Sub-Mariner #70, 1974 “Namor Unchained”

Imperius Rex! The Savage Sub-Mariner is punching Man-Fish in the face! What a great cover by Mr. Gil Kane (RIP)! And to make matters worse, Man-Fish is pulling on some poor bikini-clad girl’s ponytail! Man, I miss the 1970’s. Everything nowadays is so grim and gritty, with no real fun to any of the stories. When Marvel was just beginning to scratch the surface of greatness back in the 1960’s, greats like Kirby, Romita, Heck, and Ditko, were paving incredible roads for later talents to follow. What did ensue was the Bronze Age of comics books, which gave us not only more relevant stories from a social angle, but also the weird and wonderful imaginations of a new list of incredibly gifted writers and artists that took what came before and built upon it substantially.

In this specific issue, we get a script from Marv Wolfman, pencils from George Tuska, inks by Vince Colletta, Colors by Stan Goldberg, and letters by John Costanza! Don’t forget the cover by the incomparable Gil Kane and Frank Giacoia either! This book is a great example of the awesome comics coming out at the time. There would only be two more issues of Subby after this until his revival in the Thomas & Buckler series in 1988 (another good series). Subby was a mainstay in FF and the Avengers as well though for some time. In closing, remember kids, when all else fails, if you’re being attacked by sharks, just punch them in the face!

 

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DC Comics – Batman #442 (1989)

You know, I seldom buy a comic book that I don’t intend to eventually collect the entire series. First off, I’m a completest, and secondly, in the grand scheme of things, what’s the point if you don’t intend on reading the entire story? Well, recently I bought Batman #442, which falls into that category, and there were a couple of reasons, but mostly because of the George Perez cover. Yes, it’s the first appearance of Tim Drake as Robin, as well, and actually seems to be a good story too.

Plotters, Marv Wolfman and George Perez, pencils by Jim Aparo (one of the best Batman artists of all time in my humble opinion), inker, Mike DeCarlo, letter, John Costanza, and colorist Adrienne Roy (editor Denny O’Neil), bring this great story with the villain, Two-Face! Tim makes the decision to don the mantle of Robin, as he attempts to save Batman and Nightwing from certain death! Enjoy!

 

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Marvel Comics: The 1970’s: Great Mash-Ups- Dr. Strange and Dracula!

Thanks for all the cheers, high fives, fist bumps, etc., I know you missed me while I was on vacation! Now that I’m back, I want to get back in the groove with one of my all time favorite mash-ups! In the 1970’s, the horror scene went wild, and so did the psychedelic books like Warlock, Man-Thing,  and Dr. Strange (Strange had been that way since the Ditko years, but it continued)! Two awesome things that dominated the 1970’s (and early 1980’s) were horror and sorcery. This is the subject of today’s “Mash-up”! The year was 1976, and it was time that Dracula, lord of all vampires, and this dimension’s (616) Sorcerer Supreme, Dr. Strange had to meet!

Both books were selling well at the time (of their fist meeting), and a conflict seemed inevitable. Marvel had the incredible team of Marv Wolfman, Gene Colan, and Tom Palmer on The Tomb of Dracula, but not to be outdone, Marvel super-scribe, Steve Englehart (and later, Roger Stern) was writing Dr. Strange at the time (along with Colan and Palmer on art duties – later Green, Leialoha, and others)! So, not only did this story make sense from a buyer’s perspective (most readers probably read both books), but also from an editorial angle as well. Now, without further interruption, here are a few of the great pages/panels from some of those early meetings between Dracula and Dr. Strange! Enjoy! For these stories check out Dr. Strange #14 & Tomb of Dracula #44 (their first meeting), & Dr. Strange #58-62 (The Montesi Formula).

 

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Comics: The 1970’s Horror Explosion! Pt. 3

As I dig deeper into the horror craze of the 1970’s, we must make a stop at the best offering of the decade from Marvel. Of course, it’s the Tomb of Dracula, and the incredible creative team of Marv Wolfman and Gene Colan (along with Tom Palmer on inks), wove an incredible story of love and loss, blood and sacrifice. Whether it was Dracula fighting some incredible adversary, or the Vampire Hunters, led by Quincy Harker, this title gave you everything you could want or need from a comic book. Rather than prattling on about it for a year, I’ll just let the work speak for itself. Enjoy!

 

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Gene Colan Tribute- Finale!

In this, the last installment of my Gene Colan tribute, we’ll take a look at his finest work. Yes, Gene did tremendous work on all of his projects, but none matched his excellence on The Tomb of Dracula. This collaboration with friends Tom Palmer, and Marv Wolfman, is without a doubt one of the most incredible series in all of comic books in the 1970’s. For anyone that’s read any part of this series, you know what a gift gene and this team gave us. For seventy issues, Gene poured his heart and soul into this book, and that cannot be debated.

In this finale, you’ll see Dracula’s life, his death, his resurrection, his constant battle with Quincy Harker, Blade, and the rest of the Vampire Hunters, and the birth of his son! So, here’s to you, Gene, the one artist who will always be at the top of my list! Rest in Peace, Gentleman Gene!

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Gene Colan Tribute- part 1!

To finish off the month of March, I let my favorite artist for last! Gene ‘The Dean’ Colan, has always been my favorite, and always will be. His style just jumps off of the pages to me, and speaks to me like no other. Over the years, he was an artist who could draw any genre, but he certainly excelled at the macabre! Just his Tomb of Dracula (with long time partner, Marv Wolfman) alone could be enough to push him into the hall of fame, but when you look at his entire body of work (Strange Tales, Daredevil, Captain America), you’ll be astonished! Let’s dispense with the verbiage, and get right down to the work of the master himself, Gene Colan! Here is some early work in the title, Strange Tales in 1952!

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The Eternals #1, 1976

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You know something, Jack Kirby’s return to Marvel yielded some comics that most think are slightly odd, but if you look closely, you’ll find a real gem in The Eternals! This fantastic book only lasted nineteen issues (plus one annual), but it really set a tone for things to come in the Marvel Universe. My favorite story of all time, is one that involves the Eternals. The story is called “Thor: The Eternals Saga”, and it’s an incredible journey through the history of not just Thor, but the Eternals, and the Asgardians as well!

In this first issue, we see Ikaris, as he’s befriended two humans. The humans are researchers that are looking through ancient ruins for proof of life beyond the stars. With the help of “Ike Harris”, they find more than they bargained for, and might not survive to tell the story!

Checkout these awesome pages drawn by Kirby (inked by John Verpoorten). You really see his unique style on full display! Enjoy!

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Marvel Premiere #27, 1975. “Deathcry”

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Does anything scream 1970’s more than Marvel Horror? Probably not, and that’s why I chose this wild cover for today! Meet the sister of Damon Hellstrom, Satana! In this issue, we see Satana, as she walks the mortal plane, in search of…who knows what? Anyway, she kills some people, fights off a demon, and looks rather sexy doing it, I might add. Written by Chris Claremont, pencils & inks by The Tribe, Marcos on letters, and Cohen on colors (Marv Wolfman-editor). Cover by Gil Kane! Enjoy!

Doctor Strange #15, 1976. “Where There’s Smoke…”

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In honor of my son’s birthday, today brings a double-dose of comic book action! I let him pick out the book I’d post for today’s second installment, and he blind picked this gem! Written by Steve Englehart, Pencils by Gene “The Dean” Colan, inks & color by Tom Palmer, letters by John Costanza, and edited by Marv Wolfman! This tale brings Clea back to her mentor and lover, a strange man at the door that attempts suicide, and the minions of Hades itself! Cover by Colan, Palmer, and Crespi! Enjoy!

Giant Size Dracula #4, 1974! “The Demon of Devil’s Lake”

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You know, I’m a huge fan of the Tomb of Dracula series, mostly because of Gene Colan and Marv Wolfman, but anything with Dracula is worth reading in my opinion! Check out this great cover by Gil Kane! This story was exceptional, and I look forward to talking about the entire series, plus great books like this Giant Size offering from David Kraft, Marv Wolfman, Don Heck, Frank Springer, Artie Simek, Petra Goldberg, and Len Wein! Enjoy!