Cartoon Puck in the spotlight for FUNday!

Neither snow nor rain nor heat nor gloom of night stays this collector from the swift completion of FUNday! I just throw a few old comics into the fireplace to keep warm and melt all the snow around here. Let’s see, Action Comics #1, big deal, no Alpha Flight, toss that one in the fire… Amazing Fantasy #15, bleh, Spidey’s ok, but he’s no Guardian, burn that one too… now what do we have here, this week’s FUNday issue? Well, that one’s worth saving!

Marvel Age #35
Feb 1986

Marvel Age was a monthly series featuring previews of upcoming comics, news articles about various subjects, advertisements, humorous pieces, and the occasional interview with creators and Marvel staff. Long removed from the Internet age, it was a great way (sometimes the ONLY way) to get news about what was going on in the world of Marvel Comics. Puck appears in this issue on the back cover.

This issue’s Top Ten list appeared on the inside front cover, listing the ten best-selling direct Marvel Titles for the steaming hot month of August, 1985:

  1. X-Men #200
  2. Secret Wars II #6
  3. Marvel Heroes for Hope #1
  4. X-Men/Alpha Flight #1
  5. Marvel Universe #1
  6. New Mutants Special #1
  7. Fantastic Four #285
  8. Nightcrawler #2
  9. West Cost Avengers #3
  10. Alpha Flight #29

Alpha Flight dropped precipitously from the number four slot to number ten with the creative team switchover between issue #28 (Byrne’s last issue) and issue #29. Note that “Marvel Universe” in slot number five is the Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe (OHOTMU) Deluxe Edition, which was referred to as “Marvel Universe” back then. Alpha Flight would drop off the top ten list for a few months, returning next in Marvel Age #38, though the X-Men/Alpha Flight LS would chart in Marvel Age #36

This issue was concurrent with Alpha Flight #31 and solicited issue #32 in the section, “Marvel Coming Attractions”:

ALPHA FLIGHT #32 – How do you lead a group of super heroes when you, yourself, have no powers? Heather finds out in “Short Story” written by Bill Mantlo, guest penciler John Bogdanov, inked by Gerry Talaoc. 75¢.

Well the calendar is the FUN part of FUNday! The back pages of many Marvel Age issues featured a comical calendar with staff birthdays, one-liner jokes and parodies of various Marvel characters. The back cover of this issue had a calendar for November 1985 featuring cartoon Puck (again!) on the 9th, announcing controversial Alpha Flight writer Bill Mantlo’s birthday. At the time, Mantlo had just taken over writing the title from Byrne, and would continue until 1988 until James Hudnall took over. Credits for the calendar are w-Jim Salicrup, a-Ron Zalme and c-Adam Philips.

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