Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Pierre Speaks: I come from Earth 2!

Iron ManOn Earth 2 (also known as Quebec).... our comics were made with a strange language and were in black and white.

As a kid.... 25 cents was the magic number. You could get a coke for 25 cents. A chocolate bar for 25 cents. A bag of chips for 25 cents. A may west for 25 cents.

And of course.... a comic for 25 cents.

Ahhhhhhhh..... life was good.

On Earth 2, our comics were published by a company called "Heritage" and did not have much advertising. We had a main story and one or two back-up stories in our 32 pages black and white comics.

Most of the time, the back-up stories whould have nothing to do with the main story.

We would have lets say an Iron-man story, followed by a ghost story, then a cow-boy story. And sometimes we would have a pin-up or an ad of some sort.

Iron Man

Our comics were mostly Marvel comics.


Captain America



Fantastic Four



Tomb of Dracula

Master of Kung-Fu

.... and a few others that don't come to mind right now.

So we pretty much were Marvel zombies by default.

Most series were about 6 months behind their Earth 1 counterparts, but some like the Avengers started with the actual issue one. Then after about 25 issues skipped a truckload of Avengers issues. Although they pretty much always remained about 5 years behind.

Although we did get some DC comics from Earth 3 (sometimes called "Europe").

So we did get some color comics of Batman and Superman from Earth 3.

But there too we got the main story, and one or two back-up stories. For Batman, one of the back-up was always a much older Batman tale.

And at the back of the comic we would get an ad for the Superman comic of the same month (and the Superman one would get a Batman ad in the back).

But we also got some special oversized color editions from Heritage. Most from Marvel.... but some from DC.

That is how I discovered the Legion of Super-Heroes and the Marvel family.

Then we started getting some DC comics like Karate Kid and Wonder Woman.

And we got one comic that was neither Marvel nor DC..... The Ghost who walks.... The Phantom (although we did get a Phantom comic from Earth 3 a decade or two before with the Phantom wearing a red costume as opposed to the purple costume that he got in North America).

Then something happened at Heritage.

They decided to make their comics bi-monthly with 52 pages.

So we would get for example an Iron-man story, then a small back-up story, and then another Iron-man story. And we would get an ad or two.

And when stories started being 22 pages, we would get two Iron-man stories and a few ads to fill the 4 pages left.

We also got a few more series like Daredevil, Flash, and Kamandi. But we lost a few series like Dracula and Master of Kung-Fu that reached the end of their runs.

Then we got not only new comics.... but a new format called "Marvel 3 in 1". It consisted of an issue of the All new, all different X-Men (although here we never got the "old" X-Men other then as guest stars in other series), the Defenders and Nova (I got my first published drawing in the very last issue of that series).

The X-men format seemed to be working because, after a while they did the same with Flash, Wonder Woman and Kamandi.

Then at some point, we got the New Teen Titans, the Legion of Super-Heroes, Batman, Superman.... in color. And that was the beginning of the end.

Most comics were now done in color, and we even go some new series like Marvel Team-up and GI-Joe (but not Transformers for some reason).

Things were looking good... for a while. But then things went downhill.

Heritage went back to their 32 pages comics... but still in color. And half of their line became back-up features. For example, FF was now the back-up feature of Spider-man. So you would get a full Spider-man story with half a FF story as a back-up. Thor was the back-up of Hulk.DD was the back-up for GI-Joe For some reasons, the Avengers stayed 52 pages with one story with the Avengers and one story with Captain America. The same with the Titans and the Legion.

And not too long after that... comics were gone from Earth 2 (not really..... but I did not read Archie comics ;).

Luckily, that was around the time that I started reading comics from Earth 1. Around the time of Secret Wars. I first started reading those comics that were not translated over here like Secret Wars or West Coast Avengers. Or comics that were many years behind like the Avengers or the X-Men.

It was quite a shock.

To me the X-men were Storm, Nightcrawler, Wolverine, Cyclops. But Rogue?? Kitty Pride?? Who were these guys?? And Storm with a mohawk?? Really?? It took me a while to get used to that incarnation of the X-men.

And with DD it was infinitely worse.

To me DD was the Matt/Foggy/Karen triangle. But Karen was gone. Matt had been with the Black Widow or an assassin named Elektra. What the heck was going on??

But I finally got used to the new status quo in some of my favorite Marvel characters.... excepted for DD. I never was able to get back as a regular DD reader from that point. :(

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