Tuesday, 5 November 2013

Forty years ago today - November 1973.

As a connoisseur of mass human suffering, it always depresses me to know there's apparently no truth at all in the popularly held belief that Ring a Ring o' Roses is really about the Black Death.

Fortunately, other nursery rhymes are available to us - and most topical of all right now is the one that exhorts us to, "Remember, remember the 5th of November."

And that sounds like a challenge to see how well I remember what my favourite Marvel heroes would have been up to had I picked up a comic on that date of exactly forty years ago.

Amazing Spider-Man #126, the Kangaroo

It's the return the whole world was crying out for, as the Kangaroo boomerangs back into action.

Sadly, it turns out not to be a happy comeback for the Antipodean antagonist.

As Bruce Forsyth would no doubt say, it wasn't a case of didgeridoo well.

Why do I get the feeling I've just lost all my Australian readers?
Avengers #117, Sub-Mariner v Captain America

The Evil Eye saga rumbles on as two Second World War legends have a punch-up in Japan.
Captain America and the Falcon #167, the Yellow Claw

Apparently, our heroes are up against the Yellow Claw, as they seem to have been for months.

Other than that I can shed no light at all on the contents of this comic.
Conan the Barbarian #32

Nor can I shed any upon the interiors of this mag.

It being a Conan story, I think we can probably guess what elements the tale's likely to contain, though.
Daredevil and the Black Widow #105, Moondragon, Angar and Ramrod

I do remember this one!

Isn't this the story where Daredevil has to press a yellow button to save the world but can't because he doesn't know which button is yellow?
Fantastic Four #140, Annihilus

I always wanted to read this story when I was a kid, mostly because there was a panel from it reproduced in The Horrific World of Monsters, more about which can be read right here.

Sadly, not only did I never get my hands on a copy of the original comic but I never even got to read it in reprint form. Truly, life can be tragic.
The Incredible Hulk #169, the Bi-Beast

Hooray! The Bi-Beast makes his debut.

Thanks to one of the first super-hero comics I ever bought having featured the place, I do have a soft spot for any story that uses the hidden city of the Bird People.
Iron Man #64

It's that rarity, an Iron Man cover that rings a bell for me.

But it's good to see Happy showing his loyalty to his boss there.
Thor #217, Odin

Is this the one where Thor and his mates return to Asgard, only to find it's been taken over by evil lookalikes?

In the case of Odin, how would anyone notice the difference?


Anonymous said...

Couple of great villains here; Annihilus is one of the few really scary villains to come out of Marvel in the '60's. Strangely in this issue, after slapping the F.F. around for a few pages, he (it?) folded up like an envelope for no apparent reason, much to my and Ben Grimm's puzzlement. Or was that the next issue? Not sure. But that Annihilus is one scary extra-dimensional alien with those bat wings, insect mug and genocidal tendencies...he's gonna be on the big screen some day, mark my words.
And the bombastic Bi-beast...he was weird and ugly all day long, with one wild back story. In a three-issue arc, the Hulster was fighting B.B., the Harpy, and Modok! No wonder he jumped the border into Canada for some peace and quiet. But we all know THAT worked out.
And anything with Subby or Moondragon (alias or no) was cool.
Not a bad year for Marvel, I think, although some might disagree.

Anonymous said...

It's supposed to be the "Hulkster," not the..ah, you get the idea. Damn my feeble keyboard skills.

B Smith said...

You could tell the Kangaroo was Australian because he said "bloody" a lot - quite daring for a 1973 mainstream comic, really.

Anonymous said...

I don't think "bloody" has quite the same connotations over here...it's viewed as a bit quaint and charming, instead of an obvious cuss-word.
But it's nice to hear from our friends across the water...spent a great month in the U.K. once on leave and I dearly hope to get back there one day. Everybody was nice, and there was so much to see, but not enough time..Cheers!

Doug said...

I did not even know the true meaning of the use of the term "bloody" until my son got home from his tour of Europe with his soccer (football to you, Steve!) team. They ended by seeing several matches in England, and the locals looked at them like stupid Americans as the boys kept shouting "bloody" this and "bloody" that... Eyebrows were raised as the brashness of those young pups, cussing like sailors in public.


Steve W. said...

I do love the thought of people shouting "bloody" at a football (soccer) match. It'd be the mildest language ever heard in a football stadium.

PS. Do you know what teams he saw, Doug?

Dougie said...

The Cap/Falc story ends with an injured Yellow Claw draining the life-force from his neice Suwan- who has been possessed by an Egyptian princess. Truly weird and very Englehart.

I remember that octopus-woman well from Foom Magazine 2. She has purple splotches on her bosom here- as if it was the shocking part of the image.

That DD story might be the one that features Starlin's origin for Moondragon- at that point, still called Madam MacEvil!

I want a copy of the Horrific World of Monsters now.

Steve W. said...

To be honest, I've not read The Horrific World of Monsters since I was twelve. It could be terrible for all I know but it definitely seemed great when I was twelve.

Anonymous said...

Sue Storm Richards, aka the Invisible Girl back then, does look exceptionally lovely in issue #140.

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