Friday, May 11, 2018

The Grooviest Covers of All Time: The New Kids of 1968

50 years ago, Li'l Groove was actually too little to read comics, but I picked up a few here and there and grew to love them passionately. I had no idea of the changes that the comicbook industry was going through, mostly because Marvel got a new distributor and was going to be allowed to publish as many books as their publisher, Martin Goodman, saw fit. This also meant that DC was going to have to up their game so as not to lose rack space. Marvel's "split books" (books that featured two Marvel heroes) split into their own titles. Tales of Suspense begat Captain America and Iron Man. Tales to Astonish split into Incredible Hulk and Sub-Mariner. Strange Tales birthed Dr. Strange and S.H.I.E.L.D. The Silver Surfer got his own mag. Marvel even gave us some new heroes in 1968: Captain Marvel, debuting in Marvel Super-Heroes in 1967, got his own mag in 1968. Guardians of the Galaxy came to be, also in Marvel Super-Heroes. The Vision and Yellowjacket were introduced in The Avengers. Over at DC, Wonder Woman chucked her costume and powers to become a "mod" spy-type of heroine. Aquaman was taken over by the immortal S.A.G. creative team of Steve Skeates, Jim Aparo, and Dick Giordano. But more than that, brand new concepts saw the light of day in DC's venerable Showcase mag (with a couple going straight to debuting in their own comics), and many of the best of them got their own (sadly usually short-lived) mags. The "new kids" of 1968 are the focus of today's cover-fest. Enjoy!










10 comments:

  1. Fifty years! God I'm old! I picked up many of these off the stands as a young impressionable ten year old and my life in comics well and truly began. Thanks for the memories.

    Rip Off

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    1. If it's any comfort I was 12 at the time, living in South Carolina and finding rejuvenation regularly at the spinner racks.

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    2. Distribution was spotty in our Charleston area town so I didn't always get every issue. My main sources were the grocery store and 7-11. I missed Iron Man # 1, Captain America # 100, Hulk # 102 and Submariner # 1 after their previous books split. They've become so expensive that I still don't own them. I was in the process of becoming a Marvel devotee, moving away from artists such as Curt Swan and embracing the more stylized ones like Gil Kane and Gene Colan. Stan was definitely the man and Kirby was king. Also a newcomer named Neal Adams was entering the field with artwork no one had ever seen before and working for both Marvel and DC. It was a great time to collect comics.

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  2. It's mind-numbing to think of the artists working at Marvel at that time!

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  3. Kirby, Colan, Romita, Buscema (John), Steranko... mind numbing... at Marvel. And I think Adams was getting fired up at D.C.!

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  4. Nice one Groove, but c'mon - no Brother Power the Geek #1?!?

    -sean

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    1. Nope. Sorry, sean. But there is an old Brother Power post here... http://diversionsofthegroovykind.blogspot.com/2009/01/groovy-new-years-party-2009-with.html

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    2. With Brother Voodoo and Night Nurse* too! Fantastic - any excuse to revisit one of your best ever posts Groove.
      (*What can I say? I was never really convinced by Prez - he was too much of a sell out to the man for my liking.)

      -sean

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  5. I *never* knew that Guardians was that old of a concept!

    DC also introduced the horror-themed House of Mystery and House of Secrets titles that year. Should have included them, too. Some great Neal Adams covers!

    Regards,
    Chris A.

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    1. I was focusing on characters for this particular post, Chris, but those DC mystery mags deserve some attention. Perhaps in a future post...

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