Monday, July 2, 2012

Comic Reader Résumé: July, 1984

It's July of 1984, and I can't remember if I read Amazing Spider-Man #257. I had to have read a Puma story at some point, because when he appeared in an annual during Peter and Mary Jane's honeymoon, I was all "Hey, the Puma!" Then I didn't buy the annual, possibly because this issue was so memorable.

I did buy Micronauts:The New Voyages #1. It had a spiffy Michael Golden cover, and interiors by Kelley Jones from back when he had a Golden influence, plus Bruce Patterson inking. It was a sci-fi series spun off from a toy tie-in, yet writer Peter B. Gillis took it seriously. There was some leftover continuity I could have done without as a new reader, and I was freaked out by Jones' graphic rendering of a team member losing a body part in a totally random accident (not at all what one expected from a mainstream comic in 1984.) The book was more mature than I was, but it was interesting, and I would sample it from time to time. Still, it was largely Star Wars married to a pastiche of every other space flick shown over the previous decade.

I didn't buy a single issue of ManTech Robot Warriors, but I think I had a figure and saw an ad in that issue of Mighty Crusaders I don't recall reading anymore. Boy, Archie Adventure Series were full of lose.

After skipping a team-up with Iron Man because a) a friend already bought it and b) Iron Man, I bought Marvel Team-Up #146. It was by the same creative team as the Moon Knight issue, and I have the same vague feeling of finding it pleasantly acceptable at the time without committing much to memory. It paired Spider-Man with Nomad, who I sorta kinda liked from Captain America, and pitted them against a villain who could disintegrate with a touch. He had issues connecting, of course, and I think he ended up turning himself to dust or something. Speaking of which, I had a knack for reading team-up books right before their cancellation, and didn't buy another one of these through to its final 150th issue.

All right, Blue Devil #5 featured Zatanna and a rematch with the demon Nebiros! Great art, fun story, and holds up to this day. ¡Viva Nebiros!

Marvel Super-Heroes Secret Wars #7 had a fake-out Wasp death that I thought mattered in some way at the time. Honestly though, this was the first series I collected new on a monthly basis, but I only read any given issue once or twice and it's all a jumble in my mind.

Jarvis the Wizard made an offer on a box of Cookie Crisp cereal to send me a free Marvel comic with proof of purchase. I didn't understand how that worked, so when I saw a bunch of books pictured on the box, I thought those were the issues I had to choose from. I wished I'd order X-Men, but I went for the debut of the black Spider-Man costume, and got Amazing Spider-Man #258 instead. "The Sinister Secret of Spider-Man's New Costume" wasn't too far removed from what I wanted, but it ended with a barefoot Peter Parker wearing an old Fantastic Four costume and a paper bag over his head. I didn't really see it as humorous so much as embarrassing, even after that jerk Johnny Storm taped a "Kick Me" sign to Parker's back. "Spidey-Sense... gots nothin'." The creative team of Tom DeFalco and Ron Frenz never wowed me, either.

The Fly #9 means another wretched, forgettable Archie Adventure Series. I probably did receive this until 1986 or so. If I recall correctly, this was given to me by my stepsister as a Christmas gift, along with a Matt Wagner Demon issue and a bunch of regular Archie comics clearly not bought with me in mind. Nothing undersells affection quite like latter-day Dick Ayers.


The Irredeemable Shag said...

As usual, our collecting history is frighteningly parallel. Your first monthly book collected was Secret Wars, same as me. You bought Micronauts New Voyages #1 on a whim, same as me. You bought Marvel Team-up, same as me. In fact Marvel Team-up was my Spider-man book of choice growing up. And Blue Devil... is there really enough words to describe AWESOME! By the way, they just announced Blue Devil for the New 52. Black & Blue sounds like it has promise.

Diabolu Frank said...

Peter Parker, the Spectacular Spider-Man was my most consistent Web-Head fix, partly because I love unwieldy titles, and partly for creators. First it was Al Milgrom, then Peter David, then the team of Gerry Conway and Sal Buscema, plus I think Jim Owsley did some work on the book. For some reason, I never seemed to like whoever worked on Amazing. I missed out on Team-Up in first run, but I bought some reprints when Marvel Tales started doing "best ofs."

Diabolu Frank said...

P.S., I just googled "Black & Blue." I quite honestly could have waited the days/hours/minutes until unfortunately stumbling upon it on my own. Championship missing the point (figuratively, not literally, as that Booth design has more points than a graphing quiz.)

The Irredeemable Shag said...

Booth's design aside, I'm interested in this teaming. Manhunter was a solid book so this has potential. Also I think an Odd Couple buddy book is ripe for Danny's humor.

I enjoyed McFarlane's run on Amazing (not Adjectiveless Spider-man). Good writing and the art hadn't gone off the rails.


Diabolu Frank said...

I never much cared for McFarlane. He was busy at a time when I was impressed by an abundance of lines, but everyone looked like a weathered & soiled Inflate-A-Date. Even on Infinity, Inc. I preferred the journeymen inked by Michael Bair over Todd*. I was more into Portacio, Liefeld and Lee. Also, by that point I was out of Spider-Man, aside from reading my brother's copies of the adjectiveless series.

I haven't ever read a fun/funny Marc Andreyko story, but maybe he'll pull it off. I never much cared for Jefferson Pierce though, and I can't decide whether the BD redesign is more or less horrible than the Underworld Unleashed one. Let me look again... More. Definitely more horrible.

*I own an unpublished Michael Bair Martian Manhunter cover/pin-up. I couldn't resist sharing.

The Irredeemable Shag said...

Bair was a god! Love his work on the JSA related characters.

I'm hopeful Booth isn't the artist on Black & Blue, just the costume designer. And nothing is worse than the Underworld Unleashed Blue Devil costume. Nothing.