Thursday, July 12, 2018

(P)Raising Kane: "He That Hath Wings!" by Hamilton, Kane, and Esposito

Here's a beautifully illustrated adaptation of Edmund Hamilton's 1938 sci-fi fable, "He That Hath Wings!" It was the back-up (and the longest) story in the debut issue of Marvel's sadly short-lived sci-fi comic, Worlds Unknown (February 1973). Adapted, scripted, and penciled by Gil Kane (but of course!) and inked by Mike Esposito, one has to wonder just how much Hamilton's original story influenced Stan Lee and/or Jack Kirby in the creation of a certain winged mutant...and is that why it made the cut for this should-have-been prestigious first issue?


  1. Always hated to see anyone's artwork ruined by Mike Esposito. But Gil Kane held up pretty well in this story. Worlds Unknown was a great title, with a lot of potential, that was never realized in the ever expanding group of titles from early 70s Marvel.

    1. Wow.

      I was never a fan of Esposito, but never hated his work either. He inked a lot of Ross Andru's work at DC from 1958-70 (Wonder Woman, the Flash, & assorted war books) & Romita Sr. When he took over Spidey in the mid '60s. Did Esposito do any hackwork? Judging from how prolific his output was, sure, but he was never as vilified for it as Vince Colletta.

      Back to Gil's story here: nothing particularly special, but a few nice faces evoking pathos. The teen David is FAR too muscular; it would have been better to see a normal adolescent develop into an adult.

      Chris A.

    2. I must virulently disagree. I consider Mike Esposito the worst inker of all time. While Ross Andru enjoyed working with him (and managed to not be ruined as much as other pencillers) he hacked his way across years of work for Marvel, DC, Skywald and Tower. While Vince Colletta gets all the hating (and much of it deserved for all the shortcuts he took) he could actually improve a bad artist such as Don Heck or mesh pretty well with a George Tuska. Esposito never added anything to any penciller. About his only virtue seemed to be speed and rescuing books from being late. Check out Spider-Man # 183 where Bob McLeod showed how good Ross Andru could have been inked all along. So I would place Esposito as the worst inker of all time, despite his prolific presence for decades, followed by the king of the scratchy brushwork, Frank Springer, as the second worst and then Colletta as the 3rd worst inker of all time. But I have a feeling I'm in the minority.

    3. Such vituperative vehemence & vitriol! Relax --- comics are supposed to be *fun.* This is a pleasant pastime for the reader, and a way to grind out a living for its creators.

      Now there is greater potential than ever for creators to make a superb living, & readers have far, far more material to choose from---almost too much, I dare say. It's so easy to get lost in the shuffle nowadays.

      Chris A.

    4. Comics are fun...when done well. But since I consider it an art form that deserves appreciation, I get a little hot under the collar when I see work that is hacked out. I've always had a great love of inkers since I've seen how much they can add to or subtract from an artist. I can only hope the Collettas,Springers and Espositos of the comic book world were paid much less than the Palmers, Sinnotts and Giordanos (people who really cared about their craft).



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Special thanks to Mike's Amazing World of Comics and Grand Comics Database for being such fantastic resources for covers, dates, creator info, etc. Thou art treasures true!

Note to "The Man": All images are presumed copyright by the respective copyright holders and are presented here as fair use under applicable laws, man! If you hold the copyright to a work I've posted and would like me to remove it, just drop me an e-mail and it's gone, baby, gone.

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As for the rest of ya, the purpose of this blog is to (re)introduce you to the great comics of the 1970s. If you like what you see, do what I do--go to a comics shop, bookstore, e-Bay or whatever and BUY YOUR OWN!