It seems that there really will be a E-Book by yours truly containing some pieces - original and re-worked - on the first few years of the Marvel Universe appearing later this year. Never having done anything of the sort, it's proving to be an interesting, if somewhat nerve-wracking, process. Given that I've been at something of a loss for what to do next following the completion of my original target of 10 000 hours writing on the blog, the E-book's a project that's arrived just at the right time. Though I'll be shifting back to paying far more attention to contemporary comics from this point onwards here at TooBusyThinking, the time invested in grappling with the product of the long-lost Sixties has proven unexpectedly inspiring. By that, I don't mean that I'd imagined spending time with the earliest of Marvel's super-books would prove to be anything other than fascinating. Yet the comics of the period never seem to run out of qualities which are as surprising as they're captivating, and that's true no matter how often those books have been read.
And so, I've been re-reading the earliest of Janet Van Dyne and Hank Pym's adventures for the two-part piece on the Wasp which began at Sequart this week - here - and that's really hammered home the speed at which Marvel's earliest superhero features were constantly being redeveloped. To know that there was little of a status quo in the earliest of the company's super-books is one thing. But to sit down and note such changes one by one is to be forced to reappraise once more just how fluid, ambitious and unprecious Lee, Kirby, Ditko et al's approach was. It's not just that things which didn't seem to be working were swiftly changed, but that often entirely successful strips were fundamentally reworked. Peter Parker could have presumably stayed in high school forever, for example, and yet, in less than three years, he'd graduated and left most of his supporting cast behind.
Below are just some of the changes which affected Henry Pym during the 35 months in which he was the co-star of one of Tales To Astonish's lead feature. Considering that most of those tales were short features of mostly 12 or so pages, that's a hectic degree of innovation.
|One month later and Pym's "secret headquarters" was revealed, which we've discussed here at TooBusy before.|
Next, TooBusyThinking will be returning to the 21st Century ...