Sunday 1 April 2012

Forty years ago today - April 1972.

It may be April Fools' Day but such shenanigans pale into insignificance once one realises April the 1st also means it's time to look at what our favourite Marvel heroes were up to exactly forty years ago today.

Incredible hulk #150, Havok, Polaris, Herb Trimpe, John Severin

Some say the Hulk's a philistine.

Some say he lacks musical appreciation.

They're wrong.

On this very cover, he gives us his rendition of Paul McCartney and Michael Jackson's monster-hit The Girl Is Mine.

Astonishingly, this is a full ten years before the song was released. If the Hulk goes to court over it, claiming copyright infringement, my legal training tells me this cover gives him an excellent chance of winning.

On other matters, this is the issue in which he picks up a cliff - and I don't mean Cliff Richard.
Amazing Spider-Man #107, Spider-Slayer

Was there really anyone wanted to see the Spider-Slayer return?

Clearly Professor Smythe did because he's brought it back.

And its more tentacular than ever.
Avengers #98, Ares

No sooner do the Avengers get the Kree/Skrull War behind them than they're back at war again - this time with the hordes of Olympus.

I love this storyline, mostly for Barry Smith's art which is a thing of grace and beauty.

What with Neal Adams and then Barry Smith, we were being positively spoilt by the Avengers during this period.
Captain America #148, the Red Skull and the 5th Sleeper, John Romita cover

Captain America comes up against two old foes; one human, one mechanical.

Is this the one where he teams up with the Kingpin and his son to fight the Sleeper? Or was that another issue?
Daredevil #86, the Ox

My memories of this tale are extremely fuzzy.

Is the Black Widow still on trial in this one? Or is all that over and done with?
Fantastic Four #121, the Silver Surfer and Gabriel

Hooray! One I can actually remember reading.

I remember reading it in Captain Britain's Marvel UK comic.

Despite the John Buscema art, the Fantastic Four in this era doesn't seem to get much love from the fans, but I loved it.

I can however confirm that, for the true comics aficionado, Gabriel's secret wasn't as mind-blowing as the cover would have you believe.
Thor #198, Mangog, Odin dead

Oh look. Asgard's facing doom, and Odin's just lying around.

Get yourself a new ruler, Asgardians.

I'm available

And I'm only 75% as useless, mad, irresponsible and despotic as Odin.
X-Men #75, the Mimic

The X-Men find themselves up against the Mimic in a tale I've never read.

I do of course know the Mimic from his one appearance in the pages of The Incredible Hulk. A story I'll have to review in the not-too-distant future.


Anonymous said...

Cap America 148- Yep this is indeed the issue where Cap the Femme Force, SHIELD and the Kingpin fight the last sleeper, not the best issue of the comic during an otherwise good run -= McScotty

Dougie said...

That's one of my all-time favourite X-Men stories and I bought the 1960s "Fantastic" reprint on ebay the other week.

Pretty sure I got that version at Prestwick Airport. My dad would take us there to watch planes on the runway.

B Smith said...

Daredevil #86: Matt Murdock and Karen Page have re-united, but by the end of the issue Karen's realised it isn't going to work, and vacates the scene for Natasha (who was on trial in #83) to return - the next issue would be the first set in San Francisco.

Steve W. said...

Thanks for the info, B and McScotty. :)

Kid said...

Ah, but the fact that he was a robot wasn't Gabriel's ONLY secret - he was also GAY.

Steve W. said...

Did Stan Lee write this one? I wonder how many Stan Lee villains over the years have turned out to be robots? I feel an idea for a blog post coming on.

Kid said...

Yeah, Stan wrote this story. He only wrote the next four issues after this one before Roy Thomas took over.

R. W. Watkins said...

A lot of people disliked--and still dislike--a lot of those Stan Lee and Roy Thomas Spidey stories from that early '70s period. However, I tended to enjoy them very much--they were the logical next steps evolution-wise and given the climate of the times. And the art was great--Gil Kane and John Romita, whether solo or together, made those stories come alive.

In fact, I think it was the period just before this, circa 1969, that was truly the first weak period in Amazing Spider-Man history. Jim Mooney's and John Buscema's artistry--although good--just did not match the Spidey mystique. This was particularly true in regards to the 'civilian' out-of-costume scenes. The personal lives of Peter, Gwen, Harry, Aunt May, etc no longer came alive on the page.