Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Ghost Rider #43 (April 1980)

Title: Night of the Crimson Mage!
Cover: Bob Budiansky, Bob Wiacek
Writer: Michael Fleisher
Penciler: Carmine Infantino
Inker: Ricardo Villamonte
Colorist: Bob Sharen
Letterer: John Costanza
Editor: Dennis O’Neil
Editor-in-Chief: Jim Shooter
Cover Price: $0.40
Cover Date: April 1980
Release Date: January 1980
Synopsis: A sinister sorcerer separates Johnny Blaze from the Ghost Rider! You've got to read it to believe it!

Source: Kraalo Archives, Marvel Comics, Marvel Wikia

Monday, January 28, 2013

Bullpen Bio: John Romita, Sr.

Fun and Games Magazine #8 featured a fun bio of John Romita, Sr. by Owen McCarron. While Romita, Sr. is best known as the definitive artist on Amazing Spider-Man Spider-Man starting with Steve Ditko's abrupt departure from the title in 1966, he had an incredible influence on the look and feel of Marvel's characters and comics in his capacity as Art Director from 1972 to 1980.

Source: Kraalo Archives

Fun and Games #8 (April 1980)

Title: Fun and Games Magazine
Written, Drawn and Edited by Owen McCarron
Cover Price: $0.50
Cover Date: April 1980
Release Date: December 1980
Synopsis:  Puzzles, mazes and brain-twisters galore as you match wits with the Bullpen’s best! This issue of Fun and Games includes a bio of John Romita, Sr.

Source: Kraalo Archives

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Fantasy Masterpieces #5 (April 1980)

Title: And Who Shall Mourn For Him?
Cover: John Buscema
Writer: Stan Lee
Penciler: John Buscema
Inker: Sal Buscema
Letterer: Sam Rosen
Editor-in-Chief: Jim Shooter
Cover Price: $0.75
Cover Date: April  1980
Release Date: January 1980
Synopsis: Fantasy Masterpieces #5 reprints Silver Surfer #5 (February 1969) in which the Sentinel of the Skyways faces off against the Stranger!

Source: Kraalo Archives, Marvel Comics, Marvel Wikia

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Fantastic Four #217 (April 1980)

Title: Masquerade!
Cover: Joe Sinnott
Wtiter: Bill Mantlo
Penciler: John Byrne
Inker: Joe Sinnott
Colorist: Bob Sharen
Letterer: John Costanza
Editor: Mark Gruenwald
Editor-in-Chief: Jim Shooter
Cover Price: $0.40
Cover Date: April 1980
Release Date: January 1980
Synopsis: After narrowly defeating Blastaar by returning him to the Negative Zone, Mr. Fantastic sets his focus on repairing the damage to their headquarters and overhauling the Baxter Building's security system in order to prevent any further breaches. Johnny Storm hits the town, heading to the stupefying Studio Infinity where he happens to meet the Dazzler. Back at the Baxter Building, H.E.R.B.I.E. launches a surprise attack on the Invisible Girl, defeating her and proceeding to ambush Mr. Fantastic and the Thing. The robot reveals that he has actually been taken over by the evil Dr. Sun who is bent on the destruction of the team. H.E.R.B.I.E. defeats the Thing and Mr. Fantastic sends up the Fantastic Four signal, interrupting Johnny Storm’s evening with the Dazzler as he rushes back to the Baxter Building. Mr. Fantastic manages to isolate Dr. Sun in the circuitry of the Baxter Building’s computer system, briefly freeing H.E.R.B.I.E. of his control, but the loyal robot sacrifices himself and destroys Dr. Sun in order to protect the team.

Source: Kraalo Archives, Marvel Comics, Marvel Wikia

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Doctor Strange #40 (April 1980)

Title: Dawn of Death!
Cover: Bob Layton
Writer: Chris Claremont
Penciler: Gene Colan
Inkers: Dan Green, Richard Villamonte
Colorist: Bob Sharen
Letterer: Mark Rogan
Editors: Mary Jo Duffy, Al Milgrom
Editor-in-Chief: Jim Shooter
Cover Price: $0.40
Cover Date: April 1980
Release Date: January 1980
Synopsis: The Master of the Mystic Arts fights for his live against Azrael, the Angel of Death! Plus! The villainy of Baron Mordo!

Source: Kraalo Archives, Marvel Comics

Monday, January 21, 2013

Defenders #82 (April 1980)

Title: Wizard-Death!
Cover: Rich Buckler, Al Milgrom
Writer: Ed Hannigan
Penciler: Don Perlin
Inker: Joe Sinnott
Colorist: Glynis Wein
Letterer: John Costanza
Editors: Al Milgrom, Mary Joe Duffy
Editor-in-Chief: Jim Shooter
Cover Price: $0.40
Cover Date: April 1980
Release Date: April 1980
Synopsis: The Hulk, Dr. Strange and the Sub-Mariner face the dreaded Unnameable in the fantastic realm known as Tunnelworld!

Source: Kraalo Archives, Marvel Comics, Marvel Wikia

Crazy Magazine #61 (April 1980)

Title: Crazy Super Special
Cover Price: $1.25
Cover Date: April 1980
Release Date: January 1980
Synopsis: A compendium of choice chuckles from past issues of Crazy Magazine.

Source: Kraalo Archives

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Conan The Barbarian #109 (April 1980)

Title: Sons of the Bear God
Cover: John Buscema
Writer: Roy Thomas
Penciler: John Buscema
Inker: Ernie Chan
Colorist: George Roussos
Letterer: Joe Rosen
Editor: Roy Thomas
Editor-in-Chief: Jim Shooter
Cover Price: $0.40
Cover Date: April 1980
Release Date: January 1980
Synopsis: Conan battles the Sons of the Bear God!  ‘Nuff Said!

Source: Kraalo Archives, Marvel Wikia

Letters to the Living Legend (April 1980)

The letters page in Captain America #244 brought the exciting news that a new creative team would be taking over the book starting with issue #247. Writer Roger Stern would be paired with the dynamic duo of John Byrne and Josef Rubinstein, launching a truly definitive run on the title.  Byrne was already dazzling fans with his work on Uncanny X-Men and Fantastic Four, so the addition of a third title would have the virtuoso creator responsible for most of Marvel's flagship titles as the new decade began.

Source: Kraalo Archives

Captain America #244 (April 1980)

Title: The Way of All Flesh!
Cover: Frank Miller, Al Milgrom
Writer: Roger McKenzie
Penciler: Don Perlin
Inker: Tom Sutton
Colorist: George Roussos
Letterer: Mark Rogan
Editor: Jim Salicrup
Editor-in-Chief: Jim Shooter
Cover Price: $0.40
Cover Date: April 1980
Release Date: January 1980
Synopsis: In an ill-fated grab for immortality, industrialist Eric Cameron's life model decoy body Adonis is transformed into a monster instead of the perfect form that he planned. Fueled by a brutal rage, Adonis escapes Captain America and flees the scene. While the search for the monster continues, Captain America returns home to shower and report for a job interview as Steve Rogers. He has instant chemistry with his prospective employer who fought in World War II and Steve ingratiates himself with the otherwise prickly man. Adonis eventually surfaces and the First Avenger rushes to the scene, fighting his fearsome foe and winning the battle by default when the monster is electrocuted to death.

Source: Kraalo Archives, Marvel Comics

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Battlestar Galactica #14 (April 1980)

Title: Trial and Error
Cover: Walt Simonson
Writer: Roger McKenzie
Layouts: Jim Mooney
Finishes: Klaus Janson
Colors: Bob Sharen
Letters: Rick Parker
Editor: Al Milgrom
Editor-in-Chief: Jim Shooter
Cover Price: $0.40
Cover Date: April 1980
Release Date: January 1980
Synopsis: The Cylon Armada lies defeated and the fleet returns to open space from the void while Starbuck remains on Scavenge World as consort to Queen Eurayle. The fleet celebrates the victory, but Starbuck is sorely missed by his teammates and young Boxey. While Apollo is dispatched on a mission to find a witness for the trial of the traitorous Sire Uri, Boxey decides to steal a Viper and return to Scavenge World to rescue Strarbuck. Apollo succeeds in his mission and finds the witness that leads to Sire Uri's conviction. During his father's absence, Boxey enters the Galactica's engine room in a misguided attempt to get to the hanger deck and immediately falls victim to the oppressive heat of the ship's stardrives. Boxey's robot dog Muffy senses the boy's trouble and drags him to safety, paying the ultimate price for its loyalty as the heat melts it's body.

Source: Kraalo Archives, Marvel Wikia

Friday, January 11, 2013

Avengers #194 (April 1980)

Title: Interlude
Cover: George Perez, Josef Rubinstein
Writer: David Michelinie
Penciler: George Perez
Inker: Josef Rubinstein
Colorist: Ben Sean
Letterer: John Costanza
Editor: Jim Salicrup
Editor-in-Chief: Jim Shooter
Cover Price: $0.40
Cover Date: April 1980
Release Date: January 1980
Synopsis: A mystery villain! The secret of the man called Selbe! A behind-the-scenes peek at life in the Avengers Mansion!

Source: Kraalo Archives, Marvel Comics

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Movie Marquees from Amazing Spider-Man #203

It's fun to see Stark Trek and The Black Hole on competing marquees when Peter Parker goes to the movies in Amazing Spider-Man #203. Both films were released in December 1979 and would have still been in theaters in January 1980 when Marvel's titles dated April 1980 were released. In retrospect, it's an impressive bit of coordination and forecasting given the lead time involved in getting a comic into production. Marvel could easily have missed the mark by months, but they nailed it perfectly with this panel and the Heroes World ad that ran that month.

Source: Kraalo Archives

Heroes World Star Trek & The Black Hole Toys Ad

Heroes World had a full page ad in Marvel's April 1980 titles for action figures and toys from Stark Trek The Motion Picture and The Black Hole. In December 1979, Star Trek opened on December 7th and The Black Hole opened on December 21st, so both movies would have still be in theaters in January 1980 when comics cover dated April 1980 hit the stands.  Star Trek was a phenomenon.  The Black Hole not so much, but it was a fun film and I can remember really wanting a V.I.N.CENT action figure!

Source: Kraalo Archives

Amazing Spider-Man #203 Cover Art

Frank Miller still had time to work on other Marvel titles while Daredevil was being published bi-monthly, so this cover to Amazing Spider-Man #203 is a nice treat from an artist whose star was on the rise in early 1980 and about to go super-nova! Click on the image below for a larger scan of the original art with pencils by Frank Miller and inks by Jim Mooney.

Amazing Spider-Man #203 (April 1980)

Title: Bewitched, Bothered and Be-Dazzled!
Cover: Frank Miller, Jim Mooney
Writer: Marv Wolfman
Penciler: Keith Pollard
Inker: Mike Esposito
Colorist: Bob Sharen
Letterer: Jim Novak
Editor: Marv Wolfman
Editor-in-Chief: Jim Shooter
Cover Price: $0.40
Cover Date: April 1980
Release Date: January 1980
Synopsis: Spider-Man rescues Dazzler from Lightmaster, who wants to use the mutant's power to augment his own. The villain possesses Dazzler who attacks Spider-Man, luring him into a trap before the Web Slinger manages to free the heroine of Lightmaster's influence and banish him back to the Light Dimension.

Source: Kraalo Archives, Marvel Comics

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Marvel House Ads (April 1980)

Amazing Adventures #5 features a full-page with house ads for a number of Marvel's titles: Conan the Barbarian, the Savage Sword of Conan, the Mighty Thor and the Thing in the pages of Marvel Two-In-One. Click on the image below for a high-resolution copy of the House Ad.

Source: Kraalo Archives

Monday, January 7, 2013

Amazing Adventures #5 (April 1980)

Title: Beware of…the Blob!
Cover: Jack Kirby
Writer: Stan Lee
Penciler: Jack Kirby
Inker: Paul Reinman
Letterer: Art Simek
Reprint Editor: Danny Fingeroth
Editor-in-Chief: Jim Shooter
Cover Price: $0.40
Cover Date: April 1980
Release Date: January 1980
Synopsis: The primary story in Amazing Adventures #5 reprints part one of the X-Men’s first encounter with the Blob from X-Men #3 (January 1964).  After a Danger Room training session, Professor Xavier detects a new mutant in the vicinity and dispatches the team to locate him. The X-Men locate the mutant in question at a carnival where the Blob works as a sideshow attraction. After inviting Blob back to the X-Mansion for testing, they invite the new mutant to join the team, but he rejects their offer and fights his way out of their secret headquarters before Professor X can modify his memory.  The backup story in this reprint concludes the origin of Cyclops from X-Men #42 (March 1968).

Source: Kraalo Archives

Sunday, January 6, 2013

Bullpen Bulletins (April 1980)

Marvel's Bullpen Bulletins page for April 1980 included Stan's Soapbox, the Mighty Marvel Checklist and a great house ad for the Spider-Woman and Thing cartoons that were airing on ABC at the time. In Stan’s Soapbox, the Man laments the challenges of writing his monthly column three months before the publication date of the comics in which its printed. As we’ve noted in past months, Stan’s monthly missives often refer to dates that have already passed or contain information that’s no longer accurate. We feel his pain since the Marvel Checklist is also filled with inaccuracies and omissions and it’s quite an effort to determine what titles were actually published each month. In this case, the Mighty Marvel Checklist has three Marvel Magazines that were actually dated March 1980 and completely misses Tomb of Dracula Magazine #4 that hit newsstands that month. In any case, it’s hard to complain too much since the research is fun and reading the old Bullpen Bulletins is always a great sentimental journey. Click on the scan below to see Bullpen Bulletins in high-definition!

Source: Kraalo Archives

Saturday, January 5, 2013

Marvel Checklist (April 1980)

Marvel published 36 comics and 4 magazines for a total of 40 issues in April 1980. Highlights of the month included the launch of Marvel’s ongoing Star Wars series as well as the continuation of what would become known as the Dark Phoenix Saga in the pages of the Uncanny X-Men with issue #132. The combination of Chris Claremont’s writing with art by John Byrne and Terry Austin really transcended virtually every other title that Marvel was producing at this point in time. Also noteworthy is the fifth installment of the Warriors of the Golden Dawn Saga by Doug Moench and Mike Zeck in Master of Kung Fu #87, which is another remarkable writer-artist pairing that produced results that truly stand the test of time. Marvel's titles dated April 1980 would have been on newsstands in January 1980 based on the three-month advance dating convention.

AMAZING ADVENTURES #5 MARVEL TWO-IN-ONE #62
AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #203 MARVEL'S GREATEST COMICS #87
AVENGERS #194 MASTER OF KUNG FU #87
BATTLESTAR GALACTICA #14 MICRONAUTS #16
CAPTAIN AMERICA #244 PETER PARKER #41
CONAN #109 POWERMAN & IRON FIST #62
CRAZY MAGAZINE #61 ROM SPACEKNIGHT #5
DEFENDERS #82 SAVAGE SHE-HULK #3
DR. STRANGE #40 SAVAGE SWORD OF CONAN #51
FANTASTIC FOUR #217 SGT. FURY #157
FANTASY MASTERPIECES #5 SHOGUN WARRIORS #15
FUN & GAMES #8 SPIDER-WOMAN #25
GHOST RIDER #43 STAR TREK #1
INCREDIBLE HULK #246 STAR WARS #34
IRON MAN #133 TALES TO ASTONISH #5
MACHINE MAN #14 THE HULK MAGAZINE #20
MARVEL PREMIERE #53 THOR #294
MARVEL SUPER-ACTION #18 TOMB OF DRACULA MAGAZINE #4
MARVEL TALES #114 UNCANNY X-MEN #132
MARVEL TEAM-UP #92 WHAT IF? #20

Source: Kraalo Archives

Friday, January 4, 2013

Marvel Calendar (April 1980)

The Marvel Comics Calendar 1980: The Occult World of Doctor Strange features a truly psychedelic piece of art by Gene Colan and Tom Palmer for April entitled "Eternity Beckons" that shows Doctor Strange face to face with Eternity itself. Gene Colan is one of the definitive Doctor Strange artists and it’s great to see his work featured in this calendar. The month of April was apparently short on Marvel Bullpen birthdays with only the now late Sol Brodsky named on the 22nd, so the other days are filled with art, quips and excerpts from the history of Doctor Strange. The calendar wraps up with a notable quote from the September 1966 issue of Esquire which featured a glowing review of Marvel’s growing influence on the world of comics. “Marvel often stretches the pseudoscientific imagination far into the phantasmagoria of other dimensions, problems of time and space, and even the semi-theological concepts of creations.”  Click on either of the images below to enjoy them in high-definition!


Source: Kraalo Archives
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