Comics are expensive. Trade paperbacks while sometimes can you give more bang for your buck than buying the individual issues outright can also be very expensive. Marvel’s big project a few years ago was to release the Essentials; budget line black and white trades the size of phone books. Now they’ve moved on to the Epic Collection, claiming to trade entire series’ but highlighting some of their previously uncollected issues. This (as long as it’s seen through all the way) is a great idea. Many of the more famous titles did start with a volume of their respective series inaugural issues. I bitched about their treatment of Claremont’s X-Men run but since then they have released information that they will be releasing a pivotal Epic Collection volume that covers a desirable non traded run of issues so that’s a step in the right direction. We are here today though to discuss Silver Surfer’s first volume of the Epic Collection.
We’ve talked here about our favorite covers on many occasions in the past, but it’s time we showed a little respect to the books that set the stage for the comics on which we were raised and the ones we’ve found in recent years. So buckle up for a bombastic ballyhoo of the best and brightest sequential showcases the swinging sixties saw fit to print. Man, talking like Stan Lee is exhausting. No wonder he’s looked worn out for 50+ years now.
Secret Six #1 , May 1968, Frank Springer
The cover of this debut issue is remarkable in that it’s also the first page of the actual story. I’ve always been fascinated with that notion, it’s not just some pin-up but in fact your first taste of the action. Sure, Secret Six was never one of DC’s hottest comics (certainly not in the Silver Age), but it’ll always have a place in history because of this cover.
Many moons ago we brought you a Top 5 list of our favorite costumes across various mediums. This time Biff and Martian Luthor Kang revisited the idea with a keen eye and a finer toothed comb.
5) Iron Man Armor (MK III)
Iron Man’s well known red and gold armor is a masterwork of sleekness and simplicity, but it never stood out to me. Maybe because it has existed for the entire time I’ve been alive. Yet when I dove back and saw him for the first time with that armor and the oh-so 1960’s horns on it, I knew I was looking at something special. Designed by the legendary Steve Ditko the horned look didn’t stick around long, but man do I wish it did.
Bonus: The original giant silver armor (MK I) and the original giant gold armor (MK II)
I completely get why these were redesigned especially since they seem so incredibly bulky, but I just love that vintage 1960’s Sci-Fi B-Movie look.
You know what’s missing from Marvel comics these days? It’s not just the feeling of permanence in the storytelling or the overall quality in the product they put out on a monthly basis. The notion that the creators are putting their best feet forward and not just taking monthly work to pay the bills while they publish their best stories as creator-owned works? Sure, that’s gone with the wind but there’s something else that used to be a staple of the industry, but seems to be gone for good.
The corner box illustration.
Yesterday, in celebration of our nation’s independence from those tea-taxing Brits I reread the very first appearance of Marvel’s star-spangled Avenger. And, since I’m a red-blooded American man, I love me some violence! Now, we’re all familiar with the iconic cover of this issue, upon which Captain America knocks the piss out of Hitler:
Although I am indisputably a child of the X-Men generation, my heart has always belonged on a very important level to the Fantastic Four. My first experience with FF comics came well after my early encounters with Spider-Man and the X-Men, but there was always something about the dynamic of the Fantastic Four that drew me in. Perhaps it’s because I, myself, came from a large family and the relationship between that team is very much that of a family. Perhaps it was the fact that one Christmas of 1991 I received a video cassette copy of “The Menace of Magneto”, an episode of the 1970s Fantastic Four cartoon in which Reed, Sue, Ben and H.E.R.B.I.E. take down the Master of Magnetism himself, with the help of a WOODEN GUN(!?!?!).