Comics Pro Mailbag 5

Another look in the Comics Pro Mailbag brings us two notes from high school student Mark Evanier, who would soon become a professional writer and occasional comics scripter, perhaps best known now for his work on Groo the Wanderer and DNAgents as well as his eclectic website and blog.

First, a typical fan missive complaining about the Elongated Man horning in on Batman’s territory, from “Batman’s Hot Line” in Detective Comics #359 (January 1967):

A month later, the aspiring writer perhaps unwisely burns some bridges with this tirade against Marvel Comics, called “Brand I” in DC fan slang, which appeared in the “Metropolis Mailbag” page of Action Comics #346 (February 1967):

The term “Brand I” is an attempt to both subvert Marvel’s “Brand Echh” tag and to poke fun at Stan Lee’s perceived runaway egotism. To remove any doubt as to which competitor is being criticized, editor Mort Weisinger chimes in by aping one of Stan’s signature catchphrases.

Notably, in his thirty-plus years of writing comics, Mr. Evanier has produced only a single Marvel Universe story, a Falcon solo tale published in Marvel Premiere #49 (August 1979). However, Marvel did publish the creator-owned Groo saga for about a decade.