Wednesday, 3 February 2016

Fifty years ago today - February 1966.

February 1966 was one of the most important months in human history. Seeing, as it did, the birth of Rick Astley.

Could Marvel Comics' output of that month possibly live up to that moment, in terms of global significance?

There's only one way to find out.

Avengers #25, Dr Doom

I think this is the only Avengers tale I've ever read that features them battling Dr Doom.

Bearing in mind his high profile in the Marvel universe, it seems surprising he didn't show up more often in their mag.

Then again, I only recall him fighting Spider-Man once and the Hulk once and Daredevil once and Thor once. Clearly, Stan the Man liked to use him sparingly in mags that didn't star the Fantastic Four.

Daredevil #13, Ka-Zar Origin

I'm actually not that sure what's going on on that cover but I do remember enjoying the first meeting of Marvel's least super super-doers.

I especially liked the Plunderer's magic guns, even though I can't recall what it was they actually did.

Fantastic Four #47, Hidden Land

It's one of my all-time faves, as the FF find the Hidden land.

It's a tale I first read in an issue of Marvel's Greatest Comics and, with its use of Dragon Man, the Inhumans, the Alpha Primitives and the Seeker, plus Sue Storm changing her hairdo whilst on her way into battle, it made a huge impact on me.

Journey Into Mystery #125, Thor vs Herculed

I'm so dim that, up until today, I'd always assumed the mystery villain Thor's squaring up to on this cover was the Demon. It's only just dawned on me that that shadow can only belong to Hercules.

Amazing Spider-Man #33

It's that issue where Spider-Man spends about a thousand pages trying to lift some machinery off himself.

If you've ever wanted to see how this cover would look with moving water, you can, by clicking on this link here, which'll take to an animated gif of it created by Kerry Callen.

Strange Tales #141, Nick Fury Agent of SHIELD

Nick Fury's still doing spy stuff.

Tale of Suspense #74, Captain America vs the Sleeper

Captain America's still up against the Sleeper - a foe that managed to look ever more silly as the tale progressed.

It basically ended up as a giant head riding around on a flying mechanical manta ray above the countryside. I'm no military expert but it always seemed to me that that wasn't an obvious design for a world-conquering super-weapon.

Tales to Astonish #76, Sub-Mariner

Not having read it, I don't have a clue what happens in this one but, from the cover, I'm assuming that Atlantis must be imperilled.

X-Men #17

That's a very dramatic cover.

Sadly, I've forgotten who their mystery visitor was. Was it Magneto? Was it the Juggernaut? Was it Professor X?


TC said...

Offhand, I don't know of many other non-Fantastic Four appearances by Doctor Doom in the Silver Age. In fact, the only one I personally remember was a Daredevil two-parter, and even that tied in with FF #73.

My first encounter with the Captain America vs. the Sleepers trilogy was when it was adapted for the Marvel Super Heroes TV cartoon. I later read the original, when it was reprinted in Captain America Annual #2.

It didn't occur to me that Thor's adversary must be Hercules until you pointed it out. Now, it seems obvious.

Everybody, including Nick Fury, was doing spy stuff in 1966. It was the peak of the spy-fi boom in movies, TV, and comics. James Bond, Our Man Flint, Matt Helm, Mission Impossible, Steed & Mrs. Peel, Wild Wild West, U.N.C.L.E., T.H.R.U.S.H., S.P.E.C.T.R.E., Z.O.W.I.E., I.C.E., S.H.I.E.L.D., A.I.M., T.H.U.N.D.E.R., G.E.O.R.G.E., and C.O.U.S.I.N. F.R.E.D. There were more spies and secret agents than you could point a Walther PPK at.

dangermash said...

The X-Men villain is indeed magneto, with a cracking final page splash page reveal.

Colin Jones said...

Not just Rick Astley's birth - mine too, woo hoo !! That Thor issue was included in the 1974 Thor Treasury Edition which I bought on holiday at the seaside in 1977, the same week that Elvis died - yes, a Treasury Edition dated 1974 still on sale in 1977, I'm not complaining though. Thor teams up with Hercules against Pluto (the god of the underworld, not Mickey Mouse's dog) in an epic tale covering 6 issues and the whole of the Treasury Edition.

Steve W. said...

Happy birthday, Colin.

Thanks for the info, Dangermash.

Anonymous said...

I just noticed, you actually see five examples (with some slight variation) of a stock Kirby pose here.
I dunno what's happening in that Daredevil cover either. Maybe Ka-zar is hollering, "Hey, why do I gotta patrol the sewers? I'm a jungle guy! We're switching jobs."

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