Thursday, November 18, 2010

Making A Splash: John Byrne's The Avengers

Greetings, Groove-ophiles! For a short-but-oh-so-sweet-time, Jocular John Byrne was awarded the regular penciling chores of The Mighty Avengers. (Yeah, I know he filled in on Avengers #'s 164-166, but Ol' Groove's gotta keep some things back for future posts, right?) JB was still working his magic on the X-Men and working with Marv Wolfman on the Fantastic Four at the same time, if you can believe that. S'true, though, 'cause ya know Ol' Groove wouldn't jive ya! How JB handled such a herculean workload is only part of the Byrne Mystique, but handle it he did--and with style, baby! Just plant your peepers on the masterpieces that follow--straight outta the pages of Avengers #'s 181-191 (December 1978-October 1979). Are ya ready? Set! Let's go!!


  1. Absolutely loved all of those issues. I know he had a lot on his plate at the time, but I always thought Byrne's tenure on the Avengers was all too brief. If he had stuck around for at least another 10-20 issues, he would probably be considered among the definitive Avengers artists together with Buscema and Perez.

  2. Those are indeed classics for any Avengers fan. I was 8 or 9 when they were released. My mom would pick up a comic or two for me from PX on the Alameda naval air base. But often I would miss a month or two worth of issues. So, as I grew older is was an added treat to fill in those missing issues. Much like a puzzle.

    Elementary, Dear Avengers was just an amazing issue to me. Of course the head shot/roll call on Heart of Stone was fabulous too.

    Always nice to revisit these classics from my youth.

    1. You're exactly right...the hunt for back issues was very much like a puzzle, especially in the mid 1960s, when the distribution of silver age marvels was spotty, and comics were considered disposable...traded between kids, sold on yard sales, donated to schools, etc. You could piece together some stories from the Bullpen Bulletins page or Mighty Marvel Checklist, or read the letters pages with comments on issues that appeared 3 months earlier. But the best help was the in-house ads from 1964-66 that showed what you were seeking or hunting for at yard sales, barber shops, used bookstores, etc. It was "Much like a puzzle"...and it was "The Thrill of the Hunt" to quote Spider-Man #34.

  3. Hey Groovster!
    It is amazing Byrne, like kirby. Could do so many different titles every month. Especially team books too! I forgotten just how hard Byrne was working. He sure paided his dues as they say.

    Dan Green & Klaus Jansen were great inker's on Byrne's art, like Joe Sinnott was for him on FF. I just wish the line up back then. Would had included some other Avengers. Like the Hulk & Hercules, more powerhouses. I really dug the fun relationship between Simon Williams/Wonderman & the Beast though. They were really funny together. I miss that era of comics ALOT!



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