Thursday 30 January 2020

January 30th, 1980 - Marvel UK, 40 years ago this week.

How long does it take a man to get nine squares of the same colour to line up? If the answer's, "Mere moments," and the year's 1980, he could soon be the envy of all his friends because, on this day in that year, the Rubik's Cube made its international debut at The British Toy and Hobby Fair at Earl's Court, London.

I could claim to have achieved effortless mastery of the Rubik's Cube, back in the day but the truth is I'd always get stuck on the last two squares.

Happily, I soon realised you could simply prise them apart with a screwdriver and then reassemble them with everything lined up perfectly, saving a massive amount of bother.

But we weren't just fingering plastic that week. We were also having fun with vinyl and, on the UK singles chart, the Specials' Too Much Too Young dethroned the Pretenders, to claim the top spot.

Not that the Pretenders needed be too upset, because they were still ruling the roost on the British album chart, with their eponymous debut LP of the same name called The Pretenders.

Elsewhere on that singles chart, My Girl by Madness was at 3, Tears of a Clown by the Beat was at 17 and Three Minute Hero by the Selecter was at 29, meaning the spirit of Ska was making its presence well and truly felt in the Top 30.

But perhaps the thing which stands out most for me on that week's singles chart was the presence of 7 Teen by the Regents, at 12, a record that, even forty years later, retains its sense of sheer oddity.

Spectacular Spider-Man #360, the Lizard and Iguana

Speaking of oddities, this is where things get strange for Marvel UK because the keen-of-eye will notice this week's issue has completely the wrong date on it.

Not only that but I believe next week's issue bears the date of Jan 23rd as well. I don't have a clue what was going on there.

I also don't know what's going on inside the comic, as, other than knowing Spider-Man and Iron Man both have strips in it, I'm living in ignorance.

I do at least know the Spidey tale sees the Lizard vs the Iguana, as the Connors family watches on in the horror with which it always watched on in every single appearance it ever made.

Star Wars Weekly #101

Info's also sparse when it comes to this one.

I do know, though, that our heroes are captured and put on trial by a bunch of people with wings who feel the interplanetary battlers of evil have been trespassing in their air space.

The blurb at the top of the cover assures me it's a terrible trial. I can only assume the judge is drunk, the jury's stupid and the lawyers turn up late.

Also, Deathlok's still blundering around the streets of somewhere or other, looking for whatever it is he's looking for.

Thinking about it, that is quite a boring cover. I mean, it's just Luke and C-3PO standing around doing nothing.

Doctor Who Weekly #16, Tom Baker

It's an epic week for lovers of the world's greatest time traveller when The Web Planet makes the front cover, surely the most compellingly unwatchable story in the show's history - and I say that as someone who's seen Time and the Rani.

Who will ever forget the relentless, maddening sound effects, the deathless wire work, the woodlice with bazookas, and the sight of a giant ant colliding with the camera?

No one.

And that's why we love it, even though it's nothing but torture from start to finish.

As if that wasn't enough, it would appear we also get the death of the Invisible Man, a protagonist who literally couldn't foresee his own end.

I have a feeling I got that line from the Two Ronnies.

We also get the latest instalment of The City of the Damned, a text report on the inside of the TARDIS, and more from the picture strip known as Deathworld.

The details of Deathworld are unknown to me but I believe it's the story which features Cybermen against Ice Warriors. The sooner they use that idea in the TV show, the better.

Then again, the way this current season's flinging in everything except the kitchen sink, such a development can only be mere weeks away.

Incredible Hulk Weekly #48

Spidey's still trying to rescue a bomb scientist from a bunch of Russian super-heroes who've been deceived into thinking that, by capturing him, they're protecting their country from American aggression.

Elsewhere, the Black Knight's come into the possession of a gem or a pearl or something that's trying to Gollumise our armoured hero with its promises of granting him total power.

Ant-Man's in the process of being framed for a bank robbery.

The Silver Surfer's still up against Thor.

In the pages of The Defenders, Moon Knight's out to rescue Jack Norriss from the clutches of Scorpio.

And, of course, the Hulk's up against Tyrannus in the Andes.

Sunday 26 January 2020

Your all-time favourite cover artists.

A wise man once insisted I should never judge a book by its cover.

And he was absolutely right. After all, just how many Atlas comics did I buy in the mid 1970s purely on the strength of their covers, only for the insides to turn out to be a cannibalism-fixated car crash that even that man could never have imagined?

Still, I can't feel even one moment of buyer's remorse over that repeated blunder, as just possessing those covers made the purchase feel somehow justified.

And a massive part of that was down to one man.

Dick Giordano.

Not only was he arguably Neal Adams' best inker, he was, even more impressively, Atlas Comics' main weapon in the battle to separate you from your 25 cents. Who could ever forget his covers for the debut issues of The Brute, Phoenix and Targitt?

I can't. And neither can you because I'm posting them right here and now. Truly, those covers are things of beauty. No wonder Giordano was my favourite Atlas Comics cover man.

"But what's this all about?" I hear you ask. "Has so much time passed that it's now possible to wax lyrical over even the product of Atlas Comics?"

Of course it hasn't. That much time will never exist in this universe. However, I can at least acknowledge that their covers were great.

This has struck me because perusing Nick Cardy's magnificent image for Superman's clash with Captain Thunder, the other day, has reminded me just how important a cover was in selling a comic to the youthful me and that most of the DC comics I acquired back then were bought purely because of Cardy's handiwork.

However, there was one artist whose covers could sell DC's product to me even more surely than his could.

And that was Jim Aparo. I genuinely don't think I ever saw a Jim Aparo cover without taking it home with me. I am very happy, therefore, to nominate Jaunty Jim as my Number One DC cover artist.

When it came to Marvel, covers never seemed as important to me as they did for DC. That may be because the contents of Marvel comics were more appealing to me and, therefore, the front of them didn't need to impress me as much.

However, I would say the artist whose covers best succeeded in getting me to buy Marvel comics was Gil Kane. I, therefore, have no hesitation in naming Galloping Gil as my favourite Marvel cover artist.

So, that's Marvel, DC and Atlas Comics accounted for but what of the fourth leg of the table which was my childhood comic collecting hobby?

That leg was Charlton Comics. That small company, based in a town I've never heard of, lacked the funds, glamour, profile and even the straight-edged guillotine of the other companies but a horror-lover like me was always going to be drawn to them.

And a major part of that was down to the work of Tom Sutton, a man I always feel was criminally underrated. He may not have been everyone's cup of tea when it came to super-heroes but the man was born to draw horror and his work on their covers never failed to convince me I needed yet more Charlton comics in my life. He, therefore, gets my vote as favourite Charlton cover artist.

So, those are my favourite cover artists. No doubt, you have ones of your own. If you do, you're free to share them in the comments section below.

Thursday 23 January 2020

January 23rd, 1980 - Marvel UK, 40 years ago this week.

If there's anything I'm famous for, it's my uncanny psychic powers which defy both sense and credulity. Therefore, let me see if I can guess what you were up to on the 20th of January 1980.

If you're British, I'm going to guess you were watching Live and Let Die on ITV.

That's because a walloping 23.5 million viewers were tuned in to it, meaning 42% of the entire UK population were watching. Needless to say, this was an all-time British record TV audience for a movie.

I suspect slightly fewer people were watching BBC Two on this night in that week when that channel's Arena arts show was broadcasting Lene Lovich Sleeping Beauty.

Perhaps its greatest revelation was that Lovich had been a professional screamer in horror films. This is a discovery that definitely needs further investigation to discover if I've seen any movies in which she screamed.

Wikipedia also claims she was part of the audience singing along with Chuck Berry on his 1972 Number One smash My Ding-a-Ling.

However, it also says, "Citation needed," so take that bombshell with a dose of salt.
Incredible Hulk Weekly #47, Tyrannus

Hold on, what's happening?

With one mighty leap, Hulk Comic suddenly becomes The Incredible Hulk Weekly and gains an extra eight pages. Dez is clearly tireless in his endeavours to shake up Marvel UK.

So, what do we get in those extra pages?

We get the arrival of the Beast's very own solo strip and the start of a Spider-Man tale in which the wall-crawler has to seek out Reed Richards when a group of Russian super-doers including Darkstar, the Crimson Dynamo and that bloke with the hammer and sickle kidnap Peter Parker's female college friend whose name I've forgotten.

In the main strip, the Hulk's still in the Andes and enmeshed in Tyrannus' plot to regain his lost youth.

Valkyrie's in a bad mood when her sometime husband Jack Norris is abducted by Nick Fury on behalf of Scorpio.

The Silver Surfer's still having his scrap with Thor.

The Black Knight's still having his scrap with a fire-breathing dragon.

And Ant-Man defeats Mr Mysterious, or whatever he's called, and saves the Avengers Mansion from whatever dire fate the villain had in mind for it.

Star Wars Weekly #100

Hooray! Marvel UK's most profitable mag hits the Big 100!

There's not much I can say about this issue. I don't even know if the normal back-up strips are in it; or if it's all Star Wars this week, like I suspect it is.

I do know the comic contains a listing and plot summary for every Star Wars tale that's so far featured in the book, and also a very brief retrospective on the various back-up strips it's given us over the years.

It also has a wrap-around cover with the comic's rear featuring the TIE Fighter that the front cover's X-wing fighter is shooting at.

Doctor Who Weekly #15, William Hartnell

I do believe this is William Hartnell's first ever cover, which I would have thought is quite a brave thing, sales-wise.

I do remember that, back in the 1970s, William Hartnell seemed a very mysterious figure indeed, as I'd never seen any of his episodes and they'd never, to my knowledge, been repeated, meaning that all I knew was that he was the Doctor who was so incredibly old it was a miracle he could even move.

He was in his mid-fifties.

Elsewhere, the fourth Doctor's still up against the City of the Damned. I like to think that's a city in which everyone dresses like the punk band the Damned, and that Captain Sensible is the mayor.

We also get a text article dedicated to the inside of the TARDIS, more of Marvel's adaptation of The Invisible Man, a text retelling of the First Doctor story The Romans (I wonder if it includes the fridge jokes?) and a story called Death World which seems to feature Ice Warriors and Cybermen.

Spectacular Spider-Man Weekly #359

Spidey's mag doesn't get eight extra pages this week, nor does it get a wrap-around cover but Spider-Man does at least get a good strangling as he tangles with the Iguana at Bronx Zoo.

Fortunately, our hero survives that murder attempt but how long before he succumbs to another one?

Sunday 19 January 2020

Superman #276, Make Way For Captain Thunder!

Superman #276, Captain Thunder, the original Captain Marvel, Shazam
It's the question we've all asked; "Who'd win a fight between Superman and Captain Marvel?"

Admittedly, I never actually have. After all, the answer's blatantly obvious. How's Captain Marvel supposed to beat Superman when he's got Rick Jones griping in his ear and singing all the time?

But, of course, there was another Captain Marvel, one who never dared speak his name, for fear of the solicitors getting involved and, in 1974, he got to meet his old nemesis from the 1950s law courts, the Man of Steel.

Except he didn't, because the foe Superman tangles with in his 276th issue bears absolutely no resemblance at all to the original Captain Marvel. Seriously, no one could possibly confuse the red and white clad Captain Thunder and his youthful alter-ego Willie Fawcett with Captain Marvel and Billy Batson.

It all begins with Willie appearing, from nowhere, in a Metropolis street, just in time to see Superman flying overhead on his way to dealing with some threat or other.

Superman #276, Captain Thunder/Captain Marvel
This is all very odd, as Willie's never heard of Superman before, even though everyone else seems to recognise him.

Then, while Superman's dealing with an imaginary monster conjured up to distract him while a gang of criminals rob an armoured truck, Willie decides Captain Thunder had better tackle the gang. He rubs his belt buckle, says the magic word, "THUNDER," and, in his super-heroic guise, sets off to sort out the miscreants.

There's only one problem. No sooner has he transformed into the captain than he's stricken with an irresistible urge to help the wrongdoers!

Needless to say, this quickly brings him into conflict with Superman, in a fight which only ends when Thunder gives Supes the slip by changing back into Willie.

Superman #276, Captain Thunder vs the Monster League of Evil
Willie goes to see Clark Kent because he's told the reporter's a friend of Superman.

He tells Clark how he first became Captain Thunder and of how his last battle was with a gang of villains comprising Dracula, the Wolf Man, Frankenstein's Monster and the Mummy.

As he left the defeated fiends in a cage he'd created for them, they shouted a mysterious threat at him, one he only now understands as meaning they'd found a way to send him to the wrong dimension and turn Captain Thunder evil.

Together, boy and reporter set off to solve the mystery of just how he got here and how to get him back home.

But, before they can even start, yet another crime breaks out and Willie once more transforms himself into Captain Thunder, causing the resumption of his fight with Superman.

Superman #276, Captain Thunder/Captain Marvel
This time, the Kryptonian clobberer manages to hold on to Thunder for long enough for the out-of-sorts hero to figure out how to get back home and cure his malfeasance. With one more rub of his belt, Thunder's gone and that's that problem sorted.

So, is this the epic, no-holds barred lurch into action, destruction and chaos that Nick Cardy's cover leads us to expect?

No. Of course it isn't. It's a 1970s Superman comic. That means reading it's like putting on a comfy pair of slippers and eating some chocolate biscuits. No one is, at any point, in any peril. Despite using their most powerful blows, the two heroes totally fail to hurt each other and everything's wrapped up simply and straightforwardly with a total lack of animosity.

This makes it sound like a bad thing.

And it kind of is.

And it kind of isn't.

Superman #276, Willie Fawcett gets his powers, Captain Thunder/Captain MarvelLike all Superman tales of this era, it's appealing because Curt Swan draws it with a charm and lightness of touch few artists could match.

In fact, the main enjoyment comes not from the somewhat low-key clash between crime fighters but from spotting all the changes writer Elliot S! Maggin makes to the character of Captain Marvel, especially the retelling of his origin, this time involving a helpful owl, a cave and an elderly native American

Whether this is a good thing or a bad thing ultimately depends on your tolerance for storytelling that lacks any desire to be dramatic.

As I've said in the past, I must have a massive tolerance for the dramatically unambitious because, as a youth, I probably had more Superman comics than books starring any other costumed American hero, and something must have been making me come back for more.

Thursday 16 January 2020

January 16th, 1980 - Marvel UK, 40 years ago this week.

Beware the Death Mist!

I know I am. That's why I won't go near it.

But Flash Gordon's made of sterner stuff. That's why he has his own movie serial and I don't.

You guessed it. On this night in 1980, BBC Two was again showing Flash Gordon Conquers the Universe and, this episode, if its title's to be believed, he was indeed up against that murderous miasma.

Despite its fearsome-sounding name, I suspect he still somehow came through it unscathed.

With total inevitability, that episode was followed, immediately, by an episode of Pride and Prejudice.

Flash Gordon and Pride and Prejudice, two franchises that will forever be associated with each other in people's minds.

Over on the UK singles chart, after ten weeks on the hit parade, the Pretenders' Brass in Pocket suddenly leapt to Number One, knocking Pink Floyd off the top spot and providing that decade with its first new Number One.

Unless, of course, you take the view that the 1980s began in 1981.

Whether you do or don't, it was a week of perfect triumph for the Pretenders because their self-titled album simultaneously smashed straight in at the very top of the UK album chart.

I have a copy of that album.

And I've just realised I've never actually played it.

Star Wars Weekly #99

My knowledge of what happens on that Pretenders album may be almost zero, but my knowledge of what happens in this issue is even less.

I gather that Luke Skywalker gets to splash around in some water with a homicidal knife-wielder.

I do know, though, that this is the book's 99th issue and it has to be congratulated because not many Marvel UK mags ever reached the century mark.

In fact, off the top of my head, Mighty World of Marvel, Spider-Man Comics Weekly, The Avengers and Planet of the Apes are the only others I can think of that managed it.

It is, though, questionable whether Deathlok will live to see that 100th issue, as he spends this week's offering being being chased around by a tank.

Hulk Comic #46, Scorpio vs the Defenders

Scorpio turns up at Kyle Richmond's country retreat, in search of its owner, only to find the Defenders are there.

Cue the obligatory scrap but what can the astrologically obsessed villain want with Kyle?

Elsewhere, in his own strip, the Hulk's still in El Dorado and meeting the mysterious trio known as They.

You do wonder what kind of people would refer to themselves as, "They," rather than, "Us."

The Black Knight's in a mystical realm, his quest for King Arthur leading him into the clutches of a fire-breathing dragon.

Elsewhere, a villain whose name totally escapes me has cured Ant-Man's problem of being permanently stuck at insect size.

But there's a catch. He's going to kill the Wasp unless Ant-Man helps him break into the Avengers Mansion.

And Loki's still in the process of trying to trick the Silver Surfer into fighting Thor.

Doctor Who Weekly #14, the Ogrons vs Jon Pertwee

Hooray! The Ogrons make the front cover!

I've always assumed the Ogrons were the show's attempt to jump on the Planet of the Apes bandwagon but that doesn't mean that I didn't love them and that they shouldn't bring them back.

I do recognise that cover shot of the Doctor from Day of the Daleks in which he attempts to flee the Ogrons on a motor tricycle so slow that, even at walking pace, the actors playing the Ogrons are having difficulty avoiding catching up with it.

Anyway, my knowledge of this issue's contents is sparse but I do know that in City of the Damned, the Doctor's having trouble with a tank.

And he doesn't even have a motor tricycle to flee on!

But, first Deathlok and now the Doctor. I think it's about time they banned people from having tanks.

Spectacular Spider-Man #358, the Iguana

By the looks of it, Spidey's about to come up against the Iguana, product of yet another of Curt Connors' ill-advised lab experiments. Will the man never learn his lesson?

I think we all know the answer to that one.

Tuesday 14 January 2020

The Marvel Lucky Bag - January 1980.

Tremble with awe, for it is time for me to once more investigate Marvel Comics' less popular titles of forty years ago.

Man-Thing #2

Upon encountering everyone's favourite resident of the Everglades, panic-stricken scientists do what any of us would and teleport him to the Himalayas where he's mistaken for a yeti, massacres a pack of wolves, slaughters a bear and helps foil a murder plot.

Life's never dull when you're a muck monster.

Master of Kung-Fu #84, alligators

Shang-Chi and Blackjack Tarr blunder around in the swamps and jungles of South America, seeking out Fu Manchu's secret base there, while Reston and Leiko head off for Casablanca.

I'm assuming Reston and Leiko are on a mission and not just off on their holidays.

I do have to say those are very small alligators. I reckon even I could fight them off.

Spider-Woman #22

There's a hen-pecked accountant on a homicidal rampage - and he's doing it while dressed as a clown!

I've no doubt Spider-Woman quickly balances his books for him.

Defenders #79

The male Defenders are in a mystical realm and, judging by that cover, things aren't going well for them.

More interestingly to me, back on Earth, the female Defenders find themselves in a town whose entire distaff population are under the control of the Mandrill.

And, of course, it's not long before the female Defenders are too.

Except for the Wasp who's going to have to hold the fort on her own.

Spidey Super Stories #44, Dr Time

I don't have a clue what happens in this tale but I've included it purely because it features a villain called Dr Time which is the sort of name a DC villain would have. It therefore appeals to me.

Battlestar Galactica #11

Much to my surprise, Marvels Battlestar Galactica is still going, which is more than it looks like we'll soon be able to say for Starbuck.

I do wonder if anyone in any Battlestar Galactica story ever said the immortal words, "OK, Boomer."

Then again, did anyone ever ask Starbuck for a coffee?

Marvel Spotlight #4, Captain Marvel, steve ditko

Not content with drawing this month's Daredevil, Steve Ditko also does the duties for Captain Marvel.

I suppose that's appropriate, as Jim Starlin's reinvention of Mar-Vell clearly owed a debt to Ditko's Captain Atom.

In this thrilling tale, the captain's recruited by the residents of another dimension, to help liberate them from some blokes who have some shadow things on their side or something. Meanwhile, the good guys can turn into shadows as well. Or something.

As you can see, I've a firm grip on what this tale's about.

Ghost Rider #40, nuclear explosion

Things are getting dramatic in the world of the Ghost Rider when the flame headed fighter of injustice finds himself up against a man who's created a nuclear-powered battle suit and is now going to show everyone the danger of nuclear power - by blowing things up with it!

Sunday 12 January 2020

Forty years ago today - January 1980.

Blog posts!

They need great openings, to draw the reader in and give him or her a reason to continue.

This post doesn't have one.

It's doomed! Doomed!

Avengers #191, the Grey Gargoyle

And so is the spirit of law and order in New York City because the Grey Gargoyle's on the rampage!

And he's not at all pleased when he finds out that, in his absence, his flat's been rented out to a random woman - and she's thrown away all his vital chemicals, to make room for her drinks cabinet!

Predictably, the Avengers make a right old mess of trying to deal with a villain they should be able to flatten in about two seconds.

Fantastic Four #214

The rest of the Fantastic Four are on the brink of death from old age - and only the Human Torch can save them.

But, first, he has to deal with a robot Skrull who's been left behind by his colleagues.

The good news is Torchie's got a robot of his own on his side, in the form of HERBIE the contractual obligationbot.

Incredible Hulk #243, Tyrannus

The Hulk finally deals with Tyrannus and his dreams of taking over the world with his magic flame in the Andes.

Somehow, after the end of the fight, the Hulk and Goldbug end up in New York where the villain bumps into Luke Cage and Iron Fist who have a grudge against him for some reason I can't recall.

Iron Man #130

Tony Stark travels to China to deal with an evil demon that's inconveniently killing members of his workforce there.

And it's all the fault of the company computer.

Amazing Spider-Man #200

Only days after talking about Spider-Man tackling the thief who killed Uncle Ben, in Marvel UK's Spectacular Spider-Man Weekly, I'm at it again. Thus is the degree to which the British outfit has caught up with its American parent.

Spectacular Spider-Man #38, Morbius

Morbius is back in town - and this time, he's cured of his vampirism, by being struck by lightning.

Why do I get the feeling it won't last?

Al Milgrom doing his Steve Ditko impersonation on that cover there.
Thor #291, Asgard and Olympus vs the Eternals

It's all action as Thor returns to the Eternals' home base of Olympia, only to discover Odin, Zeus and the combined forces of Olympus and Asgard have decided to invade it. We're definitely going to need a score card to keep track of this one.

Captain America #241, the Punisher

Captain America and the Punisher are after the same villains, which means we get the inevitable fight between the pair before they team up to mete out justice.

The Punisher's as annoying as ever in this one. Why Cap doesn't just smash his face in is anyone's guess.

Conan the Barbarian #106

Conan becomes the bodyguard of some queen or other in possibly the most racist comicbook tale in history.

Genuinely, virtually every single caption and speech bubble mentions skin colour.

As it's adapted from a tale by L Sprague DeCamp and Lin Carter, I shall be kind and assume Rascally Roy's merely being faithful to the source material which is attempting to be faithful to poor old REH.

X-Men #129

I do believe this is the first time we encounter Kitty Pryde, when both the X-Men and Hellfire Club try to recruit her to their respective schools.

Daredevil #162, vs a leopard, steve ditko art, cover

Steve Ditko suddenly turns up on the art, as Matt Murdock suddenly loses his memory and inadvertently relives the latter days of his father, by becoming a boxer who's ultimately ordered to throw a fight.

During all this, does no one watching him box notice the hot new slugger making all the headlines is the high-profile lawyer Matt Murdock who's not exactly kept out of the media, himself, over the years?

Thursday 9 January 2020

January 9th, 1980 - Marvel UK, 40 years ago this week.

Have you ever felt swindled?

I know I have.

I felt swindled on this very evening in 1980 when BBC Two was showing the 1940s cinema serial Flash Gordon Conquers the Universe.

Despite its title, Flash Gordon at no point in it conquers the Universe. How was I going to ever overcome such disappointment?

I wasn't.

I still haven't.

Still, at least I could take solace in the pages of that week's Marvel UK output.

Star Wars Weekly #98

That cover may hint at excitement but the truth is that, inside, Luke's complaining that he feels bored since he destroyed the Death Star and now has no one to kill.

Charlie-27 certainly has someone to kill. Granted, it's just a computer because, for some reason, it's attacking him and endangering Vance Astro. Can the Jovial Jovian stop it in time?

Of Deathlok's affairs, I know nothing this week but I do know our tale of the Watcher covers events when another planet's about to smash into the Earth.

Needless to say, everyone's convinced we're all going to die - except for one man who has faith that God will save us all.

And then it turns out it's not a planet. It's an alien spaceship, here on a mission of friendship and we're not going to die.

At this point, the man starts telling everyone else off for not having faith, like he did, and they all agree that he was right and they should have listened to him, even though he wasn't right and there was no reason at all to listen to him.

Hulk Comic #45, They

The Hulk and Goldbug are in the Andes, meeting the enigmatic "They" for the first time.

Still trapped at insect size, Ant-Man and the Wasp have to survive an attack by an angry kitten.

When you write sentences like that, you suddenly realise why Ant-Man's strip never took off.

The Black Knight and Captain Britain are about to set off in search of King Arthur.

Loki decides to recruit the Silver Surfer, in order to get him to fight Thor.

And, now that the Red Rajah's been defeated, the Defenders reel with shock as Dr Strange announces he's quitting the gang.

Not only that but so are Luke Cage and the Red Guardian!

How can the non-team possibly survive such a threat to their existence?

Doctor Who Weekly #13, Tom Baker

It's good news for Charlie, as the Doctor finally makes the front cover of his own comic.

My information about this week's contents is sketchy but who cares about that? All that matters is we have a chance to win one of those horizontal Kodak cameras which took terrible pictures and were all the rage in the very early 1980s.
Spectacular Spider-Man Weekly #357

Devoid of his super-powers, Spidey's trailing the man who killed Uncle Ben, all the way back to Aunt May's old house. Can our hero possibly stop him, without his special abilities?

Elsewhere, Iron Man's up against the Super-Adaptoid in his brand new - and far more exciting - incarnation as the skeletal Cyborg.

Of the other strips featured in this issue, I can say nothing.