Iron Man (1970’s)

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.

 

 

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Ghosts (1970’s)

Each issue of Ghosts carried multiple stories of the supernatural. The stories were prefaced by a short description introducing the premise and ended with a summation of how a mysterious justice was dealt to the evildoers of the tale. The first issue of this series carried the singular title Ghost in its indicia, but everywhere else, including advance promotional house ads and even on its own cover, it was the plural Ghosts, as even the indicia would read from #2 on.  Limited Collectors’ Edition #C–32 (Dec. 1974–Jan. 1975) reprinted stories from Ghosts #1, 3–6 and featured new material by Leo Dorfman and artists Gerry TalaocE. R. Cruz, and Frank Redondo.

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.

Megaton Man – Kitchen Sink (1984)

Megaton Man is a creator-owned comic book series published by Kitchen Sink Press beginning in 1984. Donald Simpson wrote and drew the series, in which the title character first appeared and starred. The original Megaton Man series ran for ten issues, but the character was later revived in a limited series, The Return of Megaton Man, and a series of one-shot issues spun off from the concept. In 1994, Simpson left Kitchen Sink to form his own company, Fiasco Comics, through which Simpson self-published his new title Bizarre Heroes, featuring Megaton Man (and many members of his old supporting cast) as part of a large ensemble cast.

 

Space Ghost (2005)

The origin of Space Ghost. Six issue mini-series written by Joe Kelly. Painted covers by Alex Ross. Learn how Space Ghost got his power bands and why he protects the galaxy from evil! Witness the tragic circumstances that led to his donning a cowl and his first battle with archnemesis Zorak!

X-23 (2005)

In X-23: “Innocence Lost”, a top-secret program is tasked to replicate the original Weapon X experiment that bonded adamantium to the skeleton of Wolverine. The project is taken in a new direction: Dr. Martin Sutter recruits renowned mutant geneticist Doctor Sarah Kinney to develop a clone of Wolverine. Also on the team is Sutter’s protege, Dr. Zander Rice, who was raised by Sutter after his father was killed by the original Weapon X.

Since the only genetic sample from Weapon X is damaged, Kinney is unable to salvage the Y chromosome. Kinney proposes the creation of a female genetic twin. Her request is denied; Rice is opposed to the idea. After 22 failed attempts at reconstituting the DNA using a duplicate X chromosome, the 23rd sample yields a viable sample to combine with an embryo. Although Kinney is allowed to proceed, Rice exacts revenge for her insubordination by forcing her to act as the surrogate mother of the specimen. For nine months, Kinney’s every move is monitored. Finally, she gives birth to “X-23”

 

Blackhawk Mini-Series (1988)

In 1988, a three-issue mini-series by Howard Chaykin re-imagined the team during World War II yet again, this time with a notably more adult and gritty take on the characters. Chaykin, for the most part, eschewed the team dynamic so familiar to Blackhawk readers, instead crafting a politically charged espionage thriller that focused prominently on Blackhawk and a new version of Lady Blackhawk. Post-war stories respecting Chaykin’s continuity followed in Action Comics Weekly #601–608, #615–622, and #628–635, as well as in a monthly series that restarted with an issue #1 and ran 16 issues from March, 1989, to August, 1990.

In 1992, DC Comics published Blackhawk Special #1. Still respecting Chaykin’s continuity and set 10 years after the events of Blackhawk #16, the story spans a five-year period as Blackhawk seeks to avenge the death of team member André.

 

Fantastic Four – Silver Age

The Fantastic Four debuted in The Fantastic Four #1 (Nov. 1961), which helped to usher in a new level of realism in the medium. The Fantastic Four was the first superhero team created by writer-editor Stan Lee and artist/co-plotter Jack Kirby, who developed a collaborative approach to creating comics with this title that they would use from then on. As the first superhero team title produced by Marvel Comics, it formed a cornerstone of the company’s 1960s rise from a small division of a publishing company to a pop culture conglomerate.

 

Static (1993)

Static is a fictional superhero appearing in American comic books published by DC Comics. The character, a creation of Milestone Comics founders Dwayne McDuffieDenys Cowan, Michael Davis, and Derek Dingle was initially written by McDuffie and Robert L. Washington III and illustrated by John Paul Leon. Static’s first appearance was made in Static #1.  Born Virgil Ovid Hawkins, he is a member of a fictional subspecies of humans with superhuman abilities known as metahumans. Not born with his powers, Hawkins’s abilities develop after an incident exposes him to a radioactive chemical. This event renders him capable of electromagnetic control and generation.

Static #1 NM $12

The Dreaming (1996)

The Dreaming was a monthly comic series that ran for 60 issues (June 1996 to May 2001). It is set in the same dimension of the DC universe as The Sandman and the stories occurred primarily within Dream’s realm, The Dreaming, concentrating on characters who had played minor roles in The Sandman, including The CorinthianMatthew the raven, Cain and AbelLucien the dream librarian, the faerie NualaEve, and Mervyn Pumpkinhead (janitor of The Dreaming). It also introduced a number of new characters, most notably Echo and a new (white) dream raven, Tethys. There were brief (but often important) appearances by The Endless during the series, including cameos by Dream (both Morpheus and Daniel), DeathDestiny, and Desire.