Karen: It's time to take a look inside the pages of FOOM #3, published in Fall 1973. This issue features Spider-Man, and the cover is a clever "infinity" design, with Spidey reading the latest issue of FOOM, which has Spidey reading FOOM, ad infinitum. Karen: There's more Bullpen Bios, this time featuring John Romita Jr., Gil Kane, and Frank Giacoia. It's funny how business-like these men look compared to today's comics pros, who all look like over-grown kids - then again, I could say that about myself and most of my peers! Times have changed.
Karen: The winner of the Marvel character contest was announced: "Humus Sapiens" by Michael A. Barreiro. Check out the picture (and please ignore my scribbling/coloring)-doesn't he look very Kirby-inspired? I wondered what happened with this, as I certainly never recalled seeing him show up in a Marvel comic. So I went to that source of all information, Wikipedia to discover that the character finally appeared, in 2001, in Thunderbolts 54! Sounds like an extreme case of the Dreaded Deadline Doom to me.
Karen: On to Far Out Fanfare and Infoomation, my personal favorite section of FOOM. Right up front we get an announcement that Marvel has become the best-selling comic company in the country. I know that I've read in interviews with Roy Thomas and others that this was huge for Marvel. Finally no longer number 2, I'm sure it was very gratifying for all of them. One might wonder though, if being number one sometimes lead to them taking fewer chances, creatively, later on? I've always felt that when Marvel was under Jim Shooter -when they were well-established as number one -that the creativity of the books went down. Anyone care to discuss?
Karen: The black and white titles still seem to be struggling; we are told that the monster books are going onto a quarterly schedule, and Savage Tales will be on hold until the sales figures from the previous issue are in. Crazy, however, seems to be doing fine.
Karen: Over in Amazing Spider-Man, our hero will be having his first encounters with the Punisher and the Jackal. "The Punisher is patterned after the one-man, vigilante 'Mafia-buster' books that are currently popular." Little did they know what they were creating, or how it would so dramatically affect comics for years to come!
Karen: Ka-Zar and the Man-Thing would soon get their own titles, and the Thing would star in Marvel Two in One just as Spidey headlined Marvel Team-Up. Sub-Mariner is said to be starting a "year long quest" for an antidote for his poisoned people in issue 68, however, the book would fold with issue 72.
Karen: The title previously announced in issue 2 as "Fu Manchu" has now been retooled and will be called...Master of Kung-Fu! Well, it will actually appear in "Special Marvel Edition", formerly a reprint book, for a few issues. But it was the beginning of Shang-Chi's adventures.
Karen: Lots of news for Jim Starlin's Captain Marvel, including "the unmasking of Death, a new concept in God, Captain Marvel's battle against the universe, and an alien invasion"!! Starlin never did think small!
Karen: The Spider-Man features in this issue include a full index to Amazing Spider-Man, Spectacular Spider-Man (the magazine), and Marvel Team-Up. There's a three page retrospective of Spidey's life, by Bob Cosgrove and Martin Greim. It's nicely done, just funny to think it stops around the time of Gwen's death! But then again, Spidey was only ten years old... Karen: The back cover has a very nice drawing of the Avengers, which looks to me to be the work of Sal Buscema. For some reason, I drew Spider-Man and the Hulk in the background. I'd swear I've seen this art before, as a pin-up in an issue of Avengers, but I looked through the annuals and several issues and couldn't find it. The closest I came was the image next to it, from Avenger 71. Anyone got any ideas?
NOTE: In the comments section, artist Tom Lyle noted that his entry had been posted in this issue. I thought it might be fun to take a look at it. I can see the Barry Smith influence!
Karen has joined the ranks of podcasters along with her friends Larry and Bob on the Planet 8 podcast. Click on the image to hear them explore all things geek!
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On Sunday, 4/23/17, Martinex1, Doug, and Redartz gathered for a day of fun at C2E2 in Chicago. It was great to finally meet in person after years of online cameraderie.
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Karen and Doug met on the Avengers Assemble! message board back in September 2006. On June 16 2009 they went live with the Bronze Age Babies blog, sharing their love for 1970s and '80s pop culture with readers who happen by each day. You'll find conversations on comics, TV, music, movies, toys, food... just about anything that evokes memories of our beloved pasts!
Doug is a high school social science teacher and department chairman living south of Chicago; he also does contract work for the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum. He is married with two adult sons, also both married.
Karen originally hails from California and now works in scientific research/writing in the Phoenix area. She often contributes articles to Back Issue magazine. She is married. She hangs out with Joe Biden occasionally.
Believe it or not, the Bronze Age Babies have never spoken to each other...
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Dig Karen's Work Here? Then You Should Check Her Out in Back Issue!
BI #44 is available for digital download and in print. I've read Karen's article on reader reaction to Gerry Conway's ASM #121-122, and it's excellent. This entire magazine was fun! -- Doug
Back Issue #45
As if Karen's work on Spidey in the Bronze Age wasn't awesome enough, she's at it again with a look at the romance of the Vision and the Scarlet Witch in Back Issue's "Odd Couples" issue -- from TwoMorrows!
Karen's talking the Mighty Thor in the Bronze Age!
Click the cover to order a print or digital copy of Back Issue! #53