Over the years here at the Comics Cave there have been a large number of re-reading threads.  Several different Legionnaires have tackled various series, across the ages:  Golden, Silver, Bronze, modern, and current.  Many fine discussions, and links can be found here:


http://captaincomics.ning.com/forum/topics/book-gn-and-collections-...

For myself, I'm currently doing four threads, all set in the Silver Age: Avengers, Iron Man, Spider-Man, and Thor.  I have a pretty full plate but that doesn't stop me from thinking of doing other threads in the future.  However, I'm not pleased with my own pace and at this time doing additional threads is simply not going to happen (check back in a few years).  But certainly Legionnaires like Randy Jackson, Richard Mantle, The Baron, Philip Portelli, Jeff of Earth-J, Chris Fluit (just to name a few) and many more have started many great re-reading threads.  I would like to encourage these fine folks - and indeed all members of this board, even if you haven't ever started such a thread before - to consider beginning new discussions.  Since Silver Age Marvel threads are what's in my wheelhouse at the moment, I'm going to share my thoughts on threads we haven't had yet .... but hopefully may see in the future.

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The subtler change in CM's look was his build. He was originally a bulky guy, and he became lean. But in the new uniform's debut splash from #16 he still had his original build.

His original uniform was closer in design to the new one than appears at first sight. Compare them point for point and you'll see what I mean. The colour layout was the same, the star replaced the planet.

Roy Thomas has written he modelled the new costume after that of Atoman, a Golden Age hero, and Gil Kane revised the design. It looked even more like Captain Atom's original costume. The handling of the shoulders and upper chest was similar to Kane's final version of Green Lantern.

Some of you may be wondering "Hey John, you seem lukewarm at best about an Ant-Man re-reading thread and completely unenthusiastic about a Captain Marvel re-reading thread.  Starting to wonder if you really want to see any Marvel Silver Age re-reading threads at all."  Well, wonder no more!

Daredevil

Daredevil #1-49 (Apr 64 - Feb 69), Daredevil Annual #1 (1967)

There was a Daredevil in the Golden Age, not at Marvel but another company called Lev Gleason Productions.  Martin Goodman learned that the name "Daredevil" was no longer trademarked in the 1960's and ordered a new hero with that name be created.  Steve Ditko was offered the assignment but turned it down and eventually Bill Everett took it.  Originally slated to appear on stands along with X-Men #1, the book was super late due to Everett having a day job and not having much time and / or energy to work on the book (and possibly his personal demons played a part in this too).  To avoid paying a penalty to the printers, Stan Lee, Jack Kirby, and Dick Ayers hastily cobbled together another book in place of DD, that being The Avengers.  Daredevil #1 debuted several months later with an Apr 64 cover date; for the same reasons that the book to be late, Everett didn't do another issue.  Joe Orlando did the art on #2-4, but reportedly clashed with Stan Lee and left the book, never working for Marvel again.  Wally Wood took over with #5 and made a few subtle changes, and then with #7 made the biggest change to date, retiring DD's original red and yellow costume for the purely blood red costume that DD still wears today.  Wood did DD #5-10 and inked Bob Powell's pencils on #11, followed by John Romita Sr. on #12-19.  Gene Colan became the new artist beginning with #20.  Stan Lee had been credited as the writer on DD from the beginning, except for #10, which saw Wood getting credit as scripter and artist.  Stan and Gene worked together on #20-49 and the first Annual.  DD #49 was Stan's last issue; Gene would return after a short break with #53 and stay on the book through to #100, with only two guest artists in the interim.  He would come back now and again to pinch hit on the book in the 1970's, doing 8 random (non-consecutive, to put it another way) issues from 1974-1979.  Almost 20 years later, Gene would return for a 6 issue run in 1997, and also did a 6 page backup story, inked by Tom Palmer and written by Stan Lee for DD Vol 2 #20, in 2001.

I have only read a handful of these issues but I think this would make for a very interesting re-reading discussion.  The first four issues are not great but once Wally Wood comes aboard the quality takes an upturn.  I have nothing but a gut feeling about it but I think Wood ditching the hideous yellow and red togs for the classic red outfit may have saved the book from cancellation.  Some consider John Romita's short stint on the book an audition of sorts for his next assignment, Amazing Spider-Man and probably not coincidentally Spidey guest-starred in DD #16 and 17.  Stan and Gene do 30 consecutive issues together plus an annual; it's not a run that you hear about a lot, but just the length of it is impressive.

The series had a few things working against it in the Silver Age.  I've heard it called a Spider-Man imitation and Marvel's Batman knockoff.  I think it's fair to say there was some drama behind the scenes for the first 11 issues.  There were some truly lame members of DD's rogues gallery, and let's not even get into Mike Murdock.

As I said, I haven't read too many of these comics, but certainly all of the creators on DD's first 49 issues and the first Annual are legends.  I would love to read along on a DD discussion.

My interest in seeing a Daredevil re-reading thread of DD #1-49 and Annual #1:  9/10.

I have two words for you: Mike Murdock.

Daredevil occasionally had some good issues, but more often than not it was mediocre to poor villains, unexciting plots and ridiculous melodrama. It picked up a bit when Black Widow was added tot he cast, but it was never consistently good until Frank Miller showed up. That being said, there are some interesting stories, and there's likely some interest in seeing how the character evolved.

John Dunbar said:

I have only read a handful of these issues but I think this would make for a very interesting re-reading discussion. 

Well guys I'd be up for both the early DD issues or Captain Marvel.

So glad you mentioned the change in body type Luke! Those first panels of appearance show what could have been with Marvel and with the distinction lines drawn between issues 1-21 and 25-34 I've always had a fascination with the odd-ones-out 22-24 !!

Lots to say on Mar-Vell!

Less on DD that never hooked me deeply in-the-day but I've recently re-read them digitally and there are some classy issues (vs Namor ) and fun runs (first Spider-Man criss and the Gladiator into I've always liked) but a tad generic until then.?

I keep looking at my JUSTICE LEAGUE DETROIT ERA Omnibus and feel that might masks for a change-of-pace read through..?

Daredevil was never a big favorite of mine. I enjoyed the Wood issues for the art, also the Bob Brown issues. I may be the only fan who liked the Ape-Man/Cat-Man/Bird-Man/Frog-Man story. I hated the Jester stories. Such a derivative character. I bought the Masterworks for issues 1-11 mainly for the excellent issue 7. That was when Matt Murdock proved just how heroic he was.

To me, that was a classic. It was also very unusual for Marvel, which didn't go for actual mysteries very often.

Richard Willis said:

 I may be the only fan who liked the Ape-Man/Cat-Man/Bird-Man/Frog-Man story.

Writing reviews makes you notice things you would've missed otherwise. In the Sea Devils thread I'm writing complete synopses because I started it a couple of years ago and that's what I used to do. But these days I prefer to write a brief description and concentrate on commentary. I place the commentary after the synopsis so the reader who doesn't want to read the synopsis can skip it. When I want to avoid spoilers I avoid describing elements from the second half of a story.

I think it makes sense to be interested in stuff that isn't widely celebrated. I believe one shouldn't look down on popularity, but less storied stuff can be good too. What attracts us to the comics we read is partly quality, but also the feature concept, the characters, the genre. Comics can lack spectacularly good writing or art, but be solidly entertaining. And some artists' work wasn't flashy, but they could tell a good story.

Here's a list of the projects I'm planning on doing:

Sensation Comics #1-12 (Wonder Woman)

Black Panther #1-54 by Christopher Priest

Birds of Prey issues #1-127

Love and Rockets: The Death of Speedy Ortiz

Love and Rockets: Human Diastrophism

I was also thinking about Dreadstar at some piont as well, but I'm unsure about that one.

I'd definitely be interested in Simonson's Thor and Byrne's Fantastic Four, but I don't want to hog all the good stuff.

Miller's Daredevil also sounds like a good project as well.

If there's something in this list that people would like to take priority, please speak up. Or, if there's something here that someone else wants to do, speak up as well.

Doctor Strange

Strange Tales 147-168, Doctor Strange 169-183

Steve Ditko was the artist on the Doctor Strange series in Strange Tales from Doc's debut in #110, and his run ended with #146.  Stan Lee scripted most of these stories.  Randy Jackson did a great re-reading thread on these issues, which can be found here:

http://captaincomics.ning.com/forum/topics/randy-jackson-reads-lee-...

I'm not very familiar with Strange's series in the post Ditko era.  With a bit of research I discovered that a lot of creators came and went after Ditko.  No one seemed to stay on the title for long.  Denny O'Neil scripted Ditko's last two issues and stayed on for 3 more ( #145-149), then later on did two more issues ( #167 and 168).  Roy Thomas wrote ST # 150, 158, and 159, and returned to write all of the issues once Strange Tales was renamed Doctor Strange with #169 (June 1968) until the series ended with #183.  Stan Lee's last issue with Ditko was #142, and he returned to the title to script #151-157.  Two writers who I have never heard of did the other issues - Raymond Marais ( #160 and 161) and Jim Lawrence ( #162-166).  The series had an interesting mix of artists:  Bill Everett ( #147-152), Marie Severin ( #153-160; she inked her own pencils for the first four issues, while the last four were inked by Herb Trimpe), Dan Adkins ( #161-171, although he was just the inker for two of those issues, #166 over George Tuska and #171 over Tom Palmer), and Gene Colan inked by Tom Palmer for Doc #172-178 and 180-183 ( #179 was a reprint).

Doctor Strange was one of a handful of Marvel books that was part of the 1968 expansion that got cancelled within a few years.  It was a monthly book at first, just like Strange Tales had been since #77 (Oct 1960), but after the reprint issue, the book went bi-monthly with #180 and then cancelled with #183 (Nov 1969).  Dr. Strange made two guest appearances in 1970, in Sub-Mariner #22 (Feb 1970) and Incredible Hulk #26 (Apr 1970) and then is not seen again until Marvel Feature #1 (Dec 1971) when the Defenders are formed.  He makes quite a comeback after being in limbo for almost two years.  The Defenders headline the first three issues of Marvel Feature, Strange makes a concurrent guest starring role in ASM 108 & 109 and then the next month gets a second crack at a solo series starting in Marvel Premiere #3, and the Defenders get their own book the month after that.  Doc's '70s series runs in Premiere from #3-14 and then he graduates to his own self-titled book, with issue #1 in June 1974.

The artists who worked on the issues I mentioned at the top of this post - Everett, Severin, Adkins, and Colan & Palmer - are an eclectic and interesting mix.  The writers are talented (the ones I have heard of before, anyway) but seem to come and go almost erratically while Doc is under the Strange Tales banner, which gives me the feeling these stories may not be as good as they could be.  But the art ... makes me want to read and find out.

My interest in seeing a Doctor Strange re-reading thread of Strange Tales #147-168 and Doctor Strange #169-183:  6/10.

Fantastic Four

Fantastic Four #1-102, FF Annual #1-6

All issues by Jack Kirby (with various inkers) and Stan Lee

In my opinion, Fantastic Four is the cream of the crop of Silver Age Marvel.  The early stuff can be a bit rough at times and the quality did take a small dip now and then.  But the ideas!  The concepts!  The vision!  And even when the partnership between Stan and Jack cooled off and was clearly not what it once was, it was still better than most other comics on the stands.  When they were simpatico, was there a better comic magazine, then or now?  Arguably not.  'Nuff said.

My interest in seeing a Fantastic Four re-reading thread of FF #1-102 and FF Annual #1-6: 10/10.

John Dunbar said:

Fantastic Four

Fantastic Four #1-102, FF Annual #1-6

I could have sworn we had a discussion thread of the early Fantastic Four, but I haven't been able to find it.

Same here.

Richard Willis said:

I could have sworn we had a discussion thread of the early Fantastic Four, but I haven't been able to find it.

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