Today, we take a look at five times that Marvel icon, Roy Thomas, guest-starred in a Marvel comic book story.
In Drawing Crazy Patterns, I spotlight at least five scenes/moments from within comic book stories that fit under a specific theme (basically, stuff that happens frequently in comics). Note that these lists are inherently not exhaustive. They are a list of five examples (occasionally I’ll be nice and toss in a sixth). So no instance is “missing” if it is not listed. It’s just not one of the five examples that I chose.
Today is Roy Thomas’ 82nd birthday, so I thought it would be fun to spotlight five times that Roy guest-starred in a Marvel comic book story.
ROY INTRODUCED THE MARVEL UNIVERSE TO THE RUTLAND HALLOWEEN PARADE
Rutland, Vermont’s annual Halloween parade began in 1959. It was organized by the late Tom Fagan (he sadly passed away in 2008). Since Fagan was into superhero comics, he managed to get the parade to take on a superhero bent. This was well before people dressing as superheroes was normal, so this was a really big deal to the comic book community in the late 1960s/early 1970s, so a lot of comic book writers really appreciated what was going on there. The parade was discussed in comics as early as the letter column in 1964’s Detective Comics #327, which, interestingly enough, was the first “New Look” Batman issue.
Roy Thomas then introduced the comic book world to the Rutland Halloween Parade in Avengers #83 (by Thomas, John Buscema and Tom Palmer), where the Avengers head to Rutland to deal with a threat. While there, they meet Fagan, dressed as “Nighthawk” (but really, Batman). We also meet Roy Thomas, who is there with his then-wife, Jean Thomas…
TOM FAGAN WARN ROY THOMAS AND HIS WIFE ABOUT SOME SPOOKY STUFF
Marvel Premiere #2 (by Thomas, Ross Andru and Sal Buscema) was part of the storyline that introduced the Defenders. Part of the adventure takes place in Rutland, where Roy and Jean Thomas run into Tom Fagan…
He then fills them into the weird goings-on in the area, in a really well told sequence by Andru and Buscema…
THE MARVEL GANG GO ON A ROAD TRIP TO RUTLAND, WHERE WE MEET ROY AGAIN
In 1972, there was a very clever quasi-crossover between Marvel and DC that took place in Amazing Adventures #16, Justice League of America #103 and Thor #207, which were written by Steve Englehart, Len Wein and Gerry Conway, respectively. Englehart is driving Conway, Wein and Wein’s then-wife, Glynis (the brilliant comic book colorist now best known as Glynis Oliver) to Rutland when they stop and pick up the Beast and the Beast’s former girlfriend, Vera, in Amazing Adventures #16 (by Englehart, Bob Brown and Frank McLaughlin). We then see Roy and Jean Thomas at a party, with Jean referencing her then-new work writing Night Nurse for Marvel…
IRON MAN MET ROY THOMAS AT SAN DIEGO COMIC CON
In Iron Man #72 (by Mike Friedrich, George Tuska and Vince Colletta), Iron Man is on the West Coast when he decides to stop by San Diego Comic Con while he has some free time. While there, we meet some comic book staffers were also at the convention, including Roy Thomas (Neal Adams, apparently, drew the Thomas caricature).
ROY THOMAS SAVES STAN LEE FROM THE IMPOSSIBLE MAN
Finally, in Fantastic Four #176 (by Thomas, George Perez and Joe Sinnott), the Marvel Comics offices are under attack by the oddball alien, the Impossible Man. Roy Thomas has a chance to rescue his boss, Stan Lee, from the Impossible Man…
There is a great bit here where Thomas suggests that he and Perez just do new, original stories about the Fantastic Four, as apparently in the Marvel Universe, the comic books are based on the “real” stories of the Fantastic Four themselves, so Stan Lee finds Roy’s idea of doing fictional comic book adventures of the Fantastic Four to be ridiculous.
Happy birthday, Roy!
If anyone has suggestions for a future Drawing Crazy Patterns, drop me a line at [email protected]!