Doug: At times we've talked about the parameters of the Bronze Age. Sometimes we wonder if the advent of the direct market signaled the end, or perhaps the roughly-coinciding invention of the limited series (both the mini- and maxi- varieties) was the "death knell", so to speak. I want to delve further into the notion of limited series today by asking you sort of a "what if?" question. Today let's wonder aloud if the concept of the limited series had come alive a decade earlier, would certain short-lived series released in the 1970's have been better served?
Doug: I'd like you to expound on several series, both from Marvel and DC (and other publishers if you are so inclined), and give an opinion on the life they knew and whether or not you feel those series would have been better served if reimagined. For example, Claws of the Cat comes up around here from time to time. One of the knocks on the series is the shift of the creative teams throughout the series; we could add the lack of the creation of a dedicated rogues gallery as another pitfall. The series lasted a mere four issues. Do you think that a pre-arranged life of six issues, with a consistent writer/artist collaboration and a storyline involving an appropriately devilish villain(ess) would have made for a more pleasurable experience, and even perhaps extended the life of the character as originally conceived? Of course we can ask the same question about Black Goliath, Omega the Unknown, and certain series that ran in the rotating titles such as Marvel Spotlight. I guess what I'm asking concerns true storylines with a beginning, middle, and end -- rather than something rushed to be tied up before the axe fell or even left completely unresolved. Even a title like the Inhumans, which lasted 12 issues, might have been different had that parameter been pre-ordained. As to DC, I'll leave that to our readers more inclined toward the Distinguished Competition.
Tarzan #257 - Joe Kubert reprint
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