I love the Sunday newspaper comics and have for a long time. Full of comedy, there are so many strips to choose from. I especially liked the superhero newspaper strips. My grandparents always had bundles of them in their garage, from their delicatessen. I usually got to read them before they returned what didn’t get sold.
In 1979 there were comic strips about the World’s Greatest Superheroes, Spider-Man, The Incredible Hulk, and Brenda Starr. Whoops! Skip the Brenda strip. Although, it was sort of fun. Kind of adventure/soap opera.
The superhero newspaper strips would offer full page colored posters for promotion. Just cut ‘em out and slap on your walls! Of the strips offered, my favorites were Hulk and World’s Greatest Heroes. The popularity of the Superfriends cartoon, Spider-Man cartoon and live action Hulk shows, was driving the demand for the strips.
“The World’s Greatest Heroes” strip started in 1978 and ran until 1985. Artists George Tuska and similar styled Vince Colletta were among the names working on the strip. It focused on Superman in its last years, scrapping the huge roster of characters.
“The Incredible Hulk” strip started in 1978 and ended in 1982. It followed the basis of the big green guy’s television show, a wanderer trying to lay low while figuring out a cure for “hulking out.”
Stan Lee and Larry Lieber started the strip off on it four year stint. Then, Lieber did both writing and art. Lieber eventually handed off art duties to Rich Buckler. The “Spider-Man “ strip started in 1977 and is still in daily papers today. Stan Lee wrote the bulk of the series and artists featured are John Romita Sr. and Larry Lieber, who is still working on the strip.
Imagine the glee of finding stacks and stacks of these strips along your grandparents garage wall. You have nothing but time and a rainy afternoon to read this glorious stuff!
Honorable mentions for Superhero Newspaper Strips go to “The Phantom” and the “Star Wars”…
Marvel Age was a sort of comic book that was published from 1983 until 1994. It actually was kind of an extension of the Marvel Bullpen Bulletins. Which of course offered news about upcoming books and events that all of us Marvel Zombies needed to know. Marvel Age went a step further by offering previews of new titles. In addition I was always impressed with the great interviews with some of the superstars of the time.
Furthermore how can you balk at a publication that featured none other than Crystar? I realize I may in fact be in the minority for my love of Remco’s crystal warrior. But that first issue of Marvel Age totally has a cover by the legendary Walt Simonson as well!
I have in the past shared my memories and thoughts on the line of Questprobe games. The graphic and text based adventures by Scott Adams. While certainly they might appear to be rather dated in contrast to the Marvel games being made today. I think it’s equally important to remember that in 1984 – when Questprobe featuring the Hulk was released. These were a big deal and offered a new way to experience the adventures of our favorite Marvel Comics characters.
For one thing, you should keep in mind that one of the best Marvel Comic games at this point was 1982’s Spider-Man for the Atari 2600!
I certainly hope it doesn’t sound like I’m knocking the Atari 2600 Spider-Man game. As it is in fact one of my favorite games for the system. However when your text based actions help to trigger the transformation of Bruce Banner to the Hulk! That is a magical moment indeed!
Which brings us to this particular issue of Marvel Age. Knowing my love of the Questprobe series of games. The esteemed Gary Burton picked up this issue at a flea market a little while back. Within the pages there are excellent interviews with the likes of then Editor In Chief Jim Shooter as well as Scott Adams of course. To say nothing of what looked like a bright future for the Questprobe series.
How could they fail? They had twelve games in the works with the most popular Marvel Comics characters at the time. The Incredible Hulk, Spider-Man, and even the duo of The Thing and The Human Torch! In short these were the only three games to be produced which was a terrible shame. The concept was intriguing and moreover they almost had the X-Men game finished when the plug was pulled.
At the very least we still have those three Questprobe titles and they are readily available to play. Likewise there were 140 issues of Marvel Age to enjoy and they still are an excellent snapshot of the time they were produced.
Now that you’ve had the opportunity to enjoy issue 18 of Marvel Age. Why not check out my earlier posts on the Questprobe games?
The Incredible Hulk was a pretty big deal in 1978. The first season of the popular CBS television series had already aired. With Bill Bixby as Dr. David Bruce Banner and Lou Ferirgno portraying the Jade Giant. As a matter of fact the live-action show spawned a syndicated newspaper comic strip. In addition the strip was at the beginning of it’s run written by Stan Lee and illustrated by Larry Lieber. Which most of you might know is in fact Lee’s younger brother!
Image courtesy of the Big Glee! Blog.
With ‘Ol Jade Jaws growing popularity thanks to the TV show it of course made sense to merchandise. In this case the myriad products that The Incredible Hulk spawned included clothing, bedding, toys, and records. More importantly in the case of Retro Records it allowed Peter Pan records to produce this 1978 album. Featuring four short stories of the adventures of everyone’s favorite gamma-irradiated rage monster.
Don’t feel too bad for that particular Ursus arctos, friends. I’m sure it can…bear it. Zing! Don’t forget to tip the wait staff and I look forward to seeing you for the next show.
The four stories on the LP were Black Chasm, Blind Alley, Monster From the Deep, and The Assassin. Which is the story we are sharing today. In it David Banner, using the name David Benson, hitchhikes into the small town of Pine Knot. Where a political rally is underway for Bob Hyatt, a man who promises to eradicated the underhandedness and corruption of the local politician. Someone obviously disagrees with this campaign promise as an assassin tries to silence Hyatt – permanently. David finds himself in the wrong place at the wrong time and faces the brutality of Chief Dunphy. Can Banner clear his name of the wrongful accusation of being the assassin? Or will Dunphy and the town of Pine Knot face the fury of The Incredible Hulk?
Find out for yourself as you listen to The Assassin!