Picking up this early ‘Back Issue’ should be obvious when it as Mary-Jane Watson on the cover. Let’s pick out some highlights.
The opening piece had Dan Johnson interviewing the various creators, including Jim Shooter and Stan Lee, about the Spidey marriage. What was interesting was how quickly it was brought into fruition so the comicbook and newspaper strip versions came out at the same time. Of course, the marriage is long gone now but the conversations here about the pros and cons of marrying Peter Parker off should make you think. That isn’t to say marriages haven’t been successful in comicbooks but it does start to age certain characters. The page list of marriages at the end is interesting but I wish it covered how many survived and how often one of them was killed off.
Andy Mangels has a look at the ‘Isis’ TV series, as part of the ‘Shazam!’ hour and P.C. Hamerlinck focuses on the 6 issue DC Comics series. I think I’ve commented before that I can’t recall the show appearing in the UK but this certainly fills in a lot of the background.
It’s rather interesting reading Roger Ash’s article about Gladstone publishers carrying the Disney licence for 3 years and then a Disney executive saying they’ll take over and failing tells its own story. There’s a sound argument that when comicbook companies do things well and make it look easy, hides the real hardwork behind the scenes.
I’ve been debating with myself for a while about my watching the 1990 TV version of ‘The Flash’. David Gutierres goes over its history and interviews actor John Wesley Shipp. In some respects, the look of the costume here is probably the reason the later Flash costumes have veered in a different direction and not always for the best. At least with this costume, you can believe a man can run better than those leather-looking later versions.
An interesting contrast is the ‘Star Trek Writers Roundtable’ hosted by Robert Greenberger with comicbook writers and editors who have worked on ‘Star Trek’ comicbooks for different companies and the problems of avoiding talking heads, likenesses and other problems in adaptation, including appeasing Paramount. It’s also an important reminder that comicbooks and novels are not regarded as canon. Part 2 is in Write In! # 16, although finding a copy of this issue is going to be a lot tougher.
If you ever wondered why the comicbook adaptations of the Chris Reeve Superman films was only confined to the last two films, Eddy Zeno explains here.
Something I did find scary was seeing the photos by Bob Burns of Superman versus a giant cyclops at the 1964 World’s Fair, you might have seen the adverts in the DC Comics of that period. Truly scary and I wonder how many wanted their money back.
An odd nugget is an interview with Ray Harryhausen about some of his films and beyond being turned into comicbooks. Likewise, animator Darrell McNell recounts his 15 year friendship with artist Alex Toth up to his death.
A good argument not to overlook early issues.
(pub: TwoMorrows Publishing. 98 page illustrated magazine. Price: Well, lets just say I was lucky to buy a copy in auction. ISSN: 1932-6904. Direct from them, you can get a digital copy for $ 4.99 (US))