Friday, August 1, 2014

Meet Rocket Raccoon...

Unlike Guardians of the Galaxy team-mates Groot and Star-Lord, he didn't get a solor story or cover pic...
...in fact, he didn't even show up until mid-way through the story...which was cancelled on a cliffhanger (which was never resolved) a few pages later!
Be here on Monday (after you've seen Guardians of the Galaxy) to read his first appearance.

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Reading Room MARVEL PREVIEW "The Star-Lord: Who He Is and How He Came to Be"

The lead character of the new Guardians of the Galaxy movie (opening tomorrow) was quite different...
...when he debuted in the b/w magazine Marvel Preview #4 (1976)
How different?
Let co-creator Steve Englehart tell you...
You can read a follow-up article by Englehart explaining how things might have proceeded if he had stayed on the strip HERE.

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Reading Room SPACE ADVENTURES "Magnet of Magneto"

Nope, it's not the mutant villain/anti-hero/hero of X-Men fame, but an entire planet...
...hell-bent on conquering the universe!

Written by Joe Gill and illustrated by Steve Ditko, this tale of menace and magnetism from Charlton's Space Adventures V2N5 (1969) is scientifically-inaccurate, but fun.
and isn't that what comics are all about?
You may recognize the splash panel as the cover for this issue...
Charlton had a tendency to re-use/recompose interior art for covers, especially with their anthologies.
Whether it was for budget or deadline reasons has been lost to the mists of history.

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Reading Room INCREDIBLE HULK ANNUAL "It is GROOT, the Monster from Planet X!!"

In 1976, an evil alien scientist recreated a number of long-forgotten monsters...
...to battle his old foe, the Incredible Hulk...
...including...awww, you guessed...
The never-reprinted story from Incredible Hulk Annual #5 (1976), written by Len Wein and illustrated by Sal Buscema and Jack Abel was a tribute to the 1950s pre-superhero monster stories Stan Lee and Jack Kirby produced in astounding amounts for Marvel's predecessor Atlas Comics.
Besides Groot, five other classic monsters with silly names appeared...
...including the alien scientist (and monster), Xemnu, who re-created the other aliens!
BTW, Xemnu was originally-known as "the Living Hulk", so when his pre-Marvel stories (he appeared twice!) were reprinted in the late 1960s (after the introduction of the green-skinned Hulk), he was re-named "the Living Titan".
Technically, this was not the "real" Groot, but, it's still considered the character's first appearance in the Marvel Universe...as well as confirmation that some (if not all) of the pre-superhero stories are part of the history of the fictional universe.
Catch Groot in the new movie, Guardians of the Galaxy, this weekend...

Monday, July 28, 2014

Reading Room TALES TO ASTONISH "I Challenged Groot! The Monster from Planet X!"

He's one of the stars of the new Marvel movie Guardians of the Galaxy...
...but Groot was originally meant as a one-time "monster of the day" prevalent in Atlas Comics' sci-fi/fantasy books before they became Marvel in 1961!
Of course nobody (including writer Stan Lee) considered the super-termites might start eating the surrounding forest once they finished munching on Groot...
The cover-featured story from Tales to Astonish #13 (1960) was penciled by Jack Kirby and inked by Dick Ayers was Groot's only appearance (except for reprints) for 15 years until Incredible Hulk Annual #5 (1976) which combined an alien scientist's recreations of several pre-superhero-era monsters against The Hulk...
...including...
...as you'll see tomorrow.

Sunday, July 27, 2014

GROOT is Coming!

He's one of the breakout characters in the new Guardians of the Galaxy movie, opening this week...
...but Groot didn't always look like that!
He was much taller...and far more hostile towards humanity!
Art by Jack Kirby and Steve Ditko
Be here tomorrow when we present his first (and almost last) appearance!
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