Monday, March 30, 2020

Eduardo Barreto, The Shadow Strikes #12, Page 14, DC Comics, 1990

This is page 14 from issue 12 of “The Shadow Strikes”, published by DC Comics in September, 1990.

I’ve never had any interest in Eduardo Barreto. My eyes were arrested when they ran across this page on the Heritage Sunday Auction site, on the week of  November 1st, 2015. I was the winning bid of $215. This original was part of a lot with 2 other pages from the same issue. I did’t like the other pages nearly as much. I donated them to the annual 2018 fundraising auction for C.A.P.S. (Comic Artist Professional Society).

What struck me immediately was how closely this pages catches the vibe of a Joe Kubert or Alex Toth page from the late 40’s. Panels 4, 5 and 6 seem like they must be swipes, but I can’t pin down from where. This is not a criticism. These panels fit in seamlessly into the page layout and narrative, even enhancing it. 

I wish Barreto had aspired to this approach on the two other pages. They have good elements, but the pages seem modeled more from Marshall Rogers and John Byrne.

Actually, page 6 isn’t bad. I should have kept it.  What threw me were the inks. which are slick and tight. I prefer the rougher, Caniff-esque of Kubert, Toth, Infantino, et al. If page 6 had been inked by Frank Robbins, I would have thought it was great. What’s actually there isn’t bad at all… it just seems kind of stiff, kind of overly-busy.

And now it belongs to someone else. (sigh).

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