September 1976 was an exciting month for all lovers of talking frogs, amorous pigs and strange, indeterminate crow-like creatures because it was the month The Muppet Show was broadcast for the very first time.
To be honest, I was never a fan of them, as they seemed far too energetic and enthusiastic for my liking and kept bursting into song and dance routines.
Fortunately, there was one group of characters in my life who could never be called a bunch of muppets.
Well, alright, given their propensity for fighting each other at the drop of a hat and for no good reason, "A bunch of muppets," is probably exactly what they should be called.
Regardless, what were they up to in this month of exactly forty years ago?
I genuinely have no idea what happens in this one.
The blurb gives the impression that a brand new lineup for the Avengers is being introduced - but weren't all those people on that cover already in the Avengers?
I believe this is the lead-up to the tale where Conan, Red Sonja and Bêlit scrap it out to get their hands on the dreaded Book of Skelos, only for Kull to somehow get dragged into it all.
I was always happy for Red Sonja to put in an appearance, especially if she was threatening to stick a sword in Bêlit who I always found a bit annoying and surplus to necessity.
Thinking about it, not having read any Lovecraft up to this point, this comic must have been the first time I'd ever heard of Dagon.
I believe I've never read this tale but it does have a memorable cover that I've seen reproduced in numerous places over the years.
Hooray! Torgo's back - and so are the Skrulls - as the Fantastic Four strive to find a planet for Galactus to eat instead of Counter-Earth.
Psyklop is more than back, in a tale I suspect can only mean bad news for Jarella.
As I may have mentioned elsewhere, Psyklop's first appearance is one of my favourite ever Avengers tales, and the first time I ever saw Sal Buscema's work in print. So, I was no doubt pleased to see the villain's return, even if the Hulk wasn't.
I always had a soft spot for the Controller, even if he did look bad.
Come to think of it, I think I had a soft spot for him because he looked bad. It doesn't hurt a super-villain's appeal if he looks like someone you wouldn't want to meet in a dark alley.
The Tinkerer's back, on a cover that seems to owe a fair bit to the front of Amazing Spider-Man #98, as we see the ultimate demise of the Spider-Mobile.
Tragically, I think this issue claims the Tinkerer wasn't really an alien and had just been pretending to be, on his first appearance.
Given my love for aliens in fiction, this was a development of which I didn't approve.
Do those arms belong to the trolls who put in an appearance in the very first issue of The Avengers?
If so, I'm all in favour of such a return, as I fear the trolls' grabbing ability was woefully under-utilised from that point on.
In fact, I can't remember it ever being utilised at all.
The Jester's still up to no good.
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