Thursday, May 26, 2016

Bring on the Back-ups/Thursday Triple-play: "From the Sky...Winged Wrath!", "...In the Den of the Dazzler!", "To Cage an Angel!" by Seigel, Tuska, and Ayers

 Hey, hey, hey, Groove-ophiles! Tomorrow is the U.S. premiere of X-Men: Apocalypse, and Ol' Groove's got his fingers crossed (which makes typing pretty excruciating) that this new entry into mutant movie-dom is as good as the last two! My fave original X-Man, the Avenging Angel, looks to have a much bigger part in the new flick than he had in the third X-Men installment, so now is as good a time as ever to look back at the Groovy Age Angel. So, whaddya say we dig on those rare Angel back-ups from Ka-Zar issues 2-3 (September, December 1970) and Marvel Tales #30 (January 1970), ugliest-superhero-threads-ever and all.

For an angel, Warren Worthington III had a devil of a time getting his solo-tales into print. In less than a year's time, he had two books cancelled out from under his three-part solo epic. Both the X-Men book itself (for which these stories could have been created as back-up features, but Ol' Groove and others think they might've been intended as an ish of X-Men during the "Death of Professor X" era) and the giant-sized Ka-Zar reprint mags bit the dust in 1969/70 (and yeah, X-Men was quickly revived as a reprint mag, but that's beside the point) before the complete tale could be told.

Still and all, this three-part saga is a pretty important turning point in WWIII's life (hey, was Stan trying to tell us something when he named our winged mutant?). Plus, it introduces us to the original Dazzler (blechh, okay, that one's more of a liability). It's the first solo X-Men story to appear outside the Merry Mutants' own title. Oh, and it's written by Superman co-creator Jerry Siegel (some extremely rare Groovy Age Marvel work) with powerful (if rushed-looking) art by the team of George Tuska and Dick Ayers.

"Groove, shaddup already and get on with the stories!"

Okay, okay. Sheesh.


  1. Fantastic stuff! Angel has always been my favorite X-Man even after Beast changed into his much more charismatic blue self. These Angel stories are oddballs, lingering on the edge of the Marvel Universe barely known and rarely if ever mentioned. I agree these were likely intended for the abruptly ended X-Men period when they wandered apart after the "death" of Professor X. Tuska is always so dang reliable on art and his villains are always so toothy. Great stuff! Thanks.

    Rip Off

  2. It was fun following this tale through various titles in the Groovy Age. And to have Jerry Siegel script it? Hoo boy.

  3. Thanks for posting this, Groove. I never even knew these stories existed until I read Byrne's "X-men: The Hidden Years" in which they were referenced at one point.
    It's interesting that they were written by Siegel, and also a bid sad that the co-creator of Superman had to work writing back-up stories and whatnot to earn a little extra money...

    And yes, that outfit is pretty awful. Even those yellow and red (orange?) togs he wore in the initial issues of the Champions were better.

  4. Groove, I was thinking about the yellow Angel and was actually going to ask you to run some! (Kind of like the green Mar-vell some months ago! Guess I'm not into primary colors.) You read my mind! OK - tell me Steranko's yellow Angel on X-Men 49 doesn't look sharp? Was that the first yellow ANgel, b.t.w?

    Cheers, Charlie Horse



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