Sunday, 5 March 2017

Fifty years ago this month - March 1967.

March 1967 was a historic month for all humanity.

That's because it was the month in which Jimi Hendrix set fire to his guitar for the first time.

To celebrate, I've set fire to this laptop and am now typing whilst engulfed in flames. The sacrifices I make to keep this blog at the forefront of human endeavour are beyond mortal comprehension.

But what of our favourite Marvel heroes in the comics that displayed that month on the front of them? Were they likewise setting the world alight?

Avengers #38, Hercules

Judging by the cover, I suspect this may be the issue in which Hercules first appeared in The Avengers. I assume he was included in order to get round Stan Lee's ban on Thor appearing in the strip.

In some ways, he was a better fit than Thor, what with him not having so many powers that it made the rest of the team redundant. On the other hand, he never quite had the glamour, competence and charisma of Thor.

But did he ever actually use that mace for anything?

Daredevil #26, Stilt Man

New York no doubt trembles as the Stilt-Man returns.

I think it probably says it all about Stilty that he should find himself ending up as the lackey of a character who thinks it's stylish to attach a curtain to your sunglasses.

Strange Tales #154, Dr Strange

I have no idea what goes on in this tale but I gather that Clea's involved.

Tales of Suspense #87, Iron Man vs the Mole Man

I vaguely recall that this story involves the Mole Man wanting to kidnap the world's finest minds for some reason or other.

Needless to say this leads to him kidnapping Tony Stark.

Needless to say this turns out to be a bad idea.
Tales to Astonish #89, Hulk vs the Stranger

I'm a bit vague about this story. Is this the one where the Boomerang meets his death besides a dam?

If so, how does that involve the Strangererer?

Thor #138

We tend to think of Thor as being an old-fashioned kind of man but here he is, having trouble with trolls, decades before the rest of us ever did.

X-Men #30

It's an early X-Men tale and therefore I know nothing about it.

He's an early X-Men villain and therefore I know nothing about him.

Whoever he is, did he ever show up again? He has the air of someone who'd turn out to be The Toad in disguise.
Fantastic Four #60, Dr Doom

It's one of my favourite FF tales, as Dr Doom continues to use his stolen Power Cosmic to make a nuisance of himself at every opportunity.

I do like the way Reed and Sue are placed on the rocky outcrop to the right. It strikes me as pleasingly compositionally quirky.

Amazing Spider-Man #46, the Shocker

I love the Shocker. He might have had his limitations as a villain - his thumbs being his weakness, being the main one - but there's something about all that quilting that's always appealed to me.


The Artistic Actuary said...

Classic Thor, Spidey and FF covers. Plus a birds eye view of Stilt,an and some floating Avengers heads. A great month for covers.

Dougie said...

I blogged about the Warlock the other week. He's the mutant Merlin who was an early Thor villain. Various psychic powers and hypnosis. Later known as the Maha Yogi.
The Stranger started the career of the Abomination in that Kane story. It's very much in his apocalyptic vein. And yes, Boomerang appeared to die at that point.

Steve W. said...

Dangermash, I do love that Spider-Man cover. For some reason, I always feel this is the issue where John Romita really hit his peak form as a Spider-Man artist.

Dougie, thanks for all the info.

cerebus660 said...

Steve, ref. that issue of Strange Tales - your amazing powers of deduction haven't failed you. Clea is indeed involved as Doctor Strange has to contend with the evil Umar, Mindless Ones and what look like demonic turkeys as he tries to save his girlfriend from yet another dark dimension. There's some typically idiosyncratic artwork from Marie Severin and a great appearance by the flame-headed Umar whose maniacal ranting in this story puts even Donald Trump to shame...

Of course, there's a Nick Fury tale in this issue too, although we all know what you think of that stogie-smokin' agent. I'll just say that there's some lovely early Steranko artwork here ( still looking about 50% Kirby ), the introduction of the Terminator-like Dreadnought, and more dialogue and captions on the splash page than a modern Marvel comic would feature in a year.

Anonymous said...

I duuno...I dig the Masked Marauder's sinister head gear. I could see myself wearing that, if only to keep my neighbors on their toes.


TC said...

IIRC, Hercules used his mace in Avengers Annual #1. He broke the Executioner's battle ax with it. Then he tossed the mace aside, to give the now-unarmed villain a sporting chance. Herc was the strongest man in the world, not the smartest.

In Daredevil #26, the Leap Frog was on trial, and they made him put on his spring-loaded shoes to prove that they fit him. Then he leaped out a window. The prosecutor wasn't much smarter than Hercules. But then, neither was Leap Frog. He broke a leg in the fall, and had to be rescued by Stilt Man. Talk about adding insult to injury.

DD #26 also revealed the Masked Marauder's identity. A caption admitted that it probably wasn't a shock, since Nelson & Murdock's landlord was the only possible suspect.

FF #60 concluded the "Doctor Doom steals the Silver Surfer's board" arc. Reed Richards tricked Doom into flying into space, where he got zapped by Galactus' energy barrier.

It terrifies me no end that I remember this stuff.

Anonymous said...

I'm occasionally terrified for exactly the same reason, TC.
I worry that my extensive knowledge of Marvel Comics in my brain might have pushed out a quote from Shakespeare or the memory of how to change a flat tire.


Steve W. said...

Cerebus, thanks for the Dr Strange and Nick Fury info.

TC, thanks for the Daredevil, Hercules and FF info.

MP, we must always keep our priorities straight. It's far more important to know what happened in what comic than it is to know anything else in the whole world.

Anonymous said...

Stan Lee banned Thor from the Avengers ?? I never knew that before. And, Steve, thanks for your explanation of East-End/West-End on BITBA - I never knew that before either !

Steve W. said...

If I remember right, Lee banned writers from using Thor and Iron Man in The Avengers because it caused too many continuity conflicts with their own mags. So, Roy Thomas was always looking for ways to get round it by sneaking them in here and there and hoping he could get away with it.

And it's nice to know my efforts on BITBA didn't go to waste. :)

Anonymous said...

Following on from Cerebus' comment, I believe that issue of Strange Tales was actually the first Nick Fury episode drawn by Steranko on his own (ie not working over Kirby layouts).

Stilt-Man was cool - he was drawn by Gene the dean Colan in that issue of Daredevil, following a first appearance by Wally Wood. How many super-villains at this point could boast style like that?

Anonymous said...

The Shocker should have fought Electro. It would have been as cool as the Hulk vs. the Thing. Or the Adaptoid vs. the Mimic.

Unknown said...

Sage words, Steve...

Steve W. said...

Thanks, Dean. :)