Mar 3, 2016

The 40 Years of Comics Project - Day 373: The Saga of Crystar, Crystal Warrior #1, May 1983


I don't actually recall where or when this comic made its way into my collection. I remember the toys associated with it, all those years ago in the 80s, but I also remember not being particularly impressed by them. One had to choose wisely which toys one was going to cleave to back then. There were a lot.

Of course, at the time I had no idea that the series was a Marvel property, in that it had been created in house at Marvel rather than it being a toy line the comic for which was a thinly-veiled advertisement. In fact, I didn't know that until characters from this series (which ran 11 issues in 1983 - 84) showed up in the recent Weirdworld series that spun out of Secret Wars. They continue to play a role in the new Weirdworld series, so I thought it was time I re-familiarized myself with the characters.

I'm always (well, almost always) pleasantly surprised when I read these old, toy-based comics. Things like Starriors, or Sectaurs, or Masters of the Universe, they go above and beyond what one might expect. Though they certainly are used as advertisements, the artists involved do their absolute best to also be telling as compelling a story as one can under the conditions that such a comic is going to be produced. It has to make people want to buy the toy, but it can't just be an ad. I always had this problem with the television show of Yu-Gi-Oh. It was little more than a moving, poorly scripted instruction manual for the card game. Advertisement, if it is to be successful, must incorporate entertainment. Which is a long way of saying that I was entertained by Crystar, and I hope I'll be able to lay hands on the rest of the series. I did manage to find some of it in a quarter bin this weekend, but not the whole series. This is one problem with such series, actually. They're not the more popular superhero stuff, and are often seen, and were often seen, as simply ads for the toys - thus they're not widely available in the secondary market. But, as I've said repeatedly, if the items were easy to find, I wouldn't love hunting for them so much.

More tomorrow.

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