Archivo de la etiqueta: Comics

God Mazinger

God Mazinger is a Japanese comic book from the 1980s by Go Nagai that is a part of a long-running series, though it may easily be the most bizarre, creative, and entirely off-model, showing the influence of the American author, Edgar Rice Burroughs. A young boy from modern day Japan is transported back in time to the ancient prehistoric lost continent of Mu, where he has to defend an extremely bosomy princess from an invading empire, who uses forces made of still living giant dinosaurs.

God Mazinger is a Japanese comic book from the 1980s by Go Nagai
God Mazinger is a Japanese comic book from the 1980s by Go Nagai

The origin of the giant robot in this series is fascinating. Mu was the first civilization created when men were expulsed from the Garden of Eden into the primeval, prehistoric world. I can鈥檛 help but think that God was excessively harsh in sending the first people into a landscape with terrifiying giant dinosaurs. Either way, to atone for this, God left a statue of himself, a hundred feet tall, that would protect the first human civilization from monsters and dinosaurs. But according to the Prophecy, it would activate only when a Marty McFly/Luke Skywalker type boy protagonist from 20th Century Japan arrived to use his soul to awaken the giant statue, which becomes a robot with a giant sword.

God Mazinger is a Japanese comic book from the 1980s by Go Nagai
God Mazinger is a Japanese comic book from the 1980s by Go Nagai

Frank R. Paul, the definitive pulp scifi…

Frank R. Paul, the definitive pulp scifi...

Frank R. Paul, the definitive pulp scifi artist, did the cover of the first-ever Marvel Comic in 1939. This is because Marvel鈥檚 comic books were an extension of their already existing pulp magazine publishing empire.聽

Marvel Magazines (Timely Publishing), founded by Martin R. Goodman, knew Frank R. Paul as he illustrated the cover of many of their pulp magazines, like Marvel Mystery Stories and Marvel Science Stories as far back as 1938. Marvel Comics started off as an extension of the pulps into a new medium, hence why they called the most famous 20s-30s scifi artist of all time, with whom Marvel Magazines had a strong working relationship.聽

Frank R. Paul鈥檚 cover for Marvel Science Stories, a year before:

Frank R. Paul, the definitive pulp scifi...

Martin Goodman, pulp publisher and the founder of Marvel Magazines in the late 30s, was Stan Lee鈥檚 uncle by marriage, and gave Lee his first job in comics writing text stories in Captain America #3 (1942). Goodman had tickets on the Hindenburg鈥檚 final explosive flight (two years before creating Marvel鈥檚 comic publishing division), but had to cancel at the last minute. Incidentally, I am always amused by pedants who insist that Marvel 鈥渨as actually called Timely Publishing in the 1930s-40s.鈥 Technically true, I guess鈥ut they were known as Marvel Magazines as far back as the 1930s.  

Frank R. Paul, the definitive pulp scifi...

Here鈥檚 more support for the idea that Marvel Comics grew out of the Marvel pulp publishing empire: notice that in the first-ever Marvel Comic, they mention聽鈥淜a-Zar鈥 on the cover as if the audience should know who he is. And they did! Marvel created that character in 1937, 2 years before Marvel even started publishing comics at all, in a character pulp in imitation less of Tarzan than of the Ki-Gor series.

Many know of Ka-Zar and the Savage Land because he was, like Captain America and the Human Torch, a pre-existing hero who was revived in the 1960s. The really unusual thing is that Ka-Zar was revived in the pages of X-Men, and so was absorbed into the cast of that title and never really broke out as a solo star, though every 2 decades, he gets a solo series.

Frank R. Paul, the definitive pulp scifi...