Tuesday, 10 December 2019

The Marvel Lucky Bag - December 1979.

Are you a big fan of boldly going where no man has gone before?

If so, this month in 1979 was perfect for you because it saw the launch of Star Trek: The Motion Picture, the cinematic masterpiece which proved that space exploration could be just as dull as staying at home.

But, if you didn't want to go all the way to the cinema, a trip to the newsagents might suffice instead.

And that's because the event had already been prepared for by one thing.

And that thing was...

Marvel Super Special #15, Star Trek

...Marvel giving us its adaptation of that non-stop thrill-ride. I like to think that a full ten pages are devoted to the Enterprise leaving dry dock, in honour of the movie's glacial pacing.

As if that's not enough for us, this book also contains an interview with Jesco von Puttkamer.

I don't have a clue who Jesco von Puttkamer is.

Also, the other likenesses are fine but that really doesn't look like William Shatner on the cover.

Perhaps it's Jesco von Puttkamer.

Marvel Preview #20, Bizarre Adventures

As far as I can make out, we get a whole heap of Howard Chaykin's Dominic Fortune.

But more excitingly for me, we also get War Toy and Good Lord, as made famous by their appearances in Marvel UK's Planet of the Apes comic.

Of course, neither of those tales has anything to do with Planet of the Apes - one being about the death of a military robot and the other involving space explorers accidentally killing God.

Regardless, they're two of the most memorable back-up strips ever to have featured in that book and I salute them both.

Fantasy Masterpieces #1, the Silver Surfer

Marvel shows an admirable willingness to cash-in on its heritage by launching a series of Silver Surfer reprints, beginning with his origin, from 1968.

Tales to Astonish #1, the Sub-Mariner

Clearly seeing 1968 reprints as the way ahead, as we approach the 1980s, Marvel also decides to reprint Namor's series from that year.

Amazing Adventures #1, The X-Men, Magneto

Hold on. Wait. What? Now the company's launching a run of X-Men reprints as well? Has the House of Ideas completely run out of new things to publish?

Oh well, at least it's not from 1968.

Rom #1

Just to prove Marvel is actually capable of throwing at least one new thing at us, we get the launch of ROM's very own comic.

I must confess I always get ROM mixed up with Machine Man, even though they're completely different characters.

I've never read this comic, nor any other book featuring the character but I believe that, this issue, the robot arrives on Earth and kills a bunch of people before it turns out they're not people at all. They're aliens too, and, therefore don't matter.

He also gets to take on the National Guard while he's at it.

This comic, almost inevitably, is drawn by Sal Buscema.

Marvel Premiere #51, the Black Panther

Now that Jack Kirby's gone, Marvel clearly feels it's safe to relaunch the Black Panther's strip, carrying on where Don McGregor's run left off, with the conclusion of T'Challa's struggles with the Ku Klux Klan.

I suspect that magic frogs will not feature heavily in this story.

However, those hoping for a healthy dose of Don McGregor's vigorous verbosity are doomed to disappointment, as the tale's written by Ed Hannigan.

Then again, perhaps Ed has the sense to give us what we all want, and decides to emulate Don's writing style.


Killdumpster said...

I only saw the 1st Star Trek film once, in its first run at a theater.

I don't know if it was all the doobies and beer we did before we went in, but my buddies and I found it bland. Especially compared to Star Wars.

Don't get me wrong. I am a HUGE fan of the original series. It just needed bumped up to Lucas level. Maybe I'll take another look at it now.

Still having subscriptions to Marvel, I just would just casually glance at the bookshop spinner racks.

Though I've stated before I loved Marvel reprint books, at that stage I had most of the stories. Being an avid Sub-Mariner buyer, I already had Namor down pat. Owning Origins Of Marvel Comics & Son Of Origins covered me pretty good on the beginnings of our heroes.

Rom never interested me, as I've a tendency to avoid books that promote toys. When I found out on this site that his sidekick was...

RICK JONES?!!!... I was a little bummed out. What a travesty to a supporting character with so much important history! They had him pimping cheesy action figures!!


Man, I need a shot of scotch....

Killdumpster said...

I would've preferred Rom doing a time-warp exchange with Gwen Stacy and one of her clones, just before the webbing neck-snap attempted save. She'd still be alive then, and be Rom's sidekick. She could've come back to Spidey, and be the real thing then.

That scenario was courtesy of 2 scotches.

Charlie Horse 47 said...

I had none of the comics. And by this point had pretty much read enough material from the time frame being reprinted, for the respective characters (original or reprint), that I had no interest.

That said, Chaykin was on a roll with his Atlas Scorpion, Dominic Fortune, American Flagg characters. Truth be told, I never read Fortune and can only hope his artwork is more intelligible than it was with Flagg or Shadow or Blackhawks.

If you want non-comic related stuff, read on!

Charlie Horse 47 said...

This is non-comic related.

Man oh man, Charlie has had a fun week so far…

1) I had a colonoscopy yesterday. The only thing worse would be reading of Rick’s exploits with ROM, I suspect, though both experiences share similarities.

2) Then my brother tried to argue that Germans could pray Hitler out of hell. Somehow, if I end up there, I suspect I would have to watch Rick Jones slam magic bracelets together 24 x 7 as punishment. If that don’t scare you straight…

3) I drink Jameson’s whiskey on those rare occasions he drinks whiskey. I know, I know… it’s from Ireland, not Scotch. (Pun intended Colin? LOL! Can I use Scotch as an adjective or should I write Scotland? Someone help me out!!! Oh the humanity…)

4) Are you UK guys going to talk anymore about the “winter of discontent” or is it over by this time, 40 years ago?

5) Lastly, our news is saying you guys are facing the biggest election ever, since you threw out Winston in 1945. Is that how you guys feel? Or is it overhyped? Not asking which side you are on… just wondering if it is a big deal, really or just the media flatuating?

Killdumpster said...

Charlie, oh my brother,
Sounds like your colonoscopy may have been laced with LSD.

I gotta get the name of your doctor...

Next time I'm up for one of those, I'd travel to Illinois for that. Lol.

Anonymous said...

Actually Steve, that Black Panther "relaunch" wasn't quite as straight forward a post-Kirby continuation of the McGregor stories as you suggest.
The same team had already done a few issues of the Black Panther comic when it was cancelled, so - like those issues of Marvel Spotlight with Captain Marvel - what was left over ended up in a try out mag.

Basically, they wrapped up Kirby's storyline quickly, then did a couple of issues featuring Klaw and the Avengers which were actually ok, setting up a new direction with the Panther in the US.
You have to wonder what Hannigan and his editor were thinking by following through with a few issues that went back to a three year old story that hadn't sold well (especially as McGregor's Ku Klux Klan stuff wasn't his finest moment).


Anonymous said...

Charlie, the government called an election so they can get Brexit done, two years after the last time they called an election so they could get Brexit done - of course its the biggest since the war.
Seriously though, whether it is a big deal or not depends on the result. Quite possibly it will be another draw and we'll be back at the polls again in a year or two.

On the other hand, I will be voting for Britain to become the first soviet republic of the twenty-first century, and with a bit of luck we'll be executing kulaks before Christmas...


Killdumpster said...

Sean, oh my brother, I'm believing you had your Captain Sarcasm mantle on with your ending comment.

Killdumpster said...

I'm acquiring a taste for scotch...

Charlie Horse 47 said...

Sean - you are our resident artist!

Did you find Chaykin's style hard to follow?

I mean there were soooo many times I could not understand what the hell he was drawing...

And so many other times I was thankful the figures had different outfits so I could at least follow what was happening to whom.

Also, why couldn't someone like Heck alter his style to be more palatable to the general public? It's just not possible? (I assume so otherwise Trump, Heck, R*bbins, et al. would have adjusted?)

Charlie Horse 47 said...

Sean, KD -

That may be the most profound thing I've seen on the internet in a long, long time... "executing kulaks before Christmas"

I mean, it's marvelous. Truly.

Where would this start? Republick of Sheffield?

Anonymous said...

Probably the first thing to do would be nationalizing SteveDoesComics Charlie, and reducing the price of bus fares and Cabaret Voltaire reissues.

Chaykin does have a distinctive approach to narrative - quite a few of his visual cues aren't covered in How to Draw Comics the Marvel Way - but I don't find his work particularly hard to follow.


dangermash said...

I had the periscope treatment earlier this year. I:saw some of the action on the screen. It's amazing how clean the walls were in there after seeing years and years of action. Not a pleasant experience otherwise though. Hope they didn't find anything bad Charlie.

TC said...

Jesco von Puttkamer was a NASA engineer who served as a technical advisor on Star Trek: The Motion Picture.

The movie's plot was basically a remake of "The Changeling," an episode of ST-TOS. In the letters-to-the-editor column of Starlog magazine, a fan complained, "I would not have minded if it had amounted to just one more episode of the TV series, but did they have to make it a rerun?"

In 2219, the British PM will visit Germany for the 200th annual ritual of discussing Brexit without taking any action on it. By then, no one will remember what "Brexit" means, and no one will know how the custom got started, but it will be an annual tradition.

dbutler16 said...

Hey, all, Rom was actually a pretty solid title. Better than you'd expect a tie-in with a no account to toy be, for sure, and one of the best things Mantlo ever did. And but the way, Rom didn't kill the Dire Wraiths, he sent them to Limbo. I believe that fact is addressed a bit in Busiek's Avengers, with the Space Phantom.

And yeah, they could have condensed the action in that Star Trek: The Motion Picture adaptation into about 5 pages, not to mention that it ripped off a plot from the original series.

Steve W. said...

Thanks for the Rom info, D.

TC, thanks for the Jesco von Puttkamer info.

Sean, thanks for the Black Panther info.

Charlie, I hope all went well with the colonoscopy.

The Winter of Discontent was the previous year. It was all over by this point. However, greater trauma than even that was looming.

It is indeed, a big election. We've got the prospect of Brexit being sorted or not sorted, not to mention Boris Johnson's vague rumblings about punishing the sections of the media that don't support him, to abolish the House of Lords, make it illegal for British citizens to sue the government, and to directly appoint High Court judges so they won't stand in the way of him doing anything he wants. I'm kind of getting the feeling it might be our last election. Oh well, at least today he's been hiding in a fridge to avoid media questioning, so at least there's entertainment value in his would-be despotism.

KD, Star Trek: The Motion Picture was indeed very bland. Pretty much every shred of the vigour and character that had made the show fun had been discarded.

Dangermash, congratulations on your internal cleanliness.

Charlie Horse 47 said...

Charlie is surprised at how many of you saw your colon, large intestine, etc. on the TV screen. I've had two of these now and they put you to sleep. A week or two later they discuss polyps they removed. It's pretty straight forward with the only negative being the purge the day before.

And that's what I love about SDC! We can talk about Rick Jones, Brexit, and the Colon - the trifecta of merde!

Charlie Horse 47 said...

Which movie would put you to sleep first: Close Encounters of the 3rd Kind or Star Trek #1?

It's a draw for me.

Anonymous said...

2001 doesn't send you to sleep quicker than either Charlie?


Charlie Horse 47 said...

I think, b/c it's been so long now, that 2001 had a decent scene, for a 15 year old, where a monkey beats another monkey to death with a stick or bone? That is the only reason I would find 2001 less boring than Close Encounters of the Worst Kind and Star Crap. (Letting my juvenile side show through...)

Redartz said...

Steve, I love the ebb and flow of topics here! Star Trek, Howard Chaykin and colonoscopies. Who could ask for more?

In order, I too found the first Trek film a bit lackluster. But then, to be honest, I wasn't that big a Star Trek fan in the first place. More a fan, filmwise, of 2001 (sorry, Sean and Charlie).

Regarding Howard Chaykin, his work never posed too much difficulty for this reader's eyes. Loved Flagg. Unorthodox, but great reading.

Charlie- hope all went well on your colonoscopy. Yes, the purge is the worst. How anyone can be expected to down a gallon of that vile liquid is a mystery. Oh, and my turn comes next month. Can't wait...

Charlie Horse 47 said...

Red - To prep I had to take 3 stool softner pills (I only took two), drink 10 ounces magnesium citrate, and then drink that 238 grams of powder mixed with 1 gallon of gatorade. I diluted the gatorade with 1/3 water as I cannot stand too much sugary taste.

The gatorade started around 5 PM per the instructions. By then, after not eating since the previous dinner, i had no trouble downing 8 0z every 15 minutes per the instructions.

My recommendation though is not gorge out the day before, maybe even just have fruits, veggies, fish so that you are not purging undigested stuff.

To while away the time, I do NOT recommend being more than maybe 15 - 20 seconds away from the john. The first mistake I made was walking the dog with my wife: I got caught about a block from home.

The second mistake was thinking I had to flatuate... Don't trust that feeling once you have started all that!

O/wise though, by maybe 8 pm, it's all purged.

Charlie Horse 47 said...

I tried watching the film The Irishman on Netflix whilst purging

Being from Chicago I thought it'd be epic. I turned it off around 1 hour in, when De Niro starts talking about how Chicago and Mayor Daley had won Kennedy the election by swinging Illinois. The story here is Daley tweaked West Virginia and a few other states out east into voting for an Irish Catholic, but not Illinois per se as we are chock full of Irish Catholics.

Daley was a south sider from White Sox Baseball Park area. (How else could the Sox have had a $300,000,000 stadium built for free, at taxpayer expense, in 1994, LOL?)

Anonymous said...

Are you suggesting Scorcese's film is a bit liberal with the facts Charlie?
I'm shocked. Next you'll be telling us Oliver Stone's JFK isn't completely accurate...


Steve W. said...

Thanks, Red, it truly is a magical mystery tour, sitting down to begin reading through this site's comments section.

When it comes to ranking 2001, Close Encounters and Star Trek: The Motion Picture in order of boredom, I would put Star Trek 1st, 2001 2nd and CE3K 3rd. The first time you watch CE3K it does have some intrigue, with the mystery of the mashed potato mountain, and is quite scary, thanks to the alien abduction scenes. Admittedly, when you watch it a second time, you know everything's going to be lovely, so it loses virtually all sense of drama.