Herb Trimpe provided the pencils and inks on this fantastic cover dated March, 1974. I may have never ranked Trimpe among my favorite comic book illustrators, but his run on The Incredible Hulk was outstanding. I think it is his best work. His very Jack Kirby influenced style fit so well with this series.
And I think he was really cookin’ on this cover.
To start with, the tension built by the sharp angle of the seriously challenged ship sets the tone for this cover. The angle gives this shot so much movement and action, it doesn’t feel static at all.
The sailors are in deep trouble and the big blue guy and the green behemoth couldn’t care less. They have a beef to settle. Their Roman knuckles battle may be burning our hero’s hand, but he will not let go. Cobalt Man is just going to have to kill the Hulk to loosen that epic grip.
A particularly dramatic touch is the sailor who has gone overboard and is being overwhelmed by the waves. He even has water getting into his gaping mouth. That was some pretty intense stuff for my ten year-old eyes.
This is the kind of tension and excitement that certain artists over there in the DC Comics world just couldn’t muster. cough cough Curt Swan cough cough!
OK, to be fair, DC had plenty of excellent artists working on their covers and stories. I will feature them in the future. It’s just that I’m a Marvel kind of guy and I think their comic books (covers and stories and characters) were just consistently more interesting and exciting to me.
Until Frank Miller.
Anyway, this cover caught my eye when I was a kid and still catches it today.
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