Wednesday, 1 June 2016

Fifty years ago this month - June 1966.

In June 1966, Britain scrapped its space programme. Bearing in mind it had achieved such magnificent feats as... ...erm... ...I don't know, I can't help feeling this was a major national catastrophe and I have had it on good authority, from several prime ministers, that this is the only reason I've never been sent to the moon.

It was also the month when Britain's first credit card was introduced. What kind of fools were they? They scrapped the space programme just as a means of paying for it had arrived!?! It's that kind of lack of imagination that's to blame for us all not now living in cities at the bottom of the sea.

But what about our favourite Marvel heroes in that month of that year? Were they over the moon? Or were they instead all adrift in space?

Avengers #29 Goliath vs Swordsman

I must confess I do love any cover that features Goliath mingling with normal-sized people.

I also have to say this is the only time I can ever remember the Black Widow's original costume not looking awful.

Daredevil #17, Spider-Man

I do have to admit that the Masked Marauder wasn't one of the most impressive of villains - mostly because he wore a curtain on his face - but the main thing I like about this tale is it leaves us in no doubt that Daredevil isn't really capable of beating Spider-Man in any kind of prolonged fight.

I'm not sure that that admission would exactly have been good for the mag's sales but it was at least a pleasing dose of honesty and common sense.

Fantastic Four #51, This Man, This Monster

It's that one where a grumpy scientist swaps places with the Thing and then learns the value of having heroic tendencies.

Admittedly, those heroic tendencies get him killed, so they don't turn out to be that valuable.

I do remember this tale being reprinted in Les Daniels' legendary book Marvel, of which you can read my ancient review by clicking on this link here.

Amazing Spider-Man #37

Was this the tale where we got our first proper introduction to Norman Osborne? Or am I thinking of another issue completely?

Strange Tales #145, Nick Fury, Agent of SHIELD

"Lo! The eggs shall hatch!" It's the phrase I never thought I'd have to type twice in my lifetime but, thanks to the reprints in The Titans, I find I've now had to do just that in the last few months alone.

Tales of Suspense #78, Captain America and Nick Fury

A tale from back when A.I.M. were known as Them.

Of course, a pedant would point out that they should actually have been called, "They."

Tales to Astonish #80, Sub-Mariner

I've no idea what happens in this tale but it looks like it's not good news for everyone's favourite water-breathing crime-fighter.

Thor #129, Hercules and Zeus

Did Odin and Zeus ever comment on the fact that they looked exactly the same?

You have to hand it to Zeus. There's not many men would try to tackle Hercules and Thor without leaving their chair.

X-Men #21

I don't have a clue what's going on on this cover but it has a lovely colour scheme. Thanks to that, I would say it's my favourite 1960s X-Men cover that this feature has so far dealt with.


The Artistic Actuary said...

Yes that's the first proper appearance of Norman Osborn (without the e) unless you count some earlier scenes at Jonah's drinking club where there's an unnamed friend of Jonah's with Osborn hair.

And FF#51 is notable for how little we see of the team's superpowers. All we see is the Torch briefly light up his thumb to get a load of students off his back while he's enjoying a coffee.

John Pitt said...

I only had D-D and TTA out of this month's batch, but I remember the X-Men from the cover of Fantastic. I think the story was called, "From Whence Comes Dominus"?

TC said...

And the Lord said, Blessed are the poor, for they cannot be led into temptation. But then the Devil invented credit cards.

I never had any of the comics shown here, but I probably had a Marvel Triple Action that reprinted the Avengers, and I know I had a Marvel Double Feature that reprinted Cap and Fury fighting the android from Them/AIM/whatever.

Steve W. said...

I don't think I've mentioned it before but I can't see the title, "Lo! The Eggs Shall Hatch!" without reading it as, "Lol, The Eggs Shall Hatch!" The internet has a lot to answer for.

Anonymous said...

I was not aware that the U.K. scrapped it's space program in '66.
You should have stuck with it. We Americans have been mining gold deposits on the moon for 47 years, and it's enabled all of us to live like Scrooge McDuck.
Right now, we have our sights set on Mars, where our scientists tell us even more gold is to be found.

TC said...

And Scrooge McDuck opened a saloon and general store on the moon, and made a lot of money selling root beer and mining supplies to the lunar prospectors (Uncle Scrooge #49, "The Looney Lunar Gold Rush," reprinted in #117 and #242).

Anonymous said...

That coincidence is kind of terrifying to me.