Saturday, June 23, 2012


Doug:  Whatever you want to talk about today -- the floor is open!  We've done this many times in the past, usually allowing the first commenter to set the topic for the day. However, as we've gone on these past many months, we know many of you have things to say.  So today, no worries about thread-jacking, etc.  Let the conversations just open and flow organically.


Dougie said...

I've been reading some DC 100-page Super Spectaculars lately. It seems to me that there were attempts to promote or re-launch some second-stringers: specifically Metamorpho, Deadman, Wildcat and the Creeper.

So my question is this: which DC or Marvel heroes deserved a Bronze Age relaunch and which creative team would you like to have seen working on them?

david_b said...

Geez, that's way too much thinkin' for a Saturday morning.. I could have liked to seen something more of Sandman&Sandy. From the Silver reboots I've seen (Titans), results were mixed at best.

The Creeper would have been an interesting reboot, he's one character I've only seen and never read any stories about.

humanbelly said...

Hoo-boy, Dougie, that's a solid topic question that does indeed require a bit of tough pondering. What you're reminding me of is that DC Anthology series from 1975-ish (?)-- "DC First Issue Special"-- that did exactly what you're talking about, although it was a mix of new & re-launch. That's the series that gave us Mike Grell's Warlord, you may recall.

IIRC there really were quite a few second/third stringers (particularly DC's) that got a shot one way or another during the bronze age and/or into the modern age. DOOM PATROL (in Showcase) comes immediately to mind, with a solid, well-drawn, but unfortunately-lived run. I was a heck of a Marvel Zombie in those years, so I haven't quite an adequate depth of knowledge to draw from. I really did like John Byrne's later iteration of the team-- would loved to have seen him keep it going.

METAL MEN never seemed to be able to make a go of it after their silver age demise, and I loved them as a kid. Have they been explored in depth since then? They were always kind of enjoyable goofy and hokey and fun--- but even as a youngster I recognized that there was a MUCH deeper story behind them dealing with the question of sentience, of life, of being "human", of personal autonomy, etc (much like stories dealing w/ the Vision or w/ Data from ST:TNG). I think in Alan Moore's hands, there was/is a solid opportunity for re-working Carel Kapek's RUR with them (loosely, at least. . . ). In a perfect world, I picture Neal Adams as their artist.

Always liked both Metamorpho and Deadman. I seem to recall both at some point had attempts at re-launches w/ unrealistic, "cartoony" art, although I may be mistaken. Deadman in particular is ill-served in that style, since he's such a unique amalgam of film noir and murky mysticism. I wonder if Gene Colan ever had a shot at him? And I would totally love to see Neil Gaiman try a hand at writing the character.
Metamorpho I liked a lot in his JLE tenure, both art and writing. Alan Davis/Paul Neary would be an ideal artistic team for him, and probably someone with a great feel for "humanizing" super-heroes, like Kurt Busiek, as the writer.

Finally, good ol' Plastic Man has always had a spot in my heart-- but he's hopelessly tough to capture just-so. Jack Cole nailed him as the creator-- but Phil Foglio's mid-80's mini-series is the only time I felt he was decently re-captured as a DC character.

Hmm-- guess I had more opinions lurking than I ever suspected. . .


Dougie said...

Adams on Metal Men is inspired and the Simon/Kirby Sandman stories are some of my favourite Golden age reprints.

My own suggestion would be a Batgirl ongoing series by Gil Kane or Joe Staton (and JLA membership).

For Marvel either Medusa by Johnny Romita or Chaykin's Monark Starstalker. But most definitely,Hawkeye by Englehart and Bob Brown or Don Heck. Set in Las Vegas and introducing the female descendant of of Kid Colt. I would have also liked to have seen a Kirby revival of Prester John, the Wanderer.

Dougie said...

I forgot Kid Conan (aka The Boyhood of Conan) by Thomas and Ernie Chan. Don't laugh! You'd like it!

Unknown said...

Great topic for a post. God, I loved those 100 Page Super-Spectaculars. They got me through many long family vacations.

Metal Men were actually re-launched in the bronze age with art by Walt Simonson. Those first few issues were the best Metal Men ever, in my opinion. Simonson also contributed some great art to a Dr. Fate tryout in First Issue Special. And, how about that Goodman/Simonson revival of Manhunter? That may be my favorite revival of anything, ever.

I'm sure I'm a minority of one here, but I always had a soft spot for the Blackhawk revival in the 70's. I'll bet nobody else even remembers it. Some of the DC revivals were just hideously ill-conceived, though. Teen Titans and Freedom Fighters should be taught in universities as text-book examples of how to screw things up.

I think DC tried reviving just about everything at one time or another in the 70's. Marvel, on the other hand, always seemed very reluctant to delve into their golden age history. Could an argument be made that they were too busy coming up with new ideas? The range of titles they launched in the 70's was staggering. Maybe they didn't all stick, but partly that's because there were so many of them.

That X-Men revamp in 1975 didn't do too badly as I recall.

One character that might've been worth trying is the golden age Vision. He was distinctly different from the modern version. And there was plenty of material to play with in the original concept of a being from another dimension who appears in a puff of smoke. I bet Gene Colan and Tom Palmer could've made an A-lister out of him.

James Chatterton

Edo Bosnar said...

Darn, James beat me to the punch in pointing out the Metal Men re-launch in the '70s - yes, the initial issues drawn by Simonson (with the first story by Steve Gerber!) are truly outstanding, but the remainder of the run by Joe Staton is still quite good.
Also, Plastic Man did have a Bronze Age revival as well: in Adventure Comics, mostly written by Martin Pasko and drawn quite ably by, again, Joe Staton.
And since Dougie mentioned Deadman, I really enjoyed those short Deadman features by Wein and Garcia Lopez in Adventure when it was a dollar comic.
A series I really wish had been revived in the '70s is the Inferior Five - since Staton has come up so many times in my comments, I think he would have been the perfect artist. As for writers, I think Nicola Cuti would have been a perfect fit, although I can also see Steve Gerber doing a really good job with it - filling it with the same satirical angst he employed so well in Howard the Duck.

Anonymous said...

The Ditko Blue Beetle and Question with their Objectivism intact. Would make a nice contrast to the other heroes with inconsistent philosophies.


Redartz said...

Like Edo, I enjoyed the Plastic Man stories in Adventure. As for a desired revival, I'd have looked for Angel and the Ape! Phil Foglio did a nice job with them in an early 90's mini-series. They had a prominent role in Showcase 100 (a fun book in its own right, featuring all those who had appeared in the title to that date). Martin Pasko could have been a choice for an A & A series. Kieth Giffen would have been interesting, as well...

Garett said...

James, love Dr Fate by Simonson. Staton's name is coming up--seems to me he also did Dr Fate in the large issue that also featured Simonson. Plus an original Dr Fate tale from the '40s! Still get a kick out of the vintage cover by Howard Sherman:

Garcia Lopez drew a cool Dr. Strangefate, with inking by Kevin Nowlan--what an art team!

Staton was a favorite of mine as a kid--JSA, Huntress. His cartooniness and bouncy energy was just right.

Dr. Fate was a favorite in those JLA/JSA teamups, but outside the Simonson/Staton/Sherman book mentioned, I can't think think of a solo story I got into. Any suggestions for good Dr Fate stories?

Edo Bosnar said...

Garett, that large book you're referring to, with the Staton and Simonson material, is the first issue of The Immortal Doctor Fate. And if you're looking for another good Dr. Fate story, all you need to do is read the next two issues: they contain reprints of the Dr. Fate back-ups from the regular Flash series in the early 1980s, written by Martin Pasko with art by Keith Giffen and Larry Mahlstedt.

Garett said...

Thanks Edo, I'll check those out!

david_b said...

James, as for Marvel's reluctance for bringing back Golden Age, I figured the Invaders was a large enough attempt around 1974/75..?

Not only a big title, but also the cross=overs with FF and other titles. They also tried runs of other Silver characters like Inhumans, which didn't end up all that successful.

Marvel's approach was more gutsy than DC in regards to Silver reprints.. Create new monthly reprint titles like Human Torch, Marvel Double Action, Triple Action, and so on; DC just stuck 'em in the back of the 100 Page Super-Spectaculars behind new stories, or do DC Specials (like for GL and Titans.., two of the best ones IMHO).

Both ideas were excellent, kinda makes you wonder what was involved with decision process in both companies. Guess, as the story goes, Marvel just wanted more and more titles to flood the racks, to see (sales-wise) what stuck.

humanbelly said...

Hey, thanks Teammates-- looks like I happily have some desirable Metal Men & Plastic Man back-issues to track down-!


Edo Bosnar said...

Humanbelly - if you do end up getting those back issues (in case you need the specifics, it's Metal Men #45-56 and Adventure Comics #467-478), I think you'll thoroughly enjoy them. That is a considerable stack of Bronze Age DC awesomeness!
I've been on the fence for years now about re-acquiring both of those runs; well, the Metal Men not so much now, because last year I scored a surprisingly cheap copy of the Art of Walter Simonson TPB on ebay, which includes all four of the Metal Men issues he drew. That run of Adventure, however, is still tempting - great Plastic Man and Starman stories, superbly drawn by Staton and Ditko, respectively, and, towards the end of the run, Aquaman stories, with art by Dick Giordano. Great stuff...

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