Sunday, December 30, 2012

Calamity On Campus!

The infamous "Baby Boomers" arrived in college in the 60's and they were a group eager it seems to protest the injustices of the world and America. There were it should be noted plenty of  such injustices to target. But I've always been somewhat suspect of the purity of their motivations, since the war in Vietnam was the trigger for many to protest and their just suspicion of that war always seemed less about war in general than their fighting in that specific war in particular.

That notion seems somewhat vindicated since so many of the "Boomers" seem sufficiently indifferent to the wars of the modern era.  As someone on the edge of that group of generational locusts I've always traveled in their wake dealing with a life orchestrated to cater to them.

The Amazing Spider-Man cover above by John Romita from 1969 is a classic, capturing what must've seemed to be a zeitgeist traveling across the land, affecting Marvel's target audience especially. The causes indicated above seem less international though and much more domestic, a hodge-podge of protest rather.

Here's that image reprinted a few years later in 1974 already seeming somewhat quaint and dated.

By 1978 when Spider-Man Comics Weekly hit the stands the notion of campus protests were downright historical. The "Boomers" had by then moved on to budding careers and cocaine.

But as was often the case in Britain, this story was published in two parts creating a dilemma for what to do about a second cover. The solution was the "Calamity on Campus!" cover above featuring an unusually stiff Spidey being buffeted by what appear to be the same protesters.

They're not the same. They are instead these protesters from 1972 pelting Iron Man as he intrudes upon their political assembly, which appears to somewhat less than peaceful. This of course was in the shadow of the shootings at Kent State a few years before. It gives the scene a new gravity. Gil Kane's cover inked by John Romita is pretty dramatic I must say and the transition to a Spidey cover is done rather smoothly.

This cover proved quite memorable as can be seen by this Radioactive Man cover which at once lampoons and pays homage to the vintage comic scene.

Those hippies! Sheesh!

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