Monday, April 30, 2012

Avengers Week! Making a Splash: The Avengers' "Big Three"

Greetings, Groove-ophiles! This is it! The week so many faithful fans have been waiting for--the debut of the first-ever Avengers movie! Ol' Groove has been dying for a live-action dose of Avengers since he saw a listing for The Avengers in a 1972 ish of TV Guide on a channel I didn't get. No, I'd never heard of Steed and Peel at that point, so I had visions of Cap and the Scarlet Witch boogieing in my head. Sigh. At least I did have those occasional episodes of the Marvel Super-Heroes cartoon show that featured my awesome assemblers to keep me from total devastation, but still, it wasn't live-action. Then in the late 70s we got some live-action Marvel with The Incredible Hulk (awesome show that still holds up very well), Spider-Man (blech, but it was all we had so I watched it religiously), Captain America (baaaarrrrrrrrffffffffff, but...I had to watch both "movies"), and Dr. Strange (which was far-out and cool). Not a chance of seeing the Avengers assemble on the tube, though....and with TV's track record I'm not sure I'd'a wanted them to! But this coming Friday...wah-hoo!

Today we're gonna mix things up and kick Avengers Week off with a stack of Avengers splashes that include our "Big Three", Captain America, Thor, and Iron Man. Though they are "founding fathers" you'd be surprised at how rarely we got all three of 'em in one ish of the Avengers back during the Groovy Age--much less all together on a splash page. Sometimes the only way all three of 'em "posed" for a splash was when everyone else was in it, too--and then it becomes almost a case of "Where's Waldo"! Check 'em out, baby, and groove to the awesome artistry of Heck, the Brothers Buscema, Adams, (Windsor-) Smith, Buckler, Brown, Perez, and Wenzel!

Friday, April 27, 2012

Grooviest Covers of All Time: Nick Cardy's JLA, Round 1

Greetings, Groove-ophiles! In the early 1970s, the great Nick Cardy became DC's go-to cover artist in much the same manner as Gil Kane had done over at Marvel. This meant DC had some awesomely classy covers populating the spinner-racks of the day. Some of Young Groove's faves came during a long run on Justice League of America from the end of the twenty-five cent/fifty-two page era to the 100 page/sixty cent era; issues 99-104 and 106-109 (March 1972-October 1973). Tons of heroes handled with grace and power. Yeah, Cardy rocked!

Thanx, Grand Comics Database for the scintillating scans!

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Random Reads: "My Son...Is He Man or Beast?" by Dorfman, Swan, and Anderson

What it is, Groove-ophiles! To celebrate the 400th ish of Action Comics (March 1971), editor Murray Boltinoff gave us one of those bittersweet tales his tenure as Superman editor is so well known for. "My Son...Is He Man or Beast?" is a  tale filled with action (of course!) and pathos, solemnity and silliness, spooned out in equal doses by veteran writer Leo Dorfman. Perfect for kids like Young Groove, but the older guys, peeking over their copies of Incredible Hulk, scoffed at us for digging it. I didn't understand it at the time, but I soon would. Today, though, I long for the simple (and yes sometimes simplistic) tales of yore...and amazing art like that provided by true masters like Curt Swan and Murphy Anderson.
Cover by Neal Adams and Dick Giordano

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Black and White Wednesday: "Witch World!" by Mantlo and Giffen

Here it is, Groove-ophiles! The star-spanning second stave of Bill Mantlo's Sword in the Star! This (final) chapter was gorgeously illustrated by a young Keith Giffen who really let it all hang out on this job! Flourishes of Windsor-Smith, Kirby, Steranko, Starlin melded together into something totally different and offbeat--no wonder Giffen is still slaying us with his storytelling (that final ish of OMAC rocked, Keith!). The style he used on "Witch World" was more like his DC work (on Claw the Unconquered and Challengers of the Unknown) than his uber-Kirby-homage he was using on Marvel's Defenders. This particular style evolved into the intricate, small-figured work he'd blow us away with on Legion of Super-Heroes in the 80s! Mantlo was cutting loose as well. You could tell he was passionate about Sword in the Star. Too bad Marvel didn't give it a better shot. I mean, backing up Satana in what was pretty much a filler ish of Marvel Preview (#7, Summer 1976)? Sheesh! That makes for a fun time when you're trying to give a Rocket Raccoon fan the heads up on his first appearance!


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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!