Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Single Issue Hall of Fame: Marvel Super-Heroes #16

I've always like Herb Trimpe as an artist, as he does solid work and is a very strong storyteller. I still think his best work was his first full length story – the Phantom Eagle from Marvel Super-Heroes #16. How many artists hit the ball completely out of the park on their first at-bat in the big leagues? This is a fun title to collect, as it features a rotation of headliners and creators long before Marvel got into any true anthology titles. The character The Phantom Eagle is unlike anyone else at Marvel during the 60s, but he did join the long list of character names swiped from Golden Age publishers. A First World War flying ace, he was probably Marvel's answer to the Balloon Buster, but Gary Friedrich and Herb Trimpe manage to come up with a very original character; no easy feat in 1968. This is a superb book, and it's still a relative bargain as far as Marvel Silver Age books go. Oh, I almost forgot. You also get some great reprints, including mid-50s Captain America, Black Knight and Sub-Mariner stories and a real rarity in the form of a 6-pager from 1942 starring The Patriot.


Neil Anderosn said...

I love that story! Apart from the artwork, I also loved the script, with its beyond-implausible-stepping-into-the-twilight-zone premise of a zeppelin attack on the continental U.S., to the haunting death of the Eagle's best, if estranged, friend, it's one of Gary Friedrich's best efforts, at least of those I've read. And I love World War I comics in general, they tend to be so offbeat. When is Marvel going to do something with "Freedom's Five"?

Booksteve said...

I also have long felt that was some of Trimpe's best work. In fact, last week a pic of the Phantom Eagle was my Facebook profile pic.