Justice League of America V1 (1980’s)

In the early 80’s, George PérezDon Heck, and Rich Buckler would rotate as artist on the title. The double-sized anniversary issue #200 (March 1982) was a “jam” featuring a story written by Conway, a framing sequence drawn by Pérez, and chapters drawn by Pat BroderickJim Aparo, Dick Giordano, Gil KaneCarmine InfantinoBrian Bolland, and Joe Kubert. Bolland’s chapter gave the artist his “first stab at drawing Batman.” Pérez would leave the title with issue #200 to concentrate on The New Teen Titans although he would contribute covers to the JLAthrough issue #220 (November 1983). The 1982 team-up with the Justice Society in issues #207–209 crossed over with All-Star Squadron #14–15. A Justice League story by Gerry Conway and Rich Buckler originally intended for publication as an issue of All-New Collectors’ Edition saw print in Justice League of America #210–212 (January–March 1983).

Seeking to capitalize on the popularity of their other team books, which focused upon heroes in their late teens/early 20s, Gerry Conway and artist Chuck Patton revamped the Justice League series. After most of the original heroes fail to help fend off an invasion of Martians, Aquaman dissolves the League and rewrites its charter to allow only heroes who will devote their full-time to the roster. The new team initially consists of Aquaman, Zatanna, Martian Manhunter, Elongated Man, the Vixen, and a trio of teenage heroes GypsySteel, and Vibe. Aquaman leaves the team after a year, due to resolving marital problems, and his role as leader is assumed by the Martian Manhunter.

The final storyline for the original Justice League of America series (#258–261), by writer J. M. DeMatteis and artist Luke McDonnell, concludes with the murders of Vibe and Steel at the hands of robots created by long-time League nemesis Professor Ivo, and the resignations of Vixen, Gypsy, and the Elongated Man during the events of DC’s Legends miniseries, which sees the team disband.

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.

 

Cerebus (1977)

Cerebus the Aardvark is a series created by Canadian cartoonist Dave Sim, which ran from December 1977 until March 2004. The title character of the 300-issue series was an anthropomorphic aardvark who takes on a number of roles throughout the series—barbarian, prime minister and Pope among them. The series stands out for its experimentation in form and content, and for the dexterity of its artwork, especially after background artist Gerhard joined in with the 65th issue. As the series progressed, it increasingly became a platform for Sim’s controversial beliefs.

The 6000-page story is a challenge to summarize. Beginning as a parody of sword and sorcery comics, it moved into seemingly any topic Sim wished to explore — power and politics, religion and spirituality, gender issues, and more. It progressively became more serious and ambitious than its parodic roots — what has come to be dubbed “Cerebus Syndrome“. Sim announced early on that the series would end with the death of the title character. The story has a large cast of characters, many of which began as parodies of characters from comic books and popular culture.

Starting with the High Society storyline, the series became divided into self-contained “novels”, which form parts of the overall story. The ten “novels” of the series have been collected in 16 books, known as “Cerebus phonebooks” for their resemblance to telephone directories. At a time when the series was about 70% completed, celebrated comic book writer Alan Moore wrote, “Cerebus, as if I need to say so, is still to comic books what Hydrogen is to the Periodic Table.”

Superman (1970’s)

The early 1970s were a time of change for the Man of Steel. As Clark Kent shifted from being a newspaper reporter to a TV newscaster, his alter ego saw the destruction of all remaining Kryptonite on Earth! This period also featured many new villains, including Terra-Man, and the dramatic reintroductions of such foes as Lex Luthor — in green and purple armor!

King Conan (1980)

Marvel Comics published 55 issues of a King Conan series from 1980-1989 (retitled Conan the King from #20-onward)

Thor (1970’s)

After Kirby left the title, Neal Adams penciled issues #180–181 (Sept.-Oct. 1970). John Buscema then became the regular artist the following issue. Buscema continued to draw the book almost without interruption until #278 (Dec. 1978). Lee stopped scripting soon after Kirby left, and during Buscema’s long stint on the book, the stories were mostly written by Gerry ConwayLen Wein, or Roy Thomas. Thomas continued to write the title after Buscema’s departure, working much of the time with the artist Keith Pollard; during this period Thomas integrated many elements of traditional Norse mythology into the title, with specific stories translated into comics form. Following Thomas’s tenure, Thor had a changing creative team.

In the mid-1970s, Marvel considered giving the character a second series as part of parent company Magazine Management‘s line of black-and-white comics magazines. A story written by Steve Englehart for the aborted project appeared in Thor Annual #5 (1976). A black-and-white Thor story appeared in Marvel Preview #10 (Winter 1977).

Jim & Frank (1993)

Jim is a series created by Jim Woodring. It began in 1980  as a self-published zine and was picked up by Fantagraphics Books in 1986 after cartoonist Gil Kane introduced Woodring to Fantagraphics co-owner Gary Groth. The publisher released four magazine-sized black-and-white issues starting in September 1987. A comic book-sized continuation, Jim Volume II, with some color, began in 1993 and ran for six issues until 1996.

Jim, which Woodring described as an “autojournal”, contained comics on a variety of subjects, many based on dreams, as well as surreal drawings and free-form text which resembled Jimantha automatic writing. Besides dreams, the work drew on Woodring’s childhood experiences, hallucinations, past alcoholism, and Hindu beliefs. It also included stories of recurring Woodring characters such as Pulque (the embodiment of drunkenness), boyhood friends Chip and Monk, and, in Volume II, his signature creation Frank.

Phoenix (1975)

After his spaceship crashes, astronaut Ed Tyler is captured by extraterrestrials. He uses their technology to become the superhuman Phoenix, but the aliens would rather destroy his planet than let him escape. Part of the short-lived Atlas superhero line from former Marvel publisher Martin Goodman.

Shogun Warriors (1979)

The Shogun Warriors characters were licensed by Marvel Comics to create a comic book series written by Doug Moench and drawn by Herb Trimpe. The series was composed of 20 issues that were published from February 1979 to September 1980. In the comic book series, the Shogun Warriors were created by a mysterious group called the Followers of the Light, and human operators were chosen from all around the world to operate the massive robots in order to battle evil.

DC Comics Presents V1 (1978)

DC Comics Presents debuted with a July/August 1978 cover date . The series was launched with a team-up of Superman and the Flash by writer Martin Pasko and artist José Luis García-López.  Issue #26 included an insert introduction story to the then-upcoming New Teen Titans series by Marv Wolfman and George PérezLen Wein and Jim Starlin co-created the supervillain Mongul in issue #27 (Nov. 1980) as part of a three-issue storyline. Another insert in issue #41 previewed the “new direction” Wonder Woman. In issue #47, Superman traveled to Eternia and met the Masters of the Universe. Ambush Bug made his first appearance in issue #52 (Dec. 1982)  and made additional appearances in issue #59 and #81. The Superman/Challengers of the Unknown tale in issue #84 was drawn by Jack Kirby and Alex Toth. The series also contained the Alan Moore Superman/Swamp Thing story “The Jungle Line” in DC Comics Presents #85 (Sept. 1985), pencilled by Rick Veitch and inked by Al Williamson. Issue #87 featured the first appearance and origin of the divergent Kal-El of the Earth Prime reality, who would become known as Superboy-Prime. The final issue is an exception to the team-up format, instead featuring Superman in an “Untold Tale” involving the Phantom Zone, by Steve Gerber, following up in his limited series of the same title.