Sunday, 2 July 2017

Fifty years ago this month - July 1967.

In this month of 1967, colour TV arrived in Britain with BBC Two's broadcasting of that year's Wimbledon. I have a feeling David Attenborough may have been responsible for that, in his role as Channel Controller.

Needless to say, I saw that move for the gimmick it was and still insist to this day on watching all television in black and white and listening to all music in mono.

Sadly, Marvel UK had yet to be invented at that time and so, if I'd been reading super-hero comics back then, I'd have had no choice but to read them in colour. Where will this rampant march of out-of-control technology ever end?

Daredevil #30, Thor

It's that classic issue in which Matt Murdock wears his dark glasses under his Daredevil mask under a Thor mask. Where on Earth do these people get their masks from?

Come to think of it, wasn't he also pretending to be Mike Murdock while he was doing it? It's madness! total madness!

Fantastic Four #64, the Sentinel

It's one of my faves, as the FF go full-on Däniken and the Kree Sentry makes his island-shattering debut.

I love this story and, as I've said on here before, I do always feel it should have been in Origins of Marvel Comics as the second FF tale, instead of the Thing vs Surfer story they actually used.
Amazing Spider-Man #50

It's yet another classic, as Spidey throws his costume in the bin and retires forever from fighting crime.

I believe the Kingpin makes his debut in this story as well. How could anyone not love Spider-Man in this era?

Strange Tales #158, Dr Strange and the Living Tribunal

I don't know what's going on but I know this is the second ever appearance of the Living Tribunal, him having made his debut in the previous issue.

I never really understood why he had a body. He would have been much better as just a floating head.

Thor #142, the Super Skrull

It's the battle we all wanted to see, as Thor tackles the Super-Skrull.

I'm struggling to recall how the fight turned out, or even why they were fighting but I suspect it didn't end happily for Skrully.

X-Men #34, Tyrannus

Hooray! It's the return of Tyrannus, the Marvel villain who I feel most closely resembles me.

I'm not totally sure who the big metal man is.

Whoever he is, he's no Mogol.

Now I'm depressed by remembering the fate of Mogol.

Poor old Mogol. Will we ever see his like again?

Tales to Astonish #93, Hulk vs Silver Surfer

It's my favourite Marie Severin drawn Hulk tale as Hulkie gets his bottom spanked by the cosmic complainer.

I remember Marvel UK waiting until well into the Herb Trimpe era before finally letting us see this tale. Bearing in mind its awesomeness, it's always baffled me that they took so long to publish it.

I would assume it was because they were waiting until we'd been introduced to the character in their Fantastic Four reprints, but such logic didn't prevent them reprinting the Hulk's first meeting with the Inhumans long before those characters made their debut in the FF's strip.

Tales of Suspense #91, Iron Man

Didn't the monstrous Crusher have something to do with Fidel Castro? Wasn't he a wrestler who weighed too much for his own good?

Then again, perhaps he was a scientist who weighed too much for his own good.

Or perhaps there were two Crushers and one was a wrestler and one was a scientist?

Avengers #42, Diablo

Diablo's still causing trouble for our heroes and still using technology that it makes no sense for Diablo to be using.

Aw, who cares? We get to see Hercules fighting Dragon Man and that's what we really pay our money for.


TC said...

IIRC, the Crusher was a scientist in an unnamed Latin American communist country ruled by an unnamed dictator who was obviously Castro. The scientist invented a formula that turned him into a hulking brute, and went to the US to prove how tough he was by beating Iron Man. Then Iron Man zapped him with a ray that made him too heavy for his own good and the ground collapsed under his weight. Then Happy Hogan and Pepper Potts came in and asked why there was a big hole in the floor.

Steve W. said...

Thanks, TC. I knew that Fidel Castro and weight had something to do with it.

Anonymous said...

Stereo seems to have caught on with the listening public, Steve, but theres a lot to be said for mono. Good for you.

Are you seriously claiming to have got the Crusher mixed up with everyone's favourite proletarian supervillain the Absorbing Man?(Come to think of it... was he not a boxer, or am I the one getting confused?)

Anyway, El Presidente with a beard and cigar from a commie island in the Carribean that shall remain nameless (but was obviously Cuba) not only forced a scientist to drink a formula that gave him superpowers but then decided he should be killed because - duh! - he didn't want anyone on said island to have super powers!
Presumably it was a political metaphor. Like the Red Ghost and his super apes or the Titanium Man, because Marvel comics weren't just for kids anymore you know.(Clearly they were for eejits too:)

I believe the return of the Crusher in Iron Man's own comic came courtesy of Tyrannus, coincidentally enough.


Steve W. said...

I don't recall us ever being told what Crusher Creel got up to before he was a criminal. I've always assumed that crime was his first love and he'd never done anything else.

On a serious note, I do feel that Beatles records sound far better in mono than they do in stereo. For instance, the mono version of Tomorrow Never Knows is marvellously oppressive compared to the stereo mix.

Anonymous said...

Boy, there sure are some great comics in this month's lineup. Marvel was cooking with gas back then.
That looks to be Mr. Hyde and the Cobra watching Thor and Daredevil doing...whatever it is they're doing there. Their two greatest foes squaring off. I don't know how you go from having Thor as your archenemy to settling on Daredevil.
I would guess basic incompetence has something to do with it. Or maybe they just wanted to fight somebody much, much less powerful than Thor after getting smacked around by the Thunder God. Talk about a downgrade.


Anonymous said...

Hope that first bit didn't seem like I was taking the piss, Steve, because it was meant sincerely.
I got an old late'60s copy of the Tauhid lp by Pharoah Sanders a while back - mainly because it was very reasonably priced rather than it being a mono edition - and was amazed by the sound. The album had long been a fave of mine, but I'd never heard it like that before. Very immediate, with a strong presence.

Can't really comment on the Beatles as they don't do a lot for me either way, but the same is true for the first Velvet Underground album.
Although I accept the possibility that might simply be down to them all being a bit clueless on how to mix stereo, what with it being fairly new at the time.


Anonymous said...

PS Black & white can be good too. I miss black & white comics.


Charlie Horse 47 said...

Is it possible Milwaukee's very own wrestler "The Crusher" served as the inspiration for the comic book Crusher? The Crusher and his cousin The Bruiser from Chicago would have these awesome tag-team wrestling matches we'd watch on Sunday morning before going to Mass. Check it out below in the link.

By the way, since you all are new wave / early 80s fans... did they show Wrest Mania 1 in the UK that involved Cyndi Lauper, Mr. T, and Hulk Hogan where Mr. T (as I recall) got the bejezus kicked out of him by Rowdy Rodney Piper and Paul Orndorf. I still vividly recall Lauper flying like 10 feet across the ring as Piper / Orndorf flicked her off their leg like a dog scratching off a flea.

Go about 1:11 into the link below to see the start of Hulk and T vs. the rest. It's all time great!!!

Anonymous said...

I too am a big fan of the Super-Skrull/Thor clash. If there's a Superman, there oughtta be a Super-Skrull, I think.
The Super-Skrull was basically unbeatable, except for an Achilles heel. He was getting his Super-Skrull powers beamed into him from a Skrull spaceship. If you could manage to disrupt the beam, you could short him out. Or you could reverse it and make him zap into outer space.
Strangely enough, Captain Marvel, who was nowhere near as powerful as Thor, once managed to beat the Super-Skrull by simply punching him repeatedly in the head. This is a strategy that works on most people, but rarely works on Skrulls. I think he caught him on a bad day, to be honest.


Steve W. said...

MP, if I remember correctly, Thor was too busy dealing with some other menace to tackle the Cobra and Mr Hyde and so, after the obligatory fight with DD, he gave him permission to deal with the two villains.

Don't worry, Sean. There was nothing out of place or offensive about your comment.

Charlie, I'm sure the fight would have been televised somewhere. Either it would have been on one of Sky TV's channels or, if it was pre-Sky, it would have been on ITV's World of Sport, a Saturday afternoon show which liked to give us sporting events from around the globe.

MP, it has to be said that the Super-Skrull was a definite under-achiever in the super villain stakes.

Charlie Horse 47 said...

Steve - that was one profound statement regarding the Super Skrull being an under-achiever.

May I add to that, that whoever possessed the Cosmic Cube seemed to become an unimaginative under achiever as well? I have this recollection of the Red Skull having it and sending Captain America into outer space or something? (Like around Cap 120ish? I'm too tired to dig out the long box, lol.)

I mean, if you were the Skull and had that Cube, wouldn't you just wish for a sweet mustache and head of hair like Adolph Hitler, Leni Riefenstahl to be your press agent, and for your third wish obliterate Cap into atoms?

I have no idea about what the Cube became in the copper and current age though I think I've read articles that it was still circulating. Anyone?

Anonymous said...

I believe the Cube has cosmically matured into a self-aware entity, as described in later issues of the Fantastic Four. It was in the '90's.
What the Cube is doing now, I have no idea.


John said...

This is the first that I have ever seen that Hulk-Surfer cover. Superb artwork!

Steve W. said...

I agree. It's a great cover.

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