Thursday, September 6, 2012

King-Size Special Events!

Fantastic Four Annual #4 1966

Amazing Spider-Man Annual #3 1966

I miss the old-fashioned annual. I know they still do annuals, but sadly in the modern comics world, the annual hardly stands out, it's not special really, just another installment.

Once upon a time when Marvel Comics was yet young, the annual was a way to showcase big events. They put the spotlight on something they deemed truly spectacular. In modern vernacular, they were often truly "internet-breaking".

I don't know if Spidey joining up with Avengers to fight the Hulk counts as "internet-breaking" these days, but the revival of the Golden Age Human Torch, the final member of Timely's Big Three to be brought into the Marvel Universe in a formal way was just that -- something worthy of a "King-Size Special".

I miss caring about comics this much really. Sigh.

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  1. I remember that I had no earthly idea what the word "original" meant on that FF cover. Drove me nuts! I was familiar with "origin" (Hey, I was a comics fan) but had never heard "original." In fact, I recall mispronouncing it as "origin-all." Became a favorite FF story, though, dampered only a bit by how many times they ultimately ended up re-re-reviving the Torch.

  2. It seems odd now that they were so squeamish about having another Torch around at the time, given that since then doppleganger heroes have become ubiquitous at Marvel. The Torch shows and blows up in one short story, and it's a long time before he surfaces again. The concern that fans wouldn't be able to tell characters apart always seems so timid on the part of the editors.

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