Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Gorillas in the mist of time

Has it really been over three months since we've done a Comic Book Days of Wednesdays Past post? I guess we should probably rectify that.

For the new readers among you who may not be familiar with this...if it's Wednesday, and if it's time to pick a new random book to review, then it's also time to take a trip down memory lane to see what the kids were reading back in ye olden days. Let's fire up the Randomizer to pick a year from 1938-2009 and see where we start.

...and the first year up is 1956! So what books were on the spinner racks at the local five and dime 54 years ago?

It was Superman's Pal, Jimmy Olsen #10! And in my mind, nothing screams fifties comics more than this title.

But here's an odd occurrence...How come every time the Randomizer stumbles across a Jimmy Olsen comic for this segment, it features a gorilla on the cover? And Jimmy in a leopard-skin toga?

If there's one thing the the comic book buying populace loves, it's apparently Gorillas. In fact, let's put that theory to the test to see if we can get another gorilla comic from the next random year that the Randomizer picks. Which just happens to be 2005!

This could be tough, as gorillas were nowhere near as in vogue this century as they were the last. Come on comic books, don't let me down, was there a gorilla on the cover of any comic books that were on the shelf 5 years ago this month?


Not only does Doom Patrol #7 have a gorilla on the cover, but it's got two of 'em...and one of them has four arms!

That right there is why I love comics!

Enough fooling around though, let's get to picking the next random book to actually review. Take it away Randomizer...

...and that book is The Avengers #150 from August 1974, published by Marvel Comics!

And that makes two Avengers picks in a row! I don't mind though, as you can never read enough Avengers books. Especially ones from the mid 70's to the mid 80's. Comic booking just doesn't get much better than that. Interestingly enough, this one is also written by Steve Englehart, so we can do a little compare and contrast with his last book's mediocre performance.

I actually just reread this book within the last year, and while it looks like it promises a new Avengers line-up on the cover, it's a bit of a tease as this issue reprints parts of Avengers #4, #9, and a whole bunch of #16. For the uninitiated, these are three of the earliest books that feature a line-up change in the title.

Since that time, the new line-up reveal issues have become a staple of this title. Unfortunately, we don't get one here, and we'd have to wait until the next issue for that. Still, this book gives us a chance to look at some good Jack Kirby art, which we've yet to do here at the Random Longbox.

And not to end on a down note, but sadly enough there are no gorillas to be found in this issue either. See you in a day or two for the review.


  1. I'm glad you point out that Avengers #150 is misleading, as the new lineup isn't revealed until #151.

    On the bright side, I think Beast might qualify as a substitute gorilla!

  2. Good call on the Beast, as I hadn't thought of that. I actually ran through the line-up over the years in my head, looking for a gorilla, but came up empty. About the closest I got was in that Heroic Age promotional pic with a line-up of potential members which had Gorilla Man in it. Alas, he didn't make the cut.