| The Shooter era continues. This is an interesting period as a lot of books continue to improve. Chris Claremont's X-Men run continues, with Dave Cockrum being replaced on art by Paul Smith. Roger Stern and John Romita, Jr. deliver an awesome Amazing Spider-Man. Stern also writes a great Dr. Strange, and while there's no regular artist, each fill-in penciler is a superstar. Bruce Jones' fantastic run on Ka-Zar the Savage continues, although we lose Brent Anderson as the regular artist. John Byrne's FF keeps getting better.
Some other books aren't doing so well. The Avengers is adrift, with Shooter's second run on the series not nearly as good as the first. The Defenders become a mediocre title under J.M. DeMatteis, who is also turning in bland issues of Captain America and Ghost Rider. Claremont leaves Spider-Woman, leaving the title to Ann Nocenti, who doesn't seem to know what to do with it. And Bill Mantlo, a totally enthusiastic guy full of ideas who unfortunately just isn't a great writer, handles ROM and the Hulk.
And then there's Dazzler, which is either genius or garbage.
It's announced in the February Bullpen that prices have gone from 50 to 60 cents. The Micronauts, Ka-Zar, and Moon Knight become direct market only, and their price is increased to 75 cents, although the page count is increased and back-up features are added. Marvel Fanfare is launched as a new direct market only book at $1.25.
In the February Bullpen Bulletins, Shooter proudly touts that there hasn't been an unscheduled reprint issue due to deadline issues since he took over as EIC.
Marvel begins publishing a G.I.Joe comic this year, advertised as being "Daringly different! Shockingly realistic!". It was a very successful non-continuity book based on Hasbro's revamped toy line.
Beginning with the May issue this year, Marvel Tales begins reprinting Spider-Man and Dr. Strange stories from the very beginning of their respective runs. I see that decision, by Spider-Man editor Tom DeFalco, as being symbolic of the neo-classic "Back to the Silver Age" Shooter era as a whole.
Mark Gruenwald is made full Editor towards the end of this year (October print date).
Amazing Spider-Man #234 (Nov) contains an insert called The Marvel Guide to Collecting Comics that shows (and encourages) a shift in emphasis from casual readers to collectors.
|Notable events: |
- Contest of Champions: Marvel's first limited series, and first huge crossover event.
- Bruce Banner's mind gains control of the Hulk
- The "Everybody fights Galactus" issue of Fantastic Four. Frankie Raye also becomes Galactus' herald Nova during this story.
- Professor X regains the ability to walk