Secret Hearts #107, October 1965

An example here of Gene Colan’s romance work at DC, a genre in which he found gainful employment for many years. Not long after this was published, Colan headed across the road to Marvel Comics. At a time when careers lived or died on the whims of all-powerful editors, it was thought politic for Colan to take on a pseudonym — hence “Adam Austin” drew the adventures of Iron Man and Sub-Mariner. He wasn’t the only one who felt the need to do this: Jerry Siegel moonlighted as Joe Carter, Mike Esposito became Mickey Demeo, and Gil Kane tried on the Scott Edwards handle for size.

After a year or two the alias was dropped and Colan went on to become one of THE superstar artists of the 1970s, drawing long runs of Daredevil, Howard the Duck, and, most-famously, Tomb of Dracula.

Just this month he’s drawn an issue of another of his old characters, Captain America (#601).

©2009 DC Comics