Taking a quick break from my look at Marvel Premiere, let us now see what the Marvel cosmic universe holds! As the Bronze Age rolled on, it was quite clear that Marvel was going to keep the cosmic train rolling, and heroes such as the Guardians of the Galaxy, Starlord, and of course, Captain Marvel! The creative minds behind this invigorating time were varying but exquisite nonetheless. In this particular story, we get to see not only the Kree man, Mar-Vell, but also Rick Jones, and the mysterious cosmic being the Stranger! One of the reasons I love this issue is because of the title. I’m a sucker for anything related to the old West, such as movies like “Tombstone” and the like. The scene in that film where the famous gunfight at the O.K. Corral occurs is fantastic, so the idea of naming this story after that event is doubly as cool!
The writer of this issue is none other than “Stainless” Steve Englehart! His abilities for concocting incredible stories are well-known, and anyone out there that doesn’t own first hand evidence of that, pick up his Avengers stories, Captain America, Dr. Strange, etc. The pencils (and plot assist) are by the ever reliable Al Milgrom (cover as well, with inks by Alan Weiss). This guy is very underrated, and when you look at the pencils, inks, plots, scripts, etc., you have to give the man his due. The inks are by two consummate pros, and no one can deny that Frank Giacoia and Mike Esposito are anything other than that. The colors are by Phil Rachelson and the letters by Marvel mainstay Tom Orzechowski!
With the recent release of the Guardians of the Galaxy movie, the name Jim Starlin is being brought back to prominence, and with good reason. He single-handedly revolutionized Marvel’s cosmic scene with his trippy space odysseys, and thought-provoking story lines. Of course there were others that did justice to the cosmic stories back in the day (Neal Adams & Roy Thomas come to mind with their epic Kree/Skrull War story), but Starlin could write, pencil, color, and ink a story by himself, and it wasn’t schlock. One character in particular that he brought out of the darkness so to speak, was Captain Marvel (Mar-Vell). In Iron Man #55 (1973), Starlin gave us the dreaded Mad Titan, Thanos, and what he gift he was for the cosmic universe. We also see the Blood Brothers, and of course, Iron Man.
In 1985, Marvel released this book of three issues that were reprints of Iron Man #55, Captain Marvel #25 & 26 (1973). All three issues have Starlin’s imprint on them, and that cannot be denied. Mike Friedrich scripted the Captain Marvel issues, with Jim Starlin plotting (and coloring all three issues possibly as well?) where we see intrigue with the Skrulls, Thanos, and Captain Marvel punch out Ben Grimm! Take my word for it, and grab this reprint series (5 issues total), and catch up on some of Marvel’s greatest cosmic stories! Other credits include- Mike Esposito (inks- Iron Man #55), John Costanza (letters- Iron Man #55 & Capt. Marvel #26), Chic Stone (inks- Capt. Marvel #25), John Duffy (letters- Capt. Marvel #25), Dave Cockrum (inks- Capt. Marvel #26), and Roy Thomas (editor)!