Friday, December 11, 2009

Making a Splash: Marvel Comics 40 Years Ago

Here's a sensational selection of splashes from December, 1969. Is it any wonder everyone was making theirs Marvel?

Oh, you noticed that Iron Man cover, eh? Think Ol' Groove's pullin' a fast one? Look closely at it, Groove-ophile! That cover IS the splash to IM #23. Look at it again, this time side-by-side with page one...

Pretty far-out, huh? And for a kicker, here's an actual splash panel--from page 16!--with a nutty note from Stan...

That's your lesson Groovy Age history lesson for the day, baby! Pax!


  1. As a boy growing up in the 70's and 80's, I was a huge Avengers fan. My mom would be me Avengers comics from the PX on Alameda base.
    Little did I understand that the the Avengers issues were reprints (Marvel Super Action, if I recall...).

    Anyway, those J. Buscema issues had the most amazing, memorable splash pages. Much like the selection you present above.
    Wow, the lettering and artwork are electrifyingly immediate!

    Thanks for sharing!

  2. Nice selection. I like the moodiness of the Gene Colan/DD splash panel. Marvel sure had the deck stacked in their favor back then. Wonder what was going on at DC? Besides Brave and the Bold and Sgt. Rock(OAAW), probably not much.

  3. That Iron man cover is strange - maybe it was a last-minute replacement for a cover that fell through for some reason? Reminds me of DC's Secret Six #1 which also started the story on the cover.

  4. Is it just me, or does that belated Iron Man #23 splash (page 16) look like Barry Smith rather than George Tuska?

  5. I think page 16 is drawn by Marie Severin. My guess is that there was some problem with getting a cover done, so someone came up with the idea to use the splash page, then with a page missing, needed someone to fill in. Marie, who worked on staff, likely added a page.

    Nick Caputo

  6. This was right when tehy went to single-issue stories, which took a lot of what made marvel special away. The art was still great but I loved the ongoing subplots and multi-part stories. it allowed the writers to stretch out - of course, that ld to self-indulgence later but when it worked, it was something wonderful.
    After this the line exploded and the quality of new artists to fill the pages wasn't up to snuff



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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!