March 5, 2007

Sgt. Fury #15 [1965]

There are very few examples of Ditko serving just as an inker for any penciller other than Jack Kirby (there are a few dozen Kirby/Ditko collaborations, all of them well before this issue). According to the letter column in this issue, Ditko pinched in on inking Dick Ayers' pencils for the 20-page story because regular inker George Roussos (aka George Bell) was on vacation, but Roussos doesn't return and doesn't seem to ink anything at Marvel for another two years, so take that with a Bullpen sized grain of salt.

A bit surprising that Ditko found time for this, since at the time he was plotting and doing full art on Spider-Man and Doctor Strange every month, plus doing pencils on the Hulk in TALES TO ASTONISH. Over forty pages a month.

Anyway, this adventure of Fury and the Howlers takes them to Nazi occupied Holland, where they're assigned to blow up a dike at a strategic place, flooding out a Nazi division poised to attack England. When they get there they're unable to find their contact, Agent X, but are helped by a young boy named Hans, the son of the local Mayor who's ashamed by his father's co-operation with the Nazis. Eventually they blow up the dike, with the help of Agent X, strongly implied to be the Mayor, and return to England with Hans.

Ditko does a good job inking Ayers on this, keeping the overall Kirby-designed look that Ayers did so well, with a few Ditko touches evident in some places, like the hair and the women. In fact, looking at this I can't help but think that there were points in Ditko's career (like the mid-1980s when he was doing books like INDIANA JONES and CHUCK NORRIS) where it might have made more sense to hire him as an inker with a strong compatible penciller rather than have him do loose pencils which were almost obliterated by the inks.

1 comment:

  1. Ditko really embellished this one and its a personal favorite of mine. I actually saw the splash page hanging on the wall of Dick Ayers house a while back and he said he liked Ditko's inks as well.

    Nick Caputo



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