic came out in 1967, but Aparo's art was already attractive, and already showed his distinctive style.
I believe it was generally felt Criag was not a good fit, as a penciller, for super-heroes (it happens). But I do have one story he did for CHAMBER OF DARKNESS #5, an adaptation of an H.P. Lovecraft story, that is a masterpiece.
Does anyone have a scan or a link to any of the art from this story? I'd like to see it. Or better yet, can you post the entire , what, 5 or so pages for this story alone? I'm just curious now to see why it's so good or so much better than him on Shellhead.
Tell you what, let me have your e-mail, I send you the whole thing.
I had it posted at Nick Simon's site, before it went down. I figured, it was out of print, who would mind?