Saturday, 2 June 2012

June 1972 - forty years ago today.

The Queen might this weekend be celebrating sixty years on the throne but who cares about what happened sixty years ago? All that matters to all sane human beings is what was happening forty years ago - because that's where we'll no doubt find our favourite Marvel heroes giving a royal crowning to anyone who doesn't get out of the way of their fists fast enough.

Incredible Hulk #152

It makes me happy just to think of this story as the Hulk finds himself up against virtually everyone who's got nothing better to do today.
Fantastic Four #123

Two terrifying villains for the price of one; Galactus and Richard Nixon.

Galactus wants the Silver Surfer back as his herald. If I'd written it, he'd have ended the tale with Richard Nixon as his herald.

Comic book writers, why do they never get it right?
Iron Man #47

I assume, from the cover, that this issue features a re-telling of Shell-Head's origin.
Amazing Spider-Man #109

It's not their first team-up but, for me, Dr Strange and Spider-Man never feel like natural partners.
Avengers #100

Barry W hands us an epic cover, as everyone who's ever been an Avenger (apart from Wonder Man) reunites to invade Olympus.
Captain America and the Falcon #150

Gil Kane gives us a very odd version of the Stranger who seems to be a cross between Terry Thomas and Adam Warlock.

I'm not sure the phrase, "Bottles of Death," really fills me with the sense of dread it's meant to - especially as Cap and the Falcon seem to be having no difficulty getting out of them.

I would, though, love to read this tale, if only to see how two such under-powered heroes can possibly see off one of Marvel's mightiest foes.
Daredevil #88

Hooray! It's the return of the Purple Man, as recently mentioned in the comments section of this very blog!
Thor #200

Is this the one where we get the tale of Ragnarok?
X-Men #76

That really is a terrible Gil Kane cover.

As regular readers may know, I'm an ardent admirer of Kane but he did seem to be having an off-month this time round.


Kid said...

You'd be correct about the Iron Man issue - it WAS a re-telling of his origin. (But you knew that anyway.)

cerebus660 said...

Purple Man, Purple Man, does whatever a ...purple man can!

He's even wearing all-purple clothes on that cover. Boy, can he accessorize!

I bought a copy of that Amazing Spider-Man issue recently and you're right - Spidey and Doc Strange is an unusual team-up. Of course, it's the second part of the Flash Thompson / Viet Nam story and, while having a certain period charm, it is fairly weak with Romita's artwork being very hit-or-miss.

And, speaking of dodgy artwork, the great Gil Kane did come a cropper with that X-Men cover, didn't he? I think he had some kind of blind spot with those characters: I always remember his X-Men in Marvel Team-Up #4 being particularly awful, with the ugliest Jean Gray I've ever seen!

Gey Blabby said...

Got to agree about the up-and-down quality of some of Gil Kane's work. I always had trouble with the way he would draw legs from the knee down, that Iron Man cover above being a perfect example - it just looks off, somehow. Loved his Conan covers but.

Dougie said...

That's one of my favourite X-Men stories but I didn't read any of the others until the UK weeklies reprinted them.

The newsagent where I got that X-Men comic is still open on the High Street in Glasgow- or was, last time I was down.

Boston Bill said...

It's hard to imagine that there was a time when everyone who had ever been an Avenger totalled numbered only a dozen or so.

Today, you'd need one of those minutely-detailed Perez covers to pull it off!

R. W. Watkins said...

Amazing Spider-Man No 109 was one of the earliest issues in the series that I owned. I remember getting it in a trade with one of the older boys on the school bus, I believe.

I agree that a Spider-Man / Dr Strange team-up is a recipe for disaster, but hasn't that always been one of the biggest problems with the Marvel Universe in the first place: teaming the more realistic and believable characters with a score of ridiculous mutants, aliens, sorcerers, gods and goddesses? So many early Spider-Man comics, for example, were ruined by such absurd creations as Iceman (91-92) and Ka-Zar (103-104).

As for the artwork, virtually every artist--or combination of artists--that Marvel used on AS in the early to mid '70s worked well. Romita's art looks like a bit of a throwback to 1967 (e.g., Gwen's headband) in this issue, but I've always liked those images of Spidey whizzing past the tower and churchyard on page 4.

Anonymous said...

I still remember when I saw the Avengers 100 cover and being absolutely wowed by it. I wish Barry Smith had done more issues of the Avengers.

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