Redartz: Hannigan's earlier work included some of my favorite Bronze Age covers, particularly Marvel Team-Up. Your examples here really show off Hannigan's feeling for the dramatic...
Martinex1: In the early going, Hannigan seemed to be relegated to the second and even third tier titles, particularly those with a horror aspect. His covers for Werewolf By Night were quite interesting and much better than the stories inside. If there were ever covers that improved a title's sales, I think these are good examples. Hannigan demonstrated a mastery of various heroic poses; his skill was recognizable in the Werewolf and Moon Knight characters on #37's cover. I've included the inked version of Werewolf By Night #40 because I think his detailed line art often gets hidden by the colors.
Redartz: Great point, Marti. That Werewolf cover is truly striking; strong composition, nice lines and shadow. Additionally, he makes effective use of some "Kirby Krackle", which contrasts nicely with the more linearly (is that a word?) rendered foreground. And as for poses- he seems to make frequent use of unusual body positions, no stock poses here. And he executes them well.
Martinex1: Later that decade, Hannigan was tied to The Defenders title, starting with more cover work. And this is where it gets interesting, because he also was the writer on the title for a couple of years. He had started writing in 1978 with issues of Marvel Premiere (starring Tigra), Power Man and Iron Fist, and Black Panther before taking over the writing duties of The Defenders with issue #70. Prior to that he had already handled some of the art chores with the book. I think his Defenders' covers are amongst the best and most memorable of the series.
Redartz: His Defenders work really put him on my radar. This Scorpio cover has some great visual effects. He combines the innovation of a Steranko with the solid, smooth finish of a Romita. Plus, it is a fine example of Hannigan's skillful manipulation of cover elements and symbols, also nicely done on the webbing on issue 61's cover.
Martinex1: Ed Hannigan had a way with figures on the cover that often had me buying the book even if the tale was rather weak. A few that I find memorable are shown below. Omega was a mere curiosity for me, but looking back at it I think Hannigan made the character seem much more "Marvelized." His Fool Killer, a C-list character, looked rather cool highlighted on The Defenders cover, and Amazing Spider-Man #168 was one of the first comics I ever purchased, and it was the cover that got my attention. John Romita worked with Hannigan on that one, but the perspective and the use of signs and structures is all Hannigan; that would later become a bit of his "trademark" as you will see.
Redartz: He really seems to choose some unique points of view. Very nice depth and foreshortening on the Hawkeye image. That Avengers 226 cover is a wonderful bit of compositional play: his positioning of the beam, Cap's pose and the Black Knight lead the viewer's eye around and around. And that Deathlok cover ranks with the very best.
Martinex1: Here is some more of Hannigan's work uncolored. The original art shows the amount of detail he would employ; he used shadows and the balance of light and dark quite well. Perhaps that is why he was such an influence on the appearance of Cloak and Dagger.
Redartz: He did indeed. His Spectacular Spider-Man covers were among the most memorable eye-catchers on the stands. They often made the covers of ASM seem staid by comparison. Hannigan had a nice touch of Ditko, but more importantly, had a wonderful talent for cover design all his own. He seemed a perfect choice for drawing the web-slinger. It is odd that he doesn't seem to get much notice for his stint of PPTSM; these are beautiful...
Martinex1: Here are some more examples of covers that he created throughout his career. I particularly enjoy his work on The Inhumans and the reimagining of the old Avengers in Marvel Triple Action. The Marvel Two-In-One Annual was not the best comic, but that cover is very interesting despite all of the text.
Martinex1: And in case you think Hannigan was just a cover artist, take a look at the detailed layout of his interior art with this splash page.
Redartz: I'm glad you included the above page, partner! Hannigan's interior art on PPTSM was every bit as sharp as his covers were. And his pencils held up well under the sometimes heavy inking of Jim Mooney and Al Milgrom. Actually, I thought Milgrom's inks were particularly well-suited for Hannigan's style on this book.
Martinex1: He definitely had a way with shadows, and I like how he plays with the shadows on these books.
http://home.myfairpoint.net/hannigan7/ where he shares information about his work designing covers. He shares examples like the below and other insights about his art. In addition, here is a wonderful 2014 interview with Hannigan from https://magazinesandmonsters.com/2014/11/10/cbl-edhannigan/
Redartz: Again, you choose some great examples, Marti. Fascinating to see that color rough of the Hobgoblin cover above. A great talent, and one of the 'unsung heroes' of the Bronze Age.
Martinex1: So what do you think about Ed Hannigan's art? Were you aware of his work and influence? Why is he lesser known than others in the field? Whether coloring, penciling, inking, writing, or later in his career editing - what did Hannigan do the best? We are interested to hear what you think about the Bronze Age talent?