Tuesday, May 31, 2016

(P)Raising Kane: "And a Child Shall Lead You!" by Thomas, Kane, and Adkins

Hey, hey, hey, Groove-ophiles! Yesterday we dug on DC's Captain Marvel (well, at least his junior side-kick), so today let's marvel at Marvel's Mar-Vell! Y'know, a lot of folks think Marv got his awesome red-and-blue uniform when Roy Thomas and Gil Kane took over with this ish (Captain Marvel #17, July 1969), but the truth is, our Kree captain got his new threads the issue before. Roy and Gil's masterstroke was merging Marv with Rick Jones in a sort of homage to Fawcett's original Captain Marvel (whom DC would later publish as Shazam! as we just saw yesterday. Oh, and check out the colors Rick wears starting with this ish and compare 'em to Billy Batson's duds if ya don't believe me!) As great as Roy is, Gil Kane (aided and abetted by inker Dan Adkins) is the real draw here. Kane's long, lanky, powerful figures are in constant motion, and his action sequences are mind-boggling (to say the least). Plus, he gets to draw Captain America (okay, so it's rarely really Cap, but still...), some Avengers, and the Hulk for a few panels, so, ya know, this is one special mag!

Monday, May 30, 2016

Bring on the Back-ups: "The Longest Block in the World!" by Maggin and Giordano

Greetings, Groove-ophiles! Let's kick the week off with a far-out back-up featuring Captain Marvel, Jr.! This one's a bit of fun fluff, with writer Elliot S! Maggin giving us a little bit of a morality play (guest-starring the Earth-S version of Henry Kissinger), while artist Dick Giordano keeps the spirit of Mac Raboy going with some very stylized CMJr. poses! From Shazam! #12 (February 1974), here's "The Longest Block in the World!"

Friday, May 27, 2016

Making a Splash: Jim Steranko's X-Men

Dig it, Groove-ophiles! Dunno why Ol' Groove hasn't done this post already, but here it is! Since we're still celebrating the release of X-Men: Apocalypse, and since some of the original team-members look to be featured so prominently (although, as usual, in altered states), I've got an excuse to make up for my past errors! (Like Ol' Groove needs an excuse to run Jim Steranko X-Men art!) Steranko only drew two issues of the X-Men (inked by John Tartaglione), but he left his mark with his costume design for Lorna Dane and the extremely long-lived X-Men logo (which you can see on two of his three covers, right here). Legend has it that Steranko wasn't crazy about working on the Merry Mutants' mag (it was said to have been Marvel's lowest-selling superhero mag at the time), but aside from the credit-line on issue #51, you could fool moi! Ahem, you're not here to listen to Ol' Groove ramble, are ya? Of course you're not! Here are the big, bold full-and-double-paged Steranko masterpieces from X-Men issues 50-51 (August-September 1968)!

Thursday, May 26, 2016

Bring on the Back-ups/Thursday Triple-play: "From the Sky...Winged Wrath!", "...In the Den of the Dazzler!", "To Cage an Angel!" by Seigel, Tuska, and Ayers

 Hey, hey, hey, Groove-ophiles! Tomorrow is the U.S. premiere of X-Men: Apocalypse, and Ol' Groove's got his fingers crossed (which makes typing pretty excruciating) that this new entry into mutant movie-dom is as good as the last two! My fave original X-Man, the Avenging Angel, looks to have a much bigger part in the new flick than he had in the third X-Men installment, so now is as good a time as ever to look back at the Groovy Age Angel. So, whaddya say we dig on those rare Angel back-ups from Ka-Zar issues 2-3 (September, December 1970) and Marvel Tales #30 (January 1970), ugliest-superhero-threads-ever and all.

For an angel, Warren Worthington III had a devil of a time getting his solo-tales into print. In less than a year's time, he had two books cancelled out from under his three-part solo epic. Both the X-Men book itself (for which these stories could have been created as back-up features, but Ol' Groove and others think they might've been intended as an ish of X-Men during the "Death of Professor X" era) and the giant-sized Ka-Zar reprint mags bit the dust in 1969/70 (and yeah, X-Men was quickly revived as a reprint mag, but that's beside the point) before the complete tale could be told.

Still and all, this three-part saga is a pretty important turning point in WWIII's life (hey, was Stan trying to tell us something when he named our winged mutant?). Plus, it introduces us to the original Dazzler (blechh, okay, that one's more of a liability). It's the first solo X-Men story to appear outside the Merry Mutants' own title. Oh, and it's written by Superman co-creator Jerry Siegel (some extremely rare Groovy Age Marvel work) with powerful (if rushed-looking) art by the team of George Tuska and Dick Ayers.

"Groove, shaddup already and get on with the stories!"

Okay, okay. Sheesh.


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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!