With Marvel’s Secret Wars event wrapping up soon (hopefully), I thought I’d take some time to look at some of the spin off miniseries published during it. Secret Wars allowed for their stable of writers to really let loose and get to write some fun and interesting parallel universe stories revisiting fan favorite storylines while giving the readers a possible taste of things to come. With the majority of the regular monthly series on hold there was an insane amount of books that came out in the interim to replace them. I’m only going to focus on the four miniseries that I read in completion. For better or for worse here they are:
The Pulp Corner returns! I apologize for its (and my) absence but I recently bought a house and it turns out stripping the walls of the Evil Lair isn’t as simple as one may think. Anyway, the Silver Screen Heroes art series has been making the rounds lately and it’s one that immediately caught my eye. Artist Joe Phillips has taken blockbuster comic book movies as well as imagined ones and reenvisioned them as period films of yesteryear. He also designed retro styled movie posters and cast them with the era appropriate actors. It’s a lot of things I love all wrapped into one package.
Growing up as a child of the late 80’s/early 90’s my household was living in a George Lucas haze. My older brother and I couldn’t get enough Star Wars and Indiana Jones. In my mind heroes didn’t come much greater than Henry Jones Jr.
So when I started to think about what kind of pulp sensibility infiltrated my brain at such a young age it only made sense that I linked it to Indiana Jones. That movie series intentionally had all the hallmarks of what pulp is and what it does. I just left it at that for a long time believing that to be the only catalyst for my love of the genre. It wasn’t until the other day though that that all that changed.
Come back in time with me to 1990, will you?
Legendary artist Jim Steranko did 3 issues of Captain America in 1969 directly coming off his groundbreaking run on Nick Fury. I’ve been waiting a long time to read this, it may only be 3 issues but there’s criminally little comic book output from Steranko and it’s worth pouring over. Stan Lee is on scripts here and the storylines are in step with his silver age zaniness but when the art is this good it doesn’t matter.
So what was I in for?
The Rocketeer has become a beloved character in the rich history of the American pulp genre. Creator, Dave Stevens claimed to not enjoy being an interior artist but preferred doing covers and it shows. I decided to collect some of my favorite Rocketeer covers and pinups Stevens did for the series. I think you’ll agree that this really allowed his design flair and figure work to really shine.
I’ve been the Evil Geeks curator for all things pulp. It’s a genre that I find unwaveringly fascinating. I think what I like the most about it is the adventure element of that era. Jim Steranko’s Raiders Of The Lost Ark concept art sums up visually what it is about it that makes me love it so much. When I first stumbled upon the men’s adventure magazines of the 1950’s and 60’s it was like finding a time capsule full of everything that made the genre great.
The magazine covers are full of absurd art with many reoccurring themes. Rugged men battling animals, scantily clad women captured and ready to be sacrificed deep in the jungle, nazi mad men torturing anyone that can get their hands on, aloof cowboys, war scenes etc. It’s all a bit gonzo in the best possible way. The headlines and the titles of the magazines are another thing you can marvel at. Many of these publications are incredibly sexist and obviously targeted for the men of the era so you certainly have to take it all with a grain of salt.
It has since become a bit of a hobby for me to track down these covers. I just find them endlessly entertaining and the amount that exist is staggering. So strap yourself in and get ready to go back in time as I share some of my favorites with you.