Wednesday, November 8, 2017

Black and White Wednesday: "Hell-Reapers at the Heart of Paradise!" by Moench and DeZuniga

Check it out, Groove-ophiles! Today would have been the late, great Tony DeZuniga's 85th birthday. Ol' Groove (thanks to reminders from Groove-ophile par excellence Mike Mikulovsky) wants to celebrate Mr. DeZuniga's artistic genius with one of my all-time fave DeZuniga art jobs (and one of my fave issues of Marvel's b&w Doc Savage mag) "Hell-Reapers at the Heart of Paradise!" from Doc Savage #2 (August 1975). Underneath the gorgeous Ken Barr cover, this action-packed thrill-ride lay in wait for Young Groove--if the (felt-like) day long ordeal of school clothes shopping ever ended and I could finally get in the back seat of the faithful Chevy Nova and get to read it! You don't have to wait, baby! Lucky you!

Yep, John Buscema drew Doc and his Amazing 5 in the inset.


  1. Thanks for remembering Lloyd. I loved Doc Savage's novels & the Marvel B & W magazine series. Ironically as a boy I don't remember seeing Tony's beautiful Jonah Hex series anywhere. I guess it was sold out. I loved Black Orchard by Tony. I at first didn't like the more heavier and gritter style of Tony's inks and art. Until I got used to it. Loved his Punisher, Doc Savage stories and later inks on John Buscema's Thor. And of course on Roy Thomas's Gladiator adaptation in Marvel Preview #9 Man-God. Still hope to get it finish one day soon. Roy plotted part II for me about three years ago. Gotta have him write the dialogue yet. Then hope to have Spain's Benito Gallego draw, ink and letter it. Who has a very strong art style that of John Buscema when Tony inked his art. Tony was not only a epic artist but very nice man. Tony and his wife Tina were/are both Super people! I never actually got to meet Tony sadly. But we talked by phone three times at length.

  2. Reading this issue when I was a kid inspired me to read the Doc Savage novels, moving on to the Spider and the Shadow. My love of the old pulps ties directly to this issue.

    1. I'm with you Kevin, thanks to Roy Thomas. I discovered the pulp heroes. At my local Rex-Saw corner drug store. Explored old books stores for the pulps you on Doc Savage & the Shadow. Found new ones too like the Avenger, Spider as well.And learned about author Philip Wylie's Gladiator which was out of print back then. I went to my main Milwaukee,WI downtown library. Found a first edition I had to read in the old book room. Under guard it seemed like! LOL Guess they weren't thrilled with a 16 year old reading such a old book. I just was able to buy a first edition for $30 off eBay about two years ago.

  3. Many thanks for this! It is NO overstatement to say that I spent my teenage years (in the Bronze Age) obsessed by Doc, and then, the pulps. I thought the Marvel black and white magazines were a real and legitimate addition to the corpus. Moench really got the rhythm and vibe of the original novels (though, supposedly, he only read one of them to prep!).

    Sadly, this series was the high water mark of Doc adaptations -- other companies have tried, but not have scored so highly. Best of all -- Marvel did not make the Fabulous Five look like freaks or gargoyles, but, rather, as a diverse bunch of adventurers.

  4. The Doc Savage black and white seemed too little, too late. It debuted as the other Marvel mags were wheezing their last breath except for Savage Sword of Conan and Crazy, which continued on for many years. I concur about Mr. DeZuniga. It was a thrill to meet him alongside Ernie Chan in 2009. They were one half of the Filipino big four (the others being Alcala and Nino) that contributed so much to the Groovy Age. He was as nice as he could be. I'm so thankful for the encounter as he was gone three years later. Such a classy fellow and an artist of the first degree. Whether the DC mystery titles or his superb inking of Thor he left so many tales behind to enjoy again and again.



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