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Brian Hague
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Posted: 05 March 2018 at 6:15pm | IP Logged | 1 post reply

I received an eBay order from England today; the 1983 Superman Annual reprinting DC Comics Presents issues 27, 28, & 29 written by Len Wein and drawn by Jim Starlin. This was the story that introduced Mongul and Warworld. It also contains a conclusion (spoilers!) in which Superman flies farther and faster than he ever has (The story is actually called, "Where No Superman Has Gone Before") in pursuit of his cousin Supergirl who was knocked unconscious ricocheting off Warworld in the previous issue and has been flying blind through space picking up speed as she goes. The Spectre appears to stop the increasingly arrogant Superman before he goes too far and crosses a line the Spectre's master has forbidden to all. 

Yup. Superman has flown into Heaven. He realizes this when the Voice of God himself speaks to him and says something like, "Aye, my good and noble son. Know it in your heart. And rejoice!"*

Here's the thing, though: the voice in the original comic was rendered as a color hold and it is not reprinted in the British reprint album. Superman and the Spectre talk about a voice speaking to them and the special effect surrounding the color hold is represented, but not the voice itself. DC reprinted the first two parts of the story in a Mongul-themed trade paperback recently and did not include the third chapter at all. This may have been because Mongul himself does not appear in the third chapter, but it does leave the reader hanging with an incomplete story wherein Superman looks around and asks what happened to Supergirl.

It's easy enough to explain away both exclusions without resorting to the idea of editorial interference, but it is odd that voice of God fails to appear in both reprinted versions of the story, diminishing the point of the entire story.

I've railed in the past about a Super Friends TPB from 2001 that reprints select stories from the original comic's run back in the seventies. The first two issues of the comic came out separately from the rest before DC decided to go ahead with the book as a regular title. In that sense, issue #3 with art by Ramona Fradon is actually the first issue of the regular series. But no, the reprint editor went with issue #1 in which the Super Foes are training a group of teenage sidekicks to join them in their lives of perfidy and terror. The issue ends with the JLA inviting the kids to join Marvin and Wendy as hangers-on at the Hall of Justice... but we know the kids are up to no good. The second issue is not included, so we're left with the Super Friends inviting a group of serpents into their den... And no conclusion. The next issue reprinted is #6. Meanwhile the events of #3, a legitimately done-in-one story, are directly referenced in another issue that IS included. 

So, did the editor simply not read the books he was reprinting? The error isn't dealt with in the next volume either. Issues 2 and 3 are both left out of that one as well. 

When Marvel first reprinted Jim Shooter's Korvac Saga in 1991, they tacked on an epilogue not seen nor reprinted anywhere else that I know of. In it, the Avengers are left wondering if Michael/Korvac's plan for a perfectly ordered universe would have worked, and we, the readers, are shown Korvac clutched in the bony fingers of Death herself, realizing he had everything wrong and now has all of eternity to contemplate his ignorant, foolish choices. This new ending effectively negates the ambiguity we were left with in the original story.

The epilogue isn't directly credited but the title page of the reprint volume itself lists Bill Mantlo among the writers and Tom Morgan is listed as one of the artists. I don't believe either was involved in the original run of issues. Was this some sort of backwards swipe at Marvel's ousted Editor-In-Chief? Did Marvel somehow feel they HAD to let the Avengers off the hook and concretely establish Korvac as a misguided loon?

How about the rest of you? Any recollections of recollected comics that were altered, rewritten, recolored, or contained notable omissions? How did the rewrites included in Claremont's redone Phoenix: The Untold Story and Classic X-Men issues set with you? Should these later volumes contain corrections, embroidering, and additional material or serve an archival function, reprinting the work as it originally appeared?

* I don't have ready access to the original issues at the moment, so I can't check the actual dialogue.


Edited by Brian Hague on 06 March 2018 at 4:43am
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Rebecca Jansen
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Posted: 05 March 2018 at 9:22pm | IP Logged | 2 post reply

I only had one of those DC Comics Presents, the one with Supergirl co-billed.So curious to read about the conclusion after so long and how it was changed.

I have the whole Korvac 'saga' in Avengers (including them taking a city bus because their jet was impounded by the government)... and as I didn't like the ending much I would say it's been improved. For some reason they had musical artists for that comic for a long time (between Byrne the two stints), if it had've all been one artist it'd probably be more fondly remembered (the Perez issues made the writing seem better).

I remember some of the DC digest reprints would make the lettering bigger for the smaller page, but I don't recall any big changes. I even had some early Legion to compare with digest reprints and it was all there. However Marvel in the X-Men Classics #1-3 reprint set dropped entire pages of the Neal Adams run from what I remember just having three of the original '60s ones to compare to. Grrr.

I do remember re-colored comics being very wrong sometimes. There was an Avengers reprint under the Marvel Triple Action banner where The Beast is wearing a blue and yellow costume.


Edited by Rebecca Jansen on 05 March 2018 at 9:23pm
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Greg Kirkman
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Posted: 05 March 2018 at 9:32pm | IP Logged | 3 post reply

In regards to PHOENIX: THE UNTOLD STORY, was that not just a restoration back to the original scripting and art as it was before the story was reworked into its final form? It's a rather fascinating glimpse into the creative process.
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Eric Jansen
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Posted: 05 March 2018 at 10:56pm | IP Logged | 4 post reply

Keep this in mind: MOON KNIGHT in the back of the HULK MAGAZINE was/is probably my favorite comic of all time.  The writing, the art, the coloring, the format, the character--it all came together and hit me just right and when I was the perfect age to enjoy it.

In the Hatchet Man storyline, Moon Knight's brother has just hacked Marlene in the back and the chapter ends with Moon Knight kneeling over her swearing vengeance--with the next chapter starting with a full-page version of the same scene, in a beautifully rendered park, drawn by Bill Sienkiewicz and hand-colored by Steve Oliff--it's possibly the most beautifully done comic book page I've ever seen.

In my 20's (going to Bible School), I divested myself of most of my worldly goods, including my entire comic collection.  Cut to years later, with me recollecting all my old favorites.  Marvel did a 3-issue (saddle-stitched) MOON KNIGHT: SPECIAL EDITION reprinting all those Moench/Sienkiewicz MK stories I had loved so much.  But with the set number of pages, they even used the back covers to reprint some of the pages.  And they left out one page entirely--that park scene!  Argh!

Years later, they reprinted the MOON KNIGHT series again, this time in hard cover.  Well, the magazine pages were done wider, but the hardcover was reprinted in narrower comic book dimensions--with the artwork shrunk more than necessary.  (A LOT of empty space at the bottom of each page.)  And then, as is the custom, the original covers were used to divide the chapters.  This normally makes sense--but these covers were all of the Hulk!  It was his magazine or course, but MK never even got a little headshot down in the corner or anything!  So, this expensive (well, I got it on discount) hardcover had tiny art and was full of pages of the Hulk that had nothing to do with the stories being reprinted!

I don't know why this beautiful series has had such bad luck but I guess I need to pick up the more recent EPIC COLLECTION reprint--and this will be the fourth time I've bought these stories.


Edited by Eric Jansen on 05 March 2018 at 10:59pm
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Greg Kirkman
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Posted: 05 March 2018 at 10:59pm | IP Logged | 5 post reply

Keep this in mind: MOON KNIGHT in the back of the HULK MAGAZINE was/is probably my favorite comic of all time.  The writing, the art, the coloring, the format, the character--it all came together and hit me just right and when I was the perfect age to enjoy it.
++++++++

Having finally acquired the entirety of the HULK magazine, I look forward to reading it!
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Brian Hague
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Posted: 06 March 2018 at 3:19am | IP Logged | 6 post reply

Rebecca, that final issue of the story is worth finding. It also deals with the level of arrogance Superman displayed over the course of those three issues. The first issue with J'onn J'onzz is worth tracking down as well, I would say, depending upon what the price for a "Mongul First Appearance" is. As near as I can tell, both the 1983 British annual and Mongul trade reprint that one in it's entirety. 

As a side note, we discussed Ditko's Killjoy in another thread. I've since been able to come up with the first issue of The Ditko Package and it reprints KJ's two appearances from E-Man. That just leaves the 174-page issue #4 as our last hope of finding a "new" story featuring the character.

Eric, I really feel for you with those Moon Knight comics. It hurts more than it should when fondly remembered tales from our childhood are handled so poorly by others. Not having read the Hulk! back-ups in their time, I thought the MK Special Edition was giving me the material intact. It's a shame to hear that it was not. 

The Fantagraphics 'zine "Amazing Heroes" years ago published a guide to the various cuts and deletions DC and Marvel did to their reprinted stories; e.g. "Marvel Triple Action #36; reprints X-Men #42, sans p. 1, 3, & 6 of the original story"* and so forth. Truly disheartening to read how it was simply common practice to gut these stories and trowel over the excised portions with re-lettered dialogue and captions. 

I have a friend who used to clip "Star Hawks" strips from the local paper and assemble them in an album. I found some comprehensive reprint books and got them for him as a gift, but he was disappointed that the scale of the work had been reduced for reproduction. Sometimes it's worth it I think to either go all out and do something right or not do it at all. Half-measures just don't make it.

Greg, I think you're going to like those magazines. I only had issue #9 as a kid, but OMG, that Tony DeZuniga back-up with Shanna the She-Devil had me positively agog. 

* A fictitious example. My collection is not currently accessible, and I  don't think my Amazing Heroes issues survived the fire anyhow.


Edited by Brian Hague on 06 March 2018 at 3:41am
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Brian Hague
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Posted: 06 March 2018 at 3:27am | IP Logged | 7 post reply

Re: "Phoenix: the Untold Story," Greg, compare the original dialogue and thought balloons of the characters as they prepare for battle with those in the original issue. That doesn't read like restored dialogue. It sounds like Claremont taking another swing at the material, in much the same way he did with so much of "Classic X-Men." How would changing the final few pages in the original issue necessitate going back and rewriting Peter's thoughts from whatever is shown in "Untold Story" to reminiscences about his brother? Would there have been time back then for such things?

Edited by Brian Hague on 06 March 2018 at 3:39am
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Eric Jansen
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Posted: 06 March 2018 at 6:03am | IP Logged | 8 post reply

I'm very happy with most of Marvel and DC's present reprint editions and the philosophy guiding the selections, but, yeah, that MOON KNIGHT thing was a bit ridiculous!

My other reprint complaint is also a few years old.  I was reveling in all the softcover MARVEL MASTERWORKS Marvel had been doing for a number of years--I loved the format, paper, price, intros, and painted covers (that utilized the layouts of the original covers).  I've got the entire Lee/Kirby FANTASTIC FOUR in ten volumes which I cherish, but then they stopped the softcovers--before they finished that era!  Eight volumes of Lee/Ditko/Romita's AMAZING SPIDER-MAN is certainly not bad, but I wish they would have reached issue #100 at least.

This post doesn't really follow the rules of the thread as this is not really talking about a mistake per se--unless you count MY mistake!  I was especially enjoying the DAREDEVIL books and looking forward to more Lee/Colan magic--but they stopped with Volume 3.  I could switch to the EPIC COLLECTION series now, but, of course, the latest EPIC edition duplicates most of the last MASTERWORKS edition I got!  Not really looking forward to spending $40 for reprints of only nine issues I haven't read.

I really don't like hardcovers--their bulk OR their price!--but I am seriously considering switching to those $60 hardcovers...IF I can find discounts!  


Edited by Eric Jansen on 06 March 2018 at 6:06am
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Dave Phelps
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Posted: 06 March 2018 at 6:04am | IP Logged | 9 post reply


 QUOTE:
How would changing the final few pages in the original issue necessitate going back and rewriting Peter's thoughts from whatever is shown in "Untold Story" to reminiscences about his brother? Would there have been time back then for such things?


Why not? If there's time to draw whole new pages, there's time to rewicker some word balloons. (And swap out Gladiator for Angel in one panel.) And it's easy to see how converting an issue from "the wrap up of the Phoenix plotline (for now)" to "The Death of Jean Grey" would lead to them revisiting the "night before" scenes.
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Dave Phelps
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Posted: 06 March 2018 at 6:23am | IP Logged | 10 post reply

 Brian Hague wrote:
How about the rest of you? Any recollections of recollected comics that were altered, rewritten, recolored, or contained notable omissions?


When Marvel Tales went back to reprinting Lee/Ditko from the beginning around #137 or thereabouts, they initially made some edits to the material to make it more "contemporary." They also tweaked the reprint of Annual #1 in #150 to correct the error made about whether or not Spider-Man wanted to be grounded when he was fighting Electro.

I didn't care for the contemporary tweaks, but I'm torn on the correction. Part of says "let's see the warts." Part of me doesn't mind an actual correction. Later on, in #25 or thereabouts Ditko had a scene where Spider-Man tosses his spider-signal (IIRC) to distract someone but there's no scene where he retrieve it so Stan tosses in a line about him going back in getting it. Thing is, the next issue opens with him going back and getting it and that kicks off the story. In #30, the Master Planner's men keep talking about working for the Cat. Had the Marvel Tales editors corrected those mistakes, I probably would have been fine with it.     


 QUOTE:
How did the rewrites included in Claremont's redone Phoenix: The Untold Story and Classic X-Men issues set with you?


I'm with those who are assuming that Untold Story was the original script so the question doesn't apply there. The differences just make a lot more sense as a first draft than a "revisit."

As for Classic X-Men, most scenes fall under "mostly harmless," and X-Men #108 arguably needed more pages (there was a lot going on in that one caption near the end). I didn't like the retroactive Phoenix stuff, but it made sense under the circumstances. (It's not like it was his idea to bring Jean back.)

The one change that did bother me was him retroactively establishing that Jean reciprocated Wolverine's feelings for her. As near as I can tell, before then it was all one-sided. He loved her, but she loved Scott and that was the end of it. Now, she's leaving the team because Wolverine makes her all tingly inside. Bleh.
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Dave Phelps
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Posted: 06 March 2018 at 6:27am | IP Logged | 11 post reply

Oh, one other Marvel Tales complaint. They decided to stop the Lee/Ditko/Romita reprints with #50. Problem is, while the highlight of #50 was the Spider-Man No More plot, it also kicked off a three-parter with the first Kingpin story. It would have been nice if they could've gotten those last two issues out there before doing something else.

(Of course, the "something else" (after extra sized issues reprinting the Drug stories (#96-98) and Death of Gwen Stacy (#121-122)) was reprints of the Claremont/Byrne Marvel Team-Ups, so it's hard to complain too much. :-) )
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Doug Centers
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Posted: 06 March 2018 at 7:04am | IP Logged | 12 post reply

re: The Korvac Saga. I can do without the "four-page epilogue...for the sake of completeness." I like the ending how the creator of the story intended it.
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Greg Kirkman
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Posted: 06 March 2018 at 10:29am | IP Logged | 13 post reply

Re: "Phoenix: the Untold Story," Greg, compare the original dialogue and thought balloons of the characters as they prepare for battle with those in the original issue. That doesn't read like restored dialogue. It sounds like Claremont taking another swing at the material, in much the same way he did with so much of "Classic X-Men." How would changing the final few pages in the original issue necessitate going back and rewriting Peter's thoughts from whatever is shown in "Untold Story" to reminiscences about his brother? Would there have been time back then for such things?
++++++++++

As Dave notes, Angel was swapped out for Gladiator in one panel. If you look at the original issue, the Angel art looks like it was a quick-and-dirty modification. Since the original art was apparently modified to replace Gladiator with Angel, it seems that THE UNTOLD STORY version again had to be modified to put Gladiator back in.

As for the dialogue, it seems very clear to me that THE UNTOLD STORY features the original scripting. In each scene featuring the X-Men preparing for the battle, they all think about themselves and the possibility that they may not survive. In the final version of # 137, they are instead thinking about whether or not they actually should be fighting to save Jean. This seems like a logical change to make, in terms of stepping up the drama, given the revised ending where Jean commits suicide. Having each X-Man question if Jean deserves to live and then choosing to fight for her heightens the tragedy when she later makes the choice to end her own life for the sake of the universe. 

The UNTOLD STORY dialogue in those scenes feels like a step backwards. Itís less impactful, less on-point. Like watching the rough cut of a movie, compared to the refined final product. An interesting look at a reconstruction of the storyís original intent.

I could be wrong, of course, but thatís the impression I get.
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Eric Sofer
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Posted: 06 March 2018 at 10:35am | IP Logged | 14 post reply

ITEM: Brian H., I have the original DC Comics Presents issues, and the God text is light red letters on a yellow background. It's legible in the original comic. But in one color reprint I have (and I don't remember which TPB), the text cannot be read. In a third reprint - DC Comics Showcase Presents DC Comics Present (yeah, try saying THAT three times fast! :), the text is clearly visible. An editor would probably help to proofread the story... but I don't know if there's anyone intelligent enough to go over reprints and catch misspellings or such.

ITEM: Let's tread lightly with DCCP #s 26 - 29. All written by Marv Wolfman and drawn by Jim Starlin, these were, in a very realistic sense, horrible stories about how Superman is so overconfident that he thinks he can beat anything by himself... which, it turns out, he can't. The Spectre team-up, in particular, is pretty heavy handed.

ITEM: Brian H., regarding "Phoenix: The Untold Story", I agree with you 100% about the dialogue being replaced by Claremont. And it did not improve the story. It feels like the Cyclops/Storm scene in the Savage Land... it got all twisted up.

ITEM: A few of the Marvel Essentials (especially Avengers and Fantastic Four) were far from consistent in the tone, resolution, etc. of the originals. Hell, some of the original product was double printed, as if there were a millimeter or two difference  I know these were cheap collections... but why not make them as quality as possible? Again, an editor reading the final copy to print could have fixed this.

ITEM: The biggest revisions to reprints that I can recall are the DC reprints - especially those titles in Mort Weisinger's stable. I can remember easily a dozen cases where "x-ray vision" was whited out, to be replaced with "heat vision." There were a lot of other replacements, depending on how much the mythos had changed since the original story was printed. And the lettering was so very obviously redone, it looked as if someone hadn't even tried (E. Nelson Bridewell?)

Further, I have several reprints of Superboy #147 - "The Legion of Super-Heroes." I have seen this with the last page removed, with the coloring of the Legionnaires' costumes changed, and even with the names removed from the front of their costumes.


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Greg Kirkman
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Posted: 06 March 2018 at 10:36am | IP Logged | 15 post reply

Why not? If there's time to draw whole new pages, there's time to rewicker some word balloons. (And swap out Gladiator for Angel in one panel.) And it's easy to see how converting an issue from "the wrap up of the Phoenix plotline (for now)" to "The Death of Jean Grey" would lead to them revisiting the "night before" scenes.
+++++++++

If I read this right, you seem to indicate that the last few pages in UNTOLD STORY were newly-drawn for that issue, when theíre actually the original art that was discarded in favor of what we got in #137. The penciled and lettered pages only needed to be inked and colored before they were discarded, originally. 

The changes to #137 for UNTOLD STORY seem to boil down to putting the original last few pages back in, revising/removing/replacing certain word balloons and captions to reflect the original scripted version, and replacing Angel with Gladiator in that one panel.


Edited by Greg Kirkman on 06 March 2018 at 10:36am
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Dave Phelps
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Posted: 06 March 2018 at 11:36am | IP Logged | 16 post reply

 Greg Kirkman wrote:
If I read this right, you seem to indicate that the last few pages in UNTOLD STORY were newly-drawn for that issue, when theíre actually the original art that was discarded in favor of what we got in #137. The penciled and lettered pages only needed to be inked and colored before they were discarded, originally.


You didn't read that right. :-)

I wasn't talking about the UNTOLD pages. I was arguing that, if JB and Terry Austin had time to draw the new "Phoenix dies" ending, there was time for Claremont to revisit the dialogue/thoughts earlier in the story and that the new ending gave Claremont an obvious motivation to do so (for reasons you've summarized nicely above).
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Greg Kirkman
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Posted: 06 March 2018 at 11:39am | IP Logged | 17 post reply

Ah!
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Jason Czeskleba
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 Dave Phelps wrote:
The one change that did bother me was him retroactively establishing that Jean reciprocated Wolverine's feelings for her. As near as I can tell, before then it was all one-sided. He loved her, but she loved Scott and that was the end of it. Now, she's leaving the team because Wolverine makes her all tingly inside. Bleh.

Yeah, that is an exceptionally egregious retcon.  In the original stories, there is absolutely no indication that Jean feels any emotion towards Wolverine except mild annoyance.  To suggest that she's attracted to him at that point is silly, and to suggest it's an attraction so powerful she has to remove herself from his proximity to resist it is downright ridiculous.  At that point she's had no significant interactions with him, so what is the attraction based upon?  Pheromones?  That elusive "bad boy" charm that no woman can resist?  That's a surprisingly sexist concept from a writer who's supposed to be known for his strong female characters.

On the flipside, we probably would all agree that Roger Stern's rewrite of the reprinted origin of Doctor Droom was a good thing ("My eyes... becoming slanted" was not Stan's finest hour). 

Here's one I just came across the other day on the Stupid Comics blog... Dan DeCarlo's name being purged from a reprint after he was fired from Archie Comics:



Edited by Jason Czeskleba on 06 March 2018 at 2:00pm
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Jason Czeskleba
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Colin Ian Campbell
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Posted: 06 March 2018 at 5:14pm | IP Logged | 20 post reply

The epilogue isn't directly credited but the title page of the reprint volume itself lists Bill Mantlo among the writers and Tom Morgan is listed as one of the artists. I don't believe either was involved in the original run of issues.
++++++++
Bill Mantlo scripted Avengers #174 over Jim Shooter's plot. The Grand Comics Database credits the epilogue to Mark Gruenwald and Tom Morgan.

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Dave Phelps
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Posted: 06 March 2018 at 5:54pm | IP Logged | 21 post reply

 Jason Czeskleba[/quote wrote:
On the flipside, we probably would all agree that Roger Stern's rewrite of the reprinted origin of Doctor Droom was a good thing ("My eyes... becoming slanted" was not Stan's finest hour).
On the flipside, we probably would all agree that Roger Stern's rewrite of the reprinted origin of Doctor Droom was a good thing ("My eyes... becoming slanted" was not Stan's finest hour). [/quote]

Yeah, but I did appreciate them reprinting the original as-it-was (presumably) in the Amazing Fantasy Omnibus. :-)

(Note for posterity - Stern's change was applied to all of the Dr. Droom (now Dr. Druid) reprints in Weird Wonder Tales.)
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Colin Ian Campbell
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Posted: 06 March 2018 at 6:02pm | IP Logged | 22 post reply

Marvel Treasury Edition #15's reprint of the Song of Red Sonja restored the artwork for the scene in which Conan and Sonja go for a swim, which had been censored in Conan the Barbarian #24.
link

When Marvel UK reprinted the story in the 1978 Avengers Annual, most of the scene was cut and the notorious line "I'm a Brythunian, you worthless wank" was amended.

The 1973 Marvel Annual reprinted Zukala's Daughher from Conan the Barbarian #5 with some clumsily lettered amendments to the dialogue to censor allusions to prostitution in Shadizar the wicked..
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Dave Phelps
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Posted: 06 March 2018 at 8:31pm | IP Logged | 23 post reply

Fantastic Four #11 has two stories in it - A Visit with the Fantastic Four and the first Impossible Man story, in that order.

In the Marvel Masterworks reprinting that issue, they put the Impossible Man story first (originally, anyway).
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Greg Kirkman
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Posted: 06 March 2018 at 9:11pm | IP Logged | 24 post reply

There's also that whole enlarging/reducing gas dialogue change in reprints of FF # 7 so as to fix the error at the end of the story.
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Brian Hague
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Posted: 07 March 2018 at 12:26am | IP Logged | 25 post reply

Colin Ian Campbell wrote: "Bill Mantlo scripted Avengers #174 over Jim Shooter's plot. The Grand Comics Database credits the epilogue to Mark Gruenwald and Tom Morgan."

Interesting. Thanks. Gruenwald's name appears nowhere on that title page, not even in the editorial credits.

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