Friday, February 02, 2007

Make Mine Mantlo!

I did a search on for all of Bill Mantlo's writing credits. I compiled the data and took out all the foreign language reprints. I'm sure this list isn't complete, but I know I'm not the only comic fan on the internet who might like to see this information.

The Mantlo List!

Alpha Flight 29-67, Annual 1 & 2
Amazing Adventure 1
Amazing Adventures 33, 38
Amazing High Adventure 4, 5
Amazing Spider-Man, 181, 222, 237, Annual 10, 11, 17
Astonishing Tales 32-35
Avengers 188, 206, 210 Annual 9, 12
Battlestar Galactica 8, 9
Bizarre Adventures 30
Captain America 191, 256, 291
Captain Marvel 47
Champions 3, 4, 8-17
Cloak & Dagger 1-4 ('83 mini), 1-11
Creepy 109 (Warren)
Daredevil 140
Deadly Hands of Kung Fu 7-27, 29-32
Defenders 30
Eerie 17 (Warren)
Epic Illustrated 5
Fantastic Four 182-183, 193-194, 216-218, Annual 13
Fear 29-31
Frankenstein 18
Ghost Rider 16
Howard the Duck ('76) 30-31
Howard the Duck ('79) 1-9
Human Fly 1-19
Incredible Hulk 245-313 Annual 10-13
Incredible Hulk vs Quasimodo 1
Inferior Five 3 (DC!)
Invasion 1-3 (DC!)
Iron Man 46, 78, 86-87, 95-115
Jack of Hearts 1-4
John Carter Warlord of Mars Annual 2
Last Starfighter 1-3
Man from Atlantis 1-7
Marvel Chillers 1-2
Marvel Classics Comics 15 (Treasure Isand), 18 (The Odyssey)
Marvel Comics Presents Spider-Man
Marvel Comics Super Special 25, 31, 33
Marvel Fanfare 7, 16, 19, 25, 27, 28, 43, 47, 56-58
Marvel Fumetti Book 1
Marvel Graphic Novel 14
Marvel Magazine 2
Marvel Masterworks 11-12
Marvel Premiere 26, 28, 31, 40, 44
Marvel Preview 4, 7, 10, 22, 24 (at least some of these are text-only pieces)
Marvel spotlight 9-11, 27
Contest of Champions 1-3
Marvel Super-Heroes 383 (81 series), 15 (90 series)
Marvel Super-Heroes Magazine 1
Marvel Tales 228-229, 235-236, 239, 245, 247-248, 262
Marvel Team-Up 38-56, 72, 134-135, 140, Annual 1, 6
Marvel Treasury Edition 25
Marvel Two-In-One 11-12, 14-24, 47-48, 99
Micronauts 1-58, Annual 1-2
Micronauts Special Edition 1-3
Might World of Marvel 9-16
Power Man 25-29, 38-39
Questprobe 1
Rawhide Kid 1-4
Red Sonja 5-7
Rocket Racoon 1-4
ROM 1-75, Annual 1-4
Savage Sword of Conan 110
Sectaurs 1-8
Sectaurs: Warriors of The Symbion
Skull the Slayer 5-8
Son of Satan 8
Spectacular Spider-Man 6, 9-10, 12-15, 17-40, 42, 53, 61-89, 104, 120 Annual 1, 4
Spider-Man and Daredevil Special Edition 1
Strange Tales ('87) 1-7
Super-Villain Team-Up 4, 9-14
Swords of the Swashbucklers 1-12
Tarzan 20-29, Annual 2-3
Team America 2, 5-8
Thor 240-241, 309
Transformers Comics Magazine 1
Vision and Scarlet Witch 1-4
Warlock 5
Web of Spider-Man 11
What If? 21, 31, 36, 52-53, 55
X-Men 96, 106
X-Men and the Micronauts 1-4

That's quite a body of work. I totally need to get myself a copy of Savage Sword of Conan #110 to see Mantlo's take on the hardest working Cimmerian in show business. Swords of the Swashbucklers looks right up my alley as well.

Turns out that as a kid I owned at least two comics scripted by Mantlo. Both were issues of The Incredible Hulk and the only Hulk comics I owned. Hulk #268 was a tale from the Weird West, featuring a skeletal cowboy called the Pariah. He carried this golden stone that had an Indian curse placed on it. Eventually Hulk got sick of this chump talking about curses and death and stuff. So what does the Hulk do? He smashes the glowy magic rock. End of story. That's one of the things I love about superhero comics. So many problems can be solved with punching and smashing.

Hulk #277 starts out with the U-Foes (an evil Fantastic Four) having already captured Bruce Banner. As you can see on the cover, this one starts out with Bruce Banner in his shredded purple pants crucified on some sort of high tech device that prevents him from hulking out. That's a pretty mind-blowing way for a comic to open. And more to the point, the U-Foes plan on executing Bruce Banner on live national television. And the rest of the heroes watching can't find where the baddies are broadcasting from, because of the yellow and orange dude's super-powers.

Of course Dr. Banner is freed and goes green. The Hulk, equipped with Banner's mind in this issue, then methodically destroys the U-Foes in probably the most brutal fight sequence I had seen in comics until the 90's era of splattergore supers. At one point Hulk's grappling with Ironclad, the silvery guy on the cover and the team powerbrute. Vapor, whose power is to turn into any gas she chooses, makes herself into a cloud of acid and tries to envelop Hulk. The big green machine pulls a quick counter on Ironclad and drops him into Vapor's acid. And the dude starts to melt. It was rad.

The final foe the Hulk tackles is Vector, the team leader and the cool-looking yellow guy on the cover. Vector's superpower is telekinetic repulsion, he gestures and things fly away from him. There's this great sequence where he's repulsing stuff at the Hulk, trying to push him away. But the Hulk just keeps on coming. Vector starts out sending whatever stuff is at hand, but eventually throws all of Gamma Base at the Hulk! Slowly walking through a swirling tornado made of everything Vector throws at him, the Hulk is an unstoppable engine of vengeance. Finally the Hulk grabs Vector's hands. "You grabbed my hands?!? No one should be able to grab my hands!!!" Then what comes next flipped my lid. The Hulk just squeezes until Vector's hands are crushed! The dude crumples to the floor. I swear you can almost hear guitars wailing as the Hulk just demolishes these chumps.

Man, I really need to track down that issue.

There is only one Mantlo and Chris Sims is his prophet.