Back Issue #49 July 2011 (magazine review).

The sub-title of Back Issue # 49 is ‘1970s Time Capsule Issue’ pointing out 40 important events that happened in that decade. Oddly, other that in those events, cover character Deathlok only appears on the cover. Let’s pick out the good stuff.

Alex Boney spends some time looking over ‘Relevance Comics’ and starting off with Green Lantern/Green Arrow at DC Comics and Stan Lee at Marvel with the anti-drug ‘Amazing Spider-Man’ issues giving the Comics Code Authority a kick for not staying up with the times and not even considering showing drugs being dangerous as a good move. From there all things were explored for a while. Bet you’d have to look a lot harder for examples in modern comicbooks.

Mike Mikulovsky interviews Roy Thomas over the ‘Mighty Marvel Calendars’ he put together that started in the mid-1970s. I still have a couple of them and wryly, one of them has a month given 30 days instead of 31 because there wasn’t space for the final day. That should get some of you checking them out if you still own them.

There is a massive article by Mike Eury in the colour section looking at the history of the ‘Planet Of The Apes’ in comicbooks bringing out some surprising answers for who drew and wrote them first and it isn’t who you would expect.

The look at ‘FOOM’ and ‘The Amazing World Of DC Comics’ by Brett Weiss could have worked as two separate articles, mostly because of the ground covered by each one. It would certainly have helped by an index if you wanted to track down particular issues for particular topics. I mean, did you know Foom # 10 featured the X-Men and The Amazing World Of DC Comics # 9 featured the Legion Of Super-Heroes? To know where everyone was would have been topping on the cake.

‘Different Comics, Different Outlets’ by Jerry Boyd shows 6 different places where comic material was inserted. I made Aurora’s ‘Amazing Spider-Man’ model kit back in the mid-1970s but the comicbook insert wasn’t in mine. However, unlike the American market, the only way we could get the Power Records over here was in the specialist comicbook shops in the UK, so we couldn’t help but notice them and match artists.

Mark Arnold interviews Bert Fitzgerald about his involvement with ‘Fast Willie Jackson’ and it being a black version of Archie Andrews which we never saw in the UK.

The mid-70s was also the USA’s Bicentennial and John Wells looks mostly at how DC Comics celebrated it.

In terms of reprint material in softcover, Marvel were the forerunners when Fireside/Simon & Schuster did a series of origin books with Stan Lee giving information between the stories. Oddly, writer Dewey Cassell doesn’t recall the nickname for ‘The Superhero Women’ as ‘Bring On The Broads’ but I suppose that would be deemed politically incorrect now.

As ever, a lot of useful information in this early edition of ‘Back Issue’ and a host of different subjects then you would normally expect. I’m not so much pointing out mistakes or omissions but how everything clicks in my memory.

GF Willmetts

August 2020

(pub: TwoMorrows Publishing. 82 page illustrated magazine. Price: $ 7.95 (US). ISSN: 1932-6904. Direct from them, you can get it for $ 4.77 (US))

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