|Professor X, via Wikipedia|
I so wish I were exaggerating.
I know there are good stories on the way and the X-Men have strong individual characters among them, including my personal favorite: Wolverine. The X-Men were the heart of the Marvel universe in the mid-'70s. I could not reasonably immerse myself without spending some quality time with them.
|via Wikipedia, the original X-Men, clockwise from top right: Angel, Iceman, Cyclops, Beast and Marvel Girl|
|via The Catacombs, the 1975 X-Men, left to rightish: Storm, Wolverine, Colossus, Cyclops, Banshee, Thunderbird, Sunfire and Nightcrawler|
My Recent Reads
Howard the Duck #32
Originally Published January 1, 1986
Writer: Steven Grant
Artist: Paul Smith
- After a near seven-year hiatus, Marvel revived Howard just in time to promote the Howard the Duck film which premiered in August 1986.
- Opens with an origin story for Howard.
- Howard is stranded in Utah but gets picked up by a trucker, the lovely Ceci Rider.
- Ceci and Howard discover an underground housing development run by the natural resource guzzling Morgan Erg, aka The Gopher.
- The movie was, by all accounts, truly terrible. It won four Razzies, including Worst Picture, and was one of the candidates for Worst Picture of the Decade along with Star Trek V. Thank goodness for Mommie Dearest.
Howard the Duck #33
September 1, 1986
Christopher Stager/Val Mayerik
- The final issue for the original series.
- Howard wins $10,000,000 in a publishing sweepstakes, awarded by an Ed McMahon-type character at his front door.
- Naturally, everyone wants a piece of the riches and Howard is a changed duck. He's finally reunited with Bev but she doesn't like what wealth has done to Howard so she leaves him.
- Howard throws out the first ball at a Cleveland Indians game. There's a running gag through the story that the newly wealthy duck is rumored to buy the team.
- The magic is gone. I can see how anyone discovering Howard the Duck in 1986, either through the movie or these last two comic book issues, would have been severely disappointed. How did anyone think this was such a big deal?
- In truth, the series was never quite the same after co-creator Steve Gerber was let go. He was fired because he couldn't meet deadlines - completely understandable but the material suffered. Other Marvel characters - Spidey, for instance - survived changes in creative staff just fine. Not so here. Howard needed Steve. Without him, the satire was merely a joke.
- There are some wonderful musical references in this last issue:
- The issue's sub-title is "Material Duck," a play on Madonna's "Material Girl," released in 1984
- Joni Mitchell's "Big Yellow Taxi"
- Diana Ross
- Doc Severinsen, the Tonight Show's longtime bandleader
- Judy Garland
Uncanny X-Men #94
August 1, 1975
Chris Claremont/Dave Cockrum
- We join the series at a moment of transition. Most of the original X-Men say goodbye to the team, making way for the new kids.
- Marvel Girl
- Lorna Dane
- Professor X
- The greatest significance of this issue, however, is that it marks the beginning of Chris Claremont's run as head writer for the series.
|via Villains Wiki|
- There is also an external adversary in this story. Count Nefaria and his Ani-Men take over Mount Valhalla, headquarters of NORAD.
- Cameo: Beast, former X-Man, now an Avenger
Uncanny X-Men #95
October 1, 1975
- The X-Men defeat Count Nefaria but at a high cost...
- Thunderbird dies. After Gwen Stacy, all bets are off.
Uncanny X-Men #96
December 1, 1975
- Introduced: Moira MacTaggart, the X-Men's new housekeeper.
- Brooding over Thunderbird's death, Cyclops lets loose with his laser eyes in a fit of fury, accidentally unleashing two demons. Said demons attack the X-Men in their living room. Really, I wasn't kidding.
- Also introduced: Steven Lang, leader of Project Armageddon. He hasn't struck yet but he makes clear he has it in for the X-Men.
Uncanny X-Men #97
February 1, 1976
- Professor X has nightmares about an inter-galactic race war. Or are they premonitions?
|via Marvel Database|
|Polaris via X-Men Wiki|
- Havok and Polaris (Lorna Dane's new superhero name) are possessed by Eric the Red and turned against the X-Men.
Uncanny X-Men #98
April 1, 1976
- It's Christmas Eve and our gang are celebrating at Rockefeller Plaza. There are many cameos by both fictional and real world characters: Stan Lee, Jack Kirby, Clark Kent, Lois Lane, etc.
- With no regard for peace and goodwill, Steven Lang sends the Sentinels to attack. They kidnap Marvel Girl, Banshee, Wolverine and Professor X, who had been on a fishing vacation in the Caribbean.
|via Marvel Database|
- The professor's companion on his fishing trip is Dr. Peter Corbeau.
- Introduced: Amanda Sefton who would eventually become Daytripper, then later Majik