Monthly Archives

September 2019

The Mighty Thor

BLOGROLL
September 30, 2019

BIO

Dr. Don Blake was an American physician vacation in Europe when he over heard an old man telling people of stone men from outer space. They, of course, thought he was nuts, but Dr. Blake believed him and decided to have a look for himself.

These stone men came from the planet Saturn and had increased strength and invulnerability thanks to Earth’s atmosphere. Dr. Blake overheard the stone men speaking about killing any who discover them and he fled in fear.

He entered a cave, and unable to find another exit, conceded defeat. Dr. Blake leaned back against a wall, revealing a hidden door. Behind it, he found a hidden room where lay a very old walking stick. With hope growing, he tried to use the stick as a lever to move a boulder blocking a secondary exit from the cave. In his frustration at not being able to budge the enormous stone, he struck the boulder with the cane. There was a sudden blinding flash of light and Blake discovered that he had been transformed into Thor.

As Thor, Dr. Blake easily moved the boulder and escaped the cave. Outside, based on what he had read about Norse mythology, he tested his abilities . He quickly discovered that if he let go of the hammer for more than 60 seconds, he returned to his normal form.

Further tests showed the hammer’s ability to return to him when thrown, destroy a tree, summon storms, as well as stop them. He also finds that hitting the hammer on the ground once returned him to normal and the hammer back into a walking stick.

Meanwhile, the remainder of the stone men attack fleet entered the atmosphere and were picked up by military radar. The stone men’s ships were protected so that the missiles couldn’t harm them. Seeing this, Dr. Blake transformed back into Thor and hurled himself with his hammer into the middle of the landing party. The stone men couldn’t match strength with Thor and his hammer, and were quickly defeated.

Thinking that all humans must be like Thor, the stone men fled the planet. As soldiers arrived on the scene, Thor transformed back into Dr. Blake and walked away without anyone taking a second look.

The Stonemen From Saturn!

BLOGROLL
September 13, 2019

August 1962

Journey into Mystery #83 (vol. 1)

“The Stonemen from Saturn!”

EIC: Stan Lee

Cover Artists: Jack Kirby, Joe Sinnott

Writers: Stan Lee, Larry Lieber

Pencilers: Jack Kirby

Inkers: Joe Sinnott

Letterers: Artie Simek

Editors: Stan Lee

Cover Date: August 1962

Release Date: June 1962

Pages: 13

Cover Price: $0.12

First Appearance and Origin of:

  • The Might Thor/Dr. Donald Blake

SYNOPSIS:

Dr. Don Blake is an American physician vacation in Europe.

As he explores the countryside, he overhears an old man telling people of stone men from outer space. They of course think he is nuts, but Dr. Blake believes him and decides to have a look for himself.

These stone men come from the planet Saturn and have increased strength and invulnerability thanks to Earth’s atmosphere. Dr. Blake overhears the stone men speaking about killing any who discover them and flees to hide in a nearby cave.

Unable to find another way out of the cave, Dr. Blake leans back against a wall revealing a hidden door. In the secret chamber he finds a very old walking stick, which he uses as a lever to try to move the huge boulder blocking a secondary exit from the cave. Unable to budge the enormous stone, he strikes the boulder with the cane in a fit of frustration. Suddenly, there is a blinding light, and the feeble Dr. Blake is transformed into…

As Thor, Dr. Blake is easily able to move the boulder and escape the cave. Outside he tests his abilities based on what he had read about Norse mythology. If he lets go of the hammer for more than 60 seconds, he returns to his normal self.

He tests the hammer’s ability to return to him when thrown, throwing it through a tree, summons storms, and stops them before hitting the hammer on the ground once to return himself to normal and the hammer back into a walking stick.

At that time, the remainder of the stone men attack fleet enter the atmosphere and are picked up by military radar. The stone men’s ships are protected so that the missiles cannot harm them. Seeing this, Dr. Blake transforms back into Thor and hurls himself with his hammer into the middle of the landing party. The stone men cannot match strength with Thor and his hammer, and are quickly defeated.

Thinking that all humans are like Thor, the stone men flee the planet. As soldiers arrive to the scene, Thor transforms back into Dr. Blake and is able to walk away without anyone taking a second look.

<<<Previous Issue in Reading Order-Next Issue in Reading Order>>>

Next Issue in This Series>>>

Ant Man Collected Editions

BLOGROLL
September 13, 2019

Marvel Masterworks Ant Man Volume 1 (Vol. 59 in the Marvel Masterworks Library)
Reprints: Tales to Astonish, #27, #35-52

Miscellaneous Creators

BLOGROLL
September 11, 2019

WRITERS:

——————————————————————————————————————————

Larry Lieber

Larry Lieber is the younger brother of Stanley Martin Lieber, better known to Marvel fans as Stan Lee. Larry was an artist and writer for early Marvel anthology titles as well as some of the popular superhero comics, including writing the scripts for the origin stories of Thor, And Man and Iron Man based on plot outlines given to him by his older brother. Lieber also penciled some Amazing Spider-Man annual issues. In the 70s, Leiber became editor of Marvel UK, which re-packaged Marvel Universe comic books for the British market. He also wrote the adventures of Captain Britain for Marvel UK. In the 80s and 90s, Lieber wrote and drew for the Amazing Spider-Man and Incredible Hulk newspaper strips. He finally retired from the Spider-Man strip in 2018.

——————————————————————————————————————————

<><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><>

ARTISTS:

——————————————————————————————————————————

George Roussos

——————————————————————————————————————————

<><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><>

LETTERERS:

——————————————————————————————————————————

Artie Simek

Art Simek was a well-known letterer in the comics industry. He designed logos and lettered some of Marvel Comics’ greatest issues such as the Fantastic Four #1 and Amazing Fantasy #15. Simek died on February 20, 1975 at the age of 59.

——————————————————————————————————————————

John Duffy

——————————————————————————————————————————

John D’Agostino

——————————————————————————————————————————

<><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><>

COLORISTS:

——————————————————————————————————————————

Stan Goldberg

Stan Goldberg was 16 year old when he joined Timely Comics, which would become Marvel Comics, in 1948. He was the color designer for all the classic Marvel heroes including the Fantastic Four, The Hulk, Spider-Man, and the X-Men. It was he who decided that in order to visually distinguish between the heroes and villains, he would color the heroes bright blues, reds, greens and yellows, and leave the olive-drab greens and burnt hombres for the villains. Because his first name was the same as his boss, Stan Lee, people usually referred to him as Stan G. Stan was born in the Bronx, NY in 1932 and died there on August 31, 2014.

——————————————————————————————————————————

Andy Yanchus

——————————————————————————————————————————

<><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><>

INKERS:

——————————————————————————————————————————

Dick Ayers

“Darlin'” Dick Ayers was one of the first artist in the Marvel Comics’ Bullpen, specifically known for being the primary artist for the adventures of Marvel’s WW II comic, Sgt. Fury and his Howling Commandos. But he is better known as the inker for much of Jack “the King” Kirby’s 1960’s Silver Age work, particularly many issues of The Fantastic Four. Ayers passed away on May 4, 2014.

——————————————————————————————————————————

George Klein

George Klein was a inker for Timely Comics during the Golden Age of Comics in the early 40s. He did work for DC Comics as well. But probably his most important distinction, which went unacknowledged for a long time, was his inking contribution to the first two issues of The Fantastic Four comic book. He inked John Buscema’s Avengers and Gene Colan’s Daredevil pencils as well as some of Jack Kirby’s Thor work until passing away in 1969 at the age of 49.

——————————————————————————————————————————

Paul Reinman

——————————————————————————————————————————

Joe Sinnott

Joe Sinnott was born October 16, 1926 in Saugerties, N.Y. For 3 years Joe worked in a cement factory before entering the Cartoonists and Illustrators School in 1949 (now the School of Visual Arts) in N.Y.C. run by Tarzan artist Burne Hogarth. While there his first comic book work Trudi, a 5 page filler story in Mopsy #12 (Sept. 1950) was published  for St. John’s Publishing. He also worked for one of his instructors at the school Tom Gill (Lone Ranger artist). He  began working for Stan Lee at Timely (Marvel) in 1950, pencilling and inking crime,  horror, war, westerns, sci-fi and romance books. He also drew for Dell, Charleton, Treasure Chest, ACG, Archie and Classic Illustrated. In 1965 Joe began working regularly with Jack Kirby on the Fantastic Four. This is the book Joe is most well known for. He also worked on many other Marvel books such as Thor, Silver Surfer, Captain America, The Avengers, West Coast Avengers, The Hulk, The Defenders, The Invaders, Rom, The Thing, Ms. Marvel and Nick Fury to name a few. Joe’s favorite character to draw is The Thing! He received the 1967 & 1968 Alley Award as comics best inker, an Inkpot Award at the 1995 San Diego Con, 2 Inkwell Awards in 2008 among numerous other awards. The Inkwells Hall Of Fame “Joe Sinnott Award” is named in his honor. In 2013 Joe was elected into the Will Eisner Comic Hall of Fame. Joe retired in 1992 from comic books to ink the Sunday Spider-man comic strip for King Features. He inked the strip for 27 years, until Spidey’s final appearance in March 2019.  Joe worked a total of 69 years for Marvel Comics.

——————————————————————————————————————————

<><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><>

PRODUCTION:

——————————————————————————————————————————

Sol Brodsky

Sol Brodsky was one of a handful of artists who did covers for Atlas Comics, which would become Marvel Comics. He left to launch Cracked magazine in the 50s but returned to Atlas, now Timely Comics, in the early 60s to do production work just before it became Marvel Comics and the Marvel Age was launched. A master craftsman, Brodsky designed logos, drew, inked, and finally became production manager in 1964. He left Marvel in 1970 to form a new company called Skywald, but returned to Marvel in the mid-70s where he would stay until his death in 1984.

——————————————————————————————————————————

The Third Musketeer

BLOGROLL
September 9, 2019

The formation of Marvel was truly a three-pronged attack. Stan Lee and Jack Kirby had already established themselves with the Fantastic Four and The Incredible Hulk.

So, when Stan Lee wanted to do a comic book for a third hero he had thought up, he went to Kirby again. But according to Stan, Kirby’s work was too beautiful. His heroes were powerful and majestic-looking. Stan wanted his new hero to be a teenage boy and he wanted him to be on the scrawny side and not very attractive.

At the time, Marvel’s other output consisted of westerns, romance books, and anthology titles such as Strange Tales, Tales to Astonish, Journey into Mystery, Tales of Suspense, and Amazing Adult Fantasy. One of the artists on these books was a balding, unassuming man named Steve Ditko.

His work was almost the exact opposite of Kirby’s. His characters were rail-thin, unattractive even when they weren’t meant to be, and appeared more miserable than happy most of the time – perfect dynamics for what Lee had in mind for his third hero.

Ditko took the assignment. Though not as popularly prolific as Kirby, Ditko was nonetheless a brilliant visual storyteller. He brought a moodiness and atmosphere that was starkly different from Kirby’s clean, techno-futuristic elements. Ditko designed the costume for the new hero, whom Lee had decided to call Spider-Man. The costume was red and blue and had a mask that completely covered his head, and even had white one-way lenses that hid his eyes. Ditko also gave Spider-Man devices that he wore on his wrists that could shoot out webbing which he could hang or swing from.

Lee had trouble convincing his boss, Martin Goodman, that this new creation was a good idea. Goodman couldn’t imagine anyone being interested in reading a story about a kid and besides, no one liked spiders.

But undeterred, Lee chose to put his and Ditko’s Spider-Man story into the final issue of Amazing Adult Fantasy. And for the last issue, Lee dropped the ‘Adult’, and just called it Amazing Fantasy. Issue #15 hit the stands in August of 1962.

Within weeks, the mail started pouring in. Readers loved this new superhero. But it wasn’t just the character they loved. The art work was strikingly unique from anything else on the news stands. Ditko’s style is hard to describe but you definitely know it when you see it.

Very soon, it became clear that Peter Parker was a fictional alter ego for Ditko. He was a near dead-ringer for Ditko when the artist was in high school. He also included some of his own experiences in his portrayal of the character.

The only other hero Ditko famously created and drew for Marvel was Dr. Strange. With this character, Ditko really expanded his sense of the wild and weird. Dr. Stephen Strange was an arrogant surgeon who lost his livelihood when his hands were irreparably injured in a car crash. Seeking a way to heal them, he traveled to Tibet and got an audience with an ancient figure in a mysterious temple high on a snow-swept mountain.

As Strange realized that he had not found what he had hoped to, he also realized that the Ancient One’s shifty protege, Baron Mordo, was trying to secretly overthrow his master. Strange overcame his own selfish tendencies and his eyes were opened to something more important than his own needs.

He agreed to become the Ancient One’s pupil and learned the dark secrets of the Mystic Arts. In doing so, Dr. Strange was carried away into fantastic worlds the likes of which had never been seen in comics before, thanks to the incredible imagination and artistry of Ditko.

While he was at Marvel, Ditko helped create some of the most iconic characters and drew some of the most memorable covers and interiors.

With the Amazing Spider-Man #33, “If This be My Destiny..!”, Ditko drew what may be his most iconic and talked-about piece. Spider-Man, trapped under tons of debris underground, may have finally met his end. But over four agonizing pages, Ditko shows the true heart of the hero.

Ditko left Marvel in the late 60s due to a dispute with Stan Lee over a plot choice in The Amazing Spider-Man. He would return in the seventies and draw many, many characters for Marvel through the 1990s, even creating some.

Ditko will go down as one of the most important and influential figures in comic book history. With a style all his own, he was one of the three influential men who started The Marvel Age of Comics.

COMPREHENSIVE LIST OF DITKO’S WORK FOR MARVEL

  • Journey into Mystery #33, 38, 50–96 (1956–63)
  • Mystery Tales #40, 45, 47 (1956)
  • 2-Gun Western #4 (1956)
  • Journey Into Unknown Worlds #45, 51 (1956)
  • Strange Tales #46, 50, 67–146 (Doctor Strange in #110–111, 114–146), Annual #2 (inking Jack Kirby) (1956–66)
  • Marvel Tales #147 (1956)
  • Spellbound #29 (1956)
  • Strange Tales of the Unusual #5 (1956)
  • Astonishing #53 (1956)
  • World of Mystery #3, 6 (1956–1957)
  • Strange Worlds #1–5 (1958–59)
  • World of Fantasy #16–19 (1959)
  • Battle #63, 68, 70 (1958–1960)
  • Tales of Suspense #1–49 (Iron Man in #47–49) (1959–64)
  • Tales to Astonish #1–48, 60–67 (The Hulk in #60–67, Giant Man in #61) (1959–65)
  • Gunsmoke Western #56, 66 (1960–1961)
  • Amazing Adventures #1–6 (1961); becomes
  • Amazing Adult Fantasy #7–14 (1961–62); becomes
  • Amazing Fantasy #15 (debut Spider-Man) (1962)
  • The Incredible Hulk #2 (inking Jack Kirby), #6 (1962–63)
  • The Amazing Spider-Man #1–38, Annual #1–2 (1963–66)
  • The Fantastic Four #13 (inking Jack Kirby) (1963)
  • Sgt. Fury and his Howling Commandos #15 (inking Dick Ayers) (1965)
  • Tower of Shadows #6, 8–9 (1970–1971)
  • Machine Man #10–19 (1979–81)
  • Tomb of Dracula magazine #2 (1979)
  • Micronauts #39, Annual #1–2 (1979–1982)
  • Daredevil #162 (1980)
  • The Incredible Hulk #249, Annual #9 (1980)
  • Marvel Spotlight vol. 2 #4 (Captain Marvel), #5 (Dragon Lord), #9–11 (Captain Universe) (1980–81)
  • Marvel Preview #21 (Shroud) (1980)
  • Crazy Magazine #68 (1980)
  • Marvel Team-Up #101 (1981)
  • Fantastic Four Annual #16 (1981)
  • Iron Man #160 (1982)
  • What If? #35 (Tigra) (1982)
  • U.S.1 #12 (1984)
  • Rom Spaceknight #59–75, Annual #4 (1984–86)
  • The Avengers Annual #13, 15 (1984–86)
  • The Further Adventures of Indiana Jones #21, 25–28, 32–34 (1984–86)
  • Chuck Norris: Karate Kommandos 1–3 (1987)
  • What If Special #1 (Iron Man) (1988)
  • What The–?! #1 (1988)
  • The Amazing Spider-Man Annual #22 (debut Speedball), #24–25 (1988–1991)
  • Marvel Age Annual #4 (Speedball) (1988)
  • Speedball #1–10 (1988–89)
  • Marvel Comics Presents #7, 10, 14, 54, 56, 58, 80–81, 83 (1988–1991)
  • Web of Spider-Man Annual #5 (Captain Universe) (1989)
  • Iron Man Annual #11 (1990)
  • The Destroyer #4 (1990)
  • The Destroyer vol. 2 #1 (1991)
  • Marvel Super-Heroes vol. 2 #1–3, #5–8 (#8 debut Squirrel Girl) (1990–1992)
  • Phantom 2040 #1–4 (1995)
  • Mighty Morphin Power Rangers #2, 4 (1995–96)
  • Mighty Morphin Power Rangers: Ninja Rangers/VR Troopers #4–5 (1996)
  • Heroes & Legends #1 (1997)
  • Shadows & Light #1 (Iron Man) (1998)
  • Incredible Hulk and the Human Torch: From the Marvel Vault #1 (story created in the 1980s) (2011)