Friday, May 30, 2014

Making a Splash: Marvel's Star Wars, Special Edition Style

Greetings, Groove-ophiles! This week marks 37 years Star Wars changed  our world! Yeah, it's been that long, whew! Thirty-seven years since George Lucas and company showed us just how awesome a science fantasy flick could truly be! Marvel had the chance to get into Star Wars on the ground floor, before anyone except Lucas really knew what it really was. Stan Lee, passed on it. (Hey, nobody's perfect!) Fast forward a couple dozen months or so, and Roy Thomas manages to get Stan to give Star Wars a shot. The first six issues will adapt the movie, then Marvel would be free to do  new Star Wars stories (or so one might have thought...). Roy would write and edit the new mag, while Howard Chaykin was picked as illustrator. Roy and Howie only had rough scripts, production art, and rough cuts to go by as they adapted the story of a Galaxy Far, Far Away, but they soldiered on, turning out a superb adaptation that was nearly half-finished before the movie even hit theaters!

So popular was Marvel's adaptation and continuation of Star Wars, that, according to folks in-the-know (like James Shooter, who was Marvels e-i-c at the time, so he should know), it almost single-handedly pulled Marvel out of the economic pits. Once all six issues were on the stands, Marvel reprinted it in three giant, tabloid-sized mags (Marvel Special Edition issues 1-3: issues 1-2, at a buck apiece, showcased three issues plus extra goodies; ish #3 collected all six issues plus extras for $2.50). Ol' Groove remembers seeing those tabloids everywhere! Even stores that didn't normally sell comics had 'em racked with the coloring books or magazines. Star Wars always has been, and always will be, a phenomenon.

Whew! Sorry to be so long-winded, Groove-ophiles! It's hard not to rap ramblingly (izzat a woid? should be!) about Star Wars! Anywho, here are the six sensational splash pages (plus interior splashes) from Star Wars numbers 1-6 (April-September 1977) as reprinted in the first two Marvel Special Editions! Ish one is a Chaykin solo job, while issues 2-5 were penciled by Chaykin and then inked/finished by Steve Leialoha. Issue number six was laid out by Chaykin, finished by Rick Hoberg, and inked by Bill Wray, Hoberg, and Dave Stevens. Now that there's some talent, son!

Thursday, May 29, 2014

Groove's Faves: "The Deadly Gambit of Conquer-Lord!" by Moench and Perlin

What it is, Groove-ophiles! Last week we shared Moon Knight's solo debut from Marvel Spotlight #28 (you can read it here), so today's the day we dig on part two! From Marvel Spotlight #29 (May 1976), here's Doug Moench and Don Perlin with..."The Deadly Gambit of Conquer-Lord!"

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Black and White Wednesday: "...Through the Wringer" by Reed and Fradon

Wazzup, Groove-ophiles! While trippin' through some old issues of Amazing World of DC Comics, Ol' Groove came across this twisted treasure by David V. Reed and Ramona Fradon, "...Through the Wringer"! It looks like an unused PLOP! strip to me, but since the word "plop" doesn't show up in it, it must've been for one of DC's  "straight" mystery/horror titles. Wherever it should have gone, it wound up in AWoDCC #10 (January 1976)--and here it is for you!

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Ol' Groove's Request Line: "Revolution!" by Thomas and Wood

Hey, hey, hey, Groove-ophiles! Ever since Ol' Groove unleashed chapter one of Roy Thomas and Wally Wood's Dr. Doom saga from Astonishing Tales, Groove-dom has been clamoring for more! It's one of the most-viewed posts in recent memory, and I've received several requests for more Doom! Well, your wish is Ol' Groove's command, baby! From Astonishing Tales #2 (July 1970) here comes..."Revolution!"

Monday, May 26, 2014

Random Reads: "The Outcast" by Doyle, Lucey, and Stone

Greetings, Groove-ophiles! Y'know, in this day of multiverse Archies, zombie-fighting Archies*, and soon-do-bite-the-big-one Archies, it's nice to travel back to the Groovy Age when our favorite teen's biggest problem was being too well-loved! From Archie #236 (April 1974), here's "The Outcast" by Frank Doyle, Harry Lucey, and Chic Stone!

(*Ol' Groove'll come clean here--Afterlife With Archie is at the top of my modern must-read list! Robert Aguirre-Sacasa and Francesco Francavilla are incredible!)

Friday, May 23, 2014

The Grooviest Covers of All Time: Gil Kane's Groovy X-Men

Hey, hey, hey, Groove-ophiles! If you're like Ol' Groove, tonight you'll be sitting in a darkened theater watching X-Men: Days of Future Past. Now, I bet you thought this post would focus on the legendary Days of Future Past storyline from X-Men issues 141-142 (October-November 1980). Fooled ya! I figured lots of band-with will be used on those worthy mags. No, as usual, yers trooly took a different route. I thought, "How ironic is it that this sure-to-be blockbuster is set in the early 1970s--when the X-Men's mag was in full-on reprint mode!" Then, as I perused those magnificent mags, I noticed that most of the new (as opposed to reprinted) covers were drawn by Gil (Sugar) Kane. The X-Men and Kane--two entities that really needed to spend more time together! So, without further ado, Groove City presents the X-Men by Gil Kane (and a galaxy of super-star inkers)! Oh, and just 'cause I love ya, baby, I've included cover appearances featuring the X-Men in brand new (during the 70s, duh) guest-starring roles. Dig 'em!!

And although this one came out after the All-New, All-Different revival, it's too good not to share! (Thanks Grand Comics Database for the awesome scans!)


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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!