Tuesday, 13 February 2018

The Marvel Lucky Bag - February 1978.

Remember that scene in Flash Gordon, where Peter Duncan has to stick his hand in that tree stump and risk death, not knowing what nightmare toxic horror is going to be lurking in there?

Well, this feature is like that.

But with one difference.

Whatever is lurking in the Steve Does Comics' Tree Trunk of Nostalgia is bound to be nice, because it's produced by Marvel.

And it's the 1970s.

Doctor Strange #27, Stygyro

I don't know if I've read this one or not.

I do know that, "Stygyro," is a terrible name for a villain - possibly because it reminds me of little-remembered 1980s band Spyro Gyra who I recall inflicting some sort of easy listening cocktail music upon me when I was least expecting it.

I suspect it was a Spyro Gyra album that Peter Duncan found in that tree trunk. No wonder he keeled over and died.

Ghost Rider #28, the Orb

I don't know. What? He's being attacked by a motorcyclist with a giant eyeball for a head? How would that man even pass his motorcycling proficiency test? He has no depth perception. He'd be crashing into things, all over the place.

For that matter, how's he even speaking? He's got no mouth. How's he even hearing things? He's got no ears.

I'm starting to think they haven't thought things through properly.

Godzilla #7, Red Ronin

Hooray! It's the debut of the one significant character that I can remember coming out of Marvel's Godzilla strip, as Red Ronin shows up.

Not to be confused, of course, with Red Raven. You'd be a bit disappointed if you'd arranged for Red Ronin to turn up to tackle your thousand foot tall monster, and Red Raven showed up instead. Not least because you'd have to endure endless exposition about bird people, which seemed to be his sole topic of conversation.

Marvel Comics, Man From Atlantis #1

At last! It's the debut of a comic book character like no other!

Well, admittedly, he's like Aquaman and the Sub-Mariner.

Unlike them, however, he had no staying power and his comic was cancelled after just seven issues. I suspect that Marvel readers were perfectly happy to settle for the one man from Atlantis they'd always already had.

Rampaging Hulk #7

I could be wrong but I think that, in this tale, Bereet's bag of tricks falls open and our heroes have to fight the various weirdnesses that lurk within it.

Whatever the tale's about, it has a Jim Starlin cover and that's good enough for me.

Of course, this villainous eyeball has a mouth. You see? Judo Jim, he thought things through.

Marvel Classics Comics #32, White Fang

I've never read White Fang, nor seen the movie adaptation of it.

I remember we had to read a section of it when we were at primary school but it involved him being savaged by a bulldog, which I didn't like, as I don't like my protagonists to be savaged by bulldogs.

Marvel Comics, Scooby-Doo #3

It's this feature's obligatory reminder that not everything Marvel did in the 1970s involved super-heroes, as we get the company's take on the world's most famous ghost-busting dog.

Tragically, that dog made as big a mark on readers as the Man from Atlantis did and his book was cancelled after just nine issues.

There does seem to have been a trend for any 1970s Marvel comic based on a TV show to not even make it to ten issues before being dropped.

Marvel Classics Comics #31, First Men in the Moon

One of my happy childhood memories is of Ray Harryhausen's movie sending Lionel Jeffries to the moon to fight giant, talking ants and then kill them all with his Earth-born diseases.

Nowadays, in its first half, the film seems too whimsical for my liking and it takes too long to reach the moon but I still view it with fondness.

Interesting that the Selenites on that cover look nothing like the ones we were treated to in the film. It does make me wonder how they were described in the original book.

Howard the Duck #21, the Sinister Soofi

The wise-cracking duck takes on television clean-up campaigners.

And you can read my review of this very issue by clicking on this very link here.


Anonymous said...

Dr Strange #27 was better than it looks from that cover, Steve.
Despite the unexplained disappearance of Jim Starlin since the previous issue in yet more creative musical chairs soon after Englehart got the push in the middle of New Atlantis, Tom Sutton and Roger Stern did good work considering they came onto the title mid-storyline.

Those Selenites don't look insect-like enough to me, but then how much accuracy can we expect from an adaptation that credits the novel to Jules Verne?
Doh! Bit of a fail from Marvel editorial there...


Aggy said...

I just rewatched the Man from Atlantis pilot episode a few weeks ago. It was gloriously awful. You'd think it would make a beyter comic than a TV show but I guess 70s economics were at work and it went the way of so many series.

Patrick Duffy is apparently working on a few tie-in novels. Maybe Dr Merrill wakes up to find Mark Harris in the shower...

Charlie Horse 47 said...

Gents I'm reading in a cell phone. Is hulk fighting an eyeball like ghost rider???

Colin Jones said...

I buy SFX magazine every month and last month's issue included a free copy of "The Time Machine" by H.G. Wells. I've seen both film versions (the 2002 version is very under-rated in my opinion) but I'd never read the original novel. Its' observations about class and inequality are still so relevant today and the scientific knowledge was impressive for a book published in 1895. It only got one thing wrong - the Time Traveller (he's never named) continues forward in time 30 million years to the end of the world. Of course, nowadays we know that the world won't end for another 5 billion years.

Oh hold on...I forgot about Trump.

Steve W. said...

Charlie, the Hulk is indeed fighting an eyeball as well. Eyeball villains were clearly in fashion at the time.

Colin, I love the 1960s version of The Time Machine. I've seen the Guy Pearce version but not for a long time and my memories of it are extremely fuzzy.

Aggy, when it comes to watery adventures, I always think they should bring back the TV show Primus but I seem to be the only person alive who remembers Primus.

Sean, that is a remarkable mistake for them to make. Although I suppose the mix-up is understandable.

Charlie Horse 47 said...

Ever since ole Doc Wertham used the picture of a nail attacking an eye ball for his Seduction of the Innocent I get creeped out by big eyeball villains.

Paul Mcscotty said...

The cancellation of the Man from Atlantis comic may have also been due to Frank Robbins being the main artist. Even although I'm a massive fan of Mr Robbins art (and this comic had some of his best art of that time) he was probably the most unpopular artist at Marvel at this time.

Colin I also thought that the 2002 Time Machine film was underrated.

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

Charlie, I've found the eye injury thing even creepier after having cataract surgery (not a lot of fun I can tell you!)
Btw, that wasn't a nail in Seduction of the Innocent, it was a syringe - www.printmag.com/uncategorized/1950s-comics/
Some pretty mad stuff in those old comics - Captain America Commie Smasher was just the tip of the iceberg. Paging Dr Freud...


Charlie Horse 47 said...

Paul - you sure Frank Robbins was more unpopular than Don Heck, LOL? Both let the air out of a lot of my comics reading in the early 70s (Cpt Marvell, Daredevil, Shadow).

Sean - I stand corrected! Tip of the ice berg indeed, lol! The EC comics were simply nutso. Anyhow, I hate the "eye injury" notion and have never understood why that and similar would be put it in a comic book in the 40s and 50s, when the average reader was probably around 10 - 12 years old. Color me "old-fashioned?"

TC said...

Maybe EC was aiming at a slightly older audience than DC and Dell were. Not adults, of course, but maybe adolescents.

Then again, 10-12 year-old boys have a fascination for gore.

And, ever since that syringe-into-eye panel was used in SOTI, comics with eye injury images have probably become sought-after collector's items.

I vaguely remember Primus. AFAIR, it only ran for one season. Charlton published six or seven issues of a tie-in comic book in 1972.

Joe S. Walker said...

Perhaps Hulk and Ghost Rider were being attacked by The Residents?

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