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Heck of an artist!

Avengers, Marvel, Captain America, Hawkeye, Quicksilver and the Scarlet Witch. A legendary period of the Mighty Avengers, as pencilled by the dazzling Don Heck.

His thick holding lines and aggressive hatching made the work bold and lively. His distinctive facial renditions are easy to spot.  The upturned noses, the black eyelashes as graphic strokes, and his mouth and lower lip drawn with a few clear lines.

His women were hot, strong, even defiant, due to distinctive facial features, full lips and piercing eyes. For this reason, he also worked at DC on both Batgirl and later Wonder Woman. He saw Wonder Woman into Crisis on Infinite Earths, before she was reborn on the creative direction of George Perez. It was this cover where Heck came to my attention...

Eduardo Barreto cover art
Heck also worked on Spider Man and even inked John Romita...

...while Romita returned the favor on an issue of the Avengers - one of the slickest.

A hunt for Heck material led to Forbidden Tales of Dark Mansion issue two; which showcases his mastery, as did issue #192 of House of Mystery. Don Heck illustrated, "The Mystery of Dead Man's Cove!" in Forbidden Tales of Dark Mansion. Both can be found in the black and white reprint Showcase Present editions. Collections worth having for the clarity of reproduction and the incredible artists within.

Heck's style was a loose and dynamic one. He was great on design, on spotting blacks as powerful areas of composition and he varied his ink line. His machinery and costume design was somewhat unique and very distinctive. The Scarlet Centurion is a wonderful example. One wishes he'd been able to further polish his work on Iron Man, or free to design different armors.

Whatever the case, early Marvel was a prolific period for him and his work helped establish the Marvel Universe.

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