Luke McDonnell left the book with #196, followed by a few fill-ins before new series regular Mark Bright stepped in. Bright was similar to Bob Layton in use of color and “gleam,” which was very different from McDonnell’s grittier style. But pretty much as soon as McDonnell left, Denny O’Neil’s storytelling also began to falter. The “big” #200 issue was the one they lifted from for the second half of the first Iron Man movie, but it wasn’t a keeper. The series struggled, and would continue to struggle, until Marvel tried to get the old Michelinie/Layton magic back.
We’ll be writing about that next.