Doug: Welcome back to our Bronze Age time capsule, effendi! This time 'round we're in the summer of 1979, perhaps the end of the period we love -- I know it was heading that way for me, as I'd be out of the hobby in about another year. One of the first things you may notice in this installment (today is the first of four) is the increase in cover price to 40c. You will see a 35-center here and there, but for the most part we little consumers were down to getting only two books for a buck. This was sad, as when I started in this I could get four for a dollar (and I believe Miss Karen could have gotten 5 -- gadzooks!!). Marvel Comics published 36 comic books and Marvel magazines, and I decided to delve into the month of July to pick up a couple of bi-monthlies like Daredevil. You'll also notice that the reprint titles are down to Marvel Tales and Sgt. Fury and His Howling Commandos -- no more Marvel's Greatest Comics nor any of the "split books" like Marvel Double Feature. Lastly, as we go through, be aware of the low issue numbers on many of the books -- this was a time of expansion, yet I think you'll see that of the books with the low numbers, few would survive much into the next decade. Oh, and a post script to "lastly" -- lots and lots of licensed titles are in this batch, perhaps indicative of where Marvel was creatively (?). So scroll down, and leave a comment when you feel moved.
Doug: Pretty safe here -- while the artwork on the corner box may be by a different artist (can't be certain), it remains the same pose. Note that the logo continues the less-detailed webbing that we'd seen on the book for the past 40-50 issues.
Doug: Our first look at a licensed title. Of course Battlestar Galactica attempted to capitalize on the Star Wars craze (The Empire Strikes Back wouldn't be out until 1980), and was a staple on my television each week!
Doug: Other than the Kirby art for the corner box, this logo remains the same as it had been for years. I still think this is one of Marvel's best-rendered logos.
Doug: This, too, remains exactly as it did when last we looked, back in 1976.
Doug: Crazy is our first look at Marvel Magazines. The Spidey logo at top left was prevalent on many of the PG mags, like Pizzazz, Marvel Super Special, etc. The PG-13 books like Savage Sword of Conan (coming up in a later installment) did not bear that logo. I was not a regular partaker of Crazy, but I did read a few.
Doug: Try this on for size -- as the most critically-acclaimed run in the title's history was beginning, Daredevil was a bi-monthly mag! I guess putting Frank Miller on it was a winner, because the character's still kicking after all these years. What a great series of stories.
Doug: Wow, am I glad this is cropped so you don't have to look at the rest of the cover art. You know, several weeks ago we discussed what was so great about the Bronze Age, the parameters timewise for a book to be considered Bronze Age, etc. I think I can firmly say that those who make a case for 1979 as the end can point to the artists who came on board as the '80's approached. The so-called (by me) "Al Milgrom school" was beginning to rear its ugly head, and this cover is an example (there are more coming -- look 'em up if you don't believe me!). Of note here is the absence of Dr. Strange in the corner box and the addition of Hellcat (by George Perez no less!).
Doug: Speaking of the good doctor, here he is and nothing's changed since 1976. Next!