While this may look like a Strange Tales cover, it's actually the splash page with new lettering added by Morrie Kuramoto. Monsters on the Prowl # 22, April 1973
When it was decided to reprint the lead story from Strange Tales #93, "When The Thing Runs Amok" some changes were made. Monsters were popular at the time and many of the pre-hero stories were reprinted. The original covers were often used, but artists were also commissioned to provide new artwork, such as Gil Kane and Jim Starlin. In the case of the above story there was no original cover to accompany it, since the cover to Strange Tales # 93 broke tradition and skipped using a scene from the lead story, instead focusing on a Lee-Ditko back-up story.
The second page was originally the splash. The title and some copy was dropped and two panels were added. The first panel of the ship was taken from page 5; panel 5, with a new panel added. The lettering by Jim Novak was a close copy of Artie Simek's original, and with a little balloon movement and art changes in panel three the page was completed. Roger Stern took care to produce a different reprint title, seeking out interesting material from Marvel's archives and added a letters page, a rarity in that period. Unfortunately Weird Wonder Tales # 22 was the last issue, and even though, according to Stern's editorial, sales were picking up, monsters and their ilk were waning with the reading public, and the powers that be decided to concentrate on other material.
Roger Stern's editorial from the final issue of Weird Wonder Tales. Dr. Druid illo by Marie Severin.
In a touch of serendipity, as I was planning out this blog and discussing it with Barry Pearl he showed me Tony Isabella's quote from Roger Stern about his input. Tony wrote about Marvel's horror/monster reprints just last week, adding some very interesting information. You can read all about it here:
I'd like to thank Barry Pearl and Tony Isabella for their analysis, background info and enthusiasm.
Its fitting to end this look into reprint minutiae with Jack Kirby's final monster cover for Marvel. Kirby would go on to draw two new Dr. Druid covers, but would soon leave Marvel for the final time, and his era of monsters and heroes, both large and small, had some to an end. We would not see its like again.
Krang does his part for urban renewal. Jack Kirby knocks it out of the park one last time as the second monster era slowly fades out. Cover inked by Klaus Janson, from Weird Wonder Tales # 18, Oct 1976.