Tuesday, 13 November 2018

The Marvel Lucky Bag - November 1978.

There are some people who you start to think are going to buck the trend of history and find a way to live forever.

Stan Lee was one of them.

But, sadly, even, "The Man," had to go eventually and that departure does provoke a genuine sense of loss.

Whatever the endless and ultimately unwinnable arguments about who did and didn't create what at Marvel, there's no doubt about one thing; Lee was the voice of Marvel. He was what gave the company a public persona that was hipper, cornier, deeper, more vibrant, human and dynamic than those of its rivals. And, in tying all those 1960s Marvel mags together, with his vision of what a super-hero should be - tormented by inner turmoil and cursed with feet of clay - he created a sense that all Marvel characters lived in the same universe and could bump into each other at any moment; and that you could bump into them too, if you ever happened to visit New York.

It was an approach that not only helped Marvel establish comic book industry dominance by the 1970s but also went on to give it cinematic dominance, decades later.

The truth is the comic book as an art form never had a better salesman. Even people who've never read a Marvel comic, and never will, know of Stan Lee and the heroes that he and artists like Jack Kirby and Steve Ditko created.


There's no doubt about it, Stan Lee and his collaborators created more successful comics than it's possible to shake a Skrull at but it's the second Tuesday of the month and that means it's time for me to take a look at what some of Marvel's less successful titles were doing in the issues cover-dated this month of forty years ago.

Black Panther #12, the agents of Kiber

Hooray! The Black Panther's up against the Agents of Kiber!

No, I have to admit it, I don't have a clue who they are but they sort of look like evil counterparts to the astronauts in Jack Kirby's version of 2001, so they have both my interest and intrigue aroused.

Invaders #34, the Destroyer

The Invaders gets plenty of abuse on this site but it always seems to get included in this feature, whereas plenty of other titles don't.

I can't help feeling it's because it always had more intriguing covers than a lot of those other books could muster.

Apparently, in this one, the Destroyer becomes an honorary Invader and the gang head back to America to fight that pesky rapscallion Master Man.

But what on Earth is Union Jack's advertised new super-power? Only a month ago, he gained the powers of Thor. He must be getting fed up of acquiring new super-powers, at this rate.

Machine Man #8

I've no idea what happens in this one but I've not featured Machine Man in ages, so I thought I'd best include him.

Marvel Comics, Kiss

It's what we've all been crying out for! Kiss get their very own Marvel comic!

Admittedly, I didn't cry out for it. The only reason I'd ever heard of Kiss in the 1970s was because of Marvel giving them their own comic. If their music ever got played on British radio, it totally bypassed me.

They did, of course, make more of a UK chart impact in the early to mid 1980s.

Not that they were likely to care too much about that. Judging by that cover, they were too busy having to deal with Ming the Merciless.

The Astonishing Spider-Man, Marvel Treasury Edition #18

It's something of a surprise to me to discover that Marvel Treasury Editions were still going in late 1978. I always see them as a mid 1970s thing.

In this edition, Spidey teams up with the X-Men to tackle Morbius. I can't help feeling that's an awful lot of people to tackle just one vampire.

Elsewhere, Spidey and Werewolf by Night join forces to take on someone called Moondark who wants to take over San Francisco.

After that, Spidey and Ghost Rider team up to take on a foe who I think might be the Orb.

And, finally, Spidey and Iron Fist unite to tangle with Drom.

Was he the man who lived his life backwards? If so, it's the only one of these tales I've ever read, thanks to Iron Fist's adventures appearing in the pages of Marvel UK's Avengers mag.

The observant reader will, of course, have already realised that all of these tales are from Marvel Team-Up, meaning this is really a Marvel Team-Up Treasury Edition, even if Marvel's Powers-That-Be aren't admitting to it.

Red Sonja #12

Red Sonja's comic may not have pulled up any trees and have been somewhat short-lived but you have to love a warrior woman.

You also have to love that cover by Frank Brunner.

Devil Dinosaur #8

It's more Kirby weirdness for the world's pinkest dinosaur.

According to Walt Simonson, this cover was the only time in his career that he ever got to ink the work of Jack Kirby.

Alice in Wonderland, Marvel Classics Comics #35

Marvel gives us its take on Alice in Wonderland, a book that I still don't think I've ever read. Nor have I ever managed to sit all the way through any cinema or TV adaptations.

Sunday, 11 November 2018

Forty years ago today - November 1978.

There's nothing quite like sitting there, as a giant pair of curtains parts to reveal the latest Hollywood epic that's going to change your life.

In fairness, if they'd parted in November 1978, you probably wouldn't have had your life changed, but there were some movies of interest came out that month.

For instance, it saw the release of Magic, Watership Down and the animated version of The Lord of the Rings.

It also saw the release of Caravans, Paradise Alley and Same Time, Next Year.

Clearly, it was all good news for Mike Batt's bank manager because Batt wrote the theme songs to both Caravan and Watership Down, meaning he wasn't going to have worry about affording Christmas presents that year.

Neither was John Hurt who was in both Watership Down and The Lord of the Rings.

Avengers #177

On the other hand, the Avengers might not even live to see Christmas. Things aren't looking good for them as they find themselves up against Michael Korvac.

From what I can make out, this issue seems to guest star just about every character who'd ever previously appeared in a Marvel Comic. Clearly, the tale's author Jim Shooter was determined to give us our money's worth.

Conan the Barbarian #92, the thing in the crypt

Hooray! It's the return of the helmet Conan wore in Zukala's Daughter, all those years earlier.

I know it seems unlikely that a man could become emotionally attached to a barbarian's hat but it featured in the first Conan tale I ever read, so it left a major impression on me.

As for this tale, it seems to involve Conan running into a cave and accidentally bringing a skeleton to life. Frankly, how anyone survived the Hyborian Age is a mystery to me, the sheer ubiquity of occult menaces that were lurking behind every door.

Despite the cover's boast that it's an, "All-new tale," I do believe it's actually adapted from a story by L. Sprague De Camp and Lin Carter and that I read their original version sometime in 1991.

But that was a long time ago and I can, therefore, recall little of it, other than its title.

Daredevil #155, the Black Widow

Hooray! The Black Widow is back in a Daredevil tale, in which Hornhead shows his smarts by attacking the Avengers mansion.

Admittedly, it could be explained by the fact he's been suffering from a headaches lately.

Death-Stalker's also in this tale. Whether he's to blame for our hero's headaches, I cannot say.

Fantastic Four #200, Dr Doom

Marvel's first super-team reach their 200th issue and, of course, do it by fighting Dr Doom.

I do believe this is the one in which Doom loses control of Latveria and democracy breaks out.

Call me sceptic but I suspect it won't last.

Incredible Hulk #229. Doc Samson and Moonstone

I don't have a clue what happens in this tale but I'm assuming, from the cover, that Doc Samson hasn't realised yet that Moonstone's a bad guy.

Spectacular Spider-Man #24, Hypno-Hustler

It's the story that had to happen!

Spidey goes Disco!

Just when I thought Marvel couldn't come up with a naffer attempt to jump on a craze than the Rocket Racer, the book tops even that by giving us the Hypno-Hustler.

You only have to take a single look at him on that cover to know he's going to be one of the most disastrously misconceived creations in the history of humanity.

Amazingly, for a story set in a disco, this tale would appear to feature no sign of the Dazzler.

Then again, perhaps she hadn't been invented yet.

X-Men #115, Sauron

Sauron's causing trouble in the Savage Land.

Or is he?

I seem to remember that, in his human form, he's one of the good guys in this tale and that the real bad guys are Zaladane and Garokk who're up to some misdeeds or other in a big citadel built over lava, and that it threatens the survival of the entire Savage Land.

Or possibly the entire world.

Or something.

Captain America #227, the Red Skulls

I've no idea what happens in this tale, other than that it involves the Red Skull and an inevitable Bucky Barnes flashback.

To be honest, I think I could live without another Bucky flashback. I mean, just imagine if every Spider-Man story featured a Gwen Stacy flashback. It'd start to send you mad.

Thor #277, Hela

This is more like it. Just as Thor and Sif are gearing up for a holiday together, Hela decides to invade Asgard.

I admit it, I'm on her side.

Iron Man #116

I don't know anything about this tale but the Ani-Men and Spymaster are in it.

There's also a Thor advert for Hostess Fruit Pies.

Amazing Spider-Man #186

This is a shock for me.

For some reason, I'd always assumed this cover was created specially for Marvel UK's relaunched Spider-Man Comic in 1979. It just has that sort of look about it.

Therefore, it's a bit of a revelation to discover it was taken from an issue of The Amazing Spider-Man.

And what a landmark issue it is because, in it, everyone's favourite wall-crawler's informed that all charges against him have finally been dropped.

Not that the Chameleon's willing to see it stay that way. He pretends to be Spidey at a press conference, to make him look bad, and it takes Flash Thompson to get everyone to see sense.

Apart from J Jonah Jameson who doesn't see sense and still has it in for Spidey.

Thursday, 8 November 2018

November 8th, 1978 - Marvel UK, 40 years ago this week.

Once more it's a Thursday and once more it's time for me to smash down the doors of History, charge into the hallways of Nostalgia and seek to discover what magical gems our favourite comics company was offering us in this week of forty years ago.

Star Wars Weekly #40

As so often with Star Wars Weekly, I recall nothing of this issue's contents.

Admittedly, that's not strictly true. I do recall the phrase, "Cosmic kill creature."

Exactly what the cosmic kill creature is and why it's in such a bad mood is something I can, however, shed no light upon

I can, though, announce that this week's back cover features an ad for a sonic-controlled Mercedes.

Not a real one, obviously - such things as that only exist in James Bond movies. This was a toy version and it could be yours for £12.99 which works out at a whopping £71 in today's money. Frankly, I wouldn't pay £71 for anything that's being advertised on the back of a comic.

In contrast, this comic's price tag of 10p works out at 55p in current prices.

Mighty World of Marvel #319, the Hulk vs the Sentinels

In a stunning move guaranteed to rock the world of comics, Marvel UK has stopped obscuring the cover of its flagship title with that banner which used to declare the Hulk to be TV's Number One TV star. Did this mean he was no longer TV's Number One TV star? Did it mean Marvel had had complaints about it ruining the covers? Did it mean that someone had just forgotten to do it?

I have no idea.

When it comes to the contents, I am slightly more clued up. The Hulk, Angel and Iceman have been captured by the Sentinels - but not for long, as it takes the Hulk about three seconds to escape from his escape-proof jam jar.

Elsewhere, the Thing is helping Daredevil fight a mysterious female foe with the ability to control men's minds.

When I say, "helping," he basically spends a chunk of the tale in the thrall of the bad guy and DD has to rescue him by instantly teaching himself how to fly the Fantasticar.

Super Spider-Man #300

Hooray! Many Marvel UK comics may have fallen by the wayside, over the years, but the company's second title hits the 300 issue mark and does so with the tale that involves Spider-Man visiting Uncle Ben's graveside and looking back on his career as a crime fighter.

It's a chain of events which leads to a cemetery nightwatchman stealing our hero's microscope in what's meant to be a heart-warming manner but, let's face it, stealing things from gravesides is a dubious practice at best.

I'm also not convinced that the cover's claim that this is the most requested Marvel story of all time is completely true. I'm sure more people requested to see the Hulk vs Thor than demanded to see Spider-Man hanging around a grave and having flashbacks.

Tuesday, 6 November 2018

The Marvel Lucky Bag - November 1968.

Last week, I survived Halloween. This week, I survived Guy Fawkes Night. Truly I  am on a roll beyond human imagination.

And you know who was on a roll in this month of fifty years ago?

Mary Hopkin, Joe Cocker and Hugo Montenegro because each of them claimed the Number One spot on the UK singles chart in that four week period, thanks to the tracks Those Were the Days, With a Little Help From My Friends and The Good, the Bad and the Ugly.

When it came to the album chart, the UK top spot that November belonged to just two LPs, Greatest Hits by the Hollies and The Sound of Music by the people from The Sound of Music.

Those were human beings who were sustaining a high profile at the time but what of the Marvel Comics publications that were of a noticeably lower profile? What were they up to in the mags that were just being removed from the news racks as that month began?

Captain Marvel #7, Quasimodo

Captain Marvel fights Quasimodo in a story I think I may have read in an early issue of The Titans.

Beyond that, I remember little. Does it involve the good captain being attacked by a bunch of robots dressed as people from the 19th Century? Or was that a totally different story altogether?

Doctor Strange #174

According to the Grand Comics Database, our hero's battling someone called Lord Nekron who's struck a bargain with Satannish that he'll be gifted immortality, provided he finds a mystic to take his place within twelve months. I would assume that means the mystic he's got in mind is the doctor himself.

I've no memory of ever having read this tale but I feel confident in asserting that Lord Nekron's bound to be unrelated to the character Nekron who turned up in an issue of the JLA I once read.

Fantastic Four Annual #6, Annihilus

It's a landmark issue, as the FF come up against Annihilus for the first time.

If I recall correctly, they have to enter the Negative Zone, in order to find a cure for the pregnant but unwell Sue, which leads to them needing to get their hands on Annihilus' Cosmic Control Rod.

Quite how they knew that a treatment for Sue could be found in the Negative Zone, I have no idea.

Marvel Super-Heroes #17, the Black Knight

It's a momentous day, as Dane Whitman gets a run-out in what I assume is his first solo adventure.

But he's not the only one in action because the original Human Torch also gets a tale in this issue, as do the Sub-Mariner and the All-Winners Squad, giving us a massive 68 pages of action.

Agent of SHIELD #6

It's another classic Steranko cover, as Nick Fury gets space-bound, although Jim doesn't draw the comic's interior.

It would seem that an asteroid is on a collision course with Earth and that it's all the fault of a group of mysterious people living in the Andes, who are up to no good with their force beam.

Amazing Spider-Man Annual #5

At last, Spider-Man learns what happened to his parents -  and it all turns out to be too glamorous and exciting for my liking, with the Red Skull and international espionage involved.

I do feel Peter Parker shouldn't have an exciting back story which incorporates parents who're secret agents. It does somewhat rob him of his down-to-Earth status.

Spectacular Spider-Man #2, the Green Goblin

Spider-Man's second 1960s title may have only lasted for two issues but, in its second outing, it did give us a classic tale, as the Green Goblin returns to cause no end of mischief for our hero.

It's a more nightmarish seeming Goblin than we'd seen before, one armed with strange, psychedelic drugs.

And if that weren't enough to get you buying the thing, how could any sane reader not love that cover?

Sub-Mariner #7

It's a rare use of photos by John Buscema.

I don't have a clue what happens in this issue but it features Tiger Shark and someone called Paul Destine, whom, I suspect, may be out to become president.

Sunday, 4 November 2018

Fifty years ago this month - November 1968.

We all know that life's full of ups and downs - and this month in 1968 was no exception.

For instance, it was a terrible time in which to be a Sea-Monkey salesman, thanks to it being the month in which Britain's Trade Descriptions Act came into force, making it illegal for shops and traders to describe goods in a misleading manner. That was all very well and good but now what were X-ray specs manufacturers supposed to do for a living?

It was also a terrible time for anyone who lived on the dark side of the moon and wanted a bit of privacy because it was the month in which NASA announced it'd soon be launching three astronauts to orbit that self-same satellite, via Apollo 8.

It was, however, a good month for fans of confusingly titled double albums, as the Beatles released their twin LP The Beatles which, for some reason, everyone has known ever since as The White Album. I wonder at what point after its release it became the universal practise to know it simply by its nickname and totally ignore its real title?

Avengers #58

It's another classic, from my favourite Avengers era, as the team debate whether to accept the Vision as a new member, and get to explore his origin.

Doesn't this issue also reveal the origin of Ultron, or is that dealt with in a different story?

Captain America #107, Dr Faustus

I do believe this is the yarn in which Dr Faustus makes his psychiatrical debut and proceeds to take all kinds of advantage of Cap's tortured mind.

Needless to say, that means we get plenty of mithering about Bucky.

Daredevil #46, the Jester

Daredevil sets out to bring an end to the Jester's plot to frame him for a murder that never occurred.

Doesn't he do it by appearing on a chat show, dressed as the Jester, in order to troll the villain into revealing the truth about his plan?

Fantastic Four #80

Forget Galactus. It's time to learn the true meaning of fear, as Tomazooma the living totem goes on the rampage in the reservation and Wyatt Wingfoot makes his return.

I seem to remember Tomazooma being revealed to be some sort of hoax perpetrated by an evil company, in order to get its greedy hands on the reservation's natural resources, or something similar

Hulk #109, Ka-Zar

Hooray! It's the first story I ever read which featured Ka-Zar!

How exciting he seemed to be, with his sabre-toothed tiger and his hidden kingdom filled with strange beasties and even stranger people.

It was only later that I discovered just what a disparity there was between him and the Hulk when it came to sheer power and that a fight between them was never going to amount to much.

Still, it did set up the thrillingest Hulk yarn I'd read up to that point in my life.

Iron Man #7, the Gladiator

Fed up of being regularly knocked out by Marvel's weakest hero, the Gladiator decides to take on Iron Man instead.

I can't help feeling that might not be the sort of logic that leads to success.

But does this mean we can look forward to a tussle between Iron Man and Stilt-Man at some point?

And why is, "Stilt-Man," hyphenated and, "Iron Man," isn't?

And why is, "Superman," one word and, "Spider-Man," isn't?

Amazing Spider-Man #66, Mysterio

Speaking of which, it's another of my faves, as Mysterio returns and has concocted yet another plan designed to drive our beloved wall-crawler mad.

Thor #158

I do believe this is the issue which reacquaints us with the tale of how Don Blake discovered the cane that gave him his Thor powers, and makes a start on explaining the mystery of how Thor can simultaneously be a genuine Norse god and an American doctor.

Speaking of mysteries, I don't have a clue who drew that big Thor face on the cover but I'm fairly certain it wasn't Jack Kirby.

X-Men #50

As Sort of the Atom pointed out in last month's comments section, this issue sees the debut of the brand new logo designed by Jim Steranko; not to mention a classic cover.

As well as Lorna Dane and Magnetobot action, this issue gives us the origin of the Beast.

Thursday, 1 November 2018

November 1st, 1978 - Marvel UK, 40 years ago this week.

It's official! I have survived Halloween! Neither ghost nor ghoul was able to lay a glove on me and all vile succubi kept their distance! This means I am still free to investigate just what our favourite comics company was up to in this week of four decades ago, in the year when the first movie that bore the name Halloween was unleashed upon the world.

Satr Wars Weekly #39

Things are getting bad for Luke Skywalker. Not only does he seem to be in a coma but it looks like The Stranger is out to get him, as well.

I can exclusively reveal that among this week's back-up strips is the UFO Connection, that Herb Trimpe drawn tale in which a man and his daughter battle an evil alien conspiracy which has something to do with pyramids but I can't remember exactly what.

This issue also contains an advert for Palitoy's Commander Power action figure, a character I must confess to being unfamiliar with - but, apparently, he can fire a green beam of light from his chest, so that's got to count for something.

Speaking of beams of light, the back cover sees the return of the advert for the battery-powered Star Wars Force Beam that's clearly meant to be a lightsabre, now available for the galactic price of £3.50.

Savage Sword of Conan #13, Red Sonja

We may be a couple of months away from the Dez Skinn revolution which radically changed Marvel UK's weekly mags but it would seem his influence is already being felt on the monthly titles, as Savage Sword of Conan suddenly switches to the layout Skinn favoured for his Starburst magazine; the artwork in a box on the right-hand side of the cover and the contents listed in a sidebar on the left.

I do believe this cover illustration was the first that Boris Vallejo ever did for a Conan comic book story. You can see that his painting style for the genre hasn't quite reached its final form yet.

Rampage Monthly #5, the Hulk and Sub-Mariner

No Dez Skinn boxes for Rampage Monthly just yet.

Otherwise, the Hulk is taking on Subby in a tale I know little of.

Mighty World of Marvel #318, the Hulk, Angel and Iceman vs the Sentinels

This is a Hulk tale I know far more about. The Hulk, Angel and Iceman are in space and up against the Sentinels' controller, the evil Master Mold.

But just what did that green and yellow caption say before it was largely obscured by the, "It's the No.1 T.V. Show!" banner? All we can make out of its message is, "Can a fighting mad Hulk...?"

"Can a fighting mad Hulk," what?

Meanwhile, can the Fantastic Four come to the rescue when Agatha Harkness and Franklin are kidnapped and taken back to her hometown for reasons I fail to remember?

Also, Daredevil's about to team up with Shanna the She-Devil, in order to tackle the Mandrill, while Iron Man finds himself up against Mikas and is about to come to blows with a massive great big serpent.

Super Spider-Man #299, the Hulk

It's a busy week for the Hulk. Not only does he have to fight the Sub-Mariner and the Sentinels, he also has to contend with Spider-Man.

Still, it's his own fault because he's still trying to bust the Chameleon's best friend out of jail, in the belief that the face-changing felon is Rick Jones.

Elsewhere, Captain America's still up against the Grey Gargoyle, while the back cover features an advert for that year's Hulk and Spider-Man annuals. I had the Spider-Man book but was, until now, totally unaware of the Hulk one.

Marvel UK, Starburst #4, the Hulk

Oh my God, it's turned into an even busier week for the Hulk because he's also the cover star of Starburst magazine which, with this month, becomes an official Marvel publication, thanks to its creator Dez Skinn's editorship of Marvel UK.

After leading so many publications in one month, the Hulk must be feeling exhausted. No wonder he's looking a bit green around the gills.

Thanks to Sean for pointing out the significance of this issue.

Sunday, 28 October 2018

Atlas Comics' Tales of Evil #1.

Tales of Evil #1, Atlas Seaboard
It's time to tremble with fear because we're mere days away from Halloween, that terrifying time of year when witches fly, skeletons leap from their coffins and newspapers try to spread panic about pumpkin shortages.

It can only mean one thing.

That it's time to take a face-first leap into terror and look at what the short-lived Atlas Comics had to offer us in terms of horror.

Of course, a more cynical man than me might argue that the entire history of Atlas Comics is a horror story but I'm not that cynical man and, so, I shall, instead, take a look at the only horror comic by them that I ever owned.

And that was Tales of Evil #1.

It kicks off with Spawn of the Devil in which a madman puts the spirit of Satan into a doll which then takes possession of a young girl who goes on to kill everyone she knows, before transforming into the devil and flying off to unleash yet more evil upon the world.

Atlas Comics, Tales of Evil #1, Spawn of the DevilIt's a strange story that makes little sense (why does the devil want to inhabit a doll?) and, unusually for a comic book horror story, seems to contain no moral. The victims are innocent people who've done nothing to bring their fate down upon themselves. They just happen to be unlucky.

I must confess I find this lack of a moral compass somewhat refreshing and I do approve of its bloodthirstiness which, to me, seems to be much livelier than was normal in mid 1970s mainstream colour horror comics.

Next up is A Matter of Breeding, in which two wig makers concoct a cure for baldness, which turns their wealthy client into a homicidal werewolf.

Atlas Comics, Tales of Evil #1, werewolf
With a terrible inevitability, the toupee-ists get their comeuppance - but not before they've shipped ten thousand of those baldness cures to the public at large.

There's some sort of attempt made to convince us they're bad people who deserve what they get but, to be honest, they don't seem that bad to me. There's really no reason given for them to think there'll be any negative consequences to their actions and they're not really even ripping off their moneyed benefactor, so it's a somewhat odd attempt.

That's followed by Stake Out, in which a man agrees to spend a night in a cemetery that's reputedly the haunt of a vampire - only to mistakenly kill an actor who's playing a vampire in a movie being filmed in that graveyard.

Needless to say, as he's being taken away by the police, a chilling twist is revealed.

Atlas Comics, Tales of Evil #1, Stake Out, vampireThe first and last tales are drawn by Jerry Grandenetti, while the middle story's drawn by Mike Sekowsky. All three yarns are written by Russ Jones, although he does hide behind a pseudonym for one of them.

Anyone familiar with those two artists will know they had a much more vigorous style than many of the horror artists DC Comics was using at the time; the likes of E.R. Cruz, Alfredo Alcala, Alex Niño, Nestor Redondo and many others. While this means the book looks less sophisticated and stylish than many of DC's ostensibly similar horror monthlies, it's also noticeably more lively. This, coupled with the lack of any desire to distinguish between right and wrong, means the book is simple-minded fun.

Sadly, none of that vigour was enough to save it and, after just three issues, Tales of Evil disappeared, like a phantom, from the news racks, never to be seen again, a feat that numerous Atlas titles managed to replicate.

Did it reinvent the horror comic? No. Did it leave a lasting impression within the minds of all who read it? Probably not. But, like all Atlas Comics, it's hard not to have an affection for it that's out of all proportion to its actual merits as a comic.

Thursday, 25 October 2018

October 25th, 1978 - Marvel UK, 40 years ago this week.

This week in 1978 was another dull one when it came to current affairs, music and television and, so, I feel it's best I launch myself straight into my look at what our favourite comics publisher was up to in that seven day period.

Star Wars Weekly #38

As so often, I know little of the contents of this issue, but I do know that's a nice cover by John Buscema.

I also know Star-Lord's strip is still ongoing, although I don't know what's going on.

Possibly even more excitingly, I also know this week's back cover features another of those full page Smiths crisp ads about football. This one reveals that Rivelino holds the world record for the fastest goal ever, having scored after just three and a half seconds while the Fluminense goalkeeper was still busy doing his prayers.

Mighty World of Marvel #317, Hulk vs Doc Samson

I do believe this Hulk tale's drawn by John Byrne, as our hero sort of teams up with the Angel and Iceman to tackle the Sentinels and their outer space base. I do remember liking it at the time but haven't read the tale since then and, therefore, can offer no up-to-date opinion about its merits.

I also believe the FF tale in this issue is the one in which the Thing tackles a robot that's trying to steal a bank vault, and ends up in conflict with the army about just who the defeated machine belongs to.

In DD's strip, the Black Spectre's still trying to recruit Daredevil and the Black Widow to his campaign of landmark defacement.

Super Spider-Man #298, the Hulk

I have no memory at all of this Spidey epic but it would seem the Chameleon's back and, yet again, doing his favourite thing of committing crimes while dressed as Spider-Man.

The story appears to be a reprint from Marvel Team-Up #27 and it would seem that, at one point, the Chameleon accidentally bumps into the Hulk but just happens to have a Rick Jones mask handy which enables him to fool the Hulk into helping him.

Which does raise the obvious question of just why the Chameleon would happen to have a Rick Jones mask on him?

Elsewhere, Captain America is up against the Grey Gargoyle, and possibly the Falcon as well, in a John Romita drawn tale.

In The Avengers, I do believe Patsy Walker's about to discover the Cat's old costume and become the senses-shattering Hellcat. Personally, I do view this as a good thing, as there are not enough heroes on this planet who have bright yellow costumes.

Elsewhere, Thor, Hercules, Firelord and Galactus are all set to go to war with Ego the living planet.

But isn't that overkill? Would Galactus on his own not be able to do the task?
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