Saturday, February 28, 2015

This Cover Made Me Buy This Book!

Doug: How about this blast from your past, circa the beginning of the school year in 1975? I'd have just turned 9 and entering the 4th grade. We lived in Milwaukee at that time (South 78th St. School), but would move back to home base in April of 1976. I don't remember where I bought this, but know that I had it. I thought the Griffin was one bad dude, and very cool-looking. I'd been enjoying the Beast in the Avengers mag, and of course everything Spidey was "must-read". So who had this, and what do you think of this cover as a selling point?


Anonymous said...

I have to say, when I FIRST started buying/collecting comics around age 9, the covers were the reason I'd long defunct first LCS had many long boxes with 60s-70s back issues for 50 cents to $5.

I always liked the funny heroes like Beast, Spidey, Hawkeye, Hercules best....probably why I never have been a fan of the ultra somber/serious Cyclops.

Yes, this issue of MTU had the Beast when he in his greatest incarnation...

Yes, the Griffin was a cool looking creature, for sure...

and YES!, of course I bought this comic, for the cover alone!


Humanbelly said...

I was already buying MTU every month at this point and sort of enjoying it, but there's not question that the title was in kind of a weird place (the previous two issues were Spidey/Frankenstein's Monster and Spidey/Man-Wolf), and I distinctly remember giving out with an "Oh YEAH!" at the back of Buy-Low Supermarket when my eyes fell upon this issue in the spinner rack. The Griffin issue of the Beast's short Amazing Adventures run was definitely my favorite, and the fact that Hank and Pete were such irrepressible wiseacres held the promise of a much-needed breath of fresh, lighter air for the book.
Now, to be perfectly honest, I don't recall much of the story itself-- so did the pairing work well? I cannot say. It would take a deft writerly touch, perhaps, 'cause the easy road to take would be to just have both characters spout a stream of banter and wisecracks-- BUT-- comic "teams" are successful when the differences between the two characters are played up and played against each other--usually "clown" and "straight man". But since both of these guys are rather clown-ish chatterboxes, a more subtle difference in their hero personalities could be emphasized for comic effect: Beast- irrepressible, in-your-face, aggressive optimist; Spidey- an oh-boy-we're-in-BIG-trouble-now, taunt-in-the-face-of-disaster fatalist.
Well, and then there's the whole science-boys angle. . .

Ooo- how did I wander off on this tangent? Sorry, slipped into one of those "here's the story I WANT to read" reveries. . . !

Uh, yes. Yes-- the Cover Made Me Buy This Book.


dbutler16 said...

I've never even seen this issue, it was a bit before my time and somehow I've never seen it as a back issue. However, I have to say that is is a pretty awesome cover, and it would have compelled me to plunk down my quarter for it, also. It's a very dynamic, action packed cover, and aside from Spidey, I like the Beast, and the Griffen is a pretty cool looking foe.

Anonymous said...

Liked the Beast, but - was I the only kid into Marvel comics who wasn't into Spiderman? Controversial I know... Was much more into Thor, Dr.Strange and that side of things, the less down to earth stuff.
So anything Spidey wasn't a must read for me - much preferred Marvel Two-in-One with the Thing, or even - while it was around - the short lived Super Villain Team Up. Remember that - Dr.Doom with the Sub-Mariner and Henry Kissinger?

Got into MTU a bit later, but at that point Byrne was the main attraction.


Edo Bosnar said...

Over the years, I think I've mentioned more than once here how memorable this cover is for me; it's the earliest comics I ever had, and my first ever issue of Marvel Team-up. In fact, it's one of those single issue I went through the trouble of re-acquring.
And yes, you're darn right the cover made me buy it.
I was actually thinking of contributing a post about this issue with the "cover made me buy it" hook, but you beat me to it...

medellin 7 said...

Great cover, like many marvel had in the bronze and silver age. Was that done by Ron Wilson? Inks on this is great too, possibly Romita

Doug said...

Medillin 7 --

The cover art is credited to Ron Wilson and Mike Esposito, with Gaspar Saladino on the lettering.

Edo --

Today's post should in no way stop you from reviewing this book if you'd like to do that. I'd love to read your thoughts on it!


Dr. Oyola said...

I have always loved the old-fashioned covers with word balloons capturing the essence of the story withing (or at least a tantalizing facsimile) without actually depicting a scene you'd find inside.

Examples of comics I got as a kid because of the cover:

ROM #21

Marvel Tales #108

Avenger #218

Fantastic Four #243

J.A. Morris said...

I can think of tons of comics I bought due to the cover, too many to mention. I was often disappointed, when the villain on the cover actually showed up for all of 2 pages at the end of the issue!

As for MTU #38, I picked it up in a back issue sale sometime in the early 80s. The Griffin was always one of my favorite Marvel C-listers. At one time, I owned all his appearances, not that it was hard to collect a half-dozen issues. I guess griffins are just inherently cool, so a "half-man/half-griffin with super-strength" is even cooler!

The Prowler said...

First of all, credit to Mike's Amazing World of Comics. His Time Platform has become such an awesome resource in the past few months.

Now, on to today's topic:

As I mentioned in the guest cover posting, Fantastic Four 167. That's one I bought because of the cover. Marvel Triple Action 27, Goliath is struggling to hold the bridge together while the rest of the Avengers tackle the Living Laser. Marvel Double Feature 14, Captain America is the Red Skull's prisoner and he's forced to join forces with the Red Skull to destroy New York.

And thanks to Mike, I found out that MTA 27 is from October 1975, and the FF and MDF are from November '75. I guess once I bought my Spider-mans, I went for covers!!!!

And the trees are stripped bare
Of all they wear
What do I care

And kingdoms rise
And kingdoms fall
But you go on...and on...)

Joel said...

Yes. Yes. Yes.

Love this cover, my cousin had it as he collected MTU and I did some recreations and tracings of this particular issue!! The Beast (in his blue, furry, bronze age form) has always been my favorite character from my earliest memories.

IMO, the Griffin was a cool looking villain, although a little lame in his crimes and appearances.

Is it just me, or did the Beast have one of the best-looking and creative "logos"?

William Preston said...

It was either the first or second issue of MTU for me. The cover was a big draw--and I of course wanted to read more comics with Spider-man.

Anonymous said...

Yeah covers like these definitely would make you plunk down your hard earned 25 cents (those were the days!), especially for Spidey and the Beast. The funny thing about these two were the similarities between them - two brainy scientific geniuses (yes I consider Peter Parker a scientific genius, he invented those nifty web shooters fer cryin' out loud!), both have a penchant for witty banter during battle, and both being loners/outcasts, Petey being feared for his mysterious masked Spidey persona (JJJ's media bias didn't help either) and of course Hank being a mutant, the ultimate outcasts.

I've always considered Spidey as sort of a pseudo-mutant anyway because of his irradiated blood. The Griffin was a cool looking character. I have an issue with him in the Champions team book. If I recall correctly, later on his character became even more bestial, growing a snout, a tail and claws on his hands and feet.

- Mike 'son of the dragon' from Trinidad & Tobago.

Humanbelly said...

Yeah, he got rather ruined, IMO, when he fell victim to creative-dead-end syndrome. Somehow a villain can't be viable in his original form or iteration, and has to be made more "extreme" or something. They become more mutated or surgically modified or deeply cursed-- any number of things that take the original character to a rather ridiculous extreme. Happened to the Griffin, to Tarantula, to the Leader, to the Rhino (for awhile)-- oh, many more. . .

I rather didn't like that development at all. Liked him just the way he started out.


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