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Copyright © 1963 DC Comics
Heath's first superhero story is tentatively identified as the seven-page Witness story, "Fate Fixed a Fight", in Captain America Comics #71 (March 1949). Timely let virtually all of its staff go in 1948 during an industry downturn, before hiring some of them back a few years later. By even before Timely trimmed their staff, Heath had gone freelance, doing art both for Timely and for ad agencies.
During the 1950s, when Westerns hit it big, Heath drew a corral-full of cowboy stories for such Timely comics as Wild Western, All Western Winners, Arizona Kid, Black Rider, Western Outlaws, and Reno Browne, Hollywood's Greatest Cowgirl. As Timely evolved into Marvel's 1950s version, known as Atlas Comics, Heath expanded into other genres.
He drew the December 1950 premiere of the two-issue superhero series Marvel Boy, as well as scattered science fiction anthology stories (in Venus, Journey Into Unknown Worlds, and Men's Adventures); crime drama (Justice); horror stories and covers (Adventures Into Terror, Marvel Tales, Menace, Mystic, Spellbound, Strange Tales, Uncanny Tales, the cover of Journey Into Mystery #1), satiric humor (Wild), and - ironically, given his short stateside military service - the genre that would become his specialty, war stories.
Heath produced a plethora of combat stories both for the wide line of Timely war titles but also for the first issue (Aug. 1951) of EC Comics' celebrated Frontline Combat. Heath later did the first of many decades' worth of war work for DC Comics, with Our Army at War #23 and Star Spangled War Stories #22, both cover-dated June 1954.
Other 1950s work includes an issue of 3-D Comics from St. John Publications, and the story "The Return of the Human Torch" (minus the opening page, drawn by character-creator Carl Burgos) in Young Men #24 (Dec. 1953), the flagship of Atlas' ill-fated effort to revive superheroes, which had fallen out of fashion in the postwar U.S.
He co-created with writer-editor Robert Kanigher the feature "The Haunted Tank", which headlined many issues of DC Comics' G.I. Combat. Also with Kanigher, Heath co-created and drew the first issues of DC's Sea Devils, about a team of scuba-diving adventurers.
Heath's accolades include a Comic-Con International Inkpot Award in 1997, and induction into the Eisner Awards Hall Of Fame in 2009.
Russ Heath at Toonopedia
Russ Heath at Lambiek .net
Russ Heath Two Morrows Interview (Excerpt)
Russ Heath at Barnes And Noble
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