Tuesday, 2 April 2019

The Marvel Lucky Bag - April 1969.

If a strange man were to approach you in the park and ask, "What is the song with the most misheard lyrics in the history of popular music?" there's a fair chance you'd instantly shout back, "Israelites by Desmond Dekker."

Speaking of which...

April 1969 began with Marvin Gaye at Number One on the UK singles chart, thanks to I Heard it Through the Grapevine but that was quickly dethroned by Dekker's reggae classic which, in turn, was dethroned by the Beatles' Get Back.

Interestingly, despite their epic levels of success throughout the 1960s, it was the Beatles' first and only single to enter the British chart at Number One.

Also interestingly, it did so by fending off the challenge of Mary Hopkin's Goodbye, which was written by Paul McCartney and was also on the Beatles' Apple label.

Over on the UK album chart, the month began with The Best of the Seekers in first place. This was quickly dethroned by Cream's Goodbye, which was then replaced by The Best of the Seekers, which was then replaced by Cream's Goodbye, which was then replaced by The Best of the Seekers. The British public was clearly having major problems deciding whether it preferred the Seekers or Cream.

The US public was suffering no such indecisiveness when it came to comics. It knew it preferred Marvel's other output to the comics below. At least, according to sales figures, it did.

However, that doesn't mean those books didn't have merit.

Or does it?

Captain Marvel #12

It all gets strange in outer space, with Mar-Vell swearing eternal loyalty to Zo - even though he doesn't know a thing about him - and then starting to get delusions of omnipotence. It really does look like writer Arnold Drake is, at this point, setting him up to become a villain.

Luckily, in the Marvel universe, there's always a super-powered android around to cut you down to size when you need it.

Dr Strange #179, Spider-Man

I do believe this is a reprint of that early Steve Ditko tale in which Spider-Man teams up with the sorcerer supreme, in order to tackle Xandu, an evil mystic who's up to no good with the Wand of Watoomb.

The cover's by Barry Smith who's still not quite got his act together yet.

Nick Fury, Agent of SHIELD #11

The Hate-Monger's up to his usual trick of trying to get different sections of the US population to kill each other, so, Nick Fury's got no choice but to attack his space station, causing the man with Hitler's brainwaves to inadvertently step out of an airlock.

Clearly, Hitler's brainwaves are not too smart.

Silver Surfer #5, the Stranger

I've never read this tale but it would seem the Surfer's latest attempt to thwart Galactus' space barrier attracts the attention of the Stranger who reacts to it all by deciding to blow the planet Earth up with a huge bomb.

You could always rely on the Stranger to provide a rational response to any situation.

The back-up strip in this issue is the Tales of the Watcher story Run, Roco, Run which has already had more than one mention on this blog in the past. For what is a very minor piece in the history of comics, it does have a remarkable knack of resurfacing.

Mmmmillie the Model #169

I don't have a clue what happens in this one and I'm not sure if I want to but there is a reason why I'm posting an issue of Millie the Model...

Mad About Millie #1

...And this is it.

Only the other week, we were discussing Millie's unlikely popularity in the 1960s, and here's the living proof, as the queen of fashion becomes only the second Marvel star to get a second book, after Nick Fury.

Admittedly, Spider-Man did get a second book at one point in the 1960s but it only lasted two issues, so I don't know if it counts.

This comic lasted a full sixteen issues, officially making Millie eight times more popular than Spider-Man.

Speaking of which, did John Romita ever draw her? That cover suggests it'd be right up his alley.

Sub-Mariner #12

It would appear that Subby's up against someone called Karthon the Quester, in a plot connected to the Serpent Crown.

31 comments:

Anonymous said...

Forget the Beatles or Cream Steve, in that issue of SHIELD the kids were grooving to The Trilogy From The Earthian Archives Of The Kree (A Rock Odyssey) from the first album by the Million Megaton Explosion.

That sounds like it must be terrible - worse than Rick Jones' music even - but then, they were inspired by Hitler's brainwaves. I wonder if the Hate-Monger was behind the White Album too. Helter Skelter, man...

-sean

Charlie Horse 47 said...

Now you did it Sean. You had to mention Rick Jones, the official Marvel numb nut of caves and nuclear test zones! You know KD is going to pick up on this, lol!!!

By the way, did the artist to Dr. Strange forget to draw Spidey's hamstrings? Looks weird?

Also, is that Steranko on Nick? I mean it has a sense of Steranko but sort of not?

Colan and Green Mar Vell - ACCEPT NO SUBSTITUTES!!! It just gets painful and gives me indigestion to see the other artists...

Steve W. said...

Sean, that sounds like a positively groovy album.

Charlie, the Fury cover is primarily by Frank Springer, with touch-ups by Barry Smith.

Killdumpster said...

I suspect that the Hate Monger was behind Yoko Ono.

Killdumpster said...

Steve-

Here in the states on classic rock stations, one of the the most misinterpreted song lyric belongs to Manfred Man's "Blinded By The Light" (a cover of a Springsteen song, that became a AOR hit).

The misunderstood lyric line is "revved-up like a Duece", but it sounds
like "wrapped-up like a douche"!

People sing along to it that way, and don't think anything of it. It makes me howl.

Killdumpster said...

I actually had most of the issues presented on this post. All except the Millie's and the Surfer. I never saw Surfer on the magazine displays. I've read once that shop-owners didn't put them out because they didn't fit spinner racks, but most of my comics were purchased off of old fashioned wooden magazine displays.

The Dr. Strange issue was probably only obtained because all you could see from the rack was the cover title, so I actually got something with Spider-Man in it.

About 30% of the comics I got in the early 60's were a chain-reaction of my father's sweetooth.

In town, close to the steelmill where he worked, was Stanley's Bakery. You could smell fresh bread as soon as you entered the city limits. Their donuts were as addictive as heroin. Fried in lard, by drunken bakers. Illegally delicious.

When I heard we were going there to get day-old bread & donuts ( blow-out price), I'd load my couch/returnable bottle money in my pockets.

I'd BEG my mom to let me out to go to the shop we were parked next to, across from the bakery. "JUST HURRY UP!" she'd screech.

I got most of the books, including the SHIELD issue w/Hate Monger that day. The name of the shop was....

ADOLF'S MARKET & PHARMACY!

Killdumpster said...

I know it was just a coincidence, but I thought it was kinda funny. Adolf was their last name. Mr. Adolf was the owner & pharmacist, always in a jovial good mood (hmmm, well it was the 60's, lol!)

Mrs. Adolf, on the other hand, was a wizened, pucker-faced, mean old lady that truly hated us kids that bought comics & penny candy.

One time when I was grabbing comics, I spied that there was a magazine rack on the other side. I looked in (it was pointed towards inside the counter, no-man's land.) My 6 year old eyes bulges out like a Tex Avery cartoon! IT WAS LOADED WITH HARDCORE PORN!! I looked up, and there was Mrs. Adolf, scowling at me!!!

"Take your funny books to the counter and pay!" she loudly hissed.

I still would get books there, but she'd eyeball me with laser precision.

Killdumpster said...

Hokey Smokes Bullwinkle!

I wonder if Stan Lee had any idea what some of us had to go through to get our comics fix.

Yow! StanLEY'S Bakery?! Next to a shop selling comics?!! Who's to say....

There you go, Charlie Horse 47, oh my brother. I'm not a "one-trick pony", pun intended, lol.

I related a childhood story without referencing Rick Jones or inciting heated debate over Mar-vell's original suit.

Dammit.

Charlie Horse 47 said...

Steve - thanks for the cover commentary!

KD - You bought your comics from a german dude name Adolph. I bought mine from a German grocer names Weiss which translates to "White" lol. But there was no "adult material" at that store. Just magazines and kid stuff...

Now the drugstore down the store was different. They had adult stuff behind the counter. But what was funny was when my buddies and I were making gunpowder (I really do NOT recommend doing this!) and we would go there to buy the Salt Peter (Potassium Nitrate). Besides being a key ingredient in gunpowder it was also used to stifle a man's sex drive e.g., they put it in food in prison.

So one day the druggist is all torqued off as we buy more Salt Peter (he had that behind the counter too). He goes, "I want to know right now what you kids are doing with this!" We freaked out and said, "Making gunpowder???" He said, "Oh! Well OK then. I thought you were up to something else." LOL! Never was I so happy to be breaking the law???

Redartz said...

Steve, fascinating to learn that the Dr. Strange cover was by Barry Smith (And yes, it did reprint the tale from Spider-Man Annual 2). One of a precious few times that Mr. Smith drew Spidey (he did again years later for the cover to Marvel Team-up 150).

KD- love your drugstore story. Oh, those vintage druggists- with spinner racks, shelves loaded with Wacky Packages and Topps Baseball Cards, and of course a cornucopia of candy. Say, were UK pharmacies so generously outfitted with youthful temptation?

Redartz said...

Charlie- oh, imagine the reaction today if you'd revealed your gunpowder exploits to the local pharmacist...I see a visit from the FBI...

Killdumpster said...

Redartz-

While I have a fondness for Wacky Packs, they didn't exist till the early 70's. In the sixties we were all about Odd Rod sticker packs. Monsters with bulging eyeballs with tongues flailing in the wind, driving super-charged muscle cars. Man, talk about "the backyard of nostalgia".

Anonymous said...

Two Millie comics, and a third with Chili #1 the following month. Clearly it was all happening on the catwalks in the Marvel universe of '69, but what are they about?

Did those crazy kids grooving to drumbeats on the cover of Mad About Millie rise up against the oldsters with the rest of the youth under the influence of the Hate-Monger?
Maybe the fellas got drafted or ran off to Canada, or one of the chicks became a Manson girl after listening to Beatles lyrics on too much acid. Who knows? Anyone here ever read an issue...?

-sean




Killdumpster said...

Redartz-

Thanx for the appreciation of my German drugstore story.

Wacky Packs were great, but there was also a trading card series that utilized stills from old horror movies and inserted humorous captions on them. I can't recall the series' name.

Anyone?

Killdumpster said...

No, I think Manson got all the kids to go to Brian Wilson's house to party. Then he and Mike Love slaughtered them and buried them in the 7 feet deep sand Wilson had in his room, when he had his hermit on.

When they excavated his room, they quietly removed the bodies. The Beach Boys had the cash to do it.

That's why Millie never became a reacurring character, like Patsy Walker.

My perception of reality is truly messed up.

Charlie Horse 47 said...

Red - It was all baseball cards and Odd Rod stickers until the late 60s? Then maybe Wacky Packs started early 70s? Odd Rods Ruled... I troll ebay now and then for them but haven't bit yet!

Sean - I did see a copy or two of Millie back in the 60s though don't recall where. As far as finding someone who recalled reading them, HA! Super Man and Archie waaaaay outsold ANYTHING Marvel in the 60s but try finding someone who read more than one? Good luck! I mean, it's no accident these blogs really only talk about Marvel.

W.t.h. is Barry thinking when he drew Spidey's right leg? Like it was made of rubber?

The Gunpowder thing fortunately ended before committed an act of self destruction. Our efforts to make a bomb always came up short and instead the devices spewed sparks roughly 10 feet into the air. So, we gave up on explosions and instead started adding Magnesium to the brew... At night a piece as large as your finger nail would light up a half-city block like it was daytime!

We could buy the magnesium from the local hobby store, not the druggist, LOL. Then one day we go into the hobby store with my dad. THe owner pipes up like a jack in the box! "Sir, I feel duty bound to tell you I think your kid is making black powder!" Ahhh those were the days!

Redartz said...

Charlie, it might be a good thing we weren't neighbors. I had a fondness for filling the tanker cars from my HO train set with denatured alcohol and setting them to blow. Looked like a scene from a disaster movie. And don't get me started on the fate of those GI Joes...

Killdumpster said...

Charlie-

Having a history of being a pre-teen amateur chemist, I salute your endeavours into volitiles. Maybe instead of paratrooping in your military career you should have been in demolition.

Then again, you're here for us to enjoy your friendship.

My father, who was basically Davy Crockett reincarnated, had virtually LOADS of gunpowder. We made our own rounds, hotter than factory. We even recycled shotgun shells.

I pilfered quite a bit, and he didn't really care, till it cost too much.

My friends and I blew up a lot of stuff tho. With keeping all our digits and limbs intact. Lol.

Killdumpster said...

Redartz-

Shallow fox holes. Original full-size GI Joe's. A full box of M-80's.

The perfect mix for a pleasurable Saturday/Sunday afternoon, if you are a relatively destructive 10-12 year old.

Thank goodness most of us grew out of it!

Then again, we didn't have video games with explosions. We had to go the "practical" route. Lol!

Redartz said...

Kd- foxhole with m-80s. Ingenious! Mine were melted in the fire pit. Now my car models, they fell victim to black cat firecrackers. You're right, we had to go with the 'real thing's. And yes, I too kept all my digits, although there were the occasional minor burns. All part of the fun...

Anonymous said...

About one of the covers up there, I never understood these Hatemonger guys. Clones of Hitler, I guess, but some of them didn't even seem to be very much like Hitler, talk like him or even have a mustache. Maybe it was a crappy cloning machine. Or maybe, like on Family Guy, clones come out kinda retarded.
And getting flung into space, after accidentally opening opening an airlock on a space station thinking it leads to another room? That sounds like something one of my clones would do. Heck, it sounds like something I would do.
If you're gonna clone somebody, clone Linda Ronstadt.
And hurry up!

M.P.

Charlie Horse 47 said...

ANd who didn't take the bb guns to the models we built? It took me all afternoon to sink the Bismark floating in a ditch about 20 yards away, lol.

Well KD, though I did do Airborne School I spent the majority of my 5 years of service flying CH 47s.

Truth be told I am GLAD my son didn't monkey around with that stuff. That you, me, Red, et al. have our eyeballs and fingers is probably mostly luck, no?

But I must admit I still have a fondness for magnesium, lol.

Anonymous said...

M.P., weren't Hitler's brainwaves transferred to the clones by Arnim Zola?
I'm no expert, but it seems reasonable to assume that a geezer with his face on a screen in his chest and a camera for a head hiding out in the South American jungle maybe had a fairly erratic cloning process.

-sean

Killdumpster said...

No, I was personally instructed to respect firearms and explosive elements by my father.

Like I've stated before, he was Davy Crockett. Also he was a township cop back in the 60's.

I got my ass tanned because I found out the toy pump rifle I got for Christmas
just didn't make noise, but would fire mud-slugs when the barrel was stuck into the ground.

I chased my sister & neighbor kids around, blasting mud at their asses. Laughing as they ran away.

My dad ran out, pulled my pants down & spanked me in front of the kids.

Afterwards he told me "Never point a gun at someone unless you're willing to kill them."

My father had wise moments, and I miss him.

Anonymous said...

I accidentally shot my brother with a BB gun when we were kids. The thing just seemed to go off. It hit him center-mast, right in the sternum. Not once in basic training, years later, did I ever hit a target that accurately. If it had been a rifle, he'd be dead. He was wearing a sweatshirt, so it just bruised him.
Jesus, he was mad. Even though he was three years younger that me, I hadda run for my life, because he was firmly intent on killing me with his bare hands. I don't blame him one bit.
I hated guns after that.

M.P.

Colin Jones said...

Does "misheard lyrics" also mean "unintelligible lyrics"? Because my candidate for the song with the most unintelligible lyrics is GENO by Dexy's Midnight Runners. Great song but I couldn't understand a word of it except "Oh, Geno".

dangermash said...

It’s only two months old but the Thor pose from the cover of Silver Surfer #4 has already been swiped in producingbthat Sub-Mariner cover.

Steve W. said...

Redartz, I don't remember local pharmacists in Britain ever stocking anything except medicine and combs when I was a kid. The most excitement you got in them was seeing a steel comb and going, "Ooh, a comb made of steel. That's fancy."

Colin, I'm not sure I've ever been able to make out the lyrics of any Dexy's track. For decades, I was convinced that the opening line of There There My Dear was, "You're so anti-fascist. You're like a dumb dumb waiter, yes." It was a shock to find out what the real words are. Not that they're preferable to my version.

Dangermash, well spotted with the Namor pic.

KD, people in Britain also make that mistake with Blinded By The Light. I think it's exacerbated by no one having a clue what a deuce is.

As for the bomb thing, I never tried to make any but I do remember our Physics teacher telling us how to make a bomb, one day. I don't know if he was a secret revolutionary.

Aggy said...

Steve it is very quaint that as a kid your eye level stayed straight ahead and you never looked up. Now they are all wrapped in plastic but back in the day a red blooded young man might get a glimpse of bikini.

Steve W. said...

Did chemists in the old days sell magazines? This is genuinely something I have previously been unaware of.

Barney D said...

Kildumpster, I remember those horror movie "collectible "cards vividly too. The mummy lurching out of a doorway with the caption "Yoo-hoo, Ice Cream man ...." and so on.

Many's the hard-bargain was made between kids on my street to secure a full deck of those. Not sure if my passion for Universal horror films was formed or just further-fuelled by them, but for years I couldn't get enough of magazines, models, posters ... anything involving the familiar characters. (Marvel also did a rather nice "Monsters of the Movies" magazine series in the mid-Seventies which I collected whenever they were available.)

The internet tells me the cards were actually called "You'll Die Laughing aka Creature Feature" by Topps Inc. We just called them "Monster Cards".

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