Wednesday, December 20, 2017

Groovy Christmases Past: 1977

Merry Christmas, Groove-ophiles! Ol' Groove is back with another trip back to the December offerings that could be found on our favorite spinner racks (or, by now in a lot of places, the bottom shelf of the magazine display) in the month of December. Today we're going back to Ol' Groove's (ugh!) high school freshman year of 1977. Going from grade school to high school was a huge change for Teen Groove, and it seemed that changes were in the offing for my beloved comicbooks. December 1977 was a month filled with highs and lows. A lot of shuffling of creative teams was happening (SHAZAM!, Daredevil, Captain Marvel, and Iron Man), a very cool and an admittedly just okay debut (Firestorm and Steel), and some head scratchers (Man from Atlantis and Human Fly)--but Teen Groove bought 'em all. Okay, not "all" but a lot. Probably too many. But hey, what better way to spend a cold winter break than with our super-pals from Marvel and DC?

 Steve Ditko drew a buncha Wonder Woman pages! Steve Ditko!!

 Yep, the conclusion of Steve Englehart, Marshall Rogers, and Terry Austin's "Laughing Fish" Joker two-parter! 

 Another extremely anticipated DC December debut!

 Shockingly awesome new version of the Marvel Family by artist Alan Weiss. 

 Longtime writer Scott Edelman's final ish/artist Pat Broderick's CM debut.

 Writer Roger McKenzie's DD debut (with Gil Kane/Klaus Janson art)!

 Gil Kane's final Warlord ish.

 Waaay up high on Ol' Groove's list of "comicbook perfection"! Roy Thomas, John Buscema, Alfredo Alcala, and Marie Severin? Happy Holidays, by Crom!

 Claremont and Byrne, baby! Meee-YOW!

 Walt Simonson layouts (yay)! Jack Abel finishes (what th--)?!


  1. I think some of the odd titles such as Human Fly and Man From Atlantis were Marvel's attempt to crowd DC off the newsstand. If it turned into a hit, even better. How many people had the ongoing experience of spinner racks that squeaked and barely spun? They always seemed to be crammed into a corner where reaching some titles required Olympic style gymnastics. I'm a huge fan of the Weiss/Rubinstein art team so their one shot on CM was visual ecstasy. I loved Firestorm with it's brief 5 issue run. Great Milgrom/Janson/Rubinstein/McLeod art. Steel was handicapped by the Don Heck art. Meanwhile the Spider titles, Thor, Rampaging Hulk and FF were humming along with their usual quality. Englehart/Rogers/Austin were winding down their legendary run on Detective. And who could ever get enough Kane/Janson art? All in all a tasty Christmas repast (with or without wassail).

  2. Was I the only person that liked Man From Atlantis?

    1. No. Just one of the few. ;D I liked the concept, but not the execution (TV show included).

    2. Not a thing wrong with that, Kevin! Maybe I need to give it a second chance...

  3. I've been loving these little holiday revisits. They take me instantly back to a time when comics were chock full of fun and I had to wander all over town to find books on spinners here and there. Great times and so many comics I wanted to read. Thanks.

    Rip Off

    1. You're welcome, Rip. Thank YOU for your wonderful blog. I don't get to comment often, but I read it first thing every day.

  4. Who drew that Man from Atlantis cover?

    I must have dropped out of comics reading (for a while) when these came out. I didn't have any of them back in the day. I had a bunch from the previous few posts.

    1. Ernie Chan did the MfA cover. It's really good, innit?

  5. Picked up all but two of these! Still longboxed. Such a great post! Remember riding my bike on snowy streets, wet floor in the candy store and all these titles in a paper bag on the way home. Great stuff!!!



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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!