Monday, August 13, 2018

Marvel-ous Monday: "Behind the Mask of Zo!" by Goodwin, Heck, and Shores

Greetings, Groove-ophiles! Well, here we are! The final issue of the "green" era of Marvel's Captain Marvel--issue #16 (June 1969). If you haven't noticed, the most consistent thing about the early Captain Mar-Vell was that nothing was consistent! His motives changed, his powers changed, his mission changed, and even his costume changed a little (up to this point). Now, under the hands of author Archie Goodwin and artists Don Heck and Syd Shores, the whole magilla was getting wrapped up, and Marv would have a totally different look (and outlook, and powers, and mission...) by the end of "Behind the Mask of Zo!" Check it out...

Oh, and yeah, the radically different next ish. featuring the blue and red Marv by Roy Thomas, Gil Kane, and Dan Adkins can be found right here!


  1. Whotta slash page--Captain Marvel in his new duds!
    He means business, no doubt about it.
    As much charm as the old C.M. in his green and white spacesuit had, they needed to do something different there. That Zo storyline was kind of a mess.
    We got a couple nicely rendered Gil Kane issues and then some kid named Starlin. from outta nowhere.
    Say, whatever happened with that guy?


  2. I cannot adequately express how much this earliest Captain Marvel series lives in my heart. I gobbled it up as it rolled out and as you say changed almost on a monthly basis. Because I got in with number one I always felt like an insider, one of the few (apparently) who grokked the grooviness of Mar-Vell and that has always made these comics shine with a special glamour in my nostalgic memory. Love 'em -- I really do!

    Rip Off

  3. That's surely got to be Heck working over someone else's breakdowns - he never did layouts like those in his life!
    (Unless he was practising for that issue of mid-Adams "X-Men" that he did a month or two later)

    1. Check out Fear # 29 and see how great Bob McLeod made Don Heck look. I've always contended that the only 2 inkers that ever made Don Heck look good were Tom Palmer and Bob McLeod (Giordano certainly didn't in the Robin/Batgirl backups in Detective). And after giving this issue of CM another look, Syd Shores. Don Heck had,through the superpower of his pencilling, the ability to render even great inkers powerless to transform his simplistic and confusing layouts into anything remotely pleasing to the eye (Okay, I just remembered Wally Wood inked an issue of The Avengers. So I guess you could add him to the list).

  4. Syd Shores made Don Heck look good. And you can't beat Archie Goodwin (a fellow Kansas Citian) for storytelling. The debut of the new Captain Marvel on page 18 is worthy of the full page panel, signalling something special lays ahead and washing away the mediocrity of the past 12 issues. I even liked the cover and I'm not a Don Heck fan.

  5. I know almost nil about CM except he was created to give DC a headache trying to market the Big Red Cheese. This story fascinates me, though - it reads like Goodwin inherited a half-formed storyline and wanted to pull the plug on it without baffling new readers or ticking off the old ones. I think he managed it. There's a trace of "it was all a dream" going on there, but couched in terms befitting the genre. And if you're going to play that card, why not do so in a Manchurian Candidate style?



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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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