Thursday, August 26, 2010

Marvel Comics -- June/July 1979 (conclusion)!

Doug: Cover clean-up, kids. Today we conclude our look at Marvel's summer offerings way back from 1979.

Doug: Hey, another licensed product! We've commented on the proliferation of these titles at this time in Marvel's history. And while I stated last time that I wasn't really into the Micronauts toys, I did have a Shogun Warrior. He was pretty cool, about 28 inches tall if I recall. He made a great villain for my Megos! But I can't comment on this comic, as to the best of my memory I've never seen the inside of one. I do like the logo, and the corner box gives off somewhat of a totem pole motif, doesn't it?

Doug: This was a title that I was in on from the first issue. I really enjoyed it early on, with the outstanding Sal Buscema art. It seemed, though, that the longer the title went on the art and stories began to tail off a bit (Hypno Hustler, anyone?). The logo here is certainly un-spectacular (and takes up quite a bit of cover space), but I always thought the corner box was one of Marvel's best -- really on par with the second Vision logo that populated the corner of the Avengers in this era.

Doug: Meh... Another WordArt logo. And I don't care for the EXTREME close-up of the corner box. I'm just not a Spider-Woman fan. Hear that, Bendis??

Doug: I was just old enough when Spidey hit the Electric Company that I thought it was stupid. It was only mildly cool that he was on that show. That I was into middle school made the comics passe, as well. But, for what it was the logo was perfect, and the corner box was neat also. Lots of publicity on that cover,
though! Overall a mixed bag on the design with equal parts "well done!" and "make it stop!".

Doug: I had the two Treasury Editions of the adaptation of A New Hope (of course, we didn't call it that back then), but never warmed to the series. Ummm -- Carmine Infantino, perhaps? Yep -- a whole lot of perhaps. I am well aware that Star Wars has become a phenomenon in literature way past the stories told in the six films. But when they started with the "untold tales" right after the first adaptation, I just found that weird. Just not a fan, then or now. I'm closed-minded, I guess.

Doug: I think we addressed this one back in our look at DC's publication of Tarzan. I really like the logo, although it admittedly has nothing to do with Tarzan. It sort of strikes me as classic, although the font is pretty modern-looking. I don't know... maybe because it was used so much I almost view it as a "brand"? Great corner box art. John Buscema?

Doug: No changes from the 1976 version. None needed, baby!

Doug: Again, same old same old... and that's a good thing!

Doug: Meh, again. I always liked the What If? books -- I often found the twists they put on status quo entertaining. Sometimes the ideas were a stretch, though. This cover logo doesn't do anything for me -- it's obviously hand-lettered, and not so well at that. The corner logo is way too small. I think they'd have been better served with John Buscema's awesome Nova figure from the first issue of the regular mag.

Doug: Leave us a comment -- is this something you like, or has it grown tired? I'm all for heading back to DC to see what they were doing in '79. Obviously Karen and I like this sort of thing. But we're willing to listen to what you want to see, too.


ChrisPV said...

Star Wars really did mutate out of control, didn't it? Don't get me wrong, I love some of those novels/comics, especially the Rogue Squadron stuff. However, I really do think the proliferation of expanded universe stuff is part of why the prequels were so underwhelming. They proved that if there's even the tiniest plot hole in the film, a book will come out and fix it. Hence, Lucas figured "Why bother patch any of them at all?"

Yeah, I'm a bitter old codger who's still ticked about Hayden Christensen in Return of the Jedi. What of it?

Karen said...

"Yeah, I'm a bitter old codger who's still ticked about Hayden Christensen in Return of the Jedi. What of it?"

I'm right there with ya, Chris.


Andrew Wahl said...

Hey, Bronze Age Babies:

Quick comment to let you know I thoroughly enjoy your looks at the various Marvel's trade dresses from the Bornze Age, and would love the DC ones, too.

But I like Spider-Woman, Doug. Not sure if Bendis really does, after teasing us for several years about a regular series, then ending it after just seven issues. (Yes, I'm still bitter.)


J.A. Morris said...

I love the early "original" stories from the 'Star Wars' series. I recently read a bunch of the trades,it's refreshing to read SW stories that aren't burdened by 30+ years of retcons & back-stories. A fun read if you're a SW fan.
As for the 'Shogun Warriors' series,I liked it a lot as a 7-8 year-old,haven't pulled out any back issues in about 30 years though. A bought a few issues,basically it was a series about good guy giant robots fighting...evil giant robots. Not very good,but not too different from Iron Man facing off against villains in armor. Herb Trimpe drew the series,he was always great at drawing high-tech weaponry,so it wasn't all bad.

Funny thing about the 'Spidey Super Stories' logo:it was supposed to encourage kids to read(I loved it,was 3 when the series began,and I was a big fan of 'The Electric Company'),but the cover seems to encourage kids to be ADD. We've got the Marvel logo,the Electric Company logo,the "Easy Reader" icon,the "all new" box,the Comic Code,too much going on there!
But I love the "Spidey" head dotting the eye.

Whalehead King said...

Don't stop. This is a good feature. It's not always solid gold but it's always nice to read. Thanks.

Anonymous said...

"A New Hope (of course, we didn't call it that back then)"

I still don't call it that now!

B Smith

jim kosmicki said...

I always thought the Spider-woman logo did a good job of taking a relatively long name and making something workable out of it without being a ripoff of the Spider-man logo. This always made sense to me, as they tried really hard to make Spider-woman something different than the obvious ripoff that She-Hulk was.

I bought every issue of Shogun Warriors at the time - it was giant robots fighting giant robots and mutated dinosaur type creatures. There was decent characterization of the main characters too, as I recall. I wish Marvel would make a one-off agreement to do an Essential of the book like they did Godzilla. I'm not making the claim that they were great comics, but they were successful for their target audience at the time.

Bruce said...

Man, good memories here! I was well into my fandom by this point and I remember owning most of these books.

Peter Parker: The Spectacular Spider-Man was and remains a personal favorite. The Carrion storyline was fantastic - way better than the 1990s Clone Saga! I also enjoyed that four-part tale with Spider-Man and Razorback taking on an evil cult led by the Man-Beast. Razorback was the first distinctly Southern character I encountered in comics and as a small-town Southern boy myself, I felt a connection to ol' Buford. As hokey as he was, I wish they had done more with him.

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