Thor (1966) #197 Cover

Thor (1966) #197

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Unfortunately, the "second wave" (or maybe third wave) of Marvel writers were pale imitations of their forebearers.  In the sixties, we had Stan Lee, Jack Kirby (as it is purported, ghost-writing/finishing a lot of Stan's rough plots), and Roy Thomas heading up the team.  In the seventies, we unfortunately get a heavy does of Gary Friedrich and Gerry Conway.  Friedrich was uniformly mediocre to bad on Cap, Iron Man, and Hulk, and Conway skidded along in the same fashion with Daredevil and Spiderman.  Their clumsy, cliched dialog and character motivations made it hard to swallow a lot of stories, much less enjoy them.  Marvel's 70s art work generally held to the same standard as the Silver Age greatness of '64-69, but the writing crippled it, ushering in "The Plastic Age" to follow Stan's Silver age.


The original Mangog saga in Thor 154-157 was an epic tale and one of Marvel's finest moments of the 1960s.  But the return of Mangog in this (and surrounding) issues is just dull as dishwater and makes no sense at all.  Marvel definitely hit some stumbling blocks in the early '70s.