Thursday, December 22, 2016

LIve Kree Or Die - Calling Captain Marvel!


After several months on hiatus it was decided by Marvel to give Captain Marvel another spin on the stands in his own comic. (The fact is that his name is very likely much of the reason the Kree Captain has been so durable, as it's in Marvel's best interest to keep publishing a new "Captain Marvel" comic every so often.)


In between the time his run had been interrupted and this new start up, he had guest-starred in Avengers #72, a comic I detailed here. After his run in with the Zodiac, Cap and Rick Jones are trying mightily to find a way to co-exist. Gil Kane is at the top of his game and well inked by Dan Adkins in these above average yarns. Captain Marvel appears to have a three-hour limit on the time he can be free of the Negative Zone, but even that brief release is something Rick is loathe to allow.


They strike on a new plan to seek out Bruce Banner, the man Rick once allied with. Despite Banner's other identity as the Hulk, they still imagine his scientific reasoning might be of some value.


To that end they head west and along the way find a town suffering from the aftermath of an earthquake. These poor folks suffer the indignity of highly organized and technically supported looters hitting them just after the quake. This "Rat Pack" is quickly subdued by Captain Marvel and he continues his journey to see Bruce Banner.


They find Banner and he's in a relatively calm and helpful mood. He tries to find a way to assist them, but when a local campus suffers from violence as a result of student protest Banner loses control and the Hulk emerges and heads to the college to seek about things.


Captain Marvel is drawn into a ferocious battle with Greenskin and actually comes out on the losing end when Rick Jones takes his place and is able to soothe the savage beast.  The Hulk heads out and Rick continues his journey, as the comic once again on hiatus.


But there is one more appearance, though not one which has been collected in reprint to my knowledge.


In the pages of Sub-Mariner #30 Roy and artists Sal Buscema and "Joe (really Mike Esposito) Gaudioso" have Captain Marvel and Rick Jones join forces with Namor to stop a nuclear threat.  You can read it all here


All in all a pretty darn good tale and served its purpose to keep Captain Marvel in the limelight. Marvel really worked overtime to maintain this character and to see to it that he got some attention outside his own title which as we've seen blinked in and out of existence.


Roy Thomas and Gil Kane with the able assist of inker Dan Adkins turn in two magnificent issues, potent and exciting. Sal Buscema really seemed to have a good handle on the character drawing him in both his guest appearances. "Our Pal" Sal will get another chance soon. A war was coming. 

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7 comments:

  1. Having had encounters with both Namor and Hulk (at close to the same time as Doc Strange & the Surfer) – I wonder if Roy considered Mar-Vell for early Defenders membership? But it is interesting as you note that Marvel had more to gain by keeping the “Captain Marvel” logo on the stands (w/o watering him down on a team)….I’m surprised how much the silver/white hair jumps out at me now – but I know you’re getting to that…

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    1. I love the "Silvertop" period with Captain Marvel which of course Jim Starlin ended when he turned him blonde. I won't actually get too much into the Starlin period this go around, save to look at one special story.

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  2. The sales must've been pretty awful for Goodman to cancel this title again and again, since the trademark was the reason for the book in the first place. I came back for the Kane/Adkins art which was truly wonderful in contrast to whatever Vince Colletta was doing to Heck and others. But I have to say I hated the involvement of Rick Jones, from the cute Shazam parallel to the attempt to portray him as a rock idol, which seemed dated and embarrassing even then. Jones was a tedious omnipresence to me; he hooked up with more superheroes than Mantis and was about as authentic as Snapper Carr.

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    1. Rick had the guitar even when we first saw him with Dr. Banner’s Gamma Bomb about to go off. Possibly was Stan’s take on Rick Nelson (?) He gets point with me for at least trying the Bucky role with Captain America – but Snapper Carr? He was just obnoxious… I think if Rick, Snapper and Billy Batson ever had to duke it out in an MMA situation – I’d put my money on Rick.

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    2. The artwork of this period is pure Kane and Adkins adds just the right smoothness. I was not that much familiar with Gil Kane when he took over this strip and learned his eccentric storytelling and figurework on these issues.

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  3. I thought that was a harmonica. I used to think that Rick, like Rawhide Kid, was modeled by Kirby after James Dean. I think Roy Thomas tried to make him into a young Elvis (who he was a fan of), but Rick Nelson is a good call, too.

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    1. I'm a Rick Jones fan, at least I prefer him to Snapper Carr. He had the Carr role in the earliest Avengers books, but was more legit. Like Snapper he faded when the writers realized they didn't need a mascot teenager to attract readers.

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