Wednesday, 4 March 2015

March 1965 - Marvel Comics, Fifty Years Ago Today.

We've all seen that picture of that weasel riding around on that woodpecker and of that dress of endlessly debatable colouration but I've no doubt that even such concerns shrivel into feeble insignificance besides whatever Marvel's heroes were up to exactly fifty years ago this month.

Avengers# 14

I'm not sure if I've read this one.

Is it the one where the Wasp needs an operation and the only man who can do it is an alien in a rubber mask?

Whatever happened in it; apparently, it's for, "The new breed of reader."

I dread to think what that might be.
Fantastic Four #36, The Frightful Four

The Frightful Four make their dastardly debut.

I am always impressed by the strength of Medusa's follicles. She has to have the strongest scalp on Earth.

I do love how useless the Thing is on this cover, just standing there, watching, while the Frightfuls attack him, and not even making an effort to warn his team-mates.
Journey into Mystery #114, Thor vs the Absorbing Man

Hooray! It's the debut of one of my favourite villains; the Absorbing Man. For me, this is where Thor's great era began.
Amazing Spider-Man #22, The Circus of Crime

Sadly, this definitely isn't where Spider-Man's great era began, as the Circus of Crime make their return, having, I think, dumped the Ringmaster.

Bearing in mind their early M.O. of arriving in town, putting on a show and then robbing their audience, I do always wonder what actual name the Circus of Crime used to travel under.

I mean, I assume their posters didn't say The Circus of Crime or the The Masters of Menace on them, as they'd never attract an audience if they did. So, what is the official performing name of the Circus of Crime?
Strange Tales #130, Dr Strange vs Baron Mordo

By the dread Dormammu! Dr Strange at last becomes the cover star, while the Thing and Torch are relegated to the role of bit-part players.
Tales of Suspense #63, Origin of Captain America

I, of course, have vivid memories of the origin of Captain America. Sadly, my memories of the Phantom are far fuzzier. Was he a saboteur who kept attacking Tony Stark's factory?
Tales to Astonish #65, Giant-Man and the Hulk

In yet another attempt to make him work as a character, Giant-Man gets one of the worst costumes in the history of super-heroes.
X-Men #10, Ka-Zar

Everyone's favourite jungle lord makes his senses-shattering debut.

11 comments:

Anonymous said...

Hey - that FF is the first Marvel story I can recall reading. Not being quite that old yet, it was of course in the UK reprints so I must have read at least a couple of others, but that's the one that made the impression. Hardly surprising, what with the Frightfuls breaking up Reed and Sue's engagement party - how evil can you get?

You're right about the Thing, Steve - getting captured by Paste Pot Pete is as good a definition of useless as you'll ever find.
Some might say the Frightfuls were all a bit third rate as villains, but I always really liked them - how stylish are those purple outfits?

-sean

Steve W. said...

And they'd be so much better if they only had some green in them.

Colin Jones said...

A couple of years ago I discovered (to my amazement) that Ka-Zar first appeared in 1939 so this wouldn't have been his debut - it might have been Zabu's though (?)....I assume the Torch is wearing a special fireproof Beatles wig - that silly image of him and the Thing spoils Dr. Strange's cover debut.

Anonymous said...

Ha - well played, Steve.

-sean

John Pitt said...

Col, even before Ka-Zar debuted in Marvel Comics #1, he started in 3 pulp magazines. If you Google Ka-Zar pulp magazines, the details are on Wikipedia. This, along with Famous Film Funnies Weekly ( Namor) is the actual conception of Marvel comics!

Anonymous said...

According to that Wikipedia article, the 1930's version of Ka-Zar (in both the pulps and the comics) was set in Africa, and he had a pet lion named Zar. So X-Men #10 was probably the first appearance of both Zabu and the Savage Land.

londonlee said...

Pardon my French but I fucking loved The Absorbing Man.

He makes a great appearance in the current Lady Thor comic complaining about feminists

Colin Jones said...

Thanks John and anon - now I know why he's called Ka-Zar ! And apparently it's pronounced Kay-zar - all this time I thought it was Kar-zar :)

Paul McScotty -Muir said...

I had forgotten that the revamp of Giant Mans costume had started as early as this in his "career". I think Giant Man (and Ant Man) is an amazing character (one of my favourites) and never understood why they kept changing his costume (this ihmo was the worst) name and worst of all the person (he should always be Hank Pym). I also have a soft spot for the Absorbing Man.

londonlee said...

I pronounce it Kah-Zar and I'm not changing now

Anonymous said...

Kuh-Zaaar

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