Amazing Adventures #16 (January, 1973)

In previous posts, we’ve discussed a couple of early “unofficial” crossovers between DC and Marvel Comics that appeared in 1969 and 1970.  Both involved an issue each of DC’s Justice League of America (#75 and #87) and Avengers (#70 and #85), and both were built on a conceit of each super-team series parodying the stars of the rival company’s book during the same month.  Part of the fun — at least for the creators responsible — was its mildly illicit nature, as none of the writers involved (JLA‘s Denny O’Neil and Mike Friedrich, Avengers‘ Roy Thomas) informed their bosses (DC’s Julius Schwartz, Marvel’s Stan Lee) what they were up to.  The results were perhaps something of a mixed bag (both as crossovers and simply as stories), but for the most part, these books made for a good time for comic-book fans. 

We’ve also devoted a couple of posts to the late ’60s-early ’70s phenomenon known as “the Rutland stories”.  These were comics set at the Rutland Halloween Parade — a real-life event held each year in the small town of Rutland, Vermont, which, under the guidance of longtime comics fan Tom Fagan, featured superheroes as a prominent part of its pageantry.  Both the parade and the associated after-party at Fagan’s house eventually attracted the attention, and attendance, of a number of comics professionals, some of whom subsequently decided to use Rutland as a background for stories that would feature themselves and/or their friends (or recognizable analogues of same) mixing it up with the heroes and villains they all made their livings making up stories about.  Marvel’s Thomas got the ball rolling in 1970 with Avengers #83; a year later, DC’s O’Neil got into the act with Batman #237, even as Thomas followed up his Avengers-starring Rutland yarn with a new one featuring the Defenders, published in Marvel Feature #2.  Again, not all the stories were equally successful, but all were at least entertaining, and the DC entry, “Night of the Reaper”, may reasonably be argued to be a classic.

In their own way, the Rutland stories could themselves be considered unofficial crossovers.  This came about as a natural result of the simple fact that the real-life festivities that inspired them treated DC and Marvel properties impartially; thus, if they were going to reflect that reality with any degree of accuracy, DC’s Rutland-set comics would have to feature paraders and party-goers recognizably costumed as Marvel heroes, and vice versa.  As we’ll see, the degree of “recognizability” could vary quite a bit, especially at Marvel; but the idea was always there, at least, and the novelty of seeing the image of, say, Captain America in a DC comic was part of these tales’ charm.

In any event, it may have been inevitable that one or more of the New York-based comics pros then making the annual Halloween pilgrimage to Vermont would eventually hit on the idea of making the casual, inadvertent crossover aspect of the Rutland stories something much more literal and intentional.  And so it came to pass that, in 1972, three comic-book writers hit on the idea of using the Rutland Halloween celebrations to stage a stealth inter-company crossover in three of the titles they happened to be writing — and, in the grand tradition of the previous such shenanigans in Avengers and Justice League of America, they wouldn’t tell their editors that they were doing so.

As one of those writers, Steve Englehart, would later explain in a 2010 piece for Tor.com:

After my first time in Rutland, I got together with two other attendees/writers [Gerry Conway and Len Wein], and we co-plotted the first [sic] inter-company crossover-story event. I had my first-born series, The Beast; they had Marvel’s Thor and DC’s Justice League of America. Our combined story involved us three and the JLA writer’s [then-] wife [Glynis Oliver] at the Halloween event, where our heroes and villains were also in attendance. Since this was not officially sanctioned by the two companies involved, we made sure the stories dovetailed neatly but could never refer to the other company’s books. We’d pass offstage in one book and move onstage in another, and so would the superheroics, so that each comic stood on its own and also told the larger story.

The basic behind-the-scenes tale outlined here by Englehart is well-known to comics fans (well, fans of a certain age, at least), having been recounted in multiple outlets on numerous occasions over the decades.  Your humble blogger has long known that I wanted to cover the three comics involved here on Attack of the 50 Year Old Comic Books when their golden anniversaries at last arrived, but I wondered what I might bring to the topic that such fans hadn’t seen before.  I eventually decided that it would be fun to track the four real-life characters scene-by-scene across the individual issues; following them as they passed offstage in one book and moved onstage in another, to borrow Englehart’s phrase.  Perhaps another fanzine article or web site had pulled off such a thing, but if so, I hadn’t seen it.

Once I carefully re-read all three of the comics involved in the crossover, however, I discovered there was a good reason why I hadn’t seen anyone else track Steve, Gerry, Len, and Glynis’s movements from one story to another — and that’s because it really can’t be done.  Not, at least, without putting in a lot of extra imaginative work of one’s own, and straining the narrative logic of the texts as we have them… and while that might still be fun, in its own way, it was beside the point of what I had in mind.

By way of explanation, I’d like to begin by offering yet another first-hand account of how the 1972 Rutland Halloween crossover came to be, this one from Gerry Conway’s 2013 introduction to Marvel Masterworks — The Mighty Thor, Vol. 12:

We decided to do an unofficial inter-company crossover story and not tell our bosses that’s what we were doing. Our story would “start” in one comic at one company, “continue” in another comic at a second company, and “conclude” in a third comic at the first company. (I use quotes because the connection between the stories involved is really more thematic than structural.)

I’ve added italics to Conway’s last sentence, because I think that the idea expressed there is key to understanding the truth of the matter; which is that for all the talk of a single narrative continuing in and out of three individual comics, the actual linkage between Amazing Adventures #16, Thor #207, and Justice League of America #103 is, as Conway puts it, thematic, rather than structural.  Or to put it another way — rather than one story that’s told sequentially across three chapters, what we in fact have here is three different versions of the same story, with significant variations from one telling to another.

Hopefully, my reasoning on this point will be clear to you by the time you’ve read the third and final post in this series, coming next Saturday (assuming, of course, that you get that far).  But even if you don’t end up buying my personal take on how these comics fit together (or don’t), I hope you’ll still enjoy this look back at an episode in American comic book history that, say what else you want to about it, was definitely one of a kind.


As you’ll have already gathered, we’ll be starting with Steve Englehart’s third of the crossover, which appeared as the latest installment of the “Beast” series then running in Amazing Adventures.  That’s not because it was the first to arrive on stands; indeed, according to the on-sale dates given by both the Grand Comics Database and Mike’s Amazing World of Comics, AA #16 was released on Oct. 17, 1972, a full week after Thor #207 and JLA #103 had both come out.  But as it turns out, the AA story is the only one that gets directly referenced in one of the other two tales as having already (partially) taken place, so it makes sense to lead with it.  And besides, just because the books came out in a certain order doesn’t mean that I (or anyone else, for that matter) necessarily read them in that order way back when, does it?

Still, before we jump past this issue’s cover (which, incidentally, was pencilled by a newcomer by the name of Jim Starlin, and inked by veteran artist Frank Giacoia) — and its kinda misleading inclusion of six figures who look like they might be the Vision, Thor, Captain America, Spider-Man, the Invisible Girl, and Iron Man, but most definitely aren’t (Starlin did at least draw those figures reeeally small, so maybe we’ll cut the newbie some slack) — and dive into our story, we’ll need to do some scene-setting.  Because, while “…And the Juggernaut Will Get You… If You Don’t Watch Out!” is about as much of a standalone story as you could find in a continuing series at Marvel in 1972, it’s still probably best appreciated by a reader who’s been provided with at least a smidgen of context.

Let’s start with reestablishing the basic premise of the Beast’s series, which we last took a look at back in December, 2021.  As regular readers will hopefully recall from our post about the strip’s first installment in Amazing Adventures #11, its narrative followed Henry ‘Hank” McCoy, the X-Man known as the Beast, as he began a new life as a research scientist at a think-tank called the Brand Corporation.  Needing to deal with an attempted robbery at his lab without revealing his superhero identity, Hank took an experimental formula that furthered his mutation, giving him a more bestial appearance and enhancing his powers; unfortunately, though the formula’s effect was meant to be only temporary, Hank’s transformation turned out to be permanent.  (Oops.)  The new series’ first episode (written, incidentally, by Gerry Conway) ended with a shocking twist, as Hank’s lovely lab assistant and love interest, Linda Donaldson, was revealed (though only to us readers) to be a secret agent working for the same sinister organization responsible for the aforementioned attempted robbery.

In succeeding issues, new writer Steve Englehart chronicled how Hank, disguising himself with a remarkably convincing rubber mask and gloves, managed to hold down his day job at Brand, while, as the Beast, he dealt with a succession of foes — including the Brotherhood of Evil Mutants, Quasimodo the Living Computer, and the Griffin — all of whom were shown to be associated with the same shadowy outfit employing the duplicitous Ms. Donaldson — an outfit ultimately revealed to be an old antagonist of S.H.I.E.L.D.’s called the Secret Empire.

Along with these major storylines, Englehart introduced a subplot in which an unnamed mystery woman — shown mostly in shadow, with her most distinguishing feature being her eyeglasses — kept trying to track Hank down at his apartment or his workplace, all the while soliloquizing about a threat to her life, and/or “doomsday”.  That subplot finally came to a head on the final page of issue #15, where Englehart (with artists Tom Sutton, Frank Giacoia, and John Tartaglione) depicted Hank paying a visit to his local public library…

And that, believe it or not, is just about all you need to know before we move on to our main event, i.e., Amazing Adventures #16:

All of the AA Beast solo stories to date had been drawn by Tom Sutton, but “…And the Juggernaut Will Get You… If You Don’t Watch Out!”* saw him replaced by Bob Brown — a prolific artist whose earliest credits at Marvel (then Timely) went back to 1949, but who since 1956 had worked pretty much exclusively for DC.  In 1972, I knew him best for his having drawn the Batman feature in Detective Comics on a mostly regular basis for the past four years; in that capacity, my younger self had found him an acceptable substitute for Neal Adams (who in truth drew considerably fewer Batman stories in Detective than Brown did), especially when inked by Dick Giordano.  I was largely unfamiliar with the other features that had consumed the artist’s time at DC over the past decade and a half, which had included Challengers of the Unknown (1959-1968) and Superboy (since 1968), both of which were books I didn’t buy.  On the other hand, I had read and enjoyed several Tomahawk issues he contributed to, back when I first started buying comic books (his dramatic cover to Tomahawk #101 [Nov.-Dec., 1965], shown at right, made a big impression on me when I was eight years old, and I still think it’s a powerful composition); but since he hadn’t received a byline in those books, I didn’t associate them with his name.

In any case, I was about to become even better acquainted with Bob Brown’s artwork, as he’d soon become the regular artist on several Marvel titles I bought regularly, including Avengers, Daredevil, and Warlock.  Your humble blogger feels obliged to confess here that I’ve never been especially enthused about Brown’s runs on those books (especially Avengers); still, these days I’m inclined to think that Bob Brown was a talented artist who simply wasn’t all that well suited to the superhero genre, and especially not to Marvel’s highly dynamic, action-and-spectacle-oriented iteration of same.  That’s just my opinion, however, and I realize that others’ mileage may vary.

Of course, Brown wasn’t the only artist who worked on this story.  In addition to inker Frank McLaughlin, Marie Severin is credited as “caricaturist”; Severin had been Marvel’s go-to person for real-world likenesses at least since the days of Not Brand Echh, and was routinely called on to draw her fellow Bullpenners on those occasions when it was required — such as in this issue and, as we’ll see next Wednesday, Thor #207.  And last but not least, Glynis Wein, aka Glynis Oliver, receives attribution as the story’s colorist — a credit that Marvel was only now beginning to include in its comics.

Omarian“?  That reference stumped by fifteen-year-old self in October, 1972 — and a solid half-century later, my sixty-five-year-old self still finds it something of a puzzler.  My best guess is that Englehart meant to write “Oparian”, as in “one of the ape-like male denizens of the city of Opar in the novels of Edgar Rice Burroughs”.  That’s not quite as random as it might appear at first glance, since Len Wein — who, as we’re about to see, is the person uttering this mysterious word — had been writing for DC’s Burroughs-licensed comics for the better part of the last year.  Among his credits in those books?  “The Treasure Vaults of Opar!” in Korak, Son of Tarzan #46, which prominently featured the bestial Oparians (as seen on the Frank Thorne-drawn cover shown at left).

In the first panel above, from left to right:  Glynis Wein, Len Wein, Steve Englehart, and Gerry Conway.

Ironically, Hank and Vera’s first meeting had also been in a library. From X-Men #19 (Apr., 1966). Text by Stan Lee; art by “Jay Gavin” (Werner Roth) and Dick Ayers.

“Vera!”  Some readers did indeed guess the identity of the “mystery girl”, per the letters column in Amazing Adventures #15; hence, the footnote from “R & S” (i.e., editor Roy Thomas and writer Steve Englehart).  I’m pretty sure that my younger self was not among those fans, however, as the majority of the appearances of Hank’s old girlfriend had been in issues of X-Men published before I’d come on board as a Marvel reader.

But while this scene resolves the question of the mystery girl’s identity, it raises a number of others.  What in the world are Hank and Vera doing in this “cold Vermont forest”, anyway?  How’d they get here, and where are they going?  And finally, how did Hank convince Vera to sit on a rock and wait for him while he went traipsing around in the dark as the Beast?

Englehart will give us an answer to the “where are they going” question a few pages on — well, a partial one, at least — but as for the rest, your guess is as good as mine.

“Gerry says it gets pretty strange.”  Englehart may simply be telling us here that Conway is the only one of the foursome who’s done Halloween in Rutland before; but he might also be alluding to the previous October’s Rutland tale from DC. Batman #237, whose cast included an analogue of Conway (there presented as a college chum of Dick Grayson’s).

As for the Juggernaut, my fifteen-year-old self did indeed remember him from Dr. Strange #182, which I’d bought and read in 1969 (though I probably only knew of his “several X-Men x-citers” through that issue’s footnotes).  And speaking of Juggy, he barely has time to gloat over the fact that he’s no longer trapped in a mystical otherworldly dimension before the same pink-purple hole in space that he just fell out of… pulls him right back in again…

Hank points out to Vera that’s she’s told him they need to look inconspicuous, implying that their showing up in a town that’s about to have a parade and then immediately bailing would be anything but.  Um, sure, I guess.  He also notes that she hasn’t given him any details about whom they’re going to see in Canada and what he’s supposed to do when they get there; in reply, she simply says that the situation calls for “a top scientist, specializing in mutations“, and that’s him.  Fine, but if doomsday is nigh, and time is of the essence, it seems like they could have sprung for a couple of bus tickets, rather than relying on hitching rides to get all the way to… well, wherever it is in Canada they’re going (it’s a big country, after all).

Hey, look!  There’s someone clearly costumed as Batman!  In a Marvel comic!  And someone else dressed up as Superman!  And Glynis’ costume is an obvious take on Supergirl’s — although when we get a closer look at it a couple of panels further on, we’ll be able to tell that the original’s stylized “S” has been transformed into a “G”.  (Gerry Conway’s script for Thor #207 will tag this outfit as a “Powergirl” costume.)

Len’s “Welcome, Haulk” line is probably an in-joke of some kind, though I have no idea what it refers to.  Guess you had to be there.

Bob Brown is obviously riffing on the Earth-One Flash in that last panel above, although the costume’s open-faced cowl may put some DC fans more in mind of Earth-Three’s Johnny Quick.

Steve’s line about “how you can get off on floats” is a tip of the hat to Denny O’Neil’s script for Batman #237, which had an obviously stoned character (based on comics artist Alan Weiss) babbling on and on about floats throughout the story.

Once Vera’s out of sight, Hank ducks into an alley, pulls off his disguise and civilian clothes, and reemerges as the Beast; ironically, the crowd takes no notice of him, figuring his furry form is just another costume.

The Beast begins to throw down with his old X-foe, but he soon realizes that even his recently enhanced strength is no match for the Juggernaut’s magic-based powers.  He decides to put some distance between himself and Juggy while he tries to come up with a strategy; eventually, however, the Juggernaut catches up with him on top of the local dam (previously seen as the setting for the climax of Batman #237)…

Whoof, there’s a lot to unpack in that last panel.  Obviously, the two blond-haired folks at left are Roy Thomas and his then-wife Jeannie, who’d both appeared in Marvel’s two previous Rutland stories — and, yes, Jeannie was indeed the scripter of Night Nurse, one of three female-centric titles Marvel had debuted a couple of months prior.  But why in the world does Englehart want Jim Warren, the head of the black-and-white comics company Warren Publishing, to “take note” of the couple?  The best I can come up with is that the writer is vaguely alluding to Roy Thomas being his boss at his Marvel staff job, said job being the reason he can’t let Warren use his real name on the stories he’s currently writing on the side for the latter’s Vampirella.  That’s kind of a stretch, I know, but I’m afraid it’s all I’ve got.

As for the guy inviting the gal and her friends to his place later, or the other guy who drinks nothing stronger than milk?  I have no doubt that the young, Rutland-savvy comics professionals of 1972 would have recognized them both instantly; alas, your humble blogger has nary a clue about either gent.

I think that the guy in red in the first panel above is supposed to suggest Kid Flash, though I may be wrong…  (UPDATE, 10/15/22:  In the comments section below, reader Sharon suggests the Forever People’s Mark Moonrider as an alternative, and on closer examination I think she’s probably right.)  Anyway, Juggy chases Hank up the stairs of the Fagan house to its attic, where…

OK, this bit doesn’t work at all.  Juggernaut has already seen Hank’s bestial visage up-close-and-personal, so why should he be freaked out by his foe’s tearing off his mask?  Maybe Brown drew this sequence with the idea that, until this moment, Jug thought the Beast’s furry face was the disguise, rather than the other way around… but that’s not what’s conveyed by Englehart’s captions.

(If you’re wondering, a bit of dialogue during the earlier fight scene had dropped the factoid that Juggernaut loses his powers if his helmet is removed, so this development doesn’t come completely out of nowhere.)

This time, the fight unsurprisingly (and quickly) goes Hank’s way…

And so our story rather abruptly ends, as does this first third of the 1972 Rutland Halloween crossover… and so, too (as you might have guessed from the use of “The End!” in that last panel, and/or the absence of a “Next Issue” blurb) does the Beast’s solo series in Amazing Adventures (more or less; you’ll see what I mean by that momentarily).  As a text box on the issue’s letters page explained, though the Beast’s adventures had gained an enthusiastic following, based on the volume and the tenor of the mail that AA had received, that enthusiasm hadn’t translated into the level of sales required to keep the series viable.  Thus, a brand-new feature would make its debut in the next issue of Amazing Adventures, while the storyline of Hank and Vera’s mysterious trek to Canada would be resolved in a near-future issue of The Incredible Hulk.

But then, two months later, Amazing Adventures #17 showed up on stands — and the Beast was still around.  What was going on?  It turned out that the new series intended to begin in the issue (“War of the Worlds” featuring Killraven, if you’re wondering) wasn’t quite ready to go by deadline, so Marvel gathered together four short backup strips from 1968 that related the Beast’s origin (they’d originally run in X-Men #49-52) and wrapped them up in a new cover and 2-page framing sequence pencilled by Jim Starlin (or “Starling”, as he was credited on the book’s splash page), the newcomer who’d already drawn the last two covers for the title.  (And who, in the same month AA #17 was released, would begin a rather remarkable run as the artist, plotter, and sometimes scripter of a little series called Captain Marvel.  But I digress.)

Meanwhile, the tail-end of November, 1972 had seen the release of Hulk #161, written by Steve Englehart and drawn by Herb Trimpe, which revealed that the person Hank and Vera were going to see in Canada was none other than Calvin Rankin, aka the Mimic — an old frenemy of the X-Men who, not so coincidentally, had made his debut in the same issue Vera had, #19.  Since his last appearance, Cal’s mutant power to mimic the abilities of the original X-folks had gone haywire, morphing into a condition that caused him to not just copy others’ abilities, but actually drain their life-energy.  Left unchecked, the Mimic feared he would eventually wipe out all life on Earth, which is why he’d holed up in a cabin in a Canadian woodland (albeit within walking distance of an official U.S. border crossing), as well as why he’d sent Vera (now his girlfriend) to fetch their mutual pal Henry McCoy, renowned expert on human mutation.

Whether or not Hank would have managed to cure Cal and thereby save the world on his own will never be known, as the Hulk unexpectedly showed up, and the Mimic ended up sacrificing his own life by intentionally absorbing enough of ol’ Greenskin’s gamma radiation to kill him.  (Yes, of course he got better later.  This is comics, folks.)  That neatly (if rather sadly) tied off the “mystery girl”/Vera plot thread that the termination of the Beast’s solo series had left dangling — but it did nothing to to resolve the whole Secret-Empire-plotting-against-Brand-Corporation business (which included the minor matter of Hank McCoy’s beloved secretly being a murderous traitor) — the series’ primary narrative arc, in other words.  For a conclusion to that plotline, we readers would have to wait a bit longer… more specifically, until 1974, and an extended storyline in Captain America that would end up being far better remembered for other reasons than how it tied up the loose ends from the Beast’s short-lived solo series.

But further discussion on that particular topic will, naturally, have to wait for future posts, still more than a year down the road.  I hope to see you all back here much sooner than that — this coming Wednesday, to be precise — for the further (or is that parallel?) adventures of Gerry, Steve, Glynis, and Len in Rutland, Vermont.

 

*That title, if you’re wondering, is derived from an 1885 poem by James Whitcomb Riley called “Little Orphant Annie”, or “The Elf Child”.

13 comments

  1. frednotfaith2 · October 15

    I got this issue and Thor 207, so at least 2/3rds of the loose tale, although initially I don’t think I realized that those characters in the car were comics writers. Anyhow, a fun read back then. As to Bob Brown’s art, although I’d only rate him as fair to good, about on par with Sal Buscema. Not one of those I ever went gaga over, but not one who made me wince at the art either. I liked that splash page. I’d even give a pass for Hank giving Juggie at least a brief “scare” after taking off his McCoy mask and letting lose with a, ahem, beastly snarl. And a couple of years earlier I had read the reprint of Juggernaut’s first appearance, in which a guest-starring Johnny Storm helped weaken him down until the Angel managed to rip off his helmet and depower him (that mag, was among those lost in the purge when my family moved from California to Utah).
    From my silver-haired vintage of 50 years later, aspects of the tale are a bit silly but it was still entertaining enough for my 10 year old self and it’s stuck in my memory better than some other comics I “only” read 30 or 40 years ago.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. frasersherman · October 15

    Stripping off Juggernaut’s helmet doesn’t depower him, it just makes him vulnerable to psi-attacks. It’s the usual handwave when a hero has to take down someone way out of his league.
    I only read the JLA issue back in the day and didn’t pick up on who these non-super types were supposed to be. Even reading now and getting the point, it feels kind of disjointed..

    Liked by 3 people

    • frednotfaith2 · October 15

      Clearly Englehart mis-remembered that aspect of the first Juggernaut story and simply remembered, “oh, Juggernaut loses his helmet, loses his mystic powers”. Not the first or last time a writer misremembered something like that – sometimes even the very same writer who wrote the first story!

      Liked by 1 person

      • frasersherman · October 15

        Case in point, Len Wein has the JLA meet the Phantom Stranger in the same crossover and at the end the Stranger disappears without saying for sure if he accepts their offer of membership. Wein said years later that the Stranger is clearly saying no, but a few issues later — still during Wein’s run — PS refers to himself as a League member.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Sharon · October 15

    “I think that the guy in red in the first panel above is supposed to suggest Kid Flash, though I may be wrong… ”
    The headpiece coloring’s is off, but I think that’s Mark Moonrider from Kirby’s Forever People. The collar design. is the tip-off.

    Another illuminating entry, Alan–thanks!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Alan Stewart · October 15

      You’re welcome, Sharon… and you’re probably right about Moonrider! 🙂

      Like

  4. Steve McBeezlebub · October 15

    I feel completely the opposite of you as to Bob Brown. I loved every thing I read of his (which was all Marvel. I may have read a Challengers reprint before then but it’s been decades). His Avengers run is what I loved best but his Daredevil and Warlock were a delight to me as well. That’s why there’s vanilla AND chocolate though. Almost everything is going to be a favorite for someone and an also ran to the person next to them. I think that image of the Beast approaching the car is the single best image of Hank’s furry allter ego up to that point. Sutton never turned me off but never excited me either.

    BTW, remember the lettercol to the fill in issue by Brown at t he end of Cockrum’s run? It stated that had Brown not died he would have been Cockrum’s succesor and not Byrne. It’s one of two almost runs in comics I dearly wish had happened. At the very least, Nightcrawler would have not been relegated to supporting team member as happened with Byrne pushing Wolverine and Banshee being written out.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. DontheArtistformerlyknownasfrodo628 · October 16

    I’m pretty sure I read the JLA leg of this tripod and missed the rest. Like most everyone else, I had no idea who the civilians Hank was running around with were supposed to be, though I had to assume they were “comics people” at some point, from all the insider comments if nothing else. I have a fondness for the Rutland tales and consider the idea of the Rutland Halloween parade as my introduction to the idea of cosplay.

    As to the story itself, meh. I wasn’t a huge Beast fan and to me the “trick” of being Juggernaut is that he’s supposed to be unstoppable and you really don’t see that here. I also have no idea of Juggy ever being “magic” in any way. I also didn’t like the way Beast took on his new, bluer form through science rather than have it be a natural progression of his mutation. It just seemed to make his mutancy take a back seat, when before it had been the bulk of what the character had been about.

    Brown’s artwork is OK here. I don’t hate it and it wouldn’t make me put the comic back un-bought, but it’s not terribly exciting. I’m more interested in the Starlin cover, even though this is not the Starlin style we all eventually come to know and love. Englehart’s story is also OK, but like Starlin, is not nearly on-par with the stories that will eventually make him famous.

    Thanks, Alan! I look forward to the rest of this Rutland trilogy in the upcoming weeks.

    Liked by 2 people

  6. Joe Gill · October 17

    I just want to put in my two cents (unadjusted for inflation) worth on Bob Brown’s artwork. I loved his run on Superboy, most of which was written by Frank Robbins if I’m not mistaken. I agree with you that Super types weren’t really his thing but actually the Superboy books of that era tended to be character driven and plot oriented rather than the straight sci-fi Supervillian stuff you’d expect. I also liked his run on Warlock. It suffers in comparison to Jim Starlin’s work that followed it up but who wouldn’t suffer by comparison?
    As for the whole Rutland thing I think it is a little self indulgent to put yourself in the Comic you’re producing but who am I to quibble? I did love Glynis line about how Marvel wasn’t paying the writers much. I’d have loved to have been a fly on the wall when Stan Lee first saw that!

    Liked by 2 people

    • frednotfaith2 · October 17

      I wonder if Stan Lee even read all that many comics himself back then, rather than say casually skimming through a few now and then or when someone brought a particular issue to his attention, such as perhaps Kirby’s unflattering depiction of him as Funky Flashman

      Like

      • frasersherman · October 18

        Steve Englehart commented many years later that he always looked down his nose at writers who couldn’t keep track enough of what was going on in other books to manage basic continuity. Then he’d written Terra into Millennium as one of the New Guardians only to discover she’d just been killed in Titans (he switched to Floronic Man).

        Liked by 1 person

  7. Pingback: Thor #207 (January, 1973) | Attack of the 50 Year Old Comic Books
  8. Pingback: Justice League of America #103 (December, 1972) | Attack of the 50 Year Old Comic Books

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