Monday, June 8, 2015

Metal Mondays: "Our Mentor, the Robot" by Pasko, Kanigher, Staton, Andru, and Esposito

Y'know, Groove-ophiles, Marvel wasn't the only company who had to battle the Dreaded Deadline Doom. DC, on much more rare occasion, battled that plague of lateness, too. Take, for example, the fiftieth anniversary ish of Metal Men. As regular artist Walt Simonson transitioned from interior artist to cover artist, to be replaced inside by Joe Staton, writer Martin Pasko hit the deadline wall, leading to MM #50 (November 1976) running a partial reprint of MM #6 by Robert Kanigher, Ross Andru, and Mike Esposito. Here's what the letters page had to say about the sitch:

Anyway, we got a new framing sequence from Martin and Joe, then lots of reprints. A bit disappointing for an anniversary ish. Oh well! Next ish, Martin will get some help and Joe cuts loose. Meantime, dig on..."Our Mentor, the Robot"!


  1. Can someone help ole "Charlie Horse 47" out by explaining why Marvel kept having "the dreaded deadline doom?"

    1. Seems that for a time, Marvel's production schedule wasn't as closely adhered to as necessary, writers and/or pencilers missing the printing deadline, forcing fill-ins or reprints. I suppose each situation was different, but I can imagine folks over-extending themselves, family emergencies, and sometimes just life, itself, getting between creator and deadline. It did get bad for a while, but by 1977 or so it was getting under control, and by 78 or 79 the DDD was a thing of the past. Hope that helps, Charlie!

    2. Hey Groove, Last night I read up a little on the DDD... I did not find any causes beyond what you wrote, but apparently the "printers" had a solid contract with Marvel/DC for regularly scheduled printing, to keep the presses rolling. So, Marvel /DC had to get something/anything to the printers or face fines/penalties. That's not the contractual situation today which is why months-long gaps in printing the next issue is not so uncommon. I.e., no contractual deadlines any more so no more DDD. B.t.w. thanks for the "green" captain marvel. Somewhere deep in my childhood memory I have an image of the green captain and the original x-men (particularly the Angel) from one of those comic book machines you put the dime and two pennies into the handle, pushed the handle in, and the comic fell. Was there such a cover? Or perhaps two covers side by side in the machine? Have a good day.



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Special thanks to Mike's Amazing World of Comics and Grand Comics Database for being such fantastic resources for covers, dates, creator info, etc. Thou art treasures true!

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