Tuesday, 14 May 2019

The Marvel Lucky Bag - May 1979.

As I sit typing these awesome words, I'm listening to ELO's 1981 album Time on YouTube. The way I remember things, I'm pretty sure it was viewed, back then, as a catastrophic shark-jump by the band.

Which is odd because I have to say I'm quite enjoying it. The production's more restrained than we're used to and there's a whole lot less of the highly silly backing vocals that were ELO's Achilles heel for some of us.

But is this the only thing we've been wrong about? Does it mean the world has, likewise, been too harsh on Marvel Comics' less appreciated titles that I'm about to look at in the list below? Has the lack of love for them been an injustice? Are they, in fact, the very finest books the world of Comicdom had to offer at that time?

There's only one way to find out.

Godzilla #22, Devil Dinosaur

Godzilla and Devil Dinosaur team up to tackle some bad guys or other in prehistoric times; a sequence of events which leads to Godzy reappearing in the 20th Century - and at full size!

Invaders #40, Baron Blood

Baron Blood's on the loose again - and under the control of a Japanese woman who's out to create a team made up of all the Invaders' greatest enemies.

Admittedly, "Great," is a relative term...

Nova #25

"Make way, World -- Nova's smashing thru!"

He's smashing through into oblivion - because this is his last issue.

It's a story which leads into this month's Fantastic Four tale, as our motley crew of super-doers, including Nova, Dr Sun, the Sphinx, a man with a diamond for a head, a man who looks like the Flash, and some other bloke, find themselves in the Skrull's galaxy, and having to wage war on those cosmic ne'er-do-wells, in order to get whatever it is they're after there.
Marvel Team-Up #81, Spider-Man and Satana

Spidey and Satana team up to rescue Dr Strange who's been turned into a werewolf by someone or other.

I don't want to give away any spoilers but Satana's dead by the tale's climax.

I suspect she won't stay dead.

Marvel Treasury Edition #20, the Rampaging Hulk

We get a magnificent magazine featuring the Hulk's meeting with Klaatu, and his first encounter with Dr Doom who, if I remember correctly, wants to use him to deliver an atom bomb to a rival country.

Red Sonja #15

If Nova's feeling down about the loss of his book, he should at least take comfort from the fact he's not alone, because Red Sonja's also experiencing her final issue.

As well as vampires, I believe she gets to fight a man made of vegetable matter.

Super-Villain Team-Up #16, the Red Skull and Hate Monger

Holy coincidences, Batman! Just the other day, on here, I was opining on the prospect of the Red Skull, Hate-Monger, Sons of the Serpent and Dr Faustus teaming up to start a race war.

And what do you know? This very issue features the Red Skull and Hatey teaming up to relaunch the Third Reich.

I predict it won't be long before they're trying to kill each other.


dangermash said...

That Invaders cover with everybody wandering around looking for the villain when the villain is in hiding and about to pounce out in the heroes. It reminds me of another cover and I can't work out which one it is. Am I thinking of Ff #12 with the hulk hiding around the corner while the FF search for him in a cave? Or is there another comic cover somewhere that I'm thinking of? This is bugging me.

Anonymous said...

Holy further coincidence, Steve! Commenting on the post before that last one, I speculated on why no-one decided to make another cosmic cube - sorry M.P, tesseract - and thats exactly what happens in that issue of Super-Villain Team-Up.

Personally, I preferred the comic when Dr Doom teamed up with Namor or Henry Kissinger, but #16 was one strange comic, consisting basically of the Red Skull and... er, well Hitler running a concentration camp.
With Arnim Zola too, just in case there weren't already enough nazis.
Could have been a bit of a classic, but Carmine Infantino wasn't really the right artist to pull it off...


dangermash said...

Ah! I might be thinking about Avengers #126 with the Panther on top of a wall and about to pounce on Klaw who has all the rest of the Avengers captive. Maybe a combination of this and FF #12.

Unknown said...

I seem to remember a similar cover on an 80s cover of Batman with him and Robin being looked down on from Manbat

Steve W. said...

There's also the cover of Avengers #80 with Red Wolf about to attack the Avengers from behind, as they look for him.

Steve W. said...

Sean, I've always liked Infantino's 1960s DC stuff but his 1970s Marvel work never appealed to me in the same way. To me, everyone he drew always looked too wide.

Charlie Horse 47 said...

Staying with the theme of comics...

What exactly is Tesseract vs. Cosmic Cube vs. Infinity Stone? Before seeing the Avengers this weekend, with my French wife, I read up on all the Marvel movies in preparation and that word Tesseract kept popping up (as above and preceding blogs). Help?

PS - for a good time, explain to someone who grew up without Marvel or DC comics, in the middle of the Avengers, who Bucky is. It really takes some thought to distill his and Cap's 80 year history down to something comprehensible without having the person say, "That's enough." LOL.

Anonymous said...

The Tesseract is just what they call the Cosmic Cube in the Marvel films Charlie, because it sounds less like a stupid comic book thing so they can pretend superhero stories aren't just for kids.
A major problem with explaining Bucky is that at some point you also have to explain Rick Jones.

Steve, completely agree about Carmine Infantino; quite a few comic artists seem to lose it later in their career - burn out, I guess - but he's an extreme example.
You have to wonder what went through his head, starting as a freelancer at Marvel only a year or two after being head honcho at DC.


Charlie Horse 47 said...

Thanks Sean! I am glad I am not one of those comic-book-reading dullards anymore! Charlie is hip!

Charlie explained Bucky as follows:

Someone who fell off a V-1 with Cap, got picked up by a commie sub and put in suspended animation, then revived to screw with America around 2005. He lost his arm in all this.

Cap floated around in a block of ice until 1964.

I left out Rick Jones, Korea, the multiple Caps and Buckys, the Falcon...

It did lead to an interesting discussion about how Marvel had to deal with Cap being created during WW 2 simply to fight Nazis or Iron Man damaging his heart in Vietnam, and their origins not connecting with kids b/c kids anymore, forcing new origins. (Anyhow, I think their origins have been revised?)

Whereas DC's "Big 3" were not anchored into a historical event and did not necessarily need to worry about their origins.

Anonymous said...

Charlie, Iron Man's origin was updated to Iraq, but otherwise they're basically the same as the comics aren't they? Cap is still a WW 2 super soldier.
If anything, I was surprised they stuck with Tony Stark being an arms manufacturer (a sad comment on the current state of the world that early Vietnam-era attitudes seem to be widespread enough for that not to be particularly controversial).

Over at DC isn't Wonder Woman linked to WW 2? Still haven't seen the film yet, but I understand they went backward to WW 1...?


dangermash said...

That's brilliant, Steve. Spotter's Badge. I've looked at it and Avengers #80 has to be the cover I was thinking of. Such a dumb expression on Thor's face.

Thanks for your input too, Unknown. I was never a DC man, though, so whatever cover you’re thinking of won't have imprinted itself on my brain.

Timothy Field said...

Has anyone commented on the brilliant Nova strap-line?

Steve W. said...

"He's gone! The human rocket!"? It did strike me as being pleasingly sarcastic.