5BC: Five Best Forgotten Early Marvel Story Developments

Not every idea that gets published in a comic book story is a good one. Especially over the long periods of time that most of the mainstay comic book heroes have been in existence, there have been any number of developments that turned out to be a bad instinct, and which were subsequently either overturned … Continue reading 5BC: Five Best Forgotten Early Marvel Story Developments

5BC: Five Best Dopey Marvel Silver Age Villains

Let's face it, lightning doesn't strike every month, and sometimes inspiration can be difficult to come by. But comic books still had to come out, ready or not. And so, occasionally, our favorite heroes of Marvel's silver age would find themselves contending with opponents who--well, let's just say they weren't quite up to the usual … Continue reading 5BC: Five Best Dopey Marvel Silver Age Villains

Lee & Kirby & Goldberg & Hartley: The Unlikely Cameos of Jack Kirby

Reader Steven Thompson asked me a question about this recently, so this piece exists entirely due to his interest--you can thank him if you find anything here of value. There was a time-honored tradition of writers and artists inserting themselves into their stories, and Stan Lee and Jack Kirby were no different. In general, the … Continue reading Lee & Kirby & Goldberg & Hartley: The Unlikely Cameos of Jack Kirby

Lee & Kirby & Ayers: More on the Strange Case of STRANGE TALES #119

Thanks to an observation by reader Ben Herman we can take a bit of a closer look at the question of the lead story in STRANGE TALES #119, which appeared to have been retooled from being a Hate-Monger adventure into one pitting the Human Torch against the new-but-similar villainy of the Rabble Rouser. After yesterday's … Continue reading Lee & Kirby & Ayers: More on the Strange Case of STRANGE TALES #119

Lee & Kirby & Ayers: The Strange Case of STRANGE TALES #119

This is a sort of an odd situation, as I haven't even completely worked out an operating theory on just what was behind the decisions I'm about to lay out for you all. So this is still a bit of a puzzler. But it concerns a significant change that was made to the lead story … Continue reading Lee & Kirby & Ayers: The Strange Case of STRANGE TALES #119

BHOC: HUMAN TORCH #7

This was another book that I got out of the local drug store's Big Bin of Slightly Older Comics. I'd had no idea that there had even been a HUMAN TORCH series--and in truth, it turned out to have been a short-lived reprint title. Still, it was another Fantastic Four-related book--and as the Torch was … Continue reading BHOC: HUMAN TORCH #7

Lee & Kirby: The Narrative Techniques of Jack Kirby

Back in the days when he was the Editor in Chief of Marvel Comics, Jim Shooter had a particular story that he liked to use as an example when explaining to people what he thought needed to be on the page in a well-crafted Marvel story. It was this one, the Human Torch story from … Continue reading Lee & Kirby: The Narrative Techniques of Jack Kirby

Great Covers: Marvel Around the World

One of the many things that fascinates me about the history of comics is the manner in which these stories and characters were exported around the world--the mad, slapdash, haphazard manner in which the Marvel super heroes made their way across the globe. It was typical that color guides might not be provided, resulting in … Continue reading Great Covers: Marvel Around the World

Lee & Kirby & Ditko: The Minor Mystery of AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #8

The early Marvel titles are filled with all manner of mysteries, large and small. The greatest of these concern who among the various contributors were they key creative minds behind the success of the imprint--and that's a conversation that I don't think is ever going to abate, given that every faction has their own favorites … Continue reading Lee & Kirby & Ditko: The Minor Mystery of AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #8