Tuesday, March 1, 2016

The Spinner Rack - March 1980

4-15-20: NOTE - In refreshing this post, I inadvertently chose cover images in the "on sale" category at Mike's. All other links in this post point to the original direction originally intended. Thanks for your understanding.

Doug: Hey! It's another trip to the Spinner Rack, friends! Get yourself on over to Mike's Amazing World of Comics to check out the fare available with a March, 1980 cover date.  As always, the link in the date below takes you to the kind folks at the Comic Book Database.


Edo Bosnar said...

Oh, yeah. This was right smack dab in the middle (o.k. just a little before the middle) of my personal golden age. I counted 24 of these titles that I had at the time. Some of my favorites then, and still fondly remembered now, include that month's issue of X-men (of course, an exciting installment of the Hellfire Club saga), Adventure (split between Pasko & Staton's Plastic Man and Levitz & Ditko's Starman), the Blue Ribbon Digest featuring the Legion, Marvel 2-in-1 (the space opera featuring Her) and Star Wars Annual #1.
I was also really enjoying all of Marvel's reprint titles at the time, especially the Amazing Adventures, with the first X-men stories (because I was crazy into everything X at that point), and Fantasy Masterpieces and Tales to Astonish with the Silver Surfer and Subby reprints and all that great art by Big John.

This month's Richie Rich count: 12, and one of those is a digest - incredible.

Anonymous said...

Doctor Who Weekly ?? I had the first two or three issues of Doctor Who Weekly (it began in October 1979) but abandoned it because...well, because I didn't like it, I suppose. This was the month BEFORE I started buying U.S.Marvel comics regularly (I'd been buying them sporadically since 1976) but I managed to get several of these later on - Iron Man, Thor, Spider-Woman, The Defenders and King Conan...also possibly X-Men - the cover is very familiar but I'm not sure if I ever actually owned it, I definitely had the ones before and after this one - #130 and #132.

Doug said...

I used that Dr. Who image just for you, Colin! I don't know anything about the good Dr., but whenever I think of him that is the actor that appears in my mind.

This period was right at the point I was quitting comics so that I could be cool in high school. I only had a few issues scattered about. My personal endpoint for this era of my collecting career is always X-Men #130, the beginning of the Dark Phoenix story. Sigh...


Redartz said...

Another pretty good month at the racks; about 19 of these ended up on my shelves. Like Edo, that Adventure issue and X-Men were favorites. There were also a gem of a story in Daredevil, featuring the Hulk, and a good Iron Man. Amazing Spider-Man was pretty enjoyable with a memorable Punisher appearance (I remember being absolutely gripped by the cliffhanger ending of issue 201, with the Punisher apparently figuring out Spidey's identity, and slightly disappointed with the resolution in 202).

Still a great deal of variety on the racks back then, with loads of humor, war, horror and film adaptations. A fun time to be a comics reader...

Anonymous said...

Doesn't look like such a good month to me... I prefer the Marvel output of the more freewheeling revolving-editor-in-chief period of a few years earlier. But I'm sure that just means I'm a little older than Edo or Redartz, as the Miller (and then still McKenzie...?) Daredevil and the Byrne/Claremont X-Men are better than pretty much anything from the 70s.
Those are the two comics I mainly recall enjoying around 1980, them and occasionally Dr Strange (not her, so it must still have been bi-monthly... surely it must have been the last one at this point).
And I forgot about the b&w Howard the Duck. Which is just as well.
DC's line was clearly woeful in 1980.

Yes, surprising to see the Dr Who here. A Marvel UK cover - is that a BAB first?
I liked the tv show as a kid in the mid-70s, not so much by 1980; the comic did interest me, though, because the main feature was by Dave Gibbons and the mighty writing team of John Wagner and Pat Mills. With back ups drawn by the likes of Steve Dillon and David Lloyd, and one or two Alan Moore scripts.
At the time, it seemed odd that when they made it across the Atlantic it was at DC. That seems like real editorial failiure at Marvel...


J.A. Morris said...

I had a bunch of these. My younger self loved the Peter Parker issue where he turns into the "Spider-Lizard!" As a result, I even dressed up my Mego Lizard doll in the Mego Spider-Man costume once or twice.

The Rom story was another favorite. A not-to-smart criminal agrees to put on spaceknight armor to fight Rom, not knowing he can never take it off.

The Star Wars annual has a now funny continuity problem where Luke meets some aliens. They see his lightsaber and tell him about 3 Jedi who visited their planet years earlier:Obi-Wan Kenobi, Darth Vader...and Luke's father.

david_b said...

No longer collecting comics for a few years by this point, but the DW issue would have been up my alley, was getting into Douglas Adams and Tom Baker quite heavily by this point.

The Spidey-turning-into-the-Lizard story sounds intriguing. By contrast, not to judge a book by the cover but the JLA entry looks a bit tired. Will have to pick up a cheap copy someday to verify.

Edo Bosnar said...

J.A., I think that continuity f-up in the Star Wars annual is one of the things that makes it so memorable for me to this day. Still, as I said, it was a pretty good story - off the top of my head, without using the internet, I think it was written by Claremont.
Redartz, that month's issues of Daredevil (yes, Sean, McKenzie was still the title's writer at that point) and Iron Man - both featuring run-ins with the Hulk - were quite good. As I said, 1980 was my personal sweet period for comics-reading, and X-men, Daredevil and Iron Man were probably my three favorite titles - I thought the respective creative teams were firing on all cylinders at that point.

Anonymous said...

Yeah, Hulk was appearing all over the place that month, wasn't he? None of these particularly jump out at me (though the Action, Superman, and Jonah Hex covers seem familiar); I probably had some of the Spideys (Marvel Tales almost certainly) and the Batman stuff...maybe JLA as well.

Mike Wilson

Doug said...

1980 seems to me to be a demarcation line in terms of what I like -- pre-'80 is what I will generally choose to read. There are some post-'80 books that I liked and may turn to occasionally, but it's the Silver and Bronze Ages material that most holds my favor.

It's funny, the magic of being a child. Many of us have remarked that it's those seminal years of comics reading where we found our most joy. After my 1980-85 hiatus, I enjoyed the hobby again for many years, but now having been out of the new market for over 10 years, it's the older stuff I'm most drawn back to.


Unknown said...

This inspires some great memories. I had been reading comics casually for a year or two before this era, but this period marks the real beginnings of my decades-long funnybook habit. The first series I collected from start to finish was ROM:Spaceknight, which debuted a few months before this.

I also loved Marvel's reprint books, like Amazing Adventures (X-Men), Tales to Astonish (Sub-Mariner), Silver Surfer, Marvel Super Action (Hulk reprints?), Fantastic Four (can't remember the title of the reprint book), Marvel Triple Action (Avengers) and Marvel Tales (Spidey). They were a great primer on Marvel history, and helped me to hit the ground running.

dbutler16 said...

1980 was a great year for comics, right in the midst of a 1975-1984 stretch that is my favorite decade for comics by far.

I had Amazing Adventures. Thanks goodness for reprint titles like that to introduce me to the Silver Age.

I'd also picked up The Micronauts, Uncanny X-Men, Avengers, Fantastic Four, Legion of Super-Heroesoff the spinner rack, as well as DC Special Blue Ribbon Digest #1 starring the Legion of Super-Heroes. I loved those cute little digest size comics. Another great thing about the Silver Age.

Doug said...

I went back and checked Mike's again -- I hadn't counted the books I had from this month.

Yeah, this had to be the last month I bought comics, as the only ones shown that I had were Avengers, FF, King Conan, and Peter Parker. Wow...

Sort of makes me sad for 14-year old me.


david_b said...

Doug.., pretty much agreed, and I know we're pretty close in terms of collecting-tenures.

Other than Perez's NTT and the Stern/Buscema Avengers stint (ok, invested in the first dozen issues of WCA....), I didn't collect much of anything in the '80s from the two big companies. My 'personal Bronze Age' ended by the late 70s.

I did enjoy the '80s Jonny Quest series from Comico quite a bit for a spell.

Anonymous said...

Doug - just when you were out, they drag you back in, eh? Interest in comics rekindled around '85... the DKR effect maybe? (lot of enthusiasm coming out of those reviews)


pfgavigan said...


Well, this appears to be a pivotal time for several of us in terms of our reading and buying habits.

At this time I was picking up less than ten books per month and most of those were provisional, none were must read although X-Men came close. The local Rexall drug store was were I made my lonely trek to peruse the weekly offerings, which meant one issue of most books and I wasn't too terribly perturbed if I happened to lose a particular title to another reader.

I do remember thinking various nasty thoughts regarding Marvel hiring processes and nepotism, but everything did work out well in the end.

So what kept me reading, even increasing my purchasing? A comic book store opened in town and the revolving editor-in-chief door at Marvel finally closed. Yeah, I enjoyed more than a few books during the Wild Time between Lee and Shooter, but there was enough drek reaching the magazine stands that I had come to consider a good read as the exception to the rule.


Unknown said...

Those were the days; 11 and all these issues/reprints.
Can never forget that Marvel tales reprint of ASM121; the cover blew me away.
That Vampirella pose seems risque. Hulk seems to be everywhere that month. That Fun and Games mag I remember as well. Those Archies and Richie Rich I must have read (loved having teenage female cousins) who always had a stash of them every month.

Martinex1 said...

Like others this was at the peak of my collecting path but for some reason the local corner drugstore must not have carried many of these. I have only a handful this month but the following month I have about twenty. I wanted that X-Men but could not find it. A friend had it and I read it intermittently. I always thought the beaten X-Men in the cages kind of defined the team for me; for some reason I always thought of them as underdogs, not ultra-powerful, butalways fighting against forces stronger than them. I'm not sure if that was intended exactly. I just always thought of the Avengers and FF as "A" team winners and the X-Men as down on their luck hackers. Lovable losers. For me that was part of their charm.

Also, I never saw that Marvel Spotlight with Dragon Lord. I'm curious about that.

And as far as the reprints. ...I loved the reprints.

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