Monday, January 5, 2015

Metal Mondays: "Evil Is In the Eye of the Beholder" by Gerber and Simonson

Greetings, Groove-ophiles! Hey, it's a new year, so you know some new departments are gonna start popping up. Today is the debut of Metal Mondays! What is Metal Mondays all about? Well, right now, it's about DC's 1976-77 Metal Men revival!

Dig it: in January 1976, the Metal Men (who'd only been seen in occasional team-ups with Batman in The Brave and the Bold and three 1973 reprint issues since their mag's demise in late 1969) were back! Editor (who'd soon take over as writer) Gerry Conway filled in the blanks about what had happened to Doc Magnus and his robotic charges over the past 7 years on the letters page (or did assistant editor Paul Levitz handle that page?), picked up the metallic ball and ran with it. Did'ja know that MM was Walt Simonson's first regular series since his legendary Manhunter strip in Detective Comics? Did'ja know Wild n Wooly Walt was so psyched about the first ish that he not only penciled and inked it, but lettered and colored it as well? (Why did they reject Simonson's--inked by Berni Wrightson!-- cover? Not to knock Dick Giordano's job...) Why did Steve Gerber script this ish? He was pretty much buried in work at Marvel at the time? Glad he did, though. Anywho, let's dig in to the return of the Metal Men as they learn..."Evil Is In the Eye of the Beholder!"

Simonson and Wrightson's rejected MM cover. Thanks for the  head's up, Jeff Clem!




















10 comments:

  1. It's a bit out of the time frame, but you should run some of Simonson's Captain Fear back-ups from UNKNOWN SOLDIER. It had ninjas (or as I pronounce it "nin-jers").

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  2. Apparently the full script by Gerber had been on file for quite a while when it was given to Simonson. It was planned to be a one-shot, but when Carmine Infantino saw the finished job; he was impressed enough to order a series. By that time Gerber had moved on and was indeed buried in Marvel Work.

    By the way, Trample,Raze and Annihilate is the law firm I use. They're expensive, but it's worth it just for the look on a plaintiff's face who decides to sue me, when they hear who they're up against.

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  3. I preferred this serious take on the Metal Men to the increasingly cartoony issues that followed. Loved the Simonson art.

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  4. Thank you thank you thank you,Mr Groove,for sharing this gem!
    Mr Simonson rock!
    Cheers!
    /Mr Anonymous

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  5. ...eh!..Mr Simonson rocks!...with an S!
    sorry.
    Cheers!
    /Mr Anonymous

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  6. Russ is correct. The MM script by Steve Gerber had been "in the drawer" for a year or so before it was published. I remember reading in an interview somewhere that certain artists and writers, when they wanted a raise, would do a job for the competitor in hopes of making them look more valuable/employable in obtaining that raise and, sometime in late '74/early '75, this might have been Steve's attempt. He supposedly did it again, later in late '77/early '78, when he wrote three issues of Mister Miracle while still employed by Marvel. Of course, he was eventually fired by Jim Shooter later that year. Too, Walt Simonson did draw the original cover, inked by Berni Wrightson but Carmine didn't like it. It was the cover to an issue of The Comic Reader (#136, I think). - Jeff Clem

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  7. Sir A is correct about the Captain Fear back-ups, but do not print them from the Art of Walt Simonson trade paperback from the late 80s/early 90s; story pages are printed out of order! - Jeff Clem

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  8. Russ and Jeff: Way to go, gentlemen! I need to start interviewing you guys when I need more info! Did a bit more digging and you guys answered all my questions--and more! And as for that rejected (!) Simonson/Wrightson cover, Walt tweeted it not terribly long ago. I'll add it to the main post!

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  9. My guess would be two of the main characters are facing away from camera. Many covers have been rejected over the years for characters facing away from the viewer.

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  10. That's what Walt surmised, as well, Kirk. Infantino and Stan and all the old guard hated those backs on covers!

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