Bronze Age Beginnings

Sunday, 25 April 2010

Daredevil #84

Cover date: February 1972

Writer: Gerry Conway

Artist: Gene Colan

Inker: Syd Shores

A very dynamic Gil Kane cover; Daredevil bursting out of the ‘frame’ into the foreground is an exceptional use of the cover format.

Erm, I’m not entirely sure what was going on here – something to do with an android from the future called The Assassin, who’d been masquerading as someone called Mr Kline, working for some bozo called Baal to prevent some terrible future coming about. Apparently, so I glean from a couple of footnotes, this also ties into some stuff going on in Iron Man and Sub-Mariner. That’s alright then...!

In this ish, Matt (Daredevil) Murdoch and Natasha (Black Widow) Romanoff get it on in Switzerland while putting an end to this particular plot line; at least I think the story is concluded – I may be wrong. Gerry Conway’s script is OK, but I got the distinct impression that he was basically just tidying up some loose ends before moving on. Gene Colan’s art is superb, and I very much enjoyed the inks of Syd Shores (despite Fred Hembeck contradicting me on the attractiveness of the Colan and Shores' team in the letter column).

Buy Daredevil #84 at My Comic Shop

Friday, 16 April 2010

The Avengers #96

Cover date: February 1972

Writer: Roy Thomas

Artist: Neal Adams

Inker(s): Palmer, Adams & Weiss

The Avengers - Captain America, Thor, Iron Man, Vision and a powerless Goliath (Clint Barton) - race into deep space on a rescue mission (The Scarlet Witch, Quicksilver and Captain Marvel have been captured by the Skrulls). They encounter a Skrull fleet and much fighting follows. Meanwhile, Rick Jones has been captured by the Kree and comes face to (very large) face with the Supreme Intelligence....

This is a superb example of what makes/made The Avengers so great; Roy Thomas was firing on all cylinders and Neal Adams' art was simply outstanding. A perfect mix of team dynamics, characterisation (early signs of Vision's love for Wanda are on display) and exciting action.

Buy The Avengers #96 at My Comic Shop

The Mighty Thor #196

Cover date: February 1972

Writer: Gerry Conway

Artist: John Buscema

Inker: Vince Colletta

Yea, Thor and the Warriors Three be on a quest to find the Well at World's Edge (is it me, or was Thor always on some quest or other?), while mighty Asgard be laid siege to by the Mangog! Meanwhile, Lady Sif and Hildegarde are hanging out on some backwaters planet called Blackworld.

Yep, a pretty typical Thor comic, with faux Shakespearean dialect, trolls, demons and Odin knows what else. It doesn't help that I've come in halfway through a storyline, but it pretty much sums up why I never really took to Thor. John Buscema's pencils aren't served particularly well by Colletta's scratchy inks and the letter column was especially boring.

Buy Thor #196 at My Comic Shop

Sunday, 4 April 2010

The Amazing Spider-Man #105

Cover date: February 1972

Writer: Stan Lee

Artist: Gil Kane

Inker: Frank Giacoia

Spider-Man encounters a protest group outside the Daily Bugle, and one of the protestors is Randy, Joe Robertson’s son. The protest goes almost without a hitch until J.J. Jameson turns up causing an altercation with Randy. Spider-Man webs up Jonah and makes a fool of him before heading of to a party to welcome back Flash (from Vietnam) and Harry Osborne (?), and Mary Jane makes a play for Peter (Parker).

Meanwhile, J.J Jameson goes off to meet with Professor Smyth to bankroll another Spider Slayer – long story short, Spider-Man is attacked by the Slayer, Jameson can’t control it, and it turns out that Smyth has an ulterior motive for giving the Slayer to Jameson. Peter Parker is unmasked as Spider-Man!

This was a curious melange of a comic – Stan Lee doesn’t seem to know whether he wants to write soap-opera, relevant comics (!), or super-heroics. It’s a pleasant, though uneven, ride, greatly improved by Gil Kane’s easy story-telling, and wonder-fully embellished by Frank Giacoia (though there is a dissenter of Giacoia’s inks in the letter pages).

Buy The Amazing Spider-Man #105 at My Comic Shop
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