Eisner Award-winning comic-book writer, artist and author Jim Steranko needs no formal introduction, but his notoriety, influence and sheer force of will certainly demand it. As one of the foremost artists in comics in the Silver Age '60s, Steranko virtually singlehandedly revolutionized the look and tone of superspies and superheroes with stunning linework on Marvel's Strange Tales, revamping Nick Fury as a sexy superspy in a zippered black catsuit in Nick Fury: Agent of S.H.I.E.L.D., then further refining his craft in brief runs on X-Men and Captain America. Steranko's liberal use of op art, pop art, surrealism, expressionism, Jungian psychology and jolting doses of raw attitude in his potent panels were a bracing baptism for the industry needing a serious wake-up call in turbulent times.
Following his time in the comic book realm, Steranko went on to provide concept art and design input to many Hollywood films, such as Francis Ford Coppola's Bram Stoker's Dracula and Steven Spielberg's Raiders of the Lost Ark. Still a legendary draw at conventions and fan events and adamantly vowing to live to be 100 (I believe him!), Steranko remains as vibrant as ever, and, if the opportunity arises to chat with the revered gentleman in the near future, the experience is destined to be a memorable one.
Returning to his Star-Spangled Avenger roots with his first cover for Marvel in 27 years, Steranko is drawing a series of patriotic new variant covers for Cap's 75th anniversary, this one for Captain America: Sam Wilson #7 in his bold, signature style. Check out the artwork below and ingest the words of the master himself in Steranko's exclusive comment on his Captain America homecoming below.
"Captain America has become a superstar, born three quarters of a century ago, in the battle fury of World War 2. In those days, comicbook heroes were essentially based on bugs, birds, fish, rodents, and mythological characters. But Captain America was inspired by an authentic idea: Patriotism! Clad in a compelling costume of Old Glory red, white, and blue, he was and still is the physical embodiment of American courage--THE QUINTESSENTIAL SUPER-PATRIOT! In no uncertain terms, he made kids across the country know what their fathers, brothers, and uncles were fighting for, and precisely who were our enemies.
"Of course, it was pure propaganda, but it worked for me and a million others, whose dimes made Cap's four-color forays against Nazi tyranny a national, newsstand bestseller. As a kid, Cap was my favorite hero. When I drew his new adventures for Marvel Comics, he was my favorite--and he continues to be my favorite! Can't you tell? I believe my affinity for Captain America is obvious in every line I use to shape and sculpt his persona on a blank canvas. Cap was a seminal character of the WW2 period, important politically and culturally in the era in which he appeared--and he's no less important today!
"This year we celebrate Captain America's 75th ANNIVERSARY! That's why I offered Marvel a year's worth of cover images spotlighting the USA's immortal champion--young, spirited, invincible, and unforgettable! I'm proud when media experts claim I produced more patriotic covers that any other artist in comics history--and I believe I'll maintain that record by generating one classic Captain America image after another for the next twelve months! This is the first.
"Where's Cap when we need him the most? Where else? Right here--in our minds and in our hearts!"
Captain America: Sam Wilson #7 hits comic shelves on March 30, 2016. How do you like Captain America in the capable hands of Steranko?