Tuesday, 12 November 2019

The Marvel Lucky Bag - November 1979.

There was a time, back in the 1950s, when if you wanted to hear the latest happening music sounds, you'd head for your nearest cinema to see the thrillingest Rock and Roll stars perform there, live, before your very ears.

As far as I know, those days were long over by 1979 but, in November of that year, you could yet again go to the local cinema if you wanted to encounter music.

That's because that month saw the release of three music-based movies. They were, in no particular order, Quadrophenia, The Rose and Birth of the Beatles.

Admittedly, if you'd gone to see one of those films, you'd have been somewhat disappointed because, despite Quadrophenia being based on a rock opera and having Sting and Toyah in it, it didn't actually contain any songs, which seems an odd way to go about things.

Anyway, despite the fame of all three movies, I have, to this day, still never seen any of them.

You know what else I've never seen?

Any of the comics I'm about to pass judgement upon below.

Marvel Spotlight on Captain Marvel #3, Eon

Apparently, Captain Marvel falls in love with a woman called Elysius and then learns it's his destiny to protect the planet Earth.

I don't have a clue who Elysius is but I would have thought Marvy'd already figured out it's his destiny to protect the planet Earth, as that's what he spends 95% of his time doing.

Plus, he can hardly abandon Rick Jones, can he?

Spider-Woman #20, vs Spider-Man

It's the encounter that had to happen, as Spider-Man finally meets Spider-Woman and they fall in love and get married and produce lots of little spider-babies that proceed to eat them.

No, I admit it, none of that happens.

What actually happens is the male Spidey walks in on the female Spidey, who's seemingly robbing a safe, and decides to bring her to justice, leading to the obligatory fight before it's all cleared up with a chat.

Thor, King-Size Annual #8, Thunder over Troy, Zeus

Thor gets to interfere in the Trojan War, having discovered the Greek gods are interfering in the Trojan War.

This all leads to a punch-up between Thor and Zeus, during which our hero discovers Zeus and Odin have long had a secret pact that their kingdoms will never attack each other.

Why Odin and Zeus would keep that a secret from their subjects, I've no idea.

Marvel Treasury Edition #23, Conan the Barbarian

It's a tale with scene so iconic it made it into the Arnold Schwarzenegger films, as Conan gets crucified but then gets over it with a speed even Wolverine would envy.

There's also a witch involved but I can't recall in what way.

I think a war may also be going on but it's a long time since I read the REH original, so my memories are as vague as they always are when it comes to most Conan stories.

Man-Thing #1

Hooray! It's time to get squelchy again, as the Man-Thing gets his own mag.

From what I can make out, a bunch of criminals decide to restore Ted-Sallis' mind, so he can tell them how to recreate his Super-Soldier formula.

Unfortunately, it all goes wrong when the forces of justice barge in and randomly kill everyone except Thingy who returns to the swamp with the body of the kindly scientist who'd tried to help him regain his lost humanity.

That doesn't exactly sound a barrel of laughs.


Killdumpster said...

That Man-Thing cover was pathetic. You'd think they would've stepped it up a little to launch a new series. Mike Ploog in elementary school could've done waaay better. Heck, I could've done better.

Steve, of course Marv couldn't abandon Rick! That would be unthinkable!!

Anonymous said...

Personally Steve, if for some strange reason I went to see a film starring Sting and Toyah I wouldn't be disappointed at all if there weren't any songs in it.

The later issues of Captain Marvel - including the Spotlight stories, which were a continuation - used the Titan setting, which seemed like something of an attempt to find yet another new direction for the series. And was disappointing if you were into the earlier stories by Judo Jim Starlin.

Don't recall much about Elysius, except she was from Titan and looked a bit like Sersi from the Eternals. (Funnily enough, an issue of the Avengers later revealed that all those characters from Titan were actually Eternals. Which seemed like a pretty dumb idea to me...)


Charlie Horse 47 said...

Charlie heard that Donovan’s hit song Hurdy Gurdy Man was the inspiration for the pop-can color Mar-vell with him as “The Hurdy Gurdy Man” and Rick destined to be “The Rolly Polly Man.”

Charlie Horse 47 said...

I was just reading Captain Marvel #41 as a $1 True Believer published a few months ago and it made me curious...

When did we know, in general, that when Marv-vell and Rick do the 50-50 merge (vs. all CM or all RJ) that Mar vell was nigh invincible? I mean, how does merging the Rolly Polly man into the Hurdy Gurdy man make Hurdy invincible?

B.t.w… that soda-pop-can color uniform sucks and so does AL Milgrom's art. The story, however, is enjoyable so far.

Anonymous said...

Wasn't the merge something to do with radiation Charlie?

Hard to hear much direct connection between Captain Marvel and Hurdy Gurdy Man, but perhaps it inspired Roy Thomas to make Rick Jones a folk singer?
Maybe Roly Poly Rick played a far out Sunshine Superman in the coffee houses?


Killdumpster said...

Sometimes I think you fellows just make demeaning comments about my main man Rick just to tinder my fire.

Then I realize that poor Mr. Jones doesn't get respect anyway. He's the Rodney Dangerfield of the superhero set. Perhaps he should have attempted stand-up comedy as opposed to a music career.

I would've enjoyed reading jokes about his super-pals better than those lame space shanties he used to sing.

Killdumpster said...

As far as movies in the 50's being a catalyst for hit pop songs, there are virtually too many to mention. The most memorable in my mind were rock-a-billy type artists, and of course Elvis Presley.

That phenomenon also carried into the sixties. Being a horror buff, I recall the Rivingtons' "The Bird's The Word" in The Crawling Hand & Hot Butter's "Popcorn" in Shriek Of The Mutilated.

"Popcorn" may have been early 70's, though. I do recall that it's been said to be the first all-electronic hit song.

Steve W. said...

KD, I've just Googled it and am shocked to discover that Hot Butter's Popcorn was a cover version. I now have to go on YouTube and find out what the original sounded like.

As for Rick, don't worry, I'm sure that, one day, he'll get the hero worship he feels he deserves.

Charlie and Sean, I've spent part of the day listening to Hurdy Gurdy Man, trying to spot overlaps between it and Captain Marvel. I can announce that none immediately sprung to mind.

Sean, I do feel they could have made an effort and thrown It's A Mystery into Quadrophenia. Would it have killed them?

Charlie Horse 47 said...

Charlie is really out of his league here but he tells me that it is actually quite possible that Rick Jones was the Hurdy Gurdy Man and his agent (Mordecai Brown?) was the Rolly Polly man!

So I asked Charlie, "Wasn't Mordecai actually a Super Skrull or something?" and he didn't know.

Any of you chaps recall ole Mordecai??? Wasn't he more than just Rick's agent?

W.t.h... Charlie doesn't remember much these days.

Charlie Horse 47 said...


Charlie got me so chaffed about Rick Jones's music agent I decided to look it up myself:


In retrospect I think the whole Marvel bullpen was doing acid with Donovan and Lennon to think up all that malarky!

About two minutes in I started getting dizzy reading all that B.S. right when it starts talking about Rick's mother who wasn't his mother who kills his wife who he tries to get back from the dead... Cu koo cu koo... cu koo...

Charlie Horse 47 said...

I will say this that "Can you see the Real Me" from the old Quadraphenia 1972/72 Who album / movie put John Entwistle in a world of his own.

I don't know that I've ever heard the bass take such a dominant, musical role in a song?

And Keith Moon is drumming like a nuke went off under his ass!

Unbelievable 3 guys could make so much music!

Anonymous said...

Mordecai Boggs I think Charlie. Not sure what the story was with him. Like Dandy, the chick that turned Rick onto vitamin C, he seemed like part of an attempt to create a supporting cast and direction for Mar-Vell that didn't stick.

That kind of thing happened quite regularly in the C-list Marvel comics of the 70s - writer comes up with new character and starts dropping hints about their part in a sub plot, then said writer leaves book and his replacement doesn't know anything about it, has a different idea and ignores anything that doesn't fit into it.


Charlie Horse 47 said...

Thanks Sean!

I almost wonder if Rick Jones doubled as the Anti-Christ. After reading a few minutes into that link above, that was the only thing not mentioned.

I think Jim, the black dude who was Hulk's side kick, could beat Rick's ass.

Anonymous said...

Is that really much of an achievement though Charlie?


Charlie Horse 47 said...

Sean -

Jim Wilson beating Rick's ass is probably a given. (Well, not after Rick sat on the gamma bomb to become A-Bomb, would that have happened.)

So for Roy the Boy (whomever) to conceive that Rick melding /merging with Mar-vell makes that entity nearly the most powerful entity in the universe is off the charts crazy!

Anonymous said...

Pretty sure the merging with Rick was about freeing Captain Marvel from the Negative Zone for however many hours at a time, rather than giving him powers (which I think he got just beforehand, along with the snazzy new costume, from... the Supreme Intelligence?)


dangermash said...

Sean - your point about subplots and changing writers didn't just apply to the C-list comics. The whole mystery around who was the hobgoblin was a complete mess, with different writers having different ideas and dropping in different clues.

Another great one is how Romita was hinting that Mary Jane was on the game in the ASM #60s, which Stan seemed not to like and addressed by just leaving her out of the comic for a couple of years.

Someone at Marvel really should have got the writers/artists to record in some central database all of the subplots that they were hinting at with the expectation of the big reveal at some point. So, somewhere there would be something saying that Roderick Kingsley was the Hobgoblin, Mary Jane was on the game, etc and that was where (if anywhere) and hints should point. I guess it was Stan that set the tone by either not having a plan for who the original Green Goblin was or by having a different plan to Ditko and never discussing it.