Sunday, 10 September 2017

Forty years ago today - September 1977.

It's a Sunday evening, and there's nothing good on the TV.

And that can only mean one thing.

That it's time to enter the Bathroom of Memory, slide down the Plughole of History, ram ourselves through the U-Bend of Time and empty ourselves into the Drains of Nostalgia.

Daredevil #148, Death-Stalker is back

"Your weapon is useless...!"

Let's be honest, it was always useless. But who cares? My favourite ever Daredevil villain is back!

Death-Stalker might have been a blatant rip-off of The Shadow but, with all that needless laughing and vanishing, I liked the cut of his jib. If I ever become a super-villain, I'll definitely be Death-Stalker.

Fantastic Four #186, Salem's Seven

The FF are still having trouble with the supernaturally inclined folk of Salem, as their quest to liberate Agatha Harkness hits yet more obstacles.

Iron Man #102, Dreadknight

Dreadknight rings a bell for me but I don't know why. I'm pretty sure I've never read this issue, so where I've encountered him before, I have no idea.

Peter Parker, Spectacular Spider-Man #10

That's quite a Ditkoesque portrayal of Spidey there.

I must confess I recall nothing of the tale within though.

Thor #263, the Odin-Force

I've read this one but my memories of it are very very jumbled.

Was the Odin-Force a way for Marvel to bring Odin back from the dead or was it a way of killing him off?

Did the Odin-Force have something to do with Volstagg? Was it lurking inside him, ready to burst out and cause nothing but trouble? Or was it, instead, absorbed into him as a way of saving the day?

Avengers #163, Iron Man vs Hercules

I'm ninety five percent sure I've read this tale, but I have no recollection at all of what happens in it or of why the Avengers are fighting the Champions, other than it being a way to promote the lesser team's not altogether blockbuster mag.

Conan the Barbarian #78, Red Sonja is back

Hooray! Red Sonja's back, which was always a good reason to buy an issue of Conan.

In all honesty, by this point in the strip's run, I don't know if there was any other reason to buy it. I mean, it was a perfectly good comic but it did always feel like you were reading the same issue over and over again.

Captain America and the Falcon #213

Cap has to fight while devoid of sight.

As I've said before, I didn't like him getting blinded. I don't like bad things happening to people. Basically, I like super-hero comics where nothing bad ever happens.

The Incredible Hulk #215, SHIELD

I do believe the mystery villain of this issue is the Bi-Beast who was always a good foe for Hulkie.

Amazing Spider-Man #172, the Rocket Racer

At last, the 1970s reach their creative peak, as our hero comes up against the awesome might of a skateboarder.

I believe the mystery villain of this issue may well be the Molten Man who, unlike the Rocket-Racer, was one of my Spidey faves.

But seeing this cover does make you realise that if the people who were in charge of the comic in this era were still in charge of it, Spider-man would currently be facing a villain called The Fidget-Spinner.


The Artistic Actuary said...

I have the answer to the mystery of the Dreadknight, Steve.

Think back to the late 1970s when everyone was into Top Trumps. But back then you didn't get Harry Potter top trumps or Famous Footballer Top Trumps or (my favourite that I saw bring handed out as freebies at at an insurance conference) hideous infectious diseases Top Trumps. No, it was all ships, tanks and fast cars.

That was until a marvel Top Trumps came out. All the cards had marks out of 10 for physical strength, special powers and weapons. I remember Galactus scored 9, 7, 9 and could be beaten at special powers by far too many other cards.

Anyway, there were two cards in the pack that nobody had heard of. One was the Human Top (nobody knew it was Whirlwind). The other was the Dreadknight. I'm guessing you had a set of those cards, Steve, and that's how the Dreadknight burnt a place in your memory.

Steve W. said...

Sadly, I never had any Top Trumps cards. I have a feeling he was in a cartoon. Maybe it was the Iron Man cartoon that was on BBC One on Saturday mornings in the early 1990s, as part of the Marvel Action Hour. I'm really not sure.

The Artistic Actuary said...

Ah yes, that Iron Man cartoon. Didn't it have Hawkeye and Scarlet Witch as recurring characters?

And I might be making it up but I have a vague memory of Dreadknight bring one of a recurring Masters Of Evil style team of villains.

Steve W. said...

I can't remember if Hawkeye and the Scarlet Witch were in it but the Masters of Evil thing does ring a bell.

Dougie said...

I owned four of these- the Avengers (by Tuska) was a huge disappointment.
I read the Thor story in an Essential edition very recently and I think you're right about Volstagg.
Salem's Seven were almost a prototype for the villain teams of New Teen Titans.
I fee

Dougie said...

I feel very foolish for not making that connection between the Shadow & Death-Stalker

Dreadknight was a way of having a villainous BK and a heroic one too.
I only got that Conan comic this February at a mart. It's a colourised version of a story from Savage Sword 1 (US)

Aggy said...

Is it possible you remember Dreadknight from last month as this was the end of a 2 part story?

I think he had something to do with Dr Doom.

Steve W. said...

You could be right, Aggy. I did have last month's Iron Man, so it might be the case.

Dougie, we all fail to spot things that seem obvious in hindsight. I spent forty years failing to spot that, "Cod War," was a pun on, "Cold War."

Charlie Horse 47 said...

"Cod war" = "Cold war?" Is that because Cod swim in cold waters?

cerebus660 said...

Of course, many of these issues ( FF, Hulk, ASM, Thor ) were written by the great Len Wein who sadly passed away yesterday. RIP Len...

Anonymous said...

Dreadknight was a minion of Dr. Doom, who, displeased, grafted a metal mask to his face!
Actually, Dreadknight was no big deal, his involvement in the storyline merely set up a Frankenstein Monster vs. Iron Man battle, which I think we can all agree had to happen sooner or later.
That is sad news about Len Wein. I'm a Swamp Thing fan from way back. He was one of the greats.


Steve W. said...

Charlie, the Cod War was a dispute between Iceland and Britain over who had the right to fish in certain areas. It all got silly and escalated to the degree where warships were sailing around threatening to sink each other, while Iceland threatened to leave NATO and throw all American military bases out of their country if Britain didn't back down. Clearly, some wag thought it was a good idea to call it the Cod War in honour of the Cold War.

Steve W. said...

MP, thanks for the Dreadknight info.

Cerebus and MP, it is indeed sad to hear about the death of Len Wein.

Charlie Horse 47 said...

Wow. That sounds serious, fighting over Cod fishing rights! Well, anyhow, that sounds more mature than a fight over Cod pieces, no?

Anonymous said...

Steve, it never occurred to me that Cod War was a joke version of Cold War !

But the Cod War will soon seem tame compared to what's coming thanks to Brexit - British fishing boats will be fighting all the other EU fishing boats. Never mind the Korean peninsula - soon the North Sea will be a hotbed of international tension !

Peter said...

Steve you are correct in your guess Dreadknight was in the 90s Marvel animated universe. He was part of the rather camp Iron man cartoon, where he lusted over Hypnotia (yes, I'm don't know either). The good guys: Iron chops, War machine, Scarlet Witch, Spider Woman (Julia Carpenter) Hawkeye and the rather ambiguous Sentinel. The bad guys: Madarin, MODOK, Dreadknight, Blacklash, Whirlwind, Hypnotia and the Living Laser. Never had so many Marvel characters had so few interesting things to do or say for 13 episodes. The second season fared better writing, animation and overall cohesion though.


Steve W. said...

Thanks for the Dreadknight info, Peter. It's nice to know I wasn't going mad.