Wednesday, 7 August 2013

Forty years ago today - August 1973.

As the whole world no doubt knows, 1973 was the year Sheffield's indoor Sheaf Market was opened; celebrated for its elevated restaurant that gave you genuine plastic cutlery to eat with.

But were our favourite Marvel heroes of the time making a meal of their latest battles?

Or were they instead chewing up their foes and spitting them out?

Avengers #114, Mantis and the Swordsman

Is this the one where Mantis and the Swordsman defeat the Lion God by hypnotising him with her dancing? If so, he really did come across as a complete and total berk in that tale.
Captain America and the Falcon #164 Nightshade

I'm pretty certain I've never read this one but I do like the way the Falcon still has his normal hair despite having turned into a werewolf.

I do wonder if his falcon has likewise turned into a wolf-bird.
Conan the Barbarian #29

I've never read this one either. I gather there may be a wizard in it, which makes a nice change.
Daredevil and the Black Widow #102, the Stiltman

Unlike those other mags, I actually have read this one.

But I have no memory of it.
Fantastic Four #137

It does seem to be my month for tales I've never read, as the FF find themselves up against what seems to be a giant gorilla with a metal ball for a head.

What with Medusa's giant-hand problems, it does strike me that his month's cover is remarkably similar to next month's.

Incredible Hulk #166

Hooray! It's one of my faves, as Zzzaxx makes his debut and Hawkeye tries to prove he can do it without the Avengers.
Invincible Iron Man #61, the Masked Marauder

As revealed in this recent post on The Peerless Power of Comics, Iron Man is still having far more trouble with the Masked Marauder than he really should be.
Amazing Spider-Man #123, Luke Cage

Sweet Mother of Christmas, and other words to that effect. It's one of my favourite Spidey tales, as our hero comes up against Luke Cage.

I'm pretty sure Peter Parker snaps a pen in half at one point in this story, which, believe it or not, is one of my favourite scenes ever in any comicbook.
Thor #214, Mercurio

In his latest space-bound quest to find missing gods, Thor's up against Mercurio - who, like Baked Alaska, can be hot and cold at the same time.

Like Baked Alaska, he was probably also not available in Sheaf Markets' elevated restaurant.
X-Men #83, Spider-Man

My Steve-Sense tells me that Spider-Man may be featuring in this tale.

Other than that, I can say nothing.

Because I know nothing.


Anonymous said...

I remember those FF covers from the early issues of The Complete Fantastic Four in autumn 1977 , it was my first term at comprehensive school. If I recall correctly the Swordsman was French and he used to say things like " zut alors " and "sacre bleu " all the time although not on that cover.The X Men story was a reprint of an earlier story I think , those were the final days of the boring original X Men before their shiny new relaunch.

Aggy said...

The X Men tale is from X-men 35 by Thomas/Roth. Far from the best of the original run but far from the worst. One of Spider-Mans regular bump-into-another-superhero-have-misunderstanding-and-fight stories.

A tale that makes the descision to relaunch the title less than 18 months later even more strange.

As for Medusa in FF she is just following in Sue's footsteps.

The Conan storyhad Conan chancing upon a Castle/temple/cave/sanctum and finding an evil priest/wizard/sourceror/God along with a slavegirl/princess/Queen/female barbarian who needs rescuing/seeks revenge/is in league with the bad guy. Everyone dies except/including the girl character and Conan walks off at the end... probably....

Steve W. said...

Colin, I think it was Batroc the Leaper (Batroc ze Leapair) who used to have the comedy French accent - although I'm not familiar with the Swordsman's very early adventures, so maybe he did it too in those early days.

Aggy, you're right. I'd forgotten about Sue Storm's contribution to the cover of issue #1 and the giant-hand battling precedent she'd set with it.

Comicsfan said...

Ye gods, that observation about the Falcon retaining his own hair after his transformation completely slipped by me. Maybe Nightshade just wanted to put her own personal stamp on her serum, to distinguish her from other mad scientists.

Gey Blabby said...

Now that is one very stylish werewolf.

Anonymous said...

Steve, I'd completely forgotten about Batroc the Leaper- how the memory plays tricks. I read your recent post about Aunt May being way too old for Peter's aunt. I think you've said you don't read the modern comics ( I buy them now and again to keep a hand in) so you might not know that the modern Aunt May seems younger with a more flattering hairstyle- she's very different from the dithering, emaciated old crone of the '70s. Perhaps somebody at Marvel noticed the same thing as you !

Steve W. said...

Didn't Aunt May have a sex scene in some comic or other? Whatever would Uncle Ben say?

Anonymous said...

Peter caught Aunt May in bed with J. Jonah Jameson's father in Amazing Spider-Man #592 in 2009. In the 2003 mini-series "Trouble," a young May had a fling with Richard Parker and got pregnant, and it was strongly implied that she was Peter's real mother. To which I say, in both cases: Yuck. And, as far as I remember, the Swordsman never had a noticeable accent. I think his first appearance was in the Avengers' Kooky Quartet era in the mid-1960's, and flashbacks revealed that he was Hawkeye's arch rival or something (they had been performers in the same circus or carnival). Pretty sure it was "Batroc ze, 'ow you zay, leapair" with the Pepe LePew accent.

Steve W. said...

Thanks for the info, Anonymous.

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