Giant-Size Man-Thing (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.

 

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Where Monsters Dwell (1970’s)

One of Marvel’s revival Horror and Monster comics. It lasted for 38 issues, making it one of the longest running Monster Mags from Marvel in the 1970’s. The series contains stories from many comic legends including Jack Kirby, Steve Ditko, Gil Kane and Bernie Wrightson. Issues #6 contains a reprint of  Tales to Astonish #13, which is the 1st appearance of Groot from Guardians of the Galaxy.

Moon Knight – Fist of Khonshu (1985)

In volume 2, Spector abandons his Moon Knight, Grant and Lockley identities after the effects of Russell’s bite (lunar cycle-based strength) fade away, and functions as an independently wealthy man opening art galleries around the world, with the help of art historian Spence. Spector’s estranged relationship with Marlene ends when she finally leaves him for her ex-husband when he becomes Moon Knight again.

The cult of Khonshu telepathically summons Spector to Egypt and supplies him with a new arsenal of moon-themed projectile weaponry, originally designed by a time-traveling Hawkeye in ancient Egypt. Khonshu himself appears to Spector and enters his body, giving him the same lunar abilities he previously had.

Marvel Spotlight (1970’s)

Encouraged by the success of Ghost Rider and The Tomb of Dracula, both of which starred occult characters, Stan Lee proposed a series starring Satan, to be titled The Mark of Satan. Editor Roy Thomas had reservations about this idea and suggested a series focusing on the son of Satan instead. (Due to an oversight, “The Mark of Satan” is mentioned in a blurb in Ghost Rider #1).

The character Daimon Hellstrom first appeared in Ghost Rider vol. 1, #1 (Sept. 1973), then was spun off into a feature, “Son of Satan”, in Marvel Spotlight #12–24 (Oct. 1973 – Oct. 1975). During the “Son of Satan” run, Marvel Spotlight was a controversial series, with numerous readers writing to object to the depictions of satanism and wiccanism as being either inaccurate or furthering the cause of evil. Nonetheless, sales were strong, prompting Marvel to launch the character into his own series, Son of Satan, written by John Warner. The character’s success faded soon after the series launch, and Son of Satan was cancelled with issue #7, though an unused fill-in was published as Son of Satan #8 (Feb. 1977).

Machine Man – Limited Series (1984)

In October 1984 – January 1985, the Machine Man title was resurrected, in a four-issue miniseries written by Tom DeFalco with art by Herb Trimpe (breakdowns only, issues #1-3) and Barry Windsor-Smith (finishes only, issues #1-3 & full art for issue #4), with Windsor-Smith also coloring the entire miniseries & co-plotting issue #4 with DeFalco. This series turned out to be one of the most popular of all the Machine Man titles, tying with previous continuity, but with the action set in the distant cyberpunk future of 2020, starting with Machine Man’s reassembly.

The miniseries was first reprinted as a 96 page trade paperback in 1988 (ISBN 0-07135-458-6), with brand new cover art by Barry Windsor-Smith.

The miniseries was republished again in 1994 as two double-size books, with the name Machine Man 2020. Characters from this alternate future have made appearances in other Marvel books, namely Arno Stark, the mercenary Iron Man 2020.

In 1990, Machine Man guest-starred in Iron Man Annual #11 (part of the “Terminus Factor” storyline). That story created strong hints that the 2020 Machine Man may turn out not to be the true X-51, but instead a duplicate created by Sunset Bain.

Dracula Lives (1970’s)

Running concurrently with the longer-running Marvel comic Tomb of Dracula, the continuities of the two titles occasionally overlapped, with storylines weaving between the two. Most of the time, however, the stories in Dracula Lives! were stand-alone tales by various creative teams. Later issues of Dracula Lives! featured a serialized adaptation of the original Bram Stoker novel, written by Roy Thomas and drawn by Dick Giordano.

The magazine format did not fall under the purview of the Comics Code, allowing the title to feature stronger content — such as moderate profanity, partial nudity, and more graphic violence — than Marvel’s “mainstream” titles. The larger format allowed the interior artists to “stretch out” a bit more. Painted covers of the series were done by artists like Boris VallejoNeal Adams, and Luis Dominguez. Dracula Lives!‘ text and photo articles were mostly of the Count’s various film appearances. The title of the magazine’s letter column was “Dracula Reads!”

 

Tomb of Darkness (1974)

Tomb of Darkness, published by Marvel, continues from the “Beware” title with issue #9. The series ran 14 issues from July 1974 to November 1976 and contained various Atlas horror reprints.

Web of Spider-Man (1980’s)

The series was launched with an April 1985 cover dated issue by writer Louise Simonson and penciller Greg LaRocque and featured the return of Spider-Man’s alien black costume, which attempted to rebond with Peter Parker. Peter managed to rid himself of the costume again using church bells and the alien was presumed to have died after that. The first issue featured a cover painting by artist Charles Vess.

In issue #18 (September 1986), Peter Parker is pushed in front of an oncoming train. He thinks to himself that this should not have happened, as his spider-sense would have warned him of the danger. Writer David Michelinie has said that he wrote this as the first “teaser” appearance of the characterVenom, whom he was planning to introduce at a later date. Venom is an amalgam of reporter Eddie Brock and the alien costume. The costume could nullify Spider-Man’s spider-sense, and this was the first clue of a puzzle that Michelinie was planning to weave to introduce Venom.

Web of Spider-Man Annual #2 (1986) featured stories drawn by Arthur Adams and Mike Mignola. A followup to the Spider-Man vs. Wolverine one-shot appeared in issue #29. The “Kraven’s Last Hunt” storyline by writer J.M. DeMatteis and artists Mike Zeck and Bob McLeod began in issue #31 (October 1987).

Giant Size Chillers V2 (1975)

Giant Size Chillers V2 was publish in 1975 and lasted only 3 issues. They contained new Stories combined with 1950’s Atlas reprints. Some of the artists included, G.Kane, B.Everett, D.Heck, B.Wrightson, J.Kirby,  G.Colan, BWSmith, A.Alcala & M.Severin.

Uncanny X-Men (1980’s)

The “Dark Phoenix Saga” in 1980 led to a change in the line-up of the team, with the death of Phoenix (Jean Grey), and Cyclops leaving the team to mourn for her. Comics writers and historians Roy Thomas and Peter Sanderson observed that “‘The Dark Phoenix Saga’ is to Claremont and Byrne what ‘the Galactus Trilogy‘ is to Stan Lee and Jack Kirby. It is a landmark in Marvel history, showcasing its creators’ work at the height of their abilities.” The storyline also saw the introduction of recurring antagonists the Hellfire Club, and its Inner Circle consisting of Sebastian Shaw, Emma Frost, Harry Leland, Donald Pierce, along with Mastermind, previously a member of Magneto’s Brotherhood. The new teenage mutant Kitty Pryde was introduced in #129 (Jan. 1980) and joined the X-Men in #139. The Dazzler, a disco-singing, roller-skating mutant, was introduced in #130 (Feb. 1980), but did not join the team, instead headlining her own solo title.

A new Brotherhood of Evil Mutants, led by Mystique, was introduced in the “Days of Future Past” storyline (#141-#142, Jan–Feb 1981) in which a time-travelling Kitty Pryde tried to avert a dystopian future caused by the Brotherhood assassinating Presidential candidate Senator Robert Kelly. Byrne plotted the story wanting to depict the Sentinels as a genuine threat to the existence of the mutant race. He then left the series after #143, being replaced by a returning Cockrum, who in turn was succeeded by Paul Smith and John Romita Jr.