Sunday, 6 November 2016

Fifty years ago this month - November 1966.

Well, it was all very exciting yesterday evening, as Guy Fawkes' Night hit us all with its usual sound and fury. But November of 1966 had its fair share of intrigue too, as the Beatles began work on recording Sgt Pepper, John Lennon met Yoko Ono for first time and the infamous Mothman put in his first ever appearance.

Could our favourite heroes possibly hope to match such drama?

You bet your big fat Catherine Wheel they could.

Avengers #34, the Living Lser

You do have to say, given the nature of his powers, it's hard to see how anyone could emerge unscathed from a fight with the Living Laser - and yet I can't remember him ever actually managing to hurt anyone.

Of course, that was back in the days when we could be convinced lasers were death-rays and not just things that allow you to play CDs.

Daredevil #22, Tri-Man

Wasn't the Tri-Man a combination of three wrestlers or something? Needless to say, our hero made short work of him/them. It's almost as though their creator the Masked Marauder wasn't one of the all-time great arch-foes.

Fantastic Four #56, Klaw is back

Hooray! It's the return of Klaw!

I've always liked Klaw. I've always liked the fact he's made of solid, living sound, even though I can't remember anything ever having been made of that concept.

Come to think of it, what, exactly, is solid sound and how does one create it?

Amazing Spider-Man #42

John Jameson, the world's unluckiest astronaut, makes what I think is is his first appearance since issue #1 and gets his first taste of unwanted super-powers, as Jazzy John Romita continues to make his mark on the strip.

Strange Tales #150, Dr Strange

Is this the Dr Strange tale that was reprinted in Origins of Marvel Comics?

If so, given how many times I read and re-read that tome, it is odd that I can recall nothing of the story.

Tales of Suspense #83, Iron Man vs Titanium Man

Iron Man's giving Titanium Man the smacking he's asking for.

Is this the one where Tony Stark's forced to testify before Congress or the Senate or whatever it is and he nearly pops his clogs just as he's about to reveal his secret identity to us all?

Tales to Astonish #85, the Hulk

I don't have a clue what happens in this one. I suspect a missile may be involved.

Thor #134, the High Evolutionary

Hooray! It's another Lee/Kirby classic, as everything goes a bit Dr Moreau, and the High Evolutionary makes his debut.

X-Men #26

It's another X-Men comic whose contents I can only guess at. I can, though, say that things look somewhat Aztec on that cover.


dangermash said...

Amazing Spider-Man #42 and no mention of the final two panels? Face it Steve, you're no tiger!

Anonymous said...

I'm also a big fan of Klaw and his sonic kazoo, makin' them big ol' red elephants and apes and such out of pure sound.

Steve W. said...

Dangermash, to be honest, I get fatally confused about just which issue features those two panels, so I decided not to mention them, just in case I was wrong.

MP, I do wonder why Klaw ever bothered doing his own fighting, when he could have stayed at home and let his giant elephants and gorillas do his fighting for him. It's the same with Bruce Wayne. Why doesn't he just hire an army and let them fight crime on his behalf, while he reclines on a yacht, sipping cocktails?

jim said...

As a kid in the 60's, reading these for the first time, I used to confuse The Living Laser, The Unicorn & The Mysterious Melter. lol

Anonymous said...

I could never keep the Melter and the Living Laser straight either. Is it possible they were the same guy?

TC said...

The Melter and the Laser had very similar costumes, as I recall. Maybe they bought their super-villain costumes off the same rack.

Daredevil #22 started with DD and the judge landing that giant mechanical bird contraption on the mainland. A bomb was planted in it, but DD's super-senses allowed him to detect it, so he and the judge got away before it exploded.

Tri-Man had the abilities drawn from three of the Masked Marauder's henchmen, IIRC. They may have been boxers or wrestlers. Not sure, though.

I think DD#22 or #23 also revealed the Marauder's secret identity. He turned out to be the landlord who owned the building where Nelson & Murdock had their office. The caption admitted that the reveal was no big deal, since there had been no other suspects.

That Spider-Man story may be one of the most-often reprinted from that title. It was in Marvel Tales #31 and #182 (1971 and 1985), a Masterworks hardback, and an Essential trade paperback. I had it in a 1966 or 1967 comic called America's Best (TV) Comics. It was a preview of the ABC (American Broadcasting Company) TV network's then-upcoming Saturday morning cartoon shows, including Casper the Friendly Ghost, George of the Jungle, The Beatles, Spider-Man ("Spider-Man, Spider-Man, does whatever a spider can..."), and the Fantastic Four. (The FF story was a reprint of the first appearance of Rama-Tut, who may or not have been Kang, who may or may not have been Doctor Doom.)

In Tales of Suspense #82, Stark was on his way to testify before Congress, but Titanium Man attacked. In #83, they fought. Then-President Lyndon Johnson was shown watching live TV coverage of the battle. Titanium Man took Pepper Potts hostage, but Iron Man rescued her and defeated him. Titanium Man flew away to where a Soviet submarine was supposed to pick him up, but they disgustedly left him to drown.

Also, Happy Hogan recovered from amnesia. Before that issue, I didn't know he ever had amnesia. Or, if I knew it, I had forgotten.

Anonymous said...

Suspense #83 also had part two of the Adaptoid story in the Captain America strip. The android, posing as Jarvis, had drugged Cap and tied him up. Then the Adaptoid assumed the appearance of Captain America. The Tumbler, an acrobat, broke into the Avengers' mansion, intending to make a reputation for himself by defeating Cap. He defeated the Adaptoid, but then the real Captain America got loose and clobbered the Tumbler. Cap called the police, and they took the Tumbler away. Then the real Cap and the real Jarvis put the Adaptoid in Henry Pym's laboratory. At the end, the android regained consciousness, and was plotting to escape.

To be continued next issue.

Anonymous said...

The US Congress comprises both the Senate and the House of Representatives, similar to Parliament comprising the House of Lords and the House of Commons.

In Tales of Suspense #84, Stark is about to testify before Congress, but he "pops his cogs" (has a heart attack), and everyone learns about his chest plate, causing people to suspect his secret identity.

Anonymous said...

Yes, the U.S. Congress is a bicameral institution, in which we house the potentially dangerous mentally ill, who may be a danger to themselves and others, in the House of Representatives, and the merely addled, confused and ineffectual, in the other chamber, the Senate. No sharp objects are allowed in either chamber.

Steve W. said...

Thanks to all of you for all the information you've given. I feel like my knowledge of both American comics and American politics has grown dramatically thanks to it.

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