When Comics Suck

In Marvel Comics: The Untold Story, Sean Howe summed up an uninteresting period

Throughout the line, the creative assignments began to resemble a laconic game of Whac-A-Mole, with each substitution having little effect on the acceptably bland quality that had defined many of the series throughout the 1970s. Bill Mantlo’s Fantastic Four and David Michelinie’s Amazing Spider-Man differed little from Wolfman’s workmanlike renditions; Mantlo’s Incredible Hulk was as aimless as Roger Stern’s had been; every issue of Captain America allowed different writers and artists to showcase nothing much at all. There was nothing new, of course, about a legion of journeymen filling page after page with standard-formula fight scenes and talky expositions, and in fact, the bottom level had been brought up slightly. The difference was that, through all the strife with personnel, the high points had been noticeably attenuated.

It is a good summary of a mediocre period when the bad isn’t that bad, but there isn’t much good, when there’s a stretch of the generic.

For the record, I thought Wolfman’s Spider-Man got pretty good in the second half, especially the Burglar saga.

I don’t have anything against this particular Captain America issue; it just seems like an example of a generic cover.

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