Wednesday, 12 August 2015

Forty years ago today - August 1975.

If the internet's to be believed, the Perseid meteor shower's going to be lighting up our skies tonight. I have no doubt that, by tomorrow morning, the entire population of the world will be blind and we'll all be fleeing from murderous vegetables that can only be killed by sea water.

In the meantime, here's a look at what Marvel were up to exactly forty years ago.

And, Reader, I can announce that one of this month's issues was a momentous moment in the history of Marvel Comics. One that would affect the future of the company and its universe for decades to come.

Can you guess which one it is before I get to it?

Avengers #138, the Stranger

It's certainly not this issue. Not unless the revelation of the Stranger's somewhat disappointing secret is still haunting you after all these years.

Conan the Barbarian #53

Hold on! What's this? There's no cowering blonde on the cover!

But there's always a cowering blonde on the cover! I've got a good mind to demand my money back!

Captain America and the Falcon #188

I'm totally unfamiliar with the Alchemoid. All I know is that, judging by the cover, he has more than a hint of Marvel's Quasimodo about him.
Daredevil #124

I am familiar with Copperhead but am struggling to remember the actual story.

Fantastic Four #161

Bah! I like to think the Thing could flatten a mere tyrannosaurus, with one hand tied behind his back.

For more Thing vs Tyrannosaurus action, click this link.

Incredible Hulk #190, Glorian and the Toad Men

After more than a decade, the Toad Men make their long-awaited return.

Admittedly, I was probably the only one awaiting their return but I was always a great admirer of their work, even if no one else was.

And you can read my review of their first appearance, by clicking on this very link.

Iron Man #77

The War of the Super-Villains? Who did it involve? Was Paste-Pot Pete involved? If not, I demand my money back.

Amazing Spider-Man #147, the Tarantula

The Tarantula's back and, if memory serves me correctly, working for the Jackal.

Thor #238, Ulik

I love Ulik. Every time Ulik loses, a small part of my soul dies. If Ulik doesn't win this time, I demand my money back.

I seem to be doing a lot of demanding my money back this month. You can tell I'm a Yorkshireman.

X-Men #94, Count Nefaria

And here it is! At last, after years of reprints, a startling new era begins in the strip that would go on to become Marvel's best-seller, as the new team arrive in the monthly title.

I loved the New X-Men so much that, for once, I'm not going to demand my money back. Sometimes, even a Yorkshireman is willing to part company with his cash.

Not that I'll be making a habit of it.


pete doree said...

'The only one who can help you now is Glorian!'? The only one who can help The Hulk is a fey rainbow surfer in a toga? Was somebody struggling with their sexuality here or.. or what...?

Dougie said...

The War of the Super-Villains was so much less exciting than it sounds. The Mandarin was "killed" by the Yellow Claw; Firebrand, The Mad Thinker and Modok were involved and it was all the handiwork of the ruler of a parallel-Earth America posing as the Black Lama. And the Transitorised Titan had an iron nose throughout.

Copperhead was a riff on the Shadow, the Avenger and those pulp heroes who never quite caught on in 1975. He turned up again in the pages of the Human Fly, of all places, with the White Tiger. Ah, bonkers Bronze Age Marvel.

Dougie said...

By the way, is that five Gil Kane covers? And perhaps the only Avengers cover where Moondragon is on the side of the Avengers?

Steve W. said...

I think it might be seven Gil Kane covers, Dougie. And not one of them has a cowering woman on it, which must be a record for Gil.

Brendan said...

"The only one who can help The Hulk is a fey rainbow surfer in a toga? Was somebody struggling with their sexuality here or.. or what...?"

They certainly weren't struggling in the Avengers tale, Pete Doree - it's entitled "Stranger in a strange man".

Oh my stars and garters....

Dougie said...

And no one's weeping either.