Tuesday, 8 January 2019

The Marvel Lucky Bag - January 1969.

Hold on to your hats, true believers, because, before launching into my look at what Marvel's less glamourable heroes were up to in the books that bear this date of exactly fifty years ago, I have to make an earth-shattering announcement. Not to be outdone by the rest of the internet, Steve Does Comics now has a Patreon page which, I think, can be found by clicking on this very link.

To be honest, it's rubbish because I don't know what I'm doing but if there's anything you'd like to see added to it, in terms of incentives/rewards/content and the like, feel free to say so in the comments section below.

In the meantime, back to what you actually came here for:

January 1969 kicked off with Marmalade's version of Ob-La-Di Ob-La-Da at Number One on the UK singles chart.

That was then knocked off the top slot by the Scaffold's Lily the Pink which was then itself knocked off the top by Marmalade's Ob-La-Di Ob-La-Da.

The reader with a good memory will recall that Lily the Pink had already been Number One the previous month, before being kicked off its throne by Ob-La-Di Ob-La-Da, meaning both songs had gone to Number One twice and both songs had succeeded in knocking the other off the top slot.

As if that wasn't thrilling enough, there was also another version of Ob-La-Di Ob-La-Da on the chart that month, which was by the Bedrocks.

The one version of the song you wouldn't find on the chart was the one by the Beatles. Convinced it'd be a Number One, Paul McCartney'd lobbied for it to be released as a single but, fed up of playing it over and over again in the studio, the other Beatles had vetoed it.

Eventually, all this madness subsided and the month ended with Albatross by Fleetwood Mac at the top of the pile.

But, obviously, the real source of excitement for all true music fans, that month, was the presence on the singles chart of Mother Kelly's Doorstep by Danny La Rue.

When it came to albums, only two LPs ruled the UK roost that January and they were the Beatles' White Album, followed by The Best of the Seekers. I genuinely don't think I've ever heard any tracks by the Seekers in my entire life.

The New Seekers, on the other hand....

Captain Marvel #9

I know nothing of this issue, other than it features a character called Cyberex, which, to me, sounds more like the name of an international robotics convention than it does a super-villain.

Dr Strange #176

Strange and Clea are still battling the Sons of Satannish.

I do believe this is the story that leads to the good doctor adopting his, "Super-hero," costume.

Memory fails me as to why he needed it. Wasn't it because he wasn't allowed to re-enter our dimension and needed a disguise that could hoodwink the universe, in order to do it?

Or something?

Marvel Super-Heroes #18, Guardians of the Galaxy

Hooray! It's the start of a whole new era as the Guardians of the Galaxy make their star-spanning debut and, for the first time, the world gets to meet Groot, Gamora, Rocket Raccoon...

...Oh. Hold on. It's none of those people.

Instead, it's some other people.

And they're up against the Badoon, surely the worst race of aliens Marvel has ever come up with. Which is saying something, bearing in mind Marvel came up with the Krylorians.

I first read this tale in Marvel UK's Planet of the Apes. I can't say it exactly impressed me, although I did later develop a fondness for the team, thanks to their 1970s adventures.

Nick Fury, Agent of SHIELD #8

As always with SHIELD tales, I've never read this one.

However, it appears that someone called Supremus is ordering SHIELD to disband in the wake of Nick Fury's death.

Needless to say, no one at all listens to Supremus and reports of Fury's death turn out to be highly premature.

Sub-Mariner #9

I don't have a clue what happens in this one but I do know that it, apparently, features the first appearance of both Naga and Karthon.

I don't have a clue who either of those people are but they seem to be involved with the Serpent Crown and that can only mean bad news for the Sub-Mariner.

I believe I do detect a Herb Trimpe cover with fairly major alterations by other hands.

The Steve Does Comics mug, featuring Liz Sanford, the department of occult investigations, angry and holding a gun, cartoon, drawing, stephen walker

I've been called a mug many times in my life but, at last, it's literally true because the magnificent Steve Does Comics mug is now available from Teespring, in the USA, EU and UK.

One side features this site's lovely logo and the other features a drawing I once did of Liz Sanford, the tireless heroine of my Department of Occult Investigation stories.

Granted, I don't see what she has to do with this site but I felt I should put a picture of something on the reverse side and this one just happens to have the right colour scheme.

The mug's available for £11.99 in the UK and an equivalent price in Dollars/Euros elsewhere. So, if you're desperate for something to drink out of, why not try drinking from the blog that refuses to die?

The Steve Does Comics mug is produced specially to order and can be bought by clicking on this particular link.


Charlie Horse 47 said...

Dam a lam a ding dong! Gene the Dean had 3 of these covers! Wonder if Asspain Stan Lee had him tweak anything, LOL???

Who was Frank Springer again? I dig the Shield cover big time!

Subby #9... NO kidding, on those odd occasions when someone would be selling a silver-ish age Subby at a flea market or garage sale, Subby #9 seemed to be the one on offer! They must have printed like 10 million of them, LOL.

Charlie Horse 47 said...

Ob ba di...

My son's History teacher is from the UK. He swears (pardon my strong language) he and his girl friend are the Desmond and Molly who McCartney wrote about.

Claims he was riding a train to Liverpool and McCartney was sitting with them and promised he would write them into a song. The teacher would not budge from the assertion, lol.

Is it true? Can anyone prove otherwise?

Charlie Horse 47 said...

And lastly, is that "featured blog" in the upper right hand corner, showing 100%-stupid Rick Jones going to stay there forever?

Steve W. said...

Charlie, I'm fairly sure the Desmond in Ob-La-Di Ob-La-Da was named in honour of Desmond Dekker, possibly the only Reggae star most people in Britain would have been able to name at that time.

Whether the character's story was based on someone real, I couldn't say.

Don't worry, Rick will be departing the Featured Posts slot before too long.

Charlie Horse 47 said...

I'll send you a fiver if you replace 100%-stupid with Snapper Carr!

Anonymous said...

That Captain Marvel cover is even better than Daredevil #48 - Gene Colan was obviously on a roll this month in '69.

I think you must be more or less right there about Dr Strange adopting his new look Steve - the way I remember it, Asmodeus had taken Doc's form on earth. In itself, that doesn't make a lot of sense, but "hoodwink the universe" does sound like the sort of bollocks you'd get for an explanation.
Mind you, I didn't even realise Doc was actually was a mask - as opposed to adopting some magical form - until reading an old issue posted at Bronze Age of Blogs a while back.
(Pete had a theory that Roy Thomas basically wanted to revive the golden age Vision)

Charlie, Frank Springer replaced Steranko on SHIELD, and later continued to distinguish himself inking Fr*nk R*bb*ns' Invaders.


Anonymous said...

Oops, bad edit there - that should have read "I didn't even realise Doc was actually wearing a mask..."


Killdumpster said...

I can't believe you guys never knew about the "ASSPAIN" DD cover. Its been talked about for years. That's why I was subtle about bringing it up last post.

Charlie- Rick Jones IS forever!!!
(Apparently so is F/@×$ S£€!×&£€.)

I didn't get any of the featured books. A couple of the main titles must've
still been available on the rack.

They reprinted that Guardians story in the early 70's, but I wasn't impressed.

Nice mug, but I don't think it would hold a lot of beer.

Anonymous said...

It'll hold a lot of mushroom tea though.


Anonymous said...

I don't have a mug with my picture on it, but maybe I can find one somewhere with Ben Grimm's picture on it. That's...fairly close, I guess.


Anonymous said...

Another link between the two records was Paul McCartney writing Ob-La-Di and his brother Mike (as Mike McGear) co-writing Lily the Pink. This month's SHIELD cover was the first non Steranko, which if nothing else, probably reduced the gulf between cover and interior art of the previous two.


Charlie Horse 47 said...

I think all of Rick Jones's brains would fit in Steve's mug... and there'd be space enough for a few more! Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha!

Charlie Horse 47 said...

Steve, I take it back! I'll send you a fiver (or buy one of your mugs) if you post a pic of Rick Jones drawn by FR@NK R@BBINS!

Anonymous said...

Say what you want about Rick Jones, Charlie, but he could kick Snapper Carr's ass any day of the week.
Does anybody remember Dollar Bill, from the Defenders?
He's my favorite comic-book mascot/sidekick. At least Bill could probably hook you up with some Kind Bud, when the super-hero game got stressful. I bet those cats in the Defenders were blazing it up nearly everyday, back in Doc Strange's pad in Greenwhich Village. I know Hellcat was down.


Anonymous said...

Dollar Bill... he was the ginger geezer with the beard who made a tv doc about the Defenders, right M.P.? He was annoying too.
But to be fair, not as much as Rick Jones.

My favourite sidekick was Moon-Boy in Devil Dinosaur


Anonymous said...


Yeah, okay, him I liked.
Whatever happened to Moon-Boy, anyway?
Was he eventually promoted to Neanderthal?
More likely eaten or accidentally stepped on...or accidentally eaten...


Anonymous said...

M.P., Moon-Boy was offed when the Killer-Folk got their hands on the Nightstone - actually a Kree omni-wave projector - which transported Devil Dinosaur to New York where he met Moon Girl.
Aren't you glad you asked?


Killdumpster said...

I don't think I could do mushroom tea. Anytime I did mushrooms I'd chew and swallow them without tasting them.

Not a big mushroom fan.

Wow, Charlie, really now.

Charlie Horse 47 said...

Truth be told, you could fit both Rick Jones's and Moon Boy's brains into one of Steve's coffee mugs...

Devil Dinosaur... I finally read it last year or so b/c Marvel is reprinting so, so many of Kirby's comics at $1 each. I felt ripped off. Apologies to those who liked it. Then again, I kind of liked the Dingbats and I don't think there is much love for them around these parts, so...

B Smith said...

Slightly surprised you've never heard anything by The Seekers, Steve - if you're of sufficient vintage, they were all over the place in the sixties. Very canny release in the charts though - by January 1969 they'd actually split up, so the "Best Of" release was presumably a record company cash-in, to wring every last dollar out of the back catalogue. More fool them - The Seekers are still going, but only playing sporadically (and being from Australia, you can make lots of creaky "walking around upside-down" jokes).

Steve W. said...

B, I've now checked the Seekers' discography on Wikipedia. The only one of their hits I've ever heard of is Georgy Girl, which I never knew was by them.

Colin Bray said...

What is it with 1969 and covers? Marvel seems to have a very particular cover style in this brief era. Deep/bright single colour backgrounds framing epic, uncluttered action and very little - if any - text. Taken individually and as a group the covers are fantastic.

Had John Romita been appointed to his Art Director role (or somesuch title) by this point?

Colin Jones said...

"I'll Never Find Another You" by The Seekers was one of my mother's favourite songs.

Steve W. said...

Colin J, I've just listened to that on YouTube. It's another of those songs I've heard before without ever registering who it was by.

Colin B. I know Marie Severin was supervising covers by this stage. Whether Jazzy John was as well, I couldn't say.

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