Sunday 30 June 2019

The Secret Society of Super Villains #1.

The Secret Society of Super-Villains #1, throw androids of the Justice League JLA in a trash can, rubbish bin
How many people came out of a cinema in 1977, wanting to be Luke Skywalker?

Not one.

That's because everyone came out wanting to be Darth Vader.

That's because everyone knows super-villains are better than super-heroes.

And so it was that there were, at times in my youth, attempts to create comics built around wrong-doers. I think we all fondly remember the Astonishing Tales series in which, thanks to the pencils of Wally Wood, Dr Doom has various battles with various foes. And, of course, there was also Marvel's short-lived Super-Villain Team-Up book.

Clearly determined not to be left out, DC also had the odd fling with the genre too. I remember the Joker having his own series at one point. Whether it was good, I couldn't say, as I neither read nor saw a single issue of it.

I did, however, read an issue of another DC book in which villains were the stars.

And that was The Secret Society of Super Villains #1.

It's the present, and various baddies are minding their own business, committing crimes and escaping from prisons, when they each receive a letter inviting them to the first ever meeting of the Secret Society of Super Villains in San Francisco.

The Secret Society of Super-Villains #1, Sinestro arrives
Thus it is that Captain Cold, Mirror Master, Grodd, Copperhead, Sinestro, Star Sapphire, Captain Boomerang, the Wizard, Catwoman and Shadow Thief find themselves in a skyscraper, being welcomed by one of Manhunter's evil clones who says each must pass a test, in order to deserve membership.

Despite the prerequisite grumbling, Grodd and Copperhead agree to their test and set off to raid a lighthouse which contains a secret lab housing a great big ball of plutonium. Despite having everything going for them, Grodd and Copperhead completely fail to acquire their target, and Grodd abandons his accomplice in the sea, having decided he's useless. So far, the society's having about as much success as an England batting lineup.

The Secret Society of Super-Villains #1, Grodd abandons Copperhead
Building a comic around a bunch of super-villains may not be an idea that seems like it's going to work. For a start, being villains means they're going to have to fail in their dastardly aims or the Comics Code people will never speak to DC Comics again but the book is surprisingly appealing, mostly because it feels bright and breezy, moving quickly and efficiently in its story-telling.

Despite the fact I don't have a clue who half these villains are, they're a strangely engaging bunch - for would-be murderers and cutthroats - and the mystery of who their financier is gives us a reason to keep reading beyond this issue.

Gerry Conway's script does its job but I should also praise the art. The thing's drawn by Pablo Marcos who's one of my least favourite pencillers. I still shudder at the memory of his work on the last few stories of Captain Britain's original run. However, under Bob Smith's inks, his performance here is perfectly acceptable, even to me. I'm not going to rave about the artwork or claim it's magnificent but it's not off-putting and tells the story cleanly and without fuss.

The Secret Society of Super-Villains #1, Mirror Master and Captain Cold flee the scene
But who is the group's mystery benefactor? Is it Lex Luthor? Is it the Joker? Is it Brainiac? Is it Darkseid?

I don't have a clue but I'm assuming it's one of those because none of them are present in this comic. Nor are they or their absence mentioned, which seems an odd thing, given their status in the ranks of DC villains.

Then again, maybe it's not a villain at all. Maybe it's someone with a grudge against them, who wants to lead them down the path of ruin.

Anyway, it's not for me to know. I'm afraid I must remain in ignorance until such a time as I've read the series to its, no doubt, senses-shattering conclusion.

The Secret Society of Super-Villains #1, the robot JLA and Grodd

Thursday 27 June 2019

June 27th, 1979 - Marvel UK, 40 years ago this week.

I do have to say this week in 1979 was wholly lacking in incidents that grab my attention.

So, in the absence of having any current affairs and showbiz news to talk about, let's leap straight in and see if I can successfully pretend to know what was going on in the pages of our favourite comics company, during that seven day period.

Star Wars Weekly #70, Princess Leia

I really don't have a clue what's happening on that cover. Princess Leia seems to be about to brain a child who's planting a flower. I always knew she was a wrong 'un.

Then again, I don't have a clue what's happening inside the book either. Clearly, Warlock and the Micronauts are in it but what are these special bonus features, of which the blurb boasts?

Based on previous experience, I would assume that one of them's likely to be a Tales of the Watcher story.

Spider-Man Comic #329

If I was right about the above, it means the Watcher's a very busy man at the moment because he's also got a story in this comic.

This time, he's asking, "What if Spider-Man had joined the Fantastic Four?"

I don't have a clue what would have happened but, given the track record of What If? stories, I doubt such a circumstance would have ended happily.

Hulk Comic #17

And, with this issue, the Watcher gets even busier still because he pops up with the tale that demands, "What If the Hulk Had Always Had Bruce Banner's Brain?"

Apparently, according to this, he would have teamed up with Reed Richards, in order that they could conduct experiments together.

Whether this is before or after Spider-Man joins the FF is anyone's guess.

Meanwhile, in the main Hulk strip, Bruce Banner's still trapped on an island belonging to a High Evolutionary wannabe.

Back in New York, Ant-Man's still up against the man who's out to make people age dramatically, in order to disguise the fact he's lost his job.

In the Andes, things go totally bonkers when a SHIELD agent decides its a good idea to throw an atom bomb at a Celestial.

I'm sorry but what kind of training are they giving these people?

Behaving far more responsibly, Night-Raven's still up against the Chinese Tongs.

The Black Knight's still on a quest that's going nowhere.

And Nick Fury's up to something or other.

The eagle-eyed observer will note that this issue bears the wrong cover date of June 17th instead of the 27th.

Marvel Comic #348, Dracula and Blade

It looks like we're getting a reprint of Tomb of Dracula #58 which doesn't feature Dracula at all. Instead, Blade helps a friend whose wife's been possessed by a vampire.

Granted, that story doesn't feature a legion of vampires either, so I'm assuming the claim on the cover is mere hyperbole by the copy writer.

Then again, it could be a totally different tale and Marvel UK may just be using the wrong cover for it.

Sunday 23 June 2019

2000 AD - May 1981.

May 1981 was not a good time for fans of either reggae or Catholicism because it was the month in which Bob Marley died and Pope John Paul II was almost killed by a Turkish gunman in St. Peter's Square.

On the other hand, it was a great time if you were a football club called Liverpool because, in that month, the team won the European Cup for the third time, by vanquishing Real Madrid at the Parc des Princes in Paris.

The month also saw the first performance of the musical Cats, at the New London Theatre, which was good news if you liked that kind of thing.

Personally, I didn't. My attention was on other music matters.

Speaking of which...

The UK singles chart began May with its top spot held by Bucks Fizz's Making Your Mind Up before that was replaced by Adam and the Ants' Stand and Deliver which spent most of its run holding off the challenge of Shakin' Stevens' You Drive Me Crazy.

We might like to kid ourselves that the Early 1980s was dominated by groundbreaking acts doing things with synthesizers, hair and makeup to usher in a brave new era but, let's be honest, it was a man in denim, endlessly reviving the 1950s, who was the British singles chart's true commercial juggernaut in that period.

On the album front, the month kicked off with Adam Ant's Kings of the Wild Frontier successfully seeing off the threat of Gary Numan and Shakin' Stevens before catastrophe hit us all when the Number One slot was claimed by the nightmare horror of Stars on 45 by Starsound. Was this the moment civilisation died? It certainly felt like it at the time and it's still hard to believe anyone ever actually listened to the thing. Seriously, forty minutes of non-stop Stars on 45, you'd need a lifetime of therapy after that.

Anyway, 2000 AD. Tharg was still giving us his Future Shocks, Judge Dredd, Johnny Alpha, Return to Armageddon and Meltdown Man.

Personally, I wish he'd dropped Return to Armageddon because every month, doing this feature, I  manage to spell, "Armageddon," wrong. It's a terrible reason for wanting a strip dropped but it's my own.

Judge Dredd was involved in a thing called The Mega-Rackets which seems to be some sort of fifteen part story, split into one and two part chapters.

Other than that, I know little of the contents of this month's issues. I do note that the cover of Prog 213 seems to be a spoof of Flash Gordon but doesn't seem to relate to any of the tales contained within, which seems a little random.

2000 AD Prog 210, Judge Dredd

2000 AD Prog 211, Judge Dredd

2000 AD Prog 212

2000 AD Prog 213

2000 AD Prog 214

Thursday 20 June 2019

June 20th, 1979 - Marvel UK, 40 years ago this week.

Reader, can you tell me, without Googling, which two teams contested the world's first ever international cricket match?

If you can, you're either a raving lunatic or you know far too much about cricket - because that game featured the unlikely clash of Canada vs the United States, who played each other on the 24th and 25th of September 1844.

Shockingly, despite this, neither team has been taking part in this year's Cricket World Cup which is currently underway.

However, both nations did enter the same competition of forty years ago, with USA eliminated in the qualifiers and Canada actually making it to the competition proper. Where could we see this awesome tournament back then? On BBC Two, that's where.

BBC One, however, was showing far creepier fare on this night in 1979 because, at ten past eight, it was giving us The Omega Factor a Scottish drama series filled with paranormal investigation and starring Louise Jameson. I must confess that, despite my love for such dramas, I have no memory of the show at all. I shall blunder onto YouTube and see if I can find any trace of it there.

Fortunately, I have a stronger recollection of the UK singles chart at the time.

Residing at Number One, that week, was Anita Ward's Ring My Bell which is OK but there was far more impressive action going on.

That's because it was a fairly epic chart that week, packed to the gills with songs I approved of. As if to prove it, these are the tunes on that Top 40 that still, to this day, get the coveted Steve Does Comics thumbs-up:

2. Are 'Friends' Electric? - Gary Numan.

3. Dance Away - Roxy Music.

4. Sunday Girl - Blondie.

6. Up the Junction - Squeeze.

7. Ain't No Stoppin' Us Now - McFadden and Whitehead.

11. Shine A Little Love - ELO.

12. H.A.P.P.Y. Radio - Edwin Starr.

13. Night Owl - Gerry Rafferty.

18. The Number One Song in Heaven - Sparks.

19. Say When - Lene Lovich.

21. Living on the Front Line - Eddy Grant.

23. Pop Muzik - M.

24. Light My Fire - Amii Stewart.

26. Boys Keep Swinging - David Bowie.

34. Crackin' Up - Nick Lowe.

36. Old Siam, Sir - Wings.

Lots of great stuff there for all music lovers. And the good news for people who didn't like music was that Kevin Keegan was reigning supreme at Number 31 with Head Over Heels in Love.

Star Wars Weekly #69, Darth Vader Triumphant

I've no information at all about the contents of this issue, other than it appears that Darth Vader triumphs against some bloke.

Doubtless, the Micronauts are still up against the Man-Thing and Warlock's still up against the Star-Thief.

Hulk Comic #16

The Hulk's been abducted by a High Evolutionary type who wants to use him in his, no doubt, dastardly plans.

Ant-Man's up against an inventor who's turned to crime because he doesn't want his grandson to know he's lost his job. And now the inventor's out to use his Ageing Machine for malevolent purposes.

Three agents of SHIELD meet the Celestials in the Eternals' strip.

Night-Raven's still trying to get the better of the Tongs.

The Hulk still has Bruce Banner's brain in his What If? tale and has now buried the hatchet with Thunderbolt Ross.

The Black Knight and Captain Britain are still stuck in a never-ending Tolkienesque nightmare.

Nick Fury's up to something but I don't know what.

Marvel Comic #347, Godzilla captured by SHIELD

Godzilla's been captured by SHIELD, thanks to him having no more sense to hold his breath in the face of a gas attack than the Hulk does. Meanwhile, he may be about to get a visit from Red Ronin.

Conan and Bêlit are in the process of investigating a mysterious island. I don't know much about that island but I guarantee there'll be monsters on it.

Foggy Nelson's been kidnapped by Hydra, and Daredevil's out to get him back.

Spider-Man Comic #328, Nova

Speaking of DD, Spider-Man's still blind and he and hornhead are out to find the Masked Marauder before the curtain-faced criminal can get up to any more mischief.

Sunday 16 June 2019

Phantom Stranger #26, The Spawn of Frankenstein.

Phantom Stranger #26, Spawn of Frankenstein, Mike Kaluta cover
I've only encountered DC Comics' version of the Frankenstein monster twice. One was in the backup strip of Phantom Stranger #28, and the other was in the main strip of Phantom Stranger #26 in which the monster and the book's star sort of unite to do battle with the forces of darkness.

As a child, the former of those two encounters didn't impress me in the slightest. For one thing, the monster was wearing a cape - and it wasn't even a flattering cape. For another, he seemed a very passive and spiritually anaemic being. Reading that tale, it was hard to see him as a creature who'd tear the head off Victor Frankenstein's bride in order to send his creator a message about parental responsibility.

But the latter tale was a whole different matter. Drawn by Jim Aparo and written by Len Wein and Marv Wolfman, this time, he was a far more rugged, dynamic and driven individual who seemed to be permanently on the lookout for a chance to inflict some damage.

Admittedly, you still couldn't see him tearing an innocent woman's head off but you could at least imagine him tearing a guilty woman's head off.

So, forty-odd years after first reading that tale, what will I make of it this time round?

Phantom Stranger #26, Spawn of Frankenstein vs Phantom Stranger
The monster's out to reanimate a man called Victor Adams who, it seems, is responsible for the monster himself having been revived. Showing the spirit we all want from him, the creature's not doing this from gratitude but in order that it can inflict maximum torment on him. Mary Shelley would be proud of her boy.

But, to do it, he needs a laser gun.

To be honest, I don't have a clue how a laser can bring the dead back to the life but it's the 1970s and, in the 1970s, we have more faith in such technology than people in the 21st Century have.

The only problem is that, before he can do it, he's promptly possessed by two demons who get him to not only steal the laser but also abduct the wife of Dr Thirteen from the hospital bed in which she's currently comatose.

With stuff like this going on, it's not long before the Phantom Stranger shows up and he and Dr Thirteen set out to stop the creature.

Not that they actually do stop the creature. In fact, for all his big talk, the Phantom Stranger's about as much use as a chocolate fireguard when it comes to achieving their aims.

Phantom Stranger #26, demons summon the moon
Fortunately, that's when the demons - who've now possessed Victor Adams and Mrs Thirteen - make their big mistake. They decide to try and kill the monster, Thirteen and the Stranger by blasting them with moonlight.

Suddenly the Stranger's up against something he can actually handle, mostly because it involves just standing there and waving his medallion around. By this means, he deflects the moon's light at his Hellish foes and incinerates them.

Then everyone's who's still alive leaves, seemingly having learnt nothing at all from the night's events.

To be honest, because I haven't read any of the issues which lead up to this tale, it's an extremely confusing read for me. I don't have a clue who half the people in the tale even are. Who is Victor Adams? Who is Rachael Adams? Why is Mrs Thirteen in a hospital bed? How does Dr Thirteen already know the Spawn of Frankenstein? Who are the demons? What do they want? What is the big house the story centres around?

Phantom Stranger #26, demons destroyed by the moon
All of this is mystery to me.

But, in fairness, my confusion doesn't really matter that much because the tale has two things going for it.

One is that it moves at a high pace which propels you ever onward.

The other is that it's drawn by Jim Aparo whose pencils and inks impose maximum dynamism into every panel, meaning comprehension's an optional extra, rather than a necessity. It's true that sometimes you can read a comic just for the pretty pictures.

So, there you go. That's my verdict. It's baffling, it's great and, like anything drawn by Aparo in this era, it's well worth the read.

It also has a Mike Kaluta cover, so that's an added bonus.

Phantom Stranger #26, Spawn of Frankenstein leaps, Jim Aparo

Thursday 13 June 2019

June 13th, 1979 - Marvel UK, 40 years ago this week.

Do you remember that awesome song I Wish I Could Fly by Orville the Duck, which surely ranks up there with Bohemian Rhapsody as the most admired single in British musical history?

I do, and a man who could have understood that song's sentiments better than any was Bryan Allen who, this week in 1979, became the first person to cross the English Channel in a man-powered plane when his vehicle Gossamer Albatross crossed that body of water.

And no wonder he wanted to reach the continental mainland, because it was also the week of the first-ever direct elections to the European Parliament, allowing citizens from all nine European Community states to choose 410 MEPs, making it the first international election in history. Following an epic 32% voter turn-out, the Conservatives picked up 60 seats and Labour got 17, while the SNP, DUP, SDLP and OUP all gained one seat each.

As if that wasn't excitement enough, the UK singles chart got a brand new Number One that week when Anita Ward's Ring My Bell claimed the exalted position.

Admittedly, "excitement," might not be the right word, as it's one of the tamest records ever released. Not having heard it in decades, I shall have to give it a spin on YouTube to see what I think of it now and if it still reminds me of Janet Kay's Silly Games, as it did back then.

No need for a refresher course when it comes to the album chart because, that very week, ELO's Discovery entered the LP Hit Parade at Number One, deposing ABBA's Voulez Vous, with Ian Dury and the Blockheads' Do It Yourself at Number Three. Having heard that very ELO album in the not-too-distant past, I can say I like it more now than I did back then. My resistance to disco has clearly been greatly diminished by the power of nostalgia.

And speaking of nostalgia...

Spider-Man Comic #327, Daredevil

All I know about this issue is that Spidey's still blind and, because it's a Marvel story, decides to take it out on Daredevil.

Given that DD is used to being blind, I'm assuming Spider-Man doesn't fare too well in that clash.

Star Wars Weekly #68, Darth Vader

This issue sees the start of the story in which Warlock finds himself up against the Star Thief, the hospitalised man who somehow manages to pose a massive threat to all of existence - and our hero.

I think it's also the tale in which Warlock returns to our solar system, only to find he's grown gigantic and is now bigger than the Earth!

But, hold on, does that mean everyone he encountered in the Magus storyline was also gigantic? It does seem unlikely, as they've been people-sized in all their other appearances in the Marvel universe.

Elsewhere, the Micronauts are up against the Man-Thing and aren't making a very good job of it.

Hulk Comic #15, Dr Scarabeus

This Hulk gets abducted by someone called Dr Scarabeus, a man with operatives who appear to be animal men of the kind the High Evolutionary likes to inflict upon the world.

Ant-Man finishes off the evil tyrant from another dimension who had him kidnapped by his window cleaner. Thankfully for our hero, the insects of that dimension are more controllable than its window cleaners are.

In New York, the Deviants and Eternals attempt to forge an alliance with mankind, in their quest to find a solution to the problem of the Celestials.

The Black Knight and Captain Britain are still getting nowhere at all in their attempts to do whatever it is they're trying to do.

Down by the dockside, Night-Raven's up against the Tongs.

On his base on the moon, the Watcher's still asking, "What if the Hulk had had Bruce Banner's brain from the start?"

As always, I don't have a clue what Nick Fury's up to.

Marvel Comic #346, Godzilla

Godzilla's still on the rampage, clearly oblivious to the fact that the American book from which his tales are sourced is about to meet its maker.

It's probably a good thing that he doesn't know. If he did, he'd really be angry.

Tuesday 11 June 2019

The Marvel Lucky Bag - June 1979.

Rain is pouring down, down, ever down, as June feels more like March.

There's only one thing for it, I shall have to look at some of the less celebrated titles Marvel was putting out forty years ago and see if, unlike this month, they turn out to not be a total wash-out.

Dr Strange #35

A bad guy in another dimension is out to do something or other that's bound to be naughty.

Having failed to get any evil entities who matter to team up with him, he, instead, recruits a no-mark demon and sets it on Strange and Clea.

Whatever's going on, the Black Knight's magic sword is mixed up in it all.

Godzilla #23, the Avengers

It's the big one! SHIELD, the Fantastic Four and Avengers all team up to tackle Japan's worst tourist as he stomps around New York, crushing things.

You could almost think the comic's not doing well and that Marvel's throwing everything it has at the book to try and save it.

Hulk magazine #15

That is a cover genuinely unlike any I've ever seen on a Marvel book.

As for the insides, in a dodgy research centre in the middle of nowhere, the Hulk has to fight a robot controlled by a remote operator - unaware that killing the robot will kill the operator.

Marvel Team-Up #82, Spider-Man and the Black Widow

Here's a discovery. I had this one and had totally forgotten all about it, until now.

But, then, I'm not the only one being absent-minded, because the Black Widow's lost her memory and thinks she's a school teacher. That doesn't stop SHIELD setting out to bump her off.

Star Wars #24

I don't have a clue what happens in this one but Roger Whitaker's clearly out to thwart some ruffians.

Power Man and Iron Fist #57, the Living Monolith

Can Luke Cage and Iron Fist possibly hope to defeat the Living Colossus?

Of course they can't. In fact, it's hard to think of many Marvel heroes who'd stand less chance against him.

Fortunately, the X-Men are on hand to help out.

Then again, based on previous experience, the X-Men aren't overly qualified to do it either.

At least we now know why Luke Cage showed up in this month's X-Men comic.

Defenders #72

The Defenders are still trying to halt the endlessly annoying menace of Lunatik.

And now they're up against a whole planet full of him, in a story that I remember as making no sense at all.

Marvel Premier #48, Ant-Man

Scott Lang concludes his first adventure as Ant-Man by tackling a man who literally wants to steal his heart.

That man might think he's hard as nails but he's no match for a rank amateur with a bunch of ants.

Sunday 9 June 2019

Forty years ago today - June 1979.

England and Scotland have just kicked off against each other in the 2019 Women's World Cup. Has there ever been a more titanic clash in the history of humanity?

Yes there has. In fact, there've been ten.

Where are they?

Contained within the comics that live directly below these words.

Conan the Barbarian #99, Man-Crabs

It's the fight we've all be crying out for, as Conan, Bêlit and their piratical colleagues take on a bunch of man-crabs.

Needless to say, our heroes are triumphant, despite the man-crabs being psychic.

A Steve Does Comics No-Prize goes to the first person who can guess the blindingly obvious way in which Conan manages to defeat a great big horde of crabs.

Iron Man #123

Iron Man's having problems with his armour - and the Melter, Whiplash and Blizzard are just the type to take advantage.

Spectacular Spider-Man #31

The Carrion Saga reaches its awesome conclusion, as the cadaverous clone sets a giant amoeba on Spider-Man.

But it's no ordinary giant amoeba. It's a giant amoeba which is also, technically, Spider-Man's clone and, therefore, has all of his powers!

Thor #283, Eternals

Thor hangs around in the Andes, trying to find answers about what's going on with the Celestials.

This leads to him having a fight with an Eternal, a SHIELD agent and a Deviant. You have to give it to Thor, he knows how to make friends and influence people.

In a shocking twist, he reveals his secret identity to that old archaeologist with the beard, the one who's trapped inside the Celestials' dome.

Can it be that he's now decided he has no need for his Don Blake persona?

Uncanny X-Men #122

Colossus may get the cover but the focus is on Storm who hangs around in Harlem, for reasons I can't remember, and has a punch-up with a bunch of junkies.

I believe this is also the issue in which Jean Grey first meets Jason Wyngarde.

Captain America #234, Daredevil

We're all doomed! Dr Faustus has brainwashed Captain America and turned him into a Nazi!

Fortunately, Daredevil's on hand to snap him out of it.

Fantastic Four #207, Spider-Man

Cap's not the only one who's been brainwashed by a beardy villain, because the Human Torch has suffered the same fate.

In this case, it's Spider-Man's turn to snap him out of it, so they can thwart the schemings of the Monocle who's been getting students at his, "Exclusive," college to steal things for him.

Incredible Hulk #236, Machine Man

Machine Man battles the Hulk, in order to stop the green grappler from getting to some bloke he thinks has kidnapped some other bloke.

The robot puts up a remarkably good fight against a foe who you'd think would need no more than three seconds to completely destroy him.

Avengers #184, Absorbing Man

The Absorbing Man wants to flee the country so he can enjoy the good life in Central America.

There's only one problem. The Avengers just don't want to let him go.

Amazing Spider-Man #193, The Fly

The Fly's back.

That's all I can remember about the tale.

I can't remember anything about any of his other appearances either.

Admittedly, that's not strictly true. I do remember the appearance in which Spidey defeats him with a Hostess Cup Cake.

His only memorable outing being a cup cake ad. That's how great a villain the Fly is.

Thursday 6 June 2019

June 6th, 1979 - Marvel UK, 40 years ago this week.

Nothing whatsoever noteworthy was happening in the whole world in this week of exactly forty years ago, which, bearing in mind there were 4.36 billion people on Earth, was a remarkable achievement. I can only assume everyone was far too busy, reading their Marvel comics, to create history.

In which case, I shall follow their lead and also completely fail to create history.

Star Wars Weekly #67, Darth Vader

It would appear that Darth Vader and Valance are in search of Tyler Lucian. Why they want him, I cannot claim to know.

Then again, apart from Darth Vader, I don't have a clue who any of those people are.

Elsewhere, mostly in the Everglades, the Micronauts find themselves having to battle the swamp-spawned horror of the Man-Thing.

The Strange Death of Adam Warlock is still going on. He's not half dragging it out. I'm sure I could have managed to top myself in half the time he's taken over it.

Meanwhile, Nick Fury and his Howling Commandos are still fighting World War Two in outer space, courtesy of the Watcher and What If?

Starburst #10, Doctor Who, tom baker

Hooray! We get an interview with the living legend that is Tom Baker!

We also get a look at the non-stop action-packed thrill-fest that wasn't the first Star Trek movie. I'm not saying it's slow-moving but, forty years after the film first came out, the Enterprise still hasn't managed to get out of that space dry-dock.

The thing that most intrigues me, though, is that we get a look at a remake of The Shape of Things to Come.

The original was, of course, a startlingly lavish glimpse of mankind's future, one which got worryingly close to arguing the ideal society is one which doesn't waste its time worrying too much about human beings.

As for the remake, did it ever materialise? I've certainly never seen it, nor heard anything about it.

Rampage Monthly #12, the Hulk

I have no recollection of either what the Hulk or Dr Strange are getting up to in this month's issue but I'm assuming, from the tale's title, that we're given the New X-Men's clash with Count Nefaria and his Ani-Men - the one that sees the villain take over NORAD, and causes the death of Thunderbird.

Hulk Comic #14

Speaking of deaths, the Hulk's out to avenge the murder of Bigfoot by hunters.

Meanwhile, Ant-Man's abducted by window cleaners.


He really is.

The Eternals are still trying to stop the Deviants smashing up New York, as Sersi sets about rescuing Ikaris from his prison at the bottom of the ocean.

Not content with having a story in Star Wars Weekly, the Watcher also has one in this comic, in which he asks, "What if the Hulk had always had Bruce Banner's brain?"

Night-Raven's out to stop some crooks in a stolen car.

Nick Fury and SHIELD are messing about in the desert.

Captain Britain and the Black Knight are messing about in Britain, with elves.

Marvel Comic #345, Godzilla

Godzilla's still on the rampage.

But, then, when isn't he?

Savage Sword of Conan #20, Mike Kaluta, UK

Hooray! We've reached the only issue of the UK Savage Sword of Conan monthly I ever owned! How well I remember The Logical Song playing on the radio, as I was reading it.

From what I can recall, there's some sort of tale of royal intrigue drawn by Pablo Marcos, and a Dick Giordano drawn tale in which Red Sonja fights a satyr type creature in either an abandoned temple or tomb.

As for Solomon Kane, I don't remember his tale at all. From the title, I'm assuming skeletons are involved.

Spider-Man Comic #326, Daredevil

Spidey's been blinded by the Masked Marauder and is saved from plunging to his doom, by the last moment intervention of Daredevil.

But can they stop the curtain-faced crim who caused the crisis?

And can Spidey get his sight back?

And isn't that the robot bird that belonged to Lord Hawk in the old Captain Britain stories?