Wednesday, 9 March 2016

Forty years ago today - March 1976.

What a thrilling week it's been, with the Northern Lights visible in all sorts of places. How we gasped and, "Ooohed," as they lit up the night sky, dancing their magical way across the ionosphere, like luminescent pixies fresh from a garden in Cottingley.

Admittedly, I didn't. I refused to look. I was too busy thinking about what Marvel Comics were up to in this month of forty years ago. That's how dedicated I am.

And here's the fruit of my labours.

Avengers #145, the Assassin

I know nothing of The Assassin but he's clearly up to no good.

Conan the Barbarian #60

Just another day in the life of Conan.

Did you know that alligators are less closely related to crocodiles than people are to chimpanzees? This fact has nothing to do with anything but, not having read the comic, I don't have much to say about it, so I thought I'd say something else instead.
Daredevil #131, Bullseye

"The Assassin never fails!"

"Bullseye never misses!"

It's clearly a good month for over-confident villains.

I am quite intrigued that, on a cover which shows Daredevil about to be killed by Bullseye, the blurb declares, "Plus: A Startling New Job For Matt Murdock!" as though anyone not convinced to buy the comic by the threat of their hero's imminent demise would suddenly be moved to purchase it by the promise that he gets a new job.

Personally, I'd be more convinced by Bullseye's prowess if he knew how to hold a dart. Jim Bowen would never give him a speedboat for trying to throw it like that.

Is that Alfred the Butler on the floor? Poor old Alfred.

Fantastic Four #168, Luke Cage

I had a dream last night that they'd made a new Fantastic Four movie; starring Medusa, Power Man, H.E.R.B.I.E. the Robot and She-Hulk. Let's face it, technically, that would be possible. Given their track record, I'm amazed Fox haven't already done it.

I've just discovered that the, "H," in H.E.R.B.I.E. stood for, "Humanoid." Hold on a minute. In what way was H.E.R.B.I.E. humanoid?

For that matter, in what way was he fantastic?

It seems that, "I.E." stood for, "Integrated Electronics." But what is this madness? What kind of robot has non-integrated electronics?

Incredible Hulk #197, Man-Thing

I believe I detect a Berni Wrightson cover. Is this the only time he ever did a Hulk cover?

Iron Man #84, the Freak

Did the Freak ever fight anyone except Iron Man? He must have been sick of the sight of him by now.

Then again, I suppose that could explain why he's trying to bash his head in with a rock.

Amazing Spider-Man #154, Sandman

I do believe this issue was drawn by Sal Buscema because Ross Andru was busy drawing the epic Superman vs Spider-Man tale that all 1970s comic fans knew they had to get their hands on.

Was this the Sandman's first Spider-Man appearance since the original Sinister Six story way back in the days of Steve Ditko?

If so, that seems remarkable, bearing in mind his status as one of Spidey's classic foes.

Thor #245, the Servitor

I believe Thor may still be tangling with the world-mangling menace of the Time Twisters.

Captain America and the Falcon #195

"The Savage World of 1984!" I remember it well. Nik Kershaw on the pop charts. Give My Regards to Broad Street in the cinemas. Orville the Duck on TV. It was a living nightmare.


20 cent aka Mike in Jersey said...

Great post Steve! I recall seeing that Avengers cover and being impressed by the photos of the heroes flung in the air. Semi-3D. I may have had that Spidey issue. Sandman never wears that fancy costume anymore. I love almost all 20 or 25 cent Marvel comics. Thanks!

dangermash said...

The answer to your Sandman question is no, Steve. After fighting Sandman in ASM Annual #1, Spider-Man also faced him in ASM #18-19 and MTU 1-2. But you're right. With Sandy popping up in Human Torch, Fantastic Four and Hulk he seemed determined to escape from Spideys rogues gallery.

And I've never seen the story but I believe The Assassin was female. Captain America is carefully covering the clues on that Avengers cover. It was also a fill in issue, evidenced buy an out-of-date team composition.

Keep up the good work.

Steve W. said...

Mike and Dangermash, thanks for the info and the praise. :)

Doug said...

The Assassin was indeed female. That 2-issue story was (and remains, seriously) one of the banes of my existence. Dropping right in the middle of the Serpent Crown/Wild West/Squadron Supreme storyline, I found this under the Christmas tree in 1975. O, the horror! Not only was that great storyline interrupted, but the George Perez art was gone in place of... Bronze Age Don Heck! I am going to need to lie down...

I had and enjoyed several of the other books, however, including ASM, Thor, and the FF. These books hit in the thick of my comics buying enthusiasm. Wonderful memories (well, except one)!


Anonymous said...

I had no idea Berni Wrightson ever drew Man-Thing, Steve. I'm guessing that had something to do with him working on the cover, so its a shame its not one of his better ones.
Forget the Hulk, I can't think of a Wrightson cover from the 70s with ANY Marvel character.

Come to think of it... apart from the (very) occasional inking job, did he do anything for Marvel back then?
(After that early Kull, I mean, as he isn't a Marvel character)


Anonymous said...

PS Gaahh - as soon as I pressed "publish your comment" I remembered he drew Howard the Duck on that HTD for president badge.
Ermmm... ok, apart from that..?


Steve W. said...

Sean, I can't remember ever reading any Marvel material drawn by Wrightson but Marvel had a lot of output in the 1970s, so I may just have missed it.

Doug, I didn't have any of these comics at the time. Come to think of it, I read very few of them as UK reprints.

Anonymous said...

As an American, I sure wish Howard would run again.
We need him now more than ever.

Anonymous said...

With the way you lot seem to be picking candidates at the moment, MP, you're more likely to get Dr Bong.
(To be fair though, I live in a city that actually elected Boris Johnson, so not really in a position to have a go at anywhere else)


Anonymous said...

Yeah, it's a clown car at the rodeo. At this point, Sean, Dr. Bong can rely on my endorsement!

Anonymous said...

Feel the bong, MP


John said...

Steve - You had an interesting dream there for a new FF movie. By the way, I read somewhere online today, though I do not believe it, that Disney is about to buy part of 21st Century Fox, so that they can get the film rights back to X-Men and the FF. Supposedly the deal might be announced as soon as next week? Again, I will believe it when I see it.

Steve W. said...

It does appear that Disney and a great big chunk of Fox are indeed planning to unite in the most terrifying union since Mighty World of Marvel merged with Fury. It does come across like one of those deals that you'd expect some regulatory body or other to block but who can know?

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