Tuesday, 3 February 2015

Fifty years ago this month - February 1965.

Hark! What's that thudding noise I hear at my front door?

Is it the sound of impending death coming to claim me?

Why no. It's the arrival of a brand new month!

And that means it's time to take a look at what our favourite Marvel heroes were up to in February of exactly fifty years ago.

Avengers #13, Count Nefaria

Count Nefaria is one of those villains I know almost nothing about.

Come to think of it, other than his name, I do know nothing about him. Every time he used to show up in a comic, I didn't have a clue who he was or what he was about.
Daredevil #6, the Fellowship of Fear

Hooray! Mr Fear makes his debut.

If I was going to be a super-villain, Mr Fear would be near the top of the list of ones I'd choose to be.
Fantastic Four #35, Dragon Man and Diablo

Diablo's back!

And Dragon Man makes his first appearance, as the FF go to university and Reed and Sue get smooching in Lovers' Lane.
Journey into Mystery #113, Thor vs the Grey Gargoyle

Thor reveals his secret identity to Jane Foster.

I bet Odin takes that well....
Amazing Spider-Man #21, the Human Torch and the Beetle

I was never a fan of the Beetle. There was always something a bit too lumbering and slow-mo about him for my liking.
Strange Tales #129, the Terrible Trio

The Terrible Trio look to cement their place in comic book history.

Somehow, I have the feeling they don't quite succeed.
Tales of Suspense #62, Origin of the Mandarin

We get the origin of the Mandarin, which was something of a disappointment to me when I first read it, as it portrayed him as someone who just got lucky, rather than him being a self-made genius.

Is the other tale the one where a load of convicts want to get their hands on the gadgets in Cap's shield so they can use them to escape?

If it is, I seem to recall it's one of those tales where we get plenty of lecturing from Cap about the power of leverage.

Why has leverage never been of any use to me in life?
Tales to Astonish #64, Attuma vs Giant Man

I always had a soft spot for Attuma.

I have a feeling that Giant-Man beats him by deceiving him as to the true nature of the surface world but I can't remember how he did it, or even if he did do it.


Aggy said...

Totally agree about Beetle. One of the brilliant things Thunderbolt did was make you care about characters like Beetle and Screaming Mimi.

Of course once you started to care about them Marvel decides to ruin the title...

Steve W. said...

Aggy, I'm totally unfamiliar with Thunderbolt. Is this a current title?

Anonymous said...

IIRC, Avengers #13 was Count Nefaria's first appearance. He was a top member of organized crime ("the Maggia"). Marvel.wikia.com lists his alignment as "Bad," and his occupation as "criminal mastermind." Originally, he was just a crime boss, but later gained super-powers.

The Giant-Man vs. Attuma story sounds similar to a story I vaguely remember. I think it was called "Titan" and it must have been originally published in an anthology comic like Tales of Suspense or Journey Into Mystery. I read it in a reprint, maybe Fantasy Masterpieces or Marvel Tales. The hero deterred an invasion by tricking the aliens into thinking that Earth's defenses were invincible.

IIRC, the Captain America story ended with him revealing that he had already removed the gadgets in his shield, anyway, so the convicts' plan was doomed from the start.

The Mandarin's origin was a letdown, but at least he was still a real villain, not just a total fraud, like in the movie.

Steve W. said...

Thanks for the info, Anon. At last I shall know who Count Nefaria is whenever I encounter him.

Sam King said...

I was never a fan of the Mandarin either, maybe because in my mind he did not seem a match for Iron Man!

Anonymous said...

I've always loved Kirby's rendition of Dragon-Man. I mean, yeah, I know he created the character, but there's something really wild about seeing this massive monstrosity just hang in the air like that breathing fire.
Also seeing him duke it out with Ben Grimm...wow.
Quite an image, from Kirby, a master of imagery. M.P.

Phil said...

This is one time where Kirby's covers aren't as good as Wood or Ditko. In Kirby's defense he did ....five times as much volume as they did.

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