Tuesday, 13 August 2019

The Marvel Lucky Bag - August 1979.

Where would you want to be in August 1979?

You'd want to be at the cinema.

For a start, we got the release of the epic masterpiece that is The Concorde ... Airport '79 in which various people seem to be determined to blow the plane out of the sky!

Elsewhere, we had the film the world knows as More American Graffiti, a movie I've never heard of but it would appear to feature most of the original cast and be set a few years after the first film.

The original was, of course, a George Lucas offering and there was another Lucas movie popping up at your local picture house because, that month, Star Wars was re-released. I don't know if any changes had been made to it for this re-release, or if it predated Lucas' tendency to keep fiddling about with things until they're broken.

That month also saw the release of Apocalypse Now and Monty Python's Life of Brian, two films which bear no noticeable resemblance to each other.

Machine Man #10

After an absence of several months, Machine Man's book is back.

But will its star be back for long, as some politician or other wants him destroyed as a threat to all humanity?

Marvel Team-Up #84, Spider-Man and Shang-Chi

Spidey, Shang-Chi, Nick Fury and an amnesiac Black Widow set out to recapture SHIELD's Helicarrier from the clutches of Viper, the Boomerang and Silver Samurai. Personally, my money's on the day being saved by the Widow suddenly regaining her memory, just as the others are about to be killed.

Shang-Chi's in three books this month. Hes also in his own comic and What If? It seems someone at Marvel's determined to give him a boost.

Sensational Spider-Man Marvel Treasury Edition #22

It's one of those Treasury Editions we all used to love but that weren't always the easiest thing in the world to get your hands on.

Spidey and Strangey take on Xandu. Apparently, in this tale, the two heroes swap powers. I'm not sure I like the sound of that. Do I really want to see Dr Strange doing Spider-Man things? It seems a little undignified.

After that, we get the first appearance of Stegron, with guest slots for both Ka-Zar and the Black Panther. Come to think of it, I don't think I've ever read a comic in which Spider-Man and the Panther both appear.

Next, the web-slinger teams up with Captain America to tackle the Grey Gargoyle.


Power Man and Iron Fist #58, the Eagle

At first, looking at this cover, I assumed the Foolkiller had got himself a new costume and we were going to get our heroes fighting Marvel's most annoying psychopath. But it turns out he's actually a Zorro knock-off who's determined to sort out the pair's current, crooked, employer.

Tomb of Dracula #70, final last issue

After seventy issues, Marvel's most successful horror star finally bows out when Quincy Harker blows himself and Dracula up with his exploding wheelchair.

This month sees both both Dracula and the 1950s Captain America blown to smithereens, making it a great one for people who are into that kind of thing.

Marvel Premiere #49, the Falcon

The Falcon gets a starring role as he tries to capture the murderer of an overseas writer who took the trouble to lay down a remarkably convoluted cryptic clue as to the identity of his killer.

It's all reminiscent of that Spider-Man/Nova tale where the victim makes sure to arrange the pages of a calendar in the right order, in order to give a clue as to who his murderer is.

Defenders #74, the Foolkiller

Holy smoke. Having previously thought the Foolkiller was up against Power Man and Iron Fist, I discover he can't be because he's too busy battling the Defenders.

You would've thought that dealing with a man who's basically just a moron with a gun would be quick work for one of the world's mightiest super-teams but, then again, it took them about twenty issues to polish off Lunatik - and he was just a moron with a stick.

Marvel-Two-In-One, the Thing and Deathlok

The Thing has to try and stop Deathlok, in a tale which seems to involve the return of Nuklo.

12 comments:

dangermash said...

The Spider-Man and Black Panther teamup vs Stegron from an early issue of MYU appeared (along with the Spider-Man and Kazar vs Stegron issue from the previous issue of MTU) in one of those hardback U.K. annuals back in the late 70s, Steve. It's the one where Stegron flies a ship full of savage land dinosaurs all the way to New York and let’s the, loose on Broadway. I remember a post a while back where you we’re getting this story mixed up with the one in ASM where Stegron brings museum dinosaur skeletons To life.

Anonymous said...

Apocalypse Now could have used some Monty Python-type humour Steve - Marlon Brando does look a bit like someone should offer him a wafer thin mint, which would have improved the ending.

I've read that Spidey/Panther crossover, and you're not missing much. The problem with Marvel Team Up and Two-In-One was that generally the characters were never like they were in their own series, so if you were into Jungle Action the Panther was a big disappointment.

And as for Deathlok... I loved his run in Astonishing Tales - the stories never made any kind of sense, but a cyborg killing machine in a dystopian future was a great read when you were ten - and it was annoying to see him reduced to an ongoing Two-In-On subplot courtesy of Dr Doom's time machine (that was in an earlier issue btw; #54 was actually his second joint cover billing with the Thing).

-sean

Steve W. said...

Thanks for the Stegron info, Dangermash. Sadly, I never had that annual, hence my confusion about it all.

Sean, I'm afraid I could never get into Deathlok. think he was probably a bit too serious for me.

As we've been discussing covers of late, I shall vote for that Dracula cover as my favourite of this bunch. It is quite sad to see, possibly, my favourite 1970s strip come to an end.

Anonymous said...

No need to be sad just yet Steve, as within a month or two Tomb of Dracula was back, as a black & white mag, also by Wolfman, Colan & Palmer (that sounds like it should be the name of a terrible 70s band, doesn't it?). Along with Howard the Duck.

Not sure what the thinking was behind that. Obviously you can see how both would benefit from not needing comic code approval, but it seems strange to mess with two of the only comics launched in the 70s that had been a reasonable success (its not like they cancelled the colour Conan to launch SSOC).

-sean

Anonymous said...

PS Just to be clear, thats "two of the only new Marvel comics launched in the 70s" (although I suppose there weren't a lot of new DCs that lased more than half a dozen issues either).

-sean

Anonymous said...

*Aaargh! "lasted more than two dozen issues"

Charlie Horse 47 said...

My only comment is that when I see the covers above, and compare that to the stuff you been printing from "50 years ago," the stuff above has a real sameness to it.

Whereas Colan vs. Steranko vs. Kirby vs. Buscema vs. Romita...

I feel obliged to break out my Uke and add a verse to Pete Seeger's ballad:

"Where have all the artists gone?
Long time passing."

Killdumpster said...

Can anyone tell me what Foolkiller's beltbuckle is supposed to be? I could never figure that out.

I only was able to get one issue of AAARGH! I believe it was #4, with a Night Stalker parody. While mildly amusing, it wasn't as humorous as NOT BRAND EEECH. I'm a big Forbush Man fan.

Did Ditko do the guts as well as the cover on that MACHINE MAN book? If he did, I would've bought it if I saw it, even though I wasn't into that character.

GIANT-SIZE SPIDER-MAN #2, featuring his first meeting with Shang-Chi was an excellent read. I wish they would've incorporated Fu Manchu into the rest of the Marvel Universe. What a great villain. So sad they are omitting him out of the movie. Probably because of copyrights. I'm also disgusted about Shang-Chi's additional "powers". When did that happen?

DEATHLOK'S, as well as Killraven's in WAR OF THE WORLDS (ASTONISHING TALES & AMAZING ADVENTURES, I believe, respectively) early adventures had my interest. Probably because of the sci-fi/horror element mixed with superhero action, with the shock value of humans being eaten.

That came to mind, since cannibalism hasn't been mentioned on this site for awhile. Lol!

Steve W. said...

KD, I don't have a clue what the Foolkiller's belt buckle's meant to be. It does seem somewhat random in its design.

I think I was totally unaware of Arrgh throughout my pre-internet days.

Ditko did indeed draw the interior of that Machine Man issue.

Charlie, Marvel comics did seem to develop a more generic look as the 1970s went on. I suspect it was probably just because the company was employing far more artists and, therefore, the style of each artist became less important to the overall look of the company.

Sean, I shall look forward to that Tomb of Dracula mag.

But, possibly not the Howard the Duck one.

Killdumpster said...

Now that I look at that guy again, what the Heck is that medallion on Foolkiller's neck? Between that, the beltbuckle, and the rest of his suit, the first fool he should have killed was his costume designer. He had to have been some kind of inside joke. I would never buy a book with him in it. Lunatik would kick his butt.

Killdumpster said...

My best friend & I did a double date for a viewing of APOCALYPSE NOW. We dug it, but our girls didn't. On the way home all they did was whine about how they didn't understand it. Guess MEATBALLS were more their speed.

When LIFE OF BRIAN was first released, my buddies & I went to the theater, being HUGE Python fans. Unfortunately we had my one Pal's 15 yr old little brother, and the crotchety old broad wouldn't let us in. We saw it at the drive-inn that summer.

Python changed comedy like the Beatles changed rock & roll.

Anonymous said...

Fair enough about the Howard mag Steve, as it wasn't good. Some say thats because Steve Gerber had left Marvel, but I reckon the colour comic was already past its best (which was a bit overrated anyway).
The Mike Golden artwork in "Duckworld" was great though, posted over at Bronze Age of Blogs last month if you haven't seen it yet.

Kd, no-one in Deathlok got eaten though - hardly surprising as apart from the cannibals and our hero the city always seemed empty. I suppose there were some underground urban guerillas, but you have to wonder what they were actually doing with their time too - who were they fighting the revolution for?

-sean

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