Wednesday, October 31, 2012

One Night in Rutland: 1972, Part 1

Welcome to 1972, the year one of my favorite comic book characters of all time made a startling leap forward on the evolutionary ladder? Who is it? Geez, you oughta guess...I only devoted an entire year to him...the boisterous, bouncing, blue-maned Beast! Say, what's he doing in Rutland, Vermont, home of the famous (c'mon, you know it by heart by now) Rutland Halloween Parade?

Panels from Amazing Adventures v.2 #16 (January 1973), script by Steve Englehart, pencils by Marie Severin and Bob Brown, inks by Frank McLaughlin, colors by Glynis Wein, letters by Charlotte Jetter

Why, he's...hitchhiking! (After donning his ever-trusty rubber Hank McCoy mask and meeting up with girlfriend Vera Cantor, no relation to Eddie.)

And the kindly folks pickin' Hank and Vera up are none other than Marvel Comics creators Steve Engelhart, Gerry Conway, Len Wein and Glynis Wein! And Steve, who has written The Beast's solo series, doesn't recognize Hank McCoy's name. But I bet he would recognize the Juggernaut dropping out of a hole in the air...or, at they like to call it on Earth-616, the Crimson Corridor of Cytorrak. Please note this improbable but vital plot point: Steve Englehart's Mustang is a piece of junk. How important is this? So important that it will eventually span two comic book earths. Of such cosmic matters are missing mufflers made on.

Engelhart and Co. are, of course, in Rutland this fine Halloween night to attend the annual Parade and party at Tom Fagan's, where comic book characters are the costume de rigeur! Hey, check out that first's Superman,, Aquawoman...and I think that's Vladek Spiegelman just above Batman there.

In the commotion, Glynis Wein disappears! Oh no! Where'd she go? And who will color X-Men now?

It's not a Rutland Halloween Parade comic book without an appearance from pal Tom Fagan, is it? (No. No, it is not.) And let's all say it together...when the Juggernaut crashes a party...he really crashes a party! Meanwhile, Roy and Jeanie Thomas are at the to-do as well and as usual, and Roy's doing a callback to Avengers #83. He really is the ultimate fan!

The Juggernaut attempts to steal Steve Engelhart's car, but he's foiled by in my thesaurus)...fundamentals of his Ford!

Well, that certainly is exciting, and it's not even the whole story! Nope, for more you have to step with me over to the other side of Rutland, Vermont, for an encounter with the Super Friends Justice League of America! Next time! Next post! Nextwave!

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