Classic Comic Cover Corner – Avengers #78

Every Sunday morning we showcase a classic comic cover, complete with compelling commentary, for your cordial contemplation. It’s the Classic Comic Cover Corner!

Avengers #78 – July, 1970

Cover Art by John Buscema, Tom Palmer

Avengers #78 - July, 1970
Avengers #78 – July, 1970

With the cover date for Avengers #1 being September, 1963, the Avengers celebrate their 50th anniversary this month, and with one hit movie under their belt and the hype already surrounding the upcoming Avengers: Age of Ultron sequel, the super-group is more popular now than any other time in their storied history.

While Jack Kirby’s Avengers #1 cover, depicting the “day unlike any other,” is awesome cool, most people are already familiar with the now famous first look at the team; so rather than “cover” old ground, for this week’s classic corner I’m selfishly going to share one of my personal favorite Avengers’ covers from the past half-century, Avengers #78.

Now, everyone has heard of Tarzan, the Ape-Man (if not, then it’s time to come out from the jungle you are living in and rejoin civilization), but how many of you are familiar with the Man-Ape?

Avengers #1
Avengers #1, Sept. 1963

M’Baku, the Man-Ape, was created by one of my favorite Marvel writers, Roy Thomas, back in Avengers #62, and while that book is amazing in its own right, its cover isn’t as cool as #78 where the Man-Ape is holding up the defeated bodies of his “frenemy,” the Black Panther, and Captain America.

In a Roy Thomas story titled, “The Man-Ape Always Strikes Twice,” the Man-Ape whoops-up on Cap, then abducts the Panther’s girlfriend before throwing-down with the Prince of Wakanda. It’s all part of a plot against the Avengers, designed by the devious Lethal Legion.

I cannot find scientific evidence that the Man-Ape, in fact, always strikes twice, but I think there may be instances where he has only struck once. Nevertheless, I personally would not take any chances with a villain who derives his power by bathing in white-gorilla blood.

Happy Anniversary, Avengers!

Use our comments section to let us know which Avengers comic cover from the past 50 years is your favorite – and be sure to follow NERDVANA on Facebook!

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About the author

Bob Leeper

Bob Leeper is the co-owner and manager of "Arizona’s Pop Culture and Alternative Art Network," Evermore Nevermore. He is the co-creator of the pop culture events Steampunk Street and ENCREDICON, and is a member of the Phoenix Film Critics Society. He also curates the Facebook fan site The Arizona Cave – AZ Fans of Edgar Rice Burroughs, and is one of the few brave and bold fans of Jar Jar Binks.


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