Tuesday, 3 October 2017

The Marvel Lucky Bag - October 1977.

It's the first Tuesday of the month - and that can only mean one thing.

It's time for me to look at an almost random sample of what was happening in the less high-profile Marvel titles of forty years ago.

Eternals Annual #1

The Eternals get the first and last annual of their original run.

I don't have a clue what's going on but, to be honest, only The Reject doesn't look totally half-hearted about the prospect of having a scrap.

Human Fly #2, Ghost Rider

It's the team-up that had to happen, as Marvel Comics' two greatest stuntmen (apart from the Stunt-Master) team up to do whatever it is they're teaming up to do.

To be honest, in what way the Hell-powered Ghost Rider'll need the help of the distinctly non-super-powered Human Fly, I have no idea.

Luke Cage, Power Man #47, Zzzax Attax

Hooray! It's the return of Zzzax who I've always had a soft spot for!

But, seeing as Zzzax can give the Hulk a run for his money, I can only assume Luke Cage doesn't actually manage to survive the encounter.

Tarzan Annual #1, Marvel Comics

Like the Eternals, Tarzan gets his first annual. He, however, had several more in this era, which is surprising, as I've always associated him with DC rather than Marvel.

I do worry about the number of apes Tarzan's been pictured killing over the years. Doesn't he know they're an endangered species? You do wonder why the authorities haven't arrested him yet.

Come to think of it, how can it be legal for him to carry that knife around?

And, for that matter, did he have a permit to kill that leopard he made his underpants from?

Thor Annual #6, Guardians of the Galaxy

Just to join in the fun, Thor has an annual too!

I don't have a clue what happens in this one but I assume, from the cover blurb, that this is part of the Korvac Saga.

Not that I know what the Korvac Saga is but I've heard talk of it, in hushed whispers and therefore assume it must have been a big thing.

Marvel Classics Comics #25, the Invisible Man

Step aside, Sue Storm, the Invisible Man is unleashed upon the world!

Isn't there an adaptation of this tale that features a cover by Jim Steranko? Is it the same adaptation as this but with a different cover or is it a different adaptation altogether?

I do recall a version of the tale appearing in Marvel UK's Planet of the Apes comic. Was it this version? Was it that version? Was it another version? Who can know?

Marvel Classics Comics #26, the Iliad

If anyone ever tells you that reading comics stunts your learning, slap them over the head with this; Marvel's very own adaptation of Homer's Iliad.

To be honest, how he found time to write it, with Bart and Lisa playing up all the time, is beyond me.

Kull #23

I must confess I've only included this cover because the beastie on it is clearly the monster from the classic 1950s movie Night of the Demon, easily one of the greatest horror films ever made. It's the film that taught me never to accept a piece of paper from a strange man.

Godzilla #3, the Champions

With his third issue, Godzilla well and truly enters the Marvel Universe, as he encounters The Champions.

To be honest, apart from Hercules, it's hard to see what any of them can do to Godzilla, other than annoy him.


Anonymous said...

Those are classic annuals, Thor and Tarzan, although I wouldn't recommend trying to kill a gorilla with a knife. There are a number of reasons why it would be a bad idea, not the least of which is having your arms ripped from their sockets.
Any team-up between Karkas and the Reject makes for a good comic. They were a classic comedy team, polar opposites, and could wreak havoc like nobody's business.
Hands down, my favorite Deviants, apart from Warlord Kro.


Anonymous said...

Yeah MP, that Eternals annual is great, although lets have a shout for the Deviant Tutinax too. He seemed pretty cool - a shame that the series ended and we didn't get to see more of him.
Do you know if the Neil Gaiman Eternals is any good? I keep thinking about giving it a go, but Gaiman's a bit and miss for my taste...

I must confess to enjoying a bit of Tarzan, even though the 70s was the decade he went out of fashion. It does seem a bit odd in retrospect that Marvel had a go after DC gave up the licence, but I guess they thought Conan was selling well so it was worth a punt if they put Roy Thomas and John Buscema on the job.
Like putting Gil Kane on John Carter, you couldn't really go wrong with Buscema on Tarzan; except he really liked Joe Kubert's version so the approach was pretty similar to DC and the kids didn't go for it.

Btw Steve, the Steranko Invisible Man cover was for Marvel Supernatural Thrillers #2.


Steve W. said...

I've never read the Gaiman Eternals. I've heard good things about it but, knowing Gaiman, I suspect it was massively different from Jack's vision of the strip.

Charlie Horse 47 said...

Has there ever really been a good comic adaption of the Iliad? Roy Thomas had a go at one a few years ago, in a comic format but not as large as a comic book though many pages thick. But everyone looked the same more /less like out of the "300" movie... Something about the art these days where I just don't feel like it's drawn so much as computer generated at times?

Charlie Horse 47 said...

By the way, every first issue of Tarzan seems to have Tarzan and that dam dead ape on the cover. Well, at least the two first-issues that I've seen.

Anonymous said...

Sean, both Tutinax and Brother Tode were cool in their own way. Tutinax was a Thing-level deviant who could lift up buildings and was the terror of the arena.
Charlie, I'd be more interested in seeing a comic adaption of the Odyssey, given the sheer amount of monsters that show up in that tale. Imagine a Ray Harryhausen film about it.


Anonymous said...

I agree with MP about The Odyssey. I've read both The Iliad and The Odyssey - I skipped through most of The Iliad as it was rather boring but I read The Odyssey in its' entirety.

And yes, The Odyssey would make a great film. I've also wondered why nobody ever made a film version of "The Rime Of The Ancient Mariner". I studied that poem in school and it's one of the few poems I actually like.
It could be adapted into a great film.

I fear thee, Ancient Mariner
I fear thy skinny hand
Thou art long and lank and brown
As is the ribbed sea sand

I fear thee, Ancient Mariner
And thy skinny hand so brown
Fear not, fear not, O wedding guest
This body dropped not down

Timothy Field said...

Uncultured oaf that I am, I've never read The Rime of The Ancient Mariner.
Though I did enjoy the Iron Maiden version.

Anonymous said...

Timothy, The Rime Of The Ancient Mariner is very, very long - about 25 pages long !!

Joe S. Walker said...

I just went and had at that Steranko Invisible Man cover and it's surprisingly ordinary - not bad, but the design could be anybody.

I see that Supernatural Thrillers also did a version of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde, with as usual Hyde being a kind of Hulk-type figure. In the original story it's not that way at all, Jekyll is a large florid impressive-looking man and Hyde is a little dark weaselly kind of character. Has no one ever done an adaptation that keeps to that?

Steve W. said...

Joe, Hammer's The Two Faces of Dr. Jekyll portrays Jekyll as a dull, repressed nonentity and Hyde as a dashing man about town. Best of all, of course, Dr Jekyll and Sister Hyde has an earnest scientist transform into a beautiful but murderous woman.

Anonymous said...

The version of Mr Hyde in the League of Extraordinary Gentleman (the comics, NOT the film) is very much based on the original - a sort of reversal, where over time Hyde has become larger as Jekyll aged.
Hyde is great in the second LOEG arc, the one with the Martian invasion.


Joe S. Walker said...

I remember reading that when Brian Clemens first had the idea for Dr Jekyll and Sister Hyde, he couldn't believe that nobody had ever thought of doing a sex-swapped version. Times have changed!

I read the Supernatural Thrillers version of The Invisible Man. It's not very good. It's also very confused about what period it's set in - there are characters in 1970s dress and Edwardian dress, and in one panel the Invisible Man appears to be in a supermarket (with the goods priced in cents, although it's supposed to be England...)

Steve W. said...

I remember reading the version of The Invisible Man that was reprinted in Marvel UK's Planet of the Apes but don't know if it was the same one. I think the one I read was drawn by Val Mayerik.

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