Thursday, 24 April 2014

JOHN BYRNE'S FANTASTIC FOUR COVER GALLERY - PART SEVEN...



Well, mainly JOHN BYRNE's FF cover gallery - there are a
few by other artists here also, just to round up the numbers and see
JB's dangling plot threads 'tied up' in the Anniversary issue. Although,
having said that, his ideas for issue #296 seem to have been jettisoned
by plotter JIM SHOOTER when Byrne-Boy jumped ship over to DC
COMICS. It's a shame that he didn't get to finish the run, as going by an
interview given in 1986, his proposed plans for the issue sounded quite
spectacular. What we ended up with was something far less than that,
despite MR MARVEL himself, STAN LEE, scripting the entire
mag. I'd love to see a Byrne special issue, wherein he's allowed
to produce #296 the way he'd originally planned.

Anyway, here endeth the series of John Byrne FF cover galleries.
Be sure to check out the extra bonus section below.

Cover art by Jerry Ordway

Cover art by Jerry Ordway

Cover art by Barry Windsor Smith

Back cover art by John Buscema & Joe Sinnott



Cover art by Kerry Gammill & Joe Sinnott

EXTRA SPECIAL BONUS SECTION...

In 1984, the very first FF Annual was reprinted in a special edition,
with a new five-page section written and drawn by Byrne, replacing
(and expanding on) page 18 by LEE, KIRBY & AYERS. Sporting a
new wraparound cover by JB, the mag also included five new retro-
style pin-ups, which are included here for you to 'Marvel' at.  








THE PHANTOM VIKING - PART TWO OF LION ANNUAL 1968...



Who did they think they were kidding? THE PHANTOM VIKING,
who first appeared in CHAMPION in 1966, was obviously a stand-in for
MARVEL's THE MIGHTY THOR. When Champion folded, the wing-
helmeted wonder (Vikey, not Thor) moved over to LION when the two
comics merged in June of '66, and appeared there until '68.

The Phantom Viking had super-strength and the power of flight when
he donned the helmet of his ancestor, LARSEN THE LIBERATOR,
but if the helmet fell off or the south wind blew, he returned to his frail
mortal identity of OLAF LARSEN, meek and mild school teacher
at WOODBURN SCHOOL.

Thor would've kicked sand in Vikey's face and left him sobbing on
the beach, but the strip was a bold attempt to imitate the thunder god
and avoid paying the licence fee, even if such a blatant rip-off was a poor
second for the real thing. So, let's give Olaf a hearty cheer as we wave him
on his way; he was no DON BLAKE (then again, neither was Don), but
at least he did his best for the two years his strip managed to run.

Don't miss part three - coming whenever I'm stuck
for anything better to write about.





PART SIX - DOUBLE HELPINGS OF JOHNNY FUTURE...



Why prolong an agony of waiting by only serving up one helping
at a time of the FANTASTIC JOHNNY FUTURE, when I can give
you double helpings? Why deprive you of the awesomeness of the mighty
LUIS BERMEJO's impressive illustrations for a moment longer than is
necessary, when you're clearly pining for your POWER PACK fix? I'm
nothing if not a generous man (and modest with it), so here, just for
you, are six and a half palpitating pages of action and adventure!

(And, just to give you a taste of the era, I've thrown in a bonus
ad showing you three of the Annuals available in 1967 for '68.)







Wednesday, 23 April 2014

PART TWO OF MARVEL FLASHBACK COVER GALLERY...



There's no point hanging around - here we are with part two of
our MARVEL FLASHBACK cover gallery. Ten titanic images
from 1997 to thrill and amaze you. Got a favourite? Feel free to
share in the comments section. Personally speaking, I love that
DAREDEVIL one by GENE COLAN - it's pure '60s.









MARVEL FLASHBACK COVER GALLERY - PART ONE...



Way back in July of 1997, MARVEL released many #1 issue
 featuring untold tales relating to the origins of various characters,
in an event that was referred to as FLASHBACK month. HEROES
REBORN titles (such as IRON MAN and THE FANTASTIC FOUR)
weren't included, but those that were had a retro '60s look to the covers
and letters page logos that was good to see again for long-time Marvel
Maniacs who remembered how Marvel mags used to look.

I didn't get them all, but I've got a fair number, so I thought
I'd share the covers with you here. Part two is coming soon, so
don't forget to look in again.