Friday, April 6, 2012

Making a Splash: Rich Buckler's Deathlok

Hey, hey, hey! Howzabout some far-out Deathlok the Demolisher splashes by the astounding (and sometimes DotGK contributor) Rich Buckler, Groove-ophiles? It's been a while since we celebrated "The Swash", and Ol' Groove can think of no better way to show off Rich's genius than by showcasing the sensational splashes featuring his coolest and most classic creation. Deathlok held forth, natch, in Astonishing Tales #'s 25-28, 30-36 (May-November 1974, March 1975-April 1976) dragging comics into the future. Not just "the future" in the sci-fi sense, but the future of comics with its anti-hero, its more realistic violence, and its adult characterization (Buckler was smart enough to team with writers like Doug Moench and Bill Mantlo to make that happen). This was a ground-breaking, trail-blazing series, baby--and Buckler's superb art (inked by heavy hitters like Pablo Marcos and Klaus Janson) was the cherry on top! See for yourself!













Nope, Ol' Groove didn't forget Marvel Spotlight #33 (January 1977), baby! Where's your faith?

14 comments:

  1. His first appearance is reprinted in the second volume of Marvel Firsts: The 1970s. Available now.

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  2. awesome sauce!!! just yesterday afternoon, me and my mate, Alan, were happily holding forth on the brilliance that was Deathlok the Demolisher. I've been toying with the idea of getting the Marvel Masterworks hardback for a while now, and I reckon this post might just have swung it for me.

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  3. True dat, Kid! And I highly recommend all of the Marvel Firsts volumes that have come out so far. They're dyn-o-MITE!

    'Tis a nice lookin' volume, Mighty One. I was just looking at one yesterday. Doesn't smell as good as my wrinkly original copies, but it's purty!

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  4. It was cool how the titles of each Deathlok chapter was incorporated from songs. Buckler &/or Mantlo were probably creating these tales with anthems of Rock in the background. Today it'd be considered Classics, back then FM-Rock!

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    1. Rock 'n Roll and comics! Spent most of my junior high/high school years reading, writing, and drawing comics with some of the best rock bands of all time playing in the background. It's so cool to think that guys like Rich probably did the same thing (but waaaaaaaaaaay better)!

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  5. In my Senior Year at high school, I had notebooks loaded down with drawings I made of Deathlok. Thought he was too cool! Was able to tell Rich that a while back.

    I see the art and storytelling techniques here and on Rich's Black Panther stories as being way ahead of its time and very influential on the next generation that came in to the business.

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    1. I remember looking forward to the debut of Deathlok with more anticipation than any comicbook of my young life at that time and like you, I was thrilled and inspired. My homage to Deathlok is still alive and well and appearing in my Ultimus stories in Daring Adventures!

      Your thoughts on Rich's art and storytelling are spot-on, Steve! You can see that guys like Perez, Byrne, Zeck, and even Miller picked up on some of Rich's innovations. Rich deserves way, WAY more respect than comicdom has ever given him.

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  6. Cool stuff, totally following this site.

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  7. Love the concept of Deathlok, and some of these splash pages are very strong, but found the series didn't hold up at all when I re-read it last year. It was a ground-breaking series with some great individual scenes but over the course of the series I found it undermined by bad villains and a meandering plotline. It was a real shame, as I was deeply nostalgic about this book, but it was one of the very few outright disappointments I've suffered since deciding to go back through my old collection. I've kept the books because they're a part of my youth but would have felt my money poorly spent if I'd purchased these tales in reprint form.

    Thanks for the splash pages, though, they are undeniably groovy!

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  8. I'm trying to collect all these issues. One day I'll have them all!

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  9. Definitely Rich Buckler's best work, especially when inked by Klaus Janson, who, like Tom Palmer, could make anyone's pencilling better.

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  10. That 'reflections in a crimson eye' page is still awesome!!

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  11. How does any army Colonel Luthor Manning take orders from a air force major riker ?-when someone goofs,changing a ''general'' riker to a major,because looks like thunderbolt ross.I love the original Deathlok but goofs like hurt the comic.

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  12. I was 12 just three months shy of my 13th birthday. When Astonishing #25 hit the stands! I immediately went GA Ga over Deathlok. Rich Buckler, Joe Sinnott & Keith Pollard were his best inkers to me. I love Klaus Janson's inks too. But his inks are too dark here to me on Rich's art. Pollard really did a beautiful job here! Just like Joltin Joe Sinnott on Rich's FF! I'm going to have to try & track Keith down. To see if he'll ink my Man-God part II project on Rich's pencils again! If I can even afford him also.

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