This week I made a return trip to The Newsstand at Mike’s Amazing World of Comics to revisit the comics I bought (and missed out on) in February 1981. Comic book collecting was a big part of my life up to my late teens, and while I can’t remember a time in which my brother and I weren’t buying comic books, it really does amaze me as to how many books we missed out on back then. So here’s a look back at our purchases 35 years ago this month:
Jonah Hex #48
“The Vulture Creek Massacre” – written by Michael Fleisher, penciled by Dick Ayers, inked by Tony DeZuniga
“Devil’s Power” – Written by Ted Skimmer, penciled by Ross Andru, inked by Tony DeZuniga
Moon Knight #7
“The Moon Kings” – written by Doug Moench, penciled by Bill Sienkiewicz, inked by Klaus Janson
“And a Child Shall Deceive Them” – written by Bill Mantlo, penciled by Sal Buscema, inked by Al Milgrom
Star Wars #47
“Droid World” – Written by Archie Goodwin, penciled by Carmine Infantino, inked by Gene Day
Uncanny X-Men #145
“Kidnapped” – Written by Chris Claremont, penciled by Dave Cockrum, inked by Josef Rubinstein
Five comic books purchased that month (cover dated May 1981) for a total of $2.50 ($6.52 today adjusted for inflation). Jonah Hex #48 is one of only two issues of that title in our collection (the first was #45), and that purchase was most likely based on Tony DeZuniga’s amazing cover. I’m not sure why we didn’t stick with the title, but it’s now on my list to hunt for at the next comic con I attend. Moench and Sinkiewicz’s run on Moon Knight was by far one of my favorites of that era, and by the time the powerful cover for Moon Knight #7 hit the spinner rack that month, we were already hooked on the title. We had purchased Rom sporadically over the first ten issues of the run, but seeing Rom and the X-Men on the cover of issue #18 drawn by two of my favorite artists (if only Frank Miller and Terry Austin had collaborated more!) made this a must have. By February 1981 I was probably a bigger fan of the Star Wars comics than the films (that changed once we got cable TV and Star Wars: A New Hope played about 50 times a month), and those books were my introduction to the art of the great Carmine Infantino. But the Uncanny X-Men was by far my favorite title throughout the 80’s, in part due to Dave Cockrum’s second run on the book which began with issue #145. While I loved the stories from Claremont, Byrne and Austin’s run, it was Claremont and Cockrum’s stories that got me emotionally invested in the characters.
“The Kingpin Must Die!” – Written and penciled by Frank Miller, inked by Klaus Janson
Iron Man #146
“Blacklash – And the Burning” – Written by David Michelinie, penciled by John Romita Jr., inked by Bob Layton
Two more rare misses for titles that were consistent purchases for us back then, though I did recently pick up a copy of Daredevil #170 at a comic con recently. Iron Man #146 was one of only two issues we missed during the Michelinie/Romita Jr./Layton run.