Hey troops. Unfortunately, I'm going to be taking a break from blogging for a while, mainly 'cos real life is taking up too much time at the moment. Hope to be back sometime next year, but in the meantime, thanks for all your comments and here's to a peaceful and restful Xmas ( with loads of great comics to read ).
There were a ton of great one-off characters in the Bronze Age for my money, characters who coulda' been contenders if they'd only been given the chance.
Here's one: Linda Littletrees, otherwise known as Witch-Woman, who bothered Ghost Rider for a couple of issues back at the start of his career, having like him, also become an unwitting pawn of the devil.
As you'll see from her origin here, Linda isn't really a bad girl, she just got in with the wrong crowd is all, and in fact, a couple of issues later, she'd lost her black magic powers and was all for helping Johnny out in his fight against evil.
In fact, Witch-Woman's origin is probably why I like this character so much. Firstly it takes over most of this issue, and secondly it's like a classic '70's Hammer or Amicus movie, long before I was actually old enough to be allowed to watch them.
Plus, y'know, hot Satanic Red Indian chick in her own series? She could've taken on Satana for starters.
Although football strips were usually the genre of least interest to me and my gang in the Bronze Age ( with a few honorable exceptions, such as Hot-Shot Hamish ), Raven On The Wing was a little bit different.
Firstly, any strip in Valiant was always going to be worth at least a look, and secondly, Raven was drawn by the same guy who did Adam Eterno & Kelly's Eye, Francisco Solano Lopez, even though none of us knew his name at the time, and probably thought the artist was British.
Raven was a mysterious gypsy lad, with preternatural soccer skills, who was discovered by Highbro' Rovers coach 'Baldy' Hagan to bring the struggling third division club out of the doldrums.
As such, he belongs to a long, long tradition in British comics of noble savages with magical sports skills, from Valiant's own Wild Wonders to Tornado's Storm, and the strip is chock full of marvelous, likeable characters, not least Raven & the eternally beleaguered Baldy.
But again, wherethe strip really scores ( arf! ) is with the art. A lot of the off-pitch action tends to take place on wind-blasted heaths and in spooky, moonlit woods, and Lopez is almost like a family friendly version of Alfredo Alcala. Especially when Morag, the eternally hooded and frankly terrifying wise woman of Raven's tribe looms into frame.
In this story, the team are off to Spain to play in some or other tournament ( like I said, don't like football ) and get involved in all sorts of supernatural skullduggery.
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