Sunday, 11 August 2019

Forty years ago today - August 1979.

The past.

Where is it?

What is it?

Does it reside in the hearts, the minds and the souls of all who have ever lived?

No. It resides on this page, right below this sentence I'm typing.

Incredible Hulk #238

I think the only thing I know about this issue is that Betty and Glenn get their divorce sorted out - just in time for Betty to discover her dad's had some sort of breakdown and is now in a wheelchair.

Oh, and Glenn may be getting more and more unhinged, by the second.

Spectacular Spider-Man #33

Despite all his experiments always ending in disaster, Curt Connors has been at it again - and accidentally created a new reptilian menace to threaten all mankind.

What's Connors' response to this?

Does he swear never to experiment ever again?

No. He turns himself into the Lizard, so he can fight the new menace, thus doubling the number of menaces on the loose.

And they say Hank Pym's unstable.

Thor #286, the Eternals

Thor's hanging around with the Deviants and, by the looks of things, it's not going well.

Luckily, it seems that Kro is worthy of lifting the hammer.

Erm, what?

X-Men #124

Arcade's captured the X-Men and brainwashed Colossus into turning against them.

Needless to say, it'll take more than mere brainwashing to make the Soviet scrapper murder his closest friends.

Captain America #236, Dr Faustus

Unless I'm very much mistaken, this issue sees the 1950s Captain America blow himself up, having already shot dead the 1950s Bucky. Blimey, that's all a bit grim.

In other news, both Cap and Daredevil survive last issue's bi-plane flight and succeed in thwarting Dr Faustus' plan to drop mind-control gas all over New York.

Fantastic Four #209

Hooray! It's the moment we've all been waiting for, as HERBIE the robot makes his debut for the team.

Needless to say, it's not long before unexplained deaths start happening whenever he's around.

Ben spots that this is suspicious.

Reed doesn't.

Invincible Iron Man #125

Iron Man's killed some politician or other, thanks to his repulsor rays going out of control - and the increasingly boozetastic Tony Stark's out to find the people responsible.

But not until after Captain America's given him a three minute crash-course in how to be a human fighting-machine.

Amazing Spider-Man #195

The Black Cat meets a watery grave.

Or does she?

But she's not the only one popping her clogs, because Aunt May joins her in the afterlife.

Or does she?

Who is the mysterious manager of her nursing home and what does the burglar who killed Uncle Ben want with the Parker residence?

This issue answers neither of those questions.

Conan the Barbarian #101

Conan gets over the death of Bêlit by murdering some bloke and killing a giant spider.

So, business as usual, really.

Avengers #186, the Scarlet Witch

Some evil force has taken over the Scarlet Witch and turned her into a hyper-powerful menace, in a John Byrne drawn storyline which bears no resemblance at all to the Dark Phoenix saga.


Charlie Horse 47 said...

Happy Belated "UK National Lazy Day" to all you UK Gents.

Quick question... I've always been into the 1950s Cap / Bucky thing. So is this issue of Cap one I want to read and try to read a few issues leading in to it? It's not some other-world, dream sequence, bizarro thing?

Killdumpster said...

None of those issues got my attention that month. I saw them at the bookstore in the mall where I worked at the record shop.

No interesting villains on the covers, and my hormones were starting to dictate on how I should spend my minimum wage.

Had a hot date with a cute girl. Needed to get a small bag of pot, a couple bottles of Boone's Farm Strawberry Hill & a box of Trojan condoms ("ribbed, for her pleasure"). Lol.

dangermash said...

Herbie the robot in the FF? Was this vaguely connected to some FF TV series where the TV company didn’t have the rights to show the torch and had to replace him with a robot? Or did I just dream that?

And I just looked through my pdf of ASM #195. All I have to report apart from what's already on an overcrowded cover is the last thing we see Aunt May doing before he4 apparent death I sent plying chess on a 9*8 board. That would have immediately raised my suspicions that things were not as they seemed...

Steve W. said...

It was indeed connected with the TV show, Dangermash. I would assume there was some sort of contractual obligation on Marvel to have HERBIE in the comic. Of course, the Marvel staff then undermined the whole thing by having him be evil in the comic, whereas, in the show, he was a good guy.

Charlie, as far as I'm aware, the exploding 1950s Cap event in this issue is not an alternate world or dream thing.

KD, you're right. None of this month's covers are overly enticing - with the Hulk cover being the weakest. The X-Men and Avengers covers are probably the ones that would make me most likely to hand over my money.

Killdumpster said...


Yeah, they came up with H.E.R.B.I.E. for a Saturday morning cartoon because Stan had farmed out the Human Torch for a TV pilot, around the time of the Hulk & Spidey shows. At that point there were 2 Captain America TV movies and a Dr. Strange pilot released. Both were awful and didn't get into series'. I don't know if you UK folks saw those.

Supposively the The Torch pilot storyline was that he was a young astronaut hit with cosmic rays, much like the FF origin. Stan was pumping the heroes hard back then.

Anonymous said...

Everyday is lazy day round my place Charlie.

Steve, I agree about those Avengers and X-Men covers, if only because I was enamoured with John Byrne's artwork around the end of the 70s. And I believe that was his first issue of the FF, although it was still written by Marv Wolfman (which would have been a real conundrum for me back them, as his FF was terrible.
Byrne comes across as a bit of a knob in interviews, but you have to give it to him for doing the work. Three comics in a month - all team books - is impressively old school.
Was he the last Marvel artist to manage a triple like that?


Anonymous said...

PS I thought 50s commie smasher Bucky became Nomad...?


Anonymous said...

Byrne is a "knob."
Great artist, but definitely a real knob.
A buddy of mine had that Conan issue. John Buscema was also a great artist, but he did not know what a spider's head looked like. Or didn't care.
His giant spider had the face of a muppet!
Spiders are a necessary part of the ecosystem, they keep the bug population down, I get that, but up close they look worse than anything Lovecraft came up with. I don't want them on me.
There was this story on National Public Radio a while back about a lady who ordered something on the internet and so this package got left by her door.
As often happens, a "porch pirate" was passing by and stole it. No doubt he or she sped to their home, dropped the package on the kitchen table and quickly tore it open to see what the loot was.
What the lady had ordered through the mail was nine live tarantulas.
Police are currently looking for a subject who is described as having gone completely insane and is screaming hysterically.

Spiders and electricity. Those are my bugaboos.


Charlie Horse 47 said...

Sean - You are correct on Bucky - Nomad. I just remember when I first picked up that issue of Cap #155 in 1972... my head went "pop."

I was only 11 and too young to really process the concept that Cap had literally existed since 1941 and that his reincarnation was trying to explain where he'd literally been (in the Marvel way of thinking) since 1945. That he / his dopple ganger was a Commie Buster was news too.

And then one day Sternanko released his "History of Comics" and all was bliss and made sense.

Redartz said...

Hmmm, seems I picked up almost all of these back then. But the ones that stick in memory are Avengers, X-men and Spider-Man. That Avengers story was pretty good, and as many have noted, Byrne's art was exemplary. The Spidey tale was also good, if you liked Black Cat. But at the time, it was a pretty depressing issue- Cat dies, Aunt May dies, and Peter alienates all his friends by giving Betty Brent the boot. Not exactly a funfest.

And Sean- I can't think of any other artist who managed that load. Keith Pollard did Spidey, Thor and the FF, but that's still far fewer characters to deal with...

Killdumpster said...

I've never been a big fan of big spiders or raw electricity, but I had a boatload of both.

Growing-up in the "sticks" at least once a month I'd hear my sisters or mom screaming. We'd have an anarachnid visitor show up, some of them up to 7" wide. Mostly wood spiders, nice and hairy.I wish I would've caught them instead of killing them. Spiders are our friends, mostly.

My father got bit on the neck by a tree spider while he was archery hunting. He had a bulb on his neck the size of a baseball.

When I was a roadie I must've got zapped by 220 volts at least 1/2 dozen times.It was never pleasant. Always at nasty run-down clubs. Once it slammed me across a partition, knocking me out.

Anonymous said...

I had the Thor issue.
Thor's adventures with the Eternals were kinda goofy, (remember Toro Rojo?) but this wasn't a bad issue, because, well, Karkas and the Reject were in it.
And Warlord Kro, who was kind of a putz, but sort of entertaining.


Anonymous said...

"Not bad" is generous to that Thor issue M.P. Sure, Karkas and the Reject and were cool characters - and don't forget Sersi - but not by Roy Thomas. And not in Thor.
I suppose at least it was fairly early in the storyline so the Ring cycle hadn't been added to the mix yet. But thats not saying much.

Redartz, I forgot about Keith Pollard. To be honest, he seemed too much a meat-and-potatoes Marvel artist for my taste, but good for him. You have to respect anyone who can hold down three monthly titles (even if one of them was end-of-the-70s Thor).


Anonymous said...

I am the very soul of generosity, Sean, but yeah, the Roy Thomas run on Thor was a mess.
The guy was pretty pedantic...two different Ragnaroks to explain everything logically,...yeah, I dunno.
But sooner or late Odin was gonna bump into the Celestials. It had to happen.
Why can't you retain more of a child-like sense of wonder like I do, Sean? I've been meaning to bring that up.


Anonymous said...

If Kirby had done it M.P., it would have been a robot Odin.
Next you'll be asking why I can't just enjoy Gerry Conway's New Gods...


Anonymous said...

Au contraire, mon frere. The late '70's reboot of the New Gods was a disaster, true, but I only bought a couple of them comics.
And I don't know where you're coming from with a "robot Odin". Is this something from your own fevered imaginings?


Anonymous said...

I was thinking of how Kirby did a crossover with the Marvel universe in the Eternals M.P., with the Hulk.