Friday, December 3, 2010

Famous First Fridays: Don McGregor Debuts

Hey, hey, hey, Groove-ophiles! Today we're celebrating the dazzling debut of one of Ol' Groove's favorite wordsmith's, Dauntless Don McGregor. Don rose from the ranks of fandom, broke in at Warren, then went on to fame at Marvel with critically acclaimed runs on Black Panther in Jungle Action and War of the Worlds/Killraven in Amazing Adventures. He also helped pioneer the direct sales and graphic novel arenas with Sabre. To say that Don was a trailblazer, an inspiration, and a heckuvva writer would be like sayin' the Atlantic Ocean is a little wet.

Don's pro debut occurred with the publication of Creepy #41's (cover-dated September 1971) "A Tangible Hatred". The hallmarks of McGregor's style are all there. The unique plot, the verbose scripting (which Ol' Groove loves, man! When I wanna read, baby, I wanna r-e-a-d!), the humanity, the challenge. Yeah, McGregor forced us to think--no spoon-fed platitudes from the Dauntless One. Jim Warren must've known he was unleashing a force to be reckoned with since he handed the art chores to the equally expressive and mind-blowing Richard Corben. Check it out!

As I said, from Warren, Don moved to Marvel where he worked as a proofreader. He finally got a Marvel writing credit published in January 1973's Journey Into Mystery #4. "The Man With Two Faces" was co-written with veteran Gardner Fox (who did what? Don, if you're out there, please chime in and tell us!) and drawn by another veteran Win Mortimer...

Don's first solo-writing credit for Marvel soon followed in Chamber of Chills #5 (April 1973). Another short-shocker, "A Tomb by Any Other Name!" was drawn by yet another of the venerable old guard, Syd Shores.

From there it was on to the aforementioned Black Panther and Killraven,plus Morbius, Power Man, and so many more. Don made an indelible mark on each character he touched. He made an indelible mark on his readers, as well. Thanks for the memories, Don! But hey, Groove-ophiles, don't go thinkin' this is a wake--no way! Don's still kicking up his heels! Check out his website and friend him on Facebook! And tell 'im Ol' Groove sent ya!


  1. I've just finished reading the Marvel Masterworks Jungle Action book, first time I've read Panther's Rage in it's entirety since it was first published. I've always championed Don's Black Panther run, but, in truth, I think I'd forgotten just HOW GOOD it was. far superior to anything being produced at the time, and the one series that, without which, I don't believe we'd ever have seen a Watchmen. he's not to everyone's taste, I know, but, along with Steve Gerber, Don McGregor's got to be my favourite comic book writer. the man's a legend.

  2. If you're president of the Don McGregor Admiration Society, Groove, then I'm Vice-President! It's impossible for me to overstate how much his Killraven and Black Panther comics meant to me back in the day, and I still love them to this day. He's truly underrated in my book.

    And the more Syd Shores art I see from this period, the more I like...

  3. ...and if you two have those positions, I'll be Treasurer....oh, but then again, he never has made much money from his fantastic prose, maybe I'll be Chief Teamaker!
    Thanks for profiling Don, who deserves so much more praise!



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