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  1. #1
    Fantastic Member Hybrid's Avatar
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    Default What would you say are the underrated Marvel gems of the '80s?

    I've been kind of fascinated with the '80s era as of late, as it was something of a golden age for the industry in general. Comics were getting more mature, plots more complex, and overall there was more grit and grim to it. Yet at the same time they didn't veer to heavily into being "dark", they still were about good people, and kept varying levels of idealism to prevent you from being apathetic, unlike in the regrettable '90s dark age.

    This is especially true for Marvel. I feel like this was possibly the best and most influential decade for superhero storytelling and the impact is still being felt today. I'd say the most well-remembered and influential runs of the '80s are:
    • X-Men (Chris Claremont)
    • Spider-Man (Roger Stern/Tom DeFalco/David Michelinie among others)
    • Daredevil (Frank Miller)
    • Thor (Walt Simonson)
    • Fantastic Four (John Byrne)

    But really, it's just scratching the surface and there's a lot of good stuff to read.

    So what would you say are the best comics that tend not to be as acknowledged of that era?

    The most obvious example is Power Pack. Not so great sales, because it was a weird beast. It was a book starring kids that wasn't a kids book, and just as serious as the others. Many dismissed it as a dumb kids book, but those who stuck around loved it. The series was kept alive for a decent length, doing just good enough, and had an enthusiastic following, primarily with adults rather than children. Is it any wonder why whenever there's talk of MCU Power Pack, many, many fans are very excited, and the ones against it know nothing about them and just assume it'll be for kids?

    Anyways, what other examples do you think fit? Discuss.

  2. #2
    Kinky Lil' Canine Snoop Dogg's Avatar
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    Squadron Supreme (Gruenwald)

    Iron Man (O'Niel/Layton+Michelinie)

    Captain America (Gruenwald/Stern+Byrne/DeMatteis+Zeck)

    Avengers (Stern + Buscema + Palmer)

    Incredible Hulk (Mantlo + Buscema)
    Dance games are my divine punishment from the Lord. May my furnace be forever fueled.

  3. #3
    Invincible Member XPac's Avatar
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    In my mind, Squadron Supreme should be up there with Watchmen and Kingdom Come. It's a story that's respected, but not to the degree it should IMO.

    And I think Sterns Avengers run is a bit underrated. It's my all time fave.

  4. #4
    Incredible Member Electricmastro's Avatar
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    Default

    Last edited by Electricmastro; 09-08-2019 at 08:44 PM.

  5. #5
    Fantastic Member Hybrid's Avatar
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Electricmastro View Post
    I don't think the image is working...

    Edit: Nvm, it works now.
    Last edited by Hybrid; 09-08-2019 at 08:51 PM.

  6. #6
    Fantastic Member mikelmcknight72's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by XPac View Post
    In my mind, Squadron Supreme should be up there with Watchmen and Kingdom Come. It's a story that's respected, but not to the degree it should IMO.

    And I think Sterns Avengers run is a bit underrated. It's my all time fave.
    In spite of how dated the classic Squadron Supreme maxi-series feels, I'm still very fond of it.

    The original Power Pack series was pretty darned good, and it tied to a number of other big parts of the Marvel Universe: The FF (Franklin was a member and stayed with the Powers), Thor (Beta Ray Bill appeared at least twice), the X-Men, etc. The first issue I read back in the day was #19. It was a Thanksgiving issue in 1986. The story involved the Morlocks, Wolverine, Shadowcat, Cloak & Dagger, and it was during one of the times Franklin was staying with them. I haven't read in years, but I recall it ending with a Thanksgiving party that reminded me of the Peanuts Thanksgiving special.

  7. #7
    Mighty Member
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    Geez, it's time for me to get on my soap box about Power Pack.

    Power Pack was great. It had its moments of being a cliche cheesy kids book, mainly because we have the power of hindsight over its environmentalism and drug messages. At the same time, we got surprisingly good action. The Mutant Massacre tie-in surprisingly kept the somber tone of the event. It wasn't afraid to play the superhero bit straight. You see adult and teen characters bleed from their injuries, so do the Power Pack which shocked me as a kid.

  8. #8
    Incredible Member Electricmastro's Avatar
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    Also, in addition in Spider-Ham:

    The Sensational She-Hulk

    West Coast Avengers

    Dazzler

    Moon Knight

    The Thing

    Psi-Force

    D.P.7

    Strikeforce: Morituri

    The Mutant Misadventures of Cloak and Dagger

    Saga of the Sub-Mariner

    Eternals

    Nightmask

    The Vision and the Scarlet Witch

    Spitfire and the Troubleshooters

    Fallen Angels

    Spellbound

    Dakota North

    Elektra Saga

    Magik

    Firestar

    Machine Man

    Rocket Raccoon

  9. #9
    Astonishing Member
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    Byrne's run on the West Coast Avengers, and first two years of Alpha Flight were pretty amazing.

    Of the New Universe stuff, I liked D.P. 7 most of all, but Psi-Force was also pretty cool. Strikeforce Morituri, which was (mistakenly?) advertised a time or two back in the day as part of the New Universe, was also amazing for the first year and a half or so.

    If Squadron Supreme had better art, I think it could have been much better regarded, as it had a sort of darker take that made the Watchmen so successful, but, IMO, looked a little too cartoony by comparison, which I think did it no favors.

  10. #10
    Mighty Member K7P5V's Avatar
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    Mantlo's Spectacular Spider-Man:


    Owsley's Power Man & Iron Fist:


    X-Factor from the Simonsons:
    Last edited by K7P5V; 09-08-2019 at 10:14 PM. Reason: Added a few words.

  11. #11
    Spectacular Member Dark-Jacket's Avatar
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    Power Pack was the first thing I could thing of. I never got to read the end of the series but it was everything I loved in comics.
    Squadron Supreme as stated earlier is up there too. I think what hurted its recognition is the lack of a distinctive art (the art was great, just not ground breaking enough to get it notice).
    New Mutants when it started was pure horror. I was traumatized but it was great !

    She-Hulk, Dazzler, Spider-Woman and stern Avengers and Byrne Alpha Flight were great too.

  12. #12
    Astonishing Member Gaastra's Avatar
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    Geez, it's time for me to get on my soap box about Power Pack.

    Power Pack was great. It had its moments of being a cliche cheesy kids book, mainly because we have the power of hindsight over its environmentalism and drug messages. At the same time, we got surprisingly good action. The Mutant Massacre tie-in surprisingly kept the somber tone of the event. It wasn't afraid to play the superhero bit straight. You see adult and teen characters bleed from their injuries, so do the Power Pack which shocked me as a kid.

    I also agree about power pack. Great comic with some surprising adults things at times like the kids getting kidnapped by a lonely mother morlock and saved by the X-Men. The kids still befriend the mom and she adopts some morlock kids without a mom. Then later in mutant Massacre they come across the mom and her kids dead in their room! That was harsh for the time!

    Speaking of mutant Massacre it also showed how powerful these kids can be (they deal with alien races and thor bad guys after all) as sabertooth comes across them thinking they are easy prey only to get his butt kicked!


    The last half of transformers was great also with more fleshed out heroes then the cartoon and the unicron arc was epic!

    Gijoe was also better then the cartoon with more fleshed out heroes, a cooler snake eyes and they can even have deaths in the book! The second gijoe cover I posted down below all those joes are killed in one issue!

    For cheesy fun love comet man but no one (not even marvel) remembers him. Not the best comic but 80s fun!


    [IMG][/IMG]
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    [IMG][/IMG]
    Last edited by Gaastra; 09-09-2019 at 05:27 AM.

  13. #13
    Father Son Kamehameha < Kuwagaton's Avatar
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    Stern's Captain America with Byrne was excellent.The main page had a good bit on Dematteis' Cap. Unfortunately only the last part is collected. Well the Deathlok story is also collected but that's hard to find.
    http://www.cbr.com/captain-america-j...s-beacon-hope/

    Larry Hama is more famous for GI Joe and 90s Wolverine, but Nth the Ultimate Man was a great self contained title. New age ninia action from probably the only guy in comics who had insight into Japanese culture and Budo in particular. Not collected but easily found.

    Bill Mantlo is kind of unsung on Hulk even if certain parts of his run became iconic.

    Punisher War Journal is literally a blast. It's probably only notable because of Lee, but Potts and Wright certainly pull their weight among others. The first 19 issues are in one collection.

    I'm hoping they do a Moon Knight epic collection part 3 to finish out Moench and cover Fist of Khonshu. But Epic collection 2 right now is still the best material of the character.
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  14. #14
    FF purist/snob CaptCleghorn's Avatar
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    This Bruce Jones / Brent Anderson series.


  15. #15
    Extraordinary Member Zero Hunter's Avatar
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    One I always like to mention is the Hercules: Prince of Power trilogy by Bob Layton. It is set in the future where Hercules has left Earth and is wandering the stars having fun and getting in trouble. It was two 4 issue mini series and a Marvel Graphic Novel and it is epic. Herc in space dealing with the all the crazyness out there is the perfect setting for Marvels number one party boy.


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