Tuesday, 15 April 2014


Reader, I must come clean. The only thing I've ever been a member of is the human race - and that's only thanks to an administrative error.

But, of course, if I were, as a child, going to have joined anything, it would've been Marvel's very own fan/social club FOOM.

How impressed I was by the adverts featuring that Jim Steranko poster and the fancy badge with the wings on it that one could get if one only dared cut out the coupon from an actual comic and send off one's membership fee.

In the end, I didn't join FOOM...

....but I did have three issues of their magazine.

They arrived all at once, several months after I'd sent off for them. I'm pretty sure they were waiting for me when I got back from my summer holiday to wherever it was I'd gone on holiday.

But that's enough heart-warming reminiscing. Let's see what my mighty memory can recall of them and their contents.

FOOM #12, The Vision

My vast intellect tells me this one may have been dedicated to the Vision.

I seem to recall it featured an interview with Jarvis the butler.

Despite the fact he clearly doesn't exist, I think he detailed the Vision's relationship with the Scarlet Witch.

Bearing in mind his position as an underling, this seemed a very presumptuous thing for him to be discussing in public and one can only hope he was suitably disciplined for such a lack of discretion.

There may also have been in interview with Steve Englehart, about Mantis and the Celestial Madonna storyline. Or I could just be imagining that.

FOOM #13, Daredevil

My vast intellect tells me this issue may have been devoted to Daredevil.

I seem to recall it making the then shocking to me revelation that Daredevil had always been one of Marvel's slower sellers. Like a fool, up to that point, I'd assumed Marvel didn't have any slow sellers and that every title they had simply crushed all opposition like bugs.

I recall it reproduced the Gene Colan/Tom Palmer page in which DD gives up on Karen Page and goes off with the Black Widow.

I'm also pretty sure it featured the alternate Gene Colan cover for issue 43, which seemed far better than the somewhat stiff Jack Kirby cover that was actually used.

Daredevil #43, Captain America, unused cover, Gene Colan pencils

FOOM #14, Conan and Red Sonja

Crom! It's an issue devoted to Conan and Red Sonja!

I believe it featured an interview with Roy Thomas about the characters, and possibly also an interview with John Buscema in which he said he felt Frank Frazetta's version of the character looked a little too savage for his liking.

It was also where I first learned of Red Sonja's origin, which even then seemed like a terrible idea for an origin.

Among other goodies, I recall one of these issues having a feature about Woodgod and also a page from the X-Men that detailed Storm's origin.

There was also a pencilled Jack Kirby Invaders cover featuring a giant Red Skull.

On top of this, each issue featured a section that was like the Mighty Marvel Checklist page on steroids.

All this in mind, I can declare owning three issues of FOOM to have been better than receiving a poke in the eyes with three sharp sticks, and therefore well worth cutting a coupon out of one issue of Mighty World of Marvel for.


Longbox Graveyard said...

Fear not! You got the best three issues of the run. (Or at least the best three covers).

Doug said...

I always wanted to join FOOM, and for the life of me cannot remember why I never did. But a few years later I'd not make the same mistake again, and so proudly signed up for the KISS Army.

Like Longbox, I love those three covers!


Colin Jones said...

I never joined FOOM either but I did join the World Wildlife Fund, I remember the welcome pack and the panda badge. I read Red Sonja's origin in Savage Sword of Conan - as I recall, she received her fighting prowess from a kind of fairy godmother/spirit of female empowerment ! What's curious is why Marvel created her when they could have used Valeria from Red Nails who is clearly Red Sonja in all but name. I suppose it was a rights issue. Steve, talking of feisty females - what do you think of Kate Bush doing live concerts again? I've never understood the big deal about live music whoever sings it, I prefer the records every time.

Steve W. said...

Colin, It's going to be interesting to see how Kate Bush tackles the whole issue of performing live again, bearing in mind she's clearly not in the sort of shape she was in the last time she toured.

As for the music being live; given her notorious perfectionism, I suspect there may be a fairly heavy use of pre-recorded material for her to sing over.

Colin Jones said...

Steve, happy Easter to you - I hope you've got your Easter egg, I've got mine :)

Steve W. said...

Happy Easter to you too, Colin.

Sadly, I have had no Easter eggs but I have had a pizza, which I shall new view as an Easter pizza.

Dougie said...

The jarvis interview was a two-parter in Foom 7 and 8, circa 1974. Those were the ones with the Cockrum illustrations.

I remember finding the Vision issue a bit grisly as there was a discussion between Englehart and his interviewer of where a synthezoid might obtain sperm...

I virtually had the Daredevil and Conan issues memorised although I was no fan of the former.

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