Tuesday, 15 May 2018

The Marvel Lucky Bag - May 1978.

As the sun pounds upon my window, it's time for me to once more fling myself into the past and look at what some of Marvel's less popular players were up to in comics that were cover-dated May 1978.

Granted, they're not really cover-dated May 1978 because, for who knows what reason, during this stage in their history, Marvel took to leaving the date off their covers.

However, they would have said, "May," on them, if that policy hadn't been adopted, and that's good enough for me.

Godzilla #10, Yetrigar

It's the story we've all been waiting for! It's Godzilla vs Bigfoot!

Admittedly, we might not really have been waiting for it, what with Godzilla being a thousand foot tall and, therefore, needing a thousand foot tall bigfoot to tangle with.

Given how hard it'd be for such a creature to escape detection by Science, I'm willing to bet there are no thousand foot tall bigfoots out there.

Invaders #28, the Kid Commandos

It would appear the Kid Commandos are making their spinny, fiery, punchy, palm-wavy debut in this issue.

I could claim to find that thrilling news but - leaving aside the fact that I could never be thrilled by anything that happens in an Invaders story - I've never heard of the Kid Commandos. I'm assuming they were intended to be Marvel's answer to the Teen Titans.

Whoever they are, I'm sure they make a valuable contribution to the war effort.

Nova #19, Blackout

I have to say that, to me, that cover feels more DC than Marvel.

It may be because it's drawn by Carmine Infantino who I've always perceived as a DC artist, no matter how much work he did for the House of Ideas, or it could be because the villain - Blackout - seems to use the same tailor as the Flash.

Thinking about it, Carmine Infantino used to draw the Flash as well, which leaves me wondering if the sartorial resemblance is more than pure coincidence.

Marvel Comics, Red Sonja #9

Our plucky heroine finds herself up against a very rude man who keeps sticking his tongue out at her.

No doubt, she'll soon teach that Brythunian/Turanian/Stygian/Kushite/Aquilonian pig a thing or two about manners.

Tomb of Dracula #64, Satan

We might not have been waiting for Godzilla vs Bigfoot but I bet we've all been waiting for this one. It's Dracula vs Satan, in the clash that had to happen.

But is this the same Satan who gave us the Son of Satan and Ghost Rider, or is he intended to be a totally different Satan and unconnected to the one in Marvel continuity?

Marvel Classics Comics #33, The Prince and the Pauper

Other than a prince and a pauper looking like each other and swapping places, I'm really not sure what happens in The Prince and the Pauper. There always seemed to be Sunday teatime adaptations of it on TV when I was a kid but I don't recall them ever holding my attention for long enough for me to find out what the actual plot was.

Rawhide Kid #145

Every month, I've been tempted to include the Rawhide Kid in these round-ups and, every month, I've decided against it, my notice diverted by more attention-seeking covers. But, this month, at last, he makes the cut.

Admittedly, this is because I feel like it's his turn, rather than because there seems to be anything particularly interesting about the cover.

Black Panther #9, the Black Musketeers

The world rejoices as the Black Musketeers make their pantherific debut.

I really don't know what they were doing in the strip. I can only assume Jack Kirby wanted to give us the Panther's equivalent of the Warriors Three but, instead, he somehow managed to give us the Panther's equivalent of the Four Stooges.


Killdumpster said...

I passed on most of those titles when they were on the news and, except Nova and Red Sonya.

Great idea for sales, letting Frank Robbins do the cover of his books. Perfect example of him drawing people with eyes too far apart. What a manly, heroic pose for the Human Top. I have no idea why he didn't catch on.

I agree with you, Steve, about Carmine Infantino. Though he did a pretty good Daredevil & Spiderwoman.

Anonymous said...

Steve, not only am I too willing to bet that there are no thousand foot tall bigfoots (shouldn't that be bigfeet?) out there, I would go double or quits on there being none of any size at all.

As with his Captain America run, the criticism of Jack Kirby's Black Panther always baffles me.
What was wrong with the Musketeers? In the 70s comic publishers had followed Kirby's forward thinking lead in creating the first black superhero, so it was great to see him stay ahead of the curve by coming up with more varied characters, something other than warrior archetypes and "ghetto" clichés.


Killdumpster said...

The silver age Human Top probably found out about the "golden age" Human Top & said "Oh, man. I named myself after a spinning ballet dancer with Dowes syndrome. Whirlwind sounds more impressive...."

Killdumpster said...

Marvel Classics Comics came in handy for doing book reports. More entertaining than Cliff Notes.

Killdumpster said...


Tell me it ain't so! That's like telling a "monster kid" that there's no Santa Claus! Lol!

I remember when Bigfoot was the Thing here in the states during the seventies. A lot of schoolyard debates transpired. Having lived in the deep woods, I wouldn't been surprised that anything is in even deeper forests.

pete doree said...

Totally, killdumpster, I got through loads of book reports at school by reading Marvel Classics Comics!
Re: The Rawhide Kid. Isn't that Alan Weiss inking Gene Colan? That automatically makes it interesting to me. OK, they didn't do the inside, but still...
And I'm gonna defend Frank Robbins again, gang. The problem was Frank was a cartoonist and not an illustrator like, say, John Buscema. Stan & Roy both loved Frank's work, and I believe that they couldn't see a) that his style wasn't suitable for straight superheroics like John's was and b) that we as kids, weren't as advanced in our artistic tastes as they were, and that we weren't going to go for it.
As an supposed adult, I genuinely love Frank's work, really.

Killdumpster said...

When I was about seven, I was riding on my bicycle on the dirt road in front of my house. I noticed my shoes were untied so I stopped to tie them. I looked up onto a grassy bank and met eye-to-eye, 3 feet away me, with a kangaroo.

It looked at me for a minute,then stole off into the grass.

I told everyone about, my parents & friends. That was a good source of ridicule for years. Until twenty years later.

We called him the "rich Guy". He had a mansion way over the hill from where we lived. It was found out that he had exotic animals running free range on his gated property. Lamas, peacock, emu & KANGAROO! They would dig under the fence and escape!

Smug vindication after all those years was very satisfying. No one around my area ever doubts my word again.

Killdumpster said...

I live in Pennsylvania USA. Not Australia.

Killdumpster said...


I go into almost epileptic fits contorting my limbs, like Robbins artwork, just looking at it. Every one he drew looked like they were in a spasm.

Steve W. said...

Sean, I think the problem people have with Jack Kirby's Black Panther is that his take on the strip was so different from Don McGregor's that readers found it difficult to adjust to.

Killdumpster, there are wallabies living in the wild in Britain, so it's perfectly believable that there would be kangaroos on the loose in the US.

Killdumpster said...

Stan & Roy probably loved him because his slap-dash style enabled him to avoid "the dreaded deadline doom" that other artists who cared about their out-put were victims of.

Killdumpster said...


It was just before the revelation that my former neighbor kept exotic animals, that a magazine from that decade called UFO Report had an article about kangaroo sightings across the USA.

Killdumpster said...

Seriously, Steve. I was branded delusional for years, because I never backed down.

Killdumpster said...

It'd be a holiday dinner and and everyone would have a few drinks in them, be bored and quiet, then my mom or dad would say " Tell us the kangaroo story!" You can choose your friends, but you can't choose your family.

Like I posted before, I will never be surprised what is in the woods. Forests & swamps hold a lot of secrets.

Killdumpster said...

Hey guys-

Sorry to end on a cryptic note. Just had a long day at the shop.

BIG FOOT LIVES, and they say he's stinky, but not as much as Frank Robbins artwork!!!

Charlie Horse 47 said...

I like how Frank seems to pop up every few weeks here at this blog! Must be the timing of 40 years ago. He clearly was better suited for B&W newpaper strips and sucked doing color superheroes (leaving the Shadow out of this).

I would argue that whoever created and did Luke Cage was doing a fine job with African Americans. I've gone back and reread some of the first 15, before Powerman. There are true moments of authenticity at least from my perspective of having grown up in Gary, In, just a few miles down from the Jackson 5. Gary is now a fetid ghetto more/less.

Steve - is it not interesting that the Jackson 5 and Micheal became famous even though Gary did not subsidize the buses like Sheffield which led to super group ABC?

Kid Kommandos were a WW2 Timely Comic as I recall from the days I read Steranko's History of Comics Volume 1 which is a MUST read for any comic lover!!!

Steve W. said...

Charlie, I think we can only conclude that there's no direct link between bus fares and chart success.

Charlie Horse 47 said...

Indeed. I rode buses and presumably many of your readers yet here we are..,

Anonymous said...

Steve, back in the day the complaints about Kirby were often about his very individual use of the English language, so the baffling thing about the reaction to his Panther is that it should be unfavourably compared to the work of Don McGregor of all people; seriously, has anyone, anywhere ever had a conversation remotely like those that go on between characters in a McGregor script?!?

The irony though is that once you get past surface differences in style both versions of the Panther actually had a lot in common. As you yourself pointed out in your excellent post on Jungle Action #15, King Cadaver was radioactive with a giant head - how much more like a Kirby character could he possibly be?


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