Below you’ll find our reading selections for the year of 1978, and once we’re finished reading, I’ll post the winners for hero, villain, issue, artist, and writer.
Feel free to discuss the comics and any related thoughts below in the comments!
1978 Comic Reading List
|1978||Comic Book Title||Issues|
|1||Avengers||#170 to #177|
|3||Marvel Team-Up||#65, #66|
|6||Marvel Team-Up||#69, #70|
|7||Uncanny X-Men||#112, #113, #114|
|8||Amazing Spider-Man||#176 to #180, #185|
|9||Fantastic Four||#197 to #200|
|10||Uncanny X-Men||#115 to #116|
Hero of the Year: The Avengers
Villain of the Year: Korvac
Issue of the Year: Fantastic Four #200
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Writer of the Year: Jim Shooter
Artist of the Year: John Byrne
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A great year! Loved the Korvac Saga. I never read it before, and had always wondered about it, and finally it was really well done. The build up over a series of a dozen issues with some great side tracks into the Collector and Ultron. Bang on. I have to note the recurring theme in Shooters stories of the all powerful being: The Beyonder, Starbrand, Korvac. There was one more in the 80s, a mini series called “The One” or something. That being said I had to give Shooter my writer vote and Korvac villain and issue 177 as issue of the year.
Spidey and the X-Men were great re-reads for me. The ASM story was was one I had not read in decades, same for the MTU, so they were almost like new. The X-Men I had read a year or two ago, but still great stories. The art in MTU and X-Men gets Byrne his second (of many) artist of the year.
The word that defined this year for me was “consistent.” The huge standout is clearly the Korvac Saga, but everything else is very good, with nothing I would consider bad. OK, mayyybe Devil Dinosaur, but it was fine for what it was (though I don’t think I have the patience to get through all 9 issues). Still, I very much enjoyed this year, much more so than the last couple.
I had read the Korvac Saga before, and when I first read it, I was blown away, especially by Eternity and just how much planning and manipulation Korvac was doing. But this time, having Warlock and Thanos under my belt, Eternity wasn’t as impressive as I remembered (though that panel of Eternity surrounding Korvac is utterly gorgeous), and I was surprised to find the whole thing falling a little flat for me because of pacing. There’s an enormous amount of build-up for a resolution that all takes place in one issue (I would have assumed the Korvac/Avengers battle would have taken place over two issues), and all of them being brought back to life is done so quickly. Still, there are some amazing storytelling choices in this (including The Collector and Vance Astro being killed ), and the whole thing is quite an accomplishment.
Spidey’s Green Goblin battle is also very strong, with Len Wein crafting a great battle and fast-paced story with a stunning happy ending for Spidey! I was also legitimately surprised that Harry wasn’t the Green Goblin, but from there, it was obvious who it actually was (again with that character economy ruining a twist). However, my fave read this year came from Spidey 185, which as Dave mentioned, is the absolute perfect Peter Parker graduation story. It got Issue of the Year just because I can’t possibly think of a way to improve it. I also enjoyed the other Spidey arc we read this week with Captain Britain; finally some Spidey humor from Claremont!
Speaking of Claremont, Magneto Triumphant was also excellent, with Magneto having strong motivation and being an incredibly powerful foe for the X-Men, and it featured some great artwork. I’m not as sure about the Savage Land stuff afterwards, but it’s certainly not bad, just not as memorable (though Wolverine stalking the doe is great). Fantastic Four was also really strong, with Doom meeting an incredible, ironic “end,” and also some excellent Doom artwork.
Again, everything this year was solid. Iron Man was powerful, Spider-Woman was an intriguing debut, and even Havok and Polaris was a good read. I also read the What If with Spidey, which had a great ending. Overall, I was very happy with this year. Onto 1979!
The Korvac Saga is a great event for the Avengers. It falls a little short of the bar from Avengers vs. Defenders, but not by much. I wanted to learn more about Michael and Karina than we did. The part where the Avengers have to take a bus to the site of the final confrontation is funny and memorable. Jim Shooter earned my Writer of the Year vote for this series, and Avengers are my chosen heroes.
Devil Dinosaur is a very cool concept and character. I give the first four issues four stars. The series declined in quality for the other five issues, but I am very interested to see the character in the modern Marvel era with Moon Girl.
Marvel Team-Up introduces Arcade, a very colorful and bizarre villain who takes on quite a few of the Marvel heroes in his death-trap Murderworld over the years. He’s not my favorite, but he is usually interesting.
The Fantastic Four arc this week is very well done. Doom is defeated in the end, but the tradition of making it look like he is gone for good is thankfully not followed here. I give Fantastic Four #200 my vote for Issue of the Year, and Doom gets the villain nod.
The X-Men goodness continues. I would add #111 to the front of the choices here. One noteworthy thing about that issue is that it drops the reader into a weird situation and trusts that they can figure out how that situation came about during the course of the issue. The X-Men even manage to be good in the Savage Land and with the team split up, both of which are not easy tasks. It may be 1979, but “Psi War” #117 is absolutely great, too. John Byrne gets my vote for Artist of the Year. It helps that he is given such a great cast to draw.
Argh. I fell behind with my Marvelous reading a couple weeks ago. Still trying to wade through 1977 now. Just wanted to say this reading idea is great and wiping out my free time!!
Holy Flashback Batman…
I have a lot of old comics in my collection, many odds n ends: FF, ASM and Team-Up issues from this era and earlier. Most of which came from trades with friends and flee markets, others acquired later from back issue bins. But two issues are key for me as they were the fist I remember actually buying off the spinner rack: ASM #177 and FF #200.
For ASM #177 I was going into the hospital for a short stay, and Mom took my by the magazine store to get some Archie’s and Richie Rich mags. I grabbed the Spidey book, too. It was the last one I read of the stack of comics, but it was certainly the most important. After getting out of the hospital I searched everywhere for the follow up story “Green Grows the Goblin” but could never find it. (This was the late ’70s in Quebec, English books and comics were a rarity. I spent years with that damn title in the back of my mind, until the advent of the “comic book store” in my area…maybe 10 years later…and still I could not find that issue. I think I finally got a copy in the early nineties).
A few months later, in my ongoing search for ASM #178, I came across FF #200 and had to have it. And that was it. I bought every issue from 200 until 223. (For some reason I stopped buy comics for a few years between 1980 and 1982…thought I was too old or something, HA!, then Mom put a copy of FF # 240 in my X-Mas stocking, and I was back into comics. Bought every issue of the FF right up to #400)
Sorry, for getting all nostalgic. Go back to your comics.
Uncanny X-Men good enough to read twice? 😉
Uncanny X-Men #115, is what I meant to say ::embarrassed::
Haha well it is good…
List is updated! Should say #114 first.