Sunday, 3 July 2016

Fifty years ago this month - July 1966.

In July 1966, the British government was forced to take emergency action to prevent a potentially disastrous collapse of its currency. It's great to see how much the world has changed since then.

But what were our favourite Marvel heroes up to at that very moment?

Were they making a sterling effort in their quest to defeat evil?

Or were they merely taking a pounding?

Avengers #30, Goliath

It's that one where Goliath stumbles across a scientifically advanced lost race in the Andes.

Hold on a minute. Wasn't the Inhumans' Great Refuge originally in the Andes? It's almost like Stan Lee was reusing the same ideas over and over again and hoping no one would notice.

I do appreciate any cover that has Goliath on it.

Daredevil #18, the Gladiator

Hooray! My favourite Daredevil villain makes his buzzsaw bearing debut, as he decides to prove his super-villain mettle by defeating... ...Foggy Nelson.

Fantastic Four #52, the Black Panther

The Black Panther makes his feline first appearance.

Looking at that cover, I've come to realise that, after forty-odd years, that cape is starting to grow on me.

Amazing Spider-Man #38

History is made as we get Steve Ditko's last ever issue of The Amazing Spider-Man.

It's no doubt a sign of just how hasty his departure was that the cover had to be cobbled together from panels that appear inside the comic.

Strange Tales #146, Dr Strange, Eternity

If this month gives us Steve Ditko's last work on Spider-Man, I'm assuming that means this is his last issue on Dr Strange as well.

I believe this is the one where Dormammu decides to have a fight with Eternity. What a complete and total wally he is.

Tales of Suspense #79, Iron Man vs Sub-Mariner

It's Iron Man vs Subby in a tale in which the first half is drawn by Gene Colan and the second is drawn by Jack Kirby. It would be true to say there's a fair old clash of styles involved.

Tales to Astonish #81, Hulk vs Boomerang

Hooray! The Boomerang makes his senses-shattering debut!

How can the world's mightiest and indestructibliest mortal possibly hope to overcome a man armed with the power of boomerangs?

Thor #130, Pluto

Thor's off to rescue Hercules from the clutches of Pluto and his hordes of Hades.

"Thunder in the Netherworld," does always sound like it should be a euphemism but I don't know what it should be a euphemism for.

X-Men #22, Count Nefaria

By the looks of it, our mighty mutants are about to find themselves facing a bunch of villains who no one else could be bothered to fight.


John Pitt said...

That TTA was the first time I knew the Hulk was green! Prior to this, I had just been reading him in B&W in Smash!
I also bought the FF and Strange Tales as well.

Steve W. said...

I can't remember when I first found out the Hulk was green. I think it must have been upon seeing the cover of Mighty World of Marvel #4. I don't think I'd ever encountered the Hulk before then.

Colin Jones said...

I think I first saw the Hulk on the cover of the 1974 Holiday Grab Bag Treasury Edition. I'd only just discovered Marvel comics via Planet Of The Apes so I knew nothing about the Marvel characters. The Grab Bag was advertised on the back of POTA and the cover featured the Hulk, the Thing, Thor, Captain America, the Human Torch and Spider-Man...who were these strange creatures ? It was a lot different to The Beezer, that's for sure !

Anonymous said...

I also think the Panther should have kept that cape. Upon reflection, very few Marvel characters have capes. Maybe Stan Lee thought they were dumb. Thor and Dr. Doom wear them, but they can wear capes if they want to, because no man will dare say them nay. Doc Strange's cape is actually a Cloak of Levitation, he needs that for his job, so don't give him a hard time about it.
I've experienced "thunder in the netherworld" myself, and it can be quite uncomfortable. I really enjoyed that Thor comic. While in Hades, a large dangerous-looking goon calling himself Cerebus (thought that was a dog) pops up in front of Thor, boasting about how fearsome he is, and Thor just decks him and keeps walking.

Steve W. said...

Thinking about it, Cerberus was as good at keeping people out of Hades as Heimdall is at keeping people out of Asgard. Has Heimdall actually ever mnaaged to keep anyone out?

Steve W. said...

I may have misspelt, "Managed," in that reply. Hopefully, if I don't mention it, no one'll notice.

Lorenzo said...

At the risk of banging a pretty tired old drum, it's glaringly obvious to anyone who can be bothered to research it, that Stan Lee WASN'T the "ideas man" of Marvel that he claimed to be. Witness how many crapulescent stories and villains he invented sans Kirby and Ditko. Unless he was re-using one of THEIR villains or plotlines, we ended up with DC-lite 'mad magicians' and characters like (ahem) The Boomerang. So when you write "It's almost like Stan Lee was reusing the same ideas over and over again and hoping no one would notice." you're closer to the truth than you know! Anyway, I know many Marvelites will see this as sacrilege, but the truth is the truth (to paraphrase Mr A!) - Kirby didn't write those story instructions in his margins for himself, y'know! This isn't to say Stan had no talent of his own - his dialogue was witty & urbane, but it shouldn't be mistaken for more than what it was - the tasty icing on the Kirby/Ditko creative cake. Cheers!

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