Monday, April 24, 2017

Marvel-ous Mondays: "And Then Came...Blockbuster!" by Edelman and Mooney

Greetings, Groove-ophiles! Today we're looking back at Omega the Unknown #7 (December 1976), the first of two fill-in issues ordered by Jim Shooter (who was acting as Marvel's Editor-In-Chief, although Archie Goodwin still had the title). Shooter's goal was to get Marvel back on track schedule-wise. He ordered lots of fill-ins and short back-up features to help keep Marvel from publishing any more reprints-as-fillers since 1976 was filled to overflowing with them (1977 had its share of 'em, too, but that's fodder for another column). According to Scott Edelman from his very own website (you can read it for yourself if ya wanna), OtU was in danger of falling to the Dreaded Deadline Doom for some reason or another. In order to head the problem off at the pass, Shooter took Edelman and Roger Stern to dinner to tell them that they were to write fill-ins that wouldn't upset the continuity of Omega (in other words, no major changes to the status quo--such as it was under regular writers Steve Gerber and Mary Skrenes). And he needed those stories right away. Edelman managed to get the art done by regular OtU artist Jim Mooney. You can find out next month who drew Stern's ish (if you don't already know!). Anyway, Ol' Groove feels Edelman did a pretty good job of keeping the ball rolling with "And Then Came...Blockbuster!"
Cover art by Dave Cockrum


  1. It was a significant sign of the times that fill-in stories were needed on a series which had barely just begun. The series was already bimonthly to begin with. That they could get Mooney, the regular artist to draw the story lets you know where the delays were coming from. I'm a big booster of talent, but like any consumer I want my entertainment delivered in the advertised fashion and in a timely way. Being a Marvel fan (or trying to be) was tough at this time and that might explain why for a few years I let DC take the lead in my affections.

    Rip Off

  2. Hiya,

    By a very strange coincidence, I was reading R. S. Martin's account of this at his website. He made it very clear that said delay originated with the regular writers and while one understood the necessity for the fill-ins to maintain the regularity of the schedule and avoided late fees from the printer, the other was offended and thought that the book should have been suspended from the publishing schedule until such time as they were able to clear enough from their calendar and return to script it.

    Words fail me.



  3. Hiya,

    Forgot to mention that I think we ought to give Scott Edelman and Roger Stern their due. With very little warning and prep time they were both able to deliver the goods.

    By the by, I really wish you had reconsidered that line about Shooter acting as the Editor-in-Chief while Goodman still held the title. Goodman was in charge and either of the regular writing duo could have approached him with any objections that they might have had. There's no evidence that Shooter's actions were taken without Goodman's acquiescence and it's hard to believe that someone with the business acumen as Shooter would have taken such actions without approval from his boss.



    1. Yep, Edleman and Stern are top notch writers and did a fine job filling in.

      I didn't mean to imply anything negative about Shooter's actions in hiring Edelman and Stern at all. I was just repeating the facts based on multiple sources. Nor was it a dig at Goodwin (not Goodman--that was the former publisher before Stan), either. T'was Shooter's job to get things on schedule, but he's not in the credits--Goodwin is. I thought about saying "on behalf" of Goodwin, but from what I've read in many places (most famously from Sean Howe's book), Shooter was "assistant editor," if you will,starting with Marv Wolfman's turn as EiC. That's s'posed to be how he got the name "Trouble" Shooter. I look at that as a very good thing.

  4. Beautiful Cockrum cover. The man could sure draw



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