Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Confession Is Good For The Soul!

Do you want to see something remarkable? Something unlikely to be repeated ever again?

In 1973, Marvel relaunched Strange Tales (without renumbering!!) as a horror tryout title, sort of a Marvel Premiere for supernatural/monster characters, which were a big part of Marvel's output at the time.

So after 5 issues of Brother Voodoo, it came time for the debut of...

Now, the Golem had a bit of a troubled run.

This first issue was by Len Wein and John Buscema, a pretty good pedigree to launch a "sensational" new hero.

But for the second issue, there were deadline problems, and they had to go with reprints of old horror stories. When you can't meet the deadline for the second issue of a bi-monthly series, well, you're in Superman Unchained territory!

The Golem returned for #176 & 177, but now the creators were Mike Friedrich and Tony deZuniga.

And the very last panel of the story in #177?

Uh-oh...that's never a good sign!

And the "dramatic announcement" on the letters page?


A comic book company admitting that deadline problems and shifting creative teams hurt the book? That such problems could demoralize the creative team?

A confession that they had no idea on the book's direction? An implicit admission that editorial was at fault? That at some point it was better to punt than keep faking it?

A simple statement, "we goofed"?!?

They were right--"it may be the only time we're gonna be so shamefacedly candid" about such issues. Try to picture one of the big two giving an honest confession like this in 2014 (particularly DC, who doesn't even bother with letters pages, let alone communicating with fans: "We had no idea what we wanted with Green Team...").

And the strip that replaced The Golem in Strange Tales? Starlin's Warlock. So that worked out pretty well...

1 comment:

SallyP said...

Amazing. Actually admitting that it was a mess, and trying to make it better, instead of steadfastedly denying everything, and in fact doubling down on denying everything.

A more innocent time, to be sure.