Doug: All this got me to thinking -- Marvel seemed to have a "hook" artist at the beginning of many of their 1970s start-ups. But did that last? Did the series (of course most of them barely made it past a second year of circulation) continue to deliver? Let's stick to the John Buscema theme for a minute. Below are the covers to three other series that Buscema was tapped to kick off: Ms. Marvel, Nova, and She-Hulk.
Doug: Obviously John Romita provided the cover for Ms. Marvel #1, but Buscema did the honors on the other two books. For the record, Buscema stuck around for three issues on Ms. Marvel, two on Nova (before giving way to his brother, Sal), and only penciled the inaugural issue of She-Hulk. I'm not going to denigrate the work of guys like Mike Vosburg, but let's be honest -- he isn't JB! And as I said above, each of these books petered out around the 25th issue.
Doug: So what else? Marvel had tried to get an Inhumans series going earlier in Amazing Adventures. It lasted around 10 issues before the second attempt was made a few years later. It should have succeeded -- during its short life, the book featured pencils by George Perez, Gil Kane, and Keith Pollard. Perez, young and green, handled five of the first eight issues. But Kane's style is such a stark contrast to that of Perez, was that a factor in perhaps driving readers away? Hard to say. Another book in which Kane was involved was the Champions. Maybe this book had other issues involving the writing and/or hero line-up, but covers by Kane, Ron Wilson, and Rich Buckler couldn't save the book from the interiors of Don Heck and George Tuska (in fairness, both past their prime).
Doug: So speaking of interiors, one of the great mysteries of short-lived series in the Bronze Age is the survival of The Invaders. From the get-go Frank Robbins was on duty (often inked by Frank Springer) -- to say Robbins' art is not to my liking would be an understatement. I've read his scripting on the Batman books -- I absolutely have no problem at all with him as a writer. But I have a struggle each time I try to read books he penciled. To further confound the Invaders problem, the series enjoyed wonderful covers by John Romita (I'm featuring the second issue, as I'd shown the first issue's cover a few weeks ago) and then an extended run by Jack Kirby. Many have said that Kirby should have done the interiors as well. By the way, the fifth issue, penciled by Rich Buckler, was a treat.