Adventure Comics (1970’s)

In the late 70’s conventional superheroes returned to the book, beginning behind the Spectre, first a three-issue run of Aquaman (issues #435–437, an early assignment for Mike Grell) and then a newly drawn 1940s Seven Soldiers of Victory script (issues #438–443). Aquaman was promoted to lead (issues #441–452), and backing him up were three-part story arcs featuring the Creeper (#445–447), the Martian Manhunter (#449–451), bracketed by issue-length Aquaman leads. He was awarded his own title and Superboy (#453–458) took over Adventure with Aqualad (#453–455) and Eclipso (#457–458) backups. Following this was a run as a Dollar Comic format giant-sized book (issues #459–466), including such features as the resolution of Return of the New Gods (cancelled in July–August 1978), “Deadman“, and the “Justice Society of America“.

 

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Logan’s Run (1977)

Marvel Comics published Logan’s Run in 1977, with George Pérez drawing five issues between January and May 1977, with “acceptable” sales. The comics adapted the film’s story in five issues and briefly continued beyond. In his art, Pérez sought to follow the art direction of the film. The book was cancelled after issue #7 in July 1977.

The Infinity Gauntlet (1991)

The Infinity Gauntlet is a six-issue limited series published by Marvel Comics from July to December in 1991. The series was written by Jim Starlin and penciled by George Pérez and Ron Lim.

The storyline is the culmination of events from Silver Surfer vol. 3, #34 (Feb. 1990) and the two-issue miniseries The Thanos Quest (Sept.- Oct. 1990).

Thanos mounts the six Infinity Gems (collected in the Thanos Quest limited series) on his left glove to form the titular Infinity Gauntlet. Each Gem grants its bearer complete mastery over one aspect of the multiverse: Time, Space, Mind, Soul, Reality, and Power. Now all-powerful and desperate to win the affections of Death, Thanos decides to offer the entity a gift of love by completing a task she had given him, erasing half the sentient life in the universe (including most of the X-Men, Daredevil, and the Fantastic Four), quite literally with a snap of his fingers.

Additional plotlines not addressed in the main story were featured in other books published during the same time period.

The storyline led to two sequel miniseries, Infinity War and Infinity Crusade. All three series were the core of a company-wide crossover story.

The Demon (1972)

The Demon was created by Jack Kirby. The titular character, named Etrigan, is a demon from Hell who, despite his violent tendencies, usually finds himself allied to the forces of good, mainly because of the alliance between the heroic characters of the DC Universe and Jason Blood, a human to whom Etrigan is bound.

Jack Kirby created the Demon in 1972 when his Fourth World titles were cancelled. According to Mark Evanier, Kirby had no interest in horror comics, but created Etrigan in response to a demand from DC for a horror character. Kirby was annoyed that the first issue sold so well that DC required him to remain on it and abandon the Fourth World titles before he was done with them. Etrigan was inspired by a comic strip of Prince Valiant in which the titular character dressed as a demon. Kirby gave his creation the same appearance as Valiant’s mask.

Demon #1 VF- $65

Adventure into Fear (1974)

Morbius, the Living Vampire, introduced in The Amazing Spider-Man #101 (Oct. 1971), became the starring feature with Adventure into Fear #20 (Feb. 1974), and continued through the rest of the run. After a single issue by writer Mike Friedrich and penciler Paul Gulacy, Steve Gerber wrote several issues in which Morbius went on a picaresque interdimensional journey and fought the Caretakers of Arcturus and was advised by the eyeball-headed character I. Doug Moench and Bill Mantlo followed, successively, as the feature’s writers. Its round-robin of artists included Gil Kane, P. Craig Russell, Frank Robbins, George Evans, and Don Heck. Back up reprints shortly resumed in issue #20. Morbius would receive his own short-lived comic-book series in the 1990s.

DC Comics Presents V1

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.

Dreadstar (1980’s)

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.

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.

Dalgoda (1984)

Dalgoda by Jan Strnad and Dennis Fujitake was published by Fantagraphics Books in 1984. This is a series that needs to come back! Not only were the featured stories and art amazing, but the books also featured back-up stories by Alan Moore (“The Bojeffries Saga”) and Kevin Nowlan (“Grimwood’s Daughter”).

New Gods V1 (1971)

Created and designed by Jack Kirby, The New Gods first appeared in February 1971 in New Gods #1.

Kirby’s production assistant of the time, Mark Evanier, remarked that: “Folks forget but the New Gods saga was intended to be a limited series … There was no intention that these characters would go on forever. After Jack’s books started getting good sales figures, DC demanded that we keep them going and use guest stars like Deadman, which we were very much against doing. So Kirby had this novel he was forever stuck in the middle of – he could never get to the last chapter. … You can spot the issues where Jack kind of gave up trying to advance the story of Darkseid and Orion and was marking time. If those books had been intended from the start to run indefinitely, they would have been done very differently.”

New Gods #1 marks the first appearance of Orion, Highfather, and Metron, among others.