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CSBG Archive

I Love Ya But You’re Strange – That Time ALF Made His Way Into the Annual Marvel Summer Crossover

Every week, I will spotlight strange but ultimately endearing comic stories (basically, we’re talking lots and lots of Silver Age comic books). Here is the archive of all the installments of this feature. Feel free to e-mail me at bcronin@comicbookresources.com if you have a suggestion for a future installment!

Today we look at the time that ALF crossed over with the Marvel Universe during one of their annual summer crossovers.

In 1988, Marvel had the first of two company-wide crossovers that took place in Marvel’s Annuals for that year (they kept the Annual crossovers going for a few more years, but they made the crossovers much smaller in scope, so it would be just the Avengers titles crossing over with each other or just the X-Men titles, etc.). It was called The Evolutionary War.

Oddly enough, the ALF Annual for 1988 had the same trade dress as the other Marvel Annuals…

Most folks I’m sure just presumed that this was a joke. And, in a way, that’s true. However, the joke went much further than just the cover.

As a quick refresher, ALF is the story of an alien who crashes on Earth and ends up staying with a suburban family. Of course they have to make sure to hide him from the rest of the world since he is, you know, an alien.

Anyhow, the TV series was popular enough that Marvel did a comic book based on it (counting one-shots, there were more than FIFTY issues of ALF!). The 1988 Annual was written by Michael Gallagher with art by Dave Manak and Marie Severin.

In the fifth ALF story in the volume, the young boy in the family (ALF’s best friend) goes to camp. ALF mistakenly thinks that it is a bad place (he thinks it is basically Stalag 17) so he tries to rescue young Brian. On the way to the camp (he’s mailed himself with a Fed-Ex like company) he is contacted by none other than the High Evolutionary!!!

The crossover continues with the final story in the volume…

Very cute stuff.

If YOU have a suggestion for a story for this feature, e-mail me at bcronin@comicbookresources.com

28 Comments

Man, I remember tracking this down just because it was an Evolutionary War crossover. The power of marketing!

Yeah, I have this too. They should have gone all out and had ALF play some major role (unknown to everyone else) at some point during the Evolutionary War.

I guess we know where to start for any “Six Degrees” contest involving ALF.

I like how the High Evolutionary says he thought they had seen the last of the Phoenix. Not even close!

I remember this. I thought it was funny back then, but I was a little dissapointed that High Evolutionary didn’t appear in more of the issue.

Was ALF part of the Star Comics line, or had Star imploded by then? I don’t see any Star logos on the cover.

LOL! I never knew about this before. Great entry, Brian.

interesting new marvel had a habbit of keeping their crossovers tight with their universe as possible but never knew they even did one and included alf of all characters and from the old star comics line

Not to be weird, or knock on ALF, but has anyone seen the cover to ALF #48? That just looks WRONG!!

Poor dead Alf, killed the following year in Atlantis Attacks. Probably.

@ Garrett, thank you for my new favourite cover.

“But Daddy, why IS Alf hurting that seal?”

Who knew Dr Wertham was right after all these years?

I always hated when the inker would leave areas un-inked, only to be filled in by the colorist. The way the spot color separated and looked gray just looked horrible.

Huh. I know OF this, because it was referred to in the final issue of ALF (which I own), but I had never known until today what actually happened in the story.

It’s… remarkably much like I imagined. :-)

@Adam

You are correct. ALF started life as a Star comic. A quick check on Wikipedia tells me that the imprint was discontinued by early 1988 (not long before the annual shipped, it would seem). When the imprint was discontinued, all the remaining titles were given the, standard, Marvel branding.

Jukka Laine of Finland

March 19, 2013 at 2:32 pm

This one was the only part they published of the Evolutionary War in Finnish.

This is actually the only Evolutionary Wars issue I’ve ever read.

I always hated when the inker would leave areas un-inked, only to be filled in by the colorist. The way the spot color separated and looked gray just looked horrible.

Oddly enough, the inker of this story was also the colorist.

Heh. I’d love to see some more “Love Ya” columns dealing with Star Comics. I just found a Spider-Girl story where May Parker discovers that “Spider-Ham” is an actual cartoon/comic in the MC2 universe. Trippy.

What, nobody remembers that one panel appearance of ALF in the first issue of The Infinity Gauntlet? I’m being completely serious here.

I loved Alf comics. The show I could take or leave but, even looking back as an adult, there was some surprisingly good stuff in those 50 issues.

This is one of those weird instances where the comic was better than the media that spawned it!

It looks to me it’s the colorist who didn’t color the blacks, not the other way around.

I’m a graphic designer. What’s happening here is that the inker’s black isn’t really black. It appears blacker when mixed with color. When the colorist tells himself “I’ll just color INTO the (inker’s) black area so I don’t have to go crazy following along the contours too precisely” he’s assuming that the black area is 100% black. So even if you paint into it with a color, it won’t show.

Except it’s not (100% black). So it does (show when you paint into it with a color).

Now if we’re talking pet peeves… MY pet peeve was always comic books’ reluctance to just let black be black. For whatever reason, they regularly supplement — and sometimes outright replace — it with blue. It started with blue highlights, but in time, the blue just took over the black surface completely. You’d regularly see Tony Stark with blue hair.

Ha, very cool. I remember this issue, thanks for the memories! I was the exact right age for this to be my favorite comic book series when it was being published.

I just went back and found that cameo in Infinity Gauntlet that was mentioned above, too!

Wow, I never knew ALF had something in common with Superman AND Lobo. Weird.

All I know about ALF is that he liked to eat pussy. Is that right?

Actually, I’m reading up on him on the wikipedia that the kids all like, and I see he actually wasn’t the last survivor. I do believe I’m correct on the other part ;)

@Travis- Now wouldn’t that be a comic: Last Sons: Superman, Lobo, The Martian Manhunter and ALF?!
I could see an easter egg out of something like that…have a therapy session for the last of species that’s led by Fatality.

@Jon, Uhhhhhhh no no no. Im an offset printer and you are completely wrong.Its called or overprint. Look it up.

@Garrett It’s all the more disturbing due to what Alf is saying, too.

Marie Severin rocks!

Read PPTSS #54 – she turns that issue into a masterpiece. I think Uncle Walt lends a hand, as well.

Obviously, this is the epilogue of the Evolutionary War.

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