Knowledge Waits: Every Marvel Assistant Editor's Month Comic

This is the latest in a feature where I just share some bit of comic book history that interests me. Here is a collection of all of the installments in the feature so far.

With David Letterman retiring a few days ago, there were a lot of features written about Avengers #239, the issue where the Avengers go on Late Night with David Letterman (I wrote about that issue a few years ago). That issue was part of a famous Marvel Comics "event" of late 1983, where the conceit is that all of the issues that month were edited by the assistant editors since all of the editors were away at the San Diego Comic Convention.

With their bosses away, the assistants then allowed either funny or out of the ordinary stories to be printed that month (I am not even sure if the assistants actually DID edit the comics, but I suspect that they did). Here we will detail what each Marvel Comic title did that month. Note that there were two types of Assistant Editor's Month comics that month (cover date of January 1984), comics with the logo for the event (those books tended to be goofier) and comics without the logo (where the assistant editor aspect of the comic was downplayed, often just having one silly page in the issue, or sometimes not even that!).


NOTE: There are so many images in the post that I'm splitting it over four pages.

I'll do the books in alphabetical order.

We begin with the logo-less Alpha Flight #6, assistant edited by Linda Grant. This is the famous issue where Snowbird fights a bad guy in a total snow whiteout, which leads to white panels (I am using the Alpha Flight Classic trade paperback, because it actually achieves the desired effect - the old school paper always bleeds through, so it is not actually white)...

The next time the East Coast has a huge snowstorm, I'll post the whole fight. ;)

Next is the logo-less Amazing Spider-Man #248, assistant edited by Bob DeNatale, who went with the idea of having two stories written by regular writer Roger Stern, only with one drawn by John Romita Jr. and Brett Breeding and one by Ron Frenz and Terry Austin, and have the two stories be drastically different from each other, with JRjr drawing a fun fight story between Spider-Man and Thunderball (from the Wrecking Crew) and Frenz drawing a story about a young boy who is Spider-Man's biggest fan. Spider-Man goes to visit with the kid and they bond, leading Spider-Man to reveal his identity to the kid...

Classic stuff.

Next up is a book with the Assistant Editor's Month logo, Avengers #239, assistant edited by Mike Carlin. The issue (by Roger Stern, Al Milgrom and Joe Sinnott) features Wonder Man coming by the Avengers Mansion to say that he can be booked on Late Night With David Letterman if the Avengers come with him. The main team is away, so he has to make do with a team made up of reserves, such as Black Widow, Beast and Black Panther (along with newly married Hawkeye and his new wife, Mockingbird). While there, they are attacked by the mad inventor Fabian Stankiewicz, who has the Avengers on the ropes until Dave steps in...

Captain America #289 had a logo on it. It was also assistant edited by Mike Carlin. This issue is the first one so far to deal with the goofiness of the event through a back-up, as there is a main story by J.M. DeMatteis, Mike Zeck and John Beatty and then DeMatteis and Zeck do a back-up spotlighting Captain America's girlfriend, Bernie Rosenthal, dreaming about her relationship with Cap...

Funny stuff. Did you know that Bernie Rosenthal has the distinction for being the only superhero girlfriend to ever be written out of a title and then NOT killed? That's not actually true, of course, but it sure does feel that way sometimes.

Cloak and Dagger #4 was a mini-series and thus did not partake in the fun.

Conan the Barbarian #154 was a weird one. It even had a logo and yet all it has is a text bit in the beginning by assistant editor Jim Owsley (now known as Christopher Priest) and then the rest of the issue is just a normal issue of Conan WITH a credit to the regular editor, Larry Hama!

The logo-less Conan the King #20 is just a normal issue of the book, except unlike Conan the Barbbarian #154, it only credits assistant editor Jim Owsley. In the letters page of the book, Owsley talks about how proud he is of the issue and that he basically offers it up as a tribute to Larry Hama.

Coyote #4 was an Epic Comic and did not participate.

Go to the next page for the next batch of Assistant Editor's Month comics!

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