Wednesday, 11 May 2016

Forty years ago today - May 1976.

Primal Scream are currently on my radio. This fact has nothing at all to do with the following post but I can't think of any other way of starting it. It's that song. You know? The one that sounds like the Rolling Stones. I might actually introduce a new feature to this blog; "Guess what song I'm listening to, based on my totally useless description of it."

In the meantime, what were our favourite Marvel heroes up to in an era when Primal Scream were a mere twinkle in the chart compilers' eyes and the band that inspired them was still a regular visitor to the Top 40?

Avengers #147

The Vision, getting a bit defeatist there.
Conan the Barbarian #62

Conan seems to have taken to riding around on a giant pig, which is an unlikely new look for him.

I first heard of Dagon in an HP Lovecraft tale whose title currently eludes me. I seem to recall it involving fish people and a mysterious island.
Daredevil #133, Think Tank

I'm not sure I have total faith in a story that guest-stars Uri Geller to be a literary masterpiece.

I'm also not sure that the phrase, "Think Tank," strikes terror into my heart.

I do, however, like it when we get to see multiple Daredevils in one shot, in order to signify movement. Were Spider-Man and Daredevil the only Marvel heroes who ever got that treatment?

Fantastic Four #170

To be honest, I've always assumed the Thing would be able to flatten Power Man with just one punch.

Incredible Hulk #199, Doc Samson

I do always feel that not enough was done with Doc Samson during my time as a regular comics reader. I mean, he never got to fight anyone but the Hulk and he was portrayed as being totally ineffectual when he did so, despite being one of the strongest men in the Marvel universe and also a scientific genius. They could at least have let him tackle Stilt-Man. If that wouldn't have boosted his self-confidence, nothing would.

Iron Man #86

I'm assuming that Blizzard was the villain formerly known as Jack Frost?

Admittedly, I have no actual evidence or knowledge to back this assumption up but, as his powers look to be the same and he's fighting Jack Frost's old foe Iron Man, it seems to me to not be an unreasonable assumption to make.

Amazing Spider-Man #156

It's the wedding of the year, as a not-overly memorable villain makes his debut.

I don't like to sit in judgement but I can't help feeling that, when you can be defeated by a chandelier, you're probably not a top-drawer wrong-doer.
Thor #247

I've no knowledge at all of what happens in this issue. Therefore I'm going to assume they're in one of those non-existent South/Central American countries that Marvel was so fond of.

No doubt this means that some low-down dictator is going to get a good slapping.

Captain America and the Falcon #197

It does strike me that Captain America seemed to be permanently on the brink of total hysteria at this stage of his career. Jack Kirby did seem to have a vision of him as being somewhat unhinged.


MtlWebhead said...

Summer reading as a 7 year old; what memories. Believe it or not, I remember the Spidey issue as well as the Blizzard freezing Iron Man. The good old days of quarter comics.

Steve W. said...

I didn't have any of this month's issues at the time, although I did own a copy of the Cap America issue at a later date.

Aggy said...

Interesting fact. If you hold your copy of Daredevil 133 up to the TV when Uri Geller is on it's still rubbish

David Crispian said...

I think Quacksilver may have gotten similar treatment to Daredevil. And if anyone needed treatment, it was Quacksilver.

Anonymous said...

Hi Steve,

I think the H P Lovecraft story that featured Dagon, whose title eludes you was ... (wait for it) ..'Dagon'.


Anonymous said...


You're probably right about a regular Thing/Luke Cage punch-up, but this was during that brief period of human Ben Grimm inside a Thing exo-skeleton. Such things never lasted too long.


Steve W. said...

Al, that would explain it.

DW, You're right. I'd totally forgotten about the exo-skeleton era.

Colin Jones said...

Woo hoo - cover dated May 1976 were the first American Marvel comics I ever bought (as opposed to Marvel UK's weeklies which I'd been reading since November '74). It was in July 1976 and I was on a school day-trip when I discovered these U.S. Marvel comics and how strange they seemed - smaller than their British counterparts, IN FULL COLOUR, packed with ads every two pages, each comic devoted to a single character (or team) - they seemed familiar yet alien at the same time. They cost 10 pence each so I bought 10 for £1 but I can only definitely remember two out of the ten - Conan The Barbarian which starts with Conan fighting a warthog and includes the shameless Tarzan ripoff, Amra, who has kidnapped Belit - and Daredevil in which DD meets international spoon-bender extraordinaire Uri Geller and it is revealed inside that Uri saw a UFO when he was four and he was soon able to bend spoons just by rubbing them which, I think we can all agree, is an astonishing super-power. Soon after buying these U.S. Marvel comics my local WH Smith's started selling American Marvels in packs of three which meant I no longer needed to go on school day-trips to find them, hooray !!

The Groovy Agent said...

Iron Fist got the "multiple image" movement treatmen quite often when John Byrne took over the art chores. And you're right--Blizzard is the Villain Fomerly Known as Jack Frost. Had all those comics--still have most of 'em. Great post!

pete doree said...

Blizzard, Firelord, Mirage?? What was it, official second-stringer month? All strangely great tho'...
BTW just who is Cap shouting at there? It can't be Falc 'cos Cap's found an army of underground killers and he has to stop them ALONE!

Anonymous said...

Pete, you make it sound like there is something wrong with shouting at empty space. I do it all the time!
Colin, we had "three-packs" in the states to, and you never knew what the two comics on the bottom were gonna be. I think it might have been a tactic to unload low-selling comics, by putting, say Spider-man on top and a couple of duds on the bottom.
On the other hand, I peeled open a three-pack my dear, sainted Ma bought for me and discovered Jack Kirby's Eternals, which I absolutely loved! Still do. I read those things till they fell apart. I wanted to become a comic book artist in those days, (about ten years old) and immediately I began trying to draw everything like Kirby.

Anonymous said...


We also had three packs in England. Did you have that law where every pack must contain an issue of Ms Marvel or was that just in England?


Steve W. said...

Every triple pack I ever had was made up entirely of comics written by Steve Gerber and/or Steve Englehart.

Colin Jones said...

I remember an issue of Dr. Strange drawn by Gene Colan in one of the Marvel triple-packs that I bought. For a while those triple-packs were the only American Marvel comics available in my area - but in those days I was an avid reader of Marvel UK's weeklies anyway and the U.S. comics were just a rare treat. By 1979 they were becoming much easier to get hold of and from April 1980 onwards I was getting a number of them every month which I continued to do until about late 1983 then stopped...and didn't start again till 2008.

Brendan said...

The Uri Geller Daredevil issue provoked an interesting follow-up in the letters page a month or two later. James Randi (Stage magician and debunker of 'paranormal' claims) wrote in to point out that Geller's "powers" were a load of baloney and wondered should Englehart be helping promote such an obvious phony. I was only a teenager, but it gave me a valuable early introduction to healthy skepticism.

Anonymous said...

As I recall, Uri Gellar was later killed in an epic battle with Magneto, over who was going to be the Master of Fork-Bending.

Dougie said...

I first saw the triple-packs in Morecambe in 1978. They tended to be made up of Marvels that hadn't been distributed in West Central Scotland ( like X-Men 101). When they finally appeared in Glasgow, in the old Lewis's department store in mid-79,they consisted of DC comics from 1975 like The Sandman, Stalker, Kong and Beowulf.

The only one of the comics above I got back then was the Conan story. I was so disappointed when I read the original "Queen of the Black Coast" about a year later to find Tarzan knock-off Amra was invented by Roy Thomas.

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