Doug: Today we want to take a break from the usual routine around here, which is Bronze Age Awesomeness (in case you're stopping by for the first time and wondered where you landed!), and pause for another THANKS from Karen and I to you, our readers. As we did last year, a short recap of what has just gone before seems in order, as we evaluate the past and gear up for the future. So if you'll allow...
Karen: As I told Doug privately when we realized the anniversary was coming up, I'm stunned it's been three years. We had some definite goals in mind when we started the blog, which included making the place feel welcoming and comfortable for other like-minded fans, so we could really build a little community. Happily, that has happened. Many thanks for taking the time to not only read BAB but to comment as well. That's what makes it fun for us!
Doug: In our never-ending quest to get our readers involved, we opened up a new sort of post designed to get you thinking on a specific topic. Whereas our Open Forum feature generally deals with broader topics that give our commenters some room to pontificate, Discuss tends to center on a more narrow topic. The first one we ran, on the Avenging Son, was a smashing success -- Namor drew 31 comments! This theme has quickly become a mainstay on the Bronze Age Babies.
Karen: Discuss has also become a great place to talk about all those TV shows from the 60s, 70s, and 80s that we watched. Sometimes they don't look quite as awesome under the microscope now, while others hold up fairly well. But I really enjoy reading everyone's comments and memories about them.
Doug: Karen and I love doing the Giant-Size feature in the summertime. We're really looking forward to the five books we've chosen for this July. Last summer we examined some time-traveling involving the Fantastic Four, the Invaders, and the Liberty Legion in a cross-over triptych, and closed it out with Thor Annual #5 featuring a major throwdown between Thor Odinson and the Lion of Olympus. Don't those "big books" just take you back?
Karen: The summer Annuals and Giant-Size books still get me excited, even if we've reviewed a clunker or two. I'll always remember the thrill of getting those books as a kid. You just knew if they had that many pages, they had to be terrific!
Doug: We reviewed some fun comics, beginning with our inaugural offering in the 3rd year -- Amazing Spider-Man #'s 121-122. What a way to kick it off. I only hope that we handled that story with the reverance it so richly deserves. I would say, however, that the "sequel" that saw the rise of Harry Osborn as the second Green Goblin was somewhat of a letdown. I'm sure at some point we'll peek in on Dr. Bart Hamilton as the third Green Goblin. Another classic storyline we took the plunge on was the sweeping "Kree-Skrull War". That one was a blast, with such a hall-of-fame list of creators. As many of you have intimated, they just don't make comics like that any more.
Doug: I've also come to enjoy the "Zany Bob Haney" series of The Brave and the Bold posts. What's really fun is the way so many of our readers seem to be enjoying reminscing about those issues. Not a huge DC fan from back in the day, my own sense of discovery has been a kick. Recently we've played off the recently-released series of trade paperbacks, Marvel Firsts, with our own irregular series. Those have been a blast as well!
Karen: I've also liked the polls and brackets we've run. I really do want to post more of those, they're just more time-consuming than your average post. But if the BABsters would like more...well, what do you say?
Karen: For the immediate future, Doug and I are talking about doing reviews of John Byrne's Man of Steel mini, The Avengers "Under Siege" storyline, the Iron Man/Doc Doom team-up in "Camelot" from Iron Man, and some more early Defenders tales. Of course, your suggestions are always welcome. As long as we have the books, anything's possible.
Doug: And I think that's the key thing -- there is no way we are close to exhausting the material available for Bronze Age comics reviews. Now, the posts that occupy the rest of the week? Sometimes we run a little dry on those, but you guys and gals are usually good enough that we draw inspiration from the daily conversations that occur here. And we wish we could personally thank each and every one of the more than 550 readers who make this a daily stop on the Internet surfboard. Last year at this time we were drawing around 330 individuals each day... wow -- what an increase! It really is flattering, and not just a bit blushing. So one more time -- you have our deepest appreciation for making this blog truly a labor of love.
See you tomorrow for the start of our 4th year!