Cap104 p11 detail b 200dpi

From Captain America no. 104

You will recall that in part 1 the Legion wrote about Captain America no.104 with its exciting Jim Steranko inks on one page of the beautiful  Kirby/Adkins artwork. We speculated as to how come and where Jim S had inked the page. A bit of googling was done.

It emerged that Adkins had revealed some facts in a letter to fanzine Amazing Heroes in 1989, 20+ years after the event. Having got a copy of Amazing Heroes no. 167 from They Walk Among Us (impeccably graded at Fine and reasonably priced; thanks Jon!) the Legion can now report on that Dan Adkins letter.


If you, like us, like to find these things for yourselves, here is a list of the comics concerned. Pull ’em off the shelf, have a butcher’s, give yourself the Steranko spotter’s challenge!

Or: skip to Dan’s letter below, then have a look at some lovely pics after that.

The Legion got some of the right answers but also “spotted” a few panels which Jaunty Jim never went anywhere near with his (or Dapper Dan’s) ink pot. All comics 1968, natch.

Daredevil no. 42, 1 panel

Daredevil no. 44 (Trick question; not mentioned in the letter but listed online)

Strange Tales no. 166,  3 panels (or so Dan says… read on.)

Here’s part of Dan’s letter:


Adkins With the Facts

A couple of corrections for the Paul Gulacy interview.

Quote: “AH: Didn’t Steranko ink a couple of pages of [Master of]Kung Fu? GULACY: That’s right, Steranko was visiting Dan one day, looked at this Gulacy stuff and started noodling around. Actually, he only inked one full page.”

Steranko has never inked Paul Gu­lacy. Must be wishful thinking on Paul’s part. But, Jim did ink a few panels on jobs I was working on while living in Brooklyn.

They are:

Captain America #104; Jim inked heads of Nick Fury on page 11.

Daredevil #42; Jim inked panel 5 on page 12.

Strange Tales #166; Jim inked panel 3 on page 4 and inked the heads in panels 4 and 5.

That’s it. No Gulacy.

[Dan goes on to correct another erroneous statement  made by Paul Gulacy about Frank Frazetta borrowing from Dan’s swipe files. We paraphrase: “Frank Frazetta was not a swipe artist – that Roy Krenkel though…!” Well, Dan, it takes one to know one.]


So, the answer to our question in the previous post about how the Steranko inks came about is: he dropped round to Dan’s place in Brooklyn now and then, and just couldn’t keep his hands off.

Now, the panels in question:

DD 42:  page 12, panel 5.

DD_42 p12_Colan_Steranko_pn5_72dpi

The Legion got this one right off the bat. Once our Steranko spotter-bot was turned on it stood out like a Steranko-sized glowing thumb. An odd choice, one might think, with all those lovely Gene Colan faces and figures to be inked; but then, there is evidence elsewhere that Jim S was fond of cars.

Here’s the panel with its neighbour, so you can see some of that Colan-Adkins goodness:

DD-42 p12_Colan_Steranko

And just for fun, frantic ones, here’s the cover, which we think is a piece of sheer Colan/Adkins magic. (Check out that fabulous Popular Book Centre stamp! Sheer nostalgia for the British comics fan of a certain age. Comics are more valuable with these stamps, as you will know*.)


DD 44: Jaunty Jim allegedly inked the cover. As with Cap 104‘s Nick Fury heads, the Legion would put its money on just the DD figure being inked by Jim.


Strange Tales 166: this comic is a bit earlier, March 1968 cover date. The inking would have been done in late ’67. Here’s page 4, with very probably the only George Tuska pencils, Jim Steranko inks you are ever going to see:


Panel 3: since it looks a lot like Jack Kirby, the Legion can accept that Jim S probably inked the whole panel, as Dan says.


Panel 4: Dapper Dan says Jim inked the head. The Legion can go with that.


Panel 5: did Jim also ink this Doctor Strange face? Have to say it doesn’t look like it to us. Looks like Dan A, all the way.


For your pleasure, the Legion has flipped the Jim S face and presents it below next to what we assert is a Dan A face (Twa Docs as one might put it:):

Twa Docs

Now seriously folks, did the same Jim Steranko ink those two faces on the same day in 1967? We rest our case.

And finally, just because we love Jim Steranko and we’ve had Strange Tales no.166 out of the light-proof humidity-controlled vault, here’s a page from the Nick Fury strip therein (inks pretty definitely by Joltin’ Joe Sinnott). Bona!

ST166_Nick F_smallest

Next ish: “The Awesome Answer!” (Eh? Wasn’t that it?)

* This may not be entirely true.

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