Saturday, January 21, 2012

Comic Reader Résumé: February, 1983

I started this feature on another blog, and I might ought to return there, since February, 1983 and onward through much of the '80s was very Marvel-centric on my part. Let me know if I need to preserve the DC quotient here at Bloodlines, or if I can lapse into zombiedom on this blog.

While I know I read the previous Captain America issue at an early age, I'm not 100% sure I bought it brand new off the stands (three packs still being all the rage back then.) This issue made a stronger impression on me, and I vividly recall picking it up at the local 7-11, my primary source for new comics. Besides the classic, classy heroic poses on the cover, this was the first book I bought where (a) Bucky was a co-star. I really dug something about the black and white celluloid in the background, which I approach with an enthusiasm I suspect was similar to kids exposed to Showcase #4.

Spider-Woman, who I knew from her cartoon, starred in a prelude that confused me. I was young enough to wonder why she was appearing solo in the opening pages of a Captain America comic. Worse, her appearance involved leftover continuity from her own cancelled series, which I knew nothing about. On the other hand, she was fighting Viper, who I immediately took to. I'm not sure if I'd been previously introduced to her as Madame Hydra in old Steranko comics, but I thought she was bitchin' right off here.

Cap finally showed up with his Jewish girlfriend Bernie, who was kind of like an older Kitty Pryde, so I immediately approved of her. I'm not sure if she was rocking a bad perm or that Margot Kidder cut, but I forgave it either way. Cap was introduced to Jack Monroe, the mentally unstable replacement Bucky of the 1950s. For all I know, this was the first time I'd heard of any Bucky, so throwing in McCarthyism and all that retroactive continuity blew my mind. Toward the end, I also met the Constrictor. He's another guy like the Shocker who got no respect because of a funky color scheme and padded costume, but I thought he looked boss, and have always had a soft spot for him.

I loved the J.M. DeMatteis story and Mike Zeck art, but felt gypped by the lack of "Defenders" (missing the cover copy caveat) and cliffhanger ending, just as the action was finally starting. I wanted to read more, but for some reason, I never did buy #182. I know I had the opportunity, but I ended up buying other comics, until my 7-11 finally ran out of copies. I will say that I strongly suspect an aversion to Monroe adopting the new identity of Nomad, or more specifically, a half-cape and plunging neckline. Blech.

I read a copy of Avengers #231 at the old school beauty salon where my grandmother liked to get her beehive tended. My other memory of the place was playing with an Indiana Jones action figure choreographed to Survivor's "Eye Of The Tiger." Anyway, the comic put me off of the team. The Al Milgrom art and character selection didn't help, but my main problem was their fighting a tree. I never warmed to heroes versus nature or animated inanimate objects.

Power Man and Iron Fist #93 wasn't my first time reading the duo, but it was my first buying them. I lived in a mixed race neighborhood, and my friends tended to have their own copies available for loan, thanks to Luke Cage. I dug the mainstream period Denys Cowan art, but Kurt Busiek missed with me early and often. You'll note by the absence of any DC purchases this month that I was already over their dated shenanigans, so the last thing I wanted was a Flash Rogue in blackface like Chemistro. On the downside, this was another cliffhanger, involving cast members getting stuck turned into glass. Marvel was as bad about multi-parters as I was about not buying all chapters, so I never finished this dumb story.

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