Friday, 6 March 2015

March 1975 - Marvel Comics, Forty Years Ago Today.

Hold onto your tripod, tiger, because there's a very nice picture on the Internet today of how Mars looked when a fifth of it was covered by an ocean.

This has nothing at all to do with today's post, which is about what our favourite Marvel heroes were up to exactly forty years ago.

Then again, March is named after Mars. And, no doubt, Marvel is too. And I'm writing about March and Marvel. So there's a sort of link there if you're really determined to find one....

Avengers #133, the Celestial Madonna Saga

Meanwhile, somehow unconcerned about the fate of Mars, the Celestial Madonna Saga rumbles interminably onwards.
Conan the Barbarian #48

That's a very dramatic cover but I do find it somewhat disappointing that there's no sign of Red Sonja on it, despite it trumpeting her return.
Captain America & the Falcon #183, Death of a Hero

I've definitely read this tale - and in the not too distant past - but can't actually remember what happens in it.
Daredevil #119, the Crusher

The Crusher is back.

Wasn't he from Cuba or somewhere?

Or am I thinking of someone else?

Or perhaps I'm just imagining things?
Fantastic Four #156, Dr Doom

I take it, from the advertised presence of the Silver Surfer, that this isn't the one where the FF help the Latverian Underground overthrow Doom and install democracy?

Democracy? Pshaw! They don't want to mess around with that sort of nonsense. We have that sort of thing in this country. It's rubbish. They shut down the local library for the day, so people can vote. How am I supposed to borrow a book if the library's closed?

There you go. Proof positive that Democracy is the enemy of reading skills. Ban it! Ban it now!

And I'm sure Dr Doom would agree with me.
Incredible Hulk #185

I must confess this isn't one of my favourite Hulk tales from this era. It's alright but I'm not sure I ever longed for Thunderbolt Ross to get his own answer to the Spider-Slayer.

Still, it does have a satellite dish, so at least he'll be able to watch some nice TV shows while he's in it.
Iron Man #73, Crimson Dynamo

I don't believe I've ever read this tale.

I do note that it's tagged Fury In A Far-Off Land. I wonder how many Marvel stories have managed to have that tagline over the years? It must be up there with Lo, There Shall Be An Ending!
Amazing Spider-Man #142, Mysterio is back from the dead

How can you not love a cover like that? Though I suppose the fact that we all know that Mysterio's a master of illusion does somewhat lessen its ability to stun the senses. Let's face it, if it had been Betty Brant who was removing her own head, that'd be a whole other matter.
Thor #233, Earth vs Asgard

It's another one I have little recollection of. Does this happen sometime around the Orrin/Odin saga of which I have vague memories?


Ant Master said...

Isn't that the Taskmaster on that Conan cover

pete doree said...

What about 'My Brother-My Enemy' or variations thereof? That's gotta be high on the list of well-used titles.
Mind you, my favourite ever title is the Twinkies ad with Iron Man in it.
It's called 'If Rust Be My Destiny'

Anonymous said...

yeah, I saw that picture of Mars too, Steve! It's pretty cool. It makes one wonder what weird and scary life-form might have swum under those ancient oceans eons ago.
On a similar note, as of today, we now have a probe orbiting the dwarf-planet Ceres (or asteroid, if you prefer)!
Scientists think there might be flowing water under the surface of that ball, due to mysterious plumes shooting out. Let's hope they don't wake something up that's nasty and in a bad mood, like a Kree Sentry, say...

Anonymous said...

I liked the Wolveroach in Cerebus, who always spoke in Marvel title clichés - "By My Groin Betrayed" is a good one that springs to mind.

Dr Doom has been accused of a lot of things, Steve, but I never heard about him closing down a library for the day. Clearly Sheffield is no longer the glorious Latverian-style workers paradise it once was. Changing times, eh?


Anonymous said...

Marvel used "The Flames of Battle" more than once. And "If This Be..." (something or other) a lot.

I remember Iron Man once fought a brute called the Crusher. He was from some Latin American Communist country that strongly resembled Cuba, although it probably wasn't identified by name in the story. Don't know if DD's adversary is the same character, though.

Steve W. said...

I think it's the same Crusher, Anon, though I couldn't one hundred percent guarantee it.

Paul McScotty -Muir said...

Apart from Conan books, I don't recall any of these comics (from the covers) although I more than likely read them all in the UK weeklies at some point - Red Sonja was not on the cover as he appeared in a separate 9 page story ("Episode") -

Re The Crusher this is actually a different version than the one that appeared in Iron Man (although the original Crusher from the Iron Man series (who died) body turns up in this issue of DD ) a doctor used his blood as a serum for a boxer to gain weigh etc and of course he turns into Crusher number 2, whose fate is the same as number 1 and dies also (the original Crusher was Cuban)

Dougie said...

The Cap story is an early Frank Robbins issue, IIRC
It's the end of the Nomad saga- the crucified Cap is a young athlete called Roscoe who, under the Falcon's tutelage, had taken Cap's role. He is tortured and murdered by the Red Skull and that is largely the motivation for Steve Rogers to drop his Nomad guise. The Skull is trying to destroy the US economy and will reveal Falc is his dupe (an unwise and certainly unnecessary retcon).The Viper is still around, her nihilism inspired by terrorist incidents in the early 70s.

Colin Jones said...

I'm fairly certain that where there's water there's life so that ancient ocean on Mars almost certainly means there was once life on Mars (probably only bacteria though) and it might still exist under the Martian polar ice-caps or deep underground. And the dwarf-planet Ceres has a crater with mysterious bright spots in it - I'm hoping this crater will be like the "blue area" on the moon and the bright spots will be an ancient abandoned alien city :) As for the covers - that issue of FF is not the one where they (briefly) overthrow Dr. Doom. I assume that Latveria will never join the EU while Doom is in charge as he'd have to hold elections. Of course he could have British-style "democracy" where you can "win" an election on 35 per cent of the vote.

Anonymous said...

I dunno Colin, I could see Doom holding elections as I think its safe to say its likely he'd get about 98% of the vote. Of course, his record on human rights (probably exaggerated by NATO propaganda if you ask me, btw) would still cause problems joining the EU, which is a shame as I think Doom could definitely sort out the debt crisis.

Still, at least that means we don't have to put up with that git Farage moaning about all the Latverians coming over here and taking our jobs.


Steve W. said...

The comments in this post are being massively educational for me. Thanks to all of you for the various pieces of info you've furnished me with.

As for the latest revelations about Mars, it's weird how, bit by bit, science is starting to validate the things claimed in Gullivar Jones.

Ade Salmon said...

I count 5 Gil Kane covers - he certainly was the go to man!

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