Here’s the deal for my humble This Week in Comic Book History column, I’ve gotten conflicting reports on the actual date of release of Superman vs. Muhammad Ali. Originally it was released in a tabloid sized edition – think giant sized comic – as part of the Limited Collectors’ Edition series DC did and it was released back in 1978. In some reports it said September, others said February, or April, so I decided just to use this as an excuse to talk about Superman vs. Muhammad Ali and the unique history of the comic.
Back in September of 1982 two of the hottest comic series on the planet were Marvel’s Uncanny X-Men and DC’s The New Teen Titans, so it makes sense that Marvel and DC would team up to do a crossover series. That’s right, I’m going back to September 1982 to celebrate the release of the one-shot The Uncanny X-Men and The New Teen Titans.
If you’ve ever been a fan of the X-Men in any way shape or form, This Week in Comic Book History is my look into the important beginning that made the X-Men what they are today. August 1975 marked the release of Uncanny X-Men #94 from Marvel Comics, the beginning of Chris Claremont’s run as writer on the series.
In looking for subjects to dive into for any edition of This Week in Comic Book History, I never quite know what I’m going to find. Especially when I look into certain years and find many things have happened, but they’re more for a larger project than a short column. Still, as a fan of the Joe Kelly Deadpool series and overall liking the character, I didn’t realize that back in August of 1993 was the release of the first Deadpool mini-series “The Circle Chase” written by Deadpool co-creator Fabian Nicieza and drawn by Joe Madureira. That’s right, this is one of the early projects by Joe Madureira, just before he started work on the Uncanny X-Men series in 1994. I still haven’t read it since I first bought it back when I was twelve years old. Time to take a trip back to August of 1993 with Deadpool: The Circle Chase for This Week in Comic Book History.
I couldn’t believe it myself when I looked this up, Jhonen Vasquez’s Johnny the Homicidal Maniac began it’s life as a comic book series in August 1995. Initially published in Carpe Noctem magazine as one page stories, Slave Labor Graphics is where Vasquez’s work became a full seven issue comic series running from August 1995 to January 1997. Johnny the Homicidal Maniac was the first story that I personally discovered of his when I was getting back into comics. This is one especially special This Week in Comic Book History for me, because in looking back at Johnny the Homicidal Maniac was getting to see the developing voice of a creator that would become one of my personal favorites. Join me won’t you as we look back at the first big project of Jhonen Vasquez with Johnny the Homicidal Maniac for This Week in Comic Book History for August 14, 2013.
You may be wondering why Crisis is by itself within the title of This Week in Comic Book History. To explain this simply, the Crisis in question is about the beginning of the term within DC Comics, starting in August, 1963 with Justice League of America vol. 1 #21. Which means in DC Comics terms, this is the 50th anniversary of Crisis within the DC Universe. From the simple beginnings of Crisis began something far bigger than Gardner Fox or anyone at DC Comics could have ever imagined. Just from this story we learned that Crisis would come to mean that when we saw this word used with anything, big events were about to go down. Sit back, relax, and take a trip back to the year 1963 with me as we celebrate the beginnings of Crisis in the DC Universe in this edition of This Week in Comic Book History for August 6, 2013.
This is a special edition of This Week in Comic Book History, I’m breaking the format to dive into a subject I’ve been wanting to talk about for awhile now, Marvel Comics breaking from the Comics Code Authority.
In looking over subjects to talk about for This Week in Comic Book History, one struck me as curious. Back in July, 1986 was the release of John Byrne’s The Man of Steel, the beginning of a six issue mini-series with Byrne doing a modern take on Superman’s origin. In the aftermath of Crisis on Infinite Earths, the DC Universe got a reboot and after writers such as Cary Bates, Steve Gerber, and Frank Miller had all made pitches, eventually Byrne – after leaving Marvel – was available and, in the short version, he got the job of creating a new origin for Superman.
In this edition of This Week in Comic Book History for July 17, 2013, we’re going to look back on the formation of Dark Horse Comics – the company founded by Mike Richardson back in July 1986, all started with two comics, Dark Horse Presents and Boris the Bear. Dark Horse Presents, which after one cancellation in 2000 and an adventure at MySpace for a period of time returned to print in 2011, is still going strong today. Which is the same for Dark Horse Comics itself, bringing us comics like Frank Miller and Geoff Darrow’s Hard Boiled to the ever powerful Star Wars line of comics. Dark Horse Comics has always been one of those interesting publishers that manages to balance a strong line up of creator owned and licensed comics in a harmonious package. Which is why I want to take a travel back in time, and look over just how the company began and where it is now. Dark Horse Comics, you just make up another wonderful piece of comic book history and I’m here to salute you.
I’ve done the occasional themed edition of This Week in Comic Book History before, but nothing like this. Looking over Marvel’s Superior Spider-Man month for July there’s a nifty piece of history that some may not catch onto. July marks the 50th anniversary of Doctor Otto Octavius a.k.a. Doctor Octopus making his first appearance into the Marvel Universe with Amazing Spider-Man #3 on July 10, 1963. That’s right, Marvel timed the Superior month for Spider-Man beautifully. The celebration was on for the 50th Anniversary of Spider-Man already, July’s Superior Month is even more special when you realize that it’s also Doc Ock’s anniversary in the Marvel Universe too. In my own research for this column, I decided to make this the focus of this edition of This Week in Comic Book History. We’re going to take a look at Amazing Spider-Man #3, a comic that I’d sadly never read before until I did this column today. This is the ultimate wayback machine moment, hang on to your hats because this will be a wild ride.
On This Week in Comic Book History for July 3rd, 2013 we dive into two particularly fun pieces of history. From the year 1989 to 1991, these pieces of history go in two entirely different directions. One is a goofy but fun piece to come out of The Avengers in the late 80′s, while the other was one of the foundations of the comic book boom and heavy speculator adventures in the 90′s. Time to take a trip into sequential art past, dive through the staples, and wander into the panels for another edition of This Week in Comic Book History!
This Week in Comic Book History for June 26, 2013 covers a diverse mix of topics. We’ll take a look at Doctor Strange, the rising price of comics back in the 70′s, and close out with a dedication to the legendary Superman artist Curt Swan. Come along, pull up a chair, kick back and relax as we dive into another edition of This Week in Comic Book History!
This Week in Comic Book History for June 19, 2013 is another short but sweet edition focusing on The Thing with one series that ran a long time, and one that sadly got cut short. A favorite of many comic fans out there, even eclipsing The Fantastic Four itself, The Thing is a beloved part of the Marvel Universe. Ben Grimm has been a staple of Marvel life either as a normal guy, or the ever lovin’ blue eyed Thing. Which is why I wanted to make a special focus for these as they’re both just another wonderful part of comic book history.
In This Week in Comic Book History for June 12, 2013, it’s a shorter one than normal because the two events that I’m choosing to focus on this week are big in their own rights. From 1972, the launch of Luke Cage into the Marvel Universe, to the start of the G.I. Joe comic in 1982. While a shorter version of This Week in Comic Book History than normal, the events focused on here are well worth it.
This Week in Comic Book History for June 5, 2013 dives into the start of Malibu Comics Ultraverse, a certain big event involving Superman in 1993, and a personal favorite X-Men comic released back in 1989. All this and more awaits in This Week in Comic Book History.