Friday, December 19, 2014

And Now for Something Completely Nerdy...

Doug: Way back in May, Karen wrote a post called "The Numbers Game", where she asked our readers about numbers that immediately call to mind specific comic book stories. Today I'll take that a step further: show your true devotion by telling us how much of a comic's history you could tell us. So if I said Amazing Spider-Man in the #150s, you could say, "Oh, yeah -- drawn by Ross Andru, and Spidey faced the Shocker, the Sandman, Doc Ock, and Hammerhead. Maybe the writer was Len Wein?" By the way, I did that off the top of my head. Was I right? Who here can do stuff like that? Or wants to admit it?? Please share about your trivia prowess.



21 comments:

Colin Jones said...

X-Men in the #130's - Dazzler, White Queen, Kitty Pryde, Hellfire Club, Black Queen, Dark Phoenix, the Shi'ar, Dark Phoenix dies (oops, I mean "dies"), Cyclops leaves, Wendigo, written by Chris Claremont, drawn by John Byrne, inked by Terry Austin, bought by me :)

Redartz said...

Doug, I must admit to a bit of this type of nerdishness! At least regarding favorite titles such as Amazing Spider-Man, Fantastic Four and Avengers, and timewise from their beginnings up to about the latter 80's. I would fail miserably if asked for detail on more recent books...

Speaking of comic trivia, in the 70's there was a book called the "Great Comic Book Trivia Quiz". It covered a wide range of material in subject and time period, and ranked you by comparison with certain heroes according to your score. At the time I matched up with Reed Richards, several notches below the apex. Nowadays my score would be much lower, but still high enough to provide my wife with amusement!

Edo Bosnar said...

Okay, I'll bite: X-men in the #120s (when I first started reading that series): the creative team is pretty easy - Claremont, Byrne and Austin, and I'm pretty sure Glynnis Wein was the colorist throughout. The X-men face the Alpha Flight in Canada, come back for an interlude/set-up issue in which, among other things, Colossus deals with some insecurity in the Danger Room and Storm takes a stroll through Harlem, then there's a two-parter featuring Arcade, followed by the magnificent Proteus story, while in #129 we see the introduction of Kitty Pryde and the beginning of the Hellfire Club story arc that was hinted at in numerous little sub-plot/teaser panels throughout the 120s involving Phoenix and the mysterious Jason Wyngarde.

Again, all from memory, here's a slightly tougher one: Avengers in the #180s. Most of the writing was done by David Michelinie, although Stephen Grant wrote a few issues and Bill Mantlo wrote one (the fight with those 'elementals' in Russia), and I think Mark Gruenwald co-plotted a few stories. John Byrne was the penciler throughout, but there were several different inkers, mainly Dan Green, but also Klaus Jansen and, I'm pretty sure, Gene Day. In these issues, an ongoing sub-plot is the Avengers' security clearance and the related headaches with the National Security Council and the obnoxious agent Gyrich. At the outset, Wanda and Pietro have their minds transferred to small wooden dolls by a man who claims to be their adoptive father, and this eventually leads into the Nights of Wundagore story. Before that, there's a big knock-down, drag-out with the Absorbing Man. After Nights of Wundagore, there's the stop-off in Russia I mentioned above, and then it closes off with Hawkeye finding new employment.

Redartz said...

Ah, well done Colin! I neglected to prove my triviality in the preceding post, so here goes:

Amazing Spider-man in the 130's: Jackal, Hammerhead and Doc Ock (marrying Aunt May!!), Molten Man, Tarantula, the Punisher, Harry's debut as the Green Goblin, Mindworm, Grizzly and Jackal again...stories by Gerry Conway, art by Ross Andru except for issue 132; which featured a welcome pencilling job by John Romita Sr.

Humanbelly said...

Ohhh Doug, Doug, Doug, Doug. . .

SUCH dangerous waters to wade into--! You. . . you have, like, a pandora-complex-thingy goin' on, don'tcha? I kid you not, what you're asking for is my personal sheep-counting method to combat middle-of-the-night wakefulness. There will be NO obligation or expectation that anyone will read all the way through this:

Hulk #109- Herb & Stan; Severin inks. Kazar & the Savage Land (GREAT cover).
#110- H&S&S; Umbu the Unliving
#111- Shanghaied in Space-- one of my favorite comics of all time. H&S, but Severin had moved on.
#112- the Galaxy Master
#113- Enter: the Sandman
#114- Mandarin & Sandman-- this is the issue where Sandy actually got turned into glass.
#115- the return of the Leader
#116- Leader & his Android & his plasticene prison cell.
#117-World's End? Great final battle w/ that Android.
#118- vs. Subby. GREAT cover, and probably some of Herb's best work inking his own pencils.
#119- vs. Maximus and the Evil Inhumans in. . . San Salvadore?
#120- US army somehow enters the fray against the Hulk and the Inhumans.
#121- Roy Thomas takes over as writer; iconic issue w/ the Glob.
#122- FF; Banner is cured!
#123- Banner's doing okay, sort of-- disrupted by the Leader & his Murder Module (VERY common Hulk image, in fact).
#124- young Sal Buscema helps w/ the pencils; wedding of Bruce & Betty.
#125- vs the Absorbing Man
#126- whisked into the Dark Dimension into a sort-of accidental prequel to the Defenders-- wrapped up Dr Strange's canceled book.
#127- "Mogul", subterranean story.
#128- vs. the new Avengers team.
#129- the Glob returns (and gets disposed of again)
Thinking a bit harder now. . .
#130- vs Iron Man, I believe (and we get Jim Wilson)
#131- Banner & Hulk separated!
#132- vs Hydra
#133- Hulk is seen as a liberating Golem for an oppressed people.
#134- & that dictator (Drax or Draxon) is dispatched.
#135- sent back to WWI by Kang.
#136- caught by Xeron the Star-Slayer (oh brother).
#137- Big ol' Moby Dick homage.
#138- the Sandman issue w/ recently revisited.
#139- "Gauntlet of Foes" issue (all imaginary).
#140- 1st Jarella issue; w/ Harlan Ellison.
#141- Doc Samson
#142- "Radical Chic" w/ an early Valkyrie version.
#143- Doc Doom; possibly an art assist from Dick Ayers?
#144- The rest of Doc Doom, and I believe we switch writers around this point, going through quite a few notables rather quickly over the next two or three years. Gerry Conway, Steve Englehart, Archie Goodwin, Len Wein, and (I think) Steve Gerber.

But this is absurd. With a couple of question marks, I've no doubt I could rattle on through the end of Herb Trimpe's tenure. This is embarrassing. That level of info shouldn't be taking up so much space in a head that can't remember what time to pick up it's daughter after her play practice. . .

HB

Doug said...

HB --

You win.

Wow! I think there are runs of titles for which I could do that. FF and Avengers, between certain parameters, would be major candidates. And I think for many of us it's that batch of comics we bought ourselves off the spinner racks -- not as back issues later. There's just something about that personal purchasing experience that brings you back to a time and space, doesn't it?

Doug

david_b said...

Seriously, everyone.., if I had time to stop and ponder, I would.

But, that aside, here are my memories....

114-118 - Avengers/Defenders (or Trimpe Hulk, for you HB...)
121-136 - ASM
137-150 - FF
164-176 - CA&F

HB, AGAIN YOU'RE SPENDING MY MONEY.. Whenever I ponder about those Trimpe Hulk covers, you know I rush out to eBay to track down those VF+ condition mags to bid/purchase.., especially pre-ish 130 and those classic TOA covers.

Humanbelly said...

Agh!
But I don't WANT to win--!
I'm. . . I'm not sure winning here is a GOOD thing. . . !!

(Ohhh, to just be a normal person. . . indistinguishable from OTHER normal persons. . . )

HByond Redemption

Humanbelly said...

Holy Cats, DaveB--

My only solace for the shame of being a pusher/enabler is, I suppose, the satisfaction of knowing that I am at least a small chip of economic stimulus. . .

(Heh)

HB

Anonymous said...

For me probably most of the Spidey comics in the 80s-early 90s; there's a few that I'm hazy on, but I figure those might be best forgotten anyway (like the one with Red Nine!)

Mike W.

P.S. New captcha thingie too...classy!

Doug said...

Yes, a couple of weeks ago Karen and I as blog administrators even started having to enter the captcha image. I am digging the check mark format!

As I've been going through my comics recently, I have been disgusted at what I was purchasing in the 1990s-2000s. What a lot of money wasted...

Doug

The Prowler said...

Oh Doug, once again, you echo my heart! I would trade all my Stormwatch, DV8s, Gen13 et al and so and such as for cash or beans.

Fantastic Four 240-250. Byrne and gang. FF does the classics! Inhumans get polluted, Galactus, Doom and Superrrrr, I mean, Gladiator. And Skrulls! Guest starring everyone, Avengers, X-Men, Black Panther, mutants. And their greatest foe of all, Franklin Richards!!! Nuff said....

HB - King Of The Nerds!!!

(Merrily merrily through the snow Christmas bells are ringing).

Humanbelly said...

. . . Ohhhh, I feel so naked. . .

HB

Anonymous said...

Yeah, this kind of thing pretty much defines comic book geekery - increasingly obsolete in the digital age, of course, but I hope it never goes away!

Memory is a funny thing - I could list, say, every comic Barry Smith drew in the 70s, with opinionated comments on each of the inkers (apart from Barry himself, Dan Adkins in Conan 19 and 20 was the only one who was any good, etc etc blah blah ad nauseam) and recall huge amounts of similar trivia, often about stuff I haven't actually read in decades - and yet it frequently takes me a good half hour to find where I put my keys whenever I want to go out.

-sean

david_b said...

Doug, frankly..? The most I bought in the '90-00's was maybe a dozen.

Ohhh, wish I had that cash back.

I knew my love was in the vintage market.

"This stuff was over-bloated crap."

Anonymous said...

C'mon, Edo - What kind of X-Men fan are you if you don't know offhand when Tom Orzechowski started lettering the X-Men? :)

-sean

Humanbelly said...

Cover image does seem to be the biggest hook for my own memory, and certainly by the 90's covers were well on the path to being "posters" for the book rather than being engaging snapshots of the content itself or a symbolic representation of the theme or contents.

In other words-- every cover started to look like every other cover, for the most part. Thus, none of them are memorable at all.

HB

Edo Bosnar said...

Yeah, Sean, you got me - although to be honest, Orzechowski did cross my mind, but I wasn't entirely sure.
Glynnis Wein, though, actually got me to pay attention to the colorist credits.

Dr. Oyola said...

I could do this for ROM.

And probably ASM and PPTSSM in the first half of the 1980s.

WardHillTerry said...

Yes, those early comics I bought off the rack and re-read and re-read are snugly in my memory banks. My particular favorite recall is Detective Comics in the 470s by Steve Englehart, Al Milgrom, Marshall Rogers and Terry Austin. (Edited by Julius Schwartz, lettered by John Workman.) My go-to trick for insomnia is to try to re-create those issues in my mind panel by panel.
My other point about recalling particular issue numbers is that it makes it easy to think up new passwords for the computer at work. We need to change every 90 days, and comic book titles include upper and lower cases as well as numbers. Favorites have included Superman #317, Iron Man #125, and Adventure Comics #247. Does anyone else use this system?

Humanbelly said...

That is a guh-reat password idea, Terry. I am totally going swipe it, yes.

HB

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