Sunday 12 March 2017

Forty years ago today - March 1977.

In March, 1977, the rings of Uranus were discovered.

I genuinely have nothing to say about this fact other than that I do feel it's a shame they've always been so comprehensively overshadowed by those of Saturn.

But, back on Earth, I'm sure our favourite heroes weren't suffering a similar fate. I'm sure that, unlike dim and distant celestial objects, they were flinging themselves well and truly into the spotlight.

Conan the barbarian #72

It looks like it's another typical day for Conan.

I do sometimes wonder if he's ever managed to go anywhere, ever, without encountering an evil sorcerer, a murderous man-beast or a fiend from hell. Admittedly, he does always meet beautiful women too but, as they always need rescuing from the aforementioned menaces, it has to be questioned whether it's worth it.

He could just sign up with a dating agency. They have an app for that now. Has no one told him?

Daredevil #143, lion

This cover's ringing no bells for me whatsoever but I'm sure we'd all like to see Daredevil fighting a lion, so I've no doubt it's a marvellous and thrilling tale to behold.

Fantastic Four #180

I seem to recall that our merry band encountered the robot in question when it tried to rob a bank vault by carrying the vault off with it.

Did we ever discover just where the robot came from, or was it a plot strand that was dropped barely before it had started?

My main memory of this era is that, after years of complaining about being a monster and a social pariah, The Thing was suddenly having to fight women off with a stick, with both Thundra and Tigra having taken a shine to him.

Incredible Hulk #209, Absorbing Man

Isn't this the one where the Absorbing Man defeats himself by grabbing a piece of glass whilst falling from a great height?

It doesn't say much for you when the reason you can't beat the Hulk is because you're not intelligent enough.

Iron Man #96

Just how does Iron Man defeat Ultimo in this tale? The only times I can remember him defeating him was by trapping him in a conveniently located volcano. Does this mean there's another handily placed volcano in the vicinity?

Amazing Spider-Man #166, The Lizard and Stegron

The cover's decor leads me to believe this is a Christmas tinged tale.

And what could better capture the feeling of Christmas than being rushed at by two reptile men with murder on their minds?

I never liked the fact that the Lizard had to share the bill with Stegron in this tale, given that, to me, Stegron just seemed like a blatant rip-off of him.

He didn't even have a lab coat. How can he call himself a classy villain if he doesn't have a lab coat?

Spectacular Spider-Man #4, the Vulture

Is this the first part of the Hitman storyline that I could claim to remember well but don't remember well at all, other than that he had something to do with the Punisher?

Thor #257

This cover tells me nothing about what happens within.

However, I do see some tentacles, which leads me to suspect that Sporr is still hanging around.

Captain America and the Falcon #207

Captain America's comic did seem to get quite violent in this era. I have a suspicion that this issue may have been no exception.

Avengers #157

Am I remembering correctly in thinking the mystery assailant on the cover is the statue of the Black Knight, around which revolved the Avengers/Defenders War?

I can't claim to recall just how it came to be attacking the Avengers Mansion, long after the Knight himself returned to human form.


Anonymous said...

Yeah, Conan sure has bad luck. I wouldn't want to hang around the guy, given how often he's attacked by giant spiders, undead wizards and various demons.
I don't need that kind of trouble.
on another note, I thought the Thing-Tigra-Thundra-Impossible Man team was a winning combo. I wish they had lasted longer than a couple of issues.


Steve W. said...

I like them too. It's a shame they didn't have their own mag. If the Champions could have one, I see no reason why the alternative Fantastic Four shouldn't.

Steve W. said...

Come to think of it, maybe that should be the next Fantastic Four movie - The Thing, Thundra, Tigra and the Impossible Man. It'd be a lot more fun than the FF films we've had so far.

Anonymous said...

Actually, Steve, on quite a few occasions the beautiful women needed rescuing from Conan by the monsters, as he could be a bit pushy. Like, for instance, at the beginning of Red Nails... Someone should have explained to him that stalking Valeria like that wasn't the best way to make an impression, and that no means no.

Don't know if Kirby's Captain America was any more violent than other Marvel comics - they were all basically based on punch-ups - but it often had a dark edge that lingered in the mind.
That issue is a good example - theres a scene thats hard to forget where villainous South American dictator the Swine agrees to feed a starving prisoner...and forces him to keep eating til he dies.
As I mentioned a few months ago, Kirby had a way of coming up with ideas and images that were disturbing but could still get past the comics code.


Steve W. said...

My main memory from this era of Captain America is of Cap having his eyes clawed at by some monster or other and thus being blind for the whole of the next issue. To be honest, I'm still traumatised from reading it.

Anonymous said...

Yeah, one of Arnim Zola's creations gave Cap a pretty good beating and nearly clawed his eyes out. I think Kirby thought it was more interesting if Cap didn't win every fight by TKO. So do I.
The interesting thing about the Swine, was, he looked a lot like John Lennon and may well have been modeled after him, at least physically.
This may have been a little joke by Kirby, or maybe he just didn't like the Beatles! We will never know. Maybe he was more of a Stones guy.
That Iron Man cover is just fantastic, isn't it? You could frame it.
All in all, a pretty strong month for Marvel.


20 cent aka Mike in Jersey said...

I think I had that Hulk issue! Another great line-up for a new FF was Hulk, Ghost Rider, Spidey, and Wolverine. I think that was in the '90s? Great work as usual Steve!

Steve W. said...

And thanks for the Cap info, MP.