Thursday, June 21, 2012

The Grooviest Covers of All Time: Summer of 1977, Marvel Style

Greetings, Groove-ophiles!  The Summer of 1977! Star Wars! Smokey and the Bandit! The Deep! The Spy Who Loved Me! Charlie's Angels! Three's Company! What's Happenin'! Alice! The Gong Show! Fleetwood Mac's Rumours! Boston! The Eagle's Hotel California! Frampton Comes Alive! Teen Groove had graduated 8th grade and was headed for the hallowed halls of high school. Yeah, this was a big summer, and it's time again to stop and gaze back lovingly at the comics we spent the summer (35 years ago) with. Today we'll wallow in the wonderment that was Marvel Comics...






































Wow! Marvel got neck-deep into licensing: Edgar Rice Burroughs, Hanna-Barbera, Godzilla, the Human Fly, and, best of all, KISS and Star Wars! John Byrne was running wild on the Avengers, Star-Lord, Marvel Team-Up, and Champions! Kirby was kompleting his tenure on Captain America and the Falcon, while it was the end of the road for Adam Warlock, Thanos, Omega the Unknown, Super-Villain Team-Up, and 2001: A Space Odyssey. Mighty Marvel was definitely still on the move, baby! Tune in tomorrow to see what DC was up to in the Summer of 1977!

21 comments:

  1. A epic summer indeed! 1977 was when Marvel was still functioning on all pistons. Like a well oiled machine! It was nearly impossible for me to buy every comic. Luckly I lived in a area with many book, magazine, corner mom & pop & rex-saw drug stores. Marvel's Tresury's blew me away too, especially the Star Wars movie adaptation. As well as the first 6 or so & the Howard the Duck meets the Defenders!

    Marvel had such a huge powerhouse of talented both writers & artists still back then too. Kirby was back! Cockrum & Byrne were in their prime! Gil Kane's powerful covers & interior art! John Buscema, Sal Buscema! The only art I wasn't totally gaga over was Ross Andru's Spidey. Growing up with Ditko, Romita SR & Big John Buscema on Spidey & the rest! If only the Sub-Mariner's book had still been going strong. With art by either Buscema. It would had been the perfect summer to me. I spent that summer in Canogo Park, CA! If only my aunt would had gave me a ride to Sherman Oaks! If I had known that area, I would had rode my bike, took the bus or hitchiked to meet King Kirby in person! Sigh!

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  2. I had that first issue of the Human Fly! I had no idea it was from 1977. I wonder what happened to my copy...

    I never knew Marvel ever had Hanna-Barbera licences. I know Flintstones was licensed by Charlton for years.

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  3. I want to travel in my "Way Back" machine and return to that wonderful summer.I was 16,first real girlfriend,got my driver's license...reading these comics! Avengers Annual#7 + Marvel 2 in 1 annual#2...two-part Starlin/Thanos epic!Kirby on Capt.America & Bl.Panther!John Carter-Warlord of Mars,Human Fly,Conan & KISS...good times!

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  4. I love these covers...many of them have been posted on " My favorite covers " blog

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  5. Many, many thanks for this. God -- 1977. It seems impossibly long ago. You have NO IDEA how much I relish this site. I'm a very happy man now, but who wasn't happier as a teenager? I poured over many of those books without a real care in the world. It's this carefree quality that I think is an essential component in feeling a sense of wonder...

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  6. I was past my collect-every comic in the 70's having graduated from college in 74', but yes those were great comics. Funny how you can almost picture what you were doing when you read them, like listening to a song from back then

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  7. Boy... I still own about a third of these comics. I remember specifically buying the Super Villain Team Up and Tarzan issues. 35 years. YIKES.

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  8. Love the array of team books Marvel produced in'77: the Invaders,FF,Defenders,The Eternals,Avengers & Champions...I miss their line of Marvel magazines,too1 Ah, memories!!

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  9. That issue of Amazing Spider-Man was the very first comic book I ever owned. God, the memories seeing its cover posted here today has fired up in me.

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  10. I was 11 years old! I bought about half of these from 7/11 and the local drug store during that summer. No comic shops around back then. How can you beat Kirby, Colan, the Buscemas, Robbins, Gil Kane (all over the place), Star Wars, KISS, Godzilla. and Tarzan? You can't!

    And that Byrne guy had my attention and became an obsession as soon as I got ahold of Team-Up #62. Ah. Imagine all those comics, bent and stuffed into two shoeboxes… bliss.

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  11. Old Groove has done it again. The summer of 1977 was right before my senior year of high school. I had and still have almost all of those issues. This post brings back so many memories. And I think the John Carter comic was better than the movie.

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  12. ah, yes! there was so much great stuff going on, back then, so much stuff I was a big fan of. Omega, Nova, Two-in-One, Tomb of Dracula, the Invaders, that awesome Star-Lord, Weirdworld, John Carter, the Defenders, and, of course, Howard the Duck ( & you know I loves me some Howard the Duck, Groove! ). I was the only person I knew who liked 2001 and the Eternals, I remember. everyone else hated the Kirby books. fools!

    that's a great selection there, mate.

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  13. I can almost smell the newsprint. I think I had about two-thirds of these. I miss the days of done-in-one issues, not to mention some of the giants like Kane, Perez, Kirby and Colon. Not to knock today's artists, but you have to admit that they each had an easily identifiable style. Or do I sound like a grumpy old-fart?

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  14. Marvel 70's fan4everJune 21, 2012 at 9:00 PM

    They don't make comics like that anymore. I remember the Invaders with Roy Thomas, Machine Man,Black Panther,Eternals,Captain America:All by Kirby, cover to cover. The Thor annual, Human Fly, Black and White one dollar Hulk Magazines! It was comics heaven back then! What do we have now? $3.99 comics and a constantly revolving door of creators.

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  15. First - another amazing post, Groove! But I have mixed emotions about this time period. I was 15, heavy into collecting. But, this was about the time my interest began to wane. I think it was mainly due to the natural change in a teenager's interests. But another part of it was that trying to be a completist became damn near impossible because Marvel had expanded into SO MANY titles. And let's face it - some of them were not really that good.

    Still in all, some great memories. Thanks for 'em.

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  16. Hey, Groove --

    I actually read your DC post of Friday before tripping back in the Groove Archives to check this one out. While I had many of the DC books you posted, looking through the inventory above is it any wonder that most '70's children were Marvel Zombies?? Just by the covers alone, the art was across the board better (OK, the three Neal Adams offerings you showed in the DC post were pretty slick), and the cover compositions were infinitely more interesting.

    Man, I wish I was as excited about comics as a 46-year old as I was when I was 11...

    Doug

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  17. Wow. I have several of these issues, purchased from the spinner racks at the local grocery store. I have several others that I purchased later from dealers in the '80's.

    Slightly shocked to see the second cover in this post, Spidey vs the Molten man, one of the first five comics I owned (which included a Superman reprint and a Batman reprint from Pizza Hut (!), Star Wars, and an appearance of Moon Knight in ASM).

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  18. A couple of things:
    1. In terms of longing for done-in-one issues: There were so many stories and villains in the first 150 issues of comics like Spider-Man and Fantastic Four. Could you imagine if each of those stories were drawn out to 4-6 issues each? I'm betting many of the new and various villains would never have been created because there wouldn't have been enough time to do so. If a writer is on a book for two years, he basically only has enough time these days to tell a couple of stories;

    2. I miss covers that had action on them. If you look at most Marvel covers today, they are mostly made up of generic poses that don't really make one issue's cover different from the next one. It's often difficult to look at a modern Marvel cover and remember what happened in the issue because many of the covers are pretty generic...

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  19. I received several of these comics in a "three-fer" pack from the local grocery store. Marvel used to bag up random back issues in a package and sell them for a reduced price (best guess was $1). You could usually only see the first issue, and maybe the last (if someone had turned it around). The middle one was always a mystery!

    I got the Powerman issue, The Avengers issue, and I think the next Conan issue all in one three-pack. Best $1 in comics!

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  20. This was the summer I started collecting comics as a 9-year-old. I had almost all of these... I didn't get into the Sword-and-Sorcery comics until much later... But the Superhero mags were purchased after getting chore-money from my mom.

    Great memories of a first summer that led to many years collecting...

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  21. I just hope the rest of these make it into the Essential volumes...We need Omega, Tarzan, 2001, and others!

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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!