Wednesday, October 31, 2012

One Night in Rutland: 1970

from the "Bullpen Bulletins" of Marvel Comics cover-dated December 1970

The year: 1970! The day: October 31! The place: Rutland, Vermont! The event: the first appearance of Tom Fagan and the Rutland Halloween Parade in comics! We begin our first night in Rutland by looking in on the familiar sight of Captain America ordering people around:

Panel from Avengers #83 (December 1970), script by Roy Thomas,
pencils by John Buscema, inks by Tom Palmer, letters by Herb Cooper

Don't get your red-white-and-blue knickers in a twist, Cap! Actually, we quickly find out these are Halloween revelers at the home of Rutland Parade major-domo Tom Fagan, who welcomes the "real-life" Avengers to his home. Also, a certain self-biographing guy named Roy Thomas (and his wife Jeanie!) For those of you wondering why Tom is dressed as Nighthawk...well, on our world (Earth-1218), Tom was generally costumed as Batman! But no way Marvel would let such a venerable character appear in their mags, so instead here Tom is dressed as Batsman's Squadron Supreme doppelganger Nighthawk! Also, we find out that Clint Barton really likes Dr Pepper.

The Avengers are in Rutland to track down The Masters of Evil...and there's a whole subplot about the female Avengers striking out on their own as the Liberators...but that all takes back seat to the sight you wanted to see: The Avengers on a parade float!

Hey, lookit all the attendees in Marvel-hero costumes! Well, that makes sense. As I said above, Marvel certainly wouldn't allow a DC character to appear in their comic book...

D'oh! Look who Sneaky John Buscema hid in the crowd! This may very well be the first unofficial Marvel/DC crossover event! I'm not certain if it counts, because that's not the real McCoy's only an incredible simulation! (No, if you want a proper crossover, you'll have to wait until 1972...or a few posts from now!

Here, Tom Fagan faces off against the Masters of Evil and survives! Why, of course...otherwise the Rutland Halloween Parade would be in danger!

In the end, the parade is a smashing success and all's well that ends well...except for the battle of the sexes! And once again, we find out that Clint Barton oughta keep his mouth shut. Especially since he's been trying to date Wanda since ish #16! Dumbass.

More Rutland Halloween goodness coming right down the road when we stop in on 1971 and check out the adventures of a certain dynamic duo and a non-team extraordinaire! (No, no, not the Boston Red Sox.)


Blam said...

Great stuff! I first read this Rutland / Liberators story in an Avengers treasury edition and it scared little me just a wee bit. Halloween! Mind-control! Superheroes fighting with each other!

SallyP said...

Doom is...perfect.