Friday, April 27, 2012

Your Personal Mount Rushmore For Comics

Doug:  What if you could create your own version of Mount Rushmore for whatever comic book foursome you chose?  I'm thinking this could be your opinion on the four ultimate characters from one company -- for example, if I were going to create a monument like this to Marvel Comics in the Bronze Age (how about that wrinkle?  Time specific!), I would probably have Spider-Man, the Incredible Hulk, Conan the Barbarian, and Captain America.  I would choose them as representatives because a) Spidey was by this time the "face of the franchise", and known to many kids for his spotlight on The Electric Company -- a great cross-marketing idea from the House of Ideas, b) the Hulk on television became a dominant advertising element for the company, c) Conan was being heavily promoted in many of the in-house ads, right alongside the heroes, and was quite prevalent in Marvel's B&W magazines, and d) Captain America just epitomizes the bicentennial of the U.S.A. in 1976.

Doug:  For those of you not in the know, Mount Rushmore is a monument to four U.S. presidents, and is located in the state of South Dakota.  Those presidents are (L to R): George Washington, the 1st president (served 1789-97) and so-called "father of our country", Thomas Jefferson (served 1801-09), whose administration purchased the Louisiana Territory in 1803 from Napoleon's administration,  doubling the size of our nation, Theodore "Teddy" Roosevelt (served 1901-09), who was instrumental in the creation of our national parks, and Abraham Lincoln (served 1861-65), under whose administration the nation was preserved after a bloody civil war.

Doug:  So what's your angle?  Are you going with overall characters for a given company?  Era?  What about creators?  And even then, from a particular company or time period?  How about comic books -- the most influential or in your opinion best-selling of all time?  Remember, whatever you choose to discuss, you can only choose four.  Have fun!   


david_b said...

Oh, I'd go with Creators..:

Lee, John and Sal Buscema, Kirby, and Steranko. Yep, count 'em five.

Or for characters, I guess I'd stay with the FF, done in classic Kirby/Sinnott style.

Doug said...

David, I'd debate you on whether or not John and Sal are equals.

How about this for a mountain honoring "architects of the Silver Age" -- Stan Lee, Jack Kirby, Steve Ditko, and... Julius Schwartz?


Anonymous said...

gardner fox. john broome. julius schwartz. mort weisinger.

curt swan. carmine infantino gil kane. mike sekowsky.

david_b said...

Oh, Doug, I would enjoy that. Sorry, forgot to illuminate to all my pick rationale..:

Lee and Kirby are obvious, 'Nuff said. John and Sal..? Well perhaps not significant in terms of comic industry innovation but as MU's artistic pillars, PURE fun to read, with John's stiring renditions of strength and power, Sal's unmatched solid body of Bronze work on Avengers, CA&F, Defenders, oh, must I go on..?

Steranko for his early 70s vision for Marvel, most of which sprang up through FOOM, his 'History of Comics' pubs and his brief Fury/CA stints, proving that even as 'Marvel Marches On', a provocative explosion of wild creative style is most welcome. He even had his work on exhibited at the Louvre.

Joe Bardales said...

I'd probably go with something "traditional" and "bipartisan" like Superman, Batman, Captain America and Spider-Man. But I like Doug's idea more.
Then again, I could see dropping Spider-Man and replacing him with someone who is currently popular (the "Teddy Roosevelt"), but I'm not sure who would be a good candidate for that. Green Lantern (Hal Jordan)? Iron Man?

Anonymous said...

Siegel & Shuster, Kane & Finger; surely any other creator is merely standing on their shoulders?

--Matt alias Anonymous

Edo Bosnar said...

Luke Cage, Man-Thing, Howard the Duck, Warlock

Warlord, Sgt. Rock, Kamandi, Ragman

(kind of went for the stuff that really made the Bronze Age/1970s distinct from the era immediately preceding...)

dbutler16 said...

Bronze Age Marvel:
Spider-Man - popularity, plus Q rating, as he did have a live action TV show plus a cartoon, plus appearances on the Electric Company!

Hulk - For the reasons Doug mentions

Acroyear - A surprise choice, but this is my choice to reflect the licensed properties binge Marvel was on in the 70's. There are many to choose from here, including Conan and the Star Wars characters, but Acroyear, and indeed the Micronauts, are a personal favorite of mine.

Man-Thing He basically represents the horror genre, sort of. I considered Dracula and Moebius for this spot also, but Man-Thing seems to have more staying power in the overall Marvel Universe.

Quasar is another character that has a distinctly Bronze Age feel to me, but no room for him on this mountain.

Bronze Age DC
Batman - Iconic O'Neal and Adams work.

Green Arrow - Iconic O'Neal and Adams work. Sound familiar? I also chose him because he was the first member of the JLA to develop a distinct personality. Up until this, you could have switched the word balloons around between the various members and it woldn't have mattered. Plus, he was one of the first socially conscious superhero, which is one of the things that the Bronze Age is all about.

Superboy - Well, I can't choos the whole Legion of Super-Heroes, so I'll go with Superboy, which gets KalEl on here.

Wonder Woman - More for Lynda Carter than naything else.


Stan Lee
Jack Kirby
For obvious reasons

Roy Thomas - to me, he is more resposible for bringing Marvel into the Bronze Age than anyone else. He took over most of the big Marvel books from Stan Lee, and did a great job of it.

Neal Adams

david_b said...


Superb rationales on both Arrow and Mr. Thomas.

Additional support for Ollie..:

Bagging Black Canary, which until Power Girl and Starfire arrived seemed DC's resident eye-candy besides Batgirl and Saturn Girl. Ms. Prince in contrast never held any appeal to me.

Doug said...

David --

You know Dinah really wore two wigs, right? She really had very patchy, stringy brown hair and no eyebrows.

But hey -- to each his own.

And, have you not seen Perez's rendition of our Amazon princess? Much classier than any of the butt-floss images (Karen's favorite term) of any of our girls as drawn today.


PS: Back to the Mount. Edo, you are on the same wavelength as me -- your Marvel list was very similar to one I was postulating and readying to post. Kudos!

david_b said...

Sorry, guess I haven't thought THAT much about DC heroines, Doug. Please tell me more.

Ah, then again.., don't.

I'll remain a die-hard Batgirl fan. Y'know I should bring that Batgirl avatar back again soon.

As for WW, what was that line about lipstick back in the '08 election trash-talk..?

Doug said...

David --

Still a pig. Ouch!

And to anyone just coming along, I was just being snarky about Dinah Lance. Of course, there could have been some retcon that I don't know about that means my statements about her hair are true. Nah...

The monument to characters shoved down our throats in an effort to convince us that they are cool and important: Wolverine, Punisher, Lobo, and Venom!


Anonymous said...

Using the rationale of a few recent posts, we better make room on the real Rushmore for JFK and Slick Willy.

Doug I like your original 4 but would maybe replace Cap or Hulk with the everlovin' blue-eyed Thing for no real reason except he'd represent Marvel's first heroes and be the pile of rocks carved in rock.


dbutler16 said...

Canary have have worn multiple wigs, but the fishnet stockings more than made up for that.

Anonymous said...

On a related note, does anybody else remember an issue of Master of Kung Fu back in the Gulacy days where Fu Manchu plans to blow up Shang-Chi and friends in a cave and the big reveal on the last panel is that the cave is inside of Mount Rushmore?


Anonymous said...

I like Edo's list. Not comics I'd necessarily buy, but definitely representative of Bronze Age Marvel.

If I were carving '70s D.C. I rather think I'd just take the Super Friends lineup: Super-, Bat-, and Aquaman, plus Wonder Woman. Robin would count as part of Batman. I would venture those were the best known D. C. superheroes as far as the general public goes.

--Matt Anon

Inkstained Wretch said...

My picks:

Creators: Stan Lee, Jack Kirby, Steve Ditko and Roy Thomas.

Characters: Spider-Man, Thor, the Thing, the Vision.

The case for the creators should be obvious. I picked the four characters because I think they best represent the innovative kinds of heroes the creators I listed provided us.

I didn't include Captain America because he was mostly Joe Simon's creation. I added the Vision to represent Roy Thomas and he because the heart of the Avengers. The Hulk didn't make the list because, well, I don't like him as much as the others.

Rip Jagger said...

Marvel Creators = Stan the Man, King Kirby, Roy the Boy, and Big John

DC Creators = Carmine, Curt, Nick, and Neal

Charlton Creators = Joe G., Sturdy Steve, Rocke M., and Dickie G.

Marvel Characters = Spidey, Jadejaws, Cap, and Old Blue Eyes

DC Characters = The Cape, The Cowl, Diana, and The Scarlet Speedster

Charlton Characters = Captain Atom, Blue Beetle, Judomaster, and Thunderbolt

humanbelly said...

Hmm. Hmm.
Let me try a Rushmore of the BIGCHEESEMOVER&SHAKERS of the Marvel Universe:

Reed Richards; Charles Xavier; Tony Stark; and, in the oddball Teddy Roosevelt slot. . . J Jonah Jameson-! (And I'm thinkin' Jameson would have been the driving force behind the project-- much like TR was. . . )

Yes, yes that works for me---


Anonymous said...

Pureheart the Powerful, Super Teen, Captain Hero, and Evilheart. More fun than you can shake a stick at.

Or, if you want non-Riverdale heroes: The Fly, The Comet, The Black Hood, and The Shield!

--Matt alias Anon again

Garett said...

For influential:
Hal Foster, Alex Raymond, Joe Shuster, Jack Kirby.

My favorite artists now (they'll have to re-carve the monument every couple of years):
Aparo, Perez, Gil Kane, and... Alex Ross.
Aparo extra--Mount Rushmore appears in Brave and Bold teamup with Kamandi, #120. I think this needs a review, Doug! ; )

Female characters:
Black Canary (wig or not, she's da bomb), Black Widow, Starfire, Catwoman.
The Huntress was a cool bronze age creation, Joe Staton's version, but I haven't followed what's happened to her since.

Male characters:
Batman and the 3 Stooges.

Anonymous said...

alex rosses drawings look as stiff as mont rushmoore so thats a prefect choice & which starfirectheres @ least 2 just from dc

humanbelly said...

Gosh, what if we were looking for the most notable EIC's at Marvel? If we're looking strictly at time-in-office it would be:

Stan Lee (clearly); Jim Shooter (absolutely); Tom DeFalco (hunh. Really?); and. . . hoo-boy. . . Joe Quesada.

When you look at the history, that job truly broke a lot of great writer/editors-! I'd still be inclined, though, to put Roy Thomas in to replace either DeFalco or Quesada, even though the Rascally One only managed two years in the big office.


Garett said...

Starfire from the Teen Titans.

Alex Ross is mighty talented. It's not the usual comics I love, but his superheroes series with Batman, Superman, Shazam, Wonder Woman, JLA are a unique achievement in comics, I'd say. Fantastic illustrations, and an attempt at social issues. The JLA one is my favorite. Has there been a better painted comic?

Karen said...

How about these:

my favorite cosmic characters: Warlock, Captain Mar-Vell, Starhawk, and the Silver Surfer.

For the Legion: Brainiac 5, Chameleon Boy, Shadow Lass, and Timber Wolf.

Avengers: Thor, Cap, Iron Man, and Vision.

Creators is a hard choice, but if I just do a Bronze Age set, I'd say Roy Thomas, Steve Englehart, Jim Starlin, George Perez

Fred W. Hill said...

For Silver Age Marvel, I'd pick Spidey, Captain America, the Thing and Thor. For the Bronze Age, Warlock, Conan, Shang Chi and Howard the Duck!

Edo Bosnar said...

Rip: a pantheon of Charlton creators that doesn't include Nefarious Nicola C.? For shame, sir, for shame...

Anonymous said...

Joe Staton
Nic Cuti
'nuff said

Anonymous said...

Tom, strangely enough that issue of MOKF you mention is very memorable because it’s the first Moench/Gulacy ish. It’s #22.

Mt Rushmore, well, if I wanted to be a real smart arse about this I’d go:

Lee, Thomas, Steranko and Shooter.

Lee is the creator, Thomas took over directly from Lee, but he was also the guy who remembered all the continuity and back story and actually structured a lot of the rules, Steranko because he was a maverick who had a lot of interests outside of comics some of which he brought to bear on his work as an artist, and he was a long way ahead of his time, and Shooter, because though he enraged as many people as he pleased, he probably did stop Marvel sinking into bankruptcy and dissolution. Therefore Lee, Thomas, Steranko & Shooter are respectively, the Washington, Jefferson, Roosevelt & Lincoln of Marvel.

If I wasn’t being a smartarse, I’d go for artists: Kirby, Kane, Ditko & Steranko.


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