Thursday 10 January 2013

Forty Years ago this month - January 1973.

January Jones was in X-Men First Class.

The X-Men is a comic.

This is Steve Does Comics.

And it's currently January.

That can only mean one thing.

It's time for me to do my Leonard Rossiter impression: "Ooh no, Miss Jones. Get down, Vienna. Look at that - reflexes like a coiled spring. The permissive society, it doesn't exist. I should know - I've looked hard enough for it."

Almost as impressively, it also means it's time for me to look at what our favourite Marvel heroes were up to in January of exactly forty years ago.

Avengers #107, The Grim Reaper returns

The Grim Reaper's back and causing yet more trouble for our heroes.

Despite what the cover tells us, I'm pretty sure he hasn't been drinking Hank Pym's size-changing formula though.
Amazing Spider-Man #116, The Smasher

The Smasher is anything but smashing as politics enters the world of Spider-Man.
Captain America and the Falcon #157, The Viper

I don't think I've ever read this one.

Nor have I ever heard of the Viper.

They don't call me "Mr Knowledgeable" for nothing.
Conan the Barbarian #22, The Vulture

It might be The Shadow of the Vulture on the cover but that's not what we get inside, as the loss of Barry Smith's artwork in the mail forces Marvel to reprint issue #1.
Daredevil and the Black Widow #95, The Man-Bull

Hooray! Man-Bull's still throwing his weight around.
Incredible Hulk #159, the Abomination is back

I do genuinely believe there was no such thing as a bad Hulk tale from the early 1970s - and issue #159 does nothing to dissuade me from that notion, as the Abomination's back and a little confused about what time it is.
Fantastic Four #130, Frightful Four, Thundra, Jim Steranko cover

Apparently, this cover's by Jim Steranko though you have to look fairly hard at it to notice.
Iron Man #54, the Sub-Mariner

Go on Subby! Smack him one!
Thor #207, Loki, Halloween issue

Is this the one where we get to see Jean Thomas dressed as Supergirl?

Possibly more importantly, is this the one where Loki falls off a cliff?


Kid said...

I'm not a happy chappie - I don't have any of those comics. Used to have that Avengers one 'though.

Dougie said...

Unlike Kid, I had three of these:

The Conan issue was my second, so I was quite happy with the reprint, having never seen it before. I always loved the vision of the space capsule in the shaman's cave.

The FF was my first for nine months- an incredibly long time for a 9-year-old. New logo, Sue quitting and scary Amazonian Thundra: very different from the Stan/Buscema Gabriel story.

Finally Thor, bought at Prestwick airport, I think. Loki's blind eyes freaked me out and the Absorbing Man appeared to perish horribly ( I was exactly young enough to fall for that trick then!

The Viper was the brother of the Eel. He was a satire on the cynical Advertising Executive and was subsequently murdered by Madame Hydra, who took on the identity of Viper ( and became a favourite of Chris Claremont)

Kid said...

Actually, now that Dougie has described the contents, I believe I had that Thor one too. I've actually got quite a lot that I never used to have, via Masterworks volumes and the like.

Steve W. said...

Thanks for the Viper info, Dougie. When I first clapped eyes on the cover, I thought he was meant to be the Eel, so that'd explain any resemblance.

dbutler16 said...

Did they really lose Barry Smith's art in the mail? Wow!
The only one here I have is Avengers #107.

Dougie said...

I forgot to add that the Viper's poison darts were the catalyst for Cap's super-strength in the early 70s, IIRC.

He was part of the CRAP organisation that used edited tv footage to blacken Cap's name in the early stages of the Secret Empire/Watergate storyline.

Steve W. said...

@dbutler, according to The Grand Comics Database, the art was indeed lost in the post and Smith had to redraw the story from scratch, so it could be used in the following issue.

Comicsfan said...

What an absolutely clever point to make about the Grim Reaper's size on the cover. That never occurred to me. :) :)

Gey Blabby said...

I remember a couple of issues near the end of Barry Smith's time on Conan where the art seemed inferior to that on previous issues, mostly it seemed due to poor inking. The loss of the art in the mail and having to redraw the story might explain why that happened. Needless to say, he got it together in time for issue 24.

Joe S. Walker said...

I know it's five weeks later, but that Thor issue actually has Glynis Wein as Supergirl. It's an ATROCIOUS piece of work - I never read bronze-age Thor till recently and was appalled. Basically Gerry Conway recycled Lee/Kirby to death. And then Roy Thomas spent something like ten issues retrofitting Marvel's Thor in with the story of Wagner's Ring Cycle, which is the kind of thing that makes me feel he has a claim to be the worst writer in comics history.