Tuesday, 3 July 2018

The Marvel Lucky Bag - July 1968.

I'm all rared up and ready for England's do-or-die game against Colombia in the World Cup but, fifty years ago, I'd have had no World Cup to watch. Whatever would I have done with my time?

I know. I'd have randomly looked at the contents of Marvel's less high-profile titles that bore this month's cover date.

Capt Savage and his Leatherneck Raiders, Baron Strucker

In a stunning development, Captain Savage steals Nick Fury's arch-enemy, as he comes up against Baron Strucker.

I can say little beyond that, as I've never read a single story that contains the good captain. However, I have no doubt he'll triumph over the monocled marauder just as surely as Fury always did.

Doctor Strange #170, Nightmare

I'm fairly certain I've read this one. Needless to say, that doesn't mean I can actually recall anything about it.

Apparently, Strange and Nightmare are battling for supremacy within the mind of the Ancient One.

Captain Marvel #3, the Super-Skrull

Things aren't looking good for Marvel's greatest space spy.

Didn't he also get captured and strapped to a slab by the Super-Skrull in the Avengers' Kree/Skrull War? It's starting to look like a recurring theme.

Nick Fury Agent of SHIELD #2

I know that's a highly dramatic cover Jim Steranko's given us but all I can ever think when I see it is, "Why's Nick Fury fighting Bender from Futurama?"

It would appear that Nicholas is up against possibly the maddest scientist ever to stalk the pages of a comic book. Happily, Fury defeats him by recruiting the services of a giant robot gorilla from a visiting film production. Is it just me or do all synopses for SHIELD tales from this era
seem to be completely loopy?

Spectacular Spider-Man #1

Hooray! It's the start of a brand new, giant-size title for everyone's favourite wall-crawler. Given Spider-Man's enduring popularity, I've no doubt at all that it'll be a raging success and...

...oh. Well, never mind.

I do believe this issue contains the Richard Raleigh/Smasher storyline which thrilled us all in the pages of Spider-Man's regular mag, several years later.

I must confess that, although I've read that  reworked version more than once, I've still never read this original take on the tale. I do always wonder in what ways it differs from that version.

Sub-Mariner #3, Triton

It's the meeting that had to happen, as Triton and the Sub-Mariner team up to fight Plantman and the Leviathan. I think my knowledge of Plantman comes entirely from his appearance in a Hostess Twinkies ad.

As for this issue, he launches it by destroying London, with some sort of rampaging seaweed. I'm starting to get the feeling he might not be a nice man.

I've never read this tale but it's drawn by John Buscema and written by Roy Thomas, so it's bound to be great.

Marvel Comics, Groovy #3

I know nothing of Groovy. To be honest, up until now, I didn't even know it had ever existed. I can say, though, that, judging by that cover, it looks to be very much of its time.

Anyway, it clearly wasn't of its time sufficiently enough to hook readers, as this, its third issue, was the last one of its run.

8 comments:

D. D. Degg said...

See that "Marvel Comics Group" tag on the cover?
See that Comics Code Authority stamp of approval?
Groovy #3 beat the heralded Amazing Spider-Man #96
by three years to become the first Marvel Comic
since 1955 not to bear The Comic Code Stamp.

Steve W. said...

Now I'm curious as to why it didn't get the Comics Code stamp of approval.

Killdumpster said...

Steve-

Because it was groovy.

Killdumpster said...

Plantman was one of my favorite villains, and I believe underrated & misused.

A Guy Named Gary Young did a song inspired by him. It's called, of course, "Plantman". It was a relatively big college hit here in Pittsburgh PA.

Drove my co-workers insane with it. He has a video. It's amusing.

Dougie said...

I could've got that Sub-Mariner issue in Bulloch's shop in East Kilbride town cenetre as a wee boy in the late 60s and always regretted it.

I got a facsimile of the Spidey mag in Forbidden Planet about 7 or 8 years ago- Stan's Frankenstein riff really isn't that gripping although the Romita art is classy,

Isn't that Mar-Vell cover amazing?!

I've never read a single Capt. Savage comic either.

D . D. Degg said...

Regarding Groovy #3 and lack of the CCA stamp:
The prevailing theory is that it was edited a by Goodman magazine editor who didn't even think about submitting it to the Comics Code for approval. The Marvel Comics cover tag came after two issues without that ID. It is thought the Marvel name was slapped on the last issue's cover to improve dismal sales.

TC said...

Captain Savage #2-4 had a three-part story that revealed the origin of Hydra. Or the first version of their origin; it has probably been retconned since then.

Besides the Strucker/Hydra story, there was a guest starring appearance by Lieutenant Ben Grimm (then a Marine fighter pilot) in Captain Savage #7. And the Leatherneck Raiders teamed up with Sgt. Fury and his Howling Commandos several times.

Marvel apparently had little faith in the Savage series' ability to succeed on its own, and tried to prop it up with frequent crossovers and tie-ins.

Steve W. said...

Killdumpster, thanks for the Plantman musical info.

DD, thanks for the Groovy info.

Dougie, tragically, I never saw any of these issues on any newsagents' shelves, even though the first US comics I read were published in 1968.

TC, thanks for the Captain Savage info.

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