Sunday, 11 June 2017

Forty years ago today - June 1977.

June 1977 was the month ITV descended into madness when it broadcast the legendary documentary Alternative 3 which posited that, thanks to a secret base on the moon, America and Russia had achieved a joint landing on Mars in 1962 and covered it up.

"Why is no one doing anything about this?" we all demanded.

Well, we didn't really because ITV admitted all along that it was a spoof originally planned for broadcast on April the 1st but delayed by industrial action.

Regardless, the show became a legend in conspiracy circles and, to this day, there are those who swear blind it was all genuine and that it was the claim that it was a hoax that was in fact the hoax.

With all that sort of thing going on, it's no wonder we had to take refuge in comics.

Amazing Spider-Man #169

Hooray! It's more Clone Saga significance as it turns out someone's sent J Jonah Jameson photos of Peter Parker destroying his own duplicate in an incinerator.

I do remember Petey getting off the hook by doing some very unlikely photo compositing that'd require him to be as big a genius at photo manipulation as he is at science and costume design. Is there no end to his talents?

That's all well and good but did we ever find out who took the incriminating photos?

Spectacular Spider-Man #7

I'm sure I must have read this but I don't remember it. Is that Gloria Grant with Spidey or is it just some random woman?

X-Men #105, Firelord

Wasn't this issue some sort of fill-in tale, thanks to the dreaded deadline doom?

Was it the one that featured a flashback to the New X-Men fighting evil lookalikes of the Original X-Men in the Danger Room? I remember it being quite annoying, seeing as we were all waiting, with baited breath, for the next part of the Lilandra epic to arrive.

Then again, Firelord was always quite annoying too.

Avengers #160, Grim Reaper

The Grim Reaper's still having family problems.

Captain America and the Falcon #210, the Red Skull

I'm assuming that's a symbolic cover and the Red Skull's not really turned into some kind of murderous head octopus?

Conan the Barbarian #75

Conan's involved in trouble again.

Thor #260, the Executioner

I'm fairly sure I've never read this one.

I must confess I never found either the Enchantress or the Executioner overly interesting. Plus, they did have the air of being a total pair of losers about them.

Incredible Hulk #212

I believe this was the first time I ever encountered The Constrictor.

Come to think if it, I'm pretty sure it was the last time as well. Didn't he show his tactical genius by being electrocuted by a street lamp?

I have a feeling it's somewhere around this time that we first get to meet that magician whose name I forget. Was it The Great Kropotkin?

And didn't we also get to meet Bruce Banner's new landlady around this time?

And doesn't Betty Ross get a makeover sometime around this time?

It's clearly a significant time in the Hulk's history.

Fantastic Four #183, Annihilus

Isn't the big, green person, bottom right, one of the Mad Thinker's androids who's got stuck in the Negative Zone and somehow mutated into an unstoppable giant as a result?

Daredevil #146, Bullseye

I think I had this issue but I can't recall the contents.

Despite the versatility of his murderous methodologies, I must confess that Bullseye never really grabbed me any more than the Executioner and the Enchantress did.

Invincible Iron Man #99

Wonder Woman #205The Mandarin's causing trouble on a cover reminiscent of the front of Wonder Woman #205.

Of course, in that issue, the bad guy was Doctor Domino, possibly the most ludicrous super-villain I've ever encountered. There aren't many men who think that dressing as a stage hypnotist and having a giant domino where your head should be looks menacing.


dangermash said...

Well, I'll kick off this week by nabbing a couple of low flying fruits:

- you have a perfect memory of everything about X-Men 106 (sic) apart from the issue number

- and in ASM it was Harry that took the photos (under his own control) and mailed them to the Bugle (under Bart Hamilton's hypnosis). All revealed in ASM #180, final issue of the Bart Hamilton as the Goblin pentology.

Steve W. said...

Thanks for the info, Dangermash. I suspected it was Harry who'd taken the photos but wasn't sure if he was incarcerated at the time.

Dougie said...

I owned 6 of these comics. The Avengers was my favourite with lots of flashbacks to stories I hadn't read in 1977. But I longed for that X-Men. I had seen it as a thumbnail in FOOM and it looked amazing. Since it was b/w and I couldn't imagine Phoenix would have the same colour scheme as Banshee, I pictured Jean in pink & purple like Psylocke much later.
Also, that was my 3rd from last Conan after about two years of collecting.

dangermash said...

I just checked and it's only another 21 weeks and 30 weeks respectively until those ASM and SSM covers appear on the front of Marvel UK's Spider-Man comic. We're fast running out of Spider-Man stories.

Anonymous said...

It was indeed around this period when we are introduced to Bruce Banner's smoking hot landlady. Tired of sleeping in train cars and alleyways, Bruce gets himself a job working construction under an alias and settles down to apartment living, with a refrigerator full of Cokes and a dresser drawer full of extra purple pants.
As we would soon discover, he would need all those purple pants when he Hulks out and faces the Quintronic Man, the Jack of Hearts and the macabre menace of the Maha Yogi!


Charlie Horse 47 said...

Obviously a great month if you were invested in chains? Avengers, Iron Man, Wonder Woman...

And not a bad month for strapping heroes on to big things like rockets and bombs either?

I have to say the Wonder Woman cover surprises me that it got past the Comics Code.

Steve W. said...

Dougie, at some point I've owned the Fantastic Four, Captain America and Daredevil issues. I find it worrying that the FF one is the only one whose contents I can recall.

Charlie, I'm amazed that any Wonder Woman issue ever got past the Comics Code Authority.

MP, I do always wonder why Bruce Banner never tried to live somewhere really quiet and peaceful, instead of always heading for the nearest big city every chance he got.

Dangermash, The Hulk's catching up rapidly as well. There's only one possible way out of it. They're going to have to get to work on redrawing more issues of Killraven.

Ant Master said...

Were the Avengers and Spidey in that issue of the FF? If not how can they claim this one has it all?

Ant Master said...

Reading the old B&W issues I can not every remember ever visualising them anything other than colour.

Its only now if I re read a marvel masterpiece collection I do not quite get past the B&W as I know I can read them in colour.

How the youth of today are spoiled

Steve W. said...

I still like to read them in black and white. I feel it's easier to appreciate the inking in monochrome.

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