Saturday 12 May 2012

Sal Buscema's all-time Top Ten Avengers covers.

All lovers of the Buscema brothers'll be no doubt interested to know there's a new Comic Book Resources interview with Sal Buscema right here. But the first time Sal came to my attention was when he first took over the reins of The Avengers, a strip that had already been made great by his big brother John.

Happily, Sal didn't let the family tradition down, and kicked off in grand style by completing the tale of Ultron's rebirth as Adamantium Antagonist.

Sal only seems to have done ten Avengers covers in the time-frame this blog covers - and that sounds like a cue for me to fling myself once more into the Fields of Controversy by doing my own personal Top Ten of Sal Buscema Avengers covers.

Avengers #69, The Growing Man
The titanic trouble-busters find themselves up against the maddening menace of Kang's Growing Man.

Avengers #72, Scorpio, Sal Buscema cover
Scorpio crashes in.

Avengers #91, Ronan, the Sentry and Goliath, Sal Buscema cover
As if it's not enough that those cosmic creeps Ronan and the Sentry have captured Captain Marvel, they've even enlisted the aid of Goliath.
Still, at least the Avengers have Rick Jones on their side.

Avengers #90, Cavemen, Sal Buscema cover
Who says Henry Pym has no sense of fun? Why, as the cover of issue #90 shows, there's nothing he likes more to do with his spare time than to go out clubbing.

Avengers #70, the Squadron Sinister, Sal Buscema cover
The Avengers meet the Squadron Sinister for a cover with strong echoes of big brother John's classic frontispiece to Avengers Annual #2.

Avengers #68, the Vision is dead? Sal Buscema cover
Can it be?
Can the Vision be dead?

Avengers #71, the Invaders, Sub-Mariner, Human Torch, Captain America, World War Two, Eiffel Tower, Paris, Sal Buscema cover
In World War Two, the Avengers take on the Golden Age heroes the world - and Roy Thomas - would come to know as The Invaders.

Avengers #88, Psyklop shrinks the Hulk, Sal Buscema cover
The Hulk?
Being shrunk down like Ant-Man?
This calls for the Avengers.

Avengers #67, Ultron, Sal Buscema cover
Our heroes at the mercy of a crackletastic Ultron!
The power!
The drama!
The menace!

Avengers 89, Captain Marvel, the Only Good Alien is a Dead Alien, Kree Skrull War, electric chair, cover by Sal Buscema
Poor old Captain Marvel. He rarely had a happy time of it.
Still, he did at least have the honour of launching an entire epic.


Kid said...

I remember buying Avengers #89 in Largs around 1968 or '69. Still got a copy.

Gey Blabby said...

Largs, Millport, Rothesay, Oban etc - half of my DC/Marvel collection in those days was made up of comics that I found in small newsagents up and down the length of Scotland's west coast while on my summer holidays. You just never knew what you would find in the racks at the back of the shop - an Adams Batman, perhaps, or a Romita Spidey, or an Avengers by either of the Buscema brothers. Big John was probably my favourite of the two, but Sal wasn't far away, as shown by these covers.

Boston Bill said...

I found no's 70 & 71 in a box of magazines at a used furniture store for $0.10 each! I loved them! Sal isn't the most celebrated of Marvel Artists, but he sure knew how to draw a comic. I mean, have you ever seen a Sal Buscma character and said to yourself: "I can't tell what emotion he's experiencing right now"

Simon B said...

Steve, as I scrolled down your list ( that's not a euphemism BTW ) I was hoping that Avengers #89 would be at the top, and you didn't let me down :-)

It's such an attention-grabbing, shocking image and conjures up questions in the reader's mind - what's happening to Captain Marvel? Is he being executed? Why are the Avengers watching but not intervening? How can I not buy this comic?

Not bad for a picture of a man sitting in a chair :-)

It just goes to show that, in the hands of an experienced artist, even such a static composition as this can be dramatic and exciting. As has been rightly pointed out here, Sal Buscema has never really had the recognition of his older brother but - on a good day - he was no slouch...

Simon B said...

And that one with Scorpio's pretty cool, too...

Dougie said...

69,70 and 72 are among my favourite Avengers comics of all time. Like Mr. Blabby, I have happy memories of finding them on holiday, three years after they were published.

The Psyklop cover , of course, has falconer Falcon, who I would love to see in Avengers:2

Kid said...

Oops! Tell a lie - it was 1971. I've only been to Largs on holiday three times - '68, '69 & '71 - somehow I thought I'd got it on one of the earlier occasions.