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Thursday, 27 February 2020

February 27th, 1980 - Marvel UK, 40 years ago this week.

Do you remember the British Rock and Pop Awards?

I do.

Admittedly, I remember them as being the original incarnation of the BRIT Awards before their name got shortened to its current form. However, in a shock revelation, heavy research has told me there was no connection at all between the two ceremonies and that the pair of them co-existed for several years, one broadcast on the BBC and the other on ITV.

All of which brings us to this night in 1980, when the second-ever British Rock and Pop Awards took place.

Information about them is difficult to find but I can reveal that, amongst those handing out trophies were the Barron Knights, Kate Bush, Marianne Faithfull, Andy Gibb and Leo Sayer. I know that, if I were an international superstar, I'd love to receive an award from the Barron Knights.

Details of the winners are sketchy but it's known the main recipients that evening were Kate Bush, Paul McCartney, Gary Numan, the Police and Jerry Dammers of the Specials.

Those people were all basking in the glow of triumph but, over on the UK singles chart, there was only one winner, that week. And that was Blondie, the band who ascended to claim the Number One slot, with Atomic.

Over on the LP chart, a far more venerable act was stealing centre stage, as the Shadows claimed the top spot with their collection of covers A String of Hits.

Star Wars Weekly #105

I must confess I know nothing of this week's contents.

I'm certain there's a Star Wars story in it and I assume there's a tale of the Watcher and yet more thrills and spills from Deathlok, as he continues trying to find whoever it is he's trying to find.

Doctor Who Weekly #20, Daleks

Happily, I know far more about this comic's contents.

In the main story, The Star Beast, the Doctor's about to be on the receiving end of surgery from a bunch of aliens who want to hide a bomb in his stomach. God alone knows how they got a license to practise medicine.

We also get an article looking back at the careers of some of the Doctor's deadliest monsters, including the Cybermen.

Elsewhere, we get more of Marvel's adaptation of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde, a text adaptation of the insane William Hartnell serial The Chase and more from Abslom Daak: Dalek Killer.

Spectacular Spider-Man Weekly #364, Dr Octopus

And it's another one whose contents are a mystery to me.

I don't even know what the Spidey story is this week, other than that it contains the multi-armed menace of Dr Octopus.

Personally, I don't recall any Doc Ock tales from this period and, so, I can't even say what the villain's up to. Is the gallivanting gastropod going to be making yet another attempt to marry Aunt May?

Who can know?

Incredible Hulk Weekly #52, Scorpio vs the Defenders

In this issue's main story, the Fantastic Four are gearing up for their first-ever encounter with the Hulk in a tale from so early in the Marvel era that they're not even convinced the monster really exists.

The Black Knight's still helping elves fight the forces of evil. That's Elves, not Elvis. I would personally pay good money to watch the Black Knight help Elvis battle the forces of evil.

Elsewhere, the Beast clashes with Iron Man - and, thanks to the brain-bending machinations of Mastermind, thinks he's killed him!

In his own strip, the Hulk's crash-landed in somewhere or other, for the start of yet another tale.

And the Defenders are still trying to rescue Jack Norriss from Scorpio, all while trying to avoid being killed by the Hulk, after having done everything they can to get the brute fighting-mad.

Sunday, 23 February 2020

2000 AD - January 1982.

How safe do you feel online?

If you were living in December 1981, you probably felt extremely safe - because the computer virus hadn't yet been invented.

Sadly, a month later and you were already in deadly peril.

That's because January 1982 was the month in which the very first computer virus, the Elk Cloner, created by 15-year old Rich Skrenta, was discovered after it had started infecting Apple II computers, via floppy disk.

Then again, you probably still felt pretty safe online because online wasn't really a thing back then.

But that wasn't the only significant computer news that month. Mere days earlier, the Commodore 64 home computer had been launched in Las Vegas and quickly went on to become the World's best-selling personal computer.

As far as I remember, if you wanted to load a program on the Commodore 64, you had to do it via a cassette tape.

Cassettes back then were, of course, all the rage and that realisation can only lead us to one place.

The Pop charts.

The month began with the Human League at Number One on the British Hit Parade with their massive smash Don't You Want Me? That was, though, soon deposed by Bucks Fizz's The Land of Make Believe which, in turn, lost its top slot to Oh Julie by Shakin' Stevens before The Model by Kraftwerk seized the summit right at the end of the month. Five Number Ones in a month? What a strangely turbulent period it was.

And, if I'm honest, I have a soft spot for all those songs.

Over on the UK album chart, things were somewhat calmer, with the month kicking off with the Human League's Dare at Number One before that was dethroned by Barbra Streisand's Love Songs.

"But what of the Galaxy's Greatest Comic, in that period?" I hear you ask?

You'll be excited to know it was still giving us The Ace Trucking Co, Nemesis the Warlock, Tharg's Future Shocks, The Mean Arena and Rogue Trooper.

Prog 245 saw the launch of Judge Dredd's Apocalypse War and, also, what appear to have been a pair of one-off strips called Abelard Snazz and Superbean. Needless to say, I have no memory of either of these.

I also have no recollection of Tharg's 1982 calendar, which was given away in Progs 245-246. I have no doubt it was highly useful, though.
2000 AD prog 245

2000 AD prog 246

2000 AD prog 247

2000 AD prog 248

2000 AD prog 249, Rogue Trooper

Possible further reading:

Wednesday, 19 February 2020

February 20th, 1980 - Marvel UK, 40 years ago this week.

If you sometimes feel like you're being kept in the dark, fear not, you're not alone because, in this week of 1980, so were the people of North Africa and West Asia, as those regions were treated to a total solar eclipse. According to Wikipedia, it was the 50th solar eclipse of Solar Saros 130.

Frankly, I don't have a clue what that last bit means.

Rather less thrillingly, three days later, AC/DC frontman Bon Scott died, following a night of heavy drinking in London.

Incredible Hulk #51, Tyrannus

Despite the cover, the issue kicks off with a reprint of the Fantastic Four's first-ever encounter with the Hulk.

The Black Knight finds his way to Camelot.

The Defenders are still out to rescue Jack Norriss from Scorpio but are having trouble giving the Hulk the necessary motivation to fight.

In the Silver Surfer's strip, the Stranger's planted a bomb designed to destroy the Human Race.

The Beast is still grumpy about being furry.

And now he has Iron Man to contend with!

And the Hulk's still polishing off Tyrannus in the Andes.

Star Wars Weekly #104

In this sensational issue, Luke's impressed that Leia's so good at fighting and she tells him of how and where she learned her epic combat skills.

We get a 6-page article about Harrison Ford. I have no doubt it includes the story of how he was fitting a door for George Lucas when he was cast as Han Solo.

Elsewhere, Deathlok's after a mobster who knows the identity of the doctor who turned him into a cyborg.

In this week's Tales of the Watcher, a man becomes famous for writing articles complaining about how a robot replaced him in his old job at a factory.

He then realises that, if it hadn't, he wouldn't have become a famous writer and he, therefore, owes his entire success to that machine.

Spectacular Spider-Man Weekly #363, Swarm

I can exclusively reveal Spider-Man's up against Swarm who's on the rampage at Empire State University.

I can exclusively reveal nothing else about this issue.

However, it is surely enough to know that our hero's facing imminent doom at the hands of a flock of Nazi bees, as they set about trying to sting him to death!

Doctor Who Weekly #19, Romana II

My information about this issue is also limited. However, even I can spot that Romana 2 is on the cover.

I must confess I prefer Romana 1. Her imperiousness seemed far more appropriate for a Time Lord.

As far as I can make out, the issue kicks off with the Doctor in a brand new tale called The Star Beast.

We also get what I suspect is a text adaptation of The Space Museum and a feature on Katy Manning, the only companion I can think of who's ever posed nude with a Dalek.

At least, I hope she is. Please tell me the Brigadier never posed nude with a Dalek.

I suspect we also have more from a man who would never pose nude with a Dalek - and that's Abslom Daak, the man who hates the creatures far too much to even contemplate such a thing.

Sunday, 16 February 2020

Savage She-Hulk #1. The She-Hulk Lives!

Savage She-Hulk #1, John Buscema
If there's anything I love to do on a Sunday night, it's picking up furniture and flinging it around.

That's why I've such a deep affection for the Savage She-Hulk.

OK, admittedly, I don't.

To be honest, when I first read her adventures in whichever Marvel UK book it was that reprinted them, I thought she was as dull as ditchwater and not a patch on Spider-Woman who, at least, had a hint of mystery and trauma about her.

However, as we're somewhere around the fortieth anniversary of the green gal's gamma-spawned debut, that's not going to stop me reviewing the story which introduced her to an awestruck world.

Because he's in LA, and actually has some clothes on, for once, Bruce Banner decides to drop in on his cousin the criminal lawyer Jen Walters because, as we're told, he and she have always been so close they're practically like brother and sister.

That's right. That's the woman he's never mentioned in any story, ever, in his near-two-decade history.

Savage She-Hulk #1, Jen meets BruceNot only that but, when he shows up, it quickly emerges that Jen doesn't even know he's the Hulk, which you would have thought everyone on Earth would be aware of by now. We're also told he's not seen her since he was a student.

Some observers might think they're starting to look suspiciously like total strangers.

Anyway, it turns out Jen's representing a mobster who's been framed by another mobster and, to flush the other mobster out, she's started a rumour that she has evidence against him.

Needless to say, the other mobster's not standing for that kind of thing, so he's sent his men to kill her.

And that's what they do, gunning her down in the street, outside her home.

Savage She-Hulk #1, Jen is shotExcept, it's not what they do, because Bruce just happens to be there and, after defeating the would-be assassins, with a garden hose, he eschews the idea of calling an ambulance and, instead, carries the wounded woman around the streets until he just happens to blunder across a doctor's house.

Thereupon, he breaks in and proceeds to give her a transfusion of his own radioactive blood.

When the police show up to investigate, he turns into the Hulk, off-screen, and smashes out through the wall, never to be seen again in this issue, leaving Jen to the care of the local hospital.

Unfortunately, the other mobster didn't get where he is by giving up just because his men can't cope with a garden hose, and he sends them to the hospital to have another go at killing Jen.

And this attempt's no more successful than the last because, no sooner have they started trying to drug her, than she turns green and starts throwing her weight around.

The crooks flee but she pursues them into the street, forces them to confess their wrongdoings and then hands them over to the police before returning to the hospital to plan her future in crime-fighting.

Savage She-Hulk #1, Jen gets attacked and drugged in her hospital bedIt has to be said, it's not a comic that feels like a huge amount of care's been put into it. The artwork by John Buscema is not his best. It doesn't look as attractive as we're used to. Nor does it have the energy and dynamism we associate with him. A suspicious man might say it feels suspiciously like it's something he's knocked out on auto-pilot.

Likewise, Stan Lee's script doesn't feel like a labour of love either. For the first part of the tale, despite it being her comic, Jen's a supporting character, with the story focusing entirely on Bruce Banner and his concerns. Jen's only allowed to take over as central character once Bruce has fled.

And she doesn't get to be that for long because, within a few panels of it, the She-Hulk arrives and takes over as protagonist. The truth is Stan doesn't seem very interested in Jen, a fault that possibly we might be able to level at The Man when it came to female characters in general, over the course of his writing career.

Savage She-Hulk #1, bed action
Bruce and Jen's clear lack of familiarity with each other, despite us being told they're incredibly close is jarring and yanks you out of the tale, while Bruce carrying Jen around the street, in the hopes he'll just happen to blunder across a doctor's house doesn't seem the best thought-out plan ever.

It does also strike you that the tale seems aimed at fans of the Hulk TV show, rather than those of his comics. The portrayal of Banner here, as a fugitive, fearful of the authorities unearthing his true identity, feels more in line with the Bill Bixby incarnation of the character. He's also never referred to as Bruce in the story, just, "Doc," with Lee claiming, on the splash page, that it doesn't matter what his first name is.

So, overall, it's not a great story - which is to be expected, as it was, reportedly, created for legal reasons, rather than anything else.

However, the one good thing about it is that, thanks to Lee's involvement, its second half does have the feel of a 1960s Marvel super-hero origin tale and, so, it does, at least, bring back warm and fuzzy memories of the Silver Age and the first time we met all those 1960s Marvel characters who so enchanted our childhoods.

Savage She-Hulk #1, She-Hulk appears

Potential further reading:

 

Thursday, 13 February 2020

February 13th, 1980 - Marvel UK, 40 years ago this week.

There are times in life when a man has to do what a man has to do.

And that, no doubt, is why this week in 1980 saw Kenny Rogers ascend to the top of the UK singles chart with his track Coward of the County, that homespun tale of violence and vengeance which somehow managed to convince us it was family-friendly fare.

Happily, elsewhere, people were taking in lighter entertainment as, on this night in that year, the Winter Olympics opened in Lake Placid, New York.

I wish I could claim to have strong memories of it but winter sports aren't that huge a deal in the UK.

I do, though, have a feeling this may have been the year in which Robin Cousins won a gold medal for skating around stylishly.

Incredible Hulk Weekly #50, Spider-Man

A Russian military officer's still trying to blow up America, with a brand new anti-matter bomb.

Fortunately, Spider-Man's around to trick the Hulk into flinging that bomb into Outer Space, for us all.

The Black Knight still has a magic pearl that's sending him power mad.

The Defenders head for the Avengers Mansion and get into a fight with Wonder Man before it dawns on them that they're all on the same side and that stopping Scorpio and Evil Nick Fury might be a good idea.

The Hulk finally defeats Tyrannus in the Andes.

The Silver Surfer's still trying to raise the money to build a machine which can get him through Galactus' space barrier.

And the Beast is still adjusting to being covered in fur and no longer having a $500 vocabulary.

Star Wars Weekly #103, Walt Simonson

I do believe that's a Walt Simonson cover.

I also believe that, inside, Princess Leia's fighting a cat man, for some reason.

I also believe Deathlok's chasing around after a helicopter.

When it comes to this week's tale of the Watcher, it tells of a rich man obsessed with launching a successful mission to a distant planet, until it costs the life of his daughter and he's forced to concede that it was foolish of him to ever dream of reaching that distant world...

...the world known as Earth!

Doctor Who Weekly #18, the Mandrells

Hooray! The Mandrells make the front cover!

The main thought I have about the Mandrells is they always remind me of Barbara Mandrell and the Mandrell Sisters, a nigh-unwatchable Country Music show which used to be on ITV in the 1980s and made you lose the will to live within five seconds of it starting.

As Barbara Mandrell was totally unknown in Britain, it was always a mystery why ITV seemed so remorselessly keen on inflicting her on us all.

Elsewhere, the Doctor is still involved in the adventure known as Timeslip.

We get more of Marvel's Adaptation of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde and we get a text story based on the 1960s Doctor Who serial The Crusade.

On top of all that awesomeness, we get more from Abslom Daak - Dalek Killer.

Spectacular Spider-Man Weekly #362, the Mindworm

But, suddenly, we're back into the realms of mystery because all I know of this issue is that Spider-Man's up against the Mindworm who's using his mental battle with the hero as therapy.

Tuesday, 11 February 2020

The Marvel Lucky Bag - February 1980.

February of 1980 saw the release of a highly memorable batch of movies.

For a start, we got American Gigolo, Mad Max and The Fog.

And, as if that wasn't enough, we also got the box office debut of Caligula, which I've still never seen but I'm sure is a monument to good taste and a worthy companion to the BBC's I, Clavdivs.

We also got the unleashing of a film called Don't Answer the Phone which I'm assuming isn't a comedy and that it, at some point, features the words, "The phone call, it came from inside the house!"

You know what else is coming from inside the house?

This post.

Admittedly, it's coming from inside my house, not yours, so it's marginally less terrifying.

Dr Strange #39

I really don't know what happens in this one but that's a very striking cover by Al Milgrom and, let's be honest, how eye-catching the cover is is 98% of the methodology I use to decide what gets included in this feature.

Marvel Team-Up #90, Spider-Man and the Beast

Speaking of which, I've also included this one purely on the strength of the cover.

Not because it's a particularly good one, because it isn't. I've chosen it just because it's a baffling one.

I don't have a clue what that glowy robot thing is that's doing a King Kong. Nor do I know why some sort of Batman cosplayer is leaping out to greet our heroes.

Apparently, Cissy Ironwode, Killer Shrike and the Modular Man feature in this story. I don't know who any of those people are. I suspect, though, that two of them are on that cover.

She-Hulk #1, John Buscema

History is made, as Bruce Banner's cousin gets her own comic.

If I recall correctly, lawyer Jennifer Walters gets shot by gangsters, thanks to some case she's handling, and Bruce has to give her a blood transfusion because there are no other blood donors in the whole of New York.

Needless to say, it's not long before Jen is bending streetlamps and flinging cars around.

Come to think of it, how does Bruce Banner know how to give blood transfusions? He's a nuclear physicist, not a surgeon.

Tomb of Dracula #3

All I know of this issue is it's packed solid with the work of Marv Wolfman and Gene Colan and that it features a 5-page text article outlining the career of Count Dracula.

I must confess, this sounds like a comic worth having.

What Id #19, Spider-Man never became a crime-fighter

We enter an alternate world in which Spider-Man stopped the crook who was stealing the payroll and, as a result, Uncle Ben was never killed, leaving Peter Parker to pursue his planned career in show business.

Knowing the past form of What If stories, I'm assuming Uncle Ben still somehow ends up being killed, by the end of the book.

ROM #3, Frank Miller

Apparently, Archie Stryker becomes Firefall.

But, let's face it, what really matters about this issue is it has an unignorable cover by Frank Miller.

Marvel Premiere #52, the Klan

It's the issue in which the Panther discovers the Dragon Circle is an offshoot of the Ku Klux Klan, leading him into battle with the Soul Strangler!

If there's any part of you that you don't want strangled, it's your soul.

Let's be honest, you don't want any part of you strangled.

Sunday, 9 February 2020

Forty years ago today - February 1980.

Yesterday was a massive day for all lovers of international sporting contests, as it saw the World Beermat Flipping Championship take place at the Ship and Shovel pub in Hampshire.

And the winner was...

...someone or other.

Amazingly, I can find no coverage of the event on either TV or radio. Nor can I find a single person Tweeting about it. Therefore, it seems I shall have to forever remain in darkness as to the outcome.

But perhaps all hope is not lost because there is one place where I can go in expectation of finding answers.

And that's the contest's official Instagram page...

...which contains no information about the result, whatsoever.

It looks like we're going to have to bury our sorrows in some comics.

Avengers #192

From what I can recall, a worker at the steel plant owned by Wonder Man falls into a vat of molten steel but just happens to have a chunk of Thor's hammer on him.

This turns him into a big, glowy thing which wanders around the plant and is instantly attacked by the Avengers, even though it shows no hostile intent whatsoever.

Conan the Barbarian #107, the Snout in the Dark

More rampantly racist rampaging, as Conan has to protect an innocent white girl from both a demon and every black person she encounters, while everyone bangs on endlessly about each other's skin colour.

Fantastic Four #215, Blastaar

Blastaar's back from the Negative Zone - and he's more powerful than ever!

Then again, the Fantastic Four are back from near-death and they too are more powerful than ever!

Incredible Hulk #244, IT lives!

The Hulk comes up against IT, that giant statue which had its own strip for a brief while.

Sadly, it takes the Hulk barely more than a couple of minutes to reduce the thing to rubble and end its career.
Iron Man #131, the Hulk

If I recall correctly, Tony Stark and Bruce Banner work together to develop a cure for the Hulk. I don't recall whether they succeed but, as the Hulk's still around, I would suspect they don't.

Amazing Spider-Man #210, the Punisher

The Punisher's back - and it can only spell trouble for the criminal underworld.

And for any readers who are fed up of the sight of him by this point

Come to think of it, I don't have a clue just what foe the mismatched pair of crime-fighters are after in this issue.

Spectacular Spider-Man #39, Schizoid Man

ESU has to be the most incident-prone university in history. It barely seems to possess a student or professor who hasn't developed super-powers at some point.

And now it's happened again, as one of Peter Parker's college acquaintances turns out to have mental health problems which lead him to conjure up monsters.

Not that that's what really matters, because I've a feeling this is the issue in which, thanks to Curt Connors' dabblings in science, Spider-Man turns into Spider-Lizard!

Thor #292, Odin vs Thor

Olympus and Asgard are still at war with the Eternals. I suspect that, by this point, everyone involved has forgotten why.

But the big question is, is Odin going to kill Thor?

I'm guessing the answer's no.
Captain America #242, the Avengers

I genuinely don't have a clue what happens in this one.

So, I'm going to guess the Avengers we see on this cover turn out to be illusions and only exist in Cap's fevered imagination.

Uncanny X-Men #130, the Dazzler first appearance

The Dazzler makes her discotastic debut, as the Hellfire Club continues its quest to defeat the X-Men and gain control of the Phoenix.

Fortunately, Kitty Pryde is around to help scupper its evil plans.

Thursday, 6 February 2020

February 6th, 1980 - Marvel UK, 40 years ago this week.

This week in 1980 was an uneventful one, when it comes to the sort of matters that concern this site. I shall, therefore, fling myself straight into the Time Vortex to see what our favourite Marvel UK publications were up to.

Starburst #18

Hooray! Meteor is here!

Granted, that might not be the most exciting news in the world but it does at least manage to provide us with the main feature in this month's book.

Not that it matters, because all anyone with any sense really cares about is that we get a photo of the Liberator from Blake's 7.

It's interesting to see that this month's mag features an article about Project UFO, a show whose name I've heard repeatedly over the years but about which I still remain totally ignorant.

Rampage #20, Hulk

I know nothing of this month's main story but find it unlikely the CIA will be able to hold onto the Hulk for very long.

Things don't look quite so good for the X-Men who find themselves prisoners of Black Tom Cassidy and the Juggernaut.

Fortunately, there are Leprechauns on hand to save them.

And I haven't a clue what the Dr Strange tale involves.

Star Wars Weekly #102, Han and Leia

It's yet another thrilling photo cover, as Luke and Leia stand around, looking at each other.

Inside, our heroes are still being tried for trespass, by some people with wings, and we get a four-page text article about Carrie Fisher.

Elsewhere, Deathlok finds out that someone called Mike has married his wife, while he wasn't looking.

In this week's Tale of the Watcher, a tyrant invades another planet, only to discover the people on it are under the control of a vegetable - a vegetable which now takes him over as well!

Doctor Who Weekly #17, Tom Baker

Hold on. Wait. What? There's a new strip starts this week and it's called Timeslip?

Did Dez think a man of my quality would fail to notice they've stolen the title of a legendary children's TV show of the 1970s?

What next? Children of the Stones?

Anyway, it seems the story involves K-9 disassembling and the Doctor getting younger.

Now that the Invisible Man's out of the way, the comic switches to giving us an adaptation of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde.

But perhaps most importantly of all, we get the start of a whole new story starring Abslom Daak: Dalek Killer, which I'm assuming his first ever appearance.

Will we ever get to see him show up in the TV show proper?

Well, probably not, as I'm sure it would have happened by now, if we were.

Marvel Superheroes #358

I've no memory of the main story but I'm assuming those are the Scarlet Witch's hands, as I can't think of who else they might belong to. I do gather, though, that Count Nefaria's mixed up in it all.

Inside, Jarvis is still being interviewed about life with the Avengers, while the Original X-Men are up against Mesmero, with a little help from Jim Steranko.

But, of course, the big news this month is that we get the origin of the Champions. Surely no man could demand more of a comic.

Savage Sword of Conan #28

My knowledge of this book's contents is virtually zero but I do know we get a full-page Joe Jusko pin-up of Red Sonja sitting on top of a dead dinosaur, and also a pin-up of Conan by Tony DeZuniga.



Spectacular Spider-Man #361, Swarm

This week's cover would appear to contain a pair of blunders, managing to get not only the date wrong but also the story. I do believe the issue actually features the return of the Mind-Worm, when Spidey gets dragged into the villain's dreams.

Incredible Hulk #49, Tyrannus

It's not just the arm from the living flame that's getting more Hulk than it can handle, as, with three Hulk tales in one issue, we are too.

First of all, there's a tale in which he and Spider-Man team up to deal with a Russian military officer who's out to  destroy the United States, with a big bomb.

We also get the Hulk fighting Tyrannus in the Andes.

And, as if that wasn't enough, we get the Hulk not doing an awful lot, as Moon Knight sets about rescuing Jack Norriss from the clutches of Scorpio.

Ant-Man meanwhile captures a teleporting villain by turning his teleporter against him, the Black Knight's up against a giant troll, and the Silver Surfer tries to get a job, in order to fund the construction of a device which might enable him to break through Galactus' space barrier.

But doesn't the Surfer have the power to make things just appear from thin air, thanks to his Power Cosmic? Can't he just make the money appear?

Then again, can't he just make the device appear?

Tuesday, 4 February 2020

The Marvel Lucky Bag - February 1970.

There are certain times when you don't want to be someone who hates Love Grows Where My Rosemary Goes by Edison Lighthouse, and this month in 1970 was one of them.

That's because the mighty track spent the whole of that month at Number One on the UK singles chart, granting no respite to its detractors.

Not, that is, unless they sought sanctuary in the UK album chart, whereupon they'd discover three LPs which managed to seize the very pinnacle in that month.

Those albums were Led Zeppelin II, Motown Chartbusters Vol 3, and Bridge Over Troubled Waters by Simon and Garfunkel.

Those were popular.

These comics weren't quite so popular.

Chamber of Darkness #3

Brace yourself for a descent into mind-numbing terror, as Chamber of Darkness hits its third pulse-pounding issue.

Included in this book are:

Dave scoffs at a tree.

A man opens a box, at the behest of a mysterious woman - and then discovers she's Pandora!

Edgar Allan Poe's The Tell Tale Heart.

With all due respect to Edgar Allan Poe and Pandora, I must confess that Dave scoffing at a tree is the story I most want to read.



Silver Surfer #13, Doomsday Man

A scientist recruits the Surfer's help to deal with an unstoppable robot he's created.

Only for it to turn out the scientist wants to use the robot as a means to hold the world to ransom, thanks to him having granted it access to a cobalt bomb!

Sub-Mariner #22, Dr Strange

Now devoid of a comic of his own, Dr Strange recruits the Sub-Mariner to help him fight the threat of the Undying Ones.

It's a story which leaves Strange trapped in the dimension of the Undying Ones, a fate which will see him needing the help of the Hulk and Barbara Norriss, in the not-too-distant future.

Rawhide Kid #74

I don't have a clue what happens in this one but we haven't heard from the Rawhide Kid for a long time, so, here he is.

Our Love Story #3

It's the comic whose main story asks the question we've all had to ask at some point; "But How Can I Love A Square?"

Sadly, none of this issue's other tales feature titles anywhere near that magnificent but I have no doubt they feature just as much sobbing.