Comic Books


Whole Marvelous

Super- Ultra- Cosmic- Magical

Comic Book Universe


by Rob Gustaveson


The forge of creativity & business that was Marvel Comics was a synchronic chord sounded by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby and Steve Ditko and all the authors and artists and inkers and colorists who worked there.

It all started during the early 1960's when the Fantastic Four and Spider-man and the X-men (The Uncanny X-Men) were formed from the imagination of Stan Lee and Jack Kirby. X-men was a box office smash last summer. I'm sure you also remember the highly successful Hulk TV show.

The earliest X-men consisted of Jean (Marvel Girl) Grey (who later became the extremely popular Phoenix), Professor X (Xavier), Cyclops (Scott Summers), the intelligent Beast (Hank McCoy), and Iceman (Bobbie). Mutants born with special "super-mutant" abilities. 

Later came the New Mutants with younger characters possessing mutant powers that sometimes seemed to possess them (the only type of comic book story I don't like). 

These characters from X-men including (Nightcrawler, Wolverine, Storm, Banshee, Kitty) evolved with the advent of the creativity of John Byrne (starting in issue #108 of X-men) and Chris Claremont (Giant Sized X-men #1 and Uncanny X-men #94 now valued at $500. up in "mint" condition. The most popular character was the main star in the X-men film--Wolverine. There is sure to be a sequel for this box office smash.

X-men Comics taught kids that prejudice is evil. People who live in fear and thus greed try to destroy that which they don't understand.

Interesting that both the most recent Star Wars film and X-men film took a hard look at politicians (Congress). If power corrupts absolutely is it possible our system is absolutely corrupt?  The Senator in the X-men film learned his lesson a little late.

Spider-man--the new Marvel film in the works--is about a kid who with usual teenage angst (bullies beating him up, not getting any babes, acne and so forth is mild stuff compared to today's school experiences--such as not getting shot & killed while going to or attending school or being seduced by a deadly drug or infected by a killer disease) is merely bitten by a radioactive spider (radical stuff for the early 1960's).

This gives Peter Parker super powers--insect powers--if amplified a man could lift a truck and carry it 20 miles as ants do. (Don't get me started talking about Henry Pym the Antman who became Giant Man in the Marvel's Avengers ((Capt. America, Thor the Thunder God etc.))).  Add to that Peter Parker was also a brilliant student who was able to invent a web shooter and other great inventions.  And Spider-man was born as a bi-product of the bi-product known as radioactive material (which Science still doesn't know how to get rid of).  (Try telling that to our new administration).  Everything is energy!  Remember Tesla coils.

But Marvel was not the only place parading superpowered characters.

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           Rob Gustaveson and Stan Lee 1977

                Studio City, California


Copyright 1996, 2000, 2003, 2009 R Gustaveson

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