Saturday, August 4, 2012

Comic Reader Résumé: November, 1984

November of 1984 began with G.I. Joe a Real American Hero #32. It had a Frank Springer cover and Frank Springer interiors, so it's a good thing it featured Zartan and Snake-Eyes prominently, or else I'd have broken my streak of issues.

I got Fantastic Four #275 out of a three-pack from a grocery or toy store. I could never get into the team, even under John Byrne, but this solo She-Hulk tale was a gas. A pornographer manages to photograph Jen topless on top of the Baxter Building, and the rest of the issue is Shulkie attempting every means possible to prevent the pictures' publication. The ending, especially from adult eyes, is bogus, but the journey is worth the trip. Still topical too, although the odds would be stacked that much more against our heroine. I have a modest affection to this day for the character based solely on this one good story.

Kitty Pryde and Wolverine #4 involved Logan deprogramming Kitty, which in retrospect makes no sense. Dude has no memory, and is best known for trying to stab anybody who crosses him. Not the credentials of a master therapist.

Not only did I buy Peter Parker, the Spectacular Spider-Man #99 despite not having been especially impressed with the previous writing or art (aside from one memorable issue,) but this was even the debut of the much maligned Spot under the pen of Herb Trimpe. As you can see, the Spot was a rather Ditkoesque invention, and he has a nice visual power that made up for the dumb moniker. The next issue was an extra-sized (and $) anniversary issue, so whatever influence Al Milgrom had on my buying habits, I finally left this title alone for the next year.

Conqueror of the Barren Earth #1 was another book from out of a grocery sack a friend was given in the summer of '88. While not as bad as Robotech Defenders, it still had weak art and coloring that looked like the previous owner had gone to town on it with a five & dime watercolor set. Despite the writing of Blue Devil co-creator Gary Cohn, it deserved to go right back into the bag.

G.I. Joe Yearbook #1 reprinted the first issue of the regular series, which lacked the soap opera and outlandish characters to come, but benefited from Bob McLeod inking Herb Trimpe. It was a solid one-shot action yarn, and there were oodles of additional material to catch me up with the series and stars to date. I probably enjoyed this bolus feeding of information more than reading the individual comics.

Finally, Jim Shooter continued the upward storytelling trajectory in Marvel Super-Heroes Secret Wars #11. Subplots had been developed and began paying off, Doom was too cool, and the whole thing ended with Mike Zeck and John Beatty depicting our heroes massacred by a bolt from the blue!

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