DAREDEVIL #7 April 1965
Wally Wood original artist
Back in '65, what was immediately obvious to me upon first glance at the cover of DAREDEVIL #7 was that artist Wally Wood had again tinkered with the man without fear's outfit, this time rendering it's color scheme a uniform crimson, a move no doubt inspired by our hero's name.
What wasn't so obvious-- and actually, totally unknown to me up until a few short months ago--was that this clash with Prince Namor doubled as a warm-up for Wood's upcoming stint as illustrator on the soon-to-debut "Sub-Mariner" series in TALES TO ASTONISH. Yeah, that's right, Wally was scheduled to guide Subby on a monthly basis, until, as the rumor has it, he had a falling out with head honcho Stan Lee! I wish I could recall exactly WHERE I stumbled across this intriguing nugget of trivia--odds are it cropped up in one fine Two Morrows publication or other--but I do remember it was said authoritatively by a bullpenner present at the time. It certainly explains why the Prince of Atlantis was portrayed so nobly in DD7, practically hijacking the proceedings from the fella whose name lent the book it's title. And this little late-breaking news belatedly whets ones appetite and flicks the "what-if" switch on this long-time Marvel Maniac!!

Now, history clearly shows that the great Gene Colan--working under the nom de plume of Adam Austin--kicked off his lengthy Marvel career by launching ol' Fishface's undersea antics (as well as taking over the reins on "Iron Man"), but folks, just imagine the Amazing Wally at the controls?!? Wow!! Based on the evidence found in this nifty episode, we would've been in for a stupendous visual treat!! Oh, don't get me wrong--Gene did a nice job, but ultimately, he seemed better suited for Tony Stark's armored alter ego, and to later, ironically, become the definitive Silver Age Daredevil artist ("Wally WHO?..."). With Namor, he never seemed to come to grips with that oddly shaped noggin of Spock's water-logged doppelganger, and those Vinnie Colletta inks did him and no one else any favors!?! Wood, on the other hand, proves here that he can draw a convincing cranium for Bill Everett's baby, and I sincerely doubt the somewhat touchy artiste would've let Mr. C and his bottles of ink anywhere NEAR his lovingly produced pencils! Trouble is, for whatever reason, he was one of the few people in comics unable to get along with the ever-genial Lee. If only that hadn't been the case. But the sad truth is, confronted with a maritime-based assignment, the artist soon reverted to type, and quickly became...driftWood...