Tuesday, 13 March 2018

The Marvel Lucky Bag - March 1978.

Mere days after I looked at what Marvel's major characters were up to forty years ago, it's time to investigate what their less high-profile colleagues were doing. With Marvel publishing around forty titles a month in that era, I can't look at all of them but I can at least peruse a selection of the more promising ones.

Howard the Duck #22, Man-Thing

I have a copy of this issue. From what I can remember, Howard gets attacked by a pickled vegetable and this somehow leads to him being stranded in another dimension, with various misfits and a threat to all of existence, or something.

But don't take my word for it, you can read my review of the comic by clicking on this here link, right here.

Invaders #26

I don't know much about Agent Axis but he clearly visits the same gentlemen's outfitters as the Shadow and Death-Stalker.

I do believe this tale is drawn by Frank Robbins, as was the first issue of The Shadow I ever read. No doubt, this means that, when I first encountered this tale in the pages of Marvel UK, it would have made it even harder for me not to see the wrong-doer as a Shadow knock-off.

Ms Marvel #15, Tiger Shark

I've always liked Tiger Shark, possibly because the Sub-Mariner had such a mediocre villain's gallery, that any ne'er-do-well who wasn't totally forgettable was likely to seem ten times more memorable than he actually was.

On the other hand, I suspect it was really down to the fin. Not enough villains have fins
Marvel Two-In-One #37, the Thing and Matt Murdock

I have a copy of this one too. Pestered by a buzzing in his ear, the Thing takes to demolishing chunks of New York. Fortunately for him, the world's greatest lawyer is on the case.

Granted, the fact that, if the cover is to be believed, our hero is the first man ever to be sentenced to twenty years in jail for vandalism, suggests Murdock may not be quite as good a lawyer as we're always told he is.

Either way, you can read my blink-and-you'll-miss-it look at this issue, by clicking on this link.

Red Sonja #8

I haven't read this one - but I feel like I have. I'm pretty sure Red Sonja came up against a giant snake in every single tale I ever read that featured her.

I assume that's not Conan in the background because, presumably, the blurb would have mentioned him, if it was.

Tomb of Dracula #63, Janus

Clearly, it's a bad day for Dracula when it comes to father/son relations.

I have no idea what's going on with all the tentacles in the background, though.

Human Fly #7

I think I've read this one.

Sadly, you won't find a review of it anywhere on this site because I haven't encountered it since I was at school and, strangely enough, nothing about it has lodged in my memory.

You can, however, discover my general thoughts about the Human Fly, by clicking on this particular link.

Marvel Comics, Star Wars #9

It's all getting exciting - because Marvel's adaptation of the original movie is over and we're now getting the adventures of a talking space-rabbit.

While I vaguely remember the existence of the talking space-rabbit, I can remember nothing about him or what he got up to. He does feel more like a 2000 AD character than a Marvel one.


Timothy Field said...

Ahh Jaxxon the space-rabbit, George Lucas wasn't a fan according to legend.
The existence of Jar Jar Binks seems to suggest otherwise.

Steve W. said...

It does seem weird that he'd object to space-rabbits, given that he gave us teddy bears, Bigfoots, frog people and comedy robots.

Aggy said...

Jaxxon!!! Last seen on a recent Star Wars variant cover. Also rumoured to be returning to continuity soon. (Now Lucas is out of the picture).

Odd to see Tiger shark having seen Stingray a few days ago. They are brothers-in-law.

TC said...

I vaguely remember that Marvel Two In One. IIRC, it was a three-issue story. Murdock appears as Daredevil in #38. Then, in #39, they go to Avengers HQ and fight the Vision and Yellow Jacket. Presumably, Ben was under some kind of mind control, but I have forgotten who was the villain behind it.

Agent Axis appeared briefly in Tales of Suspense eighty-something in 1966 or '67. But only as a hallucination. Captain America had been drugged and was having flashbacks to WWII. I don't know offhand whether Agent A had actually been in any Cap stories during the 1940's.

IIRC, the green rabbit was one of a team of mercenaries, and the story was a space opera version of The Magnificent Seven. But, as usual, I could be wrong.

Killdumpster said...

With the introduction of bunny people in Star Wars comics, interest in Star Wars went out the gate. Ewoks were too hard for me as it were. That's when I realized
Lucas was a toy pimp (as parodied in SPACEBALLS).

I had quit reading Howard after Turnip Man & Dr. Bong. I kinda wish I knew what happened to the Kidney Lady.

There was a talk show mid-afternoon here in the states called the Mike Douglas Show. Stan Lee was a guest, dressed in a Capt America costume, basically MC'ing a superhero fashion show. At the end, he introduced Red Sonja. A nova-hot tall redhead in the armored bikini. Jamie Farr ( Klinger from M*A*S*H), Who was also a guest,jumped onstage and shouted "NOW THAT'S WHAT I CALL A SUPERHERO!!!"

Aggy said...

No you are spot on. Han and Chewie end up on some backwayer planet that looked a lot like 1960s Star Trek episode. They recruit a rag tag bag to help defend whoever. From memory Jaxxin had a buxom friend. There was a kid with a droid (pretty much Luke and C3PO/R2 combined). And an old guy with a lightsaber who claimed to be the last Jedi.Probably someone I'm forgetting

Killdumpster said...

I think even the High Evolutionary would bother with bunnies.

Aggy said...

Ugh. Forgot Porcupine guy. Literally the guy at the front left of the cover.

Killdumpster said...

Sorry, I meant I DON'T think he would.

Anonymous said...

That's right about Red Sonja, Steve - you didn't have to be Freud to see that those giant snakes together with that vow about only putting out after being defeated in battle was all a bit suspect, even by the standard of Marvel responses to feminism in the 70s.

A shame really, as Conan #24 was such a classic in part because the characterisation was unusually well done. It does rather lend credibility to Barry Smith's claims to have contributed more to the writing than he's been credited with.


Steve W. said...

Sean, Aggy, TC and Killdumpster, thanks for all the information and analysis. I'm feeling suitably educated.

Anonymous said...

I only had one issue of Red Sonja - the final one (#15 I think) - in which Red gets trapped inside a giant clam!

But I don't understand why Marvel created Red Sonja at all. In the R.E.H. story "Red Nails" Conan teams up with a kick-ass, sword-wielding warrior-woman called Valeria Of The Red Brotherhood. Valeria is Red Sonja in all but name so why invent Red Sonja when Valeria already existed?

Steve W. said...

Yes, I always wondered why there was a need for both Red Sonja and Valeria.

I suspect it may be because Valeria was willing to get up to hanky panky with Conan and, possibly, Roy Thomas liked the idea of a warrior woman who, unlike all other women in the Conanverse, was determined to say no to him. Therefore, he created Sonja.

Then again, that might not have been the reason at all but it is the one thing I can think of that distinguishes the two women from each other.

Anonymous said...

TWO capable female characters?!? That sounds like political correctness gone mad!
Sorry Colin, couldn't resist:)
Maybe it had something to do with Red Nails being an adaptation set much later on in Conan's life than the original colour comic? Meeting Valeria years earlier doesn't quite fit.

Steve, that theory might well explain why Roy Thomas felt that ridiculous vow was necessary for a continuing female character - the skinny-dipping scene from Conan #24 had to be changed to pass the comics code.


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