Werewolf by Night #12, 1973 “Cry Monster”

It’s time for some werewolf action! There are very few books that can hang with Werewolf by Night (vol. 1) in the all-time greats of horror comics from the 1970’s (The Tomb of Dracula being the best). This title started out with some fantastic creators on it. The names Ploog, Conway, Wolfman, Kane, and others, brought this character to life and gave him a world to play in, and share with other great characters from the Marvel Universe, as well.  Later (issue #20 or so), you had a different creative team take the reins, and put a spin on the book that was unexpected, but was a ton of fun! That team was Doug Moench and Don Perlin! This issue was a battle between the Werewolf by Night, Jack Russell, and a strange nemesis called “The Hangman.” This kooky guy is all sorts of crazy, and believe it or not, he’s crazy enough to keep the werewolf at bay for a while!

The creative team on this one was nothing short of spectacular. You get ‘Marvelous’ Marv Wolfman writing, Pencils by the great Gil Kane (RIP), inks by the underrated Don Perlin, Mr. Tom Orzechowski lettering, and Linda Lessmann on colors! Of course, we have Roy ‘The Boy’ Thomas editing, as was the norm in the early 1970’s. Sometimes I wonder how some of these creators from that era had time to sleep! Check out this incredible cover by John Romita! Well, without further interruption, let’s take a look at some Werewolf by Night! (Insert crazy howl here)! Enjoy!

 

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Marvel Tales #101, 1978 “The Mark of the Man-Wolf”

I wanted to get back to some classics from the Marvel titles Marvel Two-In-One and Marvel Team-Up, but I couldn’t stop looking at this issue of Marvel Tales. Early issues of Spidey are at a premium, so this reprint title is still pretty affordable, so grab them while you can! As I write this, I’m preparing for my trip to the Baltimore Comic Con this weekend (September 5-7). The list of creators is staggering, and I don’t know how I’ll be able to get to see all of them on Saturday. But, while there, I’m definitely going to search out more of those two other Marvel titles I mentioned, but also more issues of Marvel Tales!

Just look at the fine work by Gil Kane, John Romita Sr., Tony Mortellaro, and company! Great story by Gerry Conway as usual, too. The relationship and wild interaction between Spidey and Jameson is always funny, but throw in the Man-Wolf, and things crazy! Enjoy!

 

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Comics: The 1970’s Horror Explosion! Pt. 1

After those dreadful government hearings in the 1950’s about the comic book industry, the publishers decided to create an organization (The Comics Code Authority) that would oversee and approve of everything published. This stranglehold lasted until Lee, Kane, and Romita gave us “Green Goblin Reborn”, in 1971. This fantastic arc showed us the Osborn family, and their decent into madness. It also was a request from the government to show readers the dangers of drug use that prompted this story to be published. This helped relax the Comics Code Authority’s grip on what could and could not be shown in comics (from 1954 until that point- no Vampires, Werewolves, axe-wielding maniacs, drug use, etc., were allowed in comics, but Lee and Marvel decided to print the issues without the seal of approval).

People’s opinions vary, but it seems as if the Authority was created to more or less put EC Comics out of business. Why? Because they were the dominating force in horror/sci-fi comics, and nobody else could come close to doing what they were accomplishing. I haven’t personally read much of their content, simply because it’s very expensive, but from what I have seen (and heard from many people more knowledgeable than I), they were the best.

Marvel had given up doing horror books but did do a ton of stories that revolved around giant monsters and otherworldly beings from outer-space. These stories were created by giants like Jack ‘King’ Kirby, Steve Ditko, and Don Heck. Some of them were reprinted in books like Chamber of Chills, Monsters on the Prowl, and Where Monsters Dwell, just to name a few. There was the arrival of other titles that contained some new material as well (Chamber of Darkness), and were not hardcore horror, but “sophisticated suspense”, as DC Comics would call such material.

So, without further delay, let me present some of the reprint work, along with some new material from Marvel Comics, from the late 1960’s and the 1970’s! Enjoy!

 

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John Romita Sr. Tribute Finale!

Well, here it is, time for the John Romita Sr. finale! You know, Jazzy John is most notably known for his romance work, and of course, Spider-Man. He did do a fantastic job though on everything he touched, as evidence showed in my first post. As we move further into his career, lets look at some of his other work for Marvel. His runs on Daredevil, The Fantastic Four, and Captain America, are also most excellent! Three cheers for Jazzy John Romita! Enjoy!

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John Romita Sr. Tribute! Part 1!

Well, after my tribute to Big John Buscema last week, I’m on to the next face on my Mount Rushmore of comic book artists, with Jazzy John Romita! This man is nothing short of a legend, from his early work at Timely Comics (a precursor to Marvel), then onto becoming one of the industries all-time greatest romance artists, then a return to Marvel that would see him follow the incredibly talented Steve Ditko on Spider-Man. This is where Romita would make his mark, but he also penciled Captain America, The Fantastic Four, and many other Marvel titles before being named Marvel’s art director!

Here are a few of his early pages from Menace, Strange Tales, Tales to Astonish, and more! Enjoy!

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Marvel Tales #225, 1989. “The Death of Captain Stacy”

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This fabulous reprint title ran for nearly three-hundred issues, and contained some of Spidey’s best stories! In this reprint of Amazing Spider-Man #90 (1970), we see the untimely demise of Captain Stacy, but also, that he knew Peter was Spider-Man for some time. Quite an emotional issue, and really put a strain on the relationship between Peter and Gwen for some time. The issue boasts a revamped cover by Todd McFarlane, interior pencils by Gil Kane, inks by “Jazzy” Johnny Romita, and story by Stan “The Man” Lee! Enjoy!

Strange Tales #176, 1974. “The Golem”

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I love this tagline…”The thing that walks like a man”! Created by Len Wein and Big John Buscema, this character (Golem) didn’t stick around too long, but was pretty cool when he was present in the Marvel U. His stories had a mummy feel to them, for sure. Credits include- Mike Friedrich (script), Tony DeZuniga (art), and cover by John Romita Sr.! Enjoy!

Chamber of Darkness #1, 1969. “Tales of Maddening Magic”

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Lets be honest for a moment…who doesn’t love Jazzy John Romita?!? Of course, that was rhetorical! Just look at this offering from 1969. The credits on the interiors are just as impressive too! Stan Lee, John Buscema, John Verpoorten, Denny O’Neil, Tom Sutton, Gary Friedrich, Don Heck, and Frank Giacoia! I chose this one for not only the awesome Romita cover, but also because it’s Big John Buscema’s birthday today, too! Enjoy!