Thursday, 1 December 2011

40 years ago today. December 1971.

Roy Wood once declared, "I wish It Could be Christmas Every Day," John Lennon told us, "War is Over, if you want it," and Kate Bush said, "December Will Be Magic Again," but does the Festive Season of 1971 see our heroes in the mood to kiss and make up with their old foes? Or does it just see them eager to get on with Boxing Day - with the emphasis on the "boxing"?

Amazing Spider-Man #103, Ka-Zar, Zabu, Gog, and Gwen Stacy in a bikini

Roy Wood might want it to be Christmas every day but Roy Thomas clearly wants it to be King Kong every day as he sends Spider-Man off to the Savage Land to fight Gog, a giant alien who's been adopted by Kraven.

It's never been one of my favourite Spidey tales, being too far removed from the web-spinner's natural milieu, but you have to dig that Gil Kane cover. If that wouldn't make you want to buy the comic, what would?
Avengers #94, Kree/Skrull War, Neal Adams, Mandroids

Neal Adams' Kree/Skrull War rumbles ever onwards as the Avengers find themselves up against the Mandroids.

I believe it may be in this issue where Iron Man suddenly remembers he has roller skates, and we all discover that anyone can enter the Avengers Mansion any time they like, just by climbing up out of a man-hole.
Captain America and the Falcon #144, Cap and Falc break up, Femme Force, John Romita cover

Can it be true? Can Captain America and the Falcon really have broken up?

More importantly, can there really be a group of people who thought it was a good idea to call themselves "Femme Force"?
Conan the Barbarian #12, Gil Kane cover

We might associate early Conan tales with Barry Saxe-Coburg-Gotha Smith but the cover of issue #12 shows just what Gil Kane can do when let loose on barbaric derring-doings.
Daredevil #82, the Scorpion, Gil Kane cover

It's Gil Kane again.

I love this cover. How great is the Scorpion on it? The thing that strikes me about all of Kane's covers this month is how stylishly he creates a sense of 3-Dimensionality with his compositional sense.

Given that, on his first appearance, the Scorpion nearly killed Spider-Man with his bare fists, I assume the Man Without Fear'll be the Man Without A Pulse by the end of the tale.
Fantastic Four #117, Diablo, Crystal and the Human Torch

It's the return of one of my favourite villains of all time, as Diablo shows his class by taking over a Latin American country and getting Crystal to run around with not many clothes on.
Incredible Hulk #146

It's the first part of that story where the Leader decides to replace politicians with evil robots that're up to no good.

No wonder no one could spot the difference.
Thor #194, Thor stops Loki from marrying Sif

Despite her supposedly being a fearsome warrior woman, Sif proves, as always, a total wimp, as Thor has to intervene to stop her meekly marrying Loki.

Get a backbone, woman!
X-Men #73, El Tigre

It's the man called El Tigre!

I don't have a clue who El Tigre is. Frankly I don't have a clue who three of the seven people on this cover are. I also don't know where Marvel Girl is.


bliss_infinte said...

Gil Kane's covers of the early 70's will always be the defining image of marvel comics of that era.

Dougie said...

Looking at the Falcon, I can't help thinking "ANGRY Birds". The diamond that Kirby added to the mask was actually an improvement on the Cat Ballou tin nose.

Kid said...

Ah, December 1971. That was the month and year I bought Thunder Annual 1972 out of the Christmas tips from my paper round. I also got Smash Annual 1972 around about the same time. 40 years ago? Crumbs!

R. W. Watkins said...

The Gog/Kazar story arc of Amazing Spider-Man Nos 103 and 104 never lived up to the 'Extra Arms' trilogy of Nos 100-102, true; but those two issues are still worth owning for the impressive job that Kane did on the late-night scene at the Daily Bugle, scenes of Peter and Gwen at Pete's pad, and the images of Gwen in her two-piece bathing suit--which caused even J Jonah Jameson's eyes to bug out!

Ade Salmon said...

That Daredevil cover is a cracker ! Who did the interior art? Is this the Bob Brown era?

Steve W. said...

Hi, Ade. According to the Grand Comics Database, the interiors were by Gene Colan.

B Smith said...

Although the following issue was by the one-off combination of Bill Everett inking Alan Weiss's pencils.

sam king said...

I think this is the first entry of the series that I have not read at least one comic ! Some Great covers though !!

Andrez Bergen said...

Yep, that issue of Fantastic Four was a lot of fun! ;)

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