Captain America continued from Tales of Suspense with artwork by Kirby, as well as a short run by Jim Steranko, and work by many of the industry’s top artists and writers. It was called Captain America and the Falcon from #134 (Feb. 1971) to #222 (June 1978) although the Falcon’s name was not on the cover for issues #193, 200, and 216. The 1972–1975 run on the title by writer Steve Englehart and artist Sal Buscema saw the series become one of Marvel’s top-sellers. In 2010, Comics Bulletin ranked Englehart and Buscema’s run on Captain America fourth on its list of the “Top 10 1970s Marvels”. Kirby returned to the series as writer and penciler with issue #193 (Jan. 1975) ]and remained through #214 (Oct. 1977).
The final feature in Astonishing Tales starred and introduced Deathlok, a conflicted cyborg who predated the popular movie character RoboCop by several years and has become one of the most enduring Marvel characters among those introduced in the 1970s; at least two major iterations of the character, featuring different individuals, starred in series in the 1990s and 2000s. Created by artist Rich Buckler, who devised the initial concept, and writer Doug Moench, the feature ran from #25-28 and 30-36 (Aug. 1974 – Feb. 1975 and June 1975 – July 1976), the final issue. Bill Mantlo scripted issues #32-35, with Buckler himself scripting the finale. Buckler described Deathlok as “an extension of a paranoid fantasy. He was a representation of part of my outlook and world view. He was a culmination of many of the messages in some of the music of the time. He was part of some of the things going wrong in our country at the time. Maybe he was the science that was going wrong.Artist George Pérez made his professional comics debut with a two-page backup feature in issue #25.
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).
Writer Mike Friedrich and artist Jim Starlin‘s brief collaboration on the Iron Man series introduced Mentor, Starfox, and Thanos in issue #55 (Feb. 1973). Friedrich scripted a metafictional story in which Iron Man visited the San Diego Comic Convention and met several Marvel Comics writers and artists. He then wrote the multi-issue “War of the Super-Villains” storyline which ran through 1975.
Writer David Michelinie, co-plotter/inker Bob Layton, and penciler John Romita Jr. became the creative team on the series with Iron Man #116 (Nov. 1978). Micheline and Layton established Tony Stark’s alcoholism with the story “Demon in a Bottle“, and introduced several supporting characters, including Stark’s bodyguard girlfriend Bethany Cabe;Stark’s personal pilot and confidant James Rhodes, who later became the superhero War Machine; and rival industrialist Justin Hammer, who was revealed to be the employer of numerous high-tech armed enemies Iron Man fought over the years. The duo also introduced the concept of Stark’s specialized armors as he acquired a dangerous vendetta with Doctor Doom. The team worked together through #154 (Jan. 1982), with Michelinie writing three issues without Layton.
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.
From 1977-79, Godzilla starred in a 24-issue run of comics written by Doug Moench, drawn by Herb Trimpe and published by Marvel Comics entitled Godzilla, King of the Monsters. The series thrusts Godzilla completely into the Marvel Universe. In a nod to King Kong vs. Godzilla, Godzilla first appears by bursting out of an iceberg near Alaska; although how the prehistoric creature came to be trapped again in ice is never revealed (although it is stated in the issue that this “will doubtless be determined in the future.”). Over the course of the series, he crosses the continental United States and eventually ends up in New York City.
Marvel Comics published 55 issues of a King Conan series from 1980-1989 (retitled Conan the King from #20-onward)
Nova was created by Marv Wolfman and Len Wein in the fanzine Super Adventures in 1966. Seven years later John Romita, Sr. tweaked the design of the character’s uniform. Nova debuted in Nova #1 in 1976, written by Wolfman and drawn by John Buscema. Wolfman intended the teenage character to be an homage to Stan Lee and Steve Ditko‘s Spider-Man, down to his humble working-class roots and alliterative alter-ego. The original Nova series, The Man Called Nova, lasted 25 issues from September 1976 to May 1979. Dangling plot lines were resolved in issues 206-214 of Fantastic Four (also by Wolfman) and issue 24 of Rom the Spaceknight. The character then disappeared into obscurity until returning as a member of the original New Warriors team debuting in The Mighty Thor #411 (December 1989), and continuing through New Warriors #1-75, Annual #1-4 (July 1990—September 1996).
The series centered on the exploits of Vanth Dreadstar and his crew—powerful mystic Syzygy Darklock, the cybernetic telepath Willow, cat-like humanoid Oedi, and freebooter Skeevo. Vanth, newly arrived in the Empirical Galaxy after the events of Metamorphosis Odyssey, tries to live a pastoral existence on Oedi’s planet of peaceful cat-people, but his peace is disturbed by the arrival of Darklock, who wants him to get involved in the conflict between the two major forces in the galaxy, the Monarchy and the theocratical Instrumentality. Vanth refuses until the war comes to his planet, wiping out most of the population. Oedi survives and joins them; Willow and Skeevo join later, though the team is in place for the first issue.
Dreadstar takes the side of the Monarchy against the evil Lord High Papal of the Instrumentality, but his team end up becoming fugitives when the Monarchy falls, and go to great lengths to try to uncover a traitor in their midst. The transition to First Comics happened just when the traitor was about to be revealed, and the first issue published under First Comics, #27 contained this revelation.
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.