Tuesday, November 4, 2008

The Grooviest President!

Does anyone reading this blog not know it's Election Day here in the good ol' U.S. of A.? If you didn't know, you really need to read something besides Ol' Groove's blog every once in a while, man! Sheesh! In fact, if you're over 18, registered, and a U.S. citizen, I urge you to get out there and vote if you haven't voted already. It's a right and a privilege, and it's also very, very cool. (Just got back from doin' it m'self!) End of ever-lovin' sermon!

Now, I know what you're expecting--something about DC's wild and wacky Prez comic. Well, I ain't goin' there today. I figure there'll be tons of blogs covering that kooky comic. If I'm wrong, and if you ask real nice, I'll share the first issue of Prez with ya this coming Famous First Friday. But only if you ask. Nicely. And I do accept bribes.

Nope, I was gonna focus on Presidential Appearances (just seemed right to capitalize that) of the Groovy Age, but there wasn't a lot of excitement in that. I did do some research though, looking at superhero comics produced by Marvel and DC only (hadda narrow it down somehow), and if you're interested in my findings, Jimmy Carter appeared the most times (14), followed by Gerald Ford (12), and Richard Nixon (7). Lyndon Johnson who was Prez during the dawn of the Groovy Age didn't make any Marvel or DC super-appearances that I could find (though he did seem to pop up in Herbie quite a bit...) Franklin D. Roosevelt deserves an honorable mention here, I suppose. Although he wasn't Prez during the Groovy Age (duh!), he did make quite a few appearances in the Invaders, which was set during WWII (when he was Prez. There, don't never say this blog ain't ejimicational!) Here's a quick look at those grooviest comicbook Commanders-in-Chief:

That's Richard Nixon, from Fantastic Four #104 (August, 1970) by Stan Lee and John Romita, Sr.; Gerald Ford from Defenders Annual #1 (July, 1976) by Steve Gerber, Sal Buscema, and Klaus Janson; and Jimmy Carter from Justice League of America #150 (October, 1977) by Steve Englehart and Dick Dillin, just in case you're wonderin'.

I had actually planned on running the whole Ford appearance from Defenders Annual #1 'cause it's so far-out, but then I remembered an issue of the Flash (by Cary Bates and Irv Novick, natch) Li'l Groove read way back in 1971...that's the one I have to share with you today. According to DC, in the future we'll have a different kind of President. And it'll be up to the Flash to keep him alive and kickin'! From the Flash #210 (August, 1971), ladies and gentlemen, I give you...Abraham Lincoln, President of the United States, 2971!
Ah, the way-out whimsy of DC in the Groovy Age. Kinda brings a tear to your eye, huh? But if you want something a little grittier; a little more down to earth and thought provoking, where better to go than to Stan Lee and John Romita's op-ed piece that ran in the 16 April, 1972, issue of the New York Times Magazine (and was reprinted in FOOM Magazine #17)? (A special "thanks, man" to my pal, Barry Pearl for the scan!)


  1. what a groovy site! looks like you and i have a lot of the same comics!

  2. Thanks, Prof.! I dig your site the most, too. I was drawn in by those Spoof stories you posted...luv 'em!

  3. Hey ... is that Adam Strange in the background on the splash page? Above The Flash's head?

  4. Sure is. His appearance on the cover actually sparked a bit of controversy back when that issue came out. Fans were looking at it as a continuity gaffe, but DC was still wary of continuity and wrote Adam Strange's appearance off as artistic license.

  5. LBJ appeared in Tales to Astonish 64.

    1. This comment has been removed by the author.

    2. Thanks for that info! I missed it in all the excitement, I guess. That was a little before the Groovy Age started. Did he appear in any Marvels or DCs after 1966?

  6. The only Marvel LBJ appearances I'm aware of are Astonish 64 and Astonish 68, both from 1965. In the latter, we hear his signature line, "Let us reason together!"

    I believe there's a JFK appearance in pre-Groovy Age FF, but I don't recall which issue.

    Captain America 155: There's a flashback scene with an unnamed White House denizen with a vague likeness to Truman, but he's still there by the end of the Korean War which happened historically during the Eisenhower administration, so I'm not sure what to think.

    Captain America 215: Definite appearance by Truman.

    Captain America 222: Captain America battles the statue of Lincoln in the Lincoln memorial.

    Captain America 250: Captain America is drafted to run for President himself!

  7. When does the Groovy Age end? Reagan made a couple of appearances in the Avengers in the 1980s....

    1. I set the end of the Groovy Age at the summer of 1980. Specifically the Death of Phoenix (X-Men #137); the next month the Wolfman/Perez New Teen Titans debuted, starting another age imo...

  8. How about other major US and world leaders?

    In the Golden Age, it was pretty common for Hitler and Tojo to appear as villains.

    In the Silver Age, Adlai Stevenson and Nikita Kruschev appear in FF Annual #1, the latter complete with shoe banging in the UN.

    In the Groovy Age, there are several appearances by Henry Kissinger, at least one by Spiro Agnew, and one by Jerry Brown.

  9. If leaders from the Fourth Estate are included, we have the following:

    Avengers 27, 1966: "Chet Brinkley." After waxing near-hysterical over the global flooding caused by Attuma's latest scheme, he ends with "Good night, David!"

    Doctor Strange 180, 1969: Tom Wolfe. Doctor Strange says he hasn't seen him since he was a "Kandy-Kolored, Tangerine-Flake Streamline Baby!"

    Hulk 142, 1971: Tom Wolfe, giving vague answers when asked what "radical chic" means, and whether he's going to write a nasty little article about the Hulk fundraising soiree.

  10. The Kennedy appearance was in FF 17 (1963). Doc Doom demands a post in his cabinet, and he's heard to say, "We must move forward and proceed with great vigor! And now, gentlemen, if you'll excuse me, it's Caroline's bedtime!"

    Did Eisenhower appear in any comics? There are certainly stories set in the 1950s, whether contemporaneous or through flashbacks, time travel or alternate histories.

  11. Speaking of alternate histories, Reagan makes a Groovy Age appearance, albeit not as President, in What If? 26, "What If Captain America Were Elected President?" (1980).

  12. Using character search on comicbookdb.com, I found that Eisenhower appeared in Sgt. Fury 108 "Bury My Heart At Dresden", probably as general, and in an alternate history in What If? 9, "What If the Avengers Had Been Formed During The 1950s", among others.

  13. Duh, I should have checked comicbookdb.com a long time ago.

    Using character search, then following group affiliation for the group "U.S. Presidents" and view by date of appearance, I easily found the groovy age LBJ appearances: Nick Fury 11, 1969; Kamandi 49, 1977 - the last mag on earth you'd expect to see LBJ in; What if? 5, 1977.

    I also found that George Washington appeared in Giant-Size Fantastic Four 2 (1974), Abe Lincoln appeared in Marvel Team-Up 45 along with Spidey and Killraven (must have been time travel), and all sorts of other Presidential appearances.



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As for the rest of ya, the purpose of this blog is to (re)introduce you to the great comics of the 1970s. If you like what you see, do what I do--go to a comics shop, bookstore, e-Bay or whatever and BUY YOUR OWN!