Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Groove's Faves: "Nothing but a Man" by Maggin and Von Eeden

Greetings, Groove-ophiles! Today's post digs up yet another far-out tale from the Files of the Forgotten, the scintillating sequel to Elliot S! Maggin's legendary "What Can One Man Do?" from Green Lantern/Green Arrow #87 (September 1971). That tale, based on a term paper Maggin had written his junior year of college, catapulted the young writer into super-stardom, landing him a permanent place in editor Julie Schwartz's stable where he'd become a semi-regular on Superman, Action, and other DC comics. Lots of folks remember that story because of its stark-realism, superbly illustrated by Neal Adams and Dick Giordano. I know it really grabbed Young Groove, Green Arrow's experience in a race-riot and struggle with whether or not to serve as Star City's mayor forced me to think about things like tolerance, justice, and public service. It's been reprinted many times, most recently in one of DC's mammoth Showcase editions. 'Tis the definition of a classic.

Few, sadly, remember Maggin's stunning sequel, "Nothing but a Man" from World's Finest #255 (November 1978), in which G.A. (as Oliver Queen, natch) finally does run for mayor. Again, the story is superbly written, fraught with realism and pathos, thought-provoking, and yes, painful in its frankness. While the art by a teen-aged Trevor Von Eeden packed a punch, much of the realism was drained from it by Vinnie Colletta's feathery, cartoony inks. If a 20-something Von Eeden had drawn this baby, t'would have definitely made fandom stand up and take notice. Still, "Nothing but a Man" deserves much more attention that it will ever get. And here's why...


  1. Some of those Geen Lantern/Green Arrows comics of the 70s are among the most remarkable ever published.

  2. This is quickly becoming one of my favorite blogs. Yesterday I got lost in all that Star Lord stuff (followed teh links for more underneath the post). I loved Doug Moench from 80's Moon Knight ("Hit it!") but was a little late for most of what you're posting here. Love it. Other than the hair, moustaches, and fabrics by Monsanto, the '70's clearly ruled!

    Now the lesser known follow-up to a well known 70's comic lots of folks have read. Brilliant. And thanks!

  3. I have been looking for this story for years. I first read it in a black and white arabic language reprint in the 1980s, which were my formative years as a comics enthusiast and, along with two or three other stories, it has been on my mind ever since. Recentlty watching the Arrow TV series with my kids, I started thinking about how to introduce them to the Green Arrow mythos (they are slowly ecoming comics-obsessed themselves) and this seemed like an essential part; Thank you so much for posting it in its entirety.

    PS: reading it in black and white made it seem even more "mature" to me, and I still have this memory when I compare it to this coloured original.



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Note to "The Man": All images are presumed copyright by the respective copyright holders and are presented here as fair use under applicable laws, man! If you hold the copyright to a work I've posted and would like me to remove it, just drop me an e-mail and it's gone, baby, gone.

All other commentary and insanity copyright GroovyAge, Ltd.

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!