Sunday, 9 July 2017

Forty years ago today - July 1977.

As I type these words, it's the present.

And that can only mean one thing.

It's not the past.

But there was a time when the past was the present and the present was the future.

That time was forty years ago.

Granted, it was also any time at all in the entire history of the universe.

However, acknowledging that wouldn't give me an excuse to look at what Marvel Comics was up to forty years ago. So, it's best I draw a veil over that fact and plough on with my plunge into nostalgia.

Avengers #161

My memory of this story is that Ant-Man gives the Avengers' butts a good kicking with his awesome ant powers.

Whether that's what really happens, I couldn't guarantee, although I do remember him giving Iron Man serious problems by sending ants inside his armour.

Is Jocasta involved in this story? Is Ultron involved? I have a feeling they might be but I could be talking rubbish.

Captain America and the Falcon #211

I'm not sure what happens in this one but Arnim Zola seems to be involved.

You can't help feeling Cap must be fed up of Nazis by now. Thirty two years after the war ended, and they still won't go away.

Fantastic Four #184, the Eliminator

I remember liking this one. I do believe that nice man's kidnapped Agatha Harkness and that it all leads our heroes to Salem and civic witchcraftery beyond mortal comprehension.

Incredible Hulk #213, Quintronic Man

It's another one that I remember!

I also recall the Quintronic Man being a terrible idea for a means to tackle the Hulk, as it never made any sense to have five different people controlling one robot. I also remember them as not being the highest quality individuals anyway.

Iron Man #100

Iron Man hits the Big One Hundred.

Apparently, the Mandarin is present for this story but I don't know just what he gets up to.

I do detect a Jim Starlin cover though.

Thor #261

I really don't have a clue what's going on in this one either. It vaguely reminds me of that story where our heroes find themselves on an enormous planet full of giants with a vacuum cleaner that Hoovers up planets. However, I know it's not that one, as we've already done it.

Conan the Barbarian #76

Conan's nothing if not an iconoclast.

I'm sure he'd tell us that himself if it didn't have more than two syllables.

Daredevil #147

I don't think I've ever read this one.

Spectacular Spider-Man #8, Morbius

I'm not totally sure what happens inside but I am certain that's a Paul Gulacy cover.

I believe Morbius may be possessed by the Empathoid who makes him do bad things.

Admittedly, I'm not convinced Morbius needs to be possessed in order for him to do bad things.

Thinking about it, I believe that's the only Paul Gulacy artwork I've ever seen that doesn't involve Shang-Chi.

Amazing Spider-Man #170, Dr Faustus

Dr Faustus is doing the, "Convince Spider-Man he's going mad," routine that's normally left to Mysterio.

I did always like Faustus. I like a villain with brains, even if he doesn't have the brains to realise that a man of his talents doesn't need to commit crimes to make a fortune.


Dougie said...

The Thor story features early work by Walt Simonson on the title. Odin is prisoner of aliens called the Soul Survivors. They are parasitic elfin types who live on Templeworld aka The Doomsday Star.
Daredevil is a Shooter/ Gil Kane story. The Purple Man wears a very elaborate Kane costume IIRC.
That Ant-Man story does introduce Jocasta, next issue. It was one of my favourite comics that summer.

Steve W. said...

Thanks for all the info, Dougie.

Anonymous said...

Steve, its now seventy-two years since the war finished and Nazis still don't seem to have gone away, so I think we're all entitled to be more than fed up.
Nazi-X was created by Arnim Zola, a robot - spoiler alert! - with Hitler's brain in it. In anyone else's hands that concept might not have worked, but of course Jack Kirby wasn't just any writer and the result was predictably awesome.
Its why they call him the king of comics.

Some classic up-the-nostrils Gil Kane action in that DD - second of a two-parter I think? - but readable too, which was a surprise as it was usually such a terrible comic at that point (even by its own standards). That was Shooter?
Well, well... I liked his Avengers too. Maybe he should have stuck to the writing thing instead of chasing the office job.


TC said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
TC said...

IIRC, Gulacy also drew a Shanna the She Devil series for a while. At DC, he did a couple of issues of Batman, and several of Catwoman. At Dark Horse, he drew graphic novels of James Bond, Star Wars, and maybe Terminator.

Super heroes were fighting thinly disguised Axis villains (spies and saboteurs from "Nazil" and "Nippon") in comics even before Hitler invaded Poland. And, even in the Bronze Age, heroes were still routinely coming up against die-hard ex-SS men plotting a Fourth Reich. One has to be impressed with the villains' persistence.

Anonymous said...

Yeah, the Soul Survivors powered their dying, crumbling, yet still-pretty-darn-impressive world by capturing gods from various planets or pantheons or...I'm not really clear on this point.
They put the grab on Odin and proceeded to suck the cosmic power out of the old geezer. It kept the light bulbs on for a while, and it shut him up, which was a benefit to everybody.
That Avengers cover reminds me of the time I stood on a large anthill when I was a little kid. I have no idea why I did that.
I very quickly realized it was a bad idea.


Steve W. said...

TC and Sean, thanks for the Paul Gulacy and Nazi-X info.

MP, now that you've described that story, it sounds very familiar. I do believe I read it five or six years ago.

Vince and Siv said...

Brilliant Comment Sean, "Some classic up-the-nostrils Gil Kane action in that DD" that's what I remember about that issue too, and the splash page with DD holding his arm...fantastic Janson inks too...

Charlie Horse 47 said...

speaking of Nazis does anybody know what the latest version his of the red skulls sleepers? I think I stopped reading captain America after sleeper number five around issue 150?

Steve W. said...

The last Sleeper I can remember was the one that The Kingpin and his men helped fight way back in the mid-1970s. What number Sleeper it was, I have no idea. I couldn't even begin to guess how many Sleepers there've been since.

Anonymous said...

Steve, thanks for doing this month after month - my favorite feature on the internet. I happily had two of these, and had the next issue of Thor, until my younger brother took scissors to it for an art project.

Steve W. said...

You're welcome, and thank you for reading. Of the issues above, the only ones I had were the FF and Thor issues. Fortunately, I didn't have a younger brother to ruin my comics for me.

Anonymous said...

Vince and Siv - Yeah, good point on mentioning Klaus Janson who well deserves some of the credit.
Not that I've done a scientific analysis of nostril ratios in Gil Kane comics of the 70s or anything, but Janson's textures and double lighting effects really added a weight and depth that (good as they were) Kane's pencils didn't always have so it really seemed like you could see all the way up those noses.


Ant Master said...

Loved that Avengers comic, maybe part of the reason for my alias, that and early experiments in gladiatorial combat involving rival Black and Red ants and caterpillars

stacy said...

These covers are too old for me.

Steve W. said...

They're too old for me too, Stacy. I only pretend to be old enough to remember them in order to keep the internet happy.

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