Monday, May 18, 2015

Ol' Groove's Request Line: "Massacre by Remote Control" by Bates and Grell

Greetings, Groove-ophiles! We're back with a very special post from Ol' Groove's Request Line--Mike Grell's first full artwork on The Legion of Super-Heroes from Superboy #203 (April 1974)! This is a great big "Happy Birthday!" request for Groove-ophile (and artistic genius) James Sanders III! It's a milestone in the history of the Legion in more ways than one baby, right down the letters page (which Ol' Groove has included) and its heavy-handed handling of Dave Cockrum's departure from LSH! Here ya go, Jimbo! Happy Birthday!!





















15 comments:

  1. Please give us some background. Murray Boltinoff sure seems to have it in for Dave Cockrum?
    Thanks!

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    1. dave cockrum wanted his artwork back from lsh#200(ironically enough from the same issue they gave short shrift to in the above letter pages)-it was a double page splash of bouncing boy and duo damsels wedding-boltinoff scoffed at the request and cocrum packed his supplies and went to marvel-first he did a stint on the avengers as an inker where he inked such legendary pencillers as john buscema-george tuska- bob brown-don heck-and then new comers rich buckler and jim starlin-he then went on to pencil and ink x-men#94 an the rest is comic book history :)

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    2. Yep, in everything I've ever read, that Superboy #200 splash was the cause of the Cockrum/DC split.

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  2. Mike Grell was always swiping Neal Adams when he drew the Legion, and this issue is no exception. Loads of Adams faces and figures here have been swiped. For example, the last of Mon-El in the last panel was swiped from Adams' Oliver Queen face from, interestingly enough, the last panel of GREEN LANTERN/GREEN ARROW #84, inked by Berni Wrightson, and published in 1971.

    Chris A.

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    Replies
    1. Well, if ya gotta swipe Neal Adams is the one to do it from.

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    2. give the guy a break-at that time several new comers to comics were also swiping neal adams-pat broderick-mike nasser(retzer)-rich buckler and this continued all the way to the 80's

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    3. It was distracting to me, even as a pre-teen at the time, to be reading a LEGION comic drawn by Grell, only to be jolted out of the story because he copied Neal Adams figures from comics that I already owned. I remember well a Batman figure in Adams' "Ghost of the Killer Skies" story threatening a baddie unless he talked, and seeing that same figure in an Element Lad costum, threatening Roxxas in LEGION #211's "The Ultimate Mistake." Now when I see these online I only see more and more of the swipes. Relentless. Grell should have sent part of his paychecks to Neal Adams.

      Chris A.

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    4. Actually, I wouldn't be surprised if the powers that were at DC didn't encourage new artists to draw like Adams in much the same way as Stan would tell new artist to draw like Jack Kirby (and who knows, Roy might've let 'em have their picks from Kirby, John Buscema, and Adams). Grell quickly grew into his own unique style, though, and I love it!

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  3. Wow! I guess I didn't read the letter page when I bought this off the newsstand. Of course, I was only ten years old when this was published, so there's a good chance it went over my head if I did read it. I remember being pretty disappointed when Cockrum left. I had really started getting into the Legion before he departed, but I soon came to enjoy Grell just as much.

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  4. I always wondered who was behind the ungracious comment about Dave Cockrum on the letters page: Murray Boltinoff or Carmine Infantino? He might have been an unknown when he started on the Legion but it was his sheer talent that propelled them to new heights of glory. It was attitudes like that at DC that drove many creators to Marvel in the 70s.

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  5. I remember buying this when it first came out and wearing the pages out of the thing! I LOVED Grell's combo of Adams/Cockrum, and how streamlined and "futuristic" it looked! Just right for the Legion! The cameos of Imra and Nura were great, as well. Including the second appearance of Nura's sleepwear! Too bad about Lyle, of course. He actually looked cooler here as well, and was the earliest example I can remember of the current colorization of comics.

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  6. thanks groove!!! who loves ya, baby ;)

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  7. Thanks for the post! I remember this comic very well. I bought this when I was twelve and was instantly won over by Grell's artwork. This comic was the one that actually started me collecting comics, which lasted more than twenty years. The Legion was the first series I collected (thanks to Grell).

    In time, I moved on the many others of course. By the early 90's I had started attending small, weekend shows to start selling comics. Turning comics into a business finally killed my interest in them. By July of '94 they were simply pieces of colored paper to me and I sold off everything at the Chicago Comic Con at the Rosemont Center. I haven't bought a comic since and I really have no idea what's even going on with them today.

    That would have probably been the end if I hadn't stumbled across your website last week. Having grown up in the 70's, it peaked my interest...what a fantastic joy this site is!! I've seen MANY comics that I had forgotten about and hadn't seen since their original release...including this one. Until today, I hadn't seen this comic in 41 years. It instantly brought back a huge rush of memories that I had lost (well, misplaced maybe....). I still love Grell's art.

    Although I still won't be collecting anymore, your site (and especially the Grell Legion artwork comics) take me back to a simpler time in my life and bring about an avalanche of (misplaced ?) memories and feelings. Please keep up the good work and thanks from an old man that knows these comic s well. Thank you my friend.....

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  8. I believe the Cockrum departure came about because Cockrum asked for the original art for a double page spread that appeared in Superboy #200 (the wedding scene of Bouncing Boy and Duo Damsel). The Powers-That-Be refused his request, so he left.

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  9. So the question is, was Cockrum able to get Marvel to give him his original art back? Marvel wasn't exactly known for restoring artwork to the original creators (esp. Kirby) back then.

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