Marvel Legacy: 1970s Handbook

A comic review article by: Jason Sacks
Meet the Hypno-Hustler. This living embodiment of the menace of disco music first appeared in Peter Parker, the Spectacular Spider-Man #24, from 1978. "A street punk from Corona Park, the Hypno-Hustler was given a chance at immortality at the prestigious discotheque Beyond Forever," as the straight-faced description goes. Unfortunately, this disco dude, along with his back up singers the Mercy Killers, began robbing people at the shows. Thankfully, Spider-Man plugged his ears and managed to defeat the menace before he stole everybody's cocaine.

Or meet Mahkizmo, the Nuclear Man, who first appeared in 1974's Fantastic Four #151. This hairy-chested man's man comes from a 23rd century alternate Earth where "barbarous and belligerent men ruled the enslaved women." Mahkizmo makes a big mistake, though, when he kidnaps Medusa, who was at that point a member of the Fantastic Four. Medusa leads the women of the future to rebel against this macho macho man, and obscure Marvel heroine Thundra, who always wears a chain shackled to her wrist, helps defeat this jerkoff.

Seldom has a comic so deserved the term "your mileage may vary." This comic is one of those Marvel Handbook type things where obscure and famous characters are unearthed and described in exhaustive detail. So this book provides a rundown of the 1970s versions of the Avengers and X-Men sitting next to completely forgotten characters like Black Brother, the Deadly Dozen and the deathless Hypno-Hustler.

I'm a huge fan of the '70s Marvels, having grown up reading them, so I really enjoyed the mix of famous and infamous characters in this book. It's funny to me seeing Steve Gerber's silly Hellcow sitting next to Marv Wolfman's great creation Janus, or seeing obscure super-teams like the Liberty Legion, the Lady Liberators and the Crusaders described in exhaustive detail.

But I have absolutely no idea what other people might think of this book. If you're not a fan of this era or its comics, will you get anything at all out of Marvel Legacy: 1970s? Your mileage indeed may vary.

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