In 1976, my first issue of FOOM came in the mail, about Jack Kirby’s return to Marvel. He actually hadn’t been gone all that long, but at that time DC and Marvel were perceived as Ormadz and Ahriman, and even that was too vague for me to process because the Marvel fanfare said nothing about what he’d been doing during his … uh, hiatus “over there,” i.e., the New Gods collectively speaking, and others.
Of my old comics, one of the very few left in my possession is the huge magazine-style version of Robert E. Howard’s “Red Nails,” adapted by Roy Thomas and Barry [Windsor] Smith (originally in Savage Tales #2-3; here reprinted in color). There is no point in trying to articulate Smith’s presence and creative force in comics. Just … look at this.
I’d been reading comics for about four years. I had read Origin of Marvel Comics, and Son of Origins, I’d struggled with The Steranko History of Comics volume 1, I had my issues of FOOM coming in the mail, and I had an envelope stuffed with Marvel Value Stamps. I was eleven, I was finally afforded an allowance that didn’t vanish with a single candy bar, and more than anything in the world, and as far as real life is concerned, considering I’d already met Leonard Nimoy, I wanted to be in on the ground floor of a new, world-beating, mighty Marvel comic magazine. Read the rest of this entry
Um … you do see who he is, right? Down to almost exactly the same powers? No mask, but a secret identity anyway, via an alias? Breaking chains all the time? Alien to comfortably ordinary folks? Flatly cut off from his original identity and home, yet not even the hint of emotional crisis or a personality disorder? Confronting thugs on the one hand and tycoons on the other, too, in a world where “law and order” is not necessarily something to be on the side of.
That’s the second issue I received in the mail upon becoming a member of Friends Of Ol’ Marvel in 1975. As you can see, it featured the Vision, introduced with great force & verve during the later stage of Roy Thomas’ Avengers run, and developed into one of the finest favorite heroes of the day by Steve Englehart, the writer on the book when this issue of FOOM came out.