Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Black and White Wednesday: "The Krylorian Conspiracy" by Moench, Simonson, and Alcala

Check it out, Groove-ophiles! Back in 1976, Marvel had cut its b&w line almost to the bone. Savage Sword of Conan, Crazy, and Marvel Preview were still going strong, but Doc Savage and Deadly Hands of Kung Fu were each a heartbeat away from cancellation. The horror mags were gone, baby, gone. Marvel needed something to shake things up, to get their b&w mags more attention. Someone had the genius (really!) idea of doing a b&w Hulk mag. After all, Ol' Greenskin had started off as Ol' Grayskin, so t'was a natural fit. How to do it, though, and keep it different from the Incredible color version? Why, set the b&w tales between the events of the final ish of The Hulk's original mag and his strip in Tales to Astonish that started in ish #60. That left a gap (not counting Ol' Greenskin's guest appearances) of about a year and a half that could be used to tell "untold tales". The creative team of Doug Moench (writer), Walt Simonson (layouts), and Alfredo Alcala (finishes/inks) was chosen, and it was off to wild and wacky adventures involving aliens, Rick Jones, The X-Men, Sub-Mariner, and even The Avengers. T'was a fun and cool series with incredible art, but after nine issues, Rampaging Hulk was re-vamped as The Hulk!, in color with stories that would appeal (Marvel hoped) to fans of The Hulk's then-new TV show. Oh, and Bereet and the Krylorians were totally retconned in the 80s, so the b&w stories are no longer cannon. They were still good! Here's the first one..."The Krylorian Conspiracy!"
Cover art by Ken Barr






































7 comments:

  1. Did you catch Bereet as the woman waiting on Peter Quill's ship in the Guardians movie?

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    1. Good notice, William. I will have to go back and check that out, now.

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  2. There was a lot to enjoy in those black and white issues. The color Hulk was a real let-down, but it did give us the Moon Knight series. One issue I remember well is the Jim Starlin/Alex NIno cosmic collaboration, I had a feeling you might have already posted it at one time and sure enough: http://diversionsofthegroovykind.blogspot.com/2009/02/black-and-white-wednesday-rampaging.html
    Fantastic stuff.

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  3. I just remember being so excited by this. I even copied The Hulk figure from the splash page. I may even still have that drawing somewhere. It was so great to be a Marvel Comics fan in the seventies.

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  4. I really liked the concept and execution of this series. The art team of Simonson and Alcala was superb. The retconning of the stories went pretty smoothly, only running into trouble with the X-Men appearance. In X-Men # 66, it is supposedly their first meeting with the Hulk. But he encounters them earlier in this mag. Still, it was a minor blip in an otherwise well-done collection of tales that exemplified Marvel's exuberance and willingness to try new things in the mid-to-late 70s.

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  5. This is, I think, my favorite run of the Hulk. It was such a smart, inventive and beautifully drawn book. In fact -- pile on the hate -- I think Marvel's B&W magazines were their finest output of the groovy decade....

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    1. I agree. Tales of the Zombie, Dracula Lives, Vampire Tales, Monsters Unleashed, Savage Tales, Marvel Preview, Savage Sword of Conan, Crazy. What a great collection of magazines.

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