Sunday 8 April 2018

Forty years ago today - April 1978.

April 1978 saw the debut of a show that changed the world, as Dallas was launched upon our unsuspecting minds and, within two years, had us all wondering who shot J.R.

It was Kristin.

No one's told me that. I've just worked it out, with my encyclopedic knowledge of the show and incredible deductive powers.

Thinking about it, I don't even remember who Kristin was or why she shot J.R. In fact, I can't even remember her being in it. I do remember she was played by Mary Crosby who I do believe was related to the Bing of the same surname.

Well, people may have wanted to kill J.R. but he didn't know how lucky he was. Marvel's greatest heroes had to put up with people trying to kill them every single day of their lives. It's a miracle they didn't end up with a complex.

Avengers #170, Jocasta

Jocasta is back.

I wish I could say more about it than that but that's pretty much all I'm certain of. Is this the story in which Ant-Man takes on the rest of the Avengers, with his devastating ant powers, or am I thinking of another story completely?

Conan the Barbarian #85

At last we get the origin of Zula!

I say, "At last," but I think this was only his second ever appearance.

Needless to say, I don't remember what his origin was. I'm going to have a stab at guessing that it involved the death of his parents and him being raised by a wizard before killing the evil king who was to blame for the death of his parents. It's a comic. The death of parents has to be involved.

Fantastic Four #193, Darkoth is back

Darkoth is back.

Apparently, this issue sees the Thing's attempts at testing an experimental plane be foiled by Diablo. Contrary to the impression given by the cover, it seems that Darkoth is actually on Benjy's side in all this.

Incredible Hulk #222

I remember this one. From what I can recall, it was a Jim Starlin/Alfredo Alcala epic about a giant, mutated child in a cave who eats people.

Needless to say, he bites off more than he can chew when he decides to nibble on the Hulk. With its themes of cannibalism, caverns and malformed children, it all seemed noticeably darker than Hulk tales normally did.

Iron Man #109

This one means nothing to me but it would appear that it features the return of the Crimson Dynamo, although, sadly, not the original Crimson Dynamo.

Amazing Spider-Man #179, the Green Goblin and Silvermane

Spidey is still having trouble with the fake Green Goblin and Silvermane.

I have no idea how Silvermane is alive in this tale, given that, the last time I encountered him, he'd been de-aged into non-existence. That seems like the kind of fate you don't come back from.

Spectacular Spider-Man #17

As far as I can make out, the villain facing Spidey and the Angel in this tale is, in reality, the Iceman, heavily disguised and under the control of some wrongdoer or other.

The Angel's red and white outfit was always my favourite of the costumes he wore. I'm not convinced his gloves and boots should have been yellow though.

Thor #270, Blastaar

Blastaar is causing problems for the stormy super-doer. He does seem to be shooting our hero square in the genitals. In fairness to Thor, he doesn't seem to be letting the total destruction of his reproductive organs bother him.

X-Men #110, Warhawk

Unless I miss my guess, this is one of those Dreaded Deadline Doom fill-in issues that were always a major letdown when you encountered them. In this case, it was especially annoying, given the highs the strip had been giving us in the preceding issues.
Captain America and the Falcon #220, the Ameridroid

I genuinely don't have a clue what's going on with this one. I've never even heard of the Ameridroid. Nor do I know why anyone would create such a thing.


dangermash aka The Artistic Actuary said...

I'm guessing that Silvermane's regeneration probably happened in a Datedevil come.

And I can't walk away without expressing my disdain for Ross Andru's depiction of Silvermane. He makes him look like a prematurely grey 30-year old. Compare that to JohnRomita's art in ASM 73-75 where Silvermane looks well into his 80s. No comparison.

Anonymous said...

The ladies love Datedevil, dangermash.

Steve, Yellowjacket was in the line-up for Avengers #170 so you must be thinking of a different story.
I have the misfortune to have read Captain America #220, and a giant Captain America robot is as ridiculous as it sounds. A further demonstration to all the whingers who wanted Kirby taken off Cap to be careful what they wish for in future.


dangermash aka The Artistic Actuary said...

Sorry not Datedevil. I meant that Matt Murdoch guy dressed in red. Blind Datedevil.

Timothy Field said...

I remember reading the Hulk story in the pages of MWOM and yes it was an extremely dark tale. As I recall it ended with Hulk deliberately killing the cannibal sibling of the two moppets on the cover. Seemed like a massive change of tone given the preceding stories.

Anonymous said...

Well played dangermash.


Steve W. said...

Sean and Dangermash, thanks for the Silvermane and Ant-Man/Yellowjacket info.

Timothy, it's easily the story I remember most strongly from this era of the Hulk.

Killdumpster said...

DateDevil woulda been a great name for a hero/villian in a romance comic, like Millie the Model or Patsy Walker.

Charlie Horse 47 said...

I'm simply disappointed that Conan is not protecting a minimally-clad damsel. Why else would one be intrigued to open up a Conan o/wise?

I assume this is Darkoth's first appearance since he first appeared in FF 141 - 143? Do you suppose he went back to that Balkan country and continued to scare the crap out of the locals after dark, in the intervening 4 years, like Doc Doom had him doing when he created him? I mean, it's not the worst way to while away the time.

Steve W. said...

I like to think Darkoth got a job and has been living a perfectly normal life since then.

Anonymous said...

Seems he hasn't been Steve.


Steve W. said...

Thanks for the link, Sean.

For some reason, that page won't open for me. I can only assume that Dr Doom is sabotaging it so we can never discover the dread truth about Darkoth.

Charlie Horse 47 said...

I miss Darkoth. Man, we hardly knew ya... sniff, sniff.,,

Charlie Horse 47 said...

Steve! I can confirm that Sean's link did not work for me either! You think we should try a general google search? That won't tip of Herr Doctor Doom will it?

Steve W. said...

I hear rumours that Dr Doom has control of the whole of the Internet. I mean, someone has to be behind it all.

TC said...

Kristin was JR's sister-in-law. That is, his wife, Sue Ellen, was her sister. I remember the "Who Shot J.R.?" hoopla in the summer of 1980, and I remember the episode that revealed who done it, but I have no memory of why she shot him.