Friday, May 29, 2015

The Spinner Rack - May 1977

Doug: You know the drill -- click on this link to be taken to Mike's Amazing World of Comics where you can peruse all of the four-color goodness that was cover-dated May 1977. Click on the month below to be taken to the Comic Book Database, where you can see details on specific issues.

Hard to believe that the All-New All-Different X-Men were ever bi-monthly... And there's a whole lot of Richie Rich love awaiting.


Edo Bosnar said...

Ah, yes, 11 titles worth of Richie love for this month.
I had hardly bought any of these superhero comics off the spinner rack - this was during my mostly non-superhero phase, so I had some of those Archie books (I specifically remember that "Archie Andrews Where Are You?" digest) and a few of the Gold Key Disney books.
As for the superhero fare, I read a number of these a few years later, mainly some of the victims of the DC implosion like Black Lightning, the Freedom Fighters and Secret Society of Super-villains, and the Defenders and the Champions from Marvel. The only one I recall having at around that time is the issue of Batman Family, which intrigued me because Robin and Batgirl are wearing "formal" versions of their costumes (which, if I recall correctly, wasn't the case in the actual story - they just wore their normal costumes to that fake wedding).

Redartz said...

From the array shown, I had about 20 books that month. Oddly, the comic I remember most from that month is "Betty and Me". By that time I had abandoned Archie comics for Marvel and DC. The 'soap' opera (kind of hard to label this show, actually) "Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman" was popular then. I had become caught up in the show, with it's bizarre storylines and quirky characters. "Betty and Me" had started a parody of the show, called "Betty Cooper, Betty Cooper" and therefore I picked up the several issues which featured this story...

Other than that, none of the other comics that month really stood out for me. As a Spider-man junkie, the three books I'd have been most concerned with then: Amazing Spiderman- really, Will-O-the-Wisp? Most memorable thing about that issue was the Romita cover. Spectacular Spider-man was ok, but not particularly memorable. That month's Marvel Team-Up was pretty good, however.

Doug said...

When I went to Mike's site to begin setting up today's post, it was the Defenders cover (pictured) that really jumped out at me. If you check the Avengers cover for this month, you'll see it's the conclusion of the Graviton story. That story began in the second half of Avengers #158, which featured a 1/2-length knock-down, drag-out between Wonder Man and the Vision. So seeing Wondy the very next month mixing it up with the Defenders was pretty spectacular to young Doug.

And how about that Defenders line-up? If that doesn't typify "non-team"!


Edo Bosnar said...

The Defenders was (still) a pretty good title at this point. It was right in the midst of the Scorpio story.

The Groovy Agent said...

The main thing I remember about these comics is that I had plenty of time to read them as we pretty much missed the whole month of February due to what seemed like daily major snows. (Ah, to be an 8th grader again...nah...)

Steve Englehart started his run on 'Tec (with Simonson/Milgrom art), Mike Grell was drawing Batman. Staton/Layton on JSA. Legion, JLA, and Jonah Hex were really cool.

On the Marvel side, I still have great memories of Captain Marvel #50, Champions #13 (loved that story--the title, "The Doom That Went On Forever", and that Byrne/Layton art), Avengers, Thor, and Hulk were solid. Defenders was awesome at this time, too, with the Kraft/Giffen/Janson kicking all kinds of butt with the Scorpio storyline.

I was creating my own first comic at that time (with all the time I had on my hands), ripping off tons of stuff from the above mags. 30 pages on typing paper, in pencil, colored with pencil crayons. Fun times!

Anonymous said...

I was a serious Marvel zuvembie at this point. I probably have at least 25 of those Marvel comics. So many relatively new titles at this time - Champions, Invaders, Ms. Marvel, Nova, Omega...too many for me. Within another a year or so, I would burn out on comic collecting and stop altogether. But a fun run while it lasted.

I remember liking what was going on in some of those books like Avengers and Defenders. But most them I don't remember anything at all. Captain Marvel #50 guest starring the Avengers - did anything significant happen there? I dunno.

I also never cared for the writing of Jack Kirby. He completely ignored history with his runs on Cap and the Panther and his stories were pretty much non-sensical to young me. And I wanted so badly to like the Eternals - pretty pictures of majestic gods and such...but I just remember waiting for a payoff that never really happened.


J.A. Morris said...

I got lots of these, but mostly as back issues a few years later. I just re-read that Defenders Zodiac story a couple months back, it's still excellent 38 years later. Amazing Spider-Man was pretty good that month too. Andru penciled a good fight that featured Will-O-The-Wisp and the latest Spider-Slayer robot.

It's too bad that the non-superhero comics, with the exception of Archie, have generally gone the way of the dodo. But I guess Cartoon Network and Toon Disney have taken the place of Richie Rich, Disney and the other titles aimed at kids in '77.

Garett said...

8-year old me wants to pick up All Star and Legion for the Joe Staton art, Batman and Detective for Grell and Simonson art, and Jonah Hex for Garcia Lopez. For Marvel, Hulk by Buscema/Chan and Logan's Run by Perez. I wasn't interested in the tv show comics like Welcome Back Kotter and 6 Million Dollar Man, even though I liked them on tv. I think the appeal was the actors in those roles, and that didn't come across in the comic version.

On another '70s note...I watched a documentary called Paul Williams Still Alive that came out in 2011. Worth a look. Williams is still out performing, and although the director inserts himself into the film too much, it's still an interesting look into a talented songwriter who was all over the place in the '70s. Recently he collaborated with Daft Punk on their 2014 Grammy-winning album, and had this to say: "Back when I was drinking, I would imagine things that weren't there and I'd get frightened. Then I got sober and two robots called and asked me to make an album." : )

Martinex1 said...

I loved Will O the Wisp. Part of it is nostalgia as that issue was in a three pack my mother purchased for me. I still get anything he appears in (about once a decade). Ha. Funny how a point in time drives likes. At least it wasn't Rocket Racer (I apologize to all Rocket Racer fans in advance). But back to W.O.W., I thought the ending of tat ASM was particularly creepy with Jonah Harrow disappearing into the crowd as W.O.W disintegrates. That stuck with me as a 10 year old and I must have read that page 20 times.

Defenders was at a great point and I can only echo what others have said, but that cover is so memorable and one I picture when I think of the Defenders.

Regarding Funny Books, I think they really took a hit with the Direct Market. Hugely popular with younger kids, but who of those kids could make it to a comic shop on their own rather than a corner drug store or the like? My local comic shop when I was that young was at least 5 miles away on city buses. And I only went there when I visited my Dentist which was in the same area.

Anonymous said...

That Brave & Bold cover looks familiar...I may have had that. But the one that immediately jumps out is Marvel Tales #79...the final part (from Amazing #98) of the "drug trilogy"! These Marvel Tales reprints of that storyline are the earliest comics I remember reading (I'm sure I'd read something else before those, but they're the earliest I can actually recall).

I was only five at the time, so I don't think I realized that these were reprints...I kept expecting the Green Goblin to show up in new Spidey stories!

Mike Wilson

Anonymous said...

The highlight of this month, for me, was 2001: A Space Odyssey 6. I bored you lot raving about issue 5 when discussing April 77 in the Spinner Rack not so long ago, and the second part of the story - Kirby at his most far out - didn't disappoint. I also loved Kirby's work on Captain America (sorry Karen), Black Panther and the Eternals; four comics in one month - astonishing! Other than that, I read Howard the Duck and Tomb of Dracula, both a bit more interesting than the average Marvel, and beautifully drawn by Gene Colan.

And at DC... well, their output was distinctly second rate in the late 70s. Jonah Hex was ok, but mainly I recall their anthologies; like House of Secrets 252, with wonderful work by the absurdly underrated Alfredo Alcala and the mighty Alex Nino.

And finally - not shown in Mike's World of Comics - early issues of 2000AD, with the original Flesh and the Robot war storyline in Judge Dredd, were hugely entertaining.


The Groovy Agent said...

Hey, Tom, just to answer your question, Captain Marvel #50 is the issue where they finally separated Marv-Ell from Rick Jones. So, it was a significant ish, if only to C.M. fans. ;D
Personally, I loved it for the Super Adaptoid (I always dug that kooky villain), the Avengers, Scott Edelman's hip scripting, and the Al Milgrom/Terry Austin art team.

Anonymous said...

Thanks Groove. It's starting to come back to me...sorta. And yes Super Adaptoid - great kooky villain.


Dougie said...

I only finally got round to reading that SLSH issue a year or two ago, thanks to ebay. In '77, I was mid-way through secondary (high) school and my fascination with DC was peaking. Despite spotty distribution, I loved the JLA, JSA and Legion a little bit more (then) than the Avengers, Defenders and Invaders- the bi-monthly X-Men vanishing from our local shops between early '76 until early '78!

I realise now of course that I found DC's teambooks enjoyable since they were mostly by writers who'd scripted my favourites in 1975-76.

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