Thursday, January 31, 2013

Discuss -- The Final Do-It-Yourself Version (for now...)


While Karen and Doug are on vacation in January, our readers have been entrusted with carrying on the daily conversations.  Today's Discuss is a do-it-yourselfer.  As we've done in the past, the first commenter gets to pick today's topic of conversation.

Generally speaking, the Discuss category is for narrow topics.  For example, in the past we've started conversations on topics such as the Sub-Mariner, Animal House, and the Captain America television movies.

Thanks for everyone's contributions over the past month!  We're recharged and rejuvenated and will be back with new content tomorrow as January gives way to February.  We really, really appreciate the participation that has kept this thing rolling along while your hosts took some well-earned rest and relaxation -- it's been good for us, as you can see.  You are great!

Too Cool for School, 1984
I was never as good as the photo suggests!  1982



53 comments:

Edo Bosnar said...

First: awesome photos (one would never guess that either of you were comic-geeks back then...)

Second, my proposed topic (which is, I hope, not too broa): in keeping with this month’s spirit of revisiting older posts, go back and read this discussion posted by Karen & Doug way back in Nov. 2009, which generated zero response when posted, but got a trickle of comments in subsequent years:

http://bronzeagebabies.blogspot.com/2009/11/nothing-ends-relationship-like.html

(Like Doug, my internet-fu isn’t good enough to make hot links in the messages, so just copy/paste that address into the URL bar.) Basically, I think that was a great post and a great topic and I wanted to give it another chance – because a big part of the 1970s in comics was the many, many short-lived titles put out by both Marvel and DC which got the axe, often pretty quick, often with a cliff-hanger last issue (for reasons too lengthy to recount here, I had quite a library of these back in the day).
So talk about your favorite victims of the DC implosion or Marvel’s low sales axe. (This doesn’t exclude short-lived runs of a specific character in one of those anthology type titles like Marvel Spotlight, Creatures on the Loose, etc. In fact, it doesn’t exclude non-Marvel/DC stuff, either.)

Here’s a few of my picks, all of which should have lasted longer as far as I’m concerned:

Ragman – the poor man’s Batman, literally: a guy who worked in a junk yard and fought for justice in the slums, among society’s downtrodden. He never fought any super-villains, but rather local trouble-makers, like loan sharks and drug-pushers. It didn’t get any more street-level than this.

Metal Men – although it resumed the numbering from the earlier series of the 1960s, starting at #45, this was something of a different take on these characters which I really enjoyed.

Inhumans – I had all 12 issues back in the day. Haven’t read any of this since the early 1980s, but I remember thinking at the time it wasn’t that bad – plus, a bunch of issues featured some early art by George Perez. Of course, that was before he was a star, and it couldn’t save this one from the chopping block (however, I’m a bit surprised that it got reprinted in a Masterworks edition).

Anonymous said...

Nice topic Edo. As a sidebar, can we also please mention the obscure (sometimes very obscure) way the loose ends were tied up in other titles, usually just because the same author was writing that title?

Nova – this always seemed to have a lot of back-story to me. Seemed like a lot could have been done, and the team of Wolfman & Big John, well, surely they were good enough.

Resolved on a cosmic scale in the Sphinx story in the FF.

Beast in Am Adv’s. (I know you said these titles were excluded....this is an act of civil disobedience). I loved these...and thought they had a lot of unrealised potential...and were axed purely for sales.

Resolved really uncomfortably in the Hulk

Omega the Unknown. A real slice of Gerber goodness. Is it just me, or is the plot of Terminator stolen from here??

Resolved appallingly by Steven Grant in the Defenders.


Ms. Marvel – would have been interesting to see where she went after that last minute costume change by Cockrum.

Resolved....oh bloody Hell, you know where.

Nick Fury – imagine if Steranko had stayed aboard.

The Champions. Seriously, this could have been so good. If Mantlo and Byrne had been allowed a decent run at it.

Resolved rather strangely in Spider Man.


Richard

Redartz said...

The title that comes immediately to mind is Omega the Unknown. I really enjoyed that book.Most likely Steve Gerber and Mary Skrenes had a great deal of personal attachment to this story, judging from the many psychological and metaphoric ( is that a word?) issues addressed within. Omega had one of the most interesting casts of supporting characters in comics. As a junior high student at the time, the scenes of James-Micheal at school in Hell's Kitchen were particularly relevent. Eventually, as Richard stated, the story was 'concluded' in the Defenders, rather unsatisfyingly.

Another short-lived title worth noting was Rima, the Jungle Girl. I bought every issue, although whether for the story or for Nestor Redondo's nice artwork I don't recall. Plus, it featured Joe Kubert covers!

Edo Bosnar said...

Gah! Just saw that spelling error at the start of my second paragraph: I meant to write broad, not broa!

Richard, I didn't exclude runs in anthology series - just the opposite.
Otherwise, I'm glad both you and Redartz mentioned Omega - that's a real favorite of mine that I deliberately left out just to see how long it would take for someone else to mention it. That's one case in which it was truly unfortunate that the original creative team, Gerber and Skrenes in this case, were unable to finish their story. I agree that the 'resolution' in Defenders was quite unsatisfying to say the least.

Redartz, another good thing about the Rima series was this series of back-up stories called "Space Voyagers", beautifully drawn by Alex Nino.

Doug said...

Edo --

As my high school days were "in the closet" in terms of comics collecting/buying, I was only a partial-geek. That latent personality re-manifested in the college years, however!

Thanks for reviving this topic. Some of the stuff we wrote in that first year, as we've seen this month, was simply before its time. We really appreciate the revival and second life for work that we felt strongly about.

Doug

david_b said...

Great comments here, nice topic.

Richard, would have loved more Fury love by Steranko, but did you ever try to READ those later stories..? As I'll comment in the Howe columns (started typin' last night actually...), Steranko was masterful in art composition, even some panel work. As for continuity or even writing a decent story in later issues..? Nada.

Like HTD and MarVell, I'm glad SHIELD was pulled early enough where some resemblence of coolness still permeated. Alas, Gerber thought Howard went a bit too long (after his departure..), but I'm certain it was more sour grapes than anything.

(Well, MarVell **should** have ended with Starlin..., but we'll ignore those later issues.)

As for Champions, to me, it never rose to becoming more than 'just a Bronze team book'. Interesting that later a 5-member Avengers team paired Wasp-as-chairwoman and Herc together, much like the earlier Widow-Herc scenario in Champions. From what I did read of Champions later on, it would have been cool to see more romance between Tasha and Herc, and I'm sure Mantlo-Byrne would have done cool things with it. As it stood, it was just too much Tuska art for too long for my tastes.

Inhumans would have been super to have continue, so much potential depth lost. Still wonderin' why Kirby didn't get that book, since it was doing so lousy sales-wise, what would have been the harm..? I'm assuming they wanted fresh talent on it to gain new readership.

Other short-lived Bronze books I missed..? All those new reprint books that popped up featured the Silver stories of Thor, Subby, Hulk, etc.. Except for MT, MGC, and Marvel Double Feature, not sure how long those other books lasted. Most really featured some cool new covers.

Doug said...

David, Kirby had his shot both writing and doing the art for the Inhumans in Amazing Adventures. The results weren't pretty. I reviewed his first two issues -- you can find them on the sidebar. I wasn't kind...

Doug

david_b said...

No, I certainly agree on the results, but per Howe, Kirby had his pick (under certain limitations) which books he could do, so whether the earlier stories were good/bad is indifferent. Kirby was always up for mixing technology with ancient legends (as I'll explain more tomorrow..), so it would have been a natural fit.

However, per Howe's comments on Kirby being disgruntled about doing Surfer again (prior to his departure in March '70), Kirby probably felt the same way about the Inhumans.

Doug said...

True, and as I'm sure we'll also discuss, he basically chose to do four books as all-new (and by that I mean ignoring previous Cap continuity). I don't think the powers-that-be were sad about that.

Doug

dbutler16 said...

All I can really think of is Champions and SVTU. Inhumans looks interesting, and I'd like to pick up some back issues, but I've read an issue of that.

david_b said...

dbutler16, GREAT comment on SVTU.

I still regard that as one Bronze title with SO MUCH potential, with some creative Thomas, Mantlo or Conway genius, it could have gone SO FAR.

No Gerber weirdness, just a straight-forward world (or cosmos) domination..

I like to imagine certain titles and how they would have faired if only they had come out a few years earlier or later with a consistent creative team at the helm.

Imagine SVTU hitting the stands as a try-out title in 1968..?? Mind-boggling potential.

Matt Celis said...

I was reading "Nova Classic" a couple of weeks back, and while it was decent, I can see why it was cancelled. The villains were pretty blah (Condor, Diamondhead, Sphinx) and the subplots read like Spider-Man pastiche. But I only have that volume so I don't know if things picked up later. Did it get better? The team-up/crossover with Spidey was fun.

Inkstained Wretch said...

Hmm, my list:

Ragman -- I'm with Edo on this one. The character's origin was kind of sketchy but he had a great design and, ooh, those Joe Kubert covers. If only we could have had an extended run with him as main penciler...

Booster Gold -- This series started off great then lost sight of the original theme - a superhero in it for the fame & money before truth & justice - to become a more generic superhero book. I wish they'd have stuck closer to that original idea and developed it more.

All-Star Comics -- The Bronze Age revival of the JSA title had some solid talent on it but never clicked. I'd have loved to see somebody like Roy Thomas take it over. The late 70s/early 80s would have been a great time to have a solid run this title.

Inkstained Wretch said...

Matt,

Nova is a title I considered mentioning but it just wasn't that good. Most people think the later issues when Sal Buscema was replaced by Carmine Infantino are horrible, but I think the title perked up a bit. The art was at least more distinctive but on the whole the comic was still not great.

FWIW the first volume of Essential Nova includes the entire run and all but a handful of the character's other Bronze Age appearances.

Anonymous said...

David makes an interesting counter-point about Captain Marvel i.e. series that were killed too late, not too soon. The early ones were full of potential, the Thomas/Kane ones were directionless but still excellent, then came Stalin. Then came not much else of interest. Imagine if it had gone to issue #34, Nitro, gas, cancer, Death of Captain Marvel graphic novel, the end. Wow.

I didn’t think of Mar-Vell in that context, but I did think of Deathlok. AT #36, MS #33 and his reduction to just a robot later were criminal offences. If it had just stopped at the end of the Ryker story it would have been poetry.

Richard

Matt Celis said...

I haven't been able to find the Essential at a reasonable price. It seems to be out of print.

Doug said...

I loved Nova as a kid, that is until Infantino took over and the Yellow Claw showed up. But I will agree that it was not distinctive. Funny how it was Marv Wolfman's baby and he couldn't wait to do it -- then it was just mediocre. I have the Nova Classic on order from Amazon, but it won't be here until March as I paired it with the aforementioned Thanos vs. the Avengers trade. Waiting impatiently...

But I did always think Nova had a really cool costume, and loved the space-age helmet that collapsed like a Kleenex when not on young Richard's noggin.

Doug

Matt Celis said...

Until the Essentials came along, those reprint series were a godsend for me.

Edo Bosnar said...

All this talk about Nova reminds me of another one that just didn't live up to its potential: a pretty obscure series put out by DC called Starfire. It was a combo sci fi/sword & sorcery series that features the sword-wielding titular character leading her planet’s rebellion against reptilian other-dimensional lords. Pretty solid concept, and the art was pretty good - by Mike Vosburg. However, it never really went anywhere (I think it had a new writer almost ever other issue) and got axed after 8 issues.

Doug said...

Edo --

Interesting point you reiterate about the low sales issue. I'm sure we'll revisit this tomorrow and on Tuesday in the Howe discussions, but I've often wondered this --

In regard to The Cat and Black Goliath (for example) -- both four issue series; how did Marvel have enough data on sales to warrant the cancellations? Your mention of Starfire at 8 issues seems to be enough time to make a rational call. I'd add that certainly if the books were bi-monthly then we are talking eight months rather than four, but still.

Doug

Tony said...

I agree, Ragman was such a great character that should have been expanded on. I also think the original Black Lightning book should have lasted longer. That whole "DC Implosion" at the time really left a bad taste in my mouth. I really enjoyed All Star Comics at the time, and have since picked up the two TPB's, but afterward I think All Star Squadron picked up the ball pretty good.At the time of the Implosion, I just started seriously collecting. And it seems like all the series I started were cancelled. Firestorm, Steel, Shade, Showcase, all of them were gone and at that time, I had no idea why they were all cancelled. I also would have liked to have seen longer runs of books like Justice, Inc., The Shadow, Karate Kid etc. And I really thought DC should have done more with Shazam (Captain Marvel).

Karen said...

Regarding the Marvel series that were cancelled after only a handful of issues, I was struck while doing research for my Champions article in Back Issue about how quickly books would have the plug pulled. Based on what I read and the people I talked to, it seemed that often books would already be pulled from the schedule before the first issue had hit the stands! It was like a never ending round of musical chairs, with books getting a few issues, then disappearing, to be replaced by new titles that got a few issues, and soon and so on.

I don't know that the decisions to pull books were based on anything solid. Like Doug said, how could they have any sales figures after 4 issues?

As for Black Goliath, I'm still angry about how he was pointlessly killed off in Civil War. Actually, how he was brought back out of limbo to be killed off. Terrible.

Matt Celis said...

Nova's costume met the ultimate criteria for a good outfit: you can tell it's him even in silhouette. Kinda funky but it was the '70s.

Edo Bosnar said...

Tony, definitely agree with you about Shade, Black Lightning and Showcase (always liked those anthology titles). Shazam had a bitter of an afterlife as a back-up feature in World's Finest, with Don Newton as the artist. Those are my favorite Shazam stories.

And Doug, just a minor correction: Black Goliath had a whopping 5 issues, not 4 (had 'em all!). There's another series, or rather character, that just was not used to his full potential (I'd put Red Wolf in that category as well). And then they killed him off as a plot device...

And Matt, re: Nova's costume. It's been discussed elsewhere on this blog before, but yes, that is one of the better super-hero costume designs.

Redartz said...

The references to All-Star Comics made me think of another Bronze Age title with a lengthy previous life: Mystery in Space. The brief revival of the book in the early 80's featured some enjoyable science fiction short stories . The book also boasted art and writing by some of the top talent of the day.

Garett said...

Great photos, Doug and Karen!

One comic was Starslayer by Grell. It was during his transition between Warlord and Jon Sable--ancient warrior flung into the future, like an opposite of the Warlord. I loved the idea of a barbarian in a Star Wars type future. Grell did 8 issues--whoops just looked it up, and after he left, it actually ran for a total of 34 issues. Well it felt like cancellation to me, without Grell! Plus the Rocketeer by Dave Stevens as a backup feature...fantastic. Ah, here's a connection: DC planned to publish Starslayer, but changed plans due to the DC implosion.

I agree with Ragman, Champions, Ms Marvel, Captain Marvel--they all showed sparks of great potential.

Karen said...

How about the Guardians of the Galaxy run in Marvel Presents? I thought that was great stuff, but short-lived.

I agree with Richard, Deathlok should've ended back with Buckler's original story and been left alone.

I also sort of wish that both Warlock and Thanos would have been left dead after the end of MTIO annual 2. I don't feel that anything done with the characters since then has measured up -although I would allow Thanos' appearance in the Death of Captain Marvel.

Nova was another book that never seemed to live up to its potential, which is odd, as Doug says, since Wolfman seemed to have total control over it. I think maybe he was too fixated on sticking with the 'Spider-Man redux' theme. Sort of like how Bryan Singer went overboard trying to make Superman Returns too much like the Donner Superman films. I did enjoy the new Nova title in the 2000s.

humanbelly said...

And from the depths of the moldering memory banks, we pull out the long-forgotten, but not particularly missed, SKULL THE SLAYER. I checked the vital stats on the GCD to help refresh my memory of it, and many things came back. Another Marv Wolfman pet project, I daresay, that took advantage of the HUGE Bermuda Triangle craze at that time. I do remember thinking the art by Steve Gan was pretty darned good. . . but the book never seemed to get past the level of "what in god's green apple is goin' ON in this story??". And Marv's scripting seemed to wallow a lot in sort of edgy (for the time) cliche'-- which I noticed even as a 12 or 13 year old. Then after 3 issues, those two were out and we had an issue by Englehart, and then Mantlo & Sal B took over to try to make a more coherent book out of it before it got the axe.

NOVA? Man, could they have hyped that book any more before its release? I think it was one of the biggest, earliest saturation campaigns I can remember from Marvel. In spite of the good intentions behind it, it seemed to be a painfully transparent attempt to re-create the original SPIDER-MAN formula, as it were. But of course, that's approaching the story from the wrong direction, so it can't help but seem immatative and insincere, y'know? Combine that with a very contrived, forced, brand-new rogues gallery; the dreadful and ill-matched Yellow Claw as arch-nemesis; and the unfortunate pencils of Carmine Infantino-- as well as impossibly high expectations from the fan-base-- and the book was in a sort of perfect-storm of non-success. I did stick with it to the end, though.

Hey, how about the Omega Men at DC? I LOVED that book's first dozen or so issues-- got them all at a local comic convention back then-- it was compelling and oddly sincere, and the art was clear and convincing. But it took a sort of stylized turn somewhere down the road, and definitely lost its charm.

And although it was sort of referenced indirectly, I'd like to give a shout-out for Starlin's MAN-WOLF feature at the end of CREATURES ON THE LOOSE's run. It's such an obscure little island of remarkable comic-goodness hidden in a 4th-tier Marvel title that was still dedicating a few pages to 50's horror reprints. THIS is who John Jameson needed to coninue as in the MU, rather than as yet another VENOM symbiote host. Ah well.

*whew*-- look at all the activity bein' generated here!

HB

WardHill Terry said...

Like Tony and Inkstained, I was so disappointed with the DC Implosion. Particularly the cancellation of Secret Society of Super-Villains, and Freedom Fighters. Bob Rozakis (criminally under-rated) had got both books on exciting trajectories. SSoSV had shifted the action to Earth-2, where the Wizard was seeking revenge on the JSA by picking them off one at a time using unique teamwork amongst the villains. I was looking forward to a multi-part epic with the JSA down to an improbable savior like Mr. Terrific! No, he was killed off and this story got a quick 3-panel wrap-up in Justice League. Some day I'll get a copy of Cancelled Comics Cavalcade, but I'm pretty sure the actual stories won't match my imagined ones!

Garett said...

I meant Shazam/Captain Marvel by Don Newton.

WardHill Terry said...

Humanbelly! I strongly encourage you to find the last issues of Omega Men, the ones written by Todd Klein. This book started strongly and finished strongly. Just a big sag in the middle!

Karen said...

HB - I think you meant George Perez' Man-Wolf -as far as I know, Starlin never touched that one!

Anonymous said...

How about Iron Fist's original run, which lasted 15 issues; there were some interesting ideas in there and it was a good training ground for the Claremont/Byrne team. It was wrapped up in Marvel Team-Up, also by Claremont/Byrne.

I agree with Tony and Edo on Black Lightning. I remember reading a couple of issues and really liking the character, but after his comic was cancelled I only saw him in Brave and Bold a couple of times. One of the reasons I liked Outsiders was because Black Lightning was on the team (that's right, you heard me...I liked Outsiders!)

Mike W.

humanbelly said...

Ha! Yesyesyes- thanks Karen, I do indeed mean Perez' Man-Wolf! (Starlin?!? How did that even come out of my fingers? Pretty soon I'll be unwittingly rhapsodizing about Walt Kelly's Wolverine. . . )

Terry, thanks for the heads-up-- now I can safely complete my long-abandoned OMEGA MEN run-!

HB

Anonymous said...

Hi Mike – you make a good point, especially considering that Iron Fist had already had a great little run in Marvel Premiere first, he should have hit the spinners with a running start.

Richard

dbutler16 said...

Humanbelly, you dare to mention Skull the Slayer? I didn't collect the actual series, but the series was wrapped up with a two parter in Marvel-Two-in-One, and I do have those issue, and let's just say it didn't exactly leave me thirsting for more Skull the Slayer. In fact, when I first saw today's subject, my mind jumped to Skull being a short lived series that deserved to be a short lived series.

Edo Bosnar said...

HB, thanks for that rundown of Skull the Slayer. That's one I've always been curious about, and would still like to read. That's why I wish Marvel would do some kind of Essentials volume that collects of this more obscure material from the '70s. Ideally, it would also include those Gulliver of Mars and Thongor stories from Creatures on the Loose, but I know that's a vain hope. And Walt Kelly's Wolverine? That would have been sweet!

Otherwise, I've mentioned that Man-Wolf run in Creatures on the Loose, and its wrap-up in Marvel Premiere, on many occasions. Still don't know why this hasn't been collected.
And it's nice to see some love here for both SVTU and SSoSV. One thing that struck me when thinking about this topic was the fact that there even were these titles headlined by bad guys - DC was the real trailblazer here, as it also had the Joker and Kobra.

Matt Celis said...

They killed Black Goliath?! Aaaah!

how empty must that have been... was it "shocking"? Poor Bill Foster. You're still alive and well at Project Pegasus playing cards with the Thing and Quasar as far as I'm concerned.

Karen said...

It was pretty terrible Matt. I don't think BG had even appeared in a book for years, at least not with any regularity. Then here comes Civil War, and he winds up working with Cap (not a bad choice). But in a big throw down between the two sides, he was killed by the Thor doppelganger that Iron Man had on his side. It was shocking and that was the whole point of it. But I thought Bill Foster deserved better.

Matt Celis said...

I'd like a super-team comprising Black Goliath, Nova, Red Wolf, and the Cat. That would be an awesome new Champions of L.A. (as long as it's not done modern grim/nasty/gritty/scowling style)!

Matt Celis said...

Ugh...it's have been nice just to let him retire and be a scientist away from the fray. I read Marvel Two In One just to keep up with Black Goliath. I prefer that name, but enjoyed the issue where the Thing points out that "Black" is obvious and "Goliath" was a bad guy and Bill Foster became Giant-Man.

Garett said...

Karen and Doug, when I see those photos, I think there must be an '80s movie I missed starring the two of you! ; )

How about Simonson's Manhunter? Wouldn't that have made a cool long-running series. Mister Miracle by Marshall Rogers--I could've done with a couple years of that, instead of a few issues.

Scorpion/Dominic Fortune. Chaykin always comes back with similar characters, so not that much of a loss. But a longer series with one of these characters through the '70s would've been cool.

Hey Edo, the Starfire covers always caught my eye, and I liked her name, pre-Teen Titans Starfire. But I never quite got around to reading the stories.

Doug said...

Hair, Garett -- that would be one word to describe my high school days (1980-84). Truth: when I got my freshman yearbook, in September the following school year, I was looking through the football and track sections where I'd have been in the team photos. When I got to the track picture I was like -- wait, I know I was there for picture day! And I was... the tall skinny guy with hair that looked like a mushroom cap hanging about 2 inches away from my head on the sides and back. I didn't even recognize myself! My coif did slowly come under control as the years passed, but then I grew a mustache in college. Tragic decision that was, as well. My boys abuse me every time they see an old photo.

Doug

Matt Celis said...

I think they guest starred on Square Pegs.

humanbelly said...

Oh lordy, Doug-- I high-schooled in the previous four years to yours- '75-'79. Which means we were rockin' the FULL disco-craze influence. Several yearbook pictures with the LOVELY ubiquitous patterned faux-silk (polyester) clingy shirts w/ the wide collars. Also owned a peach leisure suit and a light-blue denim one. And a big pair of chunky black shoes. And the hopelessly long hair we all fought to maintain. Ohhhh, it was chick-magnet-city, let me tell ya. . .

No, those are actually terrific photos of both of you. Doug, you look confidently and impressively athletic and handsome, and Karen you're really cute as a button, what with the "I'm purposely projecting how totally cool I am" aura that makes parents laugh aloud at their poor fledglings (and terminally embarrass them, etc, etc.).

Now Edo, DO NOT go in search of Skull the Slayer unless you come across it for, like, 50 cents an issue. . . truly! Dbutler isn't exactly a-whistlin' dixie by taking me to task for even introducing it into the conversation. . . Think of it like this: If the series had been made into a movie, it would have been an INSTANT contender for inclusion on the Mystery Science Theater 3000 roster. It's EXACTLY that kind of bad. . . !

Great chatty wrap-up to our month of Power to the People, folks! Did anyone else find their work productivity getting chipped-away-from ever so slightly. . . ?

HB

Redartz said...

Karen and Doug- Great photos indeed! Thanks for the glimpse inside your 'origin' stories. Hope you both got some well-deserved r&r.

HB- we could have been in school together; I would have been the goof in the tan leisure suit, mango shirt and afro...

Oh, one more forgotten goodie- remember "Aargh!"? Marvel's response to DC's "Plop!"; both of which were home to some quirky 70's humor. They were both fitting spinner rack companions to Swamp Thing, Tomb of Dracula and Werewolf By Night. Ahhh, the pop cultural wonderland of 1974.

Karen said...

I struggled to find a picture of myself from my teen years. I just don't have that many! But looking at that, I know why I was always (mistakenly) getting asked if I was "holding" by the stoners. Sheesh.

Edo, if you really can't go without experiencing Skull the Slayer, the 1st issue is reprinted in Marvel Firsts: The 1970s, volume 3. I would concur with others, you're really not missing anything. Oh, and to pick up on HB's theme, if they had made a movie out of it in the 70s, Doug McClure would have played Skull.

humanbelly said...

Yesyesyesyes! (again)
Got the whole flippin' run of old AARGH! down there, as well. I always thought of it as a later attempt at NOT BRAND ECHH book, but you're right, it was much, much more like DC's PLOP. . . albeit a touch less crude, right? And then a few short years later there was the similar WHAT THE-? (which I thought was quite a bit better-- more superhero parody, less EC-style gag humor).

Okay, I really have to let this thread go now. . . I'm rattling on FAR too much. . .

HB

Fred W. Hill said...

Bringing up the rear again after a long day, but Omega was a favorite of mine as well. Funny both Omega & Nova came out in the mid-70s and featured high school kids -- and, I read them during my Junior High and early High School years (in fact, I remember getting the first issue of Nova in June 1976, just after I finished the 8th grade at Potrero Junior High School in San Francisco and a couple of months before my family moved to Lemoore, CA, where I began high school. Of course, they were still very different, with Richard Rider a purposely average suburban teen, with a girlfriend and geeky kid brother, while James-Michael Starling came from a bizarre background and attended a hellhole of an urban school. I liked both but Omega the Unknown was far more intriguing, and while my small town high school was more like the one Rich attended, I was geeky and alienated enough as a teen to identify more closely with James-Michael.

Anonymous said...

My vote goes to these 3 titles -

1. Iron Fist - 15 issues? Really, he should have gotten a bigger push. Heck, Master of Kung Fu (Shang Chi) lasted 125 issues! The Living Weapon definitely got the short end of the kung fu stick here!

2. Killraven, Warrior of the Worlds. OK, some of you guys might not like Don McGregor's overly verbose writing style but he definitely brought a fresh new perspective to the typical Marvel hero. Issue #32 is a chilling story foreshadowing the rise of the Internet and virtual reality - written way back in 1975! Coupled with P.Craig Russell's wonderful art, I'm surprised this title didn't last longer.

3. Deathlok the Demolisher - another tortured character who I thought had the potential for a long run. Sadly, the comic Gods and Marvel bigwigs dictated otherwise.


- Mike 'bring back Savage Sword of Conan' from Trinidad & Tobago.

Garett said...

"He was a handsome high school track star, leaping over every obstacle in his way...she was a beautiful teen rebel, with an attitude too cool for school. Could they somehow find...a comic book connection? It's Back to the Future, the Prequel: Bronze Age High!"

Edo Bosnar said...

Garett: *snort* I'd pay good money to see that...

Mike from T&T: totally agreed on Killraven. And I share your fondness for McGregor. I think his Black Panther and Killraven are among the best runs of the Bronze Age.

Everyone else: it's not that I NEED to read Skull the Slayer - I'm just curious. That's why I mentioned the possibility of some kind of Essentials book that would collect it and other (perhaps justifiably) forgotten series or characters of the 1970s. (And in my typical fashion, I'd wait for used copies of this hypothetical Essentials volume to show up on eBay for, say, $5.) There's no way I'm going through the trouble of tracking down the back issues and then paying the postage to have them sent to me here in Europe.

Edo Bosnar said...

And speak of the devil (and second opinions!): in case anybody's still paying attention to this thread, I see that occasional commenter Rip Jagger has a new post dedicated to Skull the Slayer (http://ripjaggerdojo.blogspot.com/), wherein he also provides a link to an older, quite exhaustive Skull retrospective post by the Groovy Agent. Quite a loving homage on both their parts...

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