Sunday, February 26, 2012

The Nexus Of Some Realities

The first Marvel Project post was November 8, 2011 and what has followed has been a linear walk forward in Marvel Comics chronology starting with January 1980. 1980 was an easy choice for me as a starting point because the 1980s are an undisputed a period of creative genius for the House of Ideas. The 1980s also happen to be my own personal Golden Age of comics since I started reading and collecting comics in 1983 at the age of 12, so I'm really looking forward to chronicling this decade month-by-month and issue-by-issue. I had always intended to start moving back in time from 1980 in the same way, but I keep coming across irresistible things from the 1960s and 1970s. So, I've decided to cheat and start posting randomly in the pre-1980 period. The posts will be back dated and placed in the appropriate chronological order so as to avoid disrupting the delicate fabric of the space-time continuum. Go ahead and click on Gormuu's time platform below if you want to be transported way way back in time!

Source: Kraalo Archives

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Marvel Comics Super Heroes Strategy Game (1980)

Milton Bradley released the Marvel Comics Super Heroes Strategy Game (#4019) in 1980. According to the box, The game pitted Super Heroes against Super Villains in an exciting battle of wits. "Plot, play and place your pawns strategically! That's the key to winning this exciting chess-like game dueling Super Heroes and Super Villains. You and your opponent maneuver the marvelous Marvel Comics characters into strategic positions on the game board city so you can trap and capture each other's pawns. The object is to capture you opponent's men. To be a winner, you must capture 5 of your opponent's men." Fantastic art and great nostalgic value for anyone who enjoyed this board game in the early 1980s!

Source: Kraalo Archives, eBay, Odin Art Collectibles

Friday, February 24, 2012

The Comics Journal #53 (Winter 1980)

Title: 1980 Winter Special
Pages: 148
Cover Price: $3.00
Cover Date: February 1980
Publisher: Fantagraphics, Inc.
Synopsis: The Winter 1980 edition of The Comics Journal is chock full of articles, editorials and interviews that give you the inside scoop on what was happening in the world of comics in late 1979/early 1980. One of the top stories of this issue was DC's decision to raise comic prices to 50 cents from 40 cents, a move that would soon be followed by Marvel. The Harlan Ellison feature is also appropriately billed as "Hell-Raising" as he takes pot shots at just about everybody and everything imaginable in an exhaustingly long interview. Full issues are available to subscribers in the publisher's archives on TCJ.com.

Source: Kraalo Archives, The Comics Journal

Thursday, February 23, 2012

The Art of John Byrne Volume One (1980)

Title: The Art of John Byrne
Pages: 64
Cover Price: $5.95
Publication Date: 1980
Publisher: SQ Productions
Description: The X-Mail letters page of Uncanny X-Men #130 (February 1980) highlighted the publication of The Art of John Byrne Volume One, saying "It's 64 pages of full-tilt fantasmagoria from full-color cover to full-color cover...and there's a full-color center-spread that'll knock your eyes out! John has personally imaginered an all-new 25-page comics story especially for this portfolio! Plus, there are dozens of brand new illustrations by John of your favorite Marvel Super-Stars (some of them inked by the ever-talented Terry Austin)... an introduction into the weird world of John Byrne by Roger Stern ... an insider's afterward by Chris Claremont... a checklist of John's comics work... and more!" You can view most of the illustrations from this volume online at Byrne Robotics, but not the 25-page original story, checklist and other extras.  So go ahead and search for an original on eBay. This book is a must-own for any John Byrne fan for lover of Marvel in the 1980s.



Source: Kraalo Archives,  John Byrne Forum

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Lego Expert Builder Series Ad

The back cover of Marvel comics dated February 1980 featured an advertisement for Lego's Expert Builder Series. These vehicles were state-of-the-art at the time and represented the toy maker's earliest attempts with interconnected moving pieces and the Lego equivalent of hydraulics. I seem to recall getting the bulldozer (Set 95) for my birthday when I was a kid and having a really hard time putting it together - especially the zillion pieces for the treads. Sure these sets are pretty elementary by today's standards, but they were very very cool at the time.

Source: Kraalo Archives

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Hostess Twinkies Ad: A Passion For Gold

Hostess ran a series of ads featuring Marvel characters in comics throughout the 1970s and early 1980s that decades later I still indelibly associate with Cupcakes, Fruit Pies and Twinkies. Marvel comics dated February 1980 featured two ads depending on their release schedule. The Spider-Man Meets June Jitsu ad had previously appeared in Marvel's November 1979 releases, but Mr. Fantastic vs. Goldigger in A Passion For Gold was all-new and all-awesome with pencils by Sal Buscema and inks by Mike Esposito.

Source: Kraalo Archives, Grand Comics Database

Monday, February 20, 2012

Uncanny X-Men Annual #3 Color Guides

Color guides have become a collectible in their own right that stand a step or two removed from original art but are an important part of production process and an interesting window into the way comics were made in the days before digital.  I saw color guides to pages 7-8 from Uncanny X-Men Annual #3 (February 1980) on eBay in 2011 and found myself wishing that I bid for it since it's such a great double-page spread by George Perez and Terry Austin. Click the scan below to view a high-resolution copy of the color guide.

Source: ComicArtFans Gallery of Rob Donahue

Marvel Easter Eggs (Uncanny X-Men Annual #3)

The splash page to Uncanny X-Men Annual #3 is filled with fun inside references to creators in the Marvel Bullpen. In the first panel, there's the (Fred) Hembeck Deliveries truck and (John) Byrne's Drafting Equipment store behind the news stand. In addition to the issue credits in the second panel, one of the headlines in the Daily Bugle is Escaped Able Sighted In Miami in a reference to Marvel inker Jack Abel. The news stand also has Ms. Marvel on the cover of a magazine and a few comics for sale, including an issue of the Fantastic Four. These little Easter Eggs certainly make you feel a sense of camaraderie and a fun spirit about the Marvel creative team in that era.

Source: Kraalo Archives, Marvel Comics

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Uncanny X-Men Annual #3 (February 1980)

Title: A Fire In The Sky!
Cover: Frank Miller, Terry Austin
Writer: Chris Claremont
Penciler: George Perez
Inker: Terry Austin
Colors: Glynis Wein
Letterer: Tom Orzechowski
Editor: Roger Stern
Editor-in-Chief: Jim Shooter
Cover Price: $0.75
Cover Date: February 1980
Release Date: November 1979
Synopsis: Arkon appears on the streets of New York in a flash of lightning, cursing the fact that he must once again seek help from Earth's heroes to save his world. He visits the Avengers Mansion to find Thor, but learns from Jarvis to his great frustration that the Thunder God is away on personal business. Arkon is contacted by his Grand Vizier who informs his liege that there is another being on Earth whose powers may be of assistance.

At Prof. Xavier's School for Gifted Youngsters, Colossus, Cyclops, Nightcrawler, Storm and Wolverine are training in a Danger Room session that is being overseen by Banshee. The Danger Room goes out of control in a freak accident caused by Storm in a moment of panic and the team is put though the paces in a frantic effort to get it under control while fighting for their lives. Storm is ashamed of her conduct and expresses regret to Cyclops that turns into a deeper conversation about the personal price they pay for the lives they lead as heroes.

Upon her return to her attic loft, Storm is ambushed by Arkon and blasts him through the floor with a hurricane-force wind. A fantastic battle ensues as the X-Men go blow-for-blow with Arkon, leaving a path of destruction in their wake. Facing difficult odds, Arkon transports Storm to his dimension with a lightning bolt in an act of desperation and continues to fight the mutant heroes before finally being overpowered. While Arkon refuses to cooperate or explain where he sent Storm, Cyclops deduces that their foe's golden lighting bolts can be used for inter-dimensional transport.

The X-Men appear with their prisoner in Arkon's imperial throne room and try to exchange Arkon for Storm. Arkon orders his troops to attack and a fantastic melee follows as the X-Men fight for their lives. While the X-Men battle Arkon's troops, Nightcrawler follows the Grand Vizier through a series of tunnels to a mountaintop fortress where he finds Storm. He plans to rescue her but overhears a conversation that leads him to believe that Storm has been brainwashed into participating in some plan that will result in her death.

Nightcrawler summons his teammates who escape the fight on the back of a dragon and join Storm at the mountaintop fortress. Storm tells the team that she cannot leave because she is committed to helping Arkon and his people. Arkon explains that the energy ring surrounding his planet that serves as a light source is once again fading because the device made by Iron Man in Avengers #76 (May 1970) had failed and needed to be recharged by the power of a god. Arkon believed that Storm's power would be sufficient to recharge the device, but likely at the cost of her life.

Cyclops devises an alternate plan and has Colossus act as a conductor for Storm as she summons and holds her lighting blasts which are then unleashed on Cyclops whose mutant body is meant to absorb solar energy but somehow manages to metabolize and store Storm's incredible onslaught. When he can withstand no more, Cyclops unleashes his optic beam into the device, igniting it and restoring the energy ring to Akron's planet. The X-Men survive the energy fallout blast and are declared friends and heroes by Arkon. A great celebration follows before Akron sends the mutant heroes home with his lighting bolts.

Source: Kraalo Archives, Marvel Comics

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Almost Famous... (People February 1980)

The February 11, 1980 issue of People featured Hollywood power couple Bo and John Derek along with a stack of Marvel comics. She-Hulk #1 (February 1980) is clearly visible on the top of the stack and it looks as if there's a copy of the Fireside collection The Superhero Women (1977) on the bottom. According to Marvel Editor-in-Chief Jim Shooter, Bo Derek was being courted to star in a Dazzler feature film around this time, so it would make sense that the Dereks would have a stack of Marvel books as reference material. In retrospect, Bo Derek would definitely have been a gorgeous Dazzler, but I can't help but cringe in thinking just how bad a 1980 disco superhero film could have been if not executed perfectly.

Source: Kraalo Archives, Jim ShooterPeople Magazine

Dazzler: Origins

"What kind of mutant are we going to find in a place like this?! wonders Scott Summers as he and Jean Grey search the grungy club in Uncanny X-Men #130. Why the kind clad in skintight silver and silhouetted in an awesome lightshow, of course! Dazzler was developed by Marvel in 1979 with the goal of establishing a joint-venture with a record company. Marvel would publish the comics and the record company would produce music along the lines of what Harvey had done with the Archies.

Writer Tom DeFalco and artist John Romita, Jr. were tasked with developing the concept for Marvel and came up with the Disco Dazzler. Romita, Jr.'s designs were originally based on Grace Jones, but the character ultimately became the Alison Blaire that debuted in the X-Men. Marvel's partner in this new endeavor was Neil Bogart of Casablanca Records and Filmworks, who planned both a recording venture and an animated television program to promote Dazzler across multiple media formats.

Marvel Editor-in-Chief Jim Shooter wrote a treatment for the television show that blossomed into a plan for a feature-length film that was to star actress Bo Derek as the lead character and a who's who of rock and disco performers as co-stars. What a concept! The movie project took a series of twists and turns in a gut-wrenching roller coaster ride before ultimately crashing and burning with the collapse of Casalanca Records and then Bo Derek's demands that her controversial husband John direct the film. Oh, Hollywood....

Jim Shooter's account of Dazzler's origins and his film treatment are must-reads for any Dazzler fan or Marvel 1980s aficionado. Comic Book Resources also has an interesting and slightly different take on the story. While the movie and music crossover never panned out, Dazzler appeared as a guest star in a number of other Marvel titles after Uncanny X-Men #130 and the character was launched in March 1981 with a new title for the direct market that broke all prior records with sales of 428,000 copies of the first issue.

Source: Kraalo Archives, Jim Shooter, Comic Book Resources

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

The Hellfire Club: Origins

According to John Byrne, the inspiration for the Hellfire Club came from the UK television show The Avengers and specifically the episode titled A Touch of Brimstone (February 1966). That episode also featured actor Peter Wyngard, who served as the model for Jason Wyngard. The name Jason came from a later series Wyngarde starred in, Jason King, which was itself spun off from a show called Department S.

In A Touch of Brimstone, Avengers John Steed and Emma Peel investigate a secret organization comprised of London's wealthy elite that are plotting economic and political terrorism in the United Kingdom. Having watched the episode recently for the first time, it's clear how well the show served Claremont and Byrne as a source of inspiration. It's really a great blast to the past if you've never seen the episode.

Easily the most memorable part of A Touch of Brimstone is Emma Peel's dazzling transformation into the Queen of Sin during her infiltration of the Hellfire Club. Her black bustier, leather boots, and choker were clearly the inspiration for Jean Grey's Black Queen ensemble and were definitely very racy fare for 1966. So racy, in fact, that the episode was initially not allowed to be broadcast in the United States.

While A Touch of Brimstone clearly served as inspiration to the creative team in many ways, Claremont and Byrne breathed their own life into the X-Men's Hellfire Club and created a group of villains that has been one of the X-Men's most enduring and relevant foes for more than three decades and counting. Their work has definitely withstood the test of time and the Dark Phoenix Saga is as gripping today as it ever was!

Source: Kraalo Archives, John Byrne Forum, The Avengers Forever

Monday, February 13, 2012

The Black Queen: First Appearance

Jason Wyngarde's slow but deliberate subversion of Jean Grey took a key step forward during the 18th century timeslip in Uncanny X-Men #130 with their wedding ceremony and her presentation as the Hellfire Club's Black Queen. It would be another two issues before her transformation would carry through to the X-Men's reality with her betrayal of her teammates in Uncanny X-Men #132, but this issue is certainly memorable for her unveiling as the Black Queen, a character that provides a perfect counterpoint to the Hellfire Club's White Queen Emma Frost.

Source: Kraalo Archives, Marvel Comics

Sunday, February 12, 2012

John Severin R.I.P.

Eisner Award-winning cartoonist and illustrator John Severin passed away on February 12th at the age of 90. Over the course of his sixty-year career, Severin demonstrated remarkable artistic talent and an incredible work ethic that yielded a body of work that includes crime, fantasy, superhero, war, and western stories in comics as well as cartoon and parody for Mad Magazine and Cracked.

In a statement released by Severin's family, Stan Lee said "Truly the art world has suffered a great loss with John's passing -- but so has the human race. As a penciler, John Severin had no equal. Besides his inimitable style, there was a feeling of total authenticity to whatever he drew, whether it was a Western, a crime story, a superhero saga or a science fiction yarn...His inking, too, had a distinctive Severin touch that made very strip he rendered stand out like a winner."

Visit the Marvel.com catalog to see Severin's work in the Marvel Universe or The Comics Beat for further background on the acclaimed creator.

Marvel Easter Eggs (Uncanny X-Men #130)

Uncanny X-Men #130 features at least two Easter Eggs. The first Easter Egg is the Joker who appears in the foreground of a scene at the club where the X-Men meet the Dazzler. In The X-Men Companion II (Fantagraphics 1982), John Byrne says "Yes. One of the people was the Joker. I didn't want to put a color note on it, but I was definitely hoping that Glynis would light that panel so that everybody had white faces and green hair so that he would come out looking even more like the Joker."


The second Easter Egg in Uncanny X-Men #130 is Jason Wyngarde's shadow cast on the wall by the headlights of Prof. Xavier's Rolls Royce as Cyclops, Dazzler, Nightcrawler and Phoenix drive away at the end of the issue. The silhouette of Mastermind's familiar face appeared once before in Uncanny X-Men #122 when the illusionist first met Jean Grey in Scotland. While that appearance was more subtle, the text in this issue prompts the reader to make note of the shadow as something significant.

Source: Kraalo Archives, Marvel Comics

Uncanny X-Men #130 (February 1980)

Title: Dazzler
Cover: John Romita, Jr., Terry Austin
Co-Plotters: Chris Claremont, John Byrne
Script: Chris Claremont
Penciler: John Byrne
Inker: Terry Austin
Colors: Glynis Wein
Letterer: Tom Orzechowski
Editor: Roger Stern
Editor-in-Chief: Jim Shooter
Cover Price: $0.40
Cover Date: February 1980
Release Date: November 1979
Synopsis: Cyclops, Nightcrawler and Phoenix visit a club in lower Manhattan in search of the second new mutant that Cerebro identified last issue. Leaving Xavier's vintage Rolls Royce on the street of the seedy neighborhood, the heroes coordinate their plans, unaware that they are being watched by the Hellfire Club. Nightcrawler patrols outside while Cyclops and Phoenix in the civilian guises proceed into the club. Scott uses the micro Cerebro unit in his watch to search for the mutant while Jean scans the crowd with her psi-powers, picking up all kinds of vile thoughts and images that she finds oddly attractive.

A few blocks from the Avengers Mansion on Fifth Avenue in New York stands the legendary Hellfire Club where we find members of the club's Inner Circle Jason Wyngarde and Sebastian Shaw plotting against the X-Men. Shaw inquires about Wyngarde's progress in subverting Phoenix to the Hellfire Club's cause and Wyngarde responds that Jean Grey doesn't realize it yet, but she is his -- body and soul! After Wyngarde departs, Shaw has a video conference with the Hellfire Club's White Queen Emma Frost who is in Chicago, where she is holding Prof. Xavier, Colossus, Storm and Wolverine as prisoners.

The White Queen reports that Kitty Pryde escaped capture in their battle during the last issue, unaware that the new mutant she seeks is actually hidden close by after hitching a ride on their transport.  Kitty Pryde recalls the events that lead her to this situation as she tries to figure out what to do. Kitty quietly approaches the caged Storm who hands her contact information for the X-Men just before she's spotted by the Hellfire Club soldiers. They pursue her, but Kitty leads them down a dead end before phasing through the floor. Emma Frost orders the complex sealed and says she wants Kitty Pryde found at once!

Back at the club in New York, Jean Grey experiences another timeslip into the 18th century where she appears at her wedding to Jason Wyngarde while Sebastian Shaw officiates the dark ceremony as priest. After the wedding, Wyngarde uncloaks his bride and presents her to the Hellfire Club as their new Black Queen in a salacious and stunning outfit that is a perfect counterpoint to Emma Frost's White Queen ensemble. Wyngarde and Jean kiss passionately and the timeslip ends as abruptly as it began, leaving Jean unable to explain what has just happened to a startled Scott Summers who has just witnessed the kiss.

Before the two lovers can talk, Dazzler takes the stage in a burst of light and Scott realizes that they have found the new mutant they were seeking. Back in the Rolls Royce, Nightcrawlwer answers the ringing phone and talks to Kitty Pryde who explains that the other X-Men have been captured in Chicago. Before he can get any further information, Nightcrawler is attacked by a Hellfire Club solider in mandroid armor. While he fights outside, two other armored soldiers burst through the roof skylight into the club. Jean transforms herself and Cyclops into their costumes and the fight begins.

The two X-Men find themselves outmatched by foes that seem to intimately know their weaknesses and render them helpless with ease. Dazzler intervenes by blasting the Hellfire Club soliders with her light powers, allowing Phoenix to free Cyclops who blasts their two assailants with his optic beam. Nightcrawler falls through the roof with the third Hellfire Club soldier and Phoenix blasts him unconscious with her telekinetic powers. The X-Men regroup and brief a very confused Dazzler on the situation, suggesting that she is in danger and should accompany them for her own safety.

As the X-Men drive away, they pass Jason Wyngarde on the street, prompting Scott to wonder if he is simply a rival for Jean's affections or somehow related to the ambush at the club.  He notes Wyngarde's shadow cast on the wall by the headlights, but he preoccupied and doesn't recognize Wyngarde as his true self. The saga will be continued next issue in "Run For Your Life!" in Uncanny X-Men #131.

Source: Kraalo Archives, Marvel Comics

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Marvel Easter Eggs (What If? #19)

What If? #19 (February 1980) features an Easter Egg presumably placed by penciler Pat Broderick or inker Mike Esposito. The office of the Hollywood mogul that Spider-Man visits on page 7 of the story has a bar that includes Old Ditko Whiskey in a nice nod to Spider-Man's co-creator Steve Ditko. There's also a great painting of John Carter Warlord of Mars that looks to be inspired by George Perez and Joe Sinnott's incredible cover to Foom #20 (Winter 1978), but it's not exactly hidden. Click on the image below to see a larger and more legible version of the panel.

Source: Kraalo Archives, Marvel Comics

What If? #19 (February 1980)

Title: What If Spider-Man Had Stopped the Burglar Who Killed His Uncle Ben?
Cover: Pat Broderick, Mike Esposito
Writer: Peter Gillis
Penciler: Pat Broderick
Inker: Mike Esposito
Colors: Roger Slifer
Letterer: Tom Orzechowski
Editors: Denny O'Neil, Mark Gruenwald
Editor-in-Chief: Jim Shooter
Cover Price: $0.75
Cover Date: February 1980
Release Date: November 1979
Synopsis: In an alternate reality in which Spider-Man stopped the burglar at the Wrestling Stadium, his Uncle Ben was never killed and the Wall Crawler became an overnight sensation lauded as a hero in the press, but still reviled by J. Jonah Jameson. Not having learned the tragic lesson that with great power comes great responsibility, Spider-Man uses his powers for personal gain and pursues a career in show business, leaving behind Aunt May and Uncle Ben after he reveals his identity to them and they express shame that he won't use his gifts to help people. J. Jonah Jameson's hatred of Spider-Man grows further when his son astronaut John Jameson perishes in a crash and the publisher wonders why the real heroes always have to die. Jameson reveals Spider-Man's identity in a Daily Bugle expose, provoking a confrontation with the Wall Crawler. Spider-Man decides to take his business to the next level, recruiting the Avengers, Daredevil, Fantastic Four and X-Men as clients who he'll manage and promote. Jameson's feud with Spider-Man continues until the Web Slinger reveals that Daily Bugle employee Frederick Foswell is actually the Big Man behind a crime syndicate and Jameson is forced to resign in shame. Months later in Los Angeles, Peter Parker and Daredevil fall into a trap and face the Sinister Six comprised of Dr. Octopus, Electro, Mysterio, Sandman, Vulture and a mysterious hooded figure. Faced with real foes, Parker freezes in fear while Daredevil fights for their lives. Shocked into action by Daredevil's death at the hands of the villains, Parker pulls on his mask and jumps into action as Spider-Man, defeating the Sinister Six and revealing Jameson as the hooded leader of the team. Spider-Man realizes that these tragic events have played out because of his own greed and that he could have followed Uncle Ben's advice and used them for good.

Source: Kraalo Archives, Marvel Comics

Monday, February 6, 2012

Tomb of Dracula Magazine #3 (February 1980)

Title: Tomb of Dracula #3
Cover: Bob Larkin
Writers: Marv Wolfman, Lora Byrne, Peter Gillis, Lynn Graeme
Pencilers: Gene Colan, Frank Miller, Jerry Bingham
Inker: Tom Palmer
Letterer: John Costanza
Editor-in-Chief: Jim Shooter
Cover Price: $1.25
Cover Date: February 1980
Release Date: November 1979
Synopsis: Tomb of Dracula #3 is a black and white Marvel Magazine that features four stories, including And From Order, There Will Come--Chaos!, Soul of an Artist, One Curse, With Love, Bloodline, and Metamorphosis of a Vampire.

Source: Kraalo Archives, Marvel Wikia

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Fear Itself #1 Variant Cover (April 2011)

Book One of Marvel's Fear Itself series featured a number of great variant covers, including this stunning homage to the cover of Thor #292 with Odin standing over the defeated Thunder God. The conflict between Odin and Thor/Asgard and Midgard/Gods and Mortals is a key theme in Fear Itself, so I'm sure that some of the vintage Thor issues served as valuable reference material for series writer Matt Fraction and artist Stuart Immonen. Incidentally, I'm not sure how Marvel managed to misspell Immonen's last name in the indicia at the bottom of this promotional page, but at least they got it right in the published edition.

Source: Kraalo Archives, Marvel Comics

Thor #292 (February 1980)

Title: If An Eye Offend Thee!
Cover: Keith Pollard, Bob Layton
Writer: Roy Thomas
Penciler: Keith Pollard
Inker: Bob Layton
Colors: Carl Gafford
Letterer: Joe Rosen
Editor: Jim Shooter
Editor-in-Chief: Jim Shooter
Cover Price: $0.40
Cover Date: February 1980
Release Date: November 1979
Synopsis: "Must I slay my own son, mine only son -- to decide the destiny of accursed Midgard?" Odin asks as he holds his enchanted spear Gungnir to Thor's throat. The All Father agonizes over a thousand year-old promise he made to the Celestials over his love for his son. Odin also makes a cryptic reference to having killed his son once before, deciding that he will have no further part in this conflict and bidding Zeus farewell as he returns to Asgard. Zeus says that the fight need not continue since the peril they were seeking to prevent affects only the fate of Earth, which is of no great concern to the Gods. Zeus says that he only agreed to fight the Eternals out of spite and old resentment for the godlings, but that they have no real quarrel, so they leave citizens of Olympia to fend for themselves against the 50 Year Judgement of the Celestials. Zuras tells Thor that the Eternals will go their own way to attempt to save Earth, so the Odinson considers his own strategy, recalling the words his father spoke about his missing eye.Thor believes that Odin's words were a clue that his missing eye could provide the knowledge that the Thunder God needs to defeat the Celestials. Departing Olympia via his enchanted hammer Mjolnir, Thor finds that Odin's eye has become a monster that torments a world, engaging the disembodied creature in combat. Thor eventually triumphs over Odin's eye and the issue closes with the promise from the eye of revelations that will leave the Thunder God never the same again.  To be continued next issues in Cycles and Space Gods!

Source: Kraalo Archives, Marvel Comics

Saturday, February 4, 2012

The Hulk! Magazine (February 1980)

Title: The Hulk! #19
Cover: Walter Velez
Writers: Doug Moench, Roy Thomas
Pencilers: Gene Colan, Herb Trimpe
Inkers: Alfredo Alcala, Bob Wiacek, John Severin
Colors: Steve Oliff, John Tartaglione
Editor-in-Chief: Jim Shooter
Cover Price: $1.50
Cover Date: February 1980
Release Date: November 1979
Synopsis: The Hulk! #19 is a full-color Marvel Magazine that features three startling ventures into the inner world of themighty man-brute, including Master Mind, It's A Monster, and Heaven Is A Very Small Place.

Source: Kraalo Archives, Marvel Wikia

Tales To Astonish #3 (February 1980)

Title: On A Clear Day You Can See...The Leviathan!
Cover: John Buscema, Frank Giacoia
Writer: Roy Thomas
Penciler: John Buscema
Inker: Frank Giacoia
Letterer: Sam Rosen
Reprint Editor: Danny Fingeroth
Editor-in-Chief: Jim Shooter
Cover Price: $0.40
Cover Date: February 1980
Release Date: November 1979
Synopsis: Tales To Astonish #3 reprints Sub-Mariner #3 (July 1968). Duped into battling each other instead of their common foe, Namor and Triton watch helplessly in captivity as the Plant Man sends his mind-staggering creations to wreak havoc in London. We learn that Plant Man grew up in the slums of London among fools who thought he was insane and he intends to have his revenge by unleashing a Leviathan on the city. He tries to convince Namor to be his emissary to deliver a message to the English government, but the prince refuses. Plant Man teleports Namor and Triton elsewhere on his ship, binding the two men together wrist-to-wrist and subjecting them to a series of trials. Namor and Triton overcome the challenges and break free of their prison, knocking the Plant Man unconscious before escaping the ship to save London from the Leviathan unleashed by the insane villain. An interlude takes us back to the Atlantean Flagship where Lady Dorma's mourning for her prince is interrupted by the news that Namor is alive. She orders the Flagship to London immediately, but is convinced by Lord Vashti that it would be dangerous for her people to approach the surface dwellers. Back in London, Namor and Triton determine that fire is their best weapon against Plant Man's Leviathan and  deliver a deathblow to the monster with the contents of a vat from a nearby refinery. The Plant Man makes his escape as the two heroes are finally freed of the energy field that bound them wrist-to-wrist, parting as friends tied together by "nothing but the invisible bonds of shared peril." Next issue: Attuma Attacks The Atlanteans! "Nuff Said!

Source: Kraalo Archives, Marvel Comics

Friday, February 3, 2012

Star Wars Annual #1 (February 1980)

Title: The Long Hunt!
Cover: Walt Simonson
Writer: Chris Claremont
Penciler: Mike Vosburg
Inker: Steve Leialoha
Colorist: Bob Sharen
Letterer: John Costanza
Editor: Jim Shooter
Editor-in-Chief: Jim Shooter
Cover Price: $0.75
Cover Date: February 1980
Release Date: November 1979
Synopsis: While visiting the planet Tirahnn, Luke Skywalker and Princess Leia are attacked by a group of Catuman warriors acting under the orders of Kharys, the Majestrix of Skye. Luke and Leia report back to Han Solo who knows Kharys from his days as a smuggler. Han and Chewbacca decide to go to planet Skye to confront Kharys, but the Millennium Falcon is shot down over the planet by an Imperial starship. Luke and Leia are captured on Skye and brought to trial before the Supreme Council of the Highland Clans. Leia is accused as an enemy of the Empire but Luke is acknowledged as an ally, so the council decides to help the two Rebels. Han and Chewbacca are captured by Kharys and questioned about Luke. Luke and Leia along with their native allies attack the Majestrix's fortress and rescue Han and Chewie. Kharys fights Luke and dies in combat, freeing Skye from Imperial rule.

Source: Kraalo Archives, Marvel Wikia, Wookieepedia

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Star Wars #32 (February 1980)

Title: The Jawa Express!
Cover: Carmine Infantino, Bob Wiacek
Writer: Archie Goodwin
Penciler: Carmine Infantino
Inker: Bob Wiacek
Colorist: Petra Goldberg
Letterer: John Costanza
Editor: Jim Shooter
Editor-in-Chief: Jim Shooter
Cover Price: $0.40
Cover Date: February 1980
Release Date: November 1979
Synopsis: Still on Tatooine, Luke, Han, Chewbacca, and the droids flee Mos Eisley in order to avoid the Imperial Stormtroopers that are pursuing them. Finding themselves stranded in the Dune Sea, they are able to reach an agreement with the Jawas to ride with them in their Sandcrawler. While in transit, our heroes uncover additional clues to the mysterious plot that the discovered last issue. The House of Tagge is apparently working with the Empire to create a long-range freezing mechanism, although the purpose of this device is a mystery. The Rebels evade the Imperial troops and return to Mos Eisley.

Source: Kraalo Archives, Marvel Wikia, Wookieepedia

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Spider-Woman #23 (February 1980)

Title: Enter the Gamesman
Cover: Marie Severin, John Tartaglione
Writer: Michael Fleischer
Penciler: Trevor Von Eedon
Inker: Mike Esposito
Colorist: Carl Gafford
Letterer: Clem Robins
Editor: Jim Shooter
Editor-in-Chief: Jim Shooter
Cover Price: $0.40
Cover Date: February 1980
Release Date: November 1979
Synopsis: Spider-Woman surprises Capt. Walsh in his office at the Los Angeles Police Dept. with a trio of bound and gagged criminals who were responsible for an art theft at the Los Angeles County Museum. She explains that they are clients of the Gamesman, a criminal mastermind who is pulling the strings of the Los Angeles underworld. As she leaves the police station, Spider-Woman is confronted by a gang of thugs, who overcome her and are about to deliver a severe beating before an L.A. Times reporter named Tim Braverman intervenes. Braverman drops Spider-Woman off safely, asking her out on a date to which she agrees. She returns to see her colleague Scotty McDowell, who reacts jealously to the news that Spider-Woman was saved by Braverman. Our heroine goes out on patrol undercover later that night, learning that the Gamesman is planning a heist the following evening at the International Gem Exhibit. The next day Spider-Woman goes on a date with Tim Braverman and he begs her not to go to the exhibit that evening for fear that she could be harmed by the Gamesman. He punctuates his point with a passionate kiss, stopping just short of declaring his love. Upon her return to Scotty McDowell's office, she finds that her associate has been investigating Braverman and learned that the L.A. Times has no such reported on its staff. That evening Spider-Woman ambushes the Gamesman and his henchmen at the exhibit, but is knocked out by the criminal mastermind's stun gun and left tied to a post as the hall goes up in flames. Fearing for his colleague's life, Scotty follows Spider-Woman to the Civic Auditorium and manages to free her just as the Gamesman returns to the hall. Scotty forces the Gamesman at gunpoint to take off his mask, revealing that the villain is Time Braverman. The criminal explains that he returned to the scene of the crime to free Spider-Woman, declaring his love for her and leaving our heroine thoroughly confused at the end of the issue.

Source: Kraalo Archives, Marvel Comics
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