Saturday, July 9, 2016

Who's The Best... Marvel Premiere Premiere?




Martinex1: In the great rotating try-out title Marvel Premiere there were a number of fringe characters and teams who were spotlighted along the way...who was the best?   The first twenty-five issues focused on superstars like Warlock, Dr. Strange, and Iron Fist, but after that we were treated to oddballs like Woodgod, Caleb Hammer, and 3-D Man...who was the best and had the most opportunity for success in your eyes?
  
  
  

  
  


31 comments:

Colin Jones said...

The most intriguing one is Alice Cooper. The only two of these I actually owned were Satana and the Falcon.

William Preston said...

The Moonwolf and Ant-Man comics were great, but I know that the one that struck me as truly weird and wonderful was Woodgod. (Wish I could remember more about that ish.)

Redartz said...

Once upon a time, I had completed the entire series of Marvel Premiere, having bought most off the spinner racks (or, more accurately, the shelf at the local bookstore). It's a bit challenging to recall, as most only got one reading, and that was loooong ago. But a few still stand out:

The 3-D Man was pretty good, if I recall. It would have been interesting to see him actually presented in a 3-D format; his red-and-green uniform would have done wild things visually with those colored lenses.

Paladin was pretty good too, as were the Legion of Monsters and the Ant-Man issues. Alice Cooper was one of the best. It was always fun to speculate on who (or what) would show up in Premiere next. A great tryout title, in the mold of DC's classic Showcase...

William said...

This one is easy for me. The origin of Scott Lang as Ant-Man still remains one of the most memorable stories I ever read growing up, and has long been a favorite of mine. In fact, I think they are the only issues of Marvel Premiere that I still own.

I loved that story so much that I even chose Ant-Man as the subject for my middle-school art project at the time.

Anonymous said...

3-D Man was conceived as a "fifties superhero", part of the nostalgia craze that gave us American Graffiti and Happy Days. I liked the character and the setup of his ongoing secret war with Skrull infiltrators on Earth... but aren't all people three-dimensional?

Monark Starstalker was a wonderful one-off by Howard Chaykin, done a few months before the six-part adaptation of Star Wars. It had lots of potential and I'm sorry it didn't become a series back then.

Seeker 3000 also had potential, but boy, there sure were a lot of starships back then that looked like distorted versions of the Enterprise!

The Liberty Legion had two Premiere issues that were parts two and four of a four-parter. The other two were in Invaders. I never figured "America's Home Front Superheroes of World War Two" was a strong enough concept to carry an ongoing series, but they made good backup characters for the Invaders, particularly since some of them had no established post-war histories and so could be put in real danger.

The Doctor Who Premiere was a reprint of a British comic that of course assumed the reader already knew the basic setup. I found it a bit off-putting, as there was no explanation of who the Doctor was etc., they just plunked him down in the middle of a strange setting and got on with the story.

Ah, memories!

Rusty

Edo Bosnar said...

First, I have to say that I absolutely and unreservedly loved Marvel Premiere, and that string of issues from #41 through 50 is one of the most excellent 10-issue runs of any series in terms of variety, great art and general enjoyment. But the answer to the question is a no-brainer for me: Monark Starstalker, by far my favorite single issue of the entire series.

Anonymous said...

Happy to see Monark Starstalker getting some luv here. Strangely, I've read a fair number of negative reviews of it on-line in the past. Even Chaykin himself seems to be pretty dismissive of it -- a few years back I had him autograph a copy of MP23 for me at a con (also a copy of that killer Nick Fury one-shot he did in Marvel Spotlight) and he pretty much sneered at my taste in comics -- "Seriously? These are crap!" But as much as I love his other stuff -- American Flagg, Cody Starbuck, Scorpion, etc -- I think he really hit the target on this one. Each page is beautifully designed, and the simplified rendering and excellent use of spot blacks represents Howard at his Toth-iest. If I could only pack one Chaykin comic in my Desert Island Long-box, it would be MP 23, no hesitation.

Anonymous said...

Also, I love Tom Sutton to pieces so The Seeker 3000 and Star-Lord issues are faves too. Love-him-or-hate-him Frank Robbins' Legion of Monsters one-off is cool too

Martinex1 said...

I too really enjoyed Monarch Starstalker Edo. And that's a great story about Chaykkin, Anonymous. Starstalker made some later appearances in a more recent Nova series.

Rusty, I really liked 3-D Man. I remember liking the Jim Craig art on that. It was different and fit the "time period" of the action.

That Wonder Man tale with the Dreadnoughts and the Maggia intrigued twelve year old me. I should read that again and see if it holds up. and Caleb Hammer was actually a good western one shot, I'm surprised the character hasn't shown up somewhere.

William I don't remember much of the Woodgod book either; he is more etched in my memory battling Hulk and Spidey in Team-Up.

Marvel Premiere is something I miss about comics.

Karen said...

Ah, Marvel Premiere. In my last move (to Arizona) I lost all of my Marvel Premiere and Marvel Presents as that long box mysteriously disappeared. I re-purchased some issues, or got some of them in TPB or Masterworks form, like the Warlock and Iron Fist ones. But a lot of the oddball ones, like Woodgod, are just memories to me now. It was a great way for novel concepts to get a shot.

Anonymous said...

The only ones of these I remember reading are the Doc Strange and Iron Fist issues, so I guess they're my favourites :)

Mike Wilson

William said...

They should do an "Epic Marvel" TPB and reprint a bunch of these. I'd buy it.

Colin Jones said...

Yes, the Doctor Who issues of Marvel Premiere had originally appeared in black & white in Marvel UK's Doctor Who Weekly. I never read the original version or the color U.S. version.

Edo Bosnar said...

Anon, interesting and odd story about Chaykin; I met him in 2010 here in Zagreb, and he not only signed my copies of Marvel Premiere #32 and #56, he seemed quite pleased that someone remembered that stuff. And he drew me a sketch of Monark Starstalker (which I had framed afterward). He also mentioned how he often gets compliments from other comic artists about his Monark Starstalker story...

Thomas F. said...

I really enjoyed #49 featuring the Falcon, and #61 featuring Star-Lord. The early issues starring Doctor Strange and Iron Fist are also very appealing to me; some great stories told. The variety of characters (some of which were intended as tryouts, obviously) kept the comic interesting.

Logan Marcum said...

So many fun issues in this series with Alice Cooper being one of the most offbeat and enjoyable comics I've ever owned. But I really enjoyed the 2-part Torpedo story as a kid. Bought his appearances in Daredevil off the spinner rack and snatched up these two issues as they came out. And when he moved over to ROM, it introduced me to that character and I had to go back and find all ROM's back issues.

Anonymous said...

The Legion of Monsters wasn't as great as it could have been, but it was a cool idea and could have made for an interesting comic. Say, for instance, Doc Strange or Dakheem the Enchanter or somebody like that periodically summons together a bunch of Marvel's monster-types to battle occult or cosmic threats. They could have had a fluid line-up like the Defenders, and featured the likes of Frankenstein Monster, the Living Mummy, the Glob, Satana, Lilith, who knows. Maybe even Howard the Duck might show up.
That would have been interesting!
M.P.

Doug said...

My Marvel Premiere buying was pretty spotty, but I did have a little run from the Ant-Man debut in #47 (never had #48 until recently - reviews of both halves of that story are in our library of reviews), and the Falcon, Alice Cooper, and Black Panther issues. The most memorable issues are of course MP #s 29-30, part of the 4-part Invaders crossover.

William, I would also buy such an Epic Collection. Great idea!

Doug

Anonymous said...

Edo:

I'm not surprised Chaykin gets a lot of compliments on Monark from other artists (I happen to be one myself). As I said in my above post, the Monark job came at a time when he was obviously heavily influenced by Toth -- other similar Toth-styled Chaykin works include the second Cody Starbuck story, the first Gideon Faust, the Nick Fury MARVEL SPOTLIGHT -- and Toth is, of course one of those "Artist's Artists", more appreciated by other artists than by the majority of the comic-reading public. "Too sketchy, not 'realistic' enough, too simplified" are common complaints against both Toth and Chaykin -- but it's like caviar to me.

As for his grumbling when I asked him to autograph them -- I didn't take him too seriously. I pretty much chalked it up to false modesty at the time -- also, Howard likes to play up the Grumpy Old Curmudgeon bit ;)

Martinex1 said...

Thanks for all the comments today folks. I meant to mention before but forgot, did anybody else look forward to the new masthead and logos with each new headlining character? I thought some of them were pretty slick. I liked the Alice Cooper and Caleb Hammer examples, but thought the Jack of Hearts font hurt the cover.

I'd like to see Marvel Premiere, Spotlight, and Presents collected too.

Edo Bosnar said...

Anon, I kind of figured he was being a bit tongue in cheek when he said that to you. He is otherwise an entertaining (and quite interesting) guy to talk to.
And on the subject of Chaykin and Marvel Premiere, I feel remiss in not mentioning the two Solomon Kane issues as well, which I also love. And I love the fact that Chaykin completely redesigned Kane to make him look like a dashing swashbuckler rather than a dour Puritan (like he's supposed to be) and simply made it work.

Colin Jones said...

Marvel Premiere #51-53 featured the Black Panther which was an odd "premiere" considering he'd already been in Jungle Action and his own title.

Edo Bosnar said...

Well, Colin, there were actually quite a few characters who didn't actually premiere in Marvel Premiere (Dr. Strange first and foremost, but also Hercules, Tigra, Falcon, Wonder Man, etc.). The Black Panther issues were done just to (rather unsatisfactorily) conclude the McGregor's Klan story from Jungle Action - I'm pretty sure they were left-over inventory stories from the cancelled Black Panther series, as the creative team, Ed Hannigan, Jerry Bingham and Gene Day, was the same as in the last few issues of that series. The two excellent Man-Wolf issues (#45-46) similarly concluded a story that had begun in Creatures on the Loose.
That Panther 3-parter, by the way, so fascinated me back at the time that I actually went and tracked down the Jungle Action issues to read the first part of the Klan saga, which, needless to say, I ended up liking way more than the conclusion.

Colin Jones said...

OK, thanks Edo :)

Martinex1 said...

I believe Howard Chaykin also worked on the Dominic Fortune issue. I've never read that one though; how was that? Until Edo pointed it out I didn't realize how much Chaykin did on this title.

Edo Bosnar said...

Martinex, yep, Chaykin did the art on the Dominic Fortune issue (which, as noted above, I had signed by the man himself). The inks are by Terry Austin and the story is by David Michelinie. It's a really fun done-in-one, with a guest appearance by a young, prewar Dum Dum Dugan, and the art is simply spectacular.

Anonymous said...

Of course Scott Lang as the new Ant-Man had the most impact. And it was a really smart way to bring a great costume and super-power back into the MU.
(I have to admit, I DID like Pym's Ant-Man costume from Marvel Feature.)

starfoxxx

Mtl Vo said...

Loved the Torpedo including his appearances in Rom. Also Paladin in Daredevil.

Mtl Vo said...

Loved the Torpedo including his appearances in Rom. Also Paladin in Daredevil.

Richard Guion said...

The Astonishing Ant-Man was a little masterpiece, solid fun story and awesome John Byrne artwork. The Ant-Man movie seems to embody the spirit of this comic.

But as a kid, which one did I hope would launch a brand new series? The Legion of Monsters! I loved all the monster characters. The story wasn't great, nor was the art. Mantlo had a hard time finding a way to bring them all together.

Martinex1 said...

Mtl Vo, I always thought Torpedo had potential. He had an interesting storyline in ROM as you indicated. He is one of the few super-heroic family men that I can recall. I believe he had a couple of children and his concern for his young family was different than other heroes. I also liked how Sal drew him.

Richard Guion, even though Legion of Monsters wasn't my favorite, I too had high high hopes for the monster super-team. The concept seems so promising. This execution was obviously not the best but I am surprised it didn't spark some better iterations. Individually these are some great characters with weird and exciting team potential, especially if they had a leader like Dr Strange or the Shroud or somebody like that.

Starfoxxx that costume was good. I liked it too. Definitely better than the Dr Pyn jumpsuit.

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