Wednesday, 8 April 2015

April 1975 - Marvel Comics, Forty Years Ago Today.

Tremble before the power of Steve Does Comics - because, in the last few days, I've felled not one but two trees with my bare hands.

Admittedly, when I say, "Bare hands," I mean with a saw. I was tempted to try and level them in the style of Iron Fist, by concentrating every iota of my life-force into my knuckles but bottled it when it dawned on me that that might hurt.

Needless to say, all this arboreal devastation makes me feel suitably heroic but were our favourite Marvel characters being similarly heroic in this month of exactly forty years ago?

Were they trying to branch out?

Was anyone rooting for them?

Were they determined to turn over a new leaf?

Were they a bunch of saps?

Did any of them try to make a trunk call?

Avengers #134, Origin of the Vision

After what now feels like centuries, the Celestial Madonna Saga still rumbles along, as we get yet more of the origin of the Vision.

And you can read my review of this issue, right here.

Conan #49, Wolf-Woman

Isn't this the flashback tale about how Conan got his cherry popped by a mysterious woman in a log cabin? Shades of Norwegian Wood in reverse?

Then again, maybe I'm just imagining that that story ever existed

Either way, it's a very nice and dramatic cover by Gil Kane.

Captain America and the Falcon #184, Red Skull

I don't think I've read this one. I take it Sharon Carter's still not  dead by this point?
Daredevil #120, El Jaguar

Clearly someone's been going to the same tailor as Kraven the Hunter.

But I do like it that El Jaguar's preferred fighting method consists of hair-pulling. He clearly learned his fighting skills from the same place that I did.

Fantastic Four #157, Doomsman

It feels like every few months I ask, "Is this the one where Dr Doom builds a robot with the powers of the Silver Surfer?"

And you know what?

It never is.

Perhaps that story never existed.

Anyway, is this the one where Dr Doom builds a robot with the powers of the Silver Surfer?

Incredible Hulk #186, Devastator

Much as I love this era of the Hulk, I can't claim that the Devastator is one of Marvel's greatest villains. I'm also not sure that yellow ever really works for a super-villain.

Amazing Spider-Man #143, Cyclone

Speaking of yellow, and speaking of not being Marvel's greatest villain, here comes the Cyclone, the only super-villain ever to be defeated by a fan.

Thor #234, Loki

I genuinely don't know what happens in this story.

I'm assuming that Thor and Loki have a fight.

Granted, that's the plot of every other issue of Thor ever printed but still I feel proud of myself for having deduced it.


Aggy said...

And by in the last few days, I've felled not one but two trees with my bare hands" you mean you felled 2 trees in 3 hours and spent 2.5 days thinking up puns right?

Steve W. said...

That may be closer to the truth than I'd like to admit. Yes.

Anonymous said...

Steve, have you heard the senses-shattering news that the Top 40 is moving from Sundays to Fridays beginning in July ?

Anonymous said...

As was generally the case after Kirby and Lee, Steve, this was quite a forgettable era for the FF. So I don't recall exactly if the Doomsman was a robot or not, but theft of the Silver Surfer's power was definitely involved somewhere so you might be correct this time. Hurrah!

So... Dr Doom steals the Surfer's powers - how ever did they come up with brilliant, startlingly original ideas like that?
Or names like Doomsman?
I think this was also the one where Mephisto turned up at the end, with the shocking revelation that Shalla Bal was, in fact, actually Shalla Bal.


Anonymous said...

Ah, the mystery of the ageless Shalla Bal - she was never any older than when the Surfer left her behind on Zenn-La even though he'd supposedly been Galactus' herald for eons when we first meet him. Either the Surfer's people age very, very slowly or he'd only been the herald for a couple of years.

Steve W. said...

Colin, I have indeed heard about the Top 40, moving to a Friday. Verily my senses are stunned by this move.

Sean, thanks for the FF info.

Anonymous said...

I thought I knew about every goofy cornball villain in Marvel's Bronze Age, but I've never heard of the Devastator.
I'm guessing he probably went and got his goofy ass wasted in his first appearance.

Steve W. said...

mp, I think the Devastator may have blown up at the end of the story but it's a long time since I read it, so I'm not sure.

Anonymous said...

You know, yellow isn't such a bad colour for a supervillain if they're up against Green Lantern. Maybe the Devastator was just in the wrong comic?

Dougie said...

A rare mid-70s occasion when I actually bought two of those comics at the time. DD & FF- neither much good, to be honest.

You are right about Conan's "rite of passage". A Bobby Goldsboro moment with the priestess of the polar bears. Mental.

I read the Cap issue in the very early 80s. The beginning of the Falcon is a Red Skull sleeper agent storyline. The Skull is a horrifying villain within, however

Phil said...

What is the origin of the Vision? I heard the story of his bring the original Torch was rewritten.

Steve W. said...

I don't have a clue what it is anymore, Phil. Didn't John Byrne totally retcon it in some way?

Anonymous said...

Blimey, I am completely astonished and also, totally impressed, that you actually not only have a saw but (apparently) know how to use it. Was it your dad's? The thought of you going into a DIY store and buying one fair boggles the mind......

Anonymous said...

That post about Dad's saws was from your cyst, by the way.

Steve W. said...

I shall email you about my saw situation, as I doubt the world wants to read as a I reel off a list of the various saws that are currently in my possession.

Steve W. said...

Needless to say, it shall be an enthralling email.