Having started reading comics in the 70s and experiencing the Silver Age through reprints, I am wondering what you guys who read them when they first came out felt about certain occurances. My reactions were in hindsight, sometimes already knowing what was going to happen and how they were resolved. So in no order, how DID you feel about....

  • the death of Ferro Lad (or Lightning Lad or Triplicate Girl)
  • the New Avengers of 1964
  • the New Look Batman
  • Ditko leaving Spider-Man
  • the Million Dollar Debut of Batgirl
  • Steranko
  • Adams
  • the Marvel Expansion
  • the DC collapse
  • Galactus and the Silver Surfer
  • Black Canary joining the JLA
  • The Vision
  • the new Green Arrow
  • the weddings of the Flash & Iris, Aquaman & Mera, Reed & Sue and Hank & Jan
  • the deceit of Professor X

You can comment on whichever you like or add something that strongly effected you.

 

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I was really only around for one of those events -- the DC Implosion -- and I had mixed feelings about it. I liked a number of the books that were cancelled -- Justice Society, Firestorm -- and was enjoying back-up strips, too. On the other hand, I was a little relieved that comics wouldn't be 50 cents anymore, which was a little steep, and the first comics price increase I'd ever experienced. (On the third hand, they were going down to 40 cents instead of back to 35, which I wan't thrilled about.)

 

Actually, Rob that's a Bronze Age event and I remember being very disappointed by it.

No I'm talking about the late 60s-early 70s cancellations of SA books like The Atom, Hawkman, Doom Patrol, Metamorpho, Aquaman, Metal Men, Blackhawk and later Green Lantern and Teen Titans.

"the Million Dollar Debut of Batgirl"

As soon as The Penguin kidnapped Barbara out of that elevator, I KNEW something was seriously wrong.  The quality of the show completely TANKED on every level, and kept going downhill and picking up speed for the whole 3rd season.  (Oh, wait...)

 

 

"Steranko"

My first exposure to Nick Fury was FF ANNUAL #3. So nothing prepared me for picking up STRANGE TALES #167-- "Armageddon", which featured a 4-page spread (WTF?????). Incidentally, in retrospect, looking back decades later,m I strongly feel the last 2 pages of that story COMPLETELY F***s over the entire 11-part serial. Which is why I'm not even sure it was his idea, because it feels more like something his "editor" (and I use that word loosely) would have pushed on him at the last minute.  ("Hey, Jim! I've got a GREAT idea!!!" "Not again...")

 

 

"Galactus and the Silver Surfer"

Somehow, ABC screwed up the schedule of the show so badly, that although they kept running the coming attractions for this, I never saw it again after it's first-run until decades later. How cool it was to realize that Paul Frees voiced The Watcher, Ted Cassidy did Galactus, and Vic Perrin ("The Control Voice" from THE OUTER LIMITS) did the Surfer!

 

 

"the wedding Reed & Sue"

Reed & Sue were already married on the show, what a kick it was a few months later to get ahold of that copy of FF ANNUAL #3, which told the story of their wedding day!

 

Oh, okay; I knew it was bronze age, and wondered why you'd included it with those older events. Thanks for clarifying.

Great examples of the Silver Age in other media, Henry, but I want to know what that initial reaction to the original comics were. Using Galactus and the Surfer for instance, even as a child, I understood that Fantastic Four #48-51 were considered the pinnacle of the Lee/Kirby era but at the time of publication? Did whoever read it off the newstand realize it was something amazing? Was it just a good comic? Did it mean anything? Or were they merely wondering what Stan and Jack were drinking and/or smoking when they did it?

"but I want to know what that initial reaction to the original comics were"

 

I know... I just wasn't reading THOSE comics at the time. I think the first "events" in comics, for me, were Gwen Stacy's murder, and Reed & Sue's near-divorce.

"Or were they merely wondering what Stan and Jack were drinking and/or smoking when they did it?"

 

I can picture the reaction to CAPTAIN MARVEL #15...  "I'll have what Gary's drinking."

In the 70s a lot of early Marvels were reprinted here in Australia in B&W. Second-hand copies were part of my early Marvel reading. I only caught a couple of the post-change Avengers. I think I found the new Avengers team dull.

I didn't notice the DC Implosion. The closest I came to doing so was wondering what had happened to the next issue (which in fact was the final issue) of All-Star Comics. I'd gotten the two preceding issues and wanted to see the continuation of the abduction of Dr. Fate and Hawkman storyline.

I was a DC reader from about 1962-1964, them moved over almost exclusively to Marvel for the rest of the Silver Age, so I missed a lot of the DC events you mention.

 

  • the death of Ferro Lad (or Lightning Lad or Triplicate Girl)

Ferro Lad came after my time and I just read that recently, so it didn't have the impact it would have if I were 8 years old again. Lightning Lad was before I started reading, but I was there for his resurrection and had no idea why I should care about Proty. The Legionnaires dismissed the death of Triplicate Girl, so I did, too. 

  • the New Avengers of 1964

It was a pretty big shock to me. Avengers was one of the first Marvel titles I tried to follow regularly, starting with about #10. I wasn't a big fan of Iron Man or Thor at that time, but I was very disappointed that Giant-Man and Wasp left, especially when their regular series in Tales to Astonish ended at about the same time, leaving my favorite Marvel character homeless. I never really warmed up to Cap's Kookie Kwartet as "Earth's Mightiest Heroes."

  • the New Look Batman

It was quite an adjustment from "Captives of the Alien Zoo!" to "Mystery of the Menacing Mask!" I had been just fine with the early Silver Age Batman and found the adventures of the eccentrically dressed detective pretty boring and left not long after. I liked the Elongated Man feature.

  • Ditko leaving Spider-Man

Ditko was Spider-Man to me. Fortunately, John Romita was there to take over. If anyone else who was around at the time, even the likes of Kirby, Heck or Colan, had been assigned, it probably would not have survived.

  • the Million Dollar Debut of Batgirl

I missed that one, but I always liked the costume.

  • Steranko

I followed everything he did for Marvel and the few projects he did after. Such a bright light that burned out so soon. Nick Fury has never looked right since Steranko left.

  • Adams

I completely missed his DC work and discovered him on X-Men, which quickly became my favorite Marvel title. Avengers, Inhumans, anything he did for Marvel I bought. I followed him over to Green Lantern/Green Arrow, and that was my doorway back into the DC Universe.

  • the Marvel Expansion

I was in middle school in 1968 and this was just mind-blowing at the time. I could no longer "buy the line" at Marvel for a buck and a quarter a month, and that's when that was some serious money. I still managed to buy all the new super-hero related titles, and it wasn't long until a bunch of them were cancelled anyway.

  • the DC collapse

I missed all the late SA "throw out anything to see if it catches on" strategy at DC. I did notice after a while that the only super-hero titles they were able to sell were Superman and Batman (and related titles), Flash and Justice League.

  • Galactus and the Silver Surfer

This story made a big impression on me, and I even quoted Galactus in a paper I wrote for middle school English class about the first Earth Day that started that year. Silver Surfer became my second favorite character, after Hank Pym.

  • Black Canary joining the JLA

Missed that one, although I had made an effort to keep up with most of the JLA/JSA team-ups. I didn't like the title after Gardner Fox left.

  • The Vision

My eyes teared up at the end of his first story. I liked him when Roy Thomas was writing the Avengers, not so much when Englehart took over.

  • the new Green Arrow

I missed that one. Reading back issues in later years, he's just a big blow-hard.

  • the weddings of the Flash & Iris, Aquaman & Mera, Reed & Sue and Hank & Jan

I missed Flash and Aquaman. Reed and Sue was the most fun story I had read until then, even with crappy inking on Kirby's pencils. I was glad to see Hank and Jan finally get married, but the circumstances were really stupid. Yellowjacket is the one identity of Hank's I never much liked.

  • the deceit of Professor X

X-Men never worked right without him, so I was glad they reversed his death, even though the reason for it was pretty stupid.

 

Hoy

l...First , for what you've cited , I qualify , I suppose(??) , as a " late-end Silver Ager " , having started to read comics in mid-ish1966 , therefore...

  The first four things you list were definitely Before My Time ( BMT ) , some later , depending on your meanings ?

  More later .

"had no idea why I should care about Proty"

Maybe if it had been Protoplasman...

 

 

"Earth's Mightiest Heroes."

"Earth's Mightiest Place-Holders" ("We're just here until the REAL Avengers come back... whenever that might be.")

 

 

"Captives of the Alien Zoo!"

That was a 3rd-season LOST IN SPACE episode, wasn't it?  Leonard Stone was the baddie...

 

 

"I always liked the costume."

I guess we can blame "1967" for the TV show not giving her the black & yellow costume (instead of the BRIGHT PURPLE one).

 

 

"Nick Fury has never looked right since Steranko left."

Maybe, but Burt Lancaster is NOT Ralph Meeker. More important... Nick was never WRITTEN right after Steranko left!!! Later writers forgot that SHIELD is not supposed to be the CIA. They're INCORRUPTIBLE good guys-- period!

 

 

"I did notice after a while that the only super-hero titles they were able to sell were Superman and Batman (and related titles), Flash and Justice League."

Are we talking about the late 60's or the 90's and onward?

 

 

"Silver Surfer became my second favorite character"

WHICH one? The naive alien, or the cosmic Hamlet wannabe?

 

 

"My eyes teared up at the end of his first story."

In reading ESSENTIAL AVENEGERS, it struck me that the issue where The Vision debuted was the exact point where Roy finally GOT GOOD. (Up to then, he'd only been barely tolerable.) Also, George Klein brought out the best in Buscema. Too bad the team didn't last long.

 

 

"he's just a big blow-hard"

I seem to recall Boris Badenov once referring to Bullwinkle J. Moose that way.

 

 

"even with crappy inking on Kirby's pencils"

That was the very 1st Jack Kirby art I ever saw!!! So I didn't know any better...

 

 

"Yellowjacket is the one identity of Hank's I never much liked."

I don't think Yelowjacket was really handled well until Steve Gerber & Steve Englehart came along.

 

 

"the circumstances were really stupid"

"even though the reason for it was pretty stupid"

Uh oh... that's two for two for Roy Thomas.

 

I don't think either was as DUMB as having The Wasp hire a chauffer without checking his references (and so not realizing-- FOR YEARS!!!!!-- that he was a card-carrying SUPER-VILLAIN!). I can still picture Hank smashing a BRICK WALL with his giant fist in an attempt to clobber the bum, after he finally found out (AND the guy put Jan in the hospital).

 

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