By the mid-1950s, the comic-book industry was in a serious slump and the Comics Code had effectively eliminated whatever edge had previously attracted a wide-ranging audience to the medium.
Combined with competition from the burgeoning television industry and genre paperback novels that contained more than enough adult thrills for audiences, it was a difficult time to find quality work in U.S. comics on par with the best Pre-Code horror, crime, romance and super-hero tales.
That doesn’t mean the industry was completely barren, however. Although the remaining comic-book publishers were clearly running scared, the field still contained enough major talent to avoid complete irrelevance.
Bill Everett was one such talent, and his artwork in today’s talent definitely elevates the cliched – if still entertaining – horse opera of the uncredited script. From Western Outlaws #9 (Atlas, June 1955), here’s “The Quiet Man.”