Monday, June 26, 2017

Marvel-ous Monday: "Among Us Walks...Black Goliath!" by Isabella, Tuska, and Hunt

Greetings, Groove-ophiles! Remember Black Goliath? Yeah, right from the start, most folks didn't like the name, but bless Tony Isabella and company for trying to introduce new, multicultural characters to carry on the Marvel legacy. Bill Foster, as we learned when we first met in him Avengers #32 (July 1966), was a friend and assistant to Hank (Ant-Man/Giant-Man/Goliath/Yellowjacket) Pym who had previously worked for Tony Stark. During Pym's Yellowjacket phase, Foster decided to become a superhero using Pym's formula--well, you'll read all about that as we go.

Main thing is, Isabella wanted to turn a civilian character into a superhero (cool!) and did so in the pages of Power Man issues 24-25 (January-March 1975). Newcomer John Byrne (who?) designed the duds, but George Tuska and triple-threat man (letterer, colorist, and inker) Dave Hunt, provided the art. Evidently, somebody in editorial/publishing thought Black Goliath was worthy of his own mag, so eight months later, Black Goliath #1 hit the stands with Isabella and Tuska at the helm. The series only ran for 5 issues (Chris Claremont took over the writing with #2, Tuska stayed on til #3, followed by Rich Buckler in ish #4 and Keith Pollard in #5), but BG did show up in a few issues of Champions (#'s 11-13, November-December 1976, February 1977) and then in the legendary "Project Pegasus" saga in Marvel Two-In-One (issues 55-58, July-October 1979) where he changed both his costume and his name (to Giant-Man). Lots happened after that, but not a lot of it is good and not part of the Groovy Age, so Ol' Groove is (finally!) gonna shaddup and get on with the comics! From Power Man #24: "Among Us Walks...Black Goliath!"
Cover art by Gil Kane and Dan Adkins

Thanks to max_renn for the far-out scans!

Friday, June 23, 2017

Making a Splash: Ghost Rider In the Spotlight

What it is, Groove-ophiles! It's recently been brought to Ol' Groove's attention that the motorcycle riding, most supernatural hero of all, Ghost Rider hasn't gotten much attention here on the Diversions. Well, time to rectify that sitch! In 1972, Marvel was expanding like crazy and needed an idea for a new character. Editor Roy Thomas got together with writer Gary Friedrich and artist Mike Ploog to create a brand new character using the name of an old Western character, Ghost Rider. This new, modern Ghost Rider would combine two very separate but very popular fads of the late 60s/early 70s: the occult and Evel Knievel. Marvel had gods, radioactive people, mutants, and androids, but this was the first time they ever gave us a hero whose creation came via a deal with the devil! Of course this mind-blowing, oh-so-Seventies hero would catch on, running in Marvel Spotlight issues 5-11, then in his own mag for for a staggering (for the 70s) eighty-one issues (plus fifteen issues as a member of the Champions)--that's nearly 11 years of Ghost Rider counting the Spotlight issues! That self-same handful of Spotlight issues was penciled by powerhouses Mike Ploog (sometimes inked by Frank Chiarmonte and Jim Mooney) and Tom Sutton (inked by Chic Stone, Mooney, and Syd Shores), giving us the following supernatural splashes! Dig 'em!

Thursday, June 22, 2017

Ol' Groove's Request Line: "Curse of the Sea Monkey!" by Maiwald and Cruz

Check it out, Groove-ophiles! While Ol' Groove is running this post under the "Request Line" banner, this one was actually a plea spurred by last Friday's "Grooviest Covers" post. One "Concerned and perplexed M.P." "needs closure" after seeing Neal Adams' hauntingly amazing cover for House of Mystery #254 (June 1977)...

...So, M.P., here ya go, baby! You might be surprised at how different this story is from what you might expect from that cover, but in return you are getting a story featuring a creature that might have taken your comicbook moolah at one time or another...

Oddly enough, no Sea Monkey ad in this particular ish, but this crazy little ad was on page 17...

Weird, huh? Or was it all part of some sort of devious marketing plan...?

Was this one-and-only story written by the mysterious Lois Maiwald inspired by those kooky Sea Monkey ads that ran in our comic mags for oh, so many decades? Aw, great! Now Ol' Groove needs closure! Sigh...well, let's try to reign in our feelings and enjoy the cool story and fab-a-mundo E.R. Cruz art!


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Note to "The Man": All images are presumed copyright by the respective copyright holders and are presented here as fair use under applicable laws, man! If you hold the copyright to a work I've posted and would like me to remove it, just drop me an e-mail and it's gone, baby, gone.

All other commentary and insanity copyright GroovyAge, Ltd.

As for the rest of ya, the purpose of this blog is to (re)introduce you to the great comics of the 1970s. If you like what you see, do what I do--go to a comics shop, bookstore, e-Bay or whatever and BUY YOUR OWN!