INTRODUCTION “But no one is well served by history in the style of super-hero comics.” – Alex Ross, (*1) This isn’t a biography of Mark Millar, although it will inevitably seem to be one in places. To discuss thirty years and more of a writer’s career is to unavoidably appear to be sketching out their […]Read More An introduction to ‘”Shameless”?: The Comics Career Of Mark Millar’.
We rather take it for granted that Sal Buscema was a superb storyteller, but what exactly does that mean? Why was it that his art, even when little more than sparse layouts turned out by necessity at speed, was adored by many of the writers who collaborated with him? We share general points about the […]Read More On One Aspect Of Sal Buscema’s Storytelling in 1972’s The Defenders #3.
On The Secret Of The Surfer from 1972’s The Defenders #2 by Steve Englehart, Sal Buscema, John Verpoorten, John Constanza, Roy Thomas et al. The Sub-Mariner had spent most of The Defender’s debut issue trapped and unconscious in a magically-created prison of water. Worse yet, it appeared that the Silver Surfer was part of the […]Read More At Last, The Sub-Mariner!: On 1972’s The Defender’s #2
(Continued from here ) As a rule, the less continuity there’s been, the more continuity fascinates. In Must There Be A Superman?, Elliot S! Maggin set about tightening the little-explored connections between DC Comic’s various ‘cosmic’ stories. Referencing the Green Lantern and Justice League canons, Maggin’s story has the Guardians Of The Galaxy plunge Superman […]Read More On Superman #247 & Batman #239: 10 Key Superhero Titles From 1971/2: What Else Was Around When The Defenders First Saw Print? (2/3)
On “I Slay The Stars” in August 1972’s The Defenders #1 by Steve Englehart, Sal Buscema, Frank Giacoia, Artie Simek et al. From the very first page of I Slay The Stars, there’s an acute sense that newly arrived writer Steve Englehart had analysed the strengths and weaknesses of The Defenders’ rather underwhelming try-outs in […]Read More Steve Englehart Sorts Things Out: On 1972’s The Defenders #1.
The Defenders first appeared in the debut issue of Marvel Feature published in the third full week of July 1971. The title’s initial quarterly schedule meant that the second Defenders tale wouldn’t appear until mid-October of the same year, with the non-team’s final tryout appearance arriving in January 1972. The sales must have shown some […]Read More 10 Key Superhero Titles From 1971/2: What Else Was Around When The Defenders Debuted? (Part 1 of 2)
On The Defenders: A Titan Walks Among Us in 1972’s Marvel Feature #3, by Roy Thomas, Ross Andru, Bill Everett et al. At the end of A Titan Walks Among Us, the Sub-Mariner quits his admittedly informal alliance with Doctor Strange because human beings are ungrateful, suspicious and violent. Why should he continue to respond […]Read More The Rule Of Law? The Sub-Mariner in Marvel Feature #3
The great myth of Doctor Strange’s first origin, by Steve Ditko and Stan Lee, is that a previously “proud, haughty” surgeon who “cared but little for (his) fellow men” was transformed through sacrifice, study, and, eventually, enlightenment into a fully realised human being. There’s absolutely no doubt that Strange’s experiences with the Ancient One in […]Read More The Henchmen Of Stephen Strange.
It isn’t true that every new comic book needs a distinct identity to set it apart from its many fellows. Through the decades, success has, of course, frequently arrived from the cloning of the appeal of existing titles. A little copyright-outflanking here to avoid the lawsuits, a slight change in detail and emphasis there to […]Read More The Worst Super Team In The World: The Defenders In Marvel Feature #1.
I had never come across the phrase ‘dead-catting’ until a few weeks ago. The last thing I had expected from Emma Smith’s (quite magnificent) This Is Shakespeare was an introduction to contemporary slang, let alone a phrase associated with the loathsome political operator Lynton Crosby. But a term to describe a deliberate distraction that obscures […]Read More That Dead-Catting Dr Strange