Monday, 1 August 2011

Forty years ago today. August 1971.

It's August, the month so good it shares its name with a special kind of nobility and dignity.

So, does this mean Marvel's heroes have followed suit and developed  an August mindset? Or, going back exactly forty years, do we find them still getting into a scrap at every possible opportunity?

I think we can all guess the answer to that one.

Amazing Spider-Man #99

In a distinctly atypical issue, instead of battling the usual super-villains, everyone's favourite Spider-Man tackles a prison riot and goes on TV.

This issue has an extremely odd splash page that still baffles me to this very day.

Captain America and the Falcon #140, the Grey/Gray Gargoyle

One of those tales I have no more than the vaguest of memories of but it's clear from the cover that Captain America and the Falcon take on the menace of the Gray/Grey Gargoyle. The Gargoyle was one of my favourite minor foes, even if I never can remember how to spell his name.

I like to think Cap gets turned to stone at one point - or there doesn't seem to be any reason for the Gargoyle to be there.

Conan the Barbarian #8, Barry Smith

I seem to recall that Conan does his usual grave robbing routine in this issue and disturbs more than he bargained for.

No doubt he gets away with it but I wouldn't be surprised If some double-crossing rat isn't so lucky.

Daredevil #79, the Man-Bull

It's the man without fear vs the man without trousers.

I'm lost now. Is this before or after Daredevil moved to San Francisco? I'm assuming it's before.

Either way, I liked the Man-Bull. He was nasty.

Fantastic Four #113, the Over-Mind

We've entered that fuzzy few months where my knowledge of what was going on in the world of the Fantastic Four grows vaguer than normal. This is obviously the first appearance of the Over-Mind, a villain I know far less about than I probably should.

Iron Man #40

Iron Man continues his tradition of coming across as feeble and futile on his covers.
Thor #191. Loki

Loki's up to no good. Is this the one where he claims the throne of Asgard, tries to get his leg over with Sif and creates the Demolisher?

I always liked the Demolisher. Was he ever seen again after this story?

I hope so, if only because he smashed the Surfer's board. I was never a fan of the Surfer. I liked to see him suffer.

Trouble was, suffering gave him even more motivation to complain about everything.

X-Men #71, Lucifer

I know nothing about this issue whatsoever. Was "Lucifer" a pseudonym for a more well-known villain? Or am I barking up completely the wrong X-tree?

Incredible Hulk #142, the Valkyrie, Samantha Parrington

At last, a comic I know plenty about. Steve Does Comics' favourite semi-Asgardian makes her second-ever appearance, as women's libber and campaigner Samantha Parrington adopts the Valkyrie mantle to give that notorious male chauvinist pig the Hulk a lesson in feminism. One he, needless to say, completely fails to learn.

How could anyone not love a comic with a cover like that?
Avengers #91, The Kree/Skrull War, Ronan, the Sentry, Captain Marvel

The Prelude to the Kree/Skrull War continues as the Avengers find themselves at either the North or South Pole, battling Ronan, the Sentry and their own member Goliath, with Captain Marvel, Quicksilver and the Scarlet Witch held captive while Hank Pym and the Wondrous Wasp find everything getting a bit hairy.

6 comments:

pete doree said...

This one's got it all! The Torch in action!
( unlike every other issue ) The Watcher speaks!
( What can he be saying?! ) And is that Mary Jane worrying about The Fate Of The Thing or did Alicia get a dye job?
That DD & The Man-Bull one, I think Matt had moved to Frisco, and in a staggering coincidink, Man-Bull was in jail there ( even though he'd been arrested in New York ), or maybe he made a special trip just get his arse kicked by Matt again.
The Iron Man cover just reminds me why I never bought Shellhead's mag, and The Avengers cover makes me wish Pietro had a snazzy blue or white cape in keeping with Wanda & Vizh.

Steve W. said...

I think Goliath should've got a cape too - mostly because I can't think of anything less appropriate for him to wear.

R. W. Watkins said...

The only one of these that I'm lucky enough to own is Amazing Spider-Man #99. It's a low-key, grounded-in-reality preparatory issue on the eve of Gil Kane's classic 'extra-arms/Morbius' trilogy and the (truly macabre) Ka-Zar issues; but like you, Steve, I still fail to fathom the significance of featuring Kris Kristofferson on the splash page. Also, it was in this issue that Gwen moved into her iconic cool pad--I love the way she lounges around it in her orange mini-skirt and knee-high boots in #s 100 and 102! I could never understand, though, how the flat's number and its position in the building could keep changing from issue to issue and even panel to panel (check it out).

Steve W. said...

I never noticed the flat number thing. I'll have to check it out. Perhaps Norman Osborn kept buying her a new apartment. Argh! No! What am I saying? Shoot me! Shoot me now!

Anonymous said...

In Captain America 140, Cap does not get turned to stone but the Falcon does. That was one of my favorite issues growing up. It was the first time I ever saw Nick Fury.

PS: In the next issue, Nick Fury and Sharon (Cap's girlfriend) are also turned to stone.

Steve W. said...

Thanks for the info, Anon. All of a sudden I keep feeling the urge to sing a certain ELO song.

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