Friday, June 1, 2018

Groovin' Back In the Summer Time: June 1973

The Summer of 1973! We were tyin' yellow ribbons around Leroy Brown because we were so vain our superstitions were causing us to drift away in the smoke on the water because we were stuck in the middle with an American band! Today we're gonna reel in the years and get it on with 1973 before the lights go out (in Georgia, no less)! Sorry, Ol' Groove was listening to the 1973 Billboard Top Pop Hits CD as I was writing this post... Why am I so happy/goofy? 'Cause school's out! No, that's not on the 1973 CD--that one came out in 1972 (love me some Alice Cooper). School's really out and the World's Oldest Sixth Grader (that's me, Irving!) is sooooo happy! Thinking back to the Summer of 1973 takes Ol' Groove back to some good times. Visiting my grandparents and cousins... more cousins taking their vacations at my house...the suh-wheet above ground swimming pool in the back yard...building a clubhouse out of scrap lumber...lip-synching with pals and gals to many of the songs in the opening rant...and of course...comic books! Yep, this was the summer of the Avengers/Defenders Clash, Denny O'Neil/Neal Adams' Joker revamp, the debut of The Freedom Fighters in the annual JLA/JSA team-up, Dave Cockrum's Legion of Super-Heroes taking over Superboy's mag, Starlin's Thanos in Captain Marvel, and so much more! Now, the covers Ol' Groove is sharing today don't scratch the surface of the wonderment that was available on the spinner racks and magazine shelves back in June 1973, but they are the comics I remember buying at home and on vacation (if I included the comics from trades and garage sales this post would never end!). If you wanna see ALL the mags available during June 1973, click here and head for Mike's Amazing World of Comics' neat-o Newsstand--then come back and rap about the mags you got when school went out!


  1. Ah, Yes! I was eight at the time, but my older brother was eleven & I sometimes went along on bicycles to raid the spinner rack with him.

    I have the Marvel Premiere issue & the Dr. Strange treasury edition which reprints the same story. The Crusty Bunkers (Neal Adams'Continuity Associates) inked Frank Brunner on that one. Strong scripting by Steve Englehart, as well as in the opening five issues of the subsequent Dr. Strange series.

    Starlin's anatomy on Mar-vell was a bit wobbly (more Steranko than Him Kane), but his pictures were certainly impassioned.

    Neal Adams & Dick Giordano were superb on Batman. They only did one more story together in the series, & that was it!

    Dave Cockrum was coming along on the Legion, & one can see a prototype of Wolverine in his Timber Wolf drawings. Yes, I know he jumped ship to work on the revamped X-Men afterwards.

    My favourite cover that summer would be Wrightson's Swamp Thing (which you have shown in the past).

    A great time to be buying comics!

    Chris A.

  2. That Batman cover is one of my all-time faves! I just had to animate it:

  3. I owned a surprising number of those. I was 10, and would turn 11 at summer's end. Superboy, Justice League, Spider-Man, Doctor Strange (why did I buy that? I had NO idea what was going on, but I loved that issue), Shazam!, and Cap. Wow.

  4. What strikes me is that I did buy those first 3 issues of D.C. off the spinner though I seldom bought DC and still have them! I was 12 at the time. Also I had grown tired of Marvel and generally comic books though I hung on with some odd ball titles like Invaders that were eventually released.

  5. All great, but one thing that stands out in that period for me are those beautiful Nick Cardy covers.


  6. I eventually picked up some of these as back issues later on, but 1973 is too early for me. I didn't really get the comic book bug until 1978. Have you done a Summer of '78 entry? That was my amazing summer!

    1. I have done this with the DC covers from each month of the summer of 1978 because of the DC Implosion. I plan to do a post similar to this one, still, though, to get in everything else. Stay tuned!

  7. June 1973. I was looking towards my sophomore year in high school that fall and basking in Marvel's becoming the number one publisher of comics. Under Roy Thomas'tutelage and freed from DC'S restrictive distribution deal the line expanded greatly. New formats, titles, concepts and talent became the norm. I loved Engelhardt/Brunner's Doctor Strange, Starlin's Captain Marvel and reliable favorites such as Spidey. For a socially awkward fanboy they were regular flights of fantasy for 20 cents. I still bought DC but mostly had contempt for their output. There were exceptions, such as the O'Neil/Adams Batman here and the ever great Cockrum Legion. I'd hoped he'd jump over to Marvel as so much of DC's talent did during those times and found my wish fullfilled a few years later. Little did I know a revitalized X-Men would be the result. Thanks for all the music references. The 70s were a crazy time for songs, the very good mixed with the very bad (most of disco). Fortunately with Baby Boomer nostalgia holding sway I've gotten to see a lot of acts from the 70s at Casinos promoting Golden Oldies concerts in recent years. Maybe not at their peak but good to hear nonetheless.

  8. Panther's Rage, Shuma-Gorath, Defenders #8, Thanos AND The Joker's Five Way Revenge all in one summer. I was 11 and this is all so embedded in my brain still.



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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!