Saturday, April 21, 2012

Comic Reader Résumé: May, 1984

I was all over May, 1984. I bet I must have spent over five whole dollars on comics that month!

Possibly looking for an alternative monthly Spider-Man fix, I tried Marvel Team-Up #144 in hopes of rekindling my glory days with The Brave and the Bold. It featured the visually awesome Moon Knight and the kinda kewl/kinda stoopid villainy of the White Dragon in New York's Chinatown. I liked the art by Greg LaRocque and Mike Esposito, but barely remember anything about Cary Burkett's script. I tried it again though, so it couldn't have been too bad. Peter Parker, the Spectacular Spider-Man #93 also came out, but I don't recall if I bothered to buy it or not.

Marvel Super-Heroes Secret Wars #5 had a lot of action, but I was noticing elements in Bob Layton's art I didn't like, and the fighting seemed pointless. I really can't tell you anything about this comic, except that the battle on the cover happened inside.

I probably didn't get Blue Devil #3 in its month of relief, and I surely didn't pay more that fifty cents second hand from a flea market (and more likely, closer to $0.20.) There was a couple that worked the booth, and I guess they or someone they knew had a subscription. I couldn't find it, or many other DC titles, on the stands. I was happy to have an alternative source, and loved the book. Dan Cassidy was a stunt man and special effects artist who, while filming a monster movie on a remote island, got trapped in the sophisticated Blue Devil prosthetic by a blast of magic from a demon. Dan had to live with his condition, and the "weirdness magnet" that kept drawing him into wacky adventures. Here, Dan was being studied at S.T.A.R. Labs when Metallo crashed the party. A lot of mileage was made of Blue Devil being faced with a dangerous Superman villain, and I dug his unusual look/color scheme. The most essential element was his kryptonite heart, and I never forgave John Byrne for doing away with all those neat aspects of Metallo Post-Crisis and simply treating him like a Terminator T-800 model. Clearly, this issue sold me, and sold me hard.

I surely purchased Prince Namor, the Sub-Mariner #1 on the strength of that grim What If...?? tale from 1983, and despite my affection for the inking prowess of Danny Bulanadi, this didn't cut it. J.M. DeMatteis would eventually become one of my favorite comic writers, but he was an Aquaman veteran, and it showed here. Too much time hanging out with ocean faring scientists and flirting with cute blondes, not enough shouting "Imperious Rex" and attempting murder over imagined slights. Bob Budiansky was no Marc Silvestri, either.

1 comment:

The Irredeemable Shag said...

I bought each of these glorious comics off the spinner rack! Blue Devil for the win! Marvel Team-up is still my favorite Spider-man (reading Essential vol 2 right now). Was this the issue of Secret Wars where Wolverine said, "Cyclops is a jerk, but he's our jerk"? Love that line. I use that phrasing at work all the time. :) That Namor mini-series was my first introduction to the character. I guess my sad affection for Aquaman led me down the path of digging Namor.