John Romita was one of Marvel Comics’ workhorses in the Silver Age (1956-1969) and into the Bronze Age of comic books (1970-1985). He illustrated a great many covers and stories. He was to Spider-Man as John Buscema was to Conan or Jack Kirby was to the Fantastic Four. He helped to create some of Marvel’s most recognizable characters, including Kingpin, Luke Cage/Power Man, Punisher, and Wolverine. I think Romita and John Buscema were, in a very big way, responsible for the overall look of Marvel Comics from the late 60s into the 70s.
In my opinion, the cover to The Amazing Spider-Man number 151 is one of Romita’s very best. The design is bold and intense. The intensity is a little shocking, because, in those days, Spider-Man had a more joking, light style to his crime-fighting. This cover shows that our friendly neighborhood Spider-Man could go very dark.
The rushing water, his pose, his clutching hands, and his statement that someone is going to die (I’m guessing it ain’t gonna be Spidey) all create the image of Marvel’s most recognizable character is about to go all badass. What? Surely, he wouldn’t let someone die, let alone actually kill them, would he?
Mmmm… There was that whole Gwen Stacy thing…
It’s an outstanding cover by one of Marvel Comics’ most important artists.
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