Sunday, 8 December 2019

Forty years ago today - December 1979.

Marvel comics dated, "December 1979." What were they up to? Where were they up to? And why were they up to it?

Hold on to your Santa hats because here's where we find out.

Conan the barbarian #105

It's an odd tale in which, seeking to escape a pride of lions, Conan decides to spend a night in a haunted house.

Once there, he sees a bunch of other people get killed and then he flees the scene, deciding that discretion's the better part of valour.

Clearly, those who like to see Conan fighting monsters, rather than running away from them, will have to wait until next month.

Fantastic Four #213, Terrax

Galactus sees off the Sphinx by stripping him of his power and then sending him back to Ancient Egypt to live his endless life all over again.

Someone who definitely doesn't have an endless life is Reed Richards who, thanks the Skrulls' ageing ray, is going to be lucky to even make it to the next issue.

Iron Man #129, Dreadnought

Tony Stark and Nick Fury fall out over ownership of Stark Industries when SHIELD decides to buy a controlling stake in the company, in order to make sure it keeps on churning out the weapons the spy agency loves so much.

Happily, our hero outsmarts Fury - but he still has to face a murderous robot along the way.

spectacular Spider-Man #37, Swarm

Swarm is still impacting upon various students' chances of getting a degree, by trying to kill them.

Fortunately, Spidey's on the scene to sort him out, thanks to having fortified his webbing with a load of insect repellent.

Thor #290, El Toro Rojo

Join Thor in his battle with Red Bull.

Or perhaps I mean with El Toro Rojo, when the Deviant wrestler sets out to make life a misery for an Eternal wrestler, for reasons I can't remember.

Needless to say, no mere wrestler can get the better of a god of thunder, not even one who's a Deviant.

Uncanny X-Men #128, Proteus

In the streets of Edinburgh, the X-Men finally dispose of Proteus, by doing something or other.

Sadly, I can't recall what it is they actually do.

Captain America #240

Captain America spends the whole issue tackling a gang of minor hoodlums, including their leader Big Thunder who's just some bloke.

I suspect this won't go down as one of Cap's greatest adventures.

Incredible Hulk #242, Tyrannus

Tyrannus is still trying to take over the world, thanks to his magic flame in the Andes.

Sadly for him, the Hulk just won't stop hitting things.

Avengers #190

The Avengers are having all kinds of trouble with Henry Peter Gyrich but all that has to be put on hold when a monster made of rock crash-lands from space and starts to smash up New York.

But it turns out it's not a monster made of rock at all. It's the Grey Gargoyle who's encased in stone - and, thanks the Avengers, he's now free of that prison and at liberty to cause havoc.

In all honesty, I can't see the Grey Gargoyle being much of a threat to the combined might of the Avengers.

Amazing Spider-Man #199, Mysterio

Spidey's out to stop Mysterio and his fraudulent nursing home.

But can he possibly beat a man who can make him think he's losing his mind?


Killdumpster said...

Though I had a number of the books featured, I can't remember a thing about them.

Charlie Horse 47 said...

UK Chaps - OK so I understood you gents were underwhelmed when Spidey was in the London looking for Gwen Stacey (ASM 95).

In part you were not finding it plausible given the absence of tall buildings in London for Spidey to swing hither and yon, and other depictions of the proximity of Big Ben to Parliament to Tower Bridge, etc.

But how about the Xmen in the Edinburgh? Given the absence of famous landmarks relatively, and no need to shoot spidey webbing, was this more palatable?

Steve - this is proof that Charlie reads each and every work you write b/c Charlie has not read a single one of the comics shown as far as Charlie can recall!

Charlie Horse 47 said...

B.t.w. are there any famous bands from Edinburgh?

I know Sheffield, caught between the past and the future, gave us Human League, Heaven 17, ABC, (Nipple Erectors?)...

But how about Edinburgh? Were they caught between anything? Did they have free bus fares? Do we owe them a never-ending debt of gratitude for anything?

(I have no idea. My kin came from Dundee which gave the world DC Thomson! Nuff said, bros!)

Steve W. said...

Charlie, I believe the Bay City Rollers were from Edinburgh.

When it comes to that X-Men comic, I can't recall too much about its portrayal of Edinburgh, so couldn't possibly comment.

KD, I think I may have had the Avengers issue but that's the only one of this month's selection.

Anonymous said...

I've been to Edinburgh and it is one beautiful city. That castle on the hill...
I rented a room for a night in a bed and breakfast from this cranky, hard-ass old dude. While I was paying and getting the keys, his absolutely extraordinary teenage daughter floated by.
My holy God.
I guess he saw my eyes bugging out and my jaw dropping involuntarily and he fixed me with the most baleful stare you can imagine. There was murder in that look and I knew going anywhere near her meant a swift death or at least an epic ass-whipping.


Killdumpster said...

Oh my brother! I know exactly what you mean. Vacations utilizing family owed establishments many times I've went through the "cute daughter/protective father" routine a couple of times in my youth.

You can't really blame them. No man would want his daughter getting hijacked by a tourist. I'm not even going to do bed & breakfast jokes. Even though my mind is boiling over! Lol.

Anonymous said...

I didn't realize it until I read your comment, K.D., but yeah, it's the classic joke where the farmer lets a guy sleep in his barn for one night as long as he doesn't touch his daughter.
It's funny that I can remember being stunned by the sight of a strikingly beautiful young woman thirty years later, while pretty much forgetting the ones I lived with later on. Maybe that's intentional.
Just a guy getting old, I guess.
But Scotland was full of beautiful women, I do remember that.
The men were a different story altogether.


dangermash said...

Edinburgh also spawned The Proclaimers, Pilot and KT Tunstall.

It's definitely underperformed on the music front. Still, we'll always need shortbread.

Anonymous said...

Underperformed? Weren't the Incredible String Band from Edinburgh? You can't really say a city underperformed when it produced the Incredibles.

The end of that X-Men story isn't very memorable Steve. Pretty sure Proteus was killed by Colossus just hitting him, which doesn't sound very 70s Marvel now I think about it, but thats what I recall.
Proteus was vulnerable to metal which besides being a corny comic book cliche and obvious plot device didn't even make any kind of sense in a character who could alter reality. That ending was a real anti-climax after he'd been built up as such a powerful threat over previous issues.
You only have to read the Jim Jaspers storyline in the Moore/Davis Captain Britain which came out not too long after to see how much better a villain with the power to change reality could be done.


Anonymous said...

M.P.'s right (huh?) about Edinburgh being a beautiful city, but you don't really get much sense of the place from that X-Men story.
Considering it was written by Chris Claremont, I reckon the Scotch got off pretty lightly.


Anonymous said...

You mean Scottish or Scots, Sean - Scotch is a drink.

Charlie Horse 47 said...

Something tells me that Sean has a reply coming, lol!

Anonymous said...

So they keep telling me Colin (;


Killdumpster said...

While not a big scotch drinker, a pal & I drink a shot of Curry Sark on the rocks in tribute to favorite actors when they die, whom we believe were scotch drinkers.

Angus Scrimm & Sid Haig recently got "scotch salutes".

We'd do a fifth along with our beer, for tribute movie marathons on the DOB of our faves.

For Christopher George we watched/drank to Day Of The Animals, Grizzly, Pieces & episodes of Rat Patrol till dawn.

The Lon Chaney Jr. marathon almost crippled us and a couple of our friends. A few had to leave, they couldn't take it.

Luckily scotch seems to go fairly good with beer. I know wine doesn't, but we bought a bottle of Spanish wine to go with our Paul Naschy tribute anyway.

It took the whole next day to get over that. It was pure agony.

Killdumpster said...

Meant "Cutty" Sark, instead of "Curry" Sark. Curry Sark sounds plain disgusting.

Killdumpster said...

A barmaid friend of mine poured me a shot of scotch that she said was better than Cutty. I was already wasted so I declined, and she got mad. Talk about enablers.

I'm at my hotel bar right now, and with my scotch rant, I'm getting the flavor.

My hotel bar has Johnny Walker & Dewars.

Which is best?

Killdumpster said...

Well, nobody offers their opinion, and I googled a scotch list that put Cutty above Dewar, with Johnny Walker not to be found.

Getting a shot of Cutty right now. Holiday cheers to you all, oh my brothers!

Anonymous said...

I'm a Canadian whisky man myself.
It's a polite, reasonable, whiskey, with excellent manners, unlike that crazy Southern whiskey that is poorly educated, rude, probably racist and causes you to forget where the remote control is.


Anonymous said...

KD, apparently Johnnie Walker is the best-selling Scotch whiskey - in this country anyway. I've just bought a bottle of The Famous Grouse - do you know that one?

And the Scottish soft drink Irn Bru is the UK's third most popular soft drink after Coca-Cola and Pepsi.

Killdumpster said...

Colin, never heard of Famous Grouse till you mentioned it. Wiki'd it and it's been the best selling blended scotch in Scotland since the 80's.

I dig the name, but at $30 a bottle none of the hole-in-the-wall bars I go to will have it.

Will look for it when drinking in the 'Burgh though. Thanks for the recommend.