Tuesday, December 19, 2017

Groovy Christmases Past: 1976

Happy ho-ho-holidays, Groove-ophiles! We're truckin' back to December 1976 today! The Bicentennial bash was behind us, we had recently elected a new President here in the U.S. of A., and Teen Groove had a new hobby that (for a while) seemed like it was gonna rival comicbooks--my CB radio! Yep, Teen Groove was a regular "ratchet jaw" by the handle of Daredevil, and I really dug rappin' on that citizen's band base station. However, I couldn't talk ALL the time, so comicbooks were still safe--and I was buying more than ever! Dig it...

 Our beloved PLOP! was gone, but we got one last hoorah from Sergio Aragones!

 Magnificent Marshall Rogers moved from the back-ups in Detective Comics to make his Batman debut!

 Steve Englehart had moved from Marvel to DC to bring us a most exciting and far-out run on JLA! With double-length stories, to boot!

 Dollar Comics had arrived! Didja know they were originally a tad bit taller than the other Groovy Age comics? 

 Jack "King" Kirby's controversial Black Panther run was wild, man!

 Scott Edelman, Al Milgrom, and Terry Austin kept our Captain cool and cosmic!
 Bill Mantlo, John Byrne, and Bob Layton were turning out some awe-inspiring Champions issues. This is one of the best!

 Val Mayerick and Tony DeZuniga provided the gorgeous art for a cool Doug Moench "super-saga"!

 Farrah Fawcett as interpreted by George Perez and Klaus Janson! Teen Groove really dug Logan's Run!

 Adam Warlock illustrated by Dave Cockrum on the cover and John Byrne inside? Here's my thirty cents!

 Doug Moench, Walt Simonson, and Alfredo Alcala going back to the early days of Marvel! The Bloodstone back-up was far-out, too!


  1. So much goodness in 1976. Kirby covers galore, the ret-conned stories in Rampaging Hulk (with their exquisite Simonson/Alcala art), the Wein run on Thor, the aforementioned Cockrum/Byrne Warlock, Giffen/Janson on the Defenders, the delightfully innocent Nova,the teaming of Perez and Janson on Logan's Run and the incomparable Mantlo/Byrne/Layton storyline in the Champions (issues # 11 - 13 still a high water mark in comics 41 years later). It seems like the prolific Tony Dezuniga was everywhere providing his slick finishes to a multitude of artists. Even DC, which was wheezing behind Marvel in the race for quality had some decent mags this month. A slight correction, Groove. By December 1976 we had a new President-elect. He wouldn't be inaugurated for a month.

    1. This comment has been removed by the author.

    2. Whoops! Thanks for catching my historical snafu on the Prez (that's what I get for teaching world social studies instead of U.S. ss, gulp!). I fixed it, kehythd23.

  2. Many of these look like Kirby or at least Kirby-esque! What was going on at Marvel that month?!

  3. I was a big fan of Logan's Run, it still drives me nuts how the run ended. I hate unresolved stories.

  4. Great stuff, why was the Kirby run on Black Panther so controversial?

    1. Because Don McGregor's very realistic and highly praised Black Panther series in Jungle Action had been replaced by Kirby's sci-fi version. A lot of fans did not dig the change back then.

    2. Also, more generally, there was a perception at the time in some quarters that Kirby's approach to comics was old fashioned. Viewed from today though, it feels like the part of his singular body of work that it always was, and its the McGregor Panther that seems to belong to a specific time in comics - funny how that works.

      Btw, thats not intended as a criticism of the Jungle Action run - personally, I really liked both versions.


  5. I loved the Doc Savage B&W series. Moench did such a good job on the series and the art was always top notch.

    I had dropped the JLA series a few months before Englehart arrived, but picked it up again quickly. This is my runner-up favorite JLA run after Wein/Dillin/Giordano.

  6. Jim Aparo is criminally underappreciated. I was guilty of it for a long time, really only being familiar with his late Batman work, but his 1970s stuff is tremendous. He made crew cut, orange shirt, green pants Aquaman look cool.

    1. Aparo was one of the best imports from Charlton. This amazing man turned out five beautiful pages every week, pencils, inks and lettering. He was one of the few who resisted the tide and remained at DC his entire career. I would have loved to have seen his interpretation of Marvel characters (can you imagine what his Thor would have looked like?).



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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!

Note to "The Man": All images are presumed copyright by the respective copyright holders and are presented here as fair use under applicable laws, man! If you hold the copyright to a work I've posted and would like me to remove it, just drop me an e-mail and it's gone, baby, gone.

All other commentary and insanity copyright GroovyAge, Ltd.

As for the rest of ya, the purpose of this blog is to (re)introduce you to the great comics of the 1970s. If you like what you see, do what I do--go to a comics shop, bookstore, e-Bay or whatever and BUY YOUR OWN!