The Bronze Age, comics forgotten era.
In the 1970's comic companies pushed their content in new and wildly different directions inspired by the anything goes social attitudes of the times, while also balancing new fan fostered talent at the helms of post Comics Code adherent, kid friendly books.
While not much born of the era had lasting impressions, there's a cool factor to the books that's singular in style, and inescapable if one looks just a bit closer...
That's where I come in, with Bronzed Beauties, my weekly look at some of the books from the era, that feature more were-men, cyborgs, man-things, barbarians, sorceresses, dinosaurs, monsters, and damsels in distress than any other time, all in striking and vibrant (or should I say faded) four color ink!
ISSUE NUMBER: 3
COVER PRICE AND YEAR: 25 cents - January 1975
PUBLISHER: Marvel Comics
COVER (HOW COOL AND/OR CRAZY IS IT): It's got everything we want right on the cover folks... colors and inks that pop (along with the logo and graphics), with two caption boxes... including, "MECHANICAL MURDER IN THE WORLD OF THE DINOSAURS!"...
Now I would've dropped a question mark or two after that, but the cover communicates the WTF factor well enough on it's own... with what appears to be our titular hero smashing a robo-saur while saving another friend and damsel in distress. Why are there dinosaurs and space age clothes?? Why is the dinosaur mechanical? Who is Skull the Slayer?!? I'm sold!
So naturally they duck into the prehistoric era, and must square off with a Tyrannosaurus... that of course is revealed to be... a robot!
(That's right folks, the cover wasn't mere hyperbole!!! We actually get to see everything teased within the pages of this issue!)
So anyway, while Skull and the others survive the robo-saur, the good doctor disappears only to end up captured in... ancient Egypt (with a big reveal on the final shocking splash page)!!!
ADS (WHAT COOL STUFF ARE THEY SELLING): Nothing can come within a mile of the full page ad for BIG JIM'S P.A.C.K. (Professional Agents / Crime Killers)!!!
OVERALL BRONZE FACTOR (ON A SCALE OF 1 TO 10): The writing here moves nicely, and the character interaction works well to serve the story, which is all very simple and in purpose of four-colored adventure and mystery, that's well fleshed-out by the art. So, what it lacks in originality, or depth, it makes up for in spectacle and silliness. Fueding characters hurling cheasey quips at one-another, while threats and intrigue of great head-scratching variety await around every corner... Skull the Slayer is a bit like Lost meets Flash Gordon, so I'd give it an 8 out of 10 on the bronze factor!
See you next week for BRONZED BEAUTIES 3!!!