Jim Steranko hands down has created the best Cap cover in the Silver Age with his Captain America #110. This great cover has Bucky trying to escape the clutches of the Hulk. In true Marvel fashion, it has two fan favorites squaring off: Captain America versus The Hulk. We have seen this before; the save your sidekick, from the villain routine it is timeless. Except this time the villain is Hulk!
Steranko knocks the shield out of the park with this cover. It has color, movement, action and even a compelling plot. This paints a picture urging you to buy the comic; just to see what happens to Cap in the fight of his life. The ultimate soldier versus the ultimate monster, a near-perfect metaphor for civilization versus barbarism.
Jim Steranko created a cover that is timeless in its attraction. His contribution is awe-inspiring: he colored, lettered, inked, penciled, and wrote this exceptional comic. Let's not forget his creation of this perfect cover (Comic-shop). I think we can safely call this book a Jim Steranko creation top to bottom. Important side note, he did have a little help from Joe Sinnott and Jack Kirby. Both of these icons contributed to the creation of this book, however, Steranko is still the primary creative force.
Does a great cover translate into a significant return? In this instance, the answer is: yes. The gains in the short term, two-year time frame, and long-term investment categories all have very positive results. In the short term, a grade (7.0) returned 80%. In a 2-year time frame near mint, grades have dropped slightly, but a mid-grade (5.0) copy created a Hulk haymaker return of 128%! If we throw Cap's shield at the best-performing grade for long-term investment, the Stars and Stripes would land on a fine plus (6.5) grade. It has returned a righteous 85.9% going out five years, go Cap go (GoCollect).
This trifecta of Bucky, Captain America, and Hulk still plays 50 years later. These are the most popular Marvel heroes ever created and have showcased many Marvel movies. Steranko used the perfect antagonist, protagonist, and prey that draws the reader into the story. This comic cover tells the universal story of iron will versus brute strength, loyalty versus fear, courage even in the face of overwhelming odds, and best of all a patriotic American confronting humanity's primal urge to destroy. Indeed the Captain America #110 cover dominates any other Cap Silver Age comic cover.
Tributum to Steranko
This quote from Wikipedia sums Jim Steranko up best: Jim Steranko is a top-tier master cover artist "He went on to create book covers, become a comic book historian. Then he published a pioneering two-volume history of the birth and early years of comic books. His conceptual art and character designs for films including Raiders of the Lost Ark and Bram Stoker's Dracula are unequaled. (After all, some consider Raiders of the Lost Ark the greatest action movie of all time.) He was inducted into the industry's Will Eisner Comic Book Hall of Fame in 2006." (Wiki)
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