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The Marvel Assistant Editors' Month
February 23, 2008 4:55 PM   Subscribe

Back in 1983, before crossovers and limited edition covers ruined the industry, Marvel had a really great idea for a special month of comics.

You see, the bigwigs were going off to the San Diego Comic Con so the junior brigade was placed in charge for the time being. It was an opportunity to try something different, something strange, something offbeat, and something by Fred Hembeck. There has never been anything quit like it since, and that is a damn shame. They don't make comic books like that any more. By the way, Amazing Spider-Man #248 is one of the best super-hero stories ever published in the history of the industry.
posted by GavinR (30 comments total) 19 users marked this as a favorite

 
Darn, I messed up the Fred Hembeck link.....he did Peter Parker, The Spectacular Spider-Man #86
posted by GavinR at 4:59 PM on February 23, 2008 [1 favorite]


iirc, that gave us the fight between the snow-woman in alpha flight and some other snow elemental thing. in a blizzard. two pages of white frames with word balloons and captions. kind of awesome in silliness. but still not as silly as the marvel team-up that i *think* was also part of assistant editor's month, where aunt may and franklin richards saved the day with twinkie-like snack cakes.
posted by rmd1023 at 6:08 PM on February 23, 2008


Also, that Popeye game was pretty decent.
posted by GavinR at 6:13 PM on February 23, 2008


but still not as silly as the marvel team-up that i *think* was also part of assistant editor's month, where aunt may and franklin richards saved the day with twinkie-like snack cakes

Weren't those one page ads, like, for twinkies? Or was ther an actual story that revolved around this as well.
posted by SmileyChewtrain at 6:15 PM on February 23, 2008


or was THERE....? /tired
posted by SmileyChewtrain at 6:15 PM on February 23, 2008


The Aunt May and Franklin Richards issue of Marvel Team-Up is very real.
posted by GavinR at 6:18 PM on February 23, 2008


smooth.
posted by SmileyChewtrain at 6:22 PM on February 23, 2008


!!!!
posted by SmileyChewtrain at 6:22 PM on February 23, 2008


Without question, one of the most fun & memorable events in comics history. It still holds up in ways countless other more serious events--whose names for the most part escape me--do not.
posted by jefftrexler at 6:34 PM on February 23, 2008


These are awesome. It has been said!
posted by JHarris at 6:34 PM on February 23, 2008


That was actually when Marvel really started to go downhill in my view.
posted by marxchivist at 6:47 PM on February 23, 2008


Avengers #239 from that month was the famous Avengers-on-Letterman issue. Good times.
posted by ipe at 7:09 PM on February 23, 2008


Oh, yeah! Awesome post. I had completely forgotten about this. Now I have to go dig up that issue of Iron Man discussed in the "something different" link...
posted by freem at 7:31 PM on February 23, 2008


This would be a lot better if the guy had a scanner.
posted by smackfu at 7:49 PM on February 23, 2008


Wow! I have never even heard of this. Awesome post!

...and smackfu, as I can't tell if this is snark or not, these are major comics in the middle of major arcs. they have been scanned previously, you can be assured.
posted by griphus at 8:45 PM on February 23, 2008


Not snark. The main link here is to a guy describing the contents of the comics he owns.
posted by smackfu at 9:15 PM on February 23, 2008


Not snark. The main link here is to a guy describing the contents of the comics he owns.


There is a gallery and he gives summaries of some issues. I don't understand your pointless snarking but then again, that's just me.
posted by GavinR at 9:47 PM on February 23, 2008


I fondly remember collecting these as a kid. I too remember the Avengers issue where they appeared on David Letterman, where Hawkeye had recently gone deaf but he tried to hide it by pedantically memorizing the questions and answering them in order despite what Dave asked. And I remember the Spider-Man issue where they devoted an entire issue around the premise of the hero defeating the villain (Galactus) with Hostess Twinkies.
posted by bobo123 at 10:44 PM on February 23, 2008


I don't understand your pointless snarking but then again, that's just me.

Please don't get defensive about your post. I read the link, and I really just wanted to see what the whited-out battle looked like, and I couldn't find it on Google. This guy has the issues, and if he had a scanner, he could have posted the interesting part of them.
posted by smackfu at 10:54 PM on February 23, 2008


This guy has the issues, and if he had a scanner, he could have posted the interesting part of them.

Or not. Posting the cover is arguable fair use. Posting several pages from the middle of a comic probably isn't. And Marvel's been cracking down on people who've been posting scans of their material.
posted by ten pounds of inedita at 11:31 PM on February 23, 2008


Anyone who's collected/read superhero comics has come across at least one of these. It's the rubicon that is crossed by the "graphic storytelling afficionado" to become "comic book nerd" - they have, or at least have read, at least one "Assistant Editor's Month" comic.

It's about the point in their life when they realize that, yes, they can name every member past, present and future of the X-Men, sort them by which artistic team introduced them, and rank them by power, popularity and number of times resurrected, and there only needs to be the last little push that sends them screaming over the abyss into buying limited edition, hand-painted Savage Dragon busts. That moment is usually marked by a sudden, almost instinctual awareness of Assistant Editor's Month.

A copy will fond its way to them, tucked in a longbox where it didn't belong, spotted at a flea market in the 5 cent bin, tossed in as part of an eighteen-way trade... it will find its way into your hands. And then you have arrived.

Welcome to nerdville. Not as smelly as advertised.
posted by Slap*Happy at 12:03 AM on February 24, 2008 [3 favorites]


A copy will fond its way to them, tucked in a longbox where it didn't belong, spotted at a flea market in the 5 cent bin, tossed in as part of an eighteen-way trade... it will find its way into your hands. And then you have arrived.

Um, I remember these because I was ten when they came out. I remain immune to the questionable allure of Savage Dragon mini-busts, although I do have a Luke Cage action figure (in package) on top of my refrigerator.
posted by kittens for breakfast at 5:51 AM on February 24, 2008


A collection crying out for a trade paperback if ever there was one.
posted by mkultra at 7:35 AM on February 24, 2008


Eeep. I had that Aunt May issue...
posted by Pronoiac at 12:55 PM on February 24, 2008


Back in 1983, before crossovers and limited edition covers ruined the industry

I liked the first crossover, The Mutant Massacre, but yeah, it all rapidly went downhill from there.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 1:19 PM on February 24, 2008


Great post. I pulled out Daredevil 202. Since there's no writeup in the link for this one I'll share. It's got a ridiculous mini-story in the back about a kid named Dirk McGirk giving a show and tell presentation dressed as, as he says "Daringdevil, the Man Without Ears". During his presentation, Turk (loser criminal) comes crashing through the classroom window. Of course Turk mistakes the gradeschooler Dirk as the real Daredevil and is frightened of him. When Daredevil shows up a classmate exclaims, "Oh snap, that dude's BA-A-A-D!". Priceless.
posted by Hugonaut at 3:28 PM on February 24, 2008


Why can't comics be unabashedly wacky like this anymore? At some point, the medium as a whole apparently decided that it wanted to be taken seriously as an art form (which will never truly happen), and they became much less fun. We got The Dark Knight Returns out of it, but lost stuff like Aunt May vs. Galactus and Jimmy Olsen marrying a gorilla. I'm not really a fan of comics anyway, but I can appreciate wackiness.
posted by DecemberBoy at 4:30 PM on February 24, 2008


I read the link, and I really just wanted to see what the whited-out battle looked like, and I couldn't find it on Google.

Here you go. Dave's Long Box has a post on the whole story (found from 3rd link in post).
posted by yerfatma at 6:29 AM on February 25, 2008


Was Squirrel Girl a part of this?
posted by doctorschlock at 5:55 PM on February 25, 2008


DecemberBoy: Why can't comics be unabashedly wacky like this anymore?

I've just been sorting out some comics, & I was thinking about this. So, here's my brain dump: Go check out Warren Elis' Nextwave. Ambush Bug is coming back soon. Look for The Umbrella Academy. Gail Simone has fun in The Atom: I think Jetpack Hitler appeared there. Blue Beetle, Grant Morrison's All Star Superman & Doom Patrol, Matt Fraction's version of Iron Fist, Godland, Scott Pilgrim, Sharkknife, the first couple of Skyape trades, & Amazing Screw-On Head, which reminds me of Adventure Time, though ASOH had a fairly faithful adaptation.

Of these, All-Star Superman, Blue Beetle, Iron Fist, & Godland are out regularly. Scott Pilgrim's currently annual, apparently.
posted by Pronoiac at 1:54 AM on February 27, 2008


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