Saturday, February 27, 2010

Our Pal Sal: "And Six Shall Crush the Hulk!"

It's about time Ol' Groove's first fave Marvel artist, Our Pal Sal Buscema got his own semi-regular feature, don'tcha think? And what better way to kick it off than with this sci-fi romp from Incredible Hulk Annual #5 (1976)? Yeah, that's right, besides drawing the monthly adventures of the Hulk, the Defenders, Skull the Slayer, Marvel Team-Up, and Odin knows what else, Sal also found the time to pencil this 35 page spectacular plotted by Len Wein and dialogued by Chris Claremont. While Jack Abel wasn't my fave inker over Sal's pencils (he wasn't bad, and there were far, far worse), the sheer force and power of Sal's layouts come smashing through here. What really turns Ol' Groove on about Sal's work on "And Six Shall Crush the Hulk!" is how he manages to totally capture the look and feel of Kirby's Atlas-era monsters without ever ripping off the King's style. Sal "got" Kirby like few artists ever have--and here's 35 pages to prove it!

Speaking of Jack Kirby--dig that cover, baby!


  1. Wonderful,Groove !I well remember buying this at a Comic Mart at the Bluecoat Chambers in Liverpool, England. I no longer have it so it's great to see it again. Thanks.
    John Parker, Spain.

  2. You're absolutely right to laud Sal Buscema here. I've been thinking recently how much I miss the clarity of his layouts and the wonders of his pacing. In his own way, he had far more arrows to his bow than many more flashy artists; the middle three panels on page 19 showing the Hulk battering away at Groot is an example of the type of storytelling rarely used today, & it's a shame. Though there were times when I tired of his ubiquitious layouts & villian designs which were less than impressive (eg Defenders 11), I realise now that was a consequence of Marvel using him to produce as many competently-designed stories as possible.

    You're absolutely right to draw attention to how effectively & respectfully he drew the Atlas-era monsters here. And if this work isn't the equal of his early masterpieces, such as the Scorpio tale in Avengers 72, it's still a masterclass in telling a story well. As Mecken said: "The older I get, the more I admire and crave competence .... "


  3. I know I'm far from the first to say this, but Sal drew the best Hulk ever. His over sized hands, hunched shoulders, the ferocity in the face, the punches, the leaps. Sal owned the Hulk. Since this is going to be a semi-regular thing, how 'bout some Hulk vs. Absorbing Man when you get a chance?

  4. It's quite simple, really: Sal Buscema = awesome. He may not have been as "flashy" (to use colsmi's word) as some of the era's big names, but in my mind Sal pretty much defined Marvel's house style during the 1970s.

  5. Hey Groovster!
    Gotta love Sal's great work here. It's too bad he didn't get to ink it himself. Or have someone like Joe Sinnott or Tom Palmer ink him. I always loved the Marvel Monsters! This was a very cool way to bring them all back & have them battle the hulk.

    Sal was also doing covers & Peter Parker the Spectacular Spider-Man as well. Even Nova & issues of Spider-Man as well. Man he was a human dynamo like his brother Big John & Jack "KING" Kirby. My favorite Sal Buscema art was Sub-Mariner issues#34 & #35. One of the big comic shows should have him be the guest of honor. It's long over due & I don't think many fans realize the tons of great work he did. Thanks again for your great website. I just rebought this book off eBay about a year ago. I bought my 1st copy off a spinner rack at a 7-11 in Canoga Park, CA. While visting my aunt & uncle for the summer.

  6. Love to see this done in a Hulk movie!!



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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!

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