Monday, December 24, 2012

Uncanny X-Men #98 Splash Page (April 1976)

The splash page to Uncanny X-Men #98 is one of the most heartwarming holiday vignettes in the long history of Marvel Comics. The scene features the whole team in their civilian clothes taking much-needed time off to enjoy the season by the Christmas Tree and Skating Rink at Rockefeller Center. This splash page is also a veritable treasure trove of cameo appearances and Easter Eggs. In addition to the X-Men and Moira MacTaggert, the foreground features the first appearance of Amanda Sefton and her friend Betsy Wilfred, Daredevil Matt Murdock, Nick Fury with La Contessa Valentina Allegra de Fontaine, and X-Men artist Dave Cockrum with his first wife Andrea Kline. As if that wasn't enough, you can see Doctor Doom skating along at the north end of the rink. Pure genius by Cockrum!

Source: Kraalo Archives, Marvel Comics, X-Men Companion Vol. 1

Uncanny X-Men #98 (April 1976)

Title: Merry Christmas, X-Men…The Sentinels Have Returned
Cover: Dave Cockrum
Writer: Chris Claremont
Penciler: Dave Cockrum
Inker: Sam Grainger
Colors: Janice Cohen
Letterer: Joe Rosen
Editor: Marv Wolfman
Cover Price: Still Only $0.25
Cover Date: April 1976
Release Date: January 1976
Synopsis: The Mighty Marvel Checklist in comics cover dated April 1976 says “Merry Christmas, X-Men…The Sentinels Have Returned! It begins at Rockefeller Center; it ends Lord-knows-where! But we think that the title says it all! Claremont’s, Cockrum’s and Grainger’s holiday gift to all X-fans, wherever they may be!”

The X-Men visit the Rockefeller Center Christmas to see the Christmas Tree, but their holiday fun comes to an abrupt end when the Sentinels attack. The story has a great balance of heartwarming holiday cheer and all-out action courtesy of Claremont and Cockrum. This issue starts a fantastic run that brings back the Sentinels, which were last seen in X-Men #59 (August 1969), and sets the stage for Jean Grey’s transformation into Phoenix, the introduction of the Hellfire Club and a number of other plot lines that would be introduced in the coming years. This issue is also legendary for the number of cameo appearances by characters from the worlds of comics and reality. In addition to the dozen-plus characters on opening splash page atRockefeller Center, the latter pages include cameo appearances by Clark Kent, Lois Lane, Stan Lee, Jack Kirby, Julius Schwartz, Carmine Infantino and Richard Nixon.

Source: Kraalo Archives, Marvel Comics, X-Men Companion Vol. 1

Friday, December 21, 2012

Happy Holidays!

Happy Holidays from The Marvel Project! Christmas is almost upon us, so we're feeling the warm embrace of the holiday season and looking forward to the New Year. Many thanks to Chris Giarrusso for taking on the commission to do this awesome Mini Marvel Holiday Card. The idea was to do an homage to the cover of Giant-Size X-Men #1 with the heroes bursting out of a Christmas wreath instead of through the page.  Chris did a spectacular job in his unique Mini Marvel style and and came up with the added bonus of Colossus delivering Wolverine via Fastball Special.  Enjoy!


Sunday, December 2, 2012

Star Trek: The Motion Picture Ad (March 1979)

Marvel comics cover dated March 1980 and released in December 1979 had ads for the much-anticipated Star Trek: The Motion Picture. Featuring all of the original cast members, Star Trek: The Motion Picture offered the first return of the franchise in more than a decade since the TV series was canceled in 1969.  The film premiered on December 7, 1979 and grossed $11.9 million in its opening weekend, equal to about $39.8 million in today's dollars adjusting for inflation.  The film would go on to gross $139 million worldwide over time and set the stage for at least three more decades of Star Trek in film, television and other mediums. Marvel published an adaptation of the movie in Marvel Super Special #15 that was released in early December, 1979 to coincide with the film.

Source: Kraalo Archives, IMDB.com

Johnson Smith Company Ad (March 1980)

Marvel comics cover dated March 1980 had a full-page Johnson Smith Company ad on the inside back cover. I can remember spending hours staring pouring over these ads back when I was a kid and lusting after things like the Midget Camera and the Secret Book Safe. Mail-Order Mysteries by Kirk Demarais is a must-read for any child of the 60s, 70s or 80s that lived in wonder of ads like this one from Johnson Smith Company. Click on the image below for a high-resolution copy of the ad.

Source: Kraalo Archives

Revolutionary War Soldiers Ad (March 1980)

Marvel comics cover dated March 1980 included a full-page ad for a 204-piece set of Revolutionary War Soldiers. The set advertised two complete armies: "The British Redcoats and the American Bluecoats." Were the American troops really called the Bluecoats? "Re-live again the famous battles of the American Revolution! Form your own battle lines! Hours of fun for the whole family!" Not a bad bargain at $2.98.  Click on the image below for a high-resolution scan of the ad.

Source: Kraalo Archives
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