Men's Adventures, by Paul Reinman
Men's Adventures #11 (Dec 1951)

Paul Reinman was a German-born American comics artist, who was active during both the "Golden" and the "Silver Age of Comic Books". He worked on many early superheroes for MLJ Comics and All-American Publications during the 1940s, and then drew for many of the religious, war, western and mystery titles of Stan Lee's Atlas Comics line. Later in his career, he was one of Jack Kirby's inkers on early issues of Marvel's 'X-Men' and 'The Incredible Hulk'. He was one of the artists who drew Jerry Siegel's post-Superman project 'The Mighty Crusaders' (1965-1966), which would become a slightly more succesful franchise decades later. While most of his comics work was of a commercial nature he did create one notable and very personal comic story about his outrage over Nazism and Communism named 'Atrocity Story' (1952).

Joseph Paul Reinmann was born in 1910 in Germany and grew up in Pfiffligheim in a Jewish family. His father was a real-estate agent and farm-produce broker. He showed great promise in drawing, but unfortunately the rise of Nazism motivated him to emigrate to New York City in 1934. The rest of his family would soon follow his example in the years that followed. Reinman originally worked as a neon sign artist and various low-grade jobs until he found a more artistic profession in New York. For a couple of years he designed the lettering and covers of match boxes in a matchbox factory.


Zambini the Miracle Man, from Zip Comics #17 (August 1941)

Reinman eventually decided to start a freelance job as illustrator of posters, fashion images and advertising packages. This eventually led to a job as an illustrator of pulp novels and associated magazines. In the early 1940s the German immigrant started his comics career at MLJ Comics (nowadays Archie Comics) during the so-called "Golden Age of Comic Books". Between 1940 and 1943 he pencilled such features as 'Inferno' in Blue Ribbon Comics (1941, scripts by Joe Blair), 'Kardak' in Top Notch Comics (1941-1942, scripts by Harry Shorten), 'Zambini the Miracle Man' in Zip Comics (1941-1943, scripts by Gerald Kean), 'Bentley of Scotland Yard' in Pep Comics (1941-1943, scripts by Joe Blair), 'Wizard' in Shield-Wizard Comics (1941-1943, scripts by Ed Bresnick) and 'Boy Buddies' in Hangman Comics (1942-1943, scripts by Bill Woolfolk). Reinman is also credited for co-creating 'The Fireball' in Pep Comics in 1941, but the Grand Comics Database suggests the actual artist might by Harry Lucey. Notable was a story about German political and military leader Hermann Göring in the so-called 'Hangman's Hall of Shame' in Hangman Comics #6 (1943).


Hangman's Hall of Shame (Hangman Comics #6, 1943)

In 1940 he also joined Timely Comics (nowadays Marvel Comics), where his first jobs were a story with the superhero 'The Falcon' for the second issue of The Human Torch and a 'Whizzer' story for All-Winners Comics (1941). Later in the decade, he illustrated a couple of stories with the 'Human Torch' (1943-1946) and 'Sub-Mariner' (1948) in Captain America Comics. Throughout the 1940s he notably produced much material for All-American Publications, one of the predecessors of DC Comics. He pencilled a great many stories of 'The Green Lantern' for several of the company's titles, including their flagship All-American Comics, between 1943 and 1947. This was the first rendition of the character, starring railroad engineer Alan Scott, and was created by Martin Nodell in 1940. He also drew 'Wildcat' for Sensation Comics (1943-1946), 'Wonder Women of History' for Wonder Woman (1943-1950) and furthermore had stints on 'The Justice Society of America' in All-Star Comics (1943-1947), 'The Black Pirate' in All-American Comics (1947-1948) and 'Sargon the Sorceror' in Sensation Comics (1947-1948). In 1947 he became the second artist to draw the series 'The Atom' in Flash Comics after its original creators Ben Flinton and Jon Kozlak resigned. Reinman continued the adventures of 'The Atom' until 1949. 

In addition to his comic book work, he drew four stories of the daily 'Tarzan' strip (7 February 1949-11 February 1950), succeeding John Lehti on the feature, which was originally created by Harold Foster. He subsequently succeeded Carl Hubbell on the daily and Sunday comic strip of 'Merrie Chase' (6 February until 26 November 1950), which was written by Renny McEvoy for the McNaught Syndicate.


The Temptation of Jesus (Bible Tales For Young Folks #3, 1953)

Reinman drew his most notable work for Atlas Comics (nowadays Marvel Comics) between 1951 and the early 1960s. He used his talent to create religious comics for Bible Tales for Young Folks and Bible Tales for Young People, such as 'The Temptation of Jesus' (1953) and 'The Fall of Jericho' (1954). He also worked on various war, western, crime, humor and horror stories for the company's many anthology titles, such as Adventures into Terror, Adventures into Weird Worlds, Astonishing, Battle, Battlefield, Battlefront, Battleground, Gunsmoke Western, Journey into Mystery, Journey into Unknown Worlds, Kid Colt Outlaw, Man Comics, Marines in Battle, Marvel Tales, Mystery Tales, Mystic, Navy Action, Navy Combat, Strange Tales, Tales of Justice, Tales of Suspense, Tales to Astonish, Uncanny Tales, War Comics and more. One war comic story in particular stood out: 'Atrocity Story'. It appeared in the second issue of Battlefield (June 1952) and drew comparisons between Communist war crimes and those perpetrated by the Nazis. While short on actual narrative 'Atrocity Story' provides stunning and emotionally powerful images showing both victims of war, as well as the Holocaust. It stands out as the most personal and artistic comic book of his entire career. In addition to his Atlas work, Reinman produced artwork for titles like Adventures into the Unknown, Forbidden Worlds and Unknown Worlds for the American Comics Group (1958-1967), as well as a comic book based on the TV comedy show 'The Hathaways' for Dell's Four Color Comics series in 1962.


Atrocity Story (Battlefield #2, June 1952)

By the late 1950s he became a regular inker for Jack Kirby on Atlas titles like Strange Tales, Journey into Mystery and Yellow Claw. With the arrival of the "Silver Age of Comic Books" and the revival of superhero comics, Reinman also inked Kirby's pencils on early superhero comic books between 1962 and 1964. He worked with the master on 'The Incredible Hulk', 'The Avengers' and 'X-Men'. He left Marvel in 1964 and rejoined Archie Comics, where he continued several of their classic superhero features like 'Fly-Man', 'The Shield', 'Steel Sterling', 'The Web' and 'The Shadow' in titles like 'The Shadow', 'Fly Man' and 'Mighty Comics'. Together with Jerry Siegel - the scriptwriter and co-creator of 'Superman' - he also created 'The Mighty Crusaders' (1965-1966), which also featured artwork by Mike Sekowsky and Joe Giella, while Victor Gorelick colorized everything. 'The Mighty Crusaders' was an attempt by Archie Comics to launch their own superhero team in competition with DC and Marvel. The Mighty Crusaders brought older superhero characters together back from the time when Archie Comics was still named MLJ Comics. These were Harry Shorten's 'Black Hood' and 'Shield', Jack Cole's 'Comet', Joe Simon and Jack Kirby's 'The Fly' and Robert Bernstein and John Rosenberger's 'Flygirl'. The project was not a success and cancelled after only seven issues. However, in 1983 it received a more long-lived reboot by Rich Buckler and Cary Burkett, which lasted until 1985. The series was revived one more time in 1992 by scriptwriters Mark Waid and Brian Augustyn, yet discontinued the very same year. Twenty years later, in 2012, 'The Mighty Crusaders' were brought back once again, with both a printed as well as an online release. While 'The Mighty Crusaders' was never able to genuinely compete with its rivals it did inspire Alan Moore's 'Watchmen'.

Reinman's second tenure with Archie ended in 1967, after which did some work for Tower Comics on titles like 'Dynamo' and 'T.H.U.N.D.E.R. Agents' (1967-1968), as well as an occasional story for Gold Key's 'Boris Karloff Tales of Mystery' (1971) and 'Grimm's Ghost Stories' (1974). He also made new stories for Marvel titles like The Rawhide Kid, Where Monsters Dwell, Fear and other horror titles until the mid 1970s. He furthermore worked as an assistant for John Romita Sr. on 'The Amazing Spider-Man' (1974), and pencilled the first issue of jungle hero 'Ka-Zar' in 1974. He was also a colorist for several of the company's titles. By the second half of the decade Reinman left the comics world and became a courtroom sketch artist for television-news broadcasts. He also produced artwork for movie posters and advertisements. Reinman spent his final years in Palm Beach County, Florida, where he passed away in 1988. 


The Origin of The Shield (Mighty Crusaders #1, November 1965)

Series and books by Paul Reinman in stock in the Lambiek Webshop:

X

If you want to help us continue and improve our ever- expanding database, we would appreciate your donation through Paypal.