Ka-Zar Quarterly #2-3 / Marvel Tales #30 (Angel)
Issue(s): Ka-Zar Quarterly #2, Ka-Zar Quarterly #3 / "Marvel Tales #30" (Angel stories only)
Angel, in his horrible costume, has a solo caper stopping some oddly dressed thugs from robbing a bank, but heads home in disgust after a policeman calls him a freak.
His parents still don't know that he's a mutant.
The goons turn out to be working for a guy in a crazy helmet called the Dazzler.
And Dazzler has a problem with Warren's father. Warren is out dancing at with Candy, apparently at a really trippy club. Warren says "That wildly throbbing beat -- the senses-stimulating colors! Like it?". Candy responds "Love it!".
Meanwhile, Dazzler sends goons to kill Mr. Worthington. Warren hears about it on the radio on the way home from the club.
Angel irrationally blames Candy for his father's death, because if he wasn't out clubbing with her, he might have been there to save his dad. Then he gets kidnapped by the Dazzler and later Candy does as well.
After the first two segments were printed in a Ka-Zar reprint title, the conclusion of this arc was printed in Marvel Tales #30. While the the main significance of this story is that we have to make a special effort to distinguish this guy from Alison Blaire, it turns out that this Dazzler is Warren's uncle.
He seemingly dies in the final part.. .
...but John Byrne will bring him back for an arc in X-Men: The Hidden Years.
Dazzler has a Mind Command Tube...
...but Angel is able to resist it because he is Homo Superior.
I originally thought these stories may have originally been intended to run as back-ups in the X-Men comic during the period that the series was running second features, but those features were mainly origin stories and power explanations. I now suspect that this was actually meant to be a standalone issue of X-Men during the period (which overlaps with the back-ups) where the team was broken up and the book was running solo stories. Possibly someone pulled the plug on that direction and so the book began the Mesmero storyline instead, and later these issues were dug out of inventory. If that's true, it's also possible that Jerry Siegel only scripted this issue and it was actually plotted by Arnold Drake, the regular writer at this time.
Quality Rating: C-
Chronological Placement Considerations: The MCP, per the Marvel Index, places this between Uncanny X-Men #46 & 49, during the period where the X-Men were broken up, which puts it back in publishing time a bit. See the comments regarding some references to Angel's father that are made in Uncanny X-Men #60.
Continuity Insert? Y (sort of. See notes above.)
My Reprint: Marvel Masterworks: The X-Men vol. 5 (first two parts are originals)
Inbound References (2): showAngel, Candy Southern, Dazzler (Angel Villain), Fred Duncan, Kathryn Worthington, Warren Worthington Jr.
Jerry Siegel got fired from DC for trying to sue for some Superman profits(again) in late 1965 or early 1966. He then worked for Archie on their Adam West-Batman inspired "Mighty Comics" line, mostly trying to imitate Marvel, but that ended sometime in 1967. Jerry had a hard time getting any comics work after that, and Marvel probably gave him this to be helpful.
Posted by: Mark Drummond | August 6, 2011 9:37 PM
Jerry Siegel was indeed proofreading for Marvel in 1968(credited in the magazine Spectacular Spider-Man #2), so this probably was a regular issue that got yanked.
Posted by: Mark Drummond | January 5, 2013 5:56 PM
The GCD tells me the X-MEN back-ups were 5 pages. The Angel/Dazzler stories were 11, so they're too long to have been intended for those slots. But they're also too short to have been intended for the lead slots in the break-up period, which were 15.
11 pages was the length of the features in the split-books just before they were spun off into their own titles. But only right at the end, beginning with issues on sale Oct. 1967; before that they were usually split 12/10 for a couple of years. When ASTONISHING TALES and AMAZING ADVENTURES started in 1970 their features had 10 pages.
The point that throws me is the fact that there are three instalments. I doubt it was normal to produce multiple instalments of a feature that didn't have a firm slot, and I doubt Lee would have assigned a regular slot to the Angel without testing the waters first. He's too weak a character.
The first solution I can suggest is an elaboration of fnord's: the story was created as a two-part lead story for X-MEN #49-#50. That would account for 30 pages, or 29 if the splash of the second part was dropped. The extra pages would be the new openings and closes needed to make the story work as a three-parter.
Arguably, the presence of Fred Duncan associates the story with the break-up period. And the story matches Marvel Girl's description of Warren in #48 as a roving agent. He wasn't otherwise shown in that role.
On this theory the original pages were done in 1968 and the new ones in 1970. It might be possible to spot shifts in Tuska's style between the old and new pages, or the presence of a different inker.
My second solution is the instalments were originally a single story created for MARVEL SUPER-HEROES. I can imagine Lee doing "The Angel" there; he did "Medusa". This would explain why it wasn't by the regular X-creators. Perhaps Martin Goodman wanted Lee to do an "Angel" story because the Golden Age Angel was long-running.
The catch is the story is too long: 31 pages if one discounts the splashes of the second and third parts. The longest MARVEL SUPER-HEROES story was the 25 page Medusa one, and most of the others were 20 or 22. (The Doom one was 24 and the first Captain Marvel one 15.) One can make the theory work by the supposition that the original story ended with the storyline not resolved, like the Black Knight and Guardians of the Galaxy ones,(1) and extra pages were added to resolve it.
The remaining possibility I can suggest is the instalments were created for a planned giant title like WESTERN GUNFIGHTERS, which had a mix of old and new material in its early issues. But this theory runs into the three instalments objection, and the longer new stories in WESTERN GUNFIGHTERS were 10 pages.
The Hercules story in KA-ZAR QUARTERLY #1 was also 11 pages. It was apparently created close to its appearance, as it features the Avengers line-up Goliath (Clint Barton), the Black Panther, the Scarlet Witch, Quicksilver and the Vision. That places it after the return of Wanda and Pietro in AVENGERS #75. The issue came out the same month as AVENGERS #78.(2) Another date tell is the author, Allyn Brodsky, who according to the GCD began writing for Marvel in 1969. But the Angel stories could have been created earlier than the Hercules one.
The other Marvel Siegel story from the period listed at the GCD is the "Gunhawk" story from WESTERN GUNFIGHTERS #1, 1970. But this could also have been an inventory story, so it doesn't settle when Siegel again briefly wrote for Marvel.
On the second page of the instalment in KA-ZAR #2 the Angel thinks "once, this would've been by cue to alert the entire X-Men team for action.../ but every so often, I get the bug to go it solo!" This actually sets the story either before or after the break-up period, because it implies he could call them. But the dialogue could have been altered, and arguably the "once' statement would more naturally match with a statement that those days are over. Such a line would be consistent with the story's having been created during the break-up period or after X-MEN #66.
(1) Most of the MARVEL SUPER-HEROES stories didn't end on out-and-out cliffhangers.
Posted by: Luke Blanchard | April 3, 2015 6:10 AM
I wish Stan's memory wasn't so notoriously spotty so that someone could ask him about this. Something I've always wondered about.
Posted by: Jeff | June 1, 2015 2:20 PM
The Twomorrows website has a preview of ALTER EGO #99, which had an article about Tuska by R. Dewey Cassell. In his editorial Thomas refers to "Stan Lee's glee on the day George informed him that the Buck Rogers newspaper strip had come to an end and he was finally available to draw full-time for Marvel Comics".
BUCK ROGERS ended in Aug. 1967. Tuska's work began appearing in Marvel titles again in issues that went on sale in October. Possibly the instalments were done before the start of his first run on IRON MAN in 1968, and three were done because Lee was concerned that Marvel could lose him if it didn't keep him busy.
Posted by: Luke Blanchard | June 2, 2015 4:34 PM
I had a look at the GCD to see what else Tuska was doing. His Silver Age work for Marvel breaks into distinct periods. I'll use cover-dates.
Posted by: Luke Blanchard | June 3, 2015 9:33 AM
Some final remarks on this for now:
Pages from the first two instalments can be seen at http://www.comicartfans.com/galleryroom.asp?gsub=139793 . I can't read most of the top-notes, but it's possible to see that the "but every so often, I get the bug to go it solo" line was an alteration.
One of the points that's bugged me is it's not very plausible that part of the story was done by Siegel, Tuska and Ayers in 1968, and the same team was assembled to finish it off in 1970. Their names are on the first and last parts (but not the second). But as fnord suggests, it could be that the story was started in 1968 and only scripted in 1970. Pages were lettered before they were inked, so it could be Tuska did some pages in 1968, others in 1970, and they were all scripted and inked at the later point.
The nightclub scene has to date from 1968; the young people are too clean-cut for 1970 and Tuska's art didn't look like that any more.
On part one p.2 the Angel's mask stretches over his ears, but on part two p.2 and 11 it clearly doesn't. In part three he's much buffer than before on some pages.
All the features in the split-books had received their own titles by the time the team split up in X-MEN #46. On the other hand, Duncan may only have become Duncan when the story was scripted.
Posted by: Luke Blanchard | June 3, 2015 6:14 PM
Luke, thanks for doing all the digging on this and sharing it here. Interesting that the "bug to go it solo" line was an alteration, which does suggest it could have been intended for a different period. Funny how this story that barely saw the light of day could have had so much behind it.
Posted by: fnord12 | June 3, 2015 8:52 PM
Not sure if this is placed correctly.
Sure, it makes sense to place this when the X-Men are briefly separated. However, I've just read UXM #60 and in it there are two references to Angel parent's, namely his father.
Since this story was only published in late 1970 and UXM #60 was published in Sep. 1969, should we assume Angel's father was still alive around UXM #60 and place this story afterwards?
Posted by: Bibs | April 6, 2017 3:33 AM
This placement is based on the official Marvel Index, which the MCP also follows. Here's what the Index says about the first reference to Warren's parents, which is when Jean and Scott are borrowing his Maverick (a car): "said to have been sent by his parents, but this is a topical reference because Warren's father died several months before this story... it may have been sent by his mother, or it may be part of his inheritance".
The Index doesn't mention the second instance, when Cyclops tells Angel to let the police deal with Sauron, because that's what his father pays taxes for, and Angel doesn't contradict him. I guess both are just wrapped up in the heat of the argument.
When justifying the placement of this story, the Index also notes Angel's costume change. The "taxes" scene begins the Sauron sequence that continues through Angel's costume change.
I tend to not make changes to placement unless it's proven that the current placement can't work, and that's especially true when it's based on the original Index's placement.
It's a good catch though. I should have called all this out in the Considerations.
Posted by: fnord12 | April 6, 2017 1:00 PM
fnord thank you for the clarification. I can absolutely live with what you've stated.
I should've waited a few more issues before pointing this out, didn't know Angel costume was going to change in the next issues.
Like I've said before, I've started last month a X-Men chronolocal read, and I'm using your amazing work along with MCP to decide what to read next. Should I ever find anything that strikes me as odd I'll point it out for you if you don't mind.
Regards and good luck with this amazing project
Posted by: Bibs | April 6, 2017 1:33 PM
I'm not disagreeing with the placement, but I don't get why the Index calls the first X-Men 60 mention a topical reference. Warren's father is a (very minor) Marvel character, not a contemporary celebrity or politician.
Posted by: Mortificator | April 6, 2017 3:39 PM
@Bibs, ofc i won't mind if you continue to point out potential conflicts. It's much appreciated.
@Mortificator, i agree, that word struck me as wrong, too. But then again it's the Index coordinator, George Olshevsky, who coined the term (in the context of fictional chronologies, and as far as i know). I guess it means the characters aren't saying what we think they're saying because at the time they were saying it the story that would have contradicted them wasn't out yet. But imo that's not how "topical" should be used. The Index's explanation works even if we ignore the topical part, luckily.
Posted by: fnord12 | April 6, 2017 4:29 PM
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