Bronze Age Beginnings

Sunday, 8 July 2012

Giant-Size Avengers #1

In the mid-70s there were some comics I wanted more than all others, and Marvel’s line of Giant-Size comics were undeniably the most coveted. They promised much, yet were denied me because of their non-distribution status in the UK. My hopes were raised by house-ads in the regular comics, and dashed by their lack of availability in the many newsagents I would frequent in my weekly search for new comics.

One in particular fascinated me; the cover of Giant-Size Avengers #1 promised the ‘startling reappearance of the fabled All-Winners Squad’ - a team of Golden Age characters I’d discovered recently in a battered copy of Fantasy Masterpieces #10 - and furthermore, I’d been made aware (most likely by an Editor’s note in a later issue of The Avengers) that it was the comic where it was revealed that The Scarlet Witch and Quicksilver were the children of Bob (The Whizzer) Frank and Madeline (Miss America) Joyce. Being a fledgling continuity obsessive, and fan of stories that filled in the gaps of the rich tapestry the Marvel Universe once was, Giant-Size Avenges #1 made me think this one would live up to Stan Lee’s oft- repeated declaration that ‘This one has it all true-believer’.

I never did get hold of a copy during those formative years, but on eBay all things are available (for a price), and so I now own a copy of this once highly sought after comic.

Was it worth the 38 year wait? It certainly scratched a Bronze Age itch; the story of Nuklo - mutated by the terrible power that had just recently devastated Hiroshima and Nagasaki; a child in possession of uncontrollable force and locked away for 25 years - was a sad acknowledgement of Man’s unknowing use of nuclear energy, written by Roy Thomas and drawn by Rich Buckler (inked by Dan Adkins). However, the reveal of the parentage of the mutant twins was slightly anti-climactic, almost tacked on in Thomas’ quest for a cohesive Marvel Universe. It was likely this lack of a solid underpinning that allowed for the later reveal that the twins were the children of Magneto.

Still, it stands as an interesting artefact of Marvel's Bronze Age. And one can't condemn something for not entirely living up to childhood expectations.

Buy Giant-Size Avengers #1 at My Comic Shop


  1. Hi, Terence. The whole story was reprinted in Marvel UK's Avengers Annual 1977. Personally I really liked the parts of the tale that dealt with Wanda and Pietro's origin. The Nuklo storyline didn't do too much for me, mostly because I wasn't grabbed by the art. I seem to recall it being done by Rich Buckler doing his Jack Kirby impersonation.

  2. You beat me, Steve! See Terence, if you'd taken more care with your Christmas lists as a kid ...

  3. Ah, 1977, that would be the year I was given a Showwaddywaddy album (much to my disdain).

  4. I recently noticed that the plot is very similar to the Sandman/Sandy story in JLA 113. A yellow-skinned giant with a tragic connection to a Golden Age hero fights the heroes in three locales.Hmmm.

  5. I remember picking this up on the newstand back in '74, and I still think it's one of the best Bronze covers ever. I didn't think much of the art inside, but the cover's a KILLER. Great Thor depiction, excellent setup of characters, not too busy.

  6. Dougie might not be aware that writer Roy Thomas was and is a huge fan of the golden age heroes of the DCU, but the similarity of these timeless tales is still probably/maybe a coincidence. Rascally Roy went on to do a long run of All-Star Squadron featuring DC's golden oldies.

    I wish that they had stuck with Whizzer and Miss America as the parents of Wanda and Pietro.

  7. A great Romita Sr. Cover to be sure. But there's not as much future drama having the Franks as the parents. More story potential with magneto.


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...