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Unpublished Cover to Firestorm #6 (1978) by Al Milgrom – Never Seen Before

As you probably already know, the first volume of Firestorm (1978) was cancelled after only five issues.  The series was an unfortunate casualty of the so-called DC Implosion.  What you may not know is that issue #6 was completely drawn, but never published.  The pages for issue #6 resurfaced only once in a volume entitled Cancelled Comic Cavalcade.  Only 35 copies of Cancelled Comic Cavalcade were produced, the publication was created primarily to establish the company’s copyright of the material.  Scans from that volume have been available for some time.  In fact, you can read photocopies of the unpublished Firestorm vol I #6 by clicking here.  Though the interior pages have been seen, the cover to issue #6 has never surfaced … until now.

Al Milgrom, co-creator of Firestorm and artist on Firestorm vol I, recently sent me a scan of the unpublished cover to Firestorm vol I #6.  He drew the cover back in 1978, but it hasn’t been published until now.  This is a real treat, folks!  For the first time, we get to see a “new” piece of Firestorm art that’s been missing for 30 years drawn by the co-creator .  This is the Holy Grail of Firestorm artwork!  I can’t thank Mr. Milgrom enough for this opportunity!

FIRESTORM proudly presents the cover to the unpublished Firestorm vol I #6:

Isn’t it awesome?!?!   As you can tell, this issue was intended to be Typhoon’s first appearance.  I’m really impressed with Mr. Milgrom’s usage of black in this piece. It creates a very dynamic environment.  You can really see the storm whipping around the marina.    If you take the time to look, there are lots of neat details in this piece.  From the expressions of the innocent bystanders, to the ship labeled “S.S. Milgrom”.  Firestorm looks fantastic and I love the atomic glow on his right hand!  This is truly a Milgrom gem.  Possibly the best cover from Firestorm vol I.

After studying this cover for a while, I found myself wondering what the final version would have looked like.  What colors would they have chosen and what would it look like with the logo dropped in?  So I decided to try my hand at digitally coloring this cover.  I don’t claim to be a colorist of any sort, but I thought this would be a fun project. In an attempt to be authentic, I studied other colorist styles of the time.  Doesn’t look 100% authentic, but I got it as close as possible.  If issue #6 had been published, it’s possible the cover would have looked something like this:

My thanks again to Mr. Milgrom for this opportunity!

In addition to co-creating Firestorm, Al Milgrom is well known for his ten-year run as editor of Marvel Fanfare; his long involvement as writer, penciller, and inker on Peter Parker, the Spectacular Spider-Man; his four-year tenure as West Coast Avengers penciller; his long stint as the inker of X-Factor; and much, much more.  For a complete list of his works, visit the Comic Book DB.  Mr. Milgrom’s has created an amazing volume of work and stays busy even nowadays.  If you are a fan of Mr. Milgrom’s work, there are opportunities for commissions.  Be sure to check out THE ARTISTS CHOICE for all the details on Al Milgrom commissioned sketches.

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  1. outburst says:

    That’s an awesome cover. Love all the action and detail.

    And wow, you did a really good job colouring that. The logo looks slightly strange to me for some reason but the rest of it is awesome. Very professional job Sir!

  2. Doug says:

    Wow Shag!
    Great find, great effort, and great colors!

  3. Luke says:

    Very nice cover, and your coloring job is pretty tight as well.

    A title I am a big fan of (Steel, The Indestructible Man) was also caught up in the DC Implosion and cancelled, with the materials from the 6th issue ending up in CCC. The cover to #6 was included (, and it too is one of the absolute best covers Steel ever had. The interiors of Stee #6 were eventually reprinted in All-Star Squadron #8 and #9, which I was lucky enough to find at the Greenville Comic Con last weekend!

    Firestorm, luckily, was given a second shot at a solo series. Steel was not so fortunate, but he did get his run in All-Star, at least.

  4. Keith says:

    Great stuff, Shag!
    Excellent work on the coloring, too.
    Keep up the good work.

  5. Frank Lee Delano says:

    What a coup!

    Worth mentioning that, to the best of my knowledge, the story intended for the unpublished issues of Vol.1 were serialized as a back-up in The Flash.

  6. rob! says:

    Wow, nice get, Shag!

  7. Dan says:

    Wow Shag – this is really cool – thanks for sharing!

    Good job on the colouring too!

  8. Andy C. says:

    Awesome find Shag… thanks for bringing us this gem (big thanks also to Mr Milgrom)! Great job on the color version (you realize, of course, that this means we’ll all be waiting for you to do “colorized” versions of the rest of issue #6 pages for us too)!


    Andy C.

  9. Sweeeeet! Nice job. I am photoshop phobic myself but colouring some B7W images like this sound like a fun way to get over my fears! I just found your site and it takes right back to one of the first series I loved that I could be there at the start for!


  10. Doug S. says:

    Hi, Shag! What a great site this is!

    While I was touring it, I came across this page. I thought I had seen this cover before so I checked. Turns out this cover has been published before. In the Feb. 2007 issue of Back Issue (#20) from TwoMorrows, they did a great article on the history of Firestorm and his first series.

    In the article, they show the cover to the unpublished #6 along with a page from the interior. Their artwork is different in that it has the Firestorm logo and the other cover materials on it.

    Just thought you’d like to know in case you wanted to pick up a copy of BI #20.


  11. Shag says:

    Doug – You are absolutely correct. I just found that article recently myself. Al mentioned that he thought he’d shared the image with Back Issue, but I couldn’t find it in any of my issues. Turns out I didn’t have issue #20.

    Got some egg on my face about that one. At least no one had seen a colorized version. :)

  12. Makell Bird says:

    Awesome art by Al and awesome colors by you sir. Gerry Conway is an incredible writer. The entire style and approach to Firestorm by these 2 men is what drew me to revel it as one of my fave comix of all time!

  13. I’d just like to know the source from Facebook which tells where this got published years later.

  14. Where I can find the unprinted story for Firestorm #6 of which was meant for 1978.

    1. Shag says:

      The unpublished issue #6 appeared in the “Firestorm the Nuclear Man” trade paperback. I believe you can get it digitally when you buy/read the digital version of issue #5. I think it comes with it.

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