Throwback Thursday: “Wolverine: Rahne of Terra” (1992)

This was the first “Wolverine” graphic novel I ever owned — “Wolverine: Rahne of Terra.”  It was an “Elseworlds”-type of story in which Wolverine, along with Rahne of the New Mutants, was transported to some sort of sword-and-sorcery universe.  (It didn’t affect any continuity in the main Marvel universe.)

It was much better than it sounds, having been written by the great Peter David and illustrated by the equally great Andy Kubert.

 

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Throwback Thursday: Spider-Man and Wolverine teamup in “Perceptions” (1991)

These were the first comics featuring Wolverine that I ever owned — the 1991 Spider-Man “Perceptions” storyline in which he guest-starred.  This had gorgeous, unique art by Todd McFarlane.  (I think he scripted it too.)

This would have been when I was a sophomore in college, and it was even before McFarlane would go on to form Image Comics and launch his most famous character, Spawn.

 

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Throwback Thursday: 80’s Wolverine posters!

The first of the posters you see below was created in 1987 with art by Art Adams; the second in 1989 with art by Mike Zeck.  (Is there something ironic about an artist named “Art?”)  These definitely bring back 90’s memories for me, though — I remember looking them on my friends’ dorm room walls at Mary Washington College.  (The Adams’ piece that popped up in the dorms might have been different; there are several variations of the image, and I seem to remember an all-black background.)

That would have been the Spring of 1991, toward the end of my freshman year.  It was just before I’d really discovered superhero comics, even though I’d grown up with Sgt. Rock, Indiana Jones, Conan the Barbarian and Archie.  I thought costumed heroes were generally a stupid idea; not even the Batman craze after the Tim Burton’s 1989 film attracted me to the genre.  (Burton’s film was actually considered quite groundbreaking at the time; this was long before Christopher Nolan’s amazing work eclipsed it and its sequels.)

I didn’t even know who Wolverine was.  (Trust me, I was fully converted to both Marvel and DC fandom during my sophomore year.)  I remember listening to a classmate muse about the image of Wolverine fighting Captain America — if Wolvey’s adamantium claws could cut through anything, and Cap’s adamantium shield couldn’t be broken, how would the melee depicted play out?  (Yes, I’ve long since learned that Cap’s shield is made of vibranium; I’m just not sure if that’s a retcon or not.)

 

 

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Throwback Thursday: MPC’s “AT-AT” model kit!

Every kid in America in 1981 wanted that huge “AT-AT” imperial walker toy that Kenner produced for their “Star Wars” figures.  (And, hey, if you still want one — they’re fetching around $300 on eBay.)  Well, I didn’t get they AT-AT toy, but I did receive the below model kit from MPC, which was pretty damned cool.  Its legs and feet were movable; this made it a little more complicated to assemble, but more fun to play with.  It was detailed and looked good.  And it came with a pair of rebel cannon turrets and a pair of the snow speeders we saw in 1980’s “The Empire Strikes Back.”

Just about any photos you’ll find of this model online will be misleading — trust me, it was very small.  (The snow speeders, for example, were about the width of a quarter.)

Models were a much bigger thing in the 1980’s.  Most of them weren’t sci-fi models, like this one — there were far more real-world military tanks, ships, and aircraft, along with a lot of cars.  They simplified grade-school-age birthday parties — a model was always a decent gift to give, and there was always a row or two of them for sale at your local mom-and-pop drugstore.  (I can’t remember seeing any models for sale at a CVS or Rite-Aid.)  Most boys in my neighborhood had at least a couple, although only the older kids who were serious hobbyists would go so far as to paint them.  They were the toys you had to pay attention not to break.

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Throwback Thursday: Aurora’s “Prehistoric Scenes” models!

Few things evoke memories of my very early childhood like Aurora’s “Prehistoric Scenes” model kits.  Produced between 1971 and 1975, they were a series of “snap-together”-type models that required no glue.

Everything about them was cheesy — the box art, the simplistic model names (like “Giant Bird,” “Cave Bear” or “Armored Dinosaur”), and the bad paleontology.  (Some herbivores below have sharp teeth, and some of the ads I found show “Cro-Magnon Man” and “Cro-Magnon Woman” living contemporaneously with the dinosaurs.)

None of that made a difference to me when I was not much older than a toddler — I was utterly mesmerized by these things.  My older brother had a couple.  (I want to say the mastodon, or maybe the tar-pits?)

I myself was the ecstatic owner of the “Saber Tooth Tiger” when I was five or six, I think.  I might have been too young to have a model — usually, my parents more wisely bought me rubber dinosaurs to play with.  I wouldn’t be surprised if they bought me that one Aurora model to sate me just enough to keep my hands off of my brother’s models.  (Seriously, I had a very poor conception of ownership when I was very young.)

God, I loved that “Saber Tooth Tiger.”  It might as well have been a real damned prehistoric cat.  I remember running my fingertips over its teeth and claws, fascinated.  I remember poring over the images of the other models in the box art, as though they were glimpses into another realm.

I carried the model around a lot and proudly brandished it, and I was thrilled to explain the name to anyone who would listen.  I still remember taking it to my paternal grandfather’s apartment in New York City.  (Those were special trips because I got to “ring the buzzer” in the building’s lobby to let him know my father and I had arrived.  I also got cookies and milk at my grandfather’s place.)

Years later, when I was in grade school, I also received the “Armored Dinosaur” (the ankylosaurus).  I quite liked it, but it couldn’t elicit the devotion I felt towards that legendary cat.

 

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Throwback Thursday: the Monogram (?) glow-in-the-dark Godzilla model!

Now here is a treasure from my 1980’s boyhood — the glow-in-the-dark Godzilla model.  When I sat down to pull up some background on this, I first thought that this was one of the Aurora model kits.  It indeed started out as one.  But I think it’s more likely that I had the one produced from the same mold by Monogram, which was released in 1978.  (Mine was a Christmas or birthday present around 1980 or so.)

This was a sturdy model, as it survived just fine amid the debris of that disastrous desk I kept as a second grader.  And its glow-in-the-dark head and hands were damn cool.

Dear God, did I love this thing.

 

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Throwback Thursday: Aurora’s Universal Monsters model kits!

I remember Aurora’s Universal Monsters model kits extremely fondly — even if they never actually belonged to me.  My older brother had versions of some of these in the 1970’s, and I was fascinated by them as a tot.  (The original model kits date from the 1960’s, but my brother had the later, glow-in-the-dark versions that were released a decade later.)

These things seemed damn near magical to me when I was a very small boy living in Queens, New York.  I wanted desperately to get my hands on them, like so many of my brother’s belongings.  I definitely remember his glow-in-the-dark “Creature;” “The Creature from the Black Lagoon” was a movie we’d seen on our black-and-white television.  He had others, too — maybe all of the original five: Wolf Man, Frankenstein, Dracula and The Mummy.

I’ve always said that if I ever become wealthy, I’ll have a special room full of the monster collectibles I remember from my childhood.  These things would have a shelf all to themselves.

 

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