Wednesday, 2 July 2014

Fifty years ago this month - July 1964.

Well, smack me in the face with a halibut. What a few days it's been.

There's been thrills and spills in the World Cup.

There's been the musical majesty of Glastonbury.

And there's been whatever it is that's been happening at Wimbledon.

But all of it pales into insignificance when compared to the following post.

Because it's time to find out what our favourite Marvel heroes were up to exactly fifty years ago.

Avengers #6, Masters of Evil

The Avengers are up to their necks, is what they're up to, as the original Masters of Evil make their senses-shattering debut.

I do notice there doesn't seem to be anyone for the Wasp and Rick Jones to fight. Presumably, they have to spend the issue just hanging around trying to look dynamic. Much like how, whenever I played football as a child, no one would ever pass the ball to me and so I took to standing there immobile, in a dramatic pose, for ninety minutes, as though I was going to do something spectacular, even though the whole world knew I wasn't.

I discovered there and then that you can achieve a surprising amount in life just by looking like you're going to do something.
Fantastic Four # 28, X-Men

It's the FF vs the X-Men, as the Mad Thinker and the Puppet Master are back to cause more mayhem.

I always had a soft spot for the Mad Thinker's android, although I could never work out how he could see where he was going or what he actually did inbetween appearances in comics.

Perhaps he just used to hang around with Dragon Man, who I always saw as being a kindred spirit to him.
Journey Into Mystery #106, Thor vs Mr Hyde and the Cobra

Thor's still having far more trouble with the Cobra and Mr Hyde than he should be doing.
Amazing Spider-Man # 14, Green Goblin

The Green Goblin makes his debut.

While - still roaming the world in search of a comic he can star in - the jade juggernaut makes his return.
Strange Tales #122, the Human Torch

"Dr Doom does not appear in this story!" There's a sales pitch if ever I saw one, as the Human Torch battles three former FF foes that everyone probably hoped would remain former foes.
Tales of Suspense #55, Iron Man vs the Mandarin
Iron Man's still up against the Mandarin.

Is this the one where Iron Man manages to whip out a slide-rule and work out the precise angle of attack of a Mandarin karate blow - while the blow's actually being delivered?

Just how slow are the Mandarin's karate blows, that you have time to mess about with a slide-rule while you're waiting for them to arrive? Wouldn't it have been quicker for Iron Man to simply step out of the way? Or maybe he could just have whipped out his mobile phone and texted for advice on how to deal with the blow.

More to the point, is this the one where Mandy reveals he got his deadly rings from the spaceship of a dead space dragon? I did always feel disappointed by that explanation, as it portrayed him as someone who got lucky rather than being a criminal genius.
Tales to Astonish #57, Giant-Man vs Spider-Man

Giant-Man's up against Spidey.

Frankly, I don't fancy his chances.
X-Men #6, The Sub-Mariner

The Sub-Mariner joins the evil mutants. Presumably, the fact they call themselves, "Evil," doesn't suggest to him that this might not be the best idea he's ever had.

More to the point, given his normal state of randyness, will Subby be able to get through the story without trying to run off with either Marvel Girl, the Scarlet Witch or both of them?


Doug said...

Wow. Talk about some important Marvel history in the books you've pictured. Whenever you do these posts, Steve, I try to imagine what it would have been like to have been a 10-year old with a pocket full of dimes before the newsstand. This would have been a mind-blowing month. Or at the least, senses-shattering!


Steve W. said...

Doug, I do feel extremely lucky that I grew up at a time when Marvel UK's weekly reprints meant I got the chance to read virtually all the above tales at the age when I was most receptive to such things. I feel like I spent my entire childhood having my senses shattered by Silver Age mayhem.

Aggy said...

Just me or does anyone else think that the cover artist was expecting Doom to appear in Strange Tales.

Also Doc Strange now has 1/4 of the cover and the title box. He has the more fitting name anyway

Steve W. said...

Aggy, I am impressed by how Dr Strange's cover box seems to get bigger with every issue. You can't help feeling sorry for the Human Torch. How could he possibly keep his spirits up with such a threat hanging over his shoulder?

Phil said...

I read those comics in the UK reprints too. I knew they were reprints but I didn't care. They were good comics.
As for Namor being a mutant! Hmmm...interesting hypothesis.

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