Before his tragic death at the age of 32, Joe Maneely was indisputably one of the stars of Atlas Comics’ diverse and ever evolving line of titles.
(Name a comic book genre and you can bet Atlas had it covered back then. Some titles, such as Venus, were practically genres unto themselves …)
Maneely’s ability to adapt his distinctive style to just about anything Atlas published – along with his legendary, Jack Kirby-like speed at pumping out quality pages – reportedly earned the artist the nickname “Joe Money” around the Atlas bullpen.
He was also Stan Lee’s favorite artist. In fact, Marvel’s Excelsior-In-Chief once said Maneely would have been “another Jack Kirby had he lived. He would have been the best you could imagine.”
The following story is a fine example of how Maneely could convey both grit and grace. From Men’s Adventures #24 (Atlas Comics, November 1953), here’s “No Guts.”