Monday, April 9, 2012

A Three Pack A Day

Celebrating the times when comics came in packs of three and you never knew what the third comic was (unless you were tricky).

Back in the early Bronze Age of comics my mom use to pick up a couple of 20¢ Marvel and DC comics from an actual News Stand. She'd pick up one each for my brother and me. These were the first comics I remember owning and many of which I still have today.

But around this time I also remember seeing them sold by threes in plastic packages. Sold usually at dime-stores and the news stands, this is how we began collecting comics. I still have may of these very issues and it was always a blast getting the three packs because you weren't quite sure what the third comic was as it was sandwiched between the front and back facing issues. Some times my brother and I would end up with just one pack to share and we'd fight over who got the extra comics, but most times we'd each get our own pack. It didn't really matter as we'd pile them all into one big paper bag (oh the horror!!).

So starting with my earliest recollection of the three packs we have....

From DC Comics:

Superman 277: A typical tale where a safari hunter/writer, Ted Mailerway, decides to hunt the biggest game in town which would be Superman's identity. Of course Supes out smarts him with his super-speed and quick changing abilities. But in the end, Ted does piece it together on his way out of Metropolis. I was amazed by seeing Curt Swan's multiple Superman image panels.

Ghosts 29: I think there were three ghosty stories. Nothing that really stuck in my mind. I think my mom bought this pack mostly for her as she liked Superman and Ghost stories.

Kamandi 20: Ah, my introduction to Jack Kirby. Explosive action! Robots! and talking apes! A post-apocalyptic Chicago (the town where I then lived). What's not to like for the young 6 year old boy? Beautiful cover and one of my favorite comics of all time.

And from Marvel:

Marvel Tales 45: A reprint of an Amazing Spider-man tale (sixty something I believe). Medusa, drawn by Romita sr.) was quite the character of feminine power. But what really blew me away in this issue is that Norman Osbourne, who was slowly recovering from amnesia being the Green Goblin, sees visions of removing Spider-man's mask but is unable to see Parker's face. I've never seen anything like this! A hero unmasked by a villain!

Avengers 116: A great issue in the middle of the Defenders / Avengers war. Both teams were after The Evil Eye of Prester John. All cool but what really blew my 6 year old mind was the battle between the Vision and the Silver Surfer in the pit of a volcano! Flippin' out of this world!

Red Wolf 9: A lesser of Marvel's heroes but one that I've always liked. But it was the cover that always stuck in my mind. You don't see comic covers like this any more!

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