Nick Fury Agent of SHIELD #6, Steranko

Nick Fury Agent of SHIELD #6, November 1968

Jim Steranko sent Marvel’s erstwhile WWII sergeant into space in this wild cover from the sixth issue of SHIELD. He didn’t produce the interior, sadly: he’d left the series with the previous issue, and would pencil just one more cover. But it’s clear he had a great time drawing this. Steranko was a unique stylist and his mere handful of comics still loom large as influential decades later. I love the Wally Wood touches on this cover!

It’s an image that reminds me a lot of one drawn by Carmine Infantino a few years earlier for Mystery in Space. I wonder if this was perhaps an influence, even subconsciously?

Mystery in Space #90, Infantino

Mystery in Space #90, March 1964

That’s great cover too, and was, interestingly enough, also Infantino’s penultimate effort on Adam Strange. He drew the following month’s cover and left for pastures new. The inks on this, as ever, were by Murphy Anderson.

Steranko and Infantino: masters of their cosmic craft!

Mystery in Space cover ©2013 DC Comics
SHIELD cover ©2013 Marvel Characters, Inc