Sunday, 7 August 2016

Forty years ago today - August 1976.

Even as I type these breathless words, I'm watching Roger Moore in The Man Who Haunted Himself, a film I've not seen in decades.

Well, Roger Moore might be being haunted by himself but, right now, I'm being haunted by just one question; "What were my favourite Marvel heroes up to in this month of 1976?"

Here's where I find out.

Avengers #150

It's a, "Spectacular 150th anniversary special!"

It's amazing to think that that means that, with this issue, the Avengers had been around for a hundred and fifty years. At the time, it must have seemed like barely more than ten.

It's just a shame the cover tells us nothing of what happens inside such a landmark issue.

Conan the Barbarian #65

To be honest, that's not the most compelling Conan cover I've ever seen. Plus his head is too large, which makes him look like a mere hot-headed youth rushing into a scrap he's sure to lose, rather than a battle-hardened warrior who no one can stop..

Captain America #200

Captain America celebrates his two hundredth issue by celebrating America's two hundredth birthday.

Amazing to think that this means that his home country was just fifty years old when The Avengers comic was launched. It means there were very probably people who fought in the American War of Independence who read that very first Avengers issue. First Benedict Arnold and then Loki; their minds must have reeled that such treachery could exist in our world.

Daredevil #136, about to be hanged by the Jester

Things are not looking good for everyone's favourite horn-headed crime fighter.

Fantastic Four #173, Galactus is back

It's all building up to the fight we've all been waiting for - Galactus vs the High Evolutionary. I loved this storyline when I was a youth, even though I thought the High Evolutionary didn't get enough screen-time when it came to the big fight.

It was in this tale that I first discovered that the population of the Earth was three billion people. They can't say comics aren't educational.

Incredible Hulk #202, Jarella is back

Jarella's back.

I have a feeling this isn't going to end happily.

Iron Man #89, Daredevil

I don't think I've ever read this one, and I therefore have no idea as to what the Blood Brothers' plan is.

Amazing Spider-Man #159, Dr Octopus and Hammerhead

Spidey's still having trouble with Doc Ock and Hammerhead.

X-Men #100, Old vs New, Dave Cockrum

Hooray! This issue was my first ever exposure to the New X-Men!

I first read it on a beach. I didn't have a clue who they were or what was going on in it but I knew at once that I loved them in a way that I'd never loved the Original X-Men.

Thor #250, Mangog is back

Yet another Marvel hero celebrates a landmark issue this month.

I think this is the third time Mangog's been on the loose now and the third time he's tried to draw the Odin Sword. You'd think he'd have come up with another plan by now. Possibly getting his hands on the Cosmic Cube or the Infinity Gauntlet or both or something.


Anonymous said...

The FF up against Galactus, Thor v Mangog...
Ho-hum - a reminder of how much the Marvel A-list titles were in a rut at this point, feeding off earlier work. Maybe that was more obvious to readers in the UK, where the weekly reprints made the Kirby/Lee era seem comparatively more recent.

At least Kirby himself was still pushing in new directions with the final part of the sf/conspiracy cut-up Madbomb storyline. I'm at a loss to understand why it comes in for so much criticism.
Bicentennial Battles came out around the same time I think, and that was even better.

Avengers 150 - was that the one where Thor and Moondragon left?


Richard Williams said...

Great comment about X-Men No.100 Steve, I well remember picking that ish up at a newsagent in the seaside resort of Llandudno (which was 5 miles away from my house at the time) and thinking the same thing! I didn't know who the hell they were but I thought they were bloody great and much better than the originals. Incidently, I also picked up Cap 200 at the same time aswel and it was my first exposure to Kirby's Marvel return in the Bronze Age.

Steve W. said...

I wish I could remember what happened in Captain America #200. I had a copy a few years back but can't recall the contents. Is it that one where Gerald Ford shows up?

Anonymous said...

Cap 200 was basically just lots of fighting as the Madbomb storyline concluded, Steve. Maybe you're thinking of the first part in issue 193, but that was Henry Kissinger.
I do seem to recall Gerald Ford appearing in the FF around this time though.


Anonymous said...

Hammerhead has just come back from the dead, after being described as "The Ghost who haunted Octopus!"
I can understand bringing Doc Doom or Thanos back from the dead, but...
Anyhoo, I think that Blood Brothers story might be the one where the brothers are revealed to actually drink blood, hence the name. Yikes! I could be wrong about that.
I don't think Ford made an appearance in Captain America, but Kissinger did. We were ambivalent about Ford; he left us alone.

Graham said...

I had forgotten how many anniversary issues came out that month. How cool was that?!! The most disappointing thing was that Avengers 150 consisted of 2/3 of a reprint about Cap's Kooky Quartet's beginnings. Not really worth the hype on the cover.

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