Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Random Reads: "The Claws of Lionfang" by Englehart and Graham

Greetings, Groove-ophiles! A short while back on the DotGK Facebook Fan Page (What? You haven't joined yet? For SHAME!), we had a discussion about our fave Groovy Age writers. A name that popped up on most everyone's list was Steve Englehart. Stainless Steve ranks high because of his stellar runs on Avengers, Batman (in Detective), and  Captain America, not to mention his awesome takes on Captain Marvel, the Defenders, JLA, and so many others. But even a writer as far-out as Mr. E can have an off day. "Claws of Lionfang" from Hero for Hire #13 (July 1973) is what I'd consider an off day for the Stainless One. There are some great pieces of dialogue (check out Cage's funkified badness in panel 1, page 2, f'rinstance), some nice twists on the Spider-Man school of soul-searching (dig that last page), but the villain of the story, Lionfang, is soooooo silly. His powers are silly, his motivation is silly...let's face it, besides his name, he's just plain silly. His costume is kinda funky mixing cool with silly in a creative way. That is thanks to artist Billy Graham who saves the day with his stunning storytelling and luscious inks. No matter how lame the story gets, Graham's art keeps you hangin' on.


  1. A winning combo: Englehart & Graham! I miss Billy Graham's artwork; I forget he passed away 13-14 years ago. Our loss !

  2. Pages 5 and 6 are reversed. It really confused me for a minute.

    1. Thanx for catching that, Chimeradave. I thought I'd caught all of those switcheroos Blogger is foisting on me during uploads. Anyone else having that problem, pic loading out of order when you upload 'em?

  3. I see what you mean the villain is lame. But the images of Luck Cage fighting the wild animals are just so cool! And I dug the ending. So I think this issue gets a passing grade...but only if there is a curve. :)



Blog Widget by LinkWithin
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!