Amazing Adventures (1970)

Amazing Adventures was a split title featuring the Inhumans (initially both written and drawn by Jack Kirby, later drawn by Neal Adams) and the Black Widow (initially by writer Gary Friedrich and penciler John Buscema). The Widow was dropped after vol. 2, #8, and full-length Inhumans stories ran for two issues before that feature, too, was dropped.

Vol. 2, #11 (March 1972) introduced solo stories of erstwhile X-Men member the Beast, in which he was mutated into his modern-day blue-furred (originally grey-furred) form. The initial story was by writer Gerry Conway, penciler Tom Sutton, and inker Syd ShoresSteve Englehart became the feature’s writer with issue #12 and added Patsy Walker and her then-husband, “Buzz” Baxter, to the Beast’s supporting cast in issue #13.

In the fall of 1972, writers Englehart, Conway and Len Wein crafted a metafictional unofficial crossover spanning titles from both major comics companies. Each comic featured Englehart, Conway, and Wein, as well as Wein’s first wife Glynisinteracting with Marvel or DC characters at the Rutland Halloween Parade in Rutland, Vermont.

Power Records (1974)

Power Records was a record label, featuring characters licensed from DC Comics and Marvel Comics, and contemporary movies and television series (such as KojakPlanet of the ApesThe Six Million Dollar ManSpace: 1999, and Star Trek), in stories geared toward older children. The book-and-record sets frequently featured original 20-page comic books along with an extended-play 7″ record of the story. Playing the record while reading along in the book brought the story to life through music and sound effects. There were also other 7″ single releases. Besides book-and-record sets, LPs were produced, featuring the recorded stories without illustrations. As of 2010, none of the Power Records material has been re-released for CD or digital media due to copyright issues.

Man-Thing V1 (1974)

Man-Thing’s solo title ran 22 issues (Jan. 1974 – Oct. 1975). Following Morrow, the main series’ primary pencillers were, successively, Val Mayerik, Mike Ploog, John Buscema, and Jim Mooney. A sister publication was the larger, quarterly Giant-Size Man-Thing #1-5 (August 1974 – August 1975), which featured 1950s horror-fantasy and 1960s science fiction/monster reprints as back-up stories, with a Howard the Duck feature added in the final two issues. The unintentional double entendre in the sister series’ title became a joke among comics readers.

Star Wars – Marvel

Charles Lippincott, Lucasfilm‘s publicity supervisor, initially approached Stan Lee in 1975 about publishing a Star Wars comic book prior to the film’s release to appeal to the film’s most likely audience. However, Lee declined to consider such a proposal until the film was completed, and was only persuaded otherwise in a second meeting arranged by Roy Thomas, who wanted to edit the series. Considering movie tie-in comics rarely sold well at that time, Lee negotiated a publishing arrangement with no royalties to Lucasfilm until sales exceeded 100,000 at which point legal arrangements could be revisited.

Marvel Comics Group published a series of Star Wars comic books from 1977 to 1986, lasting 107 issues and 3 annuals. According to former Marvel Editor-In-Chief Jim Shooter, the strong sales of Star Wars comics saved Marvel financially in 1977 and 1978. Marvel’s Star Wars series was one of the industry’s top selling titles in 1979 and 1980.The only downside for Marvel was that the 100,000 copy sales quota was surpassed quickly, allowing Lippincott to renegotiate the royalty arrangements from a position of strength.

Thor (1980’s)

Walt Simonson took over both writing and art as of #337 (Nov. 1983). His stories placed a greater emphasis on the character’s mythological origins. Simonson’s run as writer-artist lasted until #367 (May 1986), although he continued to write – and occasionally draw – the book until issue #382 (Aug. 1987). Simonson’s run, which introduced the character Beta Ray Bill, was regarded as a popular and critical success. Simonson’s later stories were drawn by Sal Buscema, who describes Simonson’s stories as “very stimulating. It was a pleasure working on his plots, because they were a lot of fun to illustrate. He had a lot of great ideas, and he took Thor in a totally new direction.” Asked why he was leaving Thor, Simonson said that he felt the series was due for a change in creative direction, and that he wanted to reduce his work load for a time. After Simonson’s departure, Marvel’s editor-in-chief at the time, Tom DeFalco, became the writer. Working primarily with artist Ron Frenz, DeFalco stayed on the book until #459 (Feb. 1993).

The Champions (1975)

The team first appears in The Champions #1 (October 1975) and was created by writer Tony Isabella and artist Don Heck. The Champions, and ran for seventeen issues from October 1975 to January 1978. In addition to Don Heck, artists who drew the series include George Tuska, Bob Hall, and John Byrne

Heroic Publishing has used the name “The Champions” for a role-playing game series which has been adapted into comic books. The United States Patent and Trademark Office has ruled that Marvel abandoned its trademark of the name and can no longer use “The Champions” as the name of a comic book series. A planned 2007 revival of the series was renamed The Order.

 

Supernatural Thrillers (1972)

Supernatural Thrillers ran 15 issues (cover-dated December 1972 – October 1975). The title was one of four launched by Marvel Comics editor-in-chief Roy Thomas to form a line of science fiction and horror anthologies with more thematic cohesiveness than the company’s earlier attempts that decade, which had included the series Chamber of Darkness and Tower of Shadows. Whereas those titles generally presented original stories, these new books would instead adapt genre classics and other stories.

Issue #5 (August 1973) introduced the Living Mummy in a standalone story about an African tribal prince enslaved by Egyptians and mummified by an evil priest, who eventually reawakens in modern times. The character, created by writer Steve Gerber and penciler Rich Buckler, returned two issues later as the starring character in a generally 15-page solo series that ran from #7 to the final issue, #15 (June 1974 – October 1975). The cover logo during this time was “Supernatural Thrillers featuring The Living Mummy”.

Chamber of Chills (1972)

The title was one of four launched by Marvel Comics editor-in-chief Roy Thomas to form a line of science fiction and horror anthologies with more thematic cohesiveness than the company’s earlier attempts that decade, which had included such series as Chamber of Darkness and Tower of Shadows. Whereas those titles generally presented original stories, these new books would instead adapt genre classics and other works.

With the four titles’ debuts set to be staggered over the course of four months, Marvel premiered Journey into Mystery vol. 2 (Oct. 1972),Chamber of Chills (Nov. 1972), Supernatural Thrillers (Dec. 1972), and, with a late start, Worlds Unknown (May 1973). The first issue features an original six-page story by science fiction novelist George Alec Effinger, “Moon of Madness, Moon of Fear”, penciled by P. Craig Russell (then credited as Craig Russell), and a slightly retitled adaptation of the Harlan Ellison short story “Delusions for a Dragon Slayer”, by writer Gerry Conway and artist Syd Shores; in-between was a story by writer Stan Lee and artist Russ Heath, “They Wait in Their … Dungeon”, reprinted from Menace #1 (March 1953), from Marvel’s 1950s forerunner, Atlas Comics.

The bimonthly series ran exclusively new material through issue #4, with one reprinted story added to the mix for the following two issues, and only one new story in issue #7, after which the series became all-reprint. Most of the reprinted stories were 1950s “pre-Code” horror stories, which the industry self-censorship organization the Comics Code Authority had forbidden on Code-approved comics until a loosening of the Code in 1971.

The Alien Legion V1 (1984)

The franchise debuted with Marvel/Epic Comics’ The Alien Legion #1-20 (cover-dated April 1984 – June 1987). The 18-issue Alien Legion (Oct. 1987 – Aug. 1990), minus the “The”, followed, generally scripted by Chuck Dixon and penciled by Larry StromanAfterward came the three-issue Dixon-Stroman miniseries Alien Legion: On The Edge (Nov. 1990 – Jan. 1991); the two-issue Dixon-Stroman Alien Legion: Tenants of Hell (1991); the one-shot cover-titled Alien Legion: Grimrod and copyrighted Alien Legion: Jugger Grimrod (Aug. 1992), by Dixon and artist Mike McMahon; the single-issue Alien Legion: Binary Deep (Sept. 1993), by Dixon and Argentine artist Enrique Alcatena; and the three-issue miniseries Alien Legion: One Planet at a Time (April–July 1993), by Dixon and penciler Hoang Nguyen.

Additionally, Marvel/Epic published two spinoffs: Marvel Graphic Novel #25 (cover-titled Marvel Graphic Novel: The Alien Legion), released in 1986 and containing the story “A Grey Day To Die” by writers Potts and Zelenetz, penciler Cirocco, and the first series’ regular inker, Terry Austin; and the one-shot crossover with another series Law Dog and Grimrod: Terror at the Crossroads (1993)

Fantastic Four (1970’s)

Stan Lee said he created a synopsis for the first Fantastic Four story that he gave to penciller Jack Kirby, who then drew the entire story. Kirby turned in his penciled art pages to Lee, who added dialogue and captions. This approach to creating comics, which became known as the “Marvel Method“, worked so well for Lee and Kirby that they used it from then on; the Marvel Method became standard for the company within a year.

Kirby recalled events somewhat differently. Challenged with Lee’s version of events in a 1990 interview, Kirby responded: “I would say that’s an outright lie”, although the interviewer, Gary Groth notes that this statement needs to be viewed with caution. Kirby claims he came up with the idea for the Fantastic Four in Marvel’s offices, and that Lee had merely added the dialogue after the story had been pencilled. Kirby has also sought to establish, more credibly and on numerous occasions, that the visual elements of the strip were his conceptions. He regularly pointed to a team he had created for rival publisher DC Comics in the 1950s, Challengers of the Unknown. “[I]f you notice the uniforms, they’re the same… I always give them a skintight uniform with a belt… the Challengers and the FF have a minimum of decoration. And of course, the Thing’s skin is a kind of decoration, breaking up the monotony of the blue uniform.” The characters wear no uniforms in the first two issues.