Blah Blah Blog – Ten Years Ago This Month (Then)

A pair of posts from my Marvel blog of more than a decade ago, talking about the titles I had edited ten years previous to that time. Yeah, it’s confusing.

Ten Years Ago This Month

February 5, 2009 | 1:00 AM | By Tom_Brevoort | In General

Got time to pound out a quick blog entry while I wait for people to upload pages, so for the sake of making it an easy one to get through, I thought I’d do another one of my periodic looks back at what comics came out of my office this month ten years ago. I’m one of the few people left at Marvel who can do this (Ralph Macchio being the other one—and then some.)

Compared to the kind of workload I juggle these days, February 1999’s output seems paltry—I’m sending out this many titles this week alone. But to hit the highlights:

AVENGERS #15 was the last consecutive issues of that relaunched title penciled by George Perez before he finally needed to take a three-issue break to catch up. I remember that George was exceedingly proud of that fact. At the outset of the Heroes Return project, the question most asked when we’d announced that George would be drawing AVENGERS was, “That’s great—who’s going to be penciling issue #2!) But George did more consecutive issues than any of the other Heroes Return launch artists, and he remained with the title for close to another two years.

THOR #10 featured a guest cover by Marvel Knights’ Joe Quesada. Joe had made it a point to swing by my office on an almost monthly basis to tell me how much he was enjoying the work John Romita Jr. and Klaus Janson were doing on the book, so when they ran into a crunch, he was an obvious artist to hit up (and it didn’t hurt that he was in the offices as well.)

THUNDERBOLTS #25 was a double-sized issue featuring a Masters of Evil team twenty-five members strong (including one villain whose only previous appearance had been in a Hostess Cupcake advertisement.) Not a great job making that logo readable, and it’s a pretty cluttered-looking cover (a wrap-around cover at that.) For the longest time, T-BOLTS maintained the steadiest sales curve in the building—never posting incredible gains, but not really decaying at all either. Still, it’s rather astonishing that ten years later the book is still being published—one of the few real success stories of the late-90s Marvel.

THE GOLDEN AGE OF MARVEL was a book I’d been campaigning to do almost since I started at Marvel, and finally it had come to fruition. It’s perhaps difficult to fathom in this age where so much of that early content is readily available in Masterworks volumes, but at that point it had been forever since any of Marvel’s earliest super hero stories had seen the light of day. And the volume was successful enough to spawn a second printing, as well as a sequel a year or so later. Ray Lago painted a very attractive cover that contained a small error—Miss America’s tunic and cloak were miscolored.

TIMELY PRESENTS THE HUMAN TORCH was a similar project, this one reprinting the first book-length epic battle between the Torch and the Sub-Mariner. I must confess, I wanted to reprint this book mainly so that I could read it. We reproduced it from a printed copy of the original publication, and given the technological limitations we were faced with, it came out pretty well. And again, it was successful enough to spawn a similar TIMELY PRESENTS ALL-WINNERS a short time afterwards.

So that’s three monthly comics, one specialty reprint and a Trade Paperback. Decent quality across the boards, I think—nothing I’m embarrassed to look back on. My sole assistant at this point was Gregg Schigiel (known these days as Greatest Assistant Gregg Schigiel after his surprise gift of a barrel of fresh-off-the-belt Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups a year or so ago.)

More later.

Tom B

Ten Years And One Day Ago This Month…

February 6, 2009 | 1:00 AM | By Tom_Brevoort | In General

Whoops! In my haste to get yesterdays blog entry finished and posted, I left out one other book that came out of my office Ten Years Ago this month: AVENGERS FOREVER #5.

AVENGERS FOREVER wasn?t to everybody’s liking–it was a big, sprawling, dense slice of Avengers history. But I loved it. It was great fun to work with Kurt Busiek and Carlos Pacheco and get our hands dirty while digging through Avengers mythology. Carlos in particular was a joy to have on the project, as he brought such an enthusiasm and energy to everything he did. And I thought the addition of his friend, Jesus Merino, as the project’s inker, complimented him perfectly.

Also in AVENGERS FOREVER #5 (and I believe this was at my urging, if I’m remembering correctly) we reintroduced the “Avengers of 1958” who had previously been seen in a single issue of WHAT IF in the late ’70s. That issue had been written in such a way so as to raise the possibility that its events had transpired within the regular Marvel Universe–and yet, I was never really comfortable with the idea that there had been a team called the Avengers before Thor, Iron Man, the Hulk and co. all got together. So we ate our cake and had it too by having Immortus erase that team from existence in AVENGERS FOREVER. Kurt and I had loosely talked about bringing them back again at some point, using the team name THE G-MEN. But they’ve since gone on to be the stars of Jeff Parker’s AGENTS OF ATLAS.

As a special bonus, here are some photos of Mike Deodato visiting the Marvel offices yesterday, and discussing plans for DARK AVENGERS with Brian Bendis and myself.

See some of you at the New York Comic Con on Sunday!

Tom B

One thought on “Blah Blah Blog – Ten Years Ago This Month (Then)

  1. First thought on seeing this post – “Wow, was that ten years ago?”

    Finding out it was twenty-three-and-a-bit is a little alarming, but I bought all of those except Thor when they came out, and thought it was a great time to be a comic fan!


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