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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Wait.  When you say "the deceit of Professor X",  which time are you talking about?

I assumed you meant "The Death of Professor X" from about X-men #43 or so.

But then I recalled during the first six or seven issues, the Prof threw himself forward out of his chair to take a boobytrapped door out before it could hurt his students, and next issued, we discover that he's in a coma, and unable to lead the X-men. By the end of the issue or the next one, we learn that he's just fine... that he was only playing possum to see if his students could function without him (to force Cyc to lead, and the team to function on their own). This leads directly to their "graduation" and photo at the start of  the next issue, as I recall.

Prof X gets kidnapped by Factor Three from about #32 through #38... but I don't recall that as a ruse or deceit.  And (spoilers) it not only introduces the Changling (in a group photo during the climax of the Factor Three storyline) but in effect sets up the elements for the return of Prof X in #65...  his "death" occurring in #42 or 43... 

It seems pretty clear to me and to all readers at the time, that there was no intent to bring the professor back, as the format of the book changed to solo adventures or pair up of the teens.  Even FBI agent Brown who hasn't been seen since the original issue or so, shows up to disband the school and disperse the team.  This sure seemed major and permanent to us at the time... not just a story arc nor something that could/would be reversed.

And, when Prof X does return, it's only one issue before the series is cancelled.  So it seemed quite suddent and arbitrary to bring him back.  Also, in the next several years, I can't think of a single appearance of the Professor, although his students are shown in various gueststar appearances that were recently collected in a few spots.  I don't think the rest of the bullpen got the memo that the good Prof was back, either.

Prof. X put in a couple of appearances in 1974, in Defenders ##15-16 (the Mutant Alpha story, in which Magneto was de-aged) and Giant-Size Fantastic Four #4 (where Madrox debuted).

Plus there were X-Men appearances between X-Men #66 and Giant-Size X-Men #1 in The Avengers #110-111, Captain America (and the Falcon) #172-175 and Marvel Team-Up #4. All these involved Professor X. He also was seen a couple of times in the Beast series in Amazing Adventures #11-16.

Oh my, I stand corrected.  Prof. X got around far more than I had realized.

For some reasons, I had assumed that those appearances were without Prof. X  but I guess I'm wrong.  Oops!

Guess Xavier must have erased that from my memories!

Seems many artists had difficulties with most masked heroes that didn't have a distinct facial characteristics or hairstyle, so that if Clint, Hank, Steve and Donald Blake are all shown together without masks or costumes it would have been very difficult to distinguish who was who.  Reed, Tony, Peter and Stephen Strange all had fairly unique features so that they stood out, although a careless artist might make Tony & Stephen look too much alike. 
 
Kirk G said:

There's one long narrow pannel in particular that I'm thinking of that shows this problem.  I think it may be as the Avengers accept the Vision into their membership, but I'm not sure.  Clint, Hank and Steve are all shown, with only their heads appearing in the shot (or head and shoulders) with their cowls pulled down, drapped around their neck.

When this pannel appeared in print, I remember thinking how much alike all three men looked... and how I had never noticed that Hank's hair was orange, as it had been tinted.  Years later, seeing the same page original artwork (probably in the back of the right Avengers Masterwork volume) there's a clear note to the inker to shade that hair more orange, particularly to address this problem.  You can't judge who's who in black and white, and the cowls drapped around their shoulders didn't help.  When this was reprinted in the black and white Essential Avengers, the problem was even worse!

Wish I had a way to reproduce that panel so that you all could see the problem.  It totally derailed the moment, and took you out of the story, as you had to figure out who was who and why they were saying whatever they were saying.  It's probably on the next to last page of #58, "Even an Android can Cry".

I recall starting to read Marvel Comics at age 5, but only got into regularly collecting them by age 10, in 1973, including the reprints of Silver Age classics.  So I only got the last issue of Roy Thomas' run in the Avengers, 104, and then onto Steve Englehart's run, which I thoroughly enjoyed, with the clash with the Defenders, the tragedy of the Swordsman, and the repeated run-ins with Kang and the grand finale with the Squadron Supreme.  I also got the last few issues of the Avengers version II (Thor, Iron Man, Giant-Man, Wasp & Captain America) in Marvel Triple Action just before Cap is left leading the Kookie Quartet.  The transition itself, in the aftermath of Cap's final confrontation with Baron Zemo, was thrilling, although the first couple of KQ adventures weren't particularly compelling, but it certainly got more interesting as now Captain America had a real chance to shine as a leader but he was also shown to have his own personal weaknesses in dealing with this new crew.  Having by now read in reprints or originals all the first couple of years worth Avengers stories, I think while the first 9 issues are very good, 10 -14 are pretty mediocre, 15 -16 are great, 17-18 not so great, but from 19 on mostly pretty good again.

For me, tho' the big landmarks of the originals I was reading was the murder of Gwen Stacy and the Thanos epic in Captain Marvel.  I got the first issue of his comeback, 22, which wasn't all that impressive, missed the next 4 issues, then picked up issue 27, which blew my 11 year old mind!  Didn't miss any of the remaining chapters of that epic, save for the side trip into Marvel Feature # 12.  That was also where I first read anything about the Kree-Skrull War, but I didn't actually read that story itself until about a decade later.

There were some really cool comics coming out then, so picking things up initially in that era could get a new reader excited. They were far different (and less of them) than in the preceding period, IMO, with much less emphasis on superheroes and more variety.

I was in college at that point, and Spidey, Warlock, Captain Marvel,Conan,  Avengers,and Dr. Strange were the ones we were reading, along with Batman, Black Orchid, Swamp Thing and Sword of Sorcery. It was the one time in my life I had a few subscriptions, because I didn't have a good way to regularly pick up stuff on my own.  A lot of the more traditional super-hero comics were pretty bland, but there was enough to eat up whatever money I had.

-- MSA

Fred W. Hill said:

Seems many artists had difficulties with most masked heroes that didn't have a distinct facial characteristics or hairstyle, so that if Clint, Hank, Steve and Donald Blake are all shown together without masks or costumes it would have been very difficult to distinguish who was who.  Reed, Tony, Peter and Stephen Strange all had fairly unique features so that they stood out, although a careless artist might make Tony & Stephen look too much alike.

Kirk G said:

There's one long narrow pannel in particular that I'm thinking of that shows this problem.  I think it may be as the Avengers accept the Vision into their membership, but I'm not sure.  Clint, Hank and Steve are all shown, with only their heads appearing in the shot (or head and shoulders) with their cowls pulled down, drapped around their neck.

When this pannel appeared in print, I remember thinking how much alike all three men looked... and how I had never noticed that Hank's hair was orange, as it had been tinted.  Years later, seeing the same page original artwork (probably in the back of the right Avengers Masterwork volume) there's a clear note to the inker to shade that hair more orange, particularly to address this problem.  You can't judge who's who in black and white, and the cowls drapped around their shoulders didn't help.  When this was reprinted in the black and white Essential Avengers, the problem was even worse!

Wish I had a way to reproduce that panel so that you all could see the problem.  It totally derailed the moment, and took you out of the story, as you had to figure out who was who and why they were saying whatever they were saying.  It's probably on the next to last page of #58, "Even an Android can Cry".

A really good artist -- like, say, George Perez or Curt Swan -- would have made it possible for the reader to tell who was who. There are lots of artists who couldn't pass that test, but I consider that the benchmark of the real pros.

...I see , actually , that I started to - " talk " - about this BEFORE - Not looking at all of the intervening posts to see if I posted again after that , I will say that there's one major mistake in what I said here - I was here for Ferro Lad's death !!!!!!!!!!!
  Very definitely so .

 

 

 

Emerkeith Davyjack said:

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 .

All I remember is wondering why when several Marvel artists releaseed self portraits of themselves drawing their characters Steranko just drew himself and no comic book characters (Gene Colan I remember drew Daredevil and the "masked" Dr. Strange, John Buscema drew the Silver Surfer and for some reason the Overlord from SS#6, and Jack Kirby drew just about everybody around his drawing table) and thinking Neal Adams' Avengers and Inhumans looked a bit like a combination of Kirby and Buscema to me. I had the Galactus Trilogy, the Vision two parter, and the weird marriage of Hank and Jan, but those comics were before my time and my parents bought them at one of the first comic book stores for me. Don't remember the name but it was a two story building and the comics were upstairs. Don't remember what they sold on the first floor.

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