Dan Best has an interesting post on his blog 20th Century Danny Boy. It is Original Art Stories: Marvel Masterworks Non-Original Artists. In it he discusses Marvel’s policy of re-creating art when the original stats are not available. It sounds like it is a lot more prevalent then I originally believed. I once wrote a post about Marvel’s reprint of the Human Torch #2 (1). In it I used the term re-inked, but in all honesty re-created is a more accurate description.
Admittedly the original comics were printed with a very primitive type of press. I understand why Marvel would want to use stats when available rather then the original comics. But when original stats are not available the idea that a re-creation is superior to restoring from the original comics is just bizarre. Any re-creation no matter how skillfully done is always one artist’s interpretation of another’s work. This is true even if the original artist is used since so many years have passed. This can be misleading to any comic art historian trying to understand the style of the original penciler or inker. What is worse is Marvel does not even provide any indication as to what stories are based on stats and what are re-creations.