April the First has just been and gone but were our Marvel heroes of exactly fifty years ago finding themselves being made fools of?
It's after twelve o'clock, so let's find out.
It was only recently that I discovered that the Baron Zemo in the Silver Age comics wasn't the original Baron Zemo from World War Two. Truly my ignorance knows no bounds.
Giant-Man and the Melter are clearly having a contest here to see who can have the worst costume. Despite Giant-Man's best efforts, I think the Melter's won. Just what are those weird bat's ear things on his head for and how do they relate, conceptually, to the power of melting things?
It's a bit of a classic, as our hero comes up against his mightiest foe yet.
I do like this tale because it's one of those rarities, an early Marvel tale where two of their heroes meet and there's no doubt at all about who wins.
And it's a classic FF tale as they decide to invade the Skrull homeworld.
I did always wonder why the only Skrull female in this story looks an awful lot prettier than the Skrull males do.
But I do remember being very taken with those aliens who look like dandelion clocks.
I have always thought this was a very strange cover, with Loki just floating there in mid-air. I wonder if he was added after the rest of the artwork, at Stan Lee's insistence?
One of my favourite Steve Ditko Spider-Man covers, showing off the elegance of both his figure-work and composition.
Dr Strange is relegated to being a cover insert by The Bouncing Ball of Doom! Oh the grave indignity. No wonder he looks so peeved.
I did always like it when Hawkeye and the Black Widow used to show up in Iron Man's strip. Even though they shouldn't have been any real threat to him, they had a certain soap opera charm to them. Maybe in my subconscious they were some sort of criminal counterparts to Happy Hogan and Pepper Potts.
I have no idea at all who Madam Macabre is, nor just what's going on on the cover.
The south east Asian appearance of Madam Macabre and her lackey/boss hints that the surprise guest villain of this tale might be the Mandarin but I'd hope not. Not wanting to put him down but I couldn't see Giant-Man surviving for five seconds if the Mandarin showed up.
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