Monday, July 16, 2018

Marvel-ous Monday: "Reflections In a Crimson Eye!" by Mantlo, Buckler, and Janson

Greetings, Groove-ophiles! Ol' Groove has gotta say that Bill Manlo, Rich Buckler, and Klaus Janson knocked outta the stratosphere with Astonishing Tales #33 (October 1975) and "Reflections In a Crimson Eye!" It's one of Ol' Groove's favorite Deathlok sagas and one of my favorite comics ever! Mantlo and Buckler just meshed so well on this story. Buckler's exciting, experimental, exquisitely cinematic layouts and storytelling is astounding here, and Mantlo definitely came out from under that "Stan Lee lite" shadow with his thoughtful and thought-provoking prose. Buckler and Janson meshed extremely well, too. Their uses of reflections, shadows, black gutters between the panels, and detail makes this mag live up to its name (Astonishing, Irving! Sheesh!). Deathlok issues like this are why I rank Deathlok with other 1970s icons like Killraven, Adam Warlock, Manhunter, Swamp Thing, Black Panther, Jonah Hex, Unknown Soldier, and Shang-Chi. For Young Groove (and Ol' Groove, still), these comics were what the Groovy Age was all about! I don't know why I'm gushing here--you just wanna see the comic, don'tcha? Well, here ya go!


  1. At last we have arrived at true quality for the Deathlok title. What was hinted at in the first few issues of Astonishing Tales featuring Deathlok has come to fruition after stumbles of missed deadlines, artistic mishmash and general lack of direction. Mantlo, Buckler and Janson hit the ground running and don't stop for another 2 issues. I've said it before and it bears repeating, I consider AS # 33 the single best inked comic of all time (which is saying alot for me since I consider Tom Palmer the entire pantheon of the gods of Mt. Olympus). Then Mr. Janson doubles down by complementing his inks with superb coloring. Pages such as 2, 3, 9, 10 and 11 still burst forth with all their beauty 33 years later. It's comics like this that are the reason I collect them. I can reread them over and over again still in awe and wonderment as if it were the first time I was picking them up. Excelsior!

    1. Yes, I agree, it's one of those comics that just made my jaw drop back in the day....I remember seeing the reflection in the puddle panel on page 2 for the first time, I'd never seen anything like it in a comic before, fantastic stuff!

  2. Your right very nice layouts, that's one of the things you can't really appreciate as a child but as you get older and have read the same comic over and over you start to pick up on other subtle things.

  3. I collected these back numbers in the second hand shops back in the day. Ain't spending the money on Marvel's overpriced collections, though. Great stuff that should never have been tampered with by later creators.



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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!

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