Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Al Rio R.I.P.

The comics world lost a great talent today with the tragic suicide of Brazilian artist Al Rio at the age of 49. Best known for his lovely and provocative renderings of women, Rio burst into public consciousness of comic fans when he succeeded J. Scott Campbell as the penciler on Gen13 with issue #21 in August 1997. Over the course of his career, Rio worked for virtually every major comics publisher on a range of characters and titles that included Captain America, Grim Fairy Tales, Heroes for Hire, Spider-Man, Star Wars, X-Men, Vampirella, and WildC.A.T.S. Among his most recent work was Marvel's New Mutants Forever on which he collaborated with Chris Claremont and Bob McLeod. Contributions may be made to his family through Kickstarter and condolences may be sent via David Campiti or Terry Maltos.

Shogun Warriors #13 (February 1980)

Title: The Demonicus Scheme!
Cover: Al Milgrom, Jack Abel
Writer: Doug Moench
Penciler: Herb Trimpe
Inker: Mike Esposito
Colorist: Bob Sharen
Letterer: John Costanza
Editor: Al Milgrom
Editor-in-Chief: Jim Shooter
Cover Price: $0.40
Cover Date: February 1980
Release Date: November 1979
Synopsis: Shogun Warriors #13 opens with Dangard Ace tethered to the surface of the Moon by the minions of Dr. Demonicus like Gulliver by the Lilliputians. As the villains move in with a spacecraft to lift Dangard Ace back to their space station orbiting the Moon, pilot Ilongo Savage awakes and wonders what happened, gradually recalling the events of last issue and the blast that sent him to surface of the Moon. Combatra and Raydeen were knocked into space and find that they are unable to stop until the Followers of the Light direct them to an asteroid field where their retro rockets are able to reverse their course. Back near the Moon, Dangard Ace is carried to a space station where he lulls the villains into a false sense of security by playing possum before he springs into action. As Dangard Ace blasts his way through the hanger of the space station, Dr. Demonicus reveals himself on a giant projection screen, prompting the Followers of the Light to research his background. They learn that he was formerly a well-respected bio-geneticist who was injured during an unauthorized experiment, driving him mad and causing him to seek vengeance on those who interfered with his work. Pilot Ilongo talks with Demonicus and learns that he plans to strike the Earth with a second meteor and also that he is about to ambush Combatra and Raydeen as they return from deep space. Dangard Ace breaks free to save his teammates and the three Shogun Warriors return to the space station where they face a series of monstrous genetic mutations and other obstacles as they try to capture Dr. Demonicus. To be continued next issue in Should Heroes Fail…

Source: Kraalo Archives, Marvel Wikia

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Sgt. Fury #156 (February 1980)

Title: The Court-Martial of Dum Dum Dugan!
Cover: Dick Ayers
Writer: Gary Friedrich
Penciler: Dick Ayers
Inker: John Severin
Letterer: Herb Cooper
Editor: Stan Lee
Editor-in-Chief: Jim Shooter
Cover Price: $0.40
Cover Date: February 1980
Release Date: November 1979
Synopsis: Sgt. Fury and His Howling Commandos #156 reprints issue #60 (November 1968) of the same series. The Agent of 1,000 Faces impersonates the Howlers' CO Sam Sawyer and arrests Dum Dum Dugan for disobeying orders and engaging the German Col. Klaue in a fight in the previous issue. The Howlers all appear at Dugan's court-martial, providing testimony in a series of flashbacks to Fury Special issues #2, 24, 38, 40, 50, and 59 that serve as character references in the trial and a great introduction to Dum Dum for new readers. Dugan is found guilty, but the decision is reversed after Fury realizes that Sawyer's eyes are blue, not brown like those of the Agent of 1,000 Faces. Dum Dum is freed and the Howling Commandos prepare to rescue Sam Sawyer next issue!

Source: Kraalo Archives, Marvel Universe Appendix, Marvel Wikia, Nick Fury Homepage

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Savage Sword of Conan #49 (February 1980)

Title: When Madness Wears The Crown!
Cover: Nestor Redondo
Writer: Roy Thomas
Penciler: John Buscema
Inker: Tony DeZuniga
Letterers: John Costanza
Editor-in-Chief: Jim Shooter
Cover Price: $1.25
Cover Date: February 1980
Release Date: November 1979
Synopsis: Savage Sword of Conan #49 features Part One of Marvel's adaptation of Conan The Liberator, a novel written by L. Sprague de Camp and Lin Carter featuring Robert E. Howard's seminal sword and sorcery hero. It was first published in paperback by Bantam Books in February 1979.

Source: Kraalo Archives, Marvel Wikia

Friday, January 27, 2012

She-Hulk #1 Cover Recreations

The classic cover to She-Hulk #1 has inspired a number of recreations and reimaginings over the years. Among my favorites is the reimaging done by John Byrne in 2007 for David Henriot. Another fun homage is the Josh Bayer’s zombified (?) Jen Walters that was featured on the Covered Blog, which is recommended reading for any comic fan. Finally, Greg Moutafis did a great job with a straight recreation of both the line art and the color.Click on any of the images below to see larger versions of the covers.




 Source: ComicArtFans Galleries of David Henriot and Greg Moutafis, Covered

Savage She-Hulk #1 (February 1980)

Title: The She-Hulk Lives
Cover: John Buscema
Writer: Stan Lee
Penciler: John Buscema
Inker: Chic Stone
Letterer: Joe Rosen
Editor: Tom DeFalco
Editor-in-Chief: Jim Shooter
Cover Price: $0.40
Cover Date: February 1980
Release Date: November 1979
Synopsis: Desperate and exhausted from life on the run, Bruce Banner visits his cousin Jen Walters at her law office in Los Angeles, hoping to confide his dark secret in someone he trusts. His unexpected visit is a welcome surprise to Jen, who greets Bruce with open arms and the two catch up on old times. Bruce recounts the origin of his accidental transformation to the incredible Hulk to his shocked and sympathetic cousin, who commits to help him. As they drive to Jen’s home, she reciprocates with an update on her career as a criminal defense attorney, briefing Bruce on a current case involving a client that has been framed for murder by the mob. Bruce worries that her work is dangerous and puts her at risk, but she tell him that she is fine and “I live with danger!” As the two get out of the car in her driveway, a mobster shoots Jen from a nearby car. Bruce is able to resist transforming to the Hulk despite the stress of the situation, believing that he will be better able to help his seriously injured cousin in his human form. He is able to evade the mobsters and determines that Jen has lost so much blood that she needs an immediate transfusion because she would die before making it to the hospital. Bruce knows that they are the same blood type and does a transfusion with his own blood, calling an ambulance after her condition has stabilized. Bruce is taken into custody by police when he declines to identify himself at the scene, escaping later by transforming into the Hulk. At the hospital, the criminals make a second attempt on Jen’s life and the demure attorney transforms into the Savage She-Hulk in the heat of the moment and beats the thugs into submission. After relaxing and transforming back to Jen Walters, she realizes that the transfusion from her cousin must have caused the change and the new heroine vows to control the She-Hulk and use her new powers for good.

Source: Kraalo Archives, Marvel Comics

Thursday, January 26, 2012

ROM Pin-Up

ROM #3 features a Marvel Masterwork Pin-Up by Al Milgrom that appears to be a variation on the cover to ROM #1. I’m aware of one other version of the cover to ROM’s debut issue that was done by artist Michael Netzer, which former Marvel Editor-in-Chief Jim Shooter posted on his blog, so I wonder if this piece by Milgrom was another possibility that was considered for the final cover.

Source: Kraalo Archives

ROM #3 (February 1980)

Title: Firefall!
Cover: Frank Miller, Terry Austin
Writer: Bill Mantlo
Penciler: Sal Buscema
Inker: Sal Buscema
Colorist: Ben Sean
Letterers: Tom Orzechowski
Editor: Joe Duffy
Editor-in-Chief: Jim Shooter
Cover Price: $0.40
Cover Date: February 1980
Release Date: November 1979
Synopsis: Mobster Archie Stryker is brought to the secret headquarters of Project Safeguard in Maryland where he watches surveillance footage of ROM apparently killing policemen, soldiers and innocent bystanders. The Dire Wraiths in their human disguises as the leaders of Project Safeguard offer the criminal the opportunity to fight against ROM in exchange for his freedom. Back in West Virginia, ROM stands on a mountaintop, recalling the circumstances on his home planet of Galador that necessitated his transformation from a man to a Spaceknight in order to fight the Dire Wraiths. ROM mourns the loss of his humanity, a sentiment he seems to feel more and more since meeting Brandy. Elsewhere, Brandy reflects on recent events and agonizes over her belief in ROM and his mission to fight the Dire Wraiths versus the widespread belief that he is an alien monster responsible for murdering innocent people. Arriving home, Brandy finds agents from Project Safeguard waiting for her. At the Project Safeguard base, Stryker is put through the paces of a training exercise and realizes that he will not be capable of fighting ROM without some extra advantage. He is offered a suit of living armor like ROM’s and he reluctantly agrees. In West Virginia, ROM detects alien activity and investigates, finding an underground base where the Dire Wraiths are building a transporter that will allow them to bring their evil forces to earth. Determined to stop their plot, ROM banishes the Wraiths to Limbo and destroys their transporter. As ROM concludes his attack, he is blasted by a force that he recognizes as the sacred Living Fire of Galador, a force controlled by his fellow spaceknight Karas. ROM learns shortly that in place of his old friend, he now faces Archie Stryker reborn as Firefall!

Source: Kraalo Archives

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Power Man & Iron Fist #61 (February 1980)

Title: Who's Been Sleeping In My Grave?
Cover: Bob Layton
Writer: Jo Duffy
Penciler: Kerry Gammill
Inker: Bruce Patterson
Colorist: George Roussos
Letterer: Joe Rosen
Editor: Roger Stern
Editor-in-Chief: Jim Shooter
Cover Price: $0.40
Cover Date: February1980
Release Date: November 1979
Synopsis: The issue opens with a prologue showing a group of thugs interring a coffin with Luke Cage's name on it in a sinister moonlight burial at a cemetery in Queens. "So, rest in peace----Sucker!" quips a shadowy figure. In the present, Big Ben Donovan stumbles through the door of Heroes for Hire, surprising Luke Cage in the middle of a phone conversation with Danny Rand when his old friend collapses on the floor. Ben tells Luke that he's on the run from Maggia just as a pair of gun-toting mobsters burst through the door. Luke makes quick work of them and then attends to Ben while he reminisces about their history. Man Mountain Marko enters the office and eventually manages to overcome Luke after shocking him with 220-volt wiring from the wall. From a rooftop across the street, Thunderbolt has been watching the fight and runs down to the street when he sees Iron Fist arrive in a taxi. The two heroes fight briefly and then agree to team up to track down the Maggia attorney Caesar Cicero who is responsible for capturing Ben and Luke. The two heroes go to the police station to look for information on Cicero. Thunderbolt tells Iron First his origin, revealing that the experimental treatment that gave him super speed is also aging him at an accelerated rate. The 28 year-old Thunderbolt resolves to nail the man responsible for his brother's murder before he dies of old age! To be continued next issue in "It's Your Funeral!"

Source: Kraalo Archives

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Spectacular Spider-Man #39 (February 1980)

Title: Scourge of the Schizoid-Man!
Cover: Jerry Bingham, Joe Rubinstein
Writer: Bill Mantlo
Penciler: John Romita, Jr.
Inker: Jim Mooney
Colorist: Bob Sharen
Letterer: Diana Albers
Editor: Jim Shooter
Editor-in-Chief: Jim Shooter
Cover Price: $0.40
Cover Date: February 1980
Release Date: November 1979
Synopsis: Spider-Man visits Dr. Curtis Connors in response to an urgent advertisement placed in the Daily Bugle. The doctor tells Spider-Man that he may have absorbed feedback from the Enervator Ray that the Wall Crawler used to defeat the Incredible Iguana and Connors in his evil alter-ego as the Lizard. There is a significant risk that Spider-Man was affected by the Envervator's rays, so Connors wants to take a blood sample to study, but the Web Slinger balks at the notion and says he's feeling fine. In a brief interlude, Electro enters a warehouse in the slums of New York's Bowery and finds himself fighting the Sandman, Trapster and Wizard as an initiation for a newly formed Fearsome Four.  The next day, Peter Parker arrives a Empire State University to find his classmates quibbling about his disappearance during last issue's fight with Morbius at Chip Martin's Halloween Party. It is also revealed that Chip went missing after his episode at the party and his father Senator Martin arrives at ESU to search for him. Chip then appears at ESU as the Schizoid-Man, attacking his father as revenge for a life of medication and restraint. Peter saves the Senator from a rain of knives conjured by his son and runs off to change into his Spider-Man costume. Back in his lab, Doctor Connors finds that Spider-Man is undergoing uncontrolled mutagenic growth that could wreak incredible havoc on the hero! Spider-Man engages the Schizoid-Man in battle while Senator Martin recalls the accident of birth that endowed his son Chip with bizarre powers and his lifelong struggle to contain them. Spider-Man grows more erratic and vicious during the fight, eventually slapping the Schizoid-Man into unconsciousness before Doctor Connors intervenes to stop the brutal beating. Spider-Man runs off, making it to a rooftop before he collapses in a fever and then transforms into...The Spider-Lizard!

Source: Kraalo Archives, Marvel Comics

Micromails (February 1980)

The Micromails letters page in Micronauts #14 includes a great bio of Howard Chaykin with a funny drawing of the artist at his drawing board wearing a three-piece suit and smoking a cigarette. Howard's star was on the rise based on his great work on Dominic Fortune in black and white magazines such as Marvel Premiere and the incredible success of Marvel's comic adaptation of Star Wars, which was the most reprinted comic book in the history of the genre. Click on the image below for a more legible copy of the scan.

Source: Kraalo Archives

Friday, January 20, 2012

Micronauts #14 (February 1980)

Title: A Hot Time On The Old World!
Cover: Michael Golden
Writer: Bill Mantlo
Layouts: Howard Chaykin
Finishes: Al Milgrom
Colorist: Bob Sharen
Letterer: Annette Kawecki
Editor: Al Milgrom
Editor-in-Chief: Jim Shooter
Cover Price: $0.40
Cover Date: February 1980
Release Date: November 1979
Synopsis: Continued directly from Micronauts #13. On his home world of Kaliklak, Bug and his gang mount an assault on the Colonial Air Terminus in an attempt to overthrow Baron Karza's remaining forces. They overpower their opponents, commandeering a fleet of airships and launching an attack on the Colonial Governor's headquarters in the Nest. Back on Homeworld, Biotron, Commander Rann and Marionette say their goodbyes to Argon and Slug, departing on Endeavor for new adventures in the Microverse. On planet Spartak, Acroyear decides that he is a warrior not a ruler and wishes to rejoin the Micronauts. A brief interlude follows as Time Traveler witnesses events on Earth that may threaten the Microverse: Agent M flies to the Baxter Building to reveal the existence of the Micronauts to the Fantastic Four. Back on Kaliklak, Bug's forces mount an attack on the Nest, taking the occupying forces by surprise. Bug's father tries to shoot down his son in order to take back control of his gang, but he is shot down an enemy cannon. Bug and his forces seize the palace and blast the Colonial Governor unconscious, winning the battle and their freedom! The issue ends with Acroyear and Cilcia joining the Micronauts on Endeavor, the team learning that Bug is alive and setting a course to Kalilkak. Next issue the Micronauts meet the Fantastic Four!

Source: Kraalo Archives

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Heroes World Calendar Ad

Heroes World was one of the most prolific advertisers in the pages of Marvel comics during the late 70s and early 80s. Marvel titles dated February 1980 featured not just one but two ads from Heroes World that varied depending on the release date. The first February ad was for Mego's Superhero Dolls (wouldn't they have been better off calling them action figures) and this second ad was for comics and calendars. With comics dated February 1980 likely hitting new stands in November 1979, I'm sure that 1980 calendars were flying off the shelves. One other cool thing about these ads that Gerry Turnbull pointed out is that the art is by the Kubert School.  I wonder if any of this original art is kicking around out there?

Source: Kraalo Archives

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Epic Illustrated House Ad

Marvel comics dated February 1980 included house ads for the new quarterly deluxe format magazine Epic Illustrated. Epic was ostensibly Marvel's answer to Heavy Metal, which was doing well commercially with monthly sales averaging nearly 200,000 copies, and was also lauded by industry critics for its innovative format, acclaimed creators and bold content. In spite of the enthusiasm of Marvel's magazine group, it was apparently difficult to get the support from executives at Cadence Industries due to the relatively recent failure of the Pizzazz children's magazine. In any case, there were high hopes for Epic based on an incredible roster of talent that had been recruited to produce content for the magazine who would be flexing their creative muscles free of the Comics Code Authority and Marvel's onerous work-for-hire contract.

Source: Kraalo Archives, Heavy Metal Magazine Fanpage, The Comics Journal

Monday, January 16, 2012

Master of Kung Fu #85 Cover Art

Mike Zeck's stunning cover art to Master of Kung Fu #85 was listed in ComicLink's May 2013 Feature Auction and saw robust bidding activity that closed after 29 rounds at $2,888. Not a bad price for a piece of this vintage from such a prominent artist. I would venture to guess that Master of Kung Fu comics and original art will appreciate significantly in value if Marvel and the Sax Rohmer estate ever come to terms on copyright issues and clear the path to reprints of this classic material as well as use of the character in films or other media. Click on the image below to see a larger scan of the cover art.

Source: ComicLink

Master of Kung Fu #85 (February 1980)

Title: The Ram And The Dove
Cover: Mike Zeck
Writer: Doug Moench
Penciler: Mike Zeck
Inker: Gene Day
Colorist: Steve Oliff
Letterer: Diana Albers
Editor: Roger Stern
Editor-in-Chief: Jim Shooter
Cover Price: $0.40
Cover Date: February1980
Release Date: November 1979
Synopsis: Master of Kung Fu #85 contains Part 3 of the Warriors of the Golden Dawn saga. Trapped between the deadly Leopard Cultists on the beach and viscous alligators in the river, Shang-Chi and Black Jack Tarr dive under the water and manage to restrain one of the beasts. Returning to shore, they hurl the alligator into the midst of the Cultists, escaping into the jungle while their foes scatter in a panic. In Casablanca, Leiko and Clive Reston are met at the airport by a young boy bearing a note with the location of the kidnapped Nayland Smith. They proceed to the location and overpower a handful of Leopard Cultists to rescue Smith, leaving the mysterious Karamenah behind as an infiltrator of Fu Manchu's organization. The trio proceeds to a place clearly inspired by Rick's Cabaret from Casablanca where the Bogart-esque proprietor gladly helps Clive Reston based on their personal history. Back in the South American jungle, Shang-Chi and Tarr find Fu Manchu's base of operations and launch an attack. Facing insurmountable odds, the two are separated as Shang-Chi searches for his father Fu Manchu and Tarr fights for his life against the Leopard Cultists. In Casablanca, two old lovers share a tender moment and Leiko succumbs to her passions and spends the night with Clive. In the morning, Leiko tells Clive that the night will not be repeated, clearly at odds with her love of Shang-Chi and the desire for her old flame. The issue ends back in South America with Tarr uncovering Fu Manchu's mind control factory and the Master of Kung Fu coming face-to-face with his father! To be continued next issue in Part 4 of the Warriors of the Golden Dawn saga!

Source: Kraalo Archives, Mike Zeck

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Marvel's Greatest Comics #85 (February 1980)

Title: The Monster In The Streets!
Cover: John Romita, Sr.
Writer: Stan Lee
Penciler: John Romita, Sr.
Inker: John Verpoorten
Letterer: Artie Simek
Editor: Stan Lee
Editor-in-Chief: Jim Shooter
Cover Price: $0.40
Cover Date: February1980
Release Date: November 1979
Synopsis: Marvel's Greatest Comics #85 reprints Fantastic Four #120 (December 1970). Ben, Johnny and Crystal are enjoying hot dogs from a New York City street vendor on a beautiful sunny day when Crystal suddenly feels faint. An explosion in the distance provides a distraction from Crystal's well being and the heroes spring into action as the building above them starts to crumble. Crystal falls unconscious after using her elemental energy bolts and Johnny flies her back to the Baxter Building to have her examined by Reed. Back at the Fantastic Four's headquarters, Reed is working on an experiment designed to transform the Thing back to his human form when Johnny bursts in with Crystal in his arms. Sue is clothes shopping when the store she is in starts to collapse and the heroine sees a strange glowing mass passing by on the street outside. Going to investigate, Sue encounters Dr. Zolten Rambow, who is following the mass under the belief that it is a being from another planet or dimension. Back at the Baxter Building, Reed does an analysis of Crystal's blood and determines that she must return to her home with the Inhumans. He also discovers a compound in Crystal's blood that he believes may help transform the Thing back to his human form. Johnny is angry and heartbroken at the prospect of losing Crystal, but understands that she must go and kisses her goodbye before she teleports away with Lockjaw. He turns into the Human Torch and flies away to blow off some steam, stopping when he sees the glowing mass and his sister in danger. He flies down to help, but his flame sputters out and he is rendered helpless. Only the Invisible Girl's force field can contain the mass, so the Torch files off to get help. He returns to the Baxter Building where Johnny finds that Reed has just started an experiment to transform the Thing. The team's leader in put in the terrible position of abandoning his best friend in the middle of a delicate experiment or his wife in her moment of need! To be continued next issue in The Startling Solution!

Source: Kraalo Archives, Marvel Comics, Marvel Wikia

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Marvel Two-In-One #60 Art

Marvel Two-In-One #60 features great art by George Perez and Gene Day. Check out this fantastic splash page of the the Thing straining against the weight of the multi-ton press in the Baxter Building's gym.  Below are a few other pieces from the issue, including a nice self-portrait by Perez who makes a cameo in this issue alongside fellow Marvel creators Mark Gruenwald and Ralph Macchio.




 Source: ComicArtFans Gallery of Michael Lovitz, Heritage Auctions

Marvel Two-In-One #60 (February 1980)

Title: Happiness Is A  Warm Alien!
Cover: Bob Budiansky, Joe Rubinstein
Writers: Mark Gruenwald, Ralph Macchio
Penciler: George Perez
Inker: Gene Day
Colorist: Roger Slifer
Letterer: John Costanza
Editor: Roger Stern
Editor-in-Chief: Jim Shooter
Cover Price: $0.40
Cover Date: February 1980
Release Date: November 1979
Synopsis: As the Thing prepares for the opening night of Alicia Masters' sculpture exhibition, the Impossible Man makes a surprise visit to the Baxter Building. Ben begrudgingly allows Impy to come with him on the condition that he transform into a hat and remain a hat for the whole evening. A funny scene follows as the Thing walks to Alicia's apartment dressed up in his tuxedo but with the Impossible Man on his head transforming from one silly hat to the next. Ben and Alicia proceed to the Yates Gallery in SoHo where an incredible double-page spread shows Alica's sculptures of Dr. Doom, Sandman, Diablo, Blaastar, the Wizard and Ultron on display.  In a fun breaking of the so-called Third Wall, George Perez, Mark Gruenwald and Ralph Macchio appear as guests at the gallery show. Unbeknownst to the Thing, the caterers at the party are three villains that our hero was responsible for imprisoning. Seeking revenge on the Thing, they transfer their life forces into the sculptures and attack. The Thing doesn't fight back initially because he doesn't want to destroy Alicia's sculptures, but she gives him the word to cut loose and he dispatches two of the stone villains easily.   Yogi Dakor in Diablo's stone form grabs Alicia and threatens to crush her, but the Impossible Man saves the day by turning into a water balloon and splashing the villain so that he loses his concentration and control over the statue. Having saved the day, the Impossible Man admires the love that Ben and Alica share, ruing his own loneliness and deciding to change that by creating a mate for himself. A happy ending all around!

Source: Kraalo Archives, Marvel Comics

Marvel Team-Up #90 (February 1980)

Title: Death on the Air
Cover: Al Milgrom, Jack Abel
Writer: Steven Grant
Penciler: Mike Vosburg
Inker: Bob McLeod
Colorist: George Roussos
Letterer: John Costanza
Editor: Al Milgrom
Editor-in-Chief: Jim Shooter
Cover Price: $0.40
Cover Date: February 1980
Release Date: November 1979
Synopsis: Peter Parker and his date Cissy arrive at the Empire State University Technology Exposition to find the Beast mobbed by adoring female fans. Cissy joins the crowd while Peter tours the expo. Killer Shrike and Modular Man are lurking just out of sight, waiting to steal the Microwave Cellular Condenser that Modular Man says can help restore him to his human form. In exchange for the Shrike's help, Modular Man claims that he will help his partner in crime to discover his origins. Peter's Spider Sense warns him of danger, so he sneaks off and changes into costume, returning to intervene just as the villains make their move. The Wall Crawler and the Beast team up to fight the dastardly duo, but are overcome and the villains escape with the Cellular Condenser. Spider-Man agrees to find the Beast later and changes back into his civilian guise so that he can accompany Cissy home. Spider-Man and Beast track down Killer Shrike and Modular Man at the Empire State Building where they plan to tap into the microwave broadcasts as a source for the power Condenser. Revealing his true plan and double-crossing Killer Shrike, Modular Man's is actually made bigger and stronger by the Condenser instead of being returned to his human form. Spider-Man and Beast manage to defeat the Modular Man with a blast of electricity and Killer Shrike makes his escape.

Source: Kraalo Archives, Marvel Comics, Marvel Wikia

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Marvel Tales #112 (February 1980)

Title: Shoot-Out In Central Park!
Cover: John Romita, Sr.
Writer: Gerry Conway
Penciler: Ross Andru
Inker: Frank Giacoia
Colorist: Linda Lessmann
Letterer: Artie Simek
Editor: Roy Thomas
Editor-in-Chief: Jim Shooter
Cover Price: $0.40
Cover Date: February 1980
Release Date: November 1979
Synopsis: Marvel Tales #112 reprints Amazing Spider-Man #135 (August 1974). Continued from last issue, the Punisher spars with Spider-Man, thinking that he's in league with the hijackers of the ship. As the Tarantula and his minions escape, the Punisher realizes that he was wrong about Spider-Man and suggests a meeting later that night. Changing back to his identity as Peter Parker, our hero pretends that he was knocked overboard and needed to be rescued. After Peter returns home to shower, his room mate Harry Osborn sneaks in and finds the Wall Crawler's costume, fueling his deranged suspicion and anger. Later that night, Spider-Man meets up at the museum at Fort Tryon and the two proceed to the Tarantula's hideout where they defeat the villain and his men. The issue ends with Harry Osborne at the Oscorp warehouse where his father was killed, plotting his vengeance on Spider-Man.

Source: Kraalo Archives, Marvel Comics, Marvel Wikia

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Marvel Super Action #16 (February 1980)


Title: The New Avengers Vs. The Old Avengers!
Cover: John Buscema
Writer: Roy Thomas
Pencilers: Don Heck, Werner Roth
Inkers: Vince Colletta
Letterers: Joe Rosen
Editor: Stan Lee
Editor-in-Chief: Jim Shooter
Cover Price: $0.40
Cover Date: February 1980
Release Date: November 1979
Synopsis: Marvel Super Action #16 reprints the first part of Avengers Annual #2 (September 1968) in which the Avengers are transported through time by Dr. Doom’s time machine to 1963 where they face off against the original Avengers team of that era. The time traveling Scarlett Centurion has promised the 1963 Avengers that he will solve all of Earth’s ills if they agree to defeat all of the planet’s heroes and villains. The Avengers work their way through the Fantastic Four, Spider-Man, the X-Men, Sub-Mariner, Dr. Strange, S.H.I.E.L.D., Daredevil, and many villains, setting themselves up as virtual dictators of the planet.  The 1968 Avengers learn that the Scarlett Centurion materialized after they defeated the Space Phantom in Avengers #2 (November 1963), changing history that they can only repair with the help of Dr. Doom’s time machine.  The cover of this reprint has the same art as the cover of Avengers Annual #2 with a white background instead of the original black background.

 Source: Kraalo Archives, Marvel Comics, Marvel Wikia

Friday, January 6, 2012

Wanted: Jack Kirby Machine Man Omnibus

Drawing inspiration from one of my favorite features at The Dork Review, I’m putting out the call for a Machine Man collected edition! I was actually surprised to not have a Machine Man TPB or Omnibus as I searched through the Kraalo Archives this week looking for source material for the Machine Man #13 review. With so much of Jack Kirby’s work already collected, including 1970s gems like Devil Dinosaur, a Machine Man Omnibus seems like a no-brainer. X-51 first appeared in Marvel’s adaptation of 2001: A Space Odyssey #8 (July 1977) so maybe the publication rights to that early work is in question because of the status of that licensing deal. In any case, I hope that Marvel is able to resolve the issues at some point because it would be great to see Kirby’s Machine Man re-mastered in large format with the amazing new coloring they have done for all the Omnibus editions.

Howard Chaykin Dominic Fortune Splash Page

“Dominic Fortune In a web of violence and deceit of mass mayhem in the name of God and of justice in the form of The Messiah in the Saddle Resolution.” The gorgeous painted cover is just the tip of the iceberg of Howard Chaykin’s stunning Dominic Fortune art in Marvel Preview #20 as evidenced by this fantastic splash page. The large size and black and white pallet of the magazine format really let artists flex their creative muscles in ways that they couldn’t in standard comics back in the day!

Source: Kraalo Archives

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Marvel Preview #20 (February 1980)

Title: Marvel Preview
Cover: Howard Chaykin
Writers: Len Wein, Roger Stern, Marv Wolfman, Tony Isabella
Pencilers: Howard Chaykin, Dave Cockrum, George Perez
Inker: Howard Chaykin, Neal Adams, Terry Austin, Russ Heath, Joe Rubinstein, Rico Rival
Letterer: Diana Albers
Editor: Roger Stern
Editor-in-Chief: Jim Shooter
Cover Price: $1.25
Cover Date: February 1980
Release Date: November 1979
Synopsis: Marvel Preview #20 features a stunning painted cover by Howard Chaykin with reprints of four black and white stories, including The Power Broker Resolution (Marvel Preview #2), The Messiah In The Saddle Resolution (Marvel Super Action #1), War Toy (Unknown Worlds of Science Fiction #2), and Good Lord (Marvel Preview #1).

Source: Kraalo Archives, Grand Comics DatabaseMarvel Comics, Marvel Wikia

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Marvel Premiere #52 (February 1980)

Title: Journey Through The Past
Cover: Bob Budiansky, Steve Leialoha
Writer: Ed Hannigan
Penciler: Jerry Bingham
Inker: Gene Day
Colorist: Bob Sharen
Letterer: Diana Albers
Editor: Roger Stern
Editor-in-Chief: Jim Shooter
Cover Price: $0.40
Cover Date: February 1980
Release Date: November 1979
Synopsis: Continued from Marvel Premiere #51 (December 1979), the Black Panther investigates the link between the Dragon Circle and the Ku Klux Klan. Sneaking into a KKK rally, T'Challa learns that the Dragon Circle is in fact an offshoot of the Klan. The Black Panther is discovered at the Klan rally and battles the mysterious Soul Strangler and the Klansmen. This storyline is continued and concluded in Marvel Premiere #53 (April 1980).

Source: Kraalo Archives, Marvel Comics, Marvel Universe Appendix

Monday, January 2, 2012

Machine Man #13 (February 1980)

Title: Xanadu!
Cover: Steve Ditko
writer: Marv Wolfman
Penciler: Steve Ditko
Inker: Steve Ditko
Colorist: George Roussos
Letterer: Irving Watanabe
Editor: Marv Wolfman
Editor-in-Chief: Jim Shooter
Cover Price: $0.40
Cover Date: February 1980
Release Date: November 1979
Synopsis: Machine Man #13 brings Aaron Stack into combat with Kublai Kahn, who first appeared in issue #11 (October 1979).  Kahn is determined to capture Machine Man so that he can transplant his consciousness into Stack's robot body in order to have a physical form that matches his brilliant intellect. While Kahn succeeds in luring Machine Man to his dirigible fortress Xanadu and capturing him, thanks to the assistance of his minion Tong, the mind transplant procedure does not succeed and Machine Man manages to escape while Xanadu goes down in flames.

Source: Kraalo Archives, Marvel Wikia, Marvel Universe Appendix
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