Saturday 19 July 2014

Random comics I have owned. Part Four.

When it comes to the National Lottery, a wise man once said, "It could be you."

Sadly, he was wrong. It couldn't be me. Why? Because I've never entered it.

Happily, there's another lottery. A better lottery. One that brings far more joy into people's lives than winning ten million pounds could ever do.

And that's the lottery that is, "Random comics I have owned."

Just what magic will it fling at us tonight?

I don't know.

But one thing's for sure.

I'm not going to let it change my life.

Adventure Comics #429, Black Orchid

At one point, I had every one of the Black Orchid's original Adventure Comics appearances. All three of them. Sadly, it wasn't long after her debut before she was booted off the book, to be replaced by the Spectre.

Happily, for fans of women with flower obsessions, she was soon back, in the pages of The Phantom Stranger.

As for this tale, I have no recall at all of what happened in it but I gather that sailors and boats were involved.
Superboy #194, Super Merboy

It's one of my childhood faves, as Superboy finds himself turned into a merboy.

And if that's not one of the greatest comic book covers of all time, I'm a seahorse.
X-Men #132, Hellfire Club

The X-Men come up against the Hellfire Club who seem to be an awful bunch of bounders and not at all inspired by a notorious but celebrated episode of TV's Avengers.
Captain America #252, Batroc and Mr Hyde

Batroc and Mr Hyde come up with a plan to blow up New York, with a boat, unless they get zillions.

Needless to say, Captain America soon puts a stop to their devilish plans.

Is it my imagination or is, "Batroc," misspelled on that cover?
Incredible Hulk #161, The Beast and the Mimic

It's the only original issue of the Hulk comic that I ever owned as a kid but I loved it, as, now residing in Canada, the Mimic is in danger of draining all our hero's life energy from him

This was the firs time I ever encountered the blue furry version of the Beast and was initially most confused as to whether he was meant to be the same character as the one from the X-Men.
Metal Men, Rain of the Missile Men

I got this from a newsagents in a place called Heeley Green. This fact will mean nothing to 99.9% of the people reading this post but, somehow, that memory adds a certain charm to it all.

I seem to recall that an alien robot tyrant takes a fancy to the female member of the Metal Men and decides to bombard Earth with loads of missile-shaped robots because of it. How this was supposed to win her heart, I have no idea.

With their sharply defined personalities, I did find the Metal Men quite charming at the time.
Prez #1

It's the comic that gave us America's first teenage president.

More to the point, thanks to its unfeasibly visaged bad guy, it was the first time I ever encountered the smiley-face symbol with which all internetters are now so familiar.

I also learned from it that Mussolini made the trains run on time.

Who says comics aren't educational?
Iron Fist #3, The Ravager

Iron Fist comes to London and immediately gets into a punch-up with Radion the atomic man.

Sadly, it turns out to be curtains for the Post Office Tower, which meets an explosive fate.

Whisper it quietly but I do believe this strip featured John Byrne's finest artwork.


Anonymous said...

I can remember the exact date I bought that issue of X-Men - Saturday April 5th 1980, Easter Saturday. It was of course the start of the legendary Hellfire Club/Dark Phoenix story. I loved the whole thing but it was very frustrating that the story ended with a double-issue (# 137) and my local WH Smith's didn't sell double-issues so I finally bought it via mail order but by then I already knew that Jean Grey had died (for a while).

Doug said...

My only exposure to Black Orchid was the Dave McKean-painted bookshelf series in the late 80s (or was it the early 90s?). I've always wondered about the mainstream version of the character, but I'm guessing you found it to be pretty forgettable...


Anonymous said...

Some interesting comics here. I've got that issue of The Incredible Hulk, as well. I picked it up at some comic shop somewhere a long time ago.
A pretty good era for that comic, in my opinion. Lotta interesting stuff.
That issue of Captain America was pretty good, too! The titanic team-up of Mr. Hyde and Batrok, uh, I mean Batroc.
Y'know, I don't know anything about Black Orchid. I'll have to look her up.

Anonymous said...

My first exposure to the blue furry Beast was in a three-part story in Thor #269-271. Like you, I wasn't sure if he was supposed to be the same character from the X-Men.

Russ said...

Actually, I remember Black Orchid as being a very compelling strip early on, with sexy,moody art by Tony DeZuniga. I think it was written by Sheldon Meyer, who created a mystery he wasn't given the chance to solve. This experimental era in Adventure Comics was full of well-crafted oddities. Alex Nino's Captain Fear, for instance.

Joe S. Walker said...

Captain America versus Bartok might have been interesting. I don't think they've ever done a story where Cap takes on a 20th century classical composer.

Anonymous said...

Looking at that X-Men cover again reminds me of something that always annoyed me - the way the bar code in the bottom left-hand corner was replaced by a Spidey face. I thought the bar code looked modern and made comics look more "grown up" while the Spidey face looked childish. All the U.S. imported Marvel comics that I bought in WH Smith's had that bloody Spidey face. The cover also says "winner of 5 Eagle Awards" - I have no idea what an Eagle Award is/was.

Steve W. said...

Colin, the Eagle Awards were a British award system set up in the 1970s by UK fanzine writers/editors and comic book dealers and named in honour of The Eagle comic. They were basically the UK comic industry equivalent of The Oscars.

Anonymous said...

Thanks, Steve - I did wonder if there was any connection to the Eagle comic but I didn't know if the Eagle awards were British or American.

david_b said...

Oddly enough, I had that Black Orchid comic from someone elses collection I inherited..

As my early hormones budded, I found something quite.. enticing about her lilt floating-styled costume and the soft-inked interiors.