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!


Killdumpster said...

Since I was going to art school at the time, my subscriptions to alot of titles were diminishing. Credit that to the "starving artist syndrome".

I would've loved to see the original Defenders back in action. Ditko on Captain Marvel?! Wish I would've came across that.

The last issue of Ghost Rider I read had Blaze losing control, and Dr. Druid being an "arsehole".

The last issues I had of Spider-Woman dealt with Werewolf By Night, and Morgan LeFay. That book was at it's best when the villains had a supernatural aspect. I'm still a big fan of the Brothers Grimm, goofy trick eggs and all.

Almost nothing would turn me off on a book than seeing, on the cover, a very powerful character being attacked by an animal. A bear vs Man-Thing?! Oooh, I wonder how that fight is going to go?!! Yawn.

Killdumpster said...

Steve, don't blow off the extent of damage a pack of small alligators can do.

A pal of mine worked on a farm that raised caimen for pet shops. I guess one of the employees thought he was Steve Irwin and got gnawed so bad he was in hospital for weeks.

Killdumpster said...

That's why I laughed at Man-Thing being attacked by a bear. The muck-man probably had to tear through a couple dozen alligators every day, just on afternoon walks.

Killdumpster said...

Once I got a copy of Spidey Super Stories for a Christmas present from a very young cousin. He didn't know it was an "easy reader", I guess he saw Spider-Man and thought I'd like it.

It may have been the 2nd or 3rd issue. The story was a rip-off of Star Wars, with Dr. Doom subbing for Darth Vader. The writing was below "Dick & Jane" elementary level. Fraggin horrible.

Spidey Super Stories make any Harvey or Archie book seem like Shakespeare.

Charlie Horse 47 said...

Sean - thanks for heads up on Miles Davis movie.

KD - I didn't know you were a "starving artist." I almost wonder if all of us comic die-hards on this site took a crack at drawing our favorite dudes in tights? I certainly did as a kid!

Charlie Horse 47 said...

In Charlie's youth there was a movie called Man Dingo or Man-Dingo or Mandingo or whatever.

Charlie always wondered, as an avid comic reader, if the Man-Dingo was related to the Man-Thing? Anyone know? Seems to similar for one not to have been inspired by the other?

Killdumpster said...

Charlie, "Mandingo" and "Man-Thing" are entirely two different things.

Mandingo is a slave term, till after the civil war.

There is a decent movie, though very brutal, called Mandingo starring the the beautiful Suzanne George.

Charlie Horse 47 said...

Is Mandingo more compelling viewing than Flash Gordon Conquers the Universe (1940)? Charlie is watching episodes 4, 5, and 6 tonight of the 12-part serial!

Killdumpster said...

Yeah, Charlie, I spent my entire youth practicing to be a comics artist.

All my art teachers coddled me, and one attempted to tutor me. At art shows I had my own gallery. With all the characters I came up with I could have started a universe.

Small town kid in the big city, in art school, it became an Ian Durry song:

"Sex & Drugs & Rock N' Roll"

Lost my dream. Threw it all away.

Worked in an advertising department of a newspaper for awhile.

Years later, get a robot-arm saw blade slicing my skull. LMAO!!!

Killdumpster said...

Sorry Steve.WAAAY off topic. My tolarence to alcohol is very low currently, lol.

Killdumpster said...

There is in no way "Mandingo" is family viewing. To some it can be a bit unsettling.

dangermash said...

I forgot to ask on Sunday, but how has Conan managed to get promoted to the Sunday night post? To me, as someone presumably outside the Marvel universe, he belongs in the Tuesday night lucky dip. Or is it just me?

Steve W. said...

Dangermash, I decided to include Conan in the main posts because his comic lasted for nearly 300 issues, so I assume it must have been popular. It even managed to retain its monthly status at a time when the likes of Daredevil, Iron Man and X-Men were relegated to bi-monthly status.

KD, thanks to your comment, I now know better than to greet a flock of alligators with alacrity.

Charlie Horse 47 said...

I remember first seeing Conan on the spinner racks with Issue #1, then all the B&W mags... clearly a phenom in the early 70s.

To this day, I've never understood the success of Conan... Is he so far removed from a Tarzan that Tarzan and his ilk would not have sold more?

Granted Gold Key had a long run of Tarzan (those painted covers were dy-no-mite!) but I don't think they sold anywhere near what Conan did.

Steve - that was a sage decision to start listing Conan on Sundays! He was a major player, albeit in a furry loin cloth and not tights.

Anonymous said...

I don't recall that Defenders cover Steve, but I remember the geezer with the wings coming out of his head(!) from other issues around that time.

Someone at Marvel must have thought having a female Defenders line-up was political correctness gone mad or something - no sooner did they come together, than the "real" team of Dr Strange, the Hulk and Namor re-formed.
And Nighthawk had to rescue the ladies from the Mandrill. How useless do you have to be to need rescuing by Nighthawk?

A shame really, as the wimmin Defenders were a cool idea (even if they didn't include the Red Guardian) and their only real outing - the two-parter wrapping up the mystery of Omega the Unknown - was pretty good compared to the rest of the issues around this point.


Anonymous said...

Sorry about this Steve, but...

Kd, on a point of fact, the energy crisis happened in '73/early '74. So really you want to be blaming Nixon or Ford.
Although I don't know what you expect a US president to do about OPEC - "the arabs" - putting up the price of oil if they thought the market would pay.
Invade a major producer and steal it instead? Hows that been working out since 2003?


Charlie Horse 47 said...


There are far more important fish to be fried than pondering the USA killing another million folks...

The first-ever world championships in beer mat flipping will be taking place at the Ship and Shovel pub in Warsash.

Now this is open to people of all ages the event will be on February 8. I would attend but you know... time and money (Chicago is far, far away).

But any chance one of you UK lads are doing this???

Steve - are you going to provide coverage???

Any chance it'll be live on a youtube channel???

Help ole Charlie out!

Charlie Horse 47 said...

On a side note, you chaps think Roger Hodgson (Super Tramp) is worth a look in concert? He's playing a nearby casino. (Ouch?)

Charlie Horse 47 said...

Steve - a few posts back you mentioned the Jackson 5 were top of the pop charts. I felt vaguely concerned and researched it. At least according to Bill Board "Rain Drops Keep Falling on my Head" was # 1 in the USA?

I did a bit a copy/pasting below. To be sure, the Jacksons hit # 1 at least 3 - 4 times in 1970 and hit #1 with "I Want You Back" on Jan 31.

January 3

"Raindrops Keep Fallin' on My Head"

B. J. Thomas

January 10

January 17

January 24

January 31

"I Want You Back"

The Jackson 5

February 7


Shocking Blue

February 14

"Thank You (Falettinme Be Mice Elf Agin)" / "Everybody Is a Star"

Sly & the Family Stone

February 21


February 28

"Bridge over Troubled Water"

Simon & Garfunkel

March 7

March 14

March 21

March 28

April 4


April 11

"Let It Be"

The Beatles

April 18


April 25


The Jackson 5

May 2


May 9

"American Woman" / "No Sugar Tonight"

The Guess Who

May 16

May 23


May 30

"Everything Is Beautiful"

Ray Stevens

June 6


June 13

"The Long and Winding Road" / "For You Blue"

The Beatles

June 20


June 27

"The Love You Save"

The Jackson 5

Killdumpster said...

Well, Sean, I believe an artful statesman could utilize non-military strategies to cause enough discomfort for any "bad players".

Sanctions, tariffs, travel control, etc. Ok, maybe use the navy to form blockades.

You know who has been implementing many of those forms, with some very good success.

Meanwhile, the Opec embargo, at least to me at 16 yrs old, WAS an energy crisis. I had a minimum wage job (approx $3.00 per hour), bought my first car, and gasoline went from 59 cents a gallon to $1.00.

Plus it was enacted that you weren't able to get gas every-other-day, depending on your odd/even number on your license plate. We weren't even at war!! As you folks may say, that was "bullocks".

Oh but, while not able to take care of business at home, Jimmy was able to finagle a peace treaty between Israel and Egypt.

Sadat at was probably the most moderate leader in the middle east. We could have worked with him to maybe help ease the embargo.

No, the peanut farmer wanted a happy, fuzzy paper signed. Later Sadat is assassinated at at his own parade. Yeah, that worked out REAL well.

Sorry Sean. I could do "Monsters Unleashed" on Carter all day long. Lol.

Steve W. said...

That was indeed a remarkably good year for the Jackson 5, Charlie.

I suspect the world beer mat flipping championship will struggle for media attention. It may be difficult to even find out who's won it.

I'm sure Roger Hodgson will be perfectly acceptable in concert. After all, he did write nearly all their most popular songs.

Steve W. said...

Sean, I remember the man with the wings growing out of his head totally putting me off that storyline. I just couldn't accept that a man could fly with wings that were growing out of his head.

Killdumpster said...

That's it, Charlie.

Between your enthusiasm, and Sean's inspiration, I'm going to design a Beermat-Man hero.

Charlie Horse 47 said...

KD - given you are a school-trained artist, perhaps email your idea to Steve so he can share with the community!!!

Are you thinking something along the lines of really thin / flat and square shaped? Or perhaps a dude who shoots out beer mats from his wrists, like the brothers do with $100 bills on rap videos? That could be cool indeed!

My favorite rap dude is Money Dude Tazo! Check out my homey (seriously!) He's wearing a Superman- Muhammed Ali Shirt!!!


Killdumpster said...

Wow, Steve. You being a "wing-man", addressing your dismay over a guy that had them spouting out of his head lends one to ponder.

The gentleman would need to have a very strong spine/neck to fly. and he could only see in the direction he is flying in. Not very practical.

I bet any number of other winged characters, like Angel, Griffin, etc could out manuvere him and take him down.

Killdumpster said...

There's a reason why birds don't have wings growing out of their heads.

Killdumpster said...

The painted covers that Gold-Key had were usually great pieces of work. Too bad the guts inside the books were also usually a let-down.

Charlie Horse 47 said...

Well, if Gold Key had the painted covers and Burne Hogarth inside, it may have made a difference?

You UK guys know what we're referring to? The Gold Keys were rather uncommon on the spinner what with Harvey and DC and Archie and even Marvel eventually hogging most of the space. Gold Key was usually the comic in a plastic bag of 3 comics, lol, so it seemed.

But hell, I got some Marvels like that too so my memory of 50 years ago isn't reliable for "the big picture" LOL.

Killdumpster said...

Charlie, I was thinking Beermat-Man would having beer mats covering his body, and fling them like Captain America's shield. If he gets splashed with any kind of alcohol, his strength is intensified.

Kinda like Namor with water. Lol.

I intend to do it in a 1 to 2 page pamphlet style, like I did in high school. Just for goofy fun. I'm going to use my favorite homemade villain from those days. There will be no embellishment on who he is.

As I've said before, the villain makes the book.

Charlie Horse 47 said...

So out Beer Mat hero will be like the Porcupine, so to speak?

Wasn't there a DD villain who whipped playing cards (?) at folks? Maybe it was Bullseye? My brain is shot...

Killdumpster said...

Oh no. Beermat-Man will kinda have elements of Cap, Namor, and maybe a bit of Silver Surfer, lol.

Anonymous said...

Yeah Steve, that fella with wings coming out of his head was off putting, and he wasn't the only thing - the Defenders was a real mess at that point.
To be honest, I thought the comic went into major decline after they changed Val's costume.

Kd, by "artful strategies" do you mean secretly selling the Iranians weapons like that plonker who was president after Carter did? That really showed 'em who was boss, eh?
And yeah, I know who had some success implementing non-military approaches to the middle east - Obama. Although he was still keen on drone strikes and whatnot.
Wouldn't it just have been easier over the years to just pay the market price for oil?


Anonymous said...

Charlie, the only Gold Key comic I remember seeing as a kid was Star Trek.
It seemed pretty bland to me.


Charlie Horse 47 said...

Sean - The Gold Keys weren't exactly exciting... kind of like DC comics in the 60s. But the covers were the bomb, if painted.

I actually have Star Trek, Woman from Uncle, and Man from Uncle Gold Keys in a long box with the actual actors on the cover. Their insides are boringly drawn as well... like DC in the 60s LOL.

I'm thinking beer mat flipping will not be as exciting as Conkers. But guys, we must support the Pub Sports!!! IF we don't, what else is there to do in winter???

Anonymous said...

Er, drink?

I read that Gold Key used the Giolitti studio for inside artwork Charlie - they did work for some of the old British weeklies, which "weren't exactly exciting" either (IPC used Italian and Spanish artists quite regularly).