Wednesday, 26 September 2018

WHEN DEJA VU IS NOT DEJA VU...


Images copyright MARVEL COMICS

Imagine for a second that you run into a friend while you're passing a specific shop in town one day.  A fortnight later, you run into him again outside the exact same shop and he says "Deja vu!"  Except he'd be wrong, because deja vu is when you experience something for the first time and it feels like you've experienced it before - not something that you have experienced before.  So what I'm now about to describe to you isn't deja vu, but it's like deja vu.

Back in 1981, in the VIRGIN MEGA STORE in Glasgow, I purchased my first JOHN BYRNE issue of The FANTASTIC FOUR - issue 234, "The MAN With The POWER!"  Loved it, and started buying the mag regularly from that point on whenever I saw it.  However, I missed a couple of issues, and ordered them, as well as the first two JB issues, from WONDERWORLD COMICS in Bournemouth.  I no longer recall if I ordered them all at the same time or on two separate occasions (though I'm pretty sure that I got #s 236 & 237 in the same package), but what I do remember is receiving #232, the "BACK To The BASICS!" issue, the first one of John Byrne's 62 issue run as regular writer and artist.

So today, the TRUE BELIEVERS reprint of that very issue arrived - and immediately took me back 37 years in time, when, in the very same room, in the very same bed (well, it's actually a new bed, but it has the very same headboard and it's in the very same corner of the room), I first read that classic comicbook from so very long ago.  It's a weird feeling to re-experience a moment (or one very similar to it) in the very same place where it first happened.  Anyway, I re-read the comic and marvelled (contrived pun intended) at how quickly time passes, remembering that I was far less than half the age I am now when I initially read the issue.

So, simply to give you something to read (and give me an excuse to show the cover), above is the TB version, and below is the original one.  Funny how the span between past and present can vanish in an instant on sight of something as simple as reprint of a comic, don't you think?

******

(The tale has been reprinted a few times over the years and I have at least three of them, but this is the first time [that I know of] it's been reprinted as a single issue.)

Yup, this is my original issue, purchased back in the early '80s

6 comments:

Colin Jones said...

I'm sure that was my first Byrne FF issue too and I was equally impressed - strange to think the FF was barely 20 years old at the time!

Kid said...

I hear that JB is returning to Marvel, CJ. If so, I'd love to see him take over the FF again and do the anniversary issue that he had planned just before he went to DC.

Colin Jones said...

A few years ago I saw some of Byrne's recent work and it was unrecognizable from his X-Men/FF days!

Kid said...

I suppose it depends who's inking him, but I noticed that, just like, Kirby, his figures seemed to be getting shorter and wider.

Dave S said...

I first read that issue in a Marvel Super Heroes annual, bought on a sunny afternoon in the Book Pedlar in the South Side of Glasgow in the early 90s. Loved it then, love it now.

I think I've said it here before, Kid, but when I first began properly reading and collecting American comics, John Byrne was writing and drawing the FF, Walt Simonson was doing the same on Thor, Daredevil: Born Again was being published, Chris Claremont was writing the X-Men, Marvel Tales were reprinting Lee and Romita Spider-Man yarns and Stern, Buscema and Palmer were giving us the Avengers: Under Siege- a real highpoint of quality in Marvel's history.

Is it any wonder I got hooked on comics?

Kid said...

I've got that very annual, DS, bought when it first came out. Actually, it was the Lee/Ditko Spidey tales that were being reprinted around this time, but they continued straight on into the Romita ones without a pause. As you say, it was a real highpoint in Marvel's history.

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