Monday, September 28, 2009

There was a farm that had a SCREAM, and Woodgod was its name-oh.


OK, that's terrible. But barely after mentioning my surprise at having a comic featuring Woodgod, I get his first two appearances from the quarter box. His debut in Marvel Premiere #31, "Birthday!" is grim, 70's sci-fi: man tampering in God's domain, even with the best of intentions; coupled with man's fear of the unknown, the different, etc. It's not readily apparent that Woodgod's story takes place in the Marvel Universe, at least until his next appearance in Marvel Team-Up #53. That issue is better known for being John Byrne's first work on the X-Men, and there's a kinda sweet two-page spread of Spidey and the X-Men flying home in the (rarely seen since) X-Shuttle, but there's also this:
I'm pretty sure the X-Men eventually get that thing blown up, right?
What is Wolverine doing there, with his fist up by his shoulder, and his claws shorter than his fingers? Well, I've seen Wolvie drawn multiple times with claws far too long to fit in his forearms, so this is at least a pleasant change.

At any rate, the Hulk's showed up at Woodgod's small town of Liberty, New Mexico; shortly after the nerve gas explosion that killed the townspeople and Woodgod's parents. The Hulk decides to claim the pleasantly humanless town for himself, until Woodgod attacks him, still in a rage from his parents' death. Later, the X-Men's Banshee drops Spidey off there, since Peter's acting like a reporter for some reason, and where the "anti-radiation mist" they received the previous issue (Giant-Size Marvel Team-Up #1) protects Spidey from the nerve gas. You know, they should've just said, 'because' and left it at that.

Now that I've run across another batch of Woodgod appearances, I can't stop seeing them: looking up Woodgod at GCD, there were more of them that I had! He appeared in Quasar twice, which is more than I had thought, OK, but he also was in Earth X? Really? More than once? Man, I wasn't going to re-read that one for a while, but it may be coming up...

Maybe I should mention some other series, and see if it magically appears in the quarter boxes now. Like Miracleman. Well, that seems unlikely: even quarter-box condition issues of that would go for a bit. Even though I've seen a lot of scans and recaps and whatnot, I've never read an actual, in hand Miracleman comic. But I do remember seeing the back-issue ads that warned about the issue featuring "graphic depictions of childbirth," and I remember thinking yeah, maybe I'll stick with Solo Avengers or something.

Panels from Marvel Premiere #31, "Birthday!" Conceived and written by Bill Mantlo, pencils by Keith Giffen, inks by Klaus Janson. (God, I can't see Keith Giffen's name with that, without picturing Woodgod with the Justice League International: Woodgod going on and on about death and calling it 'scream,' so Beetle thinks he's just a Courtney Cox fan or something, while Guy keeps riding Woodgod to put on some damn pants.) And Marvel Team-Up #53, "Nightmare in New Mexico!" Written by Bill Mantlo, pencils by John Byrne, inks by Frank Giacoia. I think I have a reprint of the next issue, which somehow ends with Spider-Man getting his ass launched into space, for the next issue with Warlock. All of which is why Spidey is increasingly reluctant to leave New York City...

1 comment:

Dale Bagwell said...

Red Eyes!?
They were either stoned or trippin' balls. Since you rarely hear ases of aggressive behavior associated with stoners, I'll say they were sky high
of LSD/PCP drug gas.