Monday, December 29, 2014

It´s Masters of Marvel Monday, Submariner !

I hope you have survived Christmas and are ready for the end of the year. To end things on a high note I thought it would be fitting to reminiscence about a comic decade I usually don´t mention very often in my posts.

Or at least not in connection with certain artists. The reason for that is that I recently acquired two new hardcovers from that period of time.

THE DEFENDERS WAR ( which I will probably cover in a post all about one of Marvel´s craziest team books ) and the Marvel Masterworks volume 14 that contains the CELESTIAL MADONNA SAGA ( which will probably also be the topic of a separate post ) which I pimped a few posts ago. One of the links I put in the post was from the MARVEL MASTERWORKS library because it has ten preview pages and like most of the stuff I put on the blog it lead me to other discoveries. By the way, I hope you ordered the hardcover if you are interested in that because it´s no longer available at half price. Anyway, I got the order and while I will write more about the hardcover when we get to the Celestial Madonna Saga I want to mention that the production values are quite good. And it made me go back to the page I posted and look for other preview pages. Because if there´s one thing that´s always hard to come by it´s preview pages to. Covers are okay and even if you don´t always find the ones you´re looking for you know where you can find them. Interior pages on the other hand are a whole different ballgame. So free interior pages are always welcome.

Now the way that usually works is that I save all the pages and put them in folder for future reference. Because it´s always easier to have them in a folder somewhere than to save the link and expect it to be there later when you need it. So that´s something I did the last few days ( just in case you were wondering why there were not so many posts this month ) and while I was going through the pages I noticed that I have had a lot of posts this year about the 80s and a few about the 90s. There are also a few of the usual suspects I mention when I´m writing about Bronze Age Marvel comics like John Buscema. Gene Colan or Jack Kirby. But there are also a lot of other artists that were active in the Bronze Age and before that I don´t mention that often which had a huge part in comics history.

Which is why I picked this beautiful splash page with Namor by Scott Andru. He was a big part of my comic reading since he was the artist on Marvel titles like AMAZING SPIDER - MAN and DC books like WONDER WOMAN and the Superman books ACTION COMICS and SUPERMAN.

Not to mention that he introduced the Silve Age version of Wonder Woman and the Suicide Squad at DC and the Defenders ( in MARVEL FEATURE 1 ) and a certain very popular psychotic vigilante at Marvel.

He also was the artist on two of the most iconic comic stories of all times : the first crossover between DC and Marvel featuring none other than their biggest guns, Superman and Spider - Man, and the first Clone Saga.

I have already written two posts about the Spider - Man comics from my youth but I think I only wrote about John Romita Sr and John Romita Jr because those are two of my favorite artists.  Which in the case of John Romita Sr had a lot to do with the way he draws women as you can see in this early work starring Captain America and Bucky from YOUNG MEN 25.

But back to Ross Andru : he was the artist that closed out the era of the Williams Comics and the one who started off the Condor Comics era.

Because for the longest time there was this huge gap in Spider - Man continuity for the readers of the german publications ( as I already explained in this post ) which fell right on the first Clone Saga. So the first Clone Saga was not published by Williams and Condor started just after it was over which led to a really strange read in DIE SPINNE issue 1.

But I don´t want to get too deep into Spider - Man or Die Spinne comics since I already have a post planned to cover a storyline that includes one of Spider - Man´s most famous - or infamous - moments. You decide.

Anyway, another reason why I chose the Sub - Mariner splash ( no pun intended ) by Ross Andru was to show that there were other artists who captured the essence of Namor, the Avenging Son besides John Buscema.

That´s one of the things I found out going over the preview pages at the MARVEL MASTERWORKS website because most of the back up stories with Namor or Aquarius how he was sometimes called in german comics ( we also covered this in this post ) I remember were drawn by John Buscema.

Another reason why I always associate Namor with John Buscema is that the Williams Verlag used a few of his illustrations of the series for the ads of all the monthly comics that appeared on the back of the comics. Even if for some strange reason they always gave all the atlanteans pink skin.

But this is one of the reasons why for people who read german comics when I was a kid the best remembered Namor image is the cover to SUB - MARINER 33 - by Sal Buscema, this time ( with help by Marie Severin ).

And here´s the inked version of it ( click here for bigger resolutions ) :

Again, in the german advertisement the blue skin of the other atlanteans was changed to pink. But this appeared on all the monthly Williams books of that month and you either saw it then or in the Sammelbände. The text is all about what a traitor Namor is because he shares Marvel´s monthlies with his subjects but he keeps the HORROR title from DC all for himself.

Yes, at that time Williams not only published DIE FANTASTISCHEN VIER, DIE SPINNE and DIE RUHMREICHEN RÄCHER twice a month ( I´m not sure if they were adding titles or reducing titles at this point ) but also a horror book from DC and later on DIE GRÜNE LATERNE ( Green Lantern ).

By the way, I have been looking for the backcover above for ages and it´s only Today that I found the great WILLIAMS MARVEL COMIC ARCHIV where they have all the backcovers as well as tons of cool editorial pages from the old Williams comics like this portrait of Namor inventor Bill Everett

or this one on " Gentleman " Gene Colan that I just have to post.

I know, I said it myself : I´m always talking about the same artists and this post is about the ones I don´t mention that often but every time I can bring up Gene Colan I do it. I just don´t care. It wouldn´t feel right to me to write what could possibly be the last post of this year without mentioning him. Especially since TOMB OF DRACULA was big in Germany.

Gene Colan was also on DAREDEVIL but because that was always the second feature we never got those great covers he did. But there still were those great opening splash pages so I didn´t mind too much.

A book where Gene Colan DID get the lead feature was DR STRANGE and we got the full 70s psychedelic mind fudge with the funky face mask.

I love me some face mask Dr Strange. If I ever get the chance to do a comic with Dr Strange he gotta have the face mask. Even Ed McGuiness had face mask Dr Strange in his Red Hulk series and that´s the outfit he had on the six issue mini series THE ORDER where the founding members of the Defenders wanted to rule the world. With covers by Carlos Pacheco.

Sadly I couldn´t find it in better quality but here is the inked version :

And that´s the end of Today´s post but we will return with Bill Everett and more of ATLAS comics Sub - Mariner which is not as boring as it sounds.

As usual I want to give props to the guys who helped me make this post and add a few links for those that want to read more about the Sub - Mariner : INSIDE JEFF OVERTURF`S HEAD has an article on Bill Everett and the Sub - Mariner and our stalwart pal Old Groove´s DIVERSIONS OF THE GROOVY KIND blog covers everything - or at least everything I write about here - as usual and has a few Namor - centric posts like The Return of the Nautilus from SUB - MARINER 53, SUB - MARINER 57 by Bill Everett , Burn, Namor, Burn by Marie Severin from SUB - MARINER 14 and The Secret Origin of Namor by Ross Andru and Marie Severin from SUB MARINER 38.

But wait ! Groove Master´s not finished yet : for more on Sal Buscema´s Sub - Mariner check out his team up with Captain Marvel in SUB - MARINER 30 , his triple threat match against Stingray and Triton from SUB - MARINER 31, these collection of splash pages from that book or this one from various titles featuring the first version of The Defenders .

Kudos also to GIANT SIZE MARVEL´s post on the evolution of the cover to SUB - MARINER 33 where I found the black and white version I posted here and for more black and white Namor covers go to BIG GLEE ! where you can find the inked covers alongside the colored version of SUB - MARINER 49 and 50 by Gil Kane and SUB - MARINER 69 by John Romita Sr . I´m sure they have more but these are the ones I came across during my research.

But before we come to the video section there is one more thing I have to post. During one of my many research sessions I came across this website where a teacher writes about the comics he reads ( no doubt stolen from poor helpless students like myself ) that shows the difference between the german comic versions of HIT COMICS and WILLIAMS COMICS. First up is FANTASTIC FOUR 55 splash from Bildschriften Verlag´s Hit Comics :

The lettering is done by machine and the placement of the text is not very good. There is too much open space, there are a few typos and some of the letters go beyond the word balloons. The name Silver Surfer was translated as Silberreiter which means Silver Rider and sounds horrible. Also there´s some promotion for a roller skate company at the bottom.

Here is the same Fantastic Four page by Jack Kirby from Williams :

The lettering is done by hand and fits in the word balloons much better.

Unlike the Hit Comics version it includes Stan Lee´s famous nicknames and Silberstürmer sounds much better. Now Stürmer is a word mostly used in football which is the national sport in Germany so everybody can get an idea what the name means. Also, since Stürmer is derived from Sturm, the german word for storm is has kind of a connection with the sea. And the Stürmer being the most aggressive player in a football team it brings that whole daring, aggressive attitude with it. Believe me, far superior.

And so you can make your own conclusions, the original version :

Now in the video section I´m making a switcheroo with my last post because as usual I found all the good Christmas videos AFTER Christmas.

I had hoped to do another post during the holidays so I could post them but I just couldn´t find the time. So since it doesn´t make much sense to post Christmas videos AFTER Christmas here are the videos from my last post - which did not have anything to do with Christmas anyway - and you can find the new Christmas videos in my last post. Everybody confused ?

So let´s start with some clips of latin icon Thalia for my spanish readers.

The first video is kind of a callback to the time period I was talking about in Today´s post which was back when I went back to Spain every year for the holidays. As I mentioned before in my post about The Guardians of the Galaxy every year when I was on holiday in Spain I taped all the hot women on tv I could catch to help through the time when I was back in Germany. There are a lot of really muy caliente massitas on spanish tv and among the hottest are Monica Naranjo ( I will write more about her if I ever find her best live performance clip ), Sabrina Salerno and Thalia.

Our first video is Thalia´s hit MUJER LATINA at a gala at the end of the year 1998. Normally I was only in Spain during the summer but that year I had the luck to be there for Christmas and the end of the year so I could see all the big gala shows like this one where Thalia shows some awesome moves. Sadly the quality of the video is not very good since it´s very old.

The quality in our second video is not much better either since it´s another of her classicperformances  on the show SORPRESA SORPRESA which is where I first saw her. I really had no idea who she was or that she´s bigger than Madonna in the latin world. But I was immediately impressed by her dance moves, her looks, her erotic singing voice ( Ay ay ay ) and her overwhelming stage presence. I also wanted to post some clips of Thalia to show that you don´t always need big breast to be sexy. Thalia does not have a huge breast yet she just oozes sex appeal !

Our last Thalia video Today is of better quality so my readers don´t have to strain their eyes too much. I specifically chose it because it shows another reason why she´s so famous : her incredibly hot stage outfits.

To show that there are not only hot women on spanish tv here is one that DOES have big gazongas : Tatjana Ohm, the Jessica Rabbit of german news tv. It´s been a while since I wrote about her but I finally found a longer video in good quality where you can see her in different outfits.

Since I couldn´t find any information about their cupsizes I don´t know who is actually the woman with the biggest breasts on german tv but here is a video of Daniela Elger´s cleavage so you can make up your own mind.

And to close the post here is an animated video for my german readers. I already posted some Captain Future videos but here is the full video of the first serial DER HERRSCHER VON MEGARA. Viel Vergnügen damit !

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