Dedicated to the definitive superhero non-team.

Monday, October 26, 2015

The Slayer

Politics took center stage when Captain America (Steve Rogers) and Nomad (Jack Monroe) faced the Slayer in Captain America #294.

Wearing Devil-Slayer's costume (stolen from Project: PEGASUS *), the Slayer was remarkably adept at using the mysterious Shadow Cloak to teleport and draw arsenal from other dimensions.

Yet this wasn't the real Devil-Slayer (Eric Payne). Defenders #110 had closed with an epilogue indicating that Devil-Slayer had turned himself into the authorities for crimes he'd previously committed.

Instead, it was David Cox, a conscientious objector who was brainwashed by super-villains into attacking the heroes. Even under this mental manipulation, the Slayer's deep-rooted principles as David Cox did not allow him to kill Nomad when given the chance.

With reflection, Captain America noted that becoming a pacifist can require more courage than choosing to fight. This was a perspective that Nomad hadn't considered.

* A government energy research center. (That's how the footnote within the issue identified the project, rather than spelling out Potential Energy Group/Alternate Sources/United States.)

Captain America. Vol. 1. No. 294. June 1984. "The Measure of a Man!" J. M. DeMatteis (writer), Paul Neary (penciler), Josef Rubinstein (inker), Diana Albers (letterer), Bob Sharen (colorist), Mark Grunewald (editor), Jim Shooter (editor-in-chief).

Friday, October 23, 2015

Now -- Get Six Titles For the Price of Five!!

This ad for comic book subscriptions appeared in Defenders #64 and other Marvel titles with a publication date of October 1978, the same month cover prices began saying STILL ONLY 35¢.

The ad stands out for giving Nighthawk equal prominence as Iron Man and Conan, who each had solo titles at the time.

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Big Shot

Power Man and Iron Fist #112 (Feb. 1985) introduced a physically unassuming character named Gordy, head of Special Mission Intelligence—Law Eenforcement Division (S.M.I.L.E. for short).

Although Gordy typically appeared with red hair, the cover of #114 depicted him with black hair and a striking resemblance to a young Billy Joel. But why?

Seeing how the cover caption described Gordy as very, very dangerous, my best guess is that using Billy Joel's likeness for the leader of the ironically titled S.M.I.L.E. was a subtle nod to these lyrics from his song "Only the Good Die Young" (1977).

You might have heard I run with a dangerous crowd
We ain't too pretty, we ain't too proud
We might be laughing a bit too loud
But that never hurt no one

Outside of that cover, there's little evidence that Gordy was created as an homage to the popular singer/songwriter; #114 revealed that Gordy's ex-wife was named Elaine, and lyrics from Billy Joel's song "Big Shot" (1978) made reference to a restaurant by that name. But in the overall scheme of things, I'd chalk that up as a coincidence.

They were all impressed with your Halston dress
And the people that you knew at Elaine's

And the story of your latest success
Kept 'em so entertained

In fact, Billy Joel's first wife was named Elizabeth, and #114 went on sale shortly before his marriage to second-wife Christie Brinkley

"Big Shot" was the first recording on the album 52nd Street (1978). "Only the Good Die Young" was from The Stranger (1977). Graham Geiger illustrated Power Man and Iron Fist #114.