September 1966 was an historic month in the history of television, with Star Trek, Ron Ely's Tarzan, The Monkees and Mission Impossible all making their very first appearance.
Clearly, Marvel was going to have to pull out all the stops if it was going to yank us away from our TV screens that month.
Admittedly, they wouldn't have had to work that hard to yank me away from my TV screen, as I was in England and probably couldn't see any of them until about two years later.
Still, what dynamic first appearances was Marvel going to fling at us, in order to counter those of the dread gogglebox?
Is this the first ever appearance of the Sons of the Serpent? And was there a single Sons of the Serpent storyline when I was young that didn't climax with the shocking reveal that their leader was actually black?
After the fifth time that that revelation was made, it had started to somewhat lose its dramatic impact.
As I work my way through these covers each month, I am increasingly of the opinion that the main reason Goliath/Giant-Man was in the Avengers was because Marvel felt it was dramatic to have a giant on the cover.
Hooray! The Owl is back! With his awesome power of gliding!
I'm trying to recall if this was his first appearance since his debut in issue #3. At the time, that seemed like a massive gap, although it was only seventeen issues.
I believe this story may have featured the first appearance of his giant mechanical owl. A thing so huge, bulky and heavy that it'd clearly never be able to get off the ground in the real world.
I have a feeling this may feature the first appearance of Prester John, of whom I'd never heard until I read this story, proving once more the educational value of comics.
I believe this means it's also the first appearance of the Evil Eye. And we all remember the trouble that ended up causing.
Come to think of it, has Thanos ever tried to get his hands on it? He's tried to get his hands on every other awesome object in the Marvel Universe. The last I heard, he'd worked his way through so many awesome objects that he was reduced to trying to get his hands on the Leap-Frog's shoe springs while declaring, "With the Leap-Frog's shoe springs, nothing can stop me destroying the universe! Nothing!"
I believe that Death then told him he might benefit from taking a holiday for a while.
A cover that doesn't exactly leave you in doubt as to who wins the most dramatic clash yet between Spidey and his arch-nemesis.
I know nothing of this tale - or of Kaluu.
I assume the Ancient One's on the brink of death again. It was always a contest between the Ancient One and Aunt May to see which one would pop their clogs first.
I have a suspicion that, fifty years later, they're both still alive and well, and possibly younger than they were then.
A very odd cover indeed by Gene Colan.
I always had a soft spot for the Titanium Man. He was appealingly anti-social.
I have no idea at all as to what happens in this story. Wasn't there one, around this time, where Thunderbolt Ross gets captured by The Leader or an enemy power or something and the Hulk has to rescue him or something, from somewhere or other?
Hooray! Thor's making his first ever visit to the lovely planet of Rigel!
And that means a first-ever battle with Ego can't be far behind.
Wasn't there a villain called The Locust who showed up in one of the first Hulk tales that Sal Buscema drew? Is it the same Locust?
And why does he seen to be holding a microphone in a way that suggests he's about to inflict a spot of karaoke on the X-Men?
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