Venus no.17, Dec 1951 from pre-Marvel Atlas. Bill Everett provides the art and lettering on the cover and for the three Venus pre-code horror tales inside. Everett was one of the best Atlas cover artists, as evidenced by this masterpiece of moodiness. Look at the texture he gets in the old stone wall dripping with centuries of slime. The lithe Venus, a damsel and hero in one paradoxical pose, her hair flowing off her shoulder as she struggles against her shackles, a cry of terror on her face but still possessed of determination to extricate herself from this predicament. Everett excelled at character actors: distinct, humorous, and humanized. Examine his straining against his chains, the movement of his shirt flowing, while his rotund belly hangs over his belt. Of course, Everett did skeletons and skulls as well as beautiful women and intricate patterns in clothing. All these textures with the brush.
This issue has two of my favorite Venus stories: “Tower of Death” and “The Cartoonist’s Calamity!” “The Stone Man” falls too far on the cartoonish side of Everett’s art for my tastes. Long-time Timely artist Allen Bellman does a fine job on “The Storm!”
Tower of Death
The Stone Man