Tuesday, 2 July 2019

The Marvel Lucky Bag - July 1969.

This very evening, England take on the United States in the semi-finals of the Women's World Cup. l'm taking it for granted England'll crash out on penalties, as that's been the job of every England national team since Kevin Keegan was a lad.

But there was once a time when the whole notion of a woman's World Cup would have seemed like nothing more than a pipe dream.

And that time was July 1969.

Admittedly, it was also true of any month in that year, and any year in that decade. However, I need a tenuous link to launch me into my look at what Marvel's less celebrated strips were up to in the books which wore that month's cover date, and that was it.

But first, some music.

July 1969 was a time of memorable tunes on the UK singles chart, and it kicked off with Something in the Air by Thunderclap Newman at Number One, that track having dethroned the Beatles' Ballad of John and Yoko.

Still, that band's triumph wasn't all bad news for members of the Fab Four because Thunderclap Newman's lead guitarist was 16 year old Jimmy McCulloch who, just five years later, took Henry McCullough's place as lead guitarist of Paul McCartney's new band Wings.

Thunderclap Newman were dethroned in the month's second half by the Rolling Stones' Honky Tonk Women which claimed the top spot by thwarting the challenge of John Lennon's Give Peace a Chance which firmly lodged itself at Number Two.

Over on the album chart, things were very straightforward, with According to My Heart by Jim Reeves hogging the Number One slot for the entire month, fighting off the likes of Cliff Richard, Tom Jones, Frank Sinatra and Elvis Presley, along the way.

And now some comics.

Dr Strange #181

Nightmare's kidnapped Eternity, and Dr Strange has to enter his terrifying realm, in order to do something about it.

Strange is still in his super-hero guise at this point but already starting to realise it's not a great look if you want to win over the general public.

Marvel Super-Heroes #21

With this issue, the book that had given us brand new adventures for Captain Marvel, the Guardians of the Galaxy, Spider-Man, Medusa, Phantom Eagle and Ka-Zar becomes a reprint-only title, supplying a massive 68 pages of retro goodness from the early Avengers and X-Men. This issue, the former are battling the Hulk and Sub-Mariner, while the latter must face the devastating menace of the Vanisher.

Agent of SHIELD #13, the Super-Patriot

SHIELD are up against the hordes of the Super-Patriot, while Nick Fury's up against both SHIELD and the Super-Patriot. Clearly, it's not his lucky day.

Or perhaps it is, because it's all sorted out when the Super-Patriot accidentally trips and falls to his death.

But what's this? When our hero unmasks the deceased villain, it turns out he was Nick Fury all along.

Why do I get the feeling someone had been watching the finale of The Prisoner before producing this one?

Sub-Mariner #15, Dragon Man

Hold on. What? The Sub-Mariner once had a fight with Dragon Man? Why did no one ever tell me?

It seems Diane Arliss and Dr Dorcas have kidnapped Dorma, and now Subby has to go through Dragon Man to get to her.

I have no doubt he eventually does just that but not before lots of complaining about having been out of water for too long.


Anonymous said...

SHIELD #13 was not an impressive comic Steve.
What kind of super-villain gets defeated because he tripped over and fell? The Super-Patriot was useless. So much for draining the swamp and making America great again...

In the next issue it turned out he didn't really look like Nick Fury at all, and our hero just imagined that he did. Or something like that (it wasn't very clear).


Steve W. said...

I'm fairly sure I dealt with an issue of SHIELD in a recent post where Fury defeated the Hatemonger when Hatey accidentally stepped out of an airlock and into space. I'm starting to think Fury's enemies are not the from the top end of the IQ scale.

Killdumpster said...

Steve, I only got one of the books on this post. Marvel Super Heroes, coverless, at Bill's Bargains for 10 cents. I believe I've talked to you folks about that shop before. Never saw the cover.Thanks, Steve.

Wish I would've had a appreciation of Steranko when I was a kid. Nick was never a first pick if there were superheroes on the rack.

Always kinda dug the Dr. Strange mask stage. Steve, do you believe that DC's Dr. Fate had any influence in that storyline? I personally liked Fate's helmet, but his colors weren't as "mysterious" as Strange's.

Man, if I woulda saw that Subby on the rack, That woulda been a pick. Dragon Man was always a fav.

Anonymous said...

And yet somehow the Hatemonger kept Nick Fury busy for three issues in a row Steve.
Which does make you wonder how useless the rest of the international espionage and law enforcement divisions were if SHIELD was the supreme headquarters.


Killdumpster said...

Like I've said before, I'd buy books almost as much for the villains as the heroes.

Charlie Horse 47 said...

Steve - thanks for posting in alpha order!

I suspect SHIELD was about as useless as our CIA. I mean those tards didn't figure out the Soviet Union was collapsing as late as 1988... LOL.

Anyhow it was the end of an era... Pop Charts still have Stones and Beatles. Marvel still has Steranko, Colan, Kirby, et al.

And, I probably read all of 1-2 Dr. Strange stories. I was never into the mystical stuff. I could dig Spectre and Dr. Fate (reruns from the Golden Age) but Dr. Strange and Ditko's art did not motivate me, lol.

But, alas, it ain't to last...

Anonymous said...

Kd, Steranko was long gone from SHIELD at this point - #13 wasn't even young Barry Smith doing Steranko but Herb Trimpe doing young Barry Smith doing Steranko.
Cancellation obviously wasn't far off.


Killdumpster said...

Charlie, Jim Reeves was a helluva country crooner. Arguably the best.

Killdumpster said...

Thanks for the info, Sean, oh my brother.

Just thought at a glance of the cover's exaggerated perspective, it was Steranko. As I stated before, when I was a child I wasn't a big fan of Nick Fury, Agent of S.H.I.E.L.D.

Guess like Steve's wing fetish, I really had to have super-powered heroes for my pennies. Villains with capes were a bonus.lol.

Anonymous said...

Any comic with Dragon Man in it is a good comic.


Killdumpster said...

Agree, MP, oh my brother.

Charlie Horse 47 said...

Dragon Man was the best. No doubt about it.

Anonymous said...

Kirby, the master of matter and mass and kinetic energy alike, drew the Dragon Man as this huge, heavy thing suspended impossibly in mid-air on little wings belching a stream of fire in all directions while glaring balefully.
One of my favorite androids! He somehow made it look alive.
And even sympathetic, which is quite a trick.


Charlie Horse 47 said...

I remember being chaffed when I learned it was an android. I can't remember the when/where but I was rather surprised.

I supposed I thought it was a robot and not an android.

Or maybe a wayward Inhuman like Lockjaw and not an android.

Or just a dragon that escaped the wrath of Beowulf and not an android.