Thursday, 10 November 2016

Forty years ago today - November 1976.

November 1976 was a great month for fans of mouths, as it saw the discovery of the first known megamouth shark.

To be honest, even though there was a fair fuss about it in the press at the time, I can't remember hearing anything much about megamouth sharks since. I hope it's simply that they turned out to be very boring and not because they've become extinct since then.

But, speaking of extinction, it's time to find out just how many of our favourite Marvel heroes were facing just such a fate in the comics that bore the cover date of that very month.

Avengers #153, the Whizzer is back

Given that the Whizzer is about eighty by this point and has been established as having a bad heart and he possibly died at the end of the first Nuklo story, it is surprising that he seems to be causing the Avengers so much trouble and that he's even claimed to be capable of killing them.

Conan the Barbarian #68, Conan vs Kull

It's the battle we've all been waiting for, as Conan meets Kull and, oddly enough, it all leads to a fight between them.

Needless to say, it also ends in a draw and Conan and Kull going their separate ways. Argh! Now how'll we ever know which is the best barbarian?

Captain America and the Falcon #203

I must confess I've no idea what's going on here. Given the mention of the Alamo, and the year of publication, is it all tied in with the Bicentennial celebrations?

Daredevil #139

I've no idea what's going on in this one either. I have to say that's a very unhelpful cover for those trying to comment on its contents. Did Marvel give no thought at all to the needs of bloggers when they designed it?

Fantastic Four #176, the Impossible Man is back

Hooray! The Impossible Man is back!

Admittedly, I doubt there were that many people celebrating his return but I have a certain fondness for him.

Is this the issue where he shows up at the offices of Marvel Comics, and various Marvel creators, including Lee and Kirby, put in an appearance?

Incredible Hulk #205, Crypto-Man

Is that a Herb Trimpe cover? Does that mean he drew the inside as well?

Come to think of it, didn't I ask the same question last month?

I seem to remember that the Crypto-Man first appeared in Thor's strip and that Jack Kirby's original plan was to have Thor and Galactus team up to tackle him.

I also seem to remember Stan Lee vetoed that plan, presumably because it's hard to see why Galactus would need to team up with Thor to fight the Crypto-Man and, given the Crypto-Man's Earthbound nature, it's hard to see why Galactus would even feel motivated to fight him anyway.

Iron Man #92, the Melter is back

Hooray! The Melter's back!

Or is it the Living Laser?

Whichever it is, he's back.

Amazing Spider-Man #162, the Punisher and the Nightcrawler

I still, to this day, am not sure if there really are cable cars in New York City. I can't say I've ever seen them in any TV show or movie, so I'm still not certain if they weren't just made up for this tale.

Every so often, someone floats the idea of installing cable cars in Sheffield. Tragically, the idea never comes to anything. This is a source of great disappointment to me. How can I have exciting adventures, dangling from them, if they don't exist?

Thor #253, Ulik

I am totally unfamiliar with this story but it's always good to see Ulik show up.


Anonymous said...

The Roosevelt Island Tramway connects the island to Manhattan.

It figures in the climax of the 2002 Spider-Man movie, when Spidey has to rescue passengers from the Green Goblin. Also, the 1981 suspense thriller Nighthawks has a scene where terrorists hold hostages aboard the cable car.

Steve W. said...

Thanks for the info, Anonymous. :)

Anonymous said...

Of course you have an idea of whats going on in that Captain America, Steve - I told you commenting on the previous issue last month.
The bicentennial informed the tone of Kirby's run on Cap in 76, but only the ...Battles Treasury tied into it specifically.

Yeah, that FF had Kirby hanging out at the Marvel offices, all sweetness and light - guess that's why they call the character the Impossible Man, eh?


Colin Jones said...

Thursday's post is always Marvel UK from 40 years ago...what happened ?

Aggy said...

"Every so often, someone floats the idea of installing cable cars in Sheffield. "

Yes no matter how many times people have asked you to stop.

dangermash said...

Colin - Steve's just feeding our 1970s nostalgia by having our comics not appear one week for no apparent reason. I'd forgotten what a horrible feeling this was.

Steve W. said...

Colin, what's gone wrong is that, like a total imbecile, I've published completely the wrong post. I shall seek to rectify the mistake tonight.

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