Sunday, 1 July 2018

Fifty years ago this month - July 1968.

This month of 1968 was a mixed one for a certain Liverpool quartet.

On the upside, it was the month in which the Yellow Submarine movie was released to critical and box office acclaim.

On the downside, it was also the month in which the Beatles' legendarily disastrous Apple Boutique closed, less than eight months after its opening. If only the Fabsters had had the sense to call it The Apple Store, they'd have been laughing all the way to the bank.

That was in the world of music, retail and cinema but, in the world of British TV, things were also stirring, as the British public got to see the first ever episode of Dad's Army, a show which ended up lasting for nearly twice as long as the war that inspired it, and is a show which seems to have been permanently on air ever since. It's amazing what you can achieve with five catchphrases and a map with moving arrows on it.

Avengers #54, the New Masters of Evil

This is where my favourite Avengers era hits its stride, as the New Masters of Evil are recruited by the Crimson Cowl to capture our heroes.

Come to think of it, why, exactly, did the Crimson Cowl want to capture the Avengers? I get that he wanted to bump off Hank Pym, for weird Oedipal reasons that made no sense, but why was he so obsessed with defeating the rest of the team?

Anyway, none of that matters. What matters is that John Buscema's art is great, Roy Thomas' story is great, we get Jarvis betraying his employers, a major new villain makes his debut and the new Black Knight gets to prove his worth. What more could any human being demand of a comic?

Captain America #103, the Red Skull

There are so many Red Skull tales in this era that they all blur into one for me. However, I do believe that Sharon and Steve decide to attack the island the Red Skull shares with the ever-sadistic Exiles.

Was this the first-ever appearance of the Exiles? It did always seem strange to me that the Skull would hang around with a bunch of people who seemed like they were just about ready for a care home.

Daredevil #42, the Jester

Who needs the Joker?

Not Marvel fans because now they have the Jester to hate and fear.

I must confess, he wasn't one of my favourite villains of all time. He was, however, on a par with most of Daredevil's enemies, so, I suppose he achieved something, at least.

Fantastic Four #76

The FF are still in Sub-Atomica, on the trail of the Silver Surfer and looking to hand him over to Galactus.

But, even better than that, it's a search that sees the return of Psycho-Man!

Incredible Hulk #105

One of my favourite Marie Severin drawn Hulk tales begins, as the green grappler finds himself up against the magnificent Missing Link, one of my favourite Hulk foes of all time. Did he ever make more than two appearances? It's a scandal if he didn't.

Iron Man #3, the Freak is back

Unless I miss my guess, Happy Hogan's turned into the Freak again. I do not recall the process by which this occurs.

Amazing Spider-Man #62, Medusa

To be honest, it's not one of the most dramatic Spider-Man tales of all time, being centred, as it is, around a hairspray company's ad campaign. But it's readable enough and it's always nice to see Medusa turn up, even if she's not yet found herself a decent costume.

Thor #154

From that cover, I can only conclude that Mangog's about to make his first appearance. I love Mangog and I love this story arc.

On top of that, it looks like Hela's in it as well.

With all of this and Ulik too, surely Stan and Jack were spoiling us.

X-Men #46, the Juggernaut

I've not read this one but I do believe it sees Juggernaut return from whatever mystical dimension it is he's been held prisoner in. When he finds out Professor X is dead, he decides to smash up his mansion. What a charmer.

The internet also informs me that Foggy Nelson guest stars in this issue, as he's been brought in to deal with Professor X's will.


Charlie Horse 47 said...

Jester vs. Paste Pot Pete... who wins?

Steve W. said...

I suspect the Jester would be so busy boasting about how clever he is that Pete would have no trouble catching him unawares with his paste.

Killdumpster said...

The Missing Link turned up again in '74. I virtually had all the books you've just posted, with the exception of DD. Somehow the Jester didn't impress me, and later if he was on the cover I'd take a pass.

Steve W. said...

I could never overcome my disliking for the Jester's costume which was a visual mess.

Killdumpster said...

Yeah, it was just really sloppy looking.

That issue of the Hulk was my first ever. What a cover! Great battle with the Missing Link.

The Sub-Atomica storyline in the FF was awesome.

Any Avengers book with the Masters of Evil was a must-read.

Killdumpster said...

My father wouldn't let me watch Yellow Submarine when it premiered on American television. Same thing happened when Hard Days Night aired. Beatle-mania was in full swing & I guess it upset his hillbilly sensibility.

That didn't stop me from getting the Yellow Sub rub-on stickers free from boxes of Sugar Crisps. I'm glad I put them on my lunch box & bike, even tho they might be worth a couple hundred in mint condition now.

That's what it was all about back then, what little we got, we played with it or used it. Not horde it away never to touch it again.

Comics, on the other hand, I treated with kid gloves.

Killdumpster said...

The Jester should of joined the Circus of Crime. He was lame enough,and having enough of his arrogance, the Ringmaster would've put him to death.

Never could understand why he had such long story-arches in DD. Then again, I guess I'm the only guy that didnt like the Owl.

Steve W. said...

I always liked the Owl, although, in retrospect, I don't have a clue why.

libraryguy said...

Yes a great year for comics!

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