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Looks like Syd was a bit rushed here. I usually like the feel he gives to Jack's pages, but this is, uh, not so hot. Especially the background machines in panel 4. I'm surprised Stan or Sol let this go by.
CAP 100 was the first SA comic i ever read (i remember my grandma bought it for me for $12, which she thought was ridiculous!) and I remember this page the best. I think there's something about the way Panther's emotions are conveyed on this page that always stuck out.
I always hate to read when someone sez, "I used to own this page". But i did, so i feel i can be extra critical about it ;)
Truthfully, Black Panther's body mass in the first panel always bothered me. I have to think Kirby drew it so blocky and discontorted, but why didn't Shores clean that up.
Shores is my least favorite Kirby inker. He added a lot of mushy rendering, killed the faces and made it all look like mud. This page is actually one of the better ones.
I'd take Vinnie over this.
I agree, Shores is a total mismatch for Kirby but, at least, he wasn't erasing like Colletta.
So, all in all, Colletta is still the worst inker:
A mismatch AND an eraser.
My least favorite Kirby inkers would be Theakston and Alcala. When isolating the 60's though Shores was my least favorite Kirby inker.
Colletta is a close second. My guess is if Shores had inked Thor for six years most people who have a soft spot for Colletta would have a soft spot for Shores.
From my own point of view; to like Colletta, or Shores is to like Collettta or Shores.
An interesting thing about Kirby and Colletta is Kirby, unlike a number of other artists who were inked by Colletta, was never publicly critical of Colletta. This is a contrast to many other Silver Age artists who were scornful of Colletta in interviews.
Of course it isn't unusual that Kirby never criticized Colletta in a public forum. With only one exception Kirby never criticized any comic book pro in a public forum.
At that point--the late '80s--Jack was at his wonkiest. Eyes weren't on the same plane--perspective and anatomy were all over the place and he really could use some tweaking. Theakston and Alcala were heavy handed but Jack needed some help and they were the guys who landed the assignments. Any professional inker should have made some adjustments.
Both Shores and Colletta were inking Jack when he was at the top of his game. They have no such excuse. Jack needed faithful inking and they fumbled the ball.
You can't fault Alcala for being Alcala.
The guy was an incredible talent.
I prefer an inker to be faithful to the pencils but when you call Alfredo Alcala on the inks, you get Alfredo Alcala.
Since this era was Kirby's twilight, I didn't mind too much as I took this pairing as an experiment.
In fact, I like the result, you can see the guy put a lot of love and work in his inking.
Alcala is unquestionably talented. Yeah, it was an odd pairing but it was, at least, two talented people at work and while the end result may have looked more like unusually dynamic Alcala art--it was still professional. Both Colletta and Shores had moments where the end result was pretty crude.
There is lots of distortion in all Kirby' work through his career. Kirby was certainly expressive, and he often worked under the pressure of deadlines. The first ten issues of the Timely Captain America are filled with some of the most extreme examples.
The figure of the Black Panther in the first panel is another example.
By the time of the Super Powers material Jack was struggling with a tremor in his drawing hand. To deal with that problem Kirby began using a ruler as a hand rest, which was a big change in his usual method. Despite that Kirby continued to produce interesting work, far more interesting than the dreadful looking inked versions as seen here.
And a direct comparison can be seen here:
Check the comments on the inked cover. I agree Kirby's monster is far more effective, but it doesn't stop there, just look at the Hawkman face, and figure, it's far superior to the inked version.
There's also a penciled Kirby Destroyer Duck cover here which shows Kirby in the early 80's was in top form. A more iconographic style than what Kirby was producing 66-68, or 70-71, but for me a very appealing approach.
I owned this page and had it framed on my bedroom wall for about 20 years. I loved it, as I always enjoyed Shores inking. Though now that I've seen some of the pencils reproduced in TJKC and Google I have to say I would have preferred someone who inks stuck closer to Kirby. I guess Royer. Though Dan Adkins I think was much more faithful to Kirby in Cap 104 and 105. What always got me about this page isv the inking on the helmets. As I always sketch with a basic black Bic pen, I swear that is what was used by Shores on those helmets. I wish I had not sold it, but y7a gotta pay the bills! Oh, and I did NOT trim the page. I think it was like that, but I sold it in the frame and I don't remember what the edges looked like. If I had cut Kirbys handwriting I would give you all permission to throw tomatoes at me!
Not surprisingly, count me in as a fan of Shores on Kirby. As much as I loved Stone for the childlike quality he brought Jack's work, I thoroughly enjoy what I've always considered the more adult pulp-like feel that Shores brought to Jack. These issues of Captain America almost had, to me, a James Bond feel. Hard to put into words, but Shores' darker inks felt more mature.