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).

 

 

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Devil Dinosaur (1978)

Devil Dinosaur and Moon-Boy are the creations of artist Jack Kirby who scripted and penciled all nine issues of the first series. Devil Dinosaur was created during Kirby’s third stint at Marvel (1975–1978). Having learned that DC Comics was working on an animated series featuring Kirby’s Kamandi, Marvel attempted to one-up their competitor by instructing Kirby to create a series similar to Kamandi, but incorporating a dinosaur co-star, since dinosaurs were hugely popular with young audiences of the time. The resulting Devil Dinosaur series was short lived, lasting only nine months (April – December 1978), and the proposed animated series never entered development. The original Devil Dinosaur series chronicled Devil and Moon-Boy’s adventures in their home, “Dinosaur World”. After the cancellation of Devil Dinosaur, the character’s appearances were relegated to one-shot comics, cameos, and supporting roles in other series.

Super-Villain Team-Up (1970’s)

The first series started in 1975 with two giant-size issues before starting as a regular series, and was mostly bi-monthly during its existence. It initially teamed up Doctor Doom and the Sub-Mariner, who had lost his own series, from which it picked up the unresolved plots, especially that of the comatose Atlanteans. After a succession of writers and artists and a crossover with The Avengers, the plot gets resolved in issue #13 when Dr. Doom revives the Atlanteans, thus dissolving his alliance with the Sub-Mariner.

Issue #14 (Oct. 1977), which featured Magneto and Dr. Doom, was billed as the final issue of the series, and its plotline was resolved in The Champions #16. The following year, SVTU continued with issue #15 (Nov. 1978), a reprint of Astonishing Tales #4-5. Issues #16 (May 1979) and #17 (June 1980) featured the Red Skull and the Hate-Monger. The irregular publishing frequency of the final three issues was due to a legal maneuver to prevent DC Comics from trademarking the term “super-villain”.

The series saw the death of the Sub-Mariner’s 1940s sweetheart Betty Dean and the death of her murderer, Dr. Dorcas. Steve Englehart created The Shroud, a character partly inspired by Batman, shortly before he started to work for DC Comics on Detective Comics.

Giant Size Creatures/Werewolf (1970’s)

The Werewolf by Night character (birth name Jacob Russoff, legal name Jacob Russell, nicknamed Jack) first appeared in Marvel Spotlight #2 (Feb. 1972) and was based on an idea by Roy Thomas. The series name was suggested by Stan Lee and the debut story was crafted by Gerry Conway and Mike Ploog. The character made additional appearances in Marvel Spotlight #3 and #4 and then graduated to his own eponymous series in September 1972. Jack Russell co-starred with Tigra in Giant Size Creatures #1 (July 1974), which was the first appearance of Greer Grant as Tigra instead of the Cat. That series was retitled Giant-Size Werewolf with its second issue.

Creatures on the Loose V1 (1971)

Tower of Shadows was re titled Creatures on the Loose with issue #10 (March 1971), this version led off with a seven-page King Kull story by Thomas and artist Bernie Wrightson. The book then became all-reprint until issue #16 (March 1972), when writer Thomas and the art team of Gil Kane and Bill Everett introduced the series “Gullivar Jones, Warrior of Mars”, starring an interplanetary Earthman created by author Edwin L. Arnold in his 1905 book Lieut. Gullivar Jones: His Vacation. Following another issue by Thomas and one by Gerry Conway, science fiction novelist George Alec Effinger wrote the final three installments.

Effinger continued as writer for the series that immediately followed, in issue #22 (March 1973): “Thongor! Warrior of Lost Lemuria!”, adapting asword-and-sorcery barbarian character created by author Lin Carter. Following writers Tony Isabella and Gardner Fox, Carter himself co-wrote (with Steve Gerber) the final two installments.

Thomas, Marvel’s associate editor at the time, recalled in 2007 that Thongor had been the company’s first choice when Marvel decided to published a licensed fantasy character, rather than the eventual hit Conan the Barbarian. Publisher Martin Goodman “authorized us to go after a character. I first went after Lin Carter’s Thongor, who was a quasi-Conan with elements of John Carter of Mars, partly became editor-in-chiefStan Lee liked that name the most … I soon got stalled by Lin Carter’s agent on Thongor (he was hoping I’d offer more than the $150 per issue I was authorized to offer), and I got a sudden impulse to go after Conan”.

Wolverine – Mini Series (1982)

The first Wolverine series was a limited series written by Chris Claremont with pencils by Frank Miller, inks by Joe Rubinstein, letters by Tom Orzechowski, and colors by Glynis WeinMarvel Comics published the series from September to December 1982. This story arc covers the events leading up to Wolverine’s engagement to Mariko Yashida.

Werewolf by Night (1972)

The Werewolf by Night character first appeared in Marvel Spotlight #2 (Feb. 1972) and was based on an idea by Roy Thomas. The series name was suggested by Stan Lee and the debut story was crafted by Gerry Conway and Mike Ploog. The character made additional appearances in Marvel Spotlight #3 and #4 and then graduated to his own eponymous series in September 1972. Werewolf by Night was published for 43 issues and ran through March 1977. Issue #32 contains the first appearance of Moon Knight. Jack Russell co-starred with Tigra in Giant Size Creatures #1 (July 1974), which was the first appearance of Greer Grant as Tigra instead of the Cat. That series was retitled Giant-Size Werewolf with its second issue.

Incredible Hulk V1 (1970’s)

The 1970s saw Banner and Betty nearly marry in The Incredible Hulk #124 (Feb. 1970). Betty ultimately married Talbot in issue #158 (Dec. 1972). The Hulk also traveled to other dimensions, one of which had him meet empress Jarella, who used magic to bring Banner’s intelligence to the Hulk, and came to love him. It was during this period that the Hulk helped to form the Defenders.

 

Ghost Rider V2

Ghost Rider is the name of several fictional supernatural antiheroes published by Marvel Comics. Marvel had previously used the name for a Western character whose name was later changed to Phantom Rider.

The first supernatural Ghost Rider is stunt motorcyclist Johnny Blaze, who, in order to save the life of his father, agreed to give his soul to “Satan” (later revealed to be an arch-demon named Mephisto). At night and when around evil, Blaze finds his flesh consumed by hellfire, causing his head to become a flaming skull. He rides a fiery motorcycle and wields trademark blasts of hellfire from his skeletal hands. He eventually learns he has been bonded with the demon Zarathos. Blaze starred in the series from 1972–1983.

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).