I can’t begin to tell you just how much I love this particular comic book cover and how much as a child I loved this particular issue of ‘What If?’!! It really make sense as we get one of the greatest comic book artists ever responsible for this masterpiece, Bill Sienkiewicz doing an unforgettable rendition of the jade giant on issue #45. ‘What If?’ was an incredibly fun comic book back in the classic Marvel days and this issue from 1984 was one as a kid I carried with me everywhere. This one retells the classic origin story but in this reality Banner fails to save Rick Jones from the gamma blast and while Rick doesn’t die the Army ends up killing him-Sending the Hulk into a crazy rage. The Hulk freaks out and takes down the Fantastic Four and Iron Man killing several them in the process. It’s a great, surprisingly violent issue and in the end The Hulk’s rage costs him his own life. Anyway this cover will always remain one of my faves, Sienkiewicz never fails when doing comic book covers, with the pencil and ink in his hands you always knew you were going to get something truly special!
Today is Bill Sienkiewicz’s Birthday and it’s as good a reason as any to celebrate the man’s existence as one of the best comic book artists of all time! To say his artwork is unique would probably be the biggest understatement you could come up with in the comic book universe. His jagged, frantic and often abstract work is unmistakable. Whenever you’d get a comic book cover or let alone an entire issue filled with his artwork you always knew you were in for a treat.
His work became a staple in the early 80’s where he drew black and white back up stories of Moon Knight in The Incredible Hulk magazine size comic books. He continued on with some of his most famous work for titles like The New Mutants and the legendary Elektra: Assassin miniseries amongst many others. So happy birthday Bill! Thanks for the incredibly original art all these years-Here’s hoping for much more of it in 2014! Here are a few of my personal favorite pieces of his comic book art!
Here’s on of my fave covers from the 1980’s era New Mutants. Issue number 19 from 1984 always stuck in my head clearly because of the incredible skills of Mr. Bill Sienkiewicz! Seriously, this guy’s artwork is some of the most unforgettable in comic book history. The comic master of the abstract, you always know you’re getting something special when his name’s attached. Back in the mid 1980’s he did some incredible artwork for The New Mutants, most of which was very dark, jagged and gritty. It further set the tone of the mutant based books in the 80’s as just that. Something a little more hard edged than the regular superhero books. This is one of my faves from that era of the New Mutants but believe me all of his cover artwork for the title is breathtaking. He’s a true comic book legend in every way….