Wednesday, 2 March 2016

Fifty years ago this month - March 1966.

It's been an exciting week for some of us, with the revelation that Britain's tallest carousel is to be erected in the heart of Sheffield city centre. No doubt there'll be many cries of, "Wheeee!" and, "Wheeee!" and especially, "Wheeee!"

But it doesn't matter how exciting that spinny thing is because we all know there's an even more exciting spinny thing out there.

And that's the spinny thing that stood in our local newsagents in March 1966 and contained Marvel Comics' output for that very month.

Avengers #26, Attuma

This was the second adventure I ever read that featured the oft-called Kookie Quartet.

More importantly, it was where I was first exposed to the concept of humidity.

That's humidity, not humility. I have never been knowingly exposed to the concept of humility.

So clueless was I that I had to ask my dad what humidity was.

Decades later, I still don't know what it is. I have noticed that 100% humidity doesn't mean you're underwater, even though it sounds like it should.

Thanks to this tale, I do, however know that humidity allows Attuma and his hydraulic hordes to breathe out of water, while not being good news for you if you're an Avenger.

Interesting to see the Purple Witch on the cover there.

Daredevil #14, the Plunderer

If I remember rightly, the naughty Plunderer is still in England and still causing trouble for both the legal profession and the military.

The bounder.

Fantastic Four #48, The Coming of Galactus

It's an issue we'll never forget, as the Watcher shows up, and then so does the Silver Surfer, and then so does Galactus.

How I remember my sense of awe as I first read that tale and thought, "This epic could only have been improved upon if they'd made Galactus a cloud instead."

Amazing Spider-Man #34, Kraven the Hunter

I've read this one but I'm struggling to recall exactly what Kraven gets up to in it.

I have no doubt it'll be no end of mischief, whatever it is.

Strange Tales #142, Nick Fury, Agent of SHIELD

There's clearly plenty going on but, this being a tale I've never read, I don't know what it is.

Tales of Suspense #75, Iron Man

This is the issue in which Happy Hogan discovers why you should avoid hospitals, as he turns into the Freak in one of Genial Gene Colan's earliest tales on the strip.

Tales to Astonish #77, the Hulk

At last the world discovers Bruce Banner's secret.

And I don't mean, "Where does he get those indestructible trousers from?"

Do I detect the inks of John Romita on that cover? He may have been newly recruited but, already, he's making his presence felt at Marvel.

Thor #126, Hercules

Just as Don Blake once became Thor, Journey into Mystery suddenly becomes The Mighty Thor!

And, to celebrate, Thor gets himself a good thumping from Hercules.

X-Men #18, Magneto

I'm not sure just what it is Magneto's firing from his fingertips.

I assume it's not magnetism, unless ice is suddenly magnetic.


dangermash said...

ASM #34 is nothing on the face of it. Kraven dresses as Spider-Man, commits a few crimes and gets beaten up in an empty building.

But then you discover that ASM #34 influenced this:
and that's when you realise that ASM #34 was very special indeed!

Steve W. said...

Dangermash, that is epic. I always wanted that model kit when I was younger.

Steve W. said...

Interesting that that kit's just $21 on but a walloping £91 ($129) on Amazon UK.

Anonymous said...

Interesting, Steve? Predictable is more like it.

So Kraven dressed up as Spiderman, committed a few crimes and got beaten up in an empty building...? Well I could do that!
But I couldn't eat a planet.
There you have it in a nutshell, why I prefer the FF to Spidey, and Kirby over Ditko. Thor v Hercules, Galactus... Kirby was really taking off this month (and didn't come down til the late 70s).

Never seen that Strange Tales cover before, but I like it. Those flying figures are great (I've always been a sucker for ridiculous Kirby tech)


Colin Jones said...

Why, oh why did they have to put that ridiculous G on Galactus's chest ? It spoils an otherwise faultless story.

Anonymous said...

I really like that G on the chest. Its the perfect finishing touch to a brilliant costume design, the icing on the cake, if you will.


Anonymous said...

Just as a point of general interest, for your edification - stuff (any kind of stuff at all) is always cheaper on than on You can rely on that in the same way that you can rely upon the Silversurfer to be a mopey bugger or Killraven to be spouting pretentious tosh. I miss our childhood.....

Steve W. said...

Tragically, refuses to ship to me. It demands I use Amazon UK instead. Thankfully, there's always eBay.

Anonymous said...

I've been toying with the idea of walking around with "M.P." on my chest!

It doesn't have the same negative connotations over here.


Paul McScotty- Muir said...

Some excellent covers and comics here - the Daredevil story if I recall was drawn by the great John Romita and took place in London and featured Ka-Zar - I remember loving the art but thinking just how badly US Marvel patronised /stereotyped the English (and I'm Scottish so it had to be bad for me to feel sorry for you all lol) - Tales to Astonish cover was indeed inled by Mr Romita

Russ said...

Romita not only inked that Kirby cover on Tales to Astonish, he also drew the interior Hulk tale (over Kirby layouts). I think this was his only time penciling the Hulk series.

Steve W. said...

The feeling's mutual, Paul. I still shudder with horror at the way Scotland was portrayed in that tale where the Hulk tangled with the Loch Fear Monster.

Russ, thanks for the info.

M.P, you're a very brave man.

John said...

Steve - Sorry for my deletion, but I did not see any way to edit my comment. Anyway, I love your funny line about FF 48 and you reminded me of my favorite FF film post on the IMDB Message Boards, back before they ended them. The title of the post was, "Galactus is a Cloud, This is for Dumb People."

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