FOOM #2

This was the second issue of FOOM, Marvel’s fan magazine for its in-house fan club of the same name. Established in the early 1970s, the initial four issues of FOOM were produced by Jim Steranko and so contained a variety of graphics from him seldom seen elsewhere. By the fifth issue, production of FOOM was brought back in house and done by the Marvel staff. These issues paint a good picture of what Marvel was like during this time period, an era of transition.

These Comicsavers were a product produced by Steranko and advertised in FOOM among other places–Jim had agreed to produce FOOM in exchange for two pages of advertising where he could hawk his own stuff.

The question of what age group FOOM should be aimed at wasn’t yet worked out, and so in addition to information about upcoming comics and the histories of the characters and creators, each issue also included games and puzzles such as this crossword, which tended to skew a bit younger in terms of audience engagement.

Among those whose submissions to the Create A Villain competition whose works were shown were Trevor Von Eeden and Steve Rude, both of whom would go on to enter the field as artists.

Similar is true here of Bill Morrison and Mariano Nicieza–Mariano became an editor whereas Morrison became an artist. In recent years, some folks have tried to make something out of the fact that the entry above by Andy Olsen is named The Wolverine, but I seriously don’t think that Roy Thomas, Len Wein, John Romita and Herb Trimpe needed any help in coming up with a super-character based on an existing animal. So it’s simply a coincidence.

The preview article here reveals that the strip that originally became MASTER OF KUNG FU was initially going to be a straightforward continuation of the FU MANCHU books, under that name. Fortunately, that didn’t happen.

Jim Starlin’s uncorrected cover for CAPTAIN MARVEL #31 is previewed here. On the final cover, Mar-Vell’s head was redrawn by John Romita.

Stan’s plans for ORIGINS OF MARVEL COMICS had to be scaled down considerably from what is described here due to page count limitations. And the animated Marvel Christmas Special that’s discussed never materialized, and neither did the record based on its music.

Each of these early issues of FOOM included a simple board game as well, and this one was no exception.

One thought on “FOOM #2

  1. *The preview article here reveals that the strip that originally became MASTER OF KUNG FU was initially going to be a straightforward continuation of the FU MANCHU books, under that name.”

    I don’t think that’s really true. As Englehart and Starlin have said numerous times, they conceived the series without Fu Manchu involved at all, and Roy had Fu added when they made the license deal. So the lead was always going to be Shang Chi, even before Fu was involved. And it does pick up on the old Fu continuity, but it does so by making the brand-new character the focus.

    So I’m pretty sure the series was never going to be more of a straight Fu Manchu continuation than what we saw — but certainly, the Fu Manchu side of it would have been the part that would have most excited Steranko. Whether the feature was ever intended to be titled FU MANCHU, I don’t know — it wouldn’t be the first time something like that got mis-reported. I could easily see Roy wanting to use Fu’s name in the title somehow, since he was the best known character in the strip at the time it launched. But I’d bet, if they had, it would have been SHANG CHI, SON OF FU MANCHU (with Fu’s name being the biggest part of the logo). But I could also see it being listed as FU MANCHU on a production schedule or something, because they didn’t have a title yet.

    Of course, we can’t tell any of this for sure, though Roy, Steve and Jim are all still around (as is Steranko), but I wouldn’t assume this was an accurate description of their plans.

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