Monday, 3 January 2011

January: Not yet sick and tired you been hanging on me.

After the success of last month's look at what our favourite Marvel heroes were up to in December of exactly 40 years ago, it's time to look at what they were up to in January.

And, if they were hoping for a change of luck with the arrival of the new year, they were to be severely disappointed, as it turns out that everyone they met still wanted to kill them. Personally I've managed to reach my mid-forties without anyone ever trying to kill me - and that's despite being a creature of utmost evil. If I didn't know better I'd say they were doing something wrong.

Incredible Hulk #135, Kang the Conqueror, Phantom Eagle

Kang the Conqueror decides to embroil the Hulk in a time-travel assassination plot that makes your brain hurt if you even try to think about it. The Hulk's sent back in time to kill his own ancestor, thus ensuring he'll never have existed and thus won't be able to cause the founding of the Avengers, thus leaving the way open for Kang to invade the 20th Century.

I think everyone except writer Roy Thomas spotted that the success of this plan would mean the Hulk wouldn't be able to go back in time and kill his own ancestor, thus making the plot self-foiling. I think we now know why, despite starting with every advantage, Kang never wins.

I seem to remember this being reprinted in Mighty World of Marvel #100, which was an all-Hulk issue.

Fantastic Four #106, John Romita

John Romita's all-too short stint on the Fantastic Four continues as Reed Richards tries to find a cure for the Thing while his wife continues to hold the fort against a mystery threat, the true identity of which turns out not to be that big a shock.

Did I mention how good Romita made Sue Richards look? It was the first - and possibly last - time I ever saw the Invisible Girl as being glamorous.
Avengers #84, Arkon

What'd happen if the Avengers took on Conan the Barbarian?

They'd flatten him, of course.

Ah but not if he had magic lightning bolts and the help of the Enchantress. I always found Arkon intensely irritating. But then I suppose I was meant to.
Amazing Spider-Man #92, Iceman, Bullitt

Still blamed for George Stacy's murder, Spider-Man decides the ideal solution is to kidnap Gwen Stacy, scare her half to death and threaten to kill Peter Parker in front of her. And then he wonders why everyone thinks he's a bad guy.

Fortunately the X-Men's Iceman's on hand to make matters worse.

But will the super-powered hot-heads stop scrapping for long enough to save poor old Joe Robertson from the man known as Bullitt?
Thor #184, John Buscema

I'm 100% certain I must've read this tale in Super Spider-Man and the Super-Heroes, coming as it does just one issue after the Dr Doom/Thor encounter I mentioned in my recent review of that mag but nothing on the cover rings any bells at all. I assume it was drawn by John Buscema though and would therefore have been great.
Iron Man #33, Sal Buscema

As mentioned elsewhere, Iron Man of this era's a huge great big black hole to me and thus I've no idea at all what's going on here. It looks like a Sal Buscema cover, and the name Spy-Master rings a bell.

Personally I'm not looking forward to the threatened spectacle of Iron Man pulling Tony Stark's chestnuts out of the fire. What with that and Nick Fury's line, I can't decide if this cover's dialogue is genius or just plain terrible.
Daredevil #72, Gene Colan, Tagak the Leopard Man

I remember this one. Didn't DD come up against a visitor from another world who was like a leopard and could thus control leopards? Was a museum involved? I read it not that long back, in one of the Daredevil Essentials, but I must admit the details are a little hazy.


cerebus660 said...

A great month for Marvel!

The Thor issue is the beginning of the Worlds At War storyline which was, for my money, the best post-Kirby Thor epic of the Bronze Age. The Buscema artwork is indeed great!

The Iron Man is the first of a two-parter in which Spymaster and his crew of saboteurs ( blatantly influenced by Mission:Impossible ) blow up most of Stark Industries and improbably run rings around Iron Man and SHIELD. Some nice Don Heck artwork.

As I've mentioned before, FF no. 106 was my first ever Fantastic Four comic. I remember not having a clue who they were ( the Thing was unconscious most of the issue so I didn't really get if he was hero or villain) or what was going on, but I loved it. It's got a great "monster in the streets" plot, a really cool cover and - yes - a very glamorous Sue Storm. Woof!

Kid said...

I've fancied Sue Storm ever since Jack Kirby was drawing her in the stories reprinted in WHAM! back in the '60s, but I remember having this comuc (FF #106) back around 1971 and having my appreciation of her renewed by her pic on the cover. Needless to say I've since re-acquired this issue. Va-va-voom!

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