Captain America #5 Killers of the Bund part 2   6 comments

 

Page six above looks even more like Mort Meskin’s work to me than the previous page. Take particular note of the facial structure of the blue-suited man in panel two, and the faces of the Nazi spies in panels four, five and six. About two years ago, Steven Brower, Kirby lister Glen Story and I debated on the possibility that Meskin had worked on this issue, and we compiled a montage of faces from several sources including Meskin’s Vigilante and some of the pages from the Bund story’s page seven. (By the way, for those interested in learning more about Mort Meskin, Steven Brower has recently had a book published on the artist, entitled From Shadow to Light.)

 

 

First I will present the actual page above so it can be enjoyed in its entirety for its beauty. This is classic vintage Kirby, with a plethora of great poses that showcase the King’s ability to make a figure dynamic even when it is at rest for the most part. Check out Cap’s body language in the casual leaning back pose in panel five and the complex arrangement of figures in the room. Ditto the figure composition in panel seven. Then below, I have displayed the Vigilante comparisons.

 

 

The ears on some of the heads seem particularly similar to me, if we look at the head shot of the Nazi in panel six and compare it to the panel of Vigilante and to the lab coated villain above it. There is also a similarity in the mouth and jawline of the rightward face in the blue panel to the standing Nazi directly below it, which is positively Steve Ditko-esque. (By the way, Mort Meskin was one of Ditko’s major influences.)

 

 

Skipping page eight, we come to what looks like some Kirby inking on page nine above, in the aerial scenes with Cap leaping about on the Stuka dive-bombers. There is some nice tight technical rendering of these planes that looks like his hand, and the rear view of Cap in panel five is also very Kirby-like. Page ten below is another slick beauty that looks again to me to be Meskin inked.

 

 

Panel four, in which Cap is holding a limp thug by the scruff of his shirt is a tiny masterpiece of elegant detail, and the final panel with Steve and Bucky on the right is a display of the kind of wholesome American sentimental purity that Norman Rockwell’s work would typify.

The question is, if this work is not Mort Meskin than who indeed is it? Another mystery inker added to the batch.

The mystery continues.

 

 

Posted November 14, 2012 by norris burroughs in Uncategorized

6 responses to “Captain America #5 Killers of the Bund part 2

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  1. It is important to note that Kirby was quoted as saying Meskin inked one of the early Cap issues. Plus there’s the fact that Meskin was rooming with Bernie Klein, who worked on an earlier issue, with frequent Meskin collaborator George Roussos. Reviewing this story once again it really is striking how different the inking is on the ones you show here and page 2, which really does look like it might be Landau.

  2. Page six looks like it was penciled by Joe Simon. Really nice to see this blog getting into stories where you have scans of the published pages to use as examples. Certainly page ten is not inked by Kirby, Simon, Shores, or Avison. It could well be early Meskin.

  3. Hey Pat,

    Curious if you think page 2 (shown in Part 1) may also be Simon pencils.

    • Steven, Yes I suspect that’s Simon pencils as well. Panels 3,5,6,7,8, all look like Simon to be. Odd thing is I think Kirby inked panel one, maybe over Simon’s pencils. As Norris mentions below, panel four is fairly well drawn. It could be a swipe, maybe from Raymond.

  4. Some of it does look very much like Simon’s work structurally, particularly the first panel.
    Panels three and seven look more like Kirby to me.

  5. Oh, Page 2. I don’t see anything there that says Simon to me in particular, although it’s not out of the question. In my eye, Simon was notoriously bad at placing figures on the correct level, perspective wise. The panel where the Nazis are slugging the German-American looks far too well constructed to be Simon. The thing is that the inking is so botched for the most part that it’s difficult to tell who did the drawing underneath, but panels two, three and four look like Kirby to me.

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