Tuesday, 9 April 2019

The Marvel Lucky Bag - April 1979.

It's time to once more smash History in the face and look at what Marvel's less celebrated stars were up to in the books whose cover-date is exactly forty years ago.

Defenders #70, Lunatik

The Defenders are having another crack at stopping Lunatik.

I always hated Lunatik, mostly because he seemed to be giving everyone far more trouble than he should have.

He was just a bloke with a stick, wasn't he? Why was he so hard to stop?

Godzilla #21, Devil Dinosaur

It's the clash we've all been waiting for, as Godzilla takes on Devil Dinosaur.

I have memories of it being a somewhat one-sided battle, with Devil Dinosaur lucky to get out of it in one piece but I could be remembering wrongly.

Anyway, needless to say, it's not long before, nagged on by Moon-Boy - the prehistoric Rick Jones - the two monsters are teaming up to tackle a mutual foe.

Warriors of the Shadow Realm

I know nothing about this book at all.

I've looked at a summation of its contents, on the Grand Comics Database and, after reading that, I still don't have a clue what's going on in it.

But I do know it looks like the sort of thing that wouldn't grab me.

Interesting that the cover format basically follows that of the then-current Marvel UK monthly mags.

Marvel Premiere #47, Ant-Man

I do believe this is the issue in which Scott Lang becomes Ant-Man, after stealing Hank Pym's costume.

I'm not sure why it was felt necessary to have a new Ant-Man but, as Lang is still around today, the idea seems to have worked.

Marvel Two-In-One #50, Thing vs Thing

It's the battle that had to happen! 1970s Thing vs his 1960s self!

As far as I can make out, 1970s Thing uses Dr Doom's time machine to travel back and give his 1960s self a cure for his condition.

Judging by that cover, it seems that both Things greet the situation with the maturity levels we're used to from Marvel heroes.


Tim Field said...

The UK monthly layout was exported to the US, I believe someone liked Dez's design enough to pinch it. I seem to recall the story in that issue being reprinted in the UK, possibly in the pages of whatever Star Wars Weekly was calling itself at the time.

dangermash said...

Liking the look of Marvel Two In One but April 1969 look so pretty dum compared to the previous four or five months.

dangermash said...

Should say ...looks pretty dull...,

Aggy said...

Marvel Premiere is also the 1st appearance of Cassie Lang who becomes Stinger in recent years. And is also featured in both Ant-man and the next Avenger movies

Steve W. said...

Thanks for the Cassie Lang info, Aggy.

Dangermash, it is a fairly dull selection - and these were the more interesting looking comics Marvel had out this month.

Tim, thanks for the confirmation that I wasn't imagining it.

Charlie Horse 47 said...

Tim may be a robot, all! Be careful... very, very careful!

There's Kirby Krackle! There is also Kirby Krap... Moon Boy and Devil Dinosaurs fall into that category.

Robot Tim, Human Steve, which cover above are you looking at that you think carries Dez's imprint? "The Warriors of the Shadow Realm?"

Dougie said...

Weirdworld's Warriors of the Shadow Realm is a bit of Tolkienesque whimsy by Moench and Ploog. The characters appeared in Marvel Premiere first. I think that story might've turned up in the Valour weekly. Maybe it was a rip-off of Elfquest? It was probably a year or two ahead of its time. Dungeons and Dragons was massive about 1981-82, IIRC. Certainly, I was still reading Edgar Rice Burroughs and Michael Moorcock paperbacks around that time.

Anonymous said...

Can't stand anything about elves, dwarves and all that bollocks Steve, but even though it was a third-rate Lord of the Rings knock off (as if the original wasn't bad enough) Warriors of the Shadow Realm was worth getting for the artwork of John Buscema which looked better than ever with the phenomenal inking of Rudy Nebres and that fantastic full colour.

Dougie, Mike Ploog drew the earlier Weirdworld story in Marvel Premiere #3 - with inks by the mighty Alex Nino, so definitely worth a look even for hobbit-phobes - and I think another in one of the black-and-whites, although I don't recall which.


Anonymous said...

PS Devil Dinosaur was not krap.


Anonymous said...

And I spelt my name wrong the first time. Duhhh...


Steve W. said...

Charlie, The Warriors of the Shadow Realm is indeed the Des Skinn style cover.

Speaking of which, Dougie and Sean, thanks for the Warriors of the Shadow Realm info.

Killdumpster said...

Lunatik fell into the "let's make the Defenders into a goofy superhero team book" run, but I kinda dug him. Mostly for his pop-culture based banter.

Herb Trimpe was just wrong to be on Godzilla. His rendition was only vaguely similar to the films. It seemed like he never saw any of the movies or looked at any stills for reference.

Even shrunken,down-sized Godzilla is more than a match for Devil Dinosaur.

Now maybe if he DID have Rick Jones instead of Moon Boy as a sidekick, things could be different.

Weirdworld held no interest to me, along with Scott Lang/Ant-Man. I do like the movies , though.

My favorite, exclusively solo Ant-Man storyline still is the Marvel Features
where he was size-trapped, with a mutated Wasp trying to kill him.

Kirby's original design of the Thing holds a dear space in my heart. So reminiscent of all the monsters he drew during the pre-hero period of Timely/Atlas.

Fond memories of them, & early FF. As well as just 60's Marvel in general. Such good fun.

Killdumpster said...

I don't know, Sean...

Devil might've not been COMPLETELY crap, but even King Kirby's doodle pad probably has some greatness to it.

Seemed like he looked over at his doodles, while wrapping up an Eternals or something, and threw them in the mailer.

Ta-da! First issue! Doodle..er.. Devil Dinosaur! Yeah, that's the ticket.

Charlie Horse 47 said...

KD - Rick Jones and the Devil Dinosaur... If only drawn by Gene the Dean Colan I would have been a forward-facing, Irving Forbush and subscribed!

Hey, I mean lots of folks knock Kiryb's Kamandi but I dug it! Though, admittedly it was not near the quality of a Lee-Kirby comic. But Devil Dinosaur... it's like Jack was running on "E" by that point in his career and his work was a parody of itself.

And, I didn't like Kirby's Forever People nor Eternals nor his return to Marvel from the 70s. I didn't really care for any of that stuff from the 90s either (4th world?) IT just didn't do it for me.

SO, THAT'S THAT. After Jack left Marvel, outside of Kamandi and The Dingbats, he didn't do much that interested me. But that's just me! It doesn't mean I don't think he was genius, though.

Anonymous said...

OMAC, The Losers, Mister Miracle... Kirby did his best stuff at DC Charlie. And his last stint at Marvel was pretty great too.
My take is that unlike most artists his style was always developing, moving toward greater abstraction; basically, he got Kirbier over time, and people have different jumping off points for when they (mistakenly in my opinion) consider that to have become self-parody.

Also, he is very underestimated as a writer.


Colin Jones said...

I remember buying several American Marvels cover-dated April 1979 such as Master Of Kung Fu, Ms. Marvel #23 (the final issue) and Uncanny X-Men #120 (featuring a guest appearance by Pierre Trudeau, the Canadian Prime-Minister). Sadly none of those comics appear in today's group :(

dangermash said...

I've just spotted that the Lucky Bag is out a week early! That's why Colin's X-Men comic hasn't appeared.

Not your fault though, Steve, I blame Dez Skinn.

Steve W. said...

That Uncanny X-Men issue will indeed be putting in an appearance at the weekend.

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