Thursday, 13 September 2018

September 13th, 1978 - Marvel UK, 40 years ago this week.

It's time to put on your dancing boots and hop around like Bobby Farrell on speed because, in this week of 1978, Boney M were at Number One on the UK album chart, with Nightflight to Venus, living proof that, sometimes, quality really will rise to the top.

But what of our favourite weekly mags? Had their quality risen to the top?

There's only one way to find out.

And this probably isn't it.

Star Wars Weekly #32

I've no idea what happens in this issue but I do know that's a very nice cover from John Buscema and Klaus Janson, although it has to be said it doesn't look very Buscemaesque to me.

I may not know what happens in the comic but I do know that, hot on the heels of the recent back-cover news of Fatty Foulke, this week's back cover tells us about the oldest ever footballer to be capped for his country. According to it, that was Billie Meredith, in 1920, for Wales, at the age of 45. Whether he's still the oldest player ever to have been capped, I couldn't say.

Mighty World of Marvel #311, Doc Samson and the Death Helmet

I would love to know just how Thunderbolt Ross's, "Death Helmet," works. I'm assuming it involves gas.

I'm also assuming it's not meant to actually kill, as Ross was generally not a homicidal maniac and usually seemed content to merely knock the Hulk out and then put him in a cell that he'd declare to be inescapable - five panels before the Hulk smashed his way out of it.

Elsewhere, Daredevil and the Black Widow are up against Ramrod and Terrex, in a story drawn by Don Heck.

In his own strip, Tony Stark's being questioned by the Senate about problems with his latest weapons. No sooner has he started his stirring defence than the Capitol building starts to fall down around their ears.

It would appear to all be connected to someone called Demitrius.

I have no idea who Demitrius is. I've just done a Google image search for him and he would appear to be a strange-looking gentleman with horns and polka dots.

Super Spider-Man #292, the Green Goblin x2

I think that, at some point in our lives, we've all uttered the words, "Those battling goblins! I can't tell which one is my friend!" and now it's Spider-Man's turn, as Harry and Bart go head-to-head with each other. I think this may be the last part of the epic tale that's literally gone on for months.

In the back-ups, a John Romita drawn tale sees Spider-Man, the Falcon and Captain America in the process of teaming-up with each other - but not without the obligatory misunderstanding that causes them to get into a short-lived scrap.


dangermash said...

Yes. It's the end of that Goblin story at last. Weird cover on that comic as, when you look inside, you find that Bart Hamilton is unmasked throughout the fight with Harry.

It will be a while before w get to the next issue of ASM, so I won't be able to tell you much for a few weeks about what goes on inside Super Spider-Man.

And I have to say Thunderbolt Ross is a brave man if he's sneaking up on the Hulk likevtat with his death helmet.

TC said...

Personally, I hate it whenever two goblins are fighting and I can't tell which one is my friend and which one is a bad guy.

I also find it tiresome whenever I've been framed for a bank robbery or something, and some superhero comes after me, and we waste half an hour beating up on each other before we realize that we were duped, and then team up to go after the real villain.

And I sympathized and empathized with Captain America a few issues earlier, because I know it's such a drag whenever I fall down a pit while fighting a gorilla.

Killdumpster said...

That's why I hung up my cape years ago. That and my healing factor is pretty much kapoot now.

Timothy Field said...

If I remember correctly, the Death Helmet was nothing of the sort. Didn't it just allow Bruce Banner control over the Hulk or somehow let Doc Samson roam around his brain? I maybe mixing up a few plots here.

Killdumpster said...

I'm sure gorillas would be a problem, but I know from comics mad scientist-gorillas are always a pain-in-the-ass.

Killdumpster said...

Now that I think about it, There is a plethora of characters in all media based on our hirsute evolutionary cousins.

I wonder what the favorites are...

Hmmm.. What do you think, Steve?

You "Master of the Stirred Pot" you.

Killdumpster said...

Most of you guys know I'm ape-sh*t anyway. Lol.

Killdumpster said...

Blame that suggestion on TC. LMAO!

Killdumpster said...

"Hey Hey!
We're the MONKEES!
People say we monkey around"

I have a 3 day weekend today, with no demanded work whatsoever.

Wish I had one of those isolation chambers like in Altered States, where I could let loose my prehistoric savage self and wake up refreshed. Without tearing peoples arms off, of course.. Lol.

Killdumpster said...

The Hulk should have pounded that pretty-boy smart-Alec Samson into tomato paste in his first appearance.

Colin Jones said...

Killdumpster, I've only just finished listening to the Monkees' "Daydream Believer" on YouTube and now I come to Steve Does Comics to see a comment mentioning the Monkees! The cosmos works in mysterious ways.

Steve, I can't tell if you're being sarcastic or not...but Boney M were terrific as far as I'm concerned!

Ra, Ra, Rasputeen,
Lover of the Russian queen,
Ra, Ra, Rasputeen,
Russia's greatest love machine...

...need I say more??

Killdumpster said...

There is no such thing as "coincidence".

Killdumpster said...

My fav Monkee songs are Pleasant Valley Sunday, Last Train Clarksville & Stepping Stone (which the Pistols covered).

Davey got a DUI 20 years ago just south of the 'Burgh. Wonder if the cop knew who he was at the time.

Davey Jones. R,I.P.

Killdumpster said...

I don't know how old the rest of you guys are, but it seems like a little bit of my childhood dies everyday.

YIKES! I promise not to be philosophically morbid in the future.

"What a drag it is getting old" Lol!

Nostalgia is better shared.

Thanks for this avenue, Steve.

Killdumpster said...

Naww. Expect me to be philosophically morbid.

That's my thing

Steve W. said...

Dangermash, thanks for all recent goblin info.

Timothy, I'm afraid I can offer no answers as to what happens in that Hulk story. I do remember there being one in which Doc Samson puts the Hulk inside Glenn Talbot's brain, and the idea of Samson entering the Hulk/Bruce Banner's mind also rings a bell. Whether it's either of those tales, I couldn't say.

KD, super-intelligent gorillas are never good news.

Colin, I wasn't being sarcastic. I could never trust anyone who doesn't like Rasputin.

TC, you can always rely on comics to perfectly capture the frustrations of our everyday lives.

Charlie Horse 47 said...

TC I never liked two goblins fighting each other either! Given some mental illness in my family I felt bad for the Osborne family having father and son as troubled!and seeing two goblins though not necessarily father and son just pained me as I felt bad for Norman and Harry.

Hey! Were Norman and Gwen’s kids (what a fling that must have been!) also mentally troubled?

Killdumpster said...


If I were to state my top five favorite simian based characters ( I won't include the Beast, because he has no real "ape" origins)

1) Cornelius/Caeser from the original POTA series (Roddy MacDowell)

2) Gorilla-Man. Atlas pre-Marvel horror comics, believe it was Kirby art.

3) Bride of the Gorilla, starring Raymond Burr.

4) Apeman, starring poor Bela Lugosi.

5) Ro-man from Robot Monster. Just because he's goofy. "Yeah we got a gorilla suit & a space helmet prop, let's make a movie!"

I didn't include Gorilla Man from the Defender's Headsmen. Their storyline went on forever and was not entertaining.

Steve W. said...

Charlie, I believe they were indeed mentally troubled to at least some degree and thus became super-villains.

KD, I think the only super-intelligent apes I ever encountered in comics were the one that Captain America came up against, Gorr from the Fantastic Four comics, Grodd, and the ones in the Planet of the Apes comics.

Anonymous said...

What about the Red Ghost's super-apes, Steve - do they not count?
Don't know why I'm asking really, as they all sound like a job for Apeslayer to me.


Steve W. said...

Were the Red Ghost's super-apes super-intelligent? Admittedly, they seemed smarter than the Red Ghost but they still seemed fairly dim.

dangermash said...

Does the Gibbon from somewhere around ASM #110 count as a super simian?

Charlie Horse 47 said...

Since I am assuming many of us are over 55ish and we are chatting about simians...

You guys ever wonder if you were injected with Simian Virus 41 via the polio vaccine? I suspect I was which would suggest I got way more in common with these apes, chimps. baboons, etc. than I would have wanted to!

Not sure if the laced polio vaccine, full of simian viruses, is just an American thing, in the name of ensuring the citizens didn't lose confidence in their government or a UK thing too?

(No - this is not some "who shot JFK" conspiracy theory, lol. Just google "Simian Virus 40")

Killdumpster said...

Yep, Charlie. Looks like there's a good chance I was vaccinated with simian virus. Guess that's why I was good at climbing trees when I was young.

I think the Red Ghost's Super Apes were above average intelligence for their species.

I forgot about KING KONG! The greatest simian-based character EVER!

The Gibbon seems to be a simian contender.

On the DC side, there's Gorilla Grod. I think they had an event where ALL their characters changed into gorillas.

TC said...

5. George of the Jungle's sidekick, an ape named Ape.

4. Magilla Gorilla

3. King Kong

2. Mighty Joe Young

1. The gorilla that helped Shemp clobber the bad guys in "Crime On Their Hands" and its remake, "Hot Ice."

Killdumpster said...

I knew it was time to give up Saturday morning cartoons when Grape Ape came out. That was just plain awful.

Charlie Horse 47 said...

Ummmm.... TC you are forgetting the greatest of all the great apes! Fleegle from the Banana Splits Club! He'd whip Magilla Gorilla in no time flat!

Killdumpster said...

Bingo was the Gorilla, Fleegle was the dog. I seem to remember Bingo in a tug-of-war with Snorky.

Killdumpster said...

Now that I think about it, it was Bingo, Fleegle & Drooper tugging against Snorky (the wooly mammoth version). Apparently Snorky was the strongest of the Splits.

Charlie Horse 47 said...

KD - I stand corrected! I still think Noo Noo from Teletubbies was a rip off on Snorky!

Killdumpster said...

I never watched the Teletubbies, but I did see them on a CD cover when I worked at a music warehouse. They looked kind of creepy.

Charlie Horse 47 said...

Well - they were british and rumors kept circulating about the male, purple one with the purse... LOL

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