Friday, August 22, 2008

The Groovy Agent's Birthday Comics, Part 3

Ah, another day, another Groovy birthday memory! In 1974, fifty cents no longer got you an ad-free 100 page comic, but it did get you a very cool 68 page comic (with ads)! For my 11th birthday, Lil Groove snatched Giant-Size Fantastic Four #3 off the old spinner rack at the amazing Mack's Supermarket.

This was some dynomite comic, lemme tell ya! It was the days of the Reed/Sue split, so Medusa (of the Inhumans) was a member of the team, the Human Torch was wearing his red and gold costume, and Rick Buckler was doing a very slick Jack Kirby imitation (helped immeasurably by Joe Sinnott's impeccable inks). Gerry Conway and Marv Wolfman wrote this story about aliens disguised as the actual Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse out to make life rough on our fab foursome. I loved this sprawling 30 page mini-epic that sent the FF all over the world facing down each Horseman: War, Pestilence, Famine, and Death!

The back-up was a gasser, too, reprinting the FF's first run-in with the Hate Monger (from FF #21). Lee and Kirby were top of the heap, and this story was a zinger! We even got to see Nick Fury in his first post WWII appearance (sans his famous eye-patch, though...).

Before I go, I haveta tell you about Mack's. Now this was before anyone ever dreamed of opening a comics shop in Ol' Groove's neck of the woods, but with Mack's you didn't need one! Mack's was a supermarket, but as soon as you walked in the store and turned to the left, they had a huge (I'm talking big ol' honkin' huge!) magazine section. Two twelve foot long, five foot high magazine shelves, three spinner racks with every comic imaginable, plus two spinner racks for paperback books. Needless to say, I had no idea what I'd be eating week in or week out, 'cause I spent the whole shopping trip in that little piece of heaven!

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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!