Sunday, 29 January 2017

Your favourite 1970s Marvel hero.

Luke Cage, Hero for Hire #1, John Romita
As we all know, the 1960s were a fertile breeding ground for Marvel Comics, with the creation of a host of all-time great heroes... ...and Ant-Man.

But, if the 1960s were fertile, what did that make the 1970s?

Liberated from the constraints of their previous distribution deal, the company was free to churn out as many titles as it wanted - and it seemed like every month it was unleashing eight million new crime-thwarters upon the world.

Oddly enough, although there were more of them created than in the 1960s, they generally had less impact and few of them attained anything like legendary status. After all, just how many of Marvel's successful movies have been based on characters who first saw the light of day in that decade?

Then again, it's easy to forget that the first successful film franchise featuring a Marvel character was Blade, without whose success, perhaps none of those 1960s heroes would have got their big Hollywood break. So, it seems the 1970s must have got something right.

Therefore I have to ask the question that's been torturing humanity for lo these last four decades. Just who was your favourite Marvel hero who was created in the 1970s?

Marvel Preview #11, Star-LordObviously, when it comes to successes, there was Conan the Barbarian, introduced right at the start of the decade but, given that he was first created in the 1930s, I think Marvel would struggle to take the credit for him.

Then again, there were the likes of Nova, Omega and Skull the Slayer.

The world of Horror gave us a slew of monster protagonists, such as Dracula, Werewolf By Night, Frankenstein's Monster, Morbius, Ghost-Rider, the Son of Satan and Man-Wolf but they weren't really heroes and not all of them were what you could call original.

Outer Space gave us Star-Lord and Monark Starstalker.

The future gave us Killraven and Deathlok.

Science gone mad gave us Woodgod and Man-Thing, while the X-Men gave us Storm, Nightcrawler and a whole host of other mutants.

Homicidal idiocy gave us Wolverine and The Punisher.

Spider-Woman #1
The quest to admit that women don't have to be there just to be told to shut up by their scientist boyfriends gave us She-Hulk, Shanna the She-Devil, Spider-Woman, the Cat and Red Sonja, while the quest to prove they didn't all have to be white gave us Shang-Chi, Luke Cage, Black Goliath, Brother Voodoo and the Sons of the Tiger.

Also, our desire to see bad guys get kicked in the face gave us Iron Fist.

Our need to see the supernatural thwarted gave us Gabriel the Devil Hunter and Bloodstone, an immortal caveman in a safari suit. Who could have thought that such a character could ever fail to catch on?

But there were more, many more, more heroes and heroines than I could possibly ever hope to name or even remember.

In the end, off the top of my head, I have to go for Nightcrawler as my favourite, as I've always wanted a forked tail and teleportational abilities.

You, however, may have other opinions; opinions you feel the need to record in the comments box which lurks below this very post.

28 comments:

Dougie said...

Excellent question! I thought it over and my choice has to be...
Captain Britain.

Steve W. said...

I must admit I'd completely forgotten about Captain Britain. I'm completely hopeless.

I wonder if anyone'll vote for Apeslayer?

londonlee said...

Does Warlock count? If not, Howard The Duck

Steve W. said...

I think Warlock has to be excluded due to him having first climbed out of his cocoon in the late 1960s.

cerebus660 said...

Fave 70s Marvel hero? Well, Woodgod obviously. I mean... Woodgod, yeah? Anyone?

Anyway, apart from him, for me it all depends on which creative team is involved. So, Man-Thing or Howard The Duck are favourites, but only when written by Steve Gerber. The same goes for Killraven and Don McGregor, and Dracula and Marv Wolfman.

Probably my real favourite would be Shang-Chi, Master of Kung Fu. Although obviously created to cash in on the Kung Fu craze, Shang-Chi went on to become one of the most complex and fully rounded characters in comics, under the guidance of the underrated Doug Moench. The moral and philosophical themes in the strip were far in advance of what most comics were addressing at the time... and he kicked arse!

Aggy said...

I was a Caprain Britain completist for years. So definately a favourite.

I also loved Black Goliath, everyday racistism and awful costume included.

But for actual favourite I'm going to go for Legion of Superheroes member Wildfire (ERG1 originally). Designed by Dave Cockrum. Originally equal to Superboy with a cool suit. Whats not to love.

Anonymous said...

Best new Marvel of the 70s was Devil Dinosaur. I'd have thought that was obvious.

-sean

Anonymous said...

Cerebus is right. Woodgod was cool. I kinda forgot about him, but he was definitely cool!
Man-thing, Warlock, Luke Cage, Shang Chi, the White Tiger, Dracula, Starlin's revamp of Captain Marvel.
And Howard the Duck, who like me, is trapped in a world he never made!

M.P.

dangermash said...

Surely it has to be Razorback from an early PPSM with Brother Power, Sister Sun and the ManBeast?

Ant Master said...

Looking through the list here:-
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Marvel_Comics_superhero_debuts. I have a soft spot for Son of Satan, Morbius, man Thing, Moon Dragon (so good in the Avengers), Moon Knight, but early wolverine vs the hellfire clubs stands out for me.

paul Mcscotty said...

For me , if he counts as a Marvel fully originated character then it would have to be "Shang-Chi, Master of Kung Fu" with "Moon Knight" a very very close second (and I also have a soft spot for Deathlok the Deomolisher). For DC I also really liked ERG1 - But my overall fav (of any company) inthe 1970s was teh legendary "E-Man" from Charlton.

Simayl said...

Top 5:
5 Howard The Duck
4 Deathlok
3 Moon Knight
2 Shang-Chi
1 Killraven

Steve W. said...

Thanks for that list, Ant Master. How could I have forgotten the Valkyrie? Now that I've been reminded of her, she's definitely my favourite. She has a flying horse. Anyone who has a flying horse is automatically my favourite.

Was it ever explained where she actually kept her horse? Did Dr Strange's house have a stable in it? And, if so, just how did that come to be the situation?

Steve W. said...

Poor old Wong. I bet he was lumbered with the task of having to clear the stable out.

TC said...

Thunderbird.

pete doree said...

When Nighthawk wasted all his money on a glitzy Defenders Domicile that they never really used, they had stables but before that I think the horse just used to stand on the roof of the Sanctum Sanctorum and poo in Wong's roof garden.
It's Manhunter by the way.

Anonymous said...

Imagine having to host regular Defenders meetings where the Hulk showed up?
Talk about property damage.
Yes, and winged horse poop on the yard, and maybe the roof, or on one's head, would be a problem.

M.P.

Ant Master said...

I still have all the original Killraven and Deathlok runs and forgot to mention them at all,

Blair said...

Does ROM count?(Really a Parker Brothers creation) Apeslayer - the original Marvel British hero! Cap (Brit versh) but really only the original run - even though it's terrible - Howie la duck, Shang Chi but top of the pops for me is Frank Castliagano - the Punisher!👍

Unknown said...

Woodgod...that was an interesting character. I still have that issue of Marvel Premiere with him in that Keith Giffen did.Was Woodgod used many times after that? My favourites from that time were Deathlok, Killraven, and the Black Panther in Jungle Action. I also enjoyed the Frank Robbins Morbius strip.

Steve W. said...

Hi, Unknown. I'm pretty sure Woodgod turned up later, in a story featuring the Hulk and either the Inhumans or the High Evolutionary's New Men but my knowledge of his career beyond that point is somewhat fuzzy.

Sort Of The Atom said...

Right on with E-man! Great book; ROG-2000 was my gateway to John Byrne...

Sort Of The Atom said...

Val was my favorite, too, but Mantis had the best costume, not to mention most interesting "profession"...

Steve W. said...

I always wondered how Mantis managed to shape her hair into two antennae like that and to keep them like that no matter how much fighting she did.

Sort Of The Atom said...

Right? And how could she kick dudes in the face and keep her grass skirt from showing off the goods? (Dammit...)

20 cent aka Mike in Jersey said...

I vote for Valkyrie and Shang-Chi. Too bad they don't seem to be prominent in Marvel Comics or film now. Ever notice in the 20-cent era the covers had a lot of word balloons and head shots? Keep up the great work on your blog!

20 cent aka Mike in Jersey said...

I vote for Valkyrie and Shang-Chi. Too bad they don't seem to be prominent in Marvel Comics or film now. Ever notice in the 20-cent era the covers had a lot of word balloons and head shots? Keep up the great work on your blog!

Steve W. said...

I must confess that I do miss the presence of word balloons on covers.

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