Monday, February 19, 2018

Marvel-ous Monday: "Blood Will Tell!" by Thomas, Heck, and S. Buscema

Greetings, Groove-ophiles! We're back with another Black Widow mini-saga from her run in Amazing Adventures! In "Blood Will Tell" from Amazing Adventures #6 (February 1971) writer Roy Thomas is joined by a new art team: Don Heck and Sal Buscema. (If you're wondering about the final Gene Colan/Bill Everett Black Widow job in ish #5, just follow the link here.) While I can dig Heck's art most of the time and I love Our Pal Sal's inks, they don't make a very thrilling art-team here. (Everett will join Heck for the next couple issues--stay tuned.) Thomas' story is kind of an in-between piece of a bigger puzzle, so there's honestly not a lot of thrilling things to draw, either. Roy does, however, add some depth to Madame Natasha as she's dealing with the feeling that she's living up to her name--that anyone who comes in contact with her is doomed.

Will the next wrap-up next issue be more zingy? Stay tuned!


  1. I'm with you on the Heck and Buscema team. Dashing Don had a real knack for drawing pages full of movement and energy, but they could get a little loose and difficult to read at times. Our Pal Sal adds just the right rigor to lines and gives them some depth. Heck's pencils were ripe territory for a number of inkers, but Sal seems to have unlocked it.

    Rip Off

    1. Tom Palmer in X-Men # 64 made Dashing Donnie look fantastic. Sal Buscema's strong inks helped here but there's only so much that can be done to improve Heck's weak pencils.

  2. It's good for the Black Widow that after her series ended in AA she was transferred over to Daredevil. There under the guiding hand of Conway and Colan she received real depth and a lasting place in the Marvel Universe. These little vignettes in AA with their constantly changing creative teams and artificially created drama from the "Widow's Curse" (which came out of nowhere and wasn't seen afterwards) didn't do our ravishing Natasha justice.

  3. I don’t have any problems with Sal Buscema’s inks. Looks a lot like later ‘70s Marvel. Heck has such a great sense of page design that his stuff blends from picture to picture seamlessly.

  4. For all that they were trying to make a regular series out of it, this storyline seemed almost like a fill-in issue. They were still mining the Modesty Blaise angle slightly (Willie quotes psalms = Ivan quoting lines from old movies) which didn't last to the transition over to Daredevil's title, and the aforementioned "Widow's curse" angle was thankfully shelved...still, how much characterisation and plot could you get in when you only had ten pages every other month?

    And as capable a craftsman as Don Heck was, Colan's pencils were sorely missed.



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