Marvel Premiere #6, 1973 “The Shambler from the Sea”

You know, you’d be hard-pressed to convince me that there was a better age than that of the Bronze Age of comic books. The mix of personalities, both in the books, and within the ranks of the creative offices were outstanding. When you realize all of the creators from previous ages that were still around, plus add in all the new, exciting talent that was making their way into the industry, you were privileged to see an age of entertainment that hasn’t happened since, and probably never will. In this next issue of Marvel Premiere, you get to see the Doc get out of the frying pan and into the fire! Trying to fight a cult, and the entity they worship was bad, but when you have a situation like this issue presents, it just doesn’t get any crazier! The Doc has escaped the clutches of the cult of Sligguth, but now faces another being that is even a bigger challenge because it lives underwater!

The creative team is similar to the previous issue, in that Gardner Fox is still writing. But, the pencils are now by Frank Brunner! And if that wasn’t groovy enough, you get Sal Buscema on inks! Throw in Gaspar Saladino on letters, Roy Thomas editing, and another great cover by  Mike Ploog, and you a recipe for awesomeness!   Image (51) Image (52) Image (53) Image (54) Image (55) Image (56) Image (57)

Marvel Premiere #5, 1972 “The Lurker in the Labyrinth”

Continuing with more of the Doctor Strange run in Marvel Premiere, this story is a continuation from the last, and shows the Doc fighting for his life against some crazy cult that has people looking like the Sleestak’s from Land of the Lost! These worshipers of evil also can apparently summon an unseen force to stop people, and even severely weaken the Sorcerer Supreme himself. So, in short, the Doc must overcome a lizard-like entity, his hundreds of hypnotized followers, and restore the town to its peaceful regularity, and oh yeah, all without hurting/killing any of the people who are enthralled! Yeesh!

This magnificent story, like the last issue, is loosely based off of a story by the legend himself, Robert E. Howard. The book’s creative team is nothing short of groovy as well! Writer extraordinaire, Gardner Fox, did very little work for Marvel Comics, but his overall contributions to the comic book industry are nothing short of Herculean. The pencils for this issue are by a man I’m not too familiar with (I’ve seen a couple of pages of his works in reprints of Golden/Silver Age horror/sci-fi stuff), but Irv Wesley (Sam Kweskin) did a fine job. One of the reasons I feel the artwork looks as good as it does, is from the inks of Don Perlin! I’m a big fan of his work, and you should be too! Rounding out the creative team is letter Sam Rosen, and editor Roy Thomas! Oh, and let us not forget the unbelievable cover by the one and only Mike Ploog!

 

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Marvel Premiere #8, 1973. “The Doom That Bloomed on Kathulos”

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As if Dr. Strange, Clea, and Stonehenge wasn’t enough, you get a story inspired by the fantasy legend, Robert E. Howard, scripted by Gardner Fox, pencils by Jim Starlin, and inks by Frank Giacoia! This A-list creative team brings us a tale of the good ‘ol Doc, as he and Clea have faced down trial after trial lately. In this issue, Strange finds out that not only must he face Kathulos in some dark, creepy dimension, but that if he does, waiting in the wings is his master Shuma-Gorath! We also see in flashback, these last few days, and its bizarre adventures. From an undersea nightmare, to another demon, spawned to serve Shuma-Gorath.

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Throughout the book, we get amazing work by Starlin, and it really shows how great he would have been on a title like this one. Don’t get me wrong, I love Frank Brunner, Gene Colan, and all the other artists on the different series, but the awesomeness of Starlin’s work cannot be denied! Just look at those panels, by Starlin, Giacoia, Hunt, and Goldberg! Let us not diminish the writing by comic book great, Gardner Fox! His Golden and Silver Age work is nothing short of astounding (JSA, Starman, Sandman, etc.)!

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Adapting the works of a great writer like Howard doesn’t hurt your chances at making something great either though. Howard’s countless creations (Conan, Kull, Solomon Kane, etc.) have inspired hundreds of writers, artists, and authors for decades. And I’m sure they will for many more to come! See you soon!

100 Page Super Spectacular #DC-22, 1973 “The Flash”

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I figured I might as well keep rolling with the DC Comics theme for today as well. Another fantastic piece of work form Nick Cardy, too! The more you look at this man’s body of work, the more you’ll certainly appreciate the loss the industry suffered when he passed away. Other creators in this book include- Gardner Fox, Carmine Infantino (RIP), and John Broome! This book is packed full of stories involving the fastest man alive! Enjoy!