Sunday, 29 September 2019

Iron Fist #3 - The City's Not For Burning!

Iron Fist #3, The Ravager
You are Steve Does Comics. You are reviewing a tale of graphic narrative. It is Iron Fist; product of a mysterious land in the Far East, from which no man may return with his soul unchanged. But first, before you can do this, you must endure the test  of...

Oh I give up. Writing a review in the style of an Iron Fist comic is a pain in the backside. It's even worse than if you tried to do it in the style of a Shang-Chi adventure.

Anyway, Iron Fist, I have spoken before of my inherent frustration with him, that, like Popeye, he had a means to defeat any foe but, like Popeye, never bothered to use it until he'd been knocked from pillar to post, making you wonder why he didn't just use it at the start of the fight and save himself the trouble.

I did, however, generally draw pleasure from his tales, mostly because they were nicely drawn and who doesn't like to see a good dose of martial arts mayhem?

I did, therefore, in my younger days, own a couple of issues of his book. One of which was issue #3, in which all kinds of chaos broke out.

So, around forty years since I first read it, what do I make of it now?

Iron Fist #3, the Ravager
Our hero and Misty Knight are flying into the world famous London Airport to look for their friend Colleen but don't even manage to land before their plane's blown up by an armoured villain calling himself the Ravager.

The inevitable fight breaks out between protagonist and antagonist but the villain escapes the scene, leaving Iron Fist to visit the now hospitalised Misty before having an argument with her about priorities, and then setting off in search of the villain.

By following the Ravager's radioactive footprints, Fisty tracks him down to a lab in that well-known scientific research facility the General Post Office Tower, whereupon another fight breaks out.

Iron Fist #3, Radion revealed!
Finally grasping that it might be a good idea to break out the spinach, Iron Fist revs up his knuckles and delivers the coup de grâce - but that only succeeds in wrecking the armour of his foe who now reveals himself to be Radion and promptly blows up the tower, with himself and Iron Fist still in it. Radion may be named after a brand of washing powder but that doesn't stop him trying to make a mess of London.

It's certainly a tale that isn't afraid of flinging you right into the action, with carnage breaking out from almost the moment we get past the opening splash page.

But, exploding planes aside, the thing that really smashed me in the face, reading it, is it's strongly reminiscent of that early Captain Britain adventure in which the similarly armoured Hurricane smashes up a London airport. As both tales were written by Chris Claremont, it's hard to believe the boy Chris wasn't knowingly drawing on that tale when he conceived this one.

Iron Fist #3, Post Office Tower destroyed by Radion
It also struck me that, as drawn by John Byrne, our hero Danny Rand looks remarkably like Captain Britain's alter-ego Brian Braddock.

Also, like Brian Braddock, he's not that interesting a person. The real star of the issue, character-wise, is Misty Knight who probably deserves her own comic more than he does.

Admittedly, she does act like a total jerk at the hospital, berating Danny because he wants to save the whole of London from destruction, rather than concentrate on finding Colleen. To be honest, wanting to save an entire city from annihilation doesn't seem an unreasonable goal for a super-hero. I can only put Misty's weird attitude down to Chris Claremont wanting to ramp up the drama levels the after-effects of her anaesthetic.

More importantly, this issue, we find out she's bionic. I mean, come on, how can they not give Genocide-Ignoring Bionic Misty Knight her own book after that revelation?

Aside from the somewhat manufactured conflict between Misty and Danny, my big reservation with the comic is there's too much human suffering in it. Not only does Misty get impaled on a big lump of metal, have to be rushed to the hospital and spend the rest of the yarn with an arm missing but half the people on the plane die, including a child who seems to be in the story just to be half set on fire and then killed. Call me a sissy but I like super-hero comics where no one actually gets hurt.

It's also quite annoying that Danny and Misty keep talking about Colleen but, as far as I could see, nowhere in the story do they tell you who Colleen is or what's supposed to have happened to her. A quick bit of back story might have been nice for newcomers.

Anyway, it's a competent story with plenty of incident and a solid but not, by his own standards, exceptional art job by Byrne but the overly melodramatic nature of Claremont's writing and the human suffering quotient are somewhat off-putting for me.

It is good, though, to see Radion show up. He was, for me, always one of Marvel's better 1970s villains and a noticeable cut above most of its wrongdoers of that era.

Iron Fist #3, Misty Knight - Bionic Woman

Thursday, 26 September 2019

September 26th, 1979 - Marvel UK, 40 years ago this week.

Am I the only one who can't hear Blue Oyster Cult's Don't Fear the Reaper without automatically singing the Police's Message in a Bottle over the top of it?

I must have been doing that quite a lot, this week in 1979, because that was when the latter record claimed the Number One spot on the British singles chart. I must confess I was never a huge fan of the Police but it was a bearable track which caused me no actual mental or physical harm.

Rather more excitingly for me, the top slot on the album chart that week was taken by the musical titans that were Boney M, thanks to their LP Oceans of Fantasy.

In fairness, the singles from it were not amongst their finest but that clearly didn't do the album's sales any harm.

I am intrigued, however, to discover it contained a cover of the Beatles' Two of Us. This I have to take a listen to on YouTube, especially bearing in mind there were four of them.

While the nation was grooving to all that Teutonic dance goodness, BBC Two, in this night of that week, was giving us far more sedate fare, as it broadcast the 71st Waterloo Crown Green Bowling Handicap, apparently, the most prestigious competition in the game.

Despite its name, the contest took place in Blackpool, not in London's Waterloo Station which was, famously, the site of Napoleon's ultimate defeat. Perhaps the most noticeable thing about the contest is it was introduced by future Oscar winner Colin Welland.

If crown green bowls wasn't enough excitement for us, over on BBC One, slightly earlier, we were treated to the Star Trek episode in which William Shatner's charged with causing the death of a missing officer, through cowardice.

But who needed TV? If we lived in the south, we were probably all too busy consumerising, thanks to the opening of the Central Milton Keynes Shopping Centre, then the largest indoor shopping complex in Britain. Milton Keynes was, notoriously, where they later filmed Superman IV because of its incredible resemblance to New York.

At the time, Milton Keynes had a rule that said nothing could be built that was taller than the town's tallest tree.

Are they sure it bore an incredible resemblance to New York?

Star Wars #83

I don't have a clue what's occurring in this week's Star Wars tale but I do know this is the first time I've ever seen Outer Space be described as, "Savage." It's definitely put me off going there.

Elsewhere in that savage wilderness, I've no doubt the Guardians of the Galaxy are still on the planet whose religious leaders want to sacrifice Nikki.

I have a vague memory this leads to her canoodling with Vance Astro. To which, all I can say is, "Urgh."

Of Star-Lord and the Watcher's whereabouts, I know not.

Hulk Comic #30, Captain America

The Hulk and Cap are still bringing justice to the Corporation.

The Eternals send Olympia's forgotten hero to thwart the Deviant missile attack on the Celestials' mother ship.

Merlin's still trying to bring Captain Britain back from the dead.

Ant-Man and the Wasp are busy sorting out the Porcupine - but not before the prickly villain tries to drown our hero in a bathtub!

Nick Fury's probably up to something or other.

Spectacular Spider-Man Weekly #342, the Chameleon

I do believe this is the one in which Spidey's officially cleared of the various crimes he's long been suspected of but the Chameleon tries to mess everything up for him again, until Flash Thompson proves to be the voice of reason.

The rest of this comic's contents are a mystery to me.

I am intrigued, though, as to why Spider-Man has to stop a charging rhino, in order to clear his name. Just what kind of criminal justice system do they have in America?

Sunday, 22 September 2019

2000 AD - August 1981.

As anyone knows, this site is second to none in its appreciation of the works of Shakin' Stevens. Has there been a greater contributor to western musical culture since Beethoven?

No there hasn't.

And that's good news because August of 1981 began with Shaky's monster hit Green Door at Number One on the UK singles chart, having earlier kicked the Specials' Ghost Town off the top slot.

However, even Shaky has his limits and it wasn't long before he himself was dethroned by the majestic genius that was Aneka's Japanese Boy. Despite her best efforts, Aneka held on to that top spot for just one week before being KO'd by Soft Cell and their debut hit Tainted Love which rose to the pinnacle in the very last week of the month.

Over on the album chart, Cliff Richard began the month in pole position with Love Songs before being cruelly overthrown by the Official BBC Album of the Royal Wedding. Seriously, leaving politics aside, who wants to listen to a wedding?

Happily, for people who are not insane, that recording was quickly booted off the top by ELO's LP Time which is, in the opinion of this writer, an underrated gem.

Meanwhile, all those artists and more had reason to be of good cheer because August 1981 was when MTV was launched, giving our recording stars a potential new means to reach fresh listeners and venture into markets once beyond them. Famously, it kicked off by playing Video Killed the Radio Star, a full two years after the song had hit the British charts.

Granted, I suspect that neither Shakin' Stevens nor Aneka ever got played on MTV, even once, but there was at least hope that they might.

In the real world, inflation in Britain plummeted to just 10.9%, its lowest level in literally years and Moira Stuart became the BBC's first black newsreader.

In the cinemas, An American Werewolf in London escaped to cause terror and consternation wherever it rampaged.

"But what of 2000 AD?" I hear you ask. "What was that up to at the time?"

Well, with total inevitability, we were still getting our weekly dose of Strontium DogJudge Dredd, Nemesis, The Mean Arena, Tharg's Future Shocks and Meltdown Man.

But the big news was, of course, the return, in Prog 224, of Judge Death, this time joined by his friends, Judges Fire, Mortis and Fear.

Judge Death seems to have been trapped in the corpse of Judge Anderson, up until this point. I have no idea how that turn of events came about.

2000 AD Prog 223

2000 AD Prog 224, Judge Death Lives!

2000 AD Prog 225, Judge Death Lives!

2000 AD Prog 226

2000 AD Prog 227

Thursday, 19 September 2019

September 19th, 1979 - Marvel UK, 40 years ago this week.

Do you like synthesizers?

Do you like motor vehicles?

Do you like the charts?

If so, you were in luck on all three fronts, in this week of 1979 because it was slap-bang when the top spot on the UK singles chart was claimed by Gary Numan's Cars. It did so by dethroning Cliff Richard's We Don't Talk Anymore.

Cliff Richard's real name is Harry Webb. Gary Numan's real name is Gary Webb. From this, we could only conclude that the following week's singles chart was to be topped by a man called Barry Webb.

But it wasn't and, to this day, Barry Webb has still never had a British Number One.

Star Wars Weekly #82

To the astonishment of all, I know nothing of what unfolds in the main Star Wars tale.

I do know the Guardians of the Galaxy adventure is the one in which some weird religious cult wants to set fire to Nikki, or disintegrate her, or something.

The Star-Lord tale is a Gene Colan drawn story called World in a Bottle which features the first ever appearance of Aletha.

I don't have a clue who Aletha is.

But I do have a clue how the issue ends.

And that's with a Tale of the Watcher in which a man who collects butterflies travels into space - only to find himself trapped on a planet where butterflies collect men!

Hulk Comic #29, Ant-Man vs the Porcupine

The Hulk and Captain America are still making a meal of dealing with the Corporation and their huge-headed hench-cave-person Animus.

The Deviants have decided to launch a manned missile at the Celestials' starship. I'm not totally sure why it has to be manned.

For the eighty seven millionth issue running, Merlin's still trying to bring Captain Britain back from the dead.

For the eighty seven millionth issue running, I've no idea what Nick Fury's up to.

But none of that matters because what really matters is Ant-Man's up against his deadliest foe yet - the Porcupine who decides to rob a bank that's declared itself to be robbery proof. As he wisely reasons, no one could stop a man who's dressed up as a porcupine.

Spectacular Spider-Man Weekly #341, Peter Parker graduates

Hooray! Peter Parker finally graduates from ESU!

I say hooray but it was at the moment he graduated that I lost all interest in the strip.

As well has having to contend with my apathy, Spidey has to deal with the menace of the White Dragon and his flaming vat of death.

The rest of this issue's contents are the usual mystery to me.

Sunday, 15 September 2019

Werewolf by Night #20. Eye of the Wolf.

Werewolf by Night #20
A recurring theme on this blog, over the years, has been me posting the covers of Werewolf by Night and declaring I can recall nothing of the contents, leading me to conclude it has to have been the most forgettable comic of my youth.

And yet, it has to have been, along with The Eternals, the US Marvel comic I had the most number of issues of. This tells me it must have been one of my favourite comics.

But now, at last, I can partially cure my amnesia because I have, in my hands, a copy of Werewolf by Night #20. How well I remember this from my childhood, with its cover image of an irate werewolf tearing the bars from its prison cell, as bystanders look on in horror.

Of course, when I say, "remember," what I mean is remember the cover, because the contents themselves are as mysterious as ever.

I do recall, however, that I did read it quite a few times in my younger days. Therefore, I, clearly, derived some pleasure from it.

And now I'm about to discover just why it caused that pleasure.

Werewolf by Night #20, Wolf Cop
It's night time and Jack Russell's having a walk in the dark, pondering his problems, including the kidnapping of his sister Lissa, by a man called Baron Thunder, a name only someone in a comic could ever have.

As Jack walks, he's approached by his neighbour Raymond Coker and they have a chat about them both being werewolves.

But, unknown to the pair, they're being watched by another werewolf who's actually a cop called Lt. Hackett. Thanks to a magic ring, Hackett can transmogrify at will and still retain his normal personality, which is a shame, as his normal personality seems to be quite abysmal.

Later, for reasons I'm not totally clear about, Jack's given an identical ring and the address where Baron Thunder lives. Thus informed, he sets off to rescue Lissa.

Werewolf by Night #20, Baron Thunder
Needless to say, it doesn't go well and he's about as much use with his normal personality as he always is without it but, thanks to dumb luck, the Baron's house burns down and Jack and Lissa escape, although Jack loses the ring as he leaps out of a window to flee the flames.

It's a terrible admission to make but, given Werewolf by Night's less than stellar reputation, I actually enjoyed this.

Although there's nothing sensational about the plot, I like the fact that every single thing that happens in it relates to a whole group of ongoing storylines. Whether it be the kidnapping of Lissa, Raymond Coker's problems or Lt. Hackett giving Jack a hard time, we're given a set of characters who seem to have a life beyond the confines of the comic.

Werewolf by Night #20, a mysterious ring with an eye on itOf course, there's nothing unique about that. It was the standard way of handling most 1970s created Marvel titles but it works especially well here, probably because the werewolf's adventures in themselves are never going to be that interesting and that extra dimension is, therefore, seriously needed.

The chief disappointments are that, yet again, the werewolf fails to win a fight (was there ever a Marvel protagonist who was more useless in a punch-up than their werewolf was?) and that Jack loses the ring as he escapes the fire. A few more issues of the werewolf having normal intelligence would have been appreciated.

The artwork by Don Perlin and Vince Colletta is simple and does its job with minimum fuss. It's not the sort of art that wins awards, gets people talking or rushing out to buy the next issue but I do have a soft spot for artists like Perlin, Sal Buscema and Bob Brown who just concentrate on telling a story. As long as they have the right inker, they can be effective.

Werewolf by Night #20, the death of Baron Thunder, by fire
Doug Moench's script, meanwhile, could hardly be described as gleaming but also it does its job.

The one thing that does baffle me, though, is Gil Kane's rather magnificent cover. It relates in no way, shape or form to the comic's contents, creating the impression that it was drawn for a totally different story which never saw light of day.

Thursday, 12 September 2019

September 12th, 1979 - Marvel UK, 40 years ago this week.

On this night in 1979, BBC Two was showing a thing called The Hellstrom Chronicle, described as an Oscar winning science fact-fiction film which posits that all species are in decline except humans and insects. Thus, the fictional Dr Hellstrom suggests the possible outcome of man's competition with those creatures.

That all sounds genuinely odd and I'm not totally sure whether I saw it or not but, of course, its main source of interest to me is its protagonist shares a surname with the Son of Satan. Was this pure coincidence or was the writer a fan of the hell-spawned hero?

If he was, he would no doubt have been excited to find out what was occurring in the pages of Marvel UK's finest publications in the week his show aired.

Star Wars Weekly #81

For about the eight millionth issue running, Luke Skywalker finds himself up against the menace of Baron Tagge.

This time, they're in a lightsabre battle, with Tagge viewing it as a practise bout before taking on Darth Vader himself.

Of the rest of this issue's contents, I know little but I do know the back cover features a chance to win a trip to the 1980 Moscow Olympics.

All I can say is it's a good job it was a UK Marvel comic that offered the prize, and not a US one, or there would have been a very disappointed winner a few months later.

Hulk Comic #28, Captain America

The Hulk's still on that alien spaceship and still trashing it, to such a degree they decide to dump him back on Earth to get rid of him.

Ant-Man and the Wasp are still battling with an evil jazz trumpeter.

After what feels like decades of faffing about, the Eternals have finally got round to merging themselves to create the Uni-Mind.

Merlin and the Black Knight are still battling to retrieve Captain Britain from the land of the dead.

In the second of the book's two Hulk tales, the green grappler and Captain America find themselves up against the Corporation and the genuinely baffling threat of Animus.

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

Spectacular Spider-Man Weekly #340

I can confidently announce Spidey's up against the White Dragon in this issue.

Beyond that, I can say nothing.

Tuesday, 10 September 2019

The Marvel Lucky Bag - September 1979.

If there's one thing this site knows how to do, it's time travel. Why, barely two days go by without it flinging itself into some horrific cranny of the past and getting stuck there.

But it seems I'm not the only one who's temporally unstable and, therefore, this month of 1979 saw the release of the movie Time After Time, the celebrated tale of how H.G. Wells sets off in pursuit of Jack the Ripper, following him, via technology, to present-day America.

A fact I didn't previously know is it was this film which inspired the title of the Cyndi Lauper hit of the same name.

I shall now forever associate that song with Jack the Ripper.

It's kind of ruined it for me now.

Marvel Two-In-One #55, Black Goliath and the Thing

The Thing and Black Goliath team up to tackle Nuklo.

Except they don't because, at the Thing's suggestion, Black Goliath decides to change his name to Giant-Man.

I'm not sure I'd listen to naming suggestions from a man who thinks, "The Thing," is a good super-hero name.

Marvel Two-In-One Annual #4, Black Bolt and the Thing

Graviton's back - and he's turning into a walking black hole.

Are they sure that's how a human black hole would look?

Tarzan #28, It's all gone King Kong

Tarzan has just one more issue of his comic left before cancellation but at least he decides to make a splash along the way, running amok in New York and scaling the Empire State Building in order to be reunited with Jane and Korak.

Marvel Fun and Games Magazine #1

Apparently, all I need is a pencil.

I have one!

Now all I need is the magazine to go with it.

Defenders #75, the end!

The Defenders make such a Horlicks of tackling the Foolkiller that Nighthawk decides to disband the team, despite it not being a team and him having no authority to do so.

Admittedly, in his absence, they have managed to get his house burnt to the ground, so you can understand he may not be feeling overly reasonable right now.

Brother Billy, the Pain From the Plains

I don't even know what this is but it's such an oddity, whatever it is, that I feel I have to include it.

Sunday, 8 September 2019

Forty years ago today - September 1979.

Earlier this week, a bunch of scientists claimed to have evidence the Loch Ness Monster's really a giant eel.

That's one mystery tackled but what horrors and wonders dwell within the depths of an even deeper lake - the murky pool they know as merely, "The Past?"

Conan the Barbarian #102

Conan's inherited the leadership of a tribe, by killing its incumbent chief.

Then he manages to convince them the vampires that have been attacking their livestock aren't real vampires and are just ordinary men pretending to be.

He then leads them into an attack on the fake vampires' village.

Only for it to turn out they are real vampires.

Or, at least, their leader is.

And he promptly captures the whole lot of them, including Conan.

I'm not sure I'd want Conan as my leader.

Fantastic Four #210, Galactus

The FF try to get Galactus to save the Earth from the Sphinx. He agrees, in return for being allowed to destroy the Earth.

Is Reed Richards sure this is a good plan?
Amazing Spider-Man #196, the death of Aunt May

Aunt May's dead.

Or is she?

After an awful lot of soul-searching, our hero finally works out where he's seen the manager of her nursing home before.

You know, the one who's one of his most long-standing enemies and who isn't even wearing a disguise?

Spectacular Spider-Man #34, Lizards

Spidey and the Lizard team up against the Iguana.

And then the Lizard and Iguana team up against Spidey.

Needless to say, it's all resolved with a good old dose of science.

I'm pretty sure that, in one of this month's two main Spider-Man comics, the web-spinner has a broken arm and, in the other, he doesn't.

X-Men #125, mystery of Muir Island

There's something stirring on Muir Island and there's someone stalking Jean Grey.

Meanwhile, the other X-Men finally discover they're all still alive, after months of thinking half of them are dead.

Incredible Hulk #239, Mount Rushmore

The Hulk's captured by the Goldbug and taken to the Andes where he's about to encounter a bunch of people not seen since the early days of the Avengers' comic.

Captain America #237

Cap decides to get a new apartment and become an artist.

Other than that, I can say little of this tale. Judging by the cover, I suspect it contains the usual flashbacks to World War Two.

Thor #287

Thor's in Olympia and he and its inhabitants are up against a rogue Eternal who's been given boosted powers by the Celestials.

Iron Man #126

Tony Stark finds himself on Peter Cushing's giant, floating island and having to take on the veritable army of super-villains who are on Cushing's payroll.

Avengers #187, the evil Scarlet Witch

High on the slopes of Wundagore, the Scarlet Witch has been possessed by some evil spirit or other and everything depends on the Avengers' ability to will that spirit out of her and into a doll.

Daredevil #160, Bullseye and the Black Widow

Bullseye's kidnapped the Black Widow, and DD has to rescue her.

I'm assuming he succeeds, although I'm struggling to recall how this tale actually resolves.

Thursday, 5 September 2019

September 5th, 1979 - Marvel UK, 40 years ago this week.

There wasn't much of interest happening in this week of forty years ago, At least, not in the real world, where it matters.

There was, however, big news from the world of Marvel UK.

What was it and is it going to be revealed in the paragraphs below?

Stay tuned to find out.

I do note that Britain's Number One LP that week was In Through the Out Door by Led Zeppelin which was their last studio album. Interesting that, despite their huge album successes, the Zep didn't have a single make the UK charts until 1997 when Whole Lotta Love reached the dizzying heights of Number 21, making them, possibly, the most celebrated one-hit wonders of all time.

Hulk Comic #27

The Hulk gets relegated to a supporting role on his own cover, as Merlin seeks to bring Captain Britain back from the dead. He's been seeking to do this for weeks. I'd give up on it if I were him.

The Hulk, meanwhile, is on the vessel of those Ditkoesque aliens I mentioned last week, and causing nothing but chaos there.

Ant-Man and the Wasp find themselves having to deal with the worst kind of menace known to mankind - a jazz trumpeter.

The Eternals are going on and on and on about the Uni-Mind.

In the second Hulk strip of the issue, Bruce Banner and the Falcon have been kidnapped by the Corporation and it's up to Captain America to rescue them both.


Marvel Super-Heroes #353

And this is the big news I mentioned earlier because it's the launch of a brand new monthly, as Marvel Superheroes hits the stands!

Admittedly, It's not that new, because it continues the numbering of the recently departed Marvel Comic which was once known as Mighty World of Marvel.

I can't recall if I had this particular issue and can't remember what tales are in it but I do remember reading the Neal Adams X-Men stories in this mag, at some point.

It is possible the Avengers are fighting Graviton in this issue. If so, I did have it.

Spectacular Spider-Man Weekly #339, Rocket Racer and the Big Wheel

Can a comic get any more exciting?

Not only do we get the Rocket Racer in this issue but we get the Big Wheel as well! All Marvel needs do is fling Paste-Pot Pete into the mix and it'll have  a masterpiece on its hands!

Other than that, I don't have a clue what goes on inside this book.

Savage Sword of Conan #23, Red Sonja

I'm doing very badly this week, because this is yet another comic whose contents I barely have a clue about.

However, it looks like Red Sonja's guest-starring in Conan's strip, which is always an exciting thing.

But, "Conan's Ladies," Portfolio, what a rare and exotic treat that sounds like being.

I'm guessing that Red Sonja, Valeria and Bêlit are featured in it.

But will there be anybody else? Will we get Tascela? Will we get... ...erm... ...er? I must confess I've now run out of Conan related females whose names I can recall.

Starburst magazine #13, Buck Rogers

Hooray! Buck Rogers is on its way! Who can forget the adventures of the disco dancing adventurer from the present, trapped in the future, with just a woman called Wilma and a robot for company?

Rampage Magazine #15, the Hulk

Don't ask me what's happening in the main strip because I don't have a clue.

From its title, I'm assuming the X-Men tale's the one in which Havok and Polaris attack an airport - because it's written by Chris Claremont - and the X-Men have to stop them.

But how has Eric the Red returned? And what can he be up to?

Dr Strange's battle with Xander seems to have been going on for even longer than Merlin's been trying to resurrect Captain Britain.

Star Wars Weekly #80

It's yet another comic whose contents I know nothing of.

However, I assume the Guardians of the Galaxy are still having trouble with the Topographic Man.

Tuesday, 3 September 2019

The Marvel Lucky Bag - September 1969.

Are you a werewolf?

If so, you'd have felt you were well within your element in September 1969.

It might not have seemed that way at the start of the month, with In the Year 2525 by Zager and Evans ruling the roost on the UK singles chart but that piece of catchy apocalyptica  was quickly dislodged by the equally catchy apocalyptica of Creedence Clearwater Revival's Bad Moon Rising.

Admittedly, I don't think the song's actually about werewolves but, somehow, it always feels like it should be.

Over on the LP chart, Jethro Tull's Stand Up began the month on top but was promptly replaced by Blind Faith's Blind Faith. Sadly, for the Faithsters, their triumph was to be short-lived, as they were soon dethroned by the brand new Beatles album Abbey Road which was destined to spend 17 of the next 18 weeks in the top spot.

Captain Marvel #16, the Supreme Intelligence

It's a disaster for Charlie, as Captain Marvel gets his red and blue uniform in a tale that can only be called a confused mess which often doesn't even have the right speech balloons coming from the right characters' mouths.

It all involves a plot by Ronan or the Intelligence Supreme or some other bloke or all of them or none of them to do something or other. Exactly what, I don't recall. Not that it made sense back in the days when I could recall it.

Needless to say, Marvy finds himself up against a giant robot in this issue because he always seemed to find himself up against a giant robot in his early tales.

Dr Strange #182, the Juggernaut

Dr Strange battles Nightmare in an attempt to rescue Eternity from him - and recruits the help of Juggernaut, along the way.

Juggernaut vs Nightmare doesn't seem like an obvious conflict. Did Nightmare even have a physical presence?

Agent of SHIELD #14

Apparently, everyone at SHIELD's decided Nick Fury's a traitor. Can he prove his innocence?

I'm betting he can.

Silver Surfer #8

Still determined to capture the Surfer's gleaming soul, Mephisto turns the Flying Dutchman into a cyborg and sets him loose on the streets of New York.

This was the point at which the comic switched from being a double length bi-monthly to a normal length monthly title, as evidenced by this issue's instalment halting, randomly, halfway through the action, due to a 40 page story being converted into two 20 page stories.

Sub-Mariner #17, the Stalker

Aliens try to kidnap Namor, for reasons I'm not familiar with, while, back in Atlantis, a treacherous plotter seeks to get his hands on the throne.

Tower of Shadows #1

It's the launch of a brand new book, as Marvel's equivalent of all those DC horror anthologies hits the spinner racks.

Famously, the first tale of this issue's drawn by Jim Steranko. Notoriously, the second is credited to Johnny Craig but is clearly 95% drawn by John Romita.

My Love #1

It's more Romita action, as Marvel gives us a whole new romance comic.

Queue various weepy tales of girls who all look like either Mary Jane Watson or Gwen Stacy, and a whole pile of valuable life lessons about the preeminent value of soppiness above all other human activity.

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