Sunday, November 18, 2012

Captain Marvel And The Golden Treats!

Sal Buscema

Ross Andru

Sal Buscema

Gil Kane

Sal Buscema

Al Milgrom

Arvell Jones

Sal Buscema

Most members of my generation will remember these delightful ads from the comics of the Bronze Age. The synergy that Hostess developed with the comic book companies was fascinating. It was in some weird way like getting an offbeat extra page of pure comics content. The stories were light-hearted and often light-headed, but sometimes surprisingly compelling. Many were well crafted.

I was always surprised that Captain Marvel, a true B-Team hero from Marvel, a character who had difficulties holding down his own title for extended period rated so many appearances in the Hostess ads. You can see most all of those myriad four-color ads at this delicious site, one of the coolest on the net.

You expect heavy hitters like Batman, Spider-Man, Captain America and such to get a lot of appearances, but Captain Marvel while a fave of mine, was never in their league, certainly not when it came immediate recognition and the ability to move merchandise. The Hulk was much the better choice for that. But nonetheless Mar-Vell rated at least nine of these charming ads, with art by some of the Bullpen's best. I made my best guess on some of these. If you disagree don't hesitate to let me know. I'd like to get it right.

I miss the ads a lot, the snack cakes not so much. Little Debbie has always been my preference.

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5 comments:

  1. Four of these were completely new to me.

    It's heretical but I think if the Sensational Captain Marvel hadn't been one of Kane's tormented, sinewy heroes he might have been more popular.The Captain's finest hour was in Starlin's "homage" to the New Gods but Sal made Mar- Vell a sleek powerhouse. A bit more Space Opera and a bit less Head Shop would also have been in order.

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    1. I just read the solicitations from Marvel for February and it's a big Captain Marvel month. They're getting out a paperback Masterworks with the first Mar-Vell stories and a second Essentials volume is coming out focusing on the Starlin years.

      I can't fault Marvel for trying to launch the Captain. They're tried and tried and tried. It just doesn't seem to last long. But the need to keep the trademark alive will guarantee we'll see him at least semi-regularly.

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  2. The Captain Marvel "Big Bang" penciler is Ross Andru, not Keith Pollard.
    I think the inker is Mike Esposito or Tony Mortadello.
    And, in order to keep the "Captain Marvel" trademark active, Marvel has to use it for someone, whether it's Carol Danvers, Mar-Vell, Monica Rambeau, Noh_Varr, or whoever.

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    1. I can see that, especially in the figures of some of the henchmen. The faces though don't seem to be Andru, but these pieces were very likely the work of committees.

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  3. It's possible that there were a couple of elements modified in-house (there's a lot of Romita-retouching throughout the Marvel character ads), but the majority of the art is Andru, at least according to the GCD...
    http://www.comics.org/issue/204903/#1032937
    (scroll down to "Big Bang!!")

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