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Ms. Marvel #1

Ms. Marvel #1

Ms. Marvel swoops onto the scene, sporting scarf and bare midriff, tossing around cars to foil a bank robbery and relying on her “Seventh Sense” to get out of — and into — trouble. There is a feeling of “just add water” with this first issue, with Ms. Marvel borrowing the costume of Captain Marvel, and the book borrowing the supporting cast of Spider-Man — Carol Danvers gets a job in the magazine division of the Daily Bugel, sparks up a friendship with Mary Jane Watson, and even rescues J. Jonah Jameson from the clutches of the Scorpion in the book’s second action sequence. But the book tries for something new, too, with Carol and Ms. Marvel unaware they are in fact the same person, and with the origin and dimension of Ms. Marvel’s powers left as a mystery for another issue. The action is by-the-book (John Buscema supposedly didn’t like drawing superhero books, and it shows here), but the script is loaded with more characterization than you’d expect, with one sequence where Carol Danvers barks down Jonah Jameson in a salary negotiation being the highlight.

Ms. Marvel #1, by Conway and Buscema

Ms. Marvel would go on to enjoy a rocky career, but her debut issue was competent and readable and even aware, in it’s late-70s way, of gender issues, looking at a woman’s life in the workplace, and punctuating an action scene with a little girl declaring she wants to grow up to be a hero just like Ms. Marvel. (And where else was a Marvel kid supposed to turn? All the best female superheroes were across town, working for DC!)

Ms. Marvel #1, by Conway & Buscema

  • Script: Gerry Conway
  • Pencils: John Buscema
  • Inks: Joe Sinnott

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Ms. Marvel #1

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Iron Man #94

Iron Man #94

Tony Stark does his best James Bond impression, trading barbs with an industrial super villain in his secret undersea base. Problem is, instead of a suave bad guy like Ernst Stavro Blofeld, Tony is matching wits with The Kraken, a peg-legged, modern-day pirate who never-the-less talks like something out of Robert Louis Stevenson.

I like pirates as much as the next guy, but by the time Kraken got his jet-powered peg leg stuck in the floor, I was happy to see him drown. And that, dear readers, is a sentence I never thought I’d write!

  • Script: Gerry Conway
  • Pencils & Plot: Herb Trimpe
  • Inks: Jack Abel

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Avengers #155

Avengers #155

(We join this multi-part crossover with Super-Villain Team-Up, already in progress). The details are muzzy, but it looks like we’ve walked in on some multi-cornered war between Doctor Doom, the Avengers, the Sub-Mariner, and Attuma and his undersea goons. But the tasty prospect of a George Perez-pencilled Avengers vs. Doctor Doom showdown must wait, as the bulk of the Avengers are knocked out on the splash page, and mostly what Doom does in this issue is gloat. And this man can gloat. (The recap pages are packed with action, though).

Eventually the battle gets going. With most of the Avengers on the sidelines, it is the Beast and Wonder Man who get the spotlight. Oh yeah, and the Whizzer, too. (Pause for adolescent snickering). The issue ends with the Vision going rogue and seemingly making common cause with Doom — we know better, of course, but it will cost us another thirty cents next month to find out what’s really going on!

  • Script: Gerry Conway
  • Pencils: George Perez
  • Inks: Pablo Marcos

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