As a child, I was fascinated by cryptids. You know, mythical monsters that haven’t been proved to exist…yet! The top creature was definitely the Bigfoot/Yeti, and just the thought of those beasts running around was scary! This book is one of those that caught my eye right away in the back issue bins. So, here it is in all its glory!
Starting off with a glorious cover by the legendary Joe Kubert, is always a welcomed sight when grabbing back issues! The opening page shows “Death” as he’s taking inventory of his weapons vault. From the dawn of time, and into the future, we see spears to ray guns, and everything in-between. This fantastic piece is by Romeo Tanghal, and if you’re not familiar with that name, definitely look for his work. He’s a Filipino artist that did a ton of work for DC comics in the 1970s-1980s. Very underappreciated guy.
The first story (title from the cover), shows a squad of Japanese soldiers from WWII, as they intend to cut off a pathway through the Himalayas for the Allies. There’s only one problem, the frozen peaks are inhabited by a Yeti! Story by Arnold Drake (long time writer from the Golden/Atom Age that co-created the Doom Patrol and Deadman) , with art by Bill Draut (another golden oldie that worked for Marvel, DC, Archie, etc.). Super cool story with a great twist ending! The second story, “A Rebel Shall Rise from the Grave,” is about a dead soldier coming back to life to wreak havoc! Story by George Kashdan, with art by Alex Niño!
Definitely grab these war comics, as they are a great snapshot of the times (both the 1970s and the war years). The creative teams are always on point and you typically get an incredible cover from Joe Kubert!
I don’t know if you can find a better comic than this one from the Bronze Age. The character, the creators (especially), the insane villains, everything. In this issue, you get not one, but two lame villains fighting a guy that can use hellfire to melt things into a liquid state, super strength, and a motorcycle that can be mentally summoned to run people over. His opponents can shock you like a taser, or use wrist blades to cut you…yeah. BUT, they’re so lame they are cool. By story’s end, GR smacks the Gladiator with a lamp post, knocking him unconscious.
When you get creators like Gil Kane (interior pencils) and Jack Kirby (cover pencils) to make a comic book, you’re pretty much set. Throw in an established guy like Gerry Conway (writer/editor), and the book is guaranteed to be a bonafide winner. An unsung hero if I’ve ever seen one, is Sam Grainger (interior inks). I’ve always enjoyed his contributions and thought he was a solid craftsman. Add names like Al Milgrom (cover inks), Irv Watanabe (letters), Roger Slifer (colors), and Jim Shooter (colors), and the book is an easy sell!
I recently attended a small comic convention, and grabbed a few good books for a decent cost. Nothing high-end, just a couple of black and white mags, and a few key issues from the Bronze Age (well, key to me anyways). One of them being Marvel Chillers #1! This was the first appearance of a pretty important character during this era, Modred the Mystic. He would go on to plague the Avengers, and especially be a part of the Scarlet Witch’s life for a while. In this issue we see his origin, and more about the Darkhold and Wundagore Mountain!
With a number one issue like this, the cover really doesn’t need an “A” team, but it has one anyway! Artists Gil Kane (pencils), and Tom Palmer (inks) supply a fantastic cover for this one! Inside you get work from Bill Mantlo (script), Marv Wolfman (plot), Yong Montano (pencils), Ed Hannigan (pencils), John Romita Sr. (inks), Petra Goldberg (colors), Tony San Jose (letters), and Frank Giacoia (inks)! With a crew like that, this one is a can’t miss!
To close out my look at the Doctor Strange issues of this title, we get to see a seemingly omnipotent being that is hell-bent on rewriting all that is/was. How will it do this? By traveling back to the beginning of time, and using its immense power, this being will in fact, attempt to usurp the creator of all life! As this being, Mordo, and Strange, continue through the vast halls of time, we see things such as knights, dragons, and even dinosaurs! There’s a bit of a morality play in this story as well, definitely more thought-provoking than the usual fair of that time period.
After this run ends, both Englehart and Brunner transitioned the Doc into his own series (1974), and to say that it was good would be an incredible understatement. That series (overall) is one of my favorites of all time and really exemplifies the entire decade/age of comic books. Dick Giordano inking was an added delight, and he would also travel to the new title with Englehart and Brunner to go on to new heights. Rounding out the team on this issue was Glynis Wein (colors), and John Costanza (letters), both of whom any fan of the Bronze Age will easily recognize for their contributions! Roy Thomas was the editor, and would even be Editor-In-Chief for a time, but he stepped down to get back to his love for writing.