Thursday, 8 October 2015

Forty years ago today - October 1975.

Holy High Density PolyEthylene, Batman, it's been an exciting week here in England, with the introduction of the five pence charge for plastic carrier bags.

Sadly, thanks to having a great mountain of carrier bags at home, stored inside another mountain of carrier bags, I fear it'll be a good twenty years before I get round to actually buying one.

But what of October of forty years ago? Could our favourite heroes manage to match such heights of excitement?

There's only one way to find out.

Avengers #140

In a shocking twist capable of wrenching a man's sanity from his very brain, the Vision carries out a manoeuvre that's known in the trade as The Reverse Neal Adams.

Conan the Barbarian #55

I seem to recall that this issue features a giant scorpion and a killer shadow.

Admittedly, the cover makes that fairly obvious but I'm still impressed by my feat of memory.

Captain America and the Falcon #190

Is it my imagination or did Cap come up against that robot, way back in Jack Kirby's time on the strip, when Nick Fury was offering him a job with SHIELD?

Daredevil #126, the Torpedo

If he's called The Torpedo, does that mean he has to keep being fired from a submarine?

Having to be fired from a submarine every time you want to go anywhere must start to get quite tiresome for a man after a while.

Fantastic Four #163

It's the moment we've all been waiting for, as Gaard shows up.

Next issue, the FF find themselves up against the deadly threat of Wikketkeeper - and, the issue after, they're facing the terrifying menace of Centralholdingmidfielda.

Iron Man #79

Iron Man finds himself battling a pair of foes I have never heard of before.

To be honest, I'd stay away from any mountain called Murder Mountain. I might suspect it's not very safe.

Amazing Spider-Man #149, the Jackal

At last we get a conclusion to the Jackal saga - and the truth about the return of Gwen Stacy.

Not to mention the launchpad of the Clone Saga that everyone loved so much.

Thor #240

Isn't this the story where, for some reason, Odin decides to do to himself what he did to Thor when he banished him to Earth and made him be Don Blake?

No doubt that, by doing so, he needlessly puts the whole universe in massive amounts of danger and then, after Thor's sorted it all out for him, decides to punish him for it.

You can always rely on Odin to be a complete and total imbecile at all times.

X-Men #95

Only the other day, I was saying I've always wanted to be an Ani-Man, and now here they are, back again.

You do have to fear though that if they couldn't beat Daredevil, they must have little chance against the all-new X-Men.

Incredible Hulk #192, Loch Fear

The Hulk comes up against the Loch Ness Monster.

Tragically, much as TV dramas and sitcoms filmed in Sheffield never admit they're set in Sheffield, so the tale never admits it's the Loch Ness Monster.

Still, the tale does at least compensate us for that by giving us the most painstakingly researched portrayal of Scottish people since James Doohan prowled the corridors of the Enterprise and kept calling everyone, "Wee Laddie."


Dougie said...

Thunderbird is cover featured in the X-Men, only to be killed off inside in a suicidal assault on Nefaria's plane - for reasons that remain pretty obscure.

Aggy said...

Torpedo is one of those minor characters whose appearances I collected over the years. Although I first came across in the Rom.

This is Torpedo 2 (and first in the costume that defined the character) handing over in to hero Brock Jones. Theres a whole backstory about T2 designing the costume to get at his Dad or Uncle who is evil.

Of course that's all later forgotten and its the Dire Wraths behind it (as opposed to the mildly dreadful Wraths).

And Thunderbird was killed as he turned out to be surplus to requirements. Claremont in a fit of unusual clarity letting him die straight away rather than leaving him as an unresolved plot point 4 decades later...

Anonymous said...

I liked the reverse Neal Adams joke, Steve.

That robot on the Captain America cover is indeed an old Jack Kirby invention - sort of obvious, isn't it? - but I believe its from his time on SHIELD, back in the Strange Tales (pre-Steranko) era, rather than Captain America.
The robot was called.... Wild Bill? Or something like that - to be honest, I don't recall very much about the story.

On the subject of that (Gil Kane?) Cap cover - with a hot, were-wolf controlling villainess AND some mad Kirby tech, how could that issue not be great?
And yet its terrible. I wonder how Marvel managed to pull that off....


Colin Jones said...

Isn't it rather embarrassing that the X-Men's Native-American character was killed off almost immediately.

Ant Master said...

Links rather nicely to one of my favorite marvel moment when Nefaria turned up in the Avengers and set the beast off. Not quite a par with the Power man vs Power man match up in Luke Cage, also nicely picked up in the Avengers later when Nefaria went searching for hi.

Anonymous said...

Colin, that was standard for Marvel in the 70s. See also Amazing Adventures 34 where it was (predictably) Hawk who got the chop.

Mind you, I don't know if they ever killed off Red Wolf (but if they didn't maybe they should have - the issue I read might well be the worst Marvel comic ever. And not in a good way)


Dougie said...

I read the death of Hawk two or three years before the death of Thunderbird but while they were from different generations in their own continuity, they were the same embittered character.

Claremont's explanation for the character's death - that Thunderbird's abilities were surplus and duplicated by others- made sense but "in-story", Proudstar seemed a bit careless, impetuous and self-pitying. Like a more miserable Hawkeye, I suppose. I still feel the suicidal tendencies came out of nowhere however.

Wild Bill! That's right!

Anonymous said...

Behaviour that comes out of nowhere is very Claremont though, Dougie - his characters often behaved in odd ways just to move the plot forward.

I reckon he just decided the bitter native stereotype didn't work (unless like in New Mutants he softened it by making the character female - also very Claremont) so there was no point keeping Thunderbird around longer than necessary.

If it was just about getting rid of a surplus X-Man, he could just as easily got rid of, say, Banshee.
Which I would have preferred, seeing as it would have saved us from all the Oirish stuff. Bejazus, that was irritating.


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