Saturday, April 2, 2016

The Spinner Rack - April 1979


Doug: Hop on over to Mike's Amazing World of Comics to inspect the books cover-dated April, 1979. Then come on back here and ruminate on the domination of the comics market by Harvey and their Richie Rich line of funnybooks. The date below jumps you to the Comic Book Database.




25 comments:

Rip Jagger said...

To be honest I don't see a lot that fires my imagination. There were a lot of rock solid good series at the time (Cap, Avengers, Legion of Super-Heroes, DC Presents, Marvel Two-In-One, etc.) but nothing earth shattering. The one exception I see is the debut of Scott Lang as Ant-Man which has proven to be quite the positive change and the Weirdworld magazine which was a definite uptick in quality for comics production. I did rather like the Warren products of this time, lots of adventure and sci-fi series.

Rip Off

Colin Jones said...

At this point I was still a year away from buying imported U.S. Marvel comics on a regular basis but I did buy several of these - X-Men, Ms. Marvel, Shang-Chi, Power Man & Iron Fist and Marvel Teaam Up. The two that really stand out are X-Men #120 because it was the first issue of the X-Men that I ever bought (the All-New X-Men had only just started appearing in Marvel UK reprints so I was aware of them) and Ms. Marvel #23 which was the final issue...it was my first issue of Ms. Marvel but the final one before cancellation. I also remember that Frankenstein-inspired cover of THE HULK! magazine from its' UK version a few months later.

Redartz said...

Rip- that Marvel Premiere featuring Ant-Man was pretty good; and has become pretty popular now due to the recent film. Wish I'd kept my original...
...which was one of 20 books I picked up that month. Particular favorites were X-Men, Micronauts, Iron Man and Marvel Team-Up. At that point I still didn't buy much DC, but had started getting DC Comics Presents. This issue with SWamp Thing and Solomon Grundy looks good to me now; can't recall much about it but I'd pick it up again today ("the cover made me buy this comic").
Incidentally, there were 17 Archie titles on the stands that month. Richie Rich 'only' had 12. of course, all of Richie's were his own books, while Archie had to share the limelight with Jughead and others, so perhaps it's still advantage: Richie.

Brief aside- I noticed that "Bullinkle" cover with the two little aliens. Never picked up the comic, as it seemed the print versions of such characters seldom had the charm of the tv versions (HUGE Rocky and Bullwinkle fan). Seems like those two aliens had names, that they were on the show at some point. The old memory just isn't sharp enough to recall them...

Martinex1 said...

Redartz I think their names are Cloyd and Gidney. And they also look kind of like Quisp and Quunchy from the cereal characters that Jay Ward also designed. On a total aside I didn't realize Quisp was '"crisp" with a lisp until recently. I just thought it was a Quaker Oats Q thing.

For me, it was Avengers, Micronauts, Thing vs Thing in MTIO, and What If with Sgt Fury in space. Also I think I had that Lil Archie. As a kid I liked Lil Archie.

Why is there an angry little photo in the Jughead barcode; is that an April Fool we should know?

Anybody else have the recaptcha that you have to keep clicking until there's nothing left? I thought that was an April Fools joke. It took me five minutes to verify. The posts are more secure than Fort Knox. Pure gold I tell ya. Ha.

Cheers all.

William said...

There's some really great stuff here that I remember picking up at the time. A few of these issues even became some of my favorite comics ever, like Marvel Two-in-One #50, written and drawn by John Byrne, featuring the old Thing vs. the new Thing. Marvel Premiere #47, which features the first appearance of Scott Lang as Ant-Man by David Michelinie and John Byrne. Avengers #182, which was the second issue of an awesome run by Michelinie and Byrne. X-Men #120 by Claremont and Byrne, which introduced Alpha Flight!!

HOLY COW that's four books drawn by John Byrne in the same month (and he wrote one of them as well)! How did he do it? These artists today sure look lazy by comparison.

This must have been the year I really got rolling into comics, because besides what I listed above, I also remember picking up a bunch more of these titles back then. Amazing Spider-Man #191, PPT Spectacular Spider-Man #29, Godzilla #21, Captain America #232, Marvel Team-Up #80, Marvel Tales #102, Marvel Triple Action #47, Wonder Woman #254, and a few others I'm sure.

Edo Bosnar said...

I had at least 15 of these that month, and it was a milestone month for me, as like Colin, X-men #120 was my first issue of that title and I was bit by the bug immediately.
I had many of the same issues that Redartz and William mentioned - in fact, William's first paragraph pretty much sums up my favorites from that month; I would just add Iron Man #121, early in the now legendary Micheline/Layton run.

Redartz, that's the reason I keep a count of the Richie Rich titles in utter, disbelieving amazement: in any given month during this period, there was never less than 10 Richie titles on the racks (by the way, there were actually 18 Archie books out that month, not 17). Also, I noticed that one of them also featured Richie's "mean cousin" Reggie. Seems like Reggie was a go-to name for a jerk...

Anonymous said...

Have to agree with Rip about the general lack of inspiration in US comics around this time.
And that, odd as it seems now, Weirdworld looked like the way forward. Loved the earlier Marvel Premiere story, not because I'm into second rate Tolkein imitations (or, for that matter, the real thing) but because of my enthusiasm for Mike Ploog and the mighty Alex Nino. I remember the Bullpen Bulletins promising a full length version by Ploog, but then Warriors of the Shadow Realm turned out to be by John Buscema and Rudy Nebres. As replacements go, that's not too shabby.
And Peter Ledger's colours...! (Makes me wonder why there were so many terrible colouring jobs in the supposedly deluxe comics of the 80s and 90s)

Also, Marvel Premiere. After that one by Claremont and Byrne, Starlord stories tended to be rather dull. But that new geezer Sienkiewicz looked promising...

The DC line was woeful in 79. Even Aardvark-Vanaheim were doing a better job, and their one comic hadn't even hit its stride yet.

Anonymous said...

PS Redartz, not so keen on that Superman/Swamp Thing crossover myself; give me the one from a few years later in DC Presents 85. A comparison underlines how much DC changed in the early 80s.

-sean (that was me above too - forgot to sign)

Colin Jones said...

Unlike Edo, I didn't see the X-Men again until #132 exactly a year later which was the start of the Hellfire Club/Dark Phoenix saga. Just a further mention of that terrific cover of THE HULK! magazine - it was the second part of a story where Bruce Banner travels to Europe to find a cure and seeks help from a reclusive world-famous scientist who lives in a gloomy old castle (or something like that)...of course it all goes horribly wrong as the reclusive scientist is totally deranged and transforms himself into an evil super-powered being. Anyway, I bought the UK version of the magazine (called RAMPAGE) on Christmas Eve 1979 and I loved the wonderfully gothic cover complete with fork lightning and a torch-wielding mob...of course, in Europe in 1979 we didn't yet have flashlights or electricity so we used burning torches instead :D

Anonymous said...

Colin,its been a while since pesky villagers tried to burn me out, but I remember it well.

-sean

Doug said...

Man, only nine comics for me this month. This must have been the so-called beginning of the end for my first phase of collecting. I know I hung around for almost a year, though, as X-Men #130 was my last in that series.

I tend to agree with Rip and Sean that this was a pretty uninspired period at both of the Big Two. Maybe I should have seen what all the fuss was about with Richie Rich and Archie!

Doug

PS: I don't know if this works for all of you (maybe just for me since I'm a "blog administrator"), but if you hit the preview button that overrides the captcha stuff. Try it -- and let me know if it doesn't work for you. Curious...

J.A. Morris said...

Maybe not the best month ever for the big 2, but it had several storylines that were pretty good. That FF story was part 2 of an 11-issue arc that featured Skrulls, Xandar, Nova, Galactus and Sphinx. It featured art by Pollard, Byrne and Sinnott.

Spider-Man vs. Carrion in PPTSSM was another good story, and the Alpha Flight make their first appearance.

I never read that Brave And The Bold issue, I wonder if that's the final appearance of the "old" Teen Titans.

Edo Bosnar said...

Yep, J.A. definitely agree about that space opera arc in FF and the Carrion multi-parter in PPTSSM. In fact, the "not the best month" claims have me scratching my head a bit. As several of us mentioned above, there were some pretty sweet offerings from Marvel at least. In fact, at this point, I think X-men, Avengers, Iron Man and Micronauts were firing on all cylinders, Power Man & Iron Fist was starting to hit its groove, and Marvel Team-up and 2-in-1 were consistently solid (and it was only a few issues away from the Project Pegasus saga in the latter, and the 4-issue amnesiac Black Widow story in the former). Heck, I was even enjoying the Invaders at this point - that last story arc as the series was winding down was pretty well-written.

Anonymous said...

Doug, tell me you at least stuck around for the May issue of the (then) bimonthly Daredevil(:

-sean

Doug said...

Yes I did! But only for the first 2-3 issues. Who knew what was to come? Same thing with Dark Phoenix? Who knew?!?

Obviously not me... :(

Doug

Anonymous said...

I actually have JLA #165...one of the few comics from this era that I still own, though it's not in great shape. Aside from that, nothing really rings a bell, but I probably had some of the Spidey stuff and maybe some Batman or Superman as well. Barbara Leigh sure looks good on that Vampi cover, though.

Mike Wilson

Redartz said...

Martinex1- Cloyd and Gidney. Bless you, sir. I love this group...

Edo- quite right with your tally; I should leave the counting to you! :)
And I second your comment on the quality of books this month. John Byrne's output alone would make for a pretty good reading session...

Garett said...

Nice to see the Garcia Lopez covers this month-- Action, DC Comics Presents, JLA. Eerie #100 cover looks pretty exciting even though I rarely looked at Eerie. The Kaluta cover on House of Mystery makes me want a closer look-- he was doing some great covers at this time.

Iron Man #121, with the great creative team. Detective would be worth a look, with art by Newton, Chaykin, Ditko, and Dillin. Star Lord by Sienkiewicz-- it was a treat to see his early work here when I picked up the Starlord TPB recently. Warlord #20-- Grell was great writing and drawing this series from #1-50.

I have a hard time believing that Bugs Bunny would act like a charging bull, as on the cover of Yosemite Sam #59. Perhaps this is just Sam's fantasy we're seeing? I never knew Yosemite Sam even had a comic.

William said...

Boy Doug, sounds like you bailed on comics seconds before one of the most explosive and creative eras ever. You just missed "The Dark Phoenix Saga", Frank Miller's Daredevil, John Byrne's Fantastic Four, Stern/Romita Jr. on Spider-Man, Frank Miller's "Dark Knight Returns", John Byrne's Superman, and etc. Boy talk about your bad timing. LOL

Doug said...

William --

No worries. I was back in for the Crisis and DC's overhaul. Also on board for Ron Frenz on ASM, Stern/Buscema on Avengers, and the tail end of Byrne's FF run. Oh, and...

Secret Wars II. (where is the eyeroll emoji on this thing?)

Doug

Anonymous said...

Speaking of the Crisis, that guy fighting Wonder Woman is Angle Man (hey, don't look at me) who as far as I know was last scene on the floor of a Las Vegas hotel room with a big, smoking hole in the middle of him. Did the Anti-monitor get him? I don't know.
I've heard of stand-up comics saying they "died in Vegas" but that's just ridiculous...
M.P.

Anonymous said...

It wasn't the Anti-Monitor that got him, MP, Angle Man became a smoking hole while trying to warp time and space during the crisis, with that triangle thing. I don't recall why warping time and space during a dimensional crisis should be fatal.
Although he later made a come back. Viva Las Vegas.

-sean

Anonymous said...

(Snort!)
Or he might have had one too many highballs in the lounge, Steve! It messed up his warping powers. We can't blame everything on the Anti-Monitor!
M.P.

Anonymous said...

Steve...? Careful with those highballs MP:)

-sean

Anonymous said...

Sorry, Sean! Old habits!
Waitress!!
M.P.

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