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.


Anonymous said...

Do you by any chance know if that Tomb of Dracula was the first time Marvel credited the interior creators - not counting Jack Kirby (who got a mention on the front of Cap #193 and Black Panther #1), or some "name" writer being adapted - on a cover Steve?

Its bit of a milestone, and good to see - why wouldn't they want to let punters know Gene Colan's work was inside? - although a look online shows they seem to have stopped doing it after the following issue.


Steve W. said...

Sean, I must confess to not having a clue whether that had been done before. I shall cogitate upon the matter and report any revelations I may have.

Timothy Field said...

It's probably not, but on the subject of firsts, is that ToD an early example of US Marvel copying Dez's layout of the UK monthlies?

dangermash said...

That's a great question from Sean.

My first thought was Strange Tales #123 and.a reference to Ditko's take on Thor but the caption I was thinking of was on the splash page, not the cover.

Then there's maybe FF #10 where Stan and Jack appear on the cover. But no mention of Jack being the artist.

But I'm here to claim a no prize. I have the answer. I think Wally Wood may be the first artist to be credited on a cover. Daredevil #5.

Anonymous said...

Good call dangermash. Its out of my hands obviously, but you deserve a much coveted SteveDoesComics no-prize for that.
I recall reading somewhere that Wood got a higher page rate than the other Marvel artists too - like an extra $5 - because... well, because he was Wally Wood. Daredevil #5 was, what,'64, maybe '65? Surely that must be the earliest cover credit.

Btw, not sure what was the first appearance of the SezDez cover format - Marvel Super Special #10 maybe? - but we've definitely seen it in earlier Lucky Bags, even before the feature covered Tomb of Dracula #1.


Killdumpster said...

Steve, CALIGULA is way over-the-top. Not for the faint of soul. Being a large Malcolm McDowell fan, it makes A Clockwerk Orange seem like an episode of Mr. Rogers' Neighborhood.

Hmmm... Now I'm wondering if Mr. Rogers ever made it into the UK...

Killdumpster said...

Since I didn't have any of the comics listed, and know more about the films Steve has mentioned, this was definety in the time period in which I was more concerned about dating, drive-inns, intoxicants, & gasoline.

Mad Max in 1980? Steve, do you think that may have been the sequel to Mad Max, Road Warriors (American Title)?

Ah, the Fog & Don't Answer The Phone. When Jamie Lee Curtis, Adrianne Barbeau, & Carol Kane were still young, tasty treats.

Buy the way, I didn't see CALIGULA till I was in school at the 'Burgh. It was showing in an "Art Theater". A few of my fellow students & I went together.

One female friend got up and left, and some fellow got up to run to the restroom and vomited in the aisle.

Killdumpster said...

I can't remember if the guy dumped his cookies after seeing the "buttered-fist-into-anus" scene, or the "buried-to-their-necks-giant spiky rollers- running-over-their-heads" scene.

There's more stuff, but little ones may view your site, Steve.

That film certainly has impact. Lol.

Killdumpster said...

Yes, Steve, The phone calls came from inside of the house. In the early part of the film, then again at the end.

Killdumpster said...

Caligula was produced by the publisher of Penthouse magazine. Some of the other veteran actors, like Peter O'Toole (no pun intended), said they had no idea that the film would have such nudity & graphic sex.

I kinda find that hard to believe.

As far as the Fog goes, if you folks have never seen the original or the remake, the first is tops.

The newer one is Godawful.

Redartz said...

Another early cover credit for an artist- Wally Wood again. Avengers 20, touting Wood's inks. Which, incidentally, he also performed over Kirby's pencils on said cover. A gem...

Saw the Fog, enjoyed it. Saw Caligula in college; didn't enjoy it. Couldn't believe what I was seeing. Still can't.

Anonymous said...

A Marvel Pop Art production in fact Redartz (Avengers #20, not Caligula, obviously).
Thanks for the pointer - I am in awe of the SteveDoeesComics hive-mind in action! Its after the DD cover, but I am astonished that the second artist to get a Marvel cover credit seems to have been er, Don Heck.
Ok, it was just as "Don", but still... Dare I suggest any "art lovers" attracted by the blurb may well have been a little disappointed...


Charlie Horse 47 said...

I am most impressed with everyone's powers of recall!

Wally Wood on EC sci-fi... brilliant. Between him and Williamson it was all genius work!

And Steranko's Nick Fury 6, of Nick in space in front of the exploding planet, is indeed a tribute to Wally (the left arm and hand is identical to a Wally drawing). The master doing a tribute to the master.

Wally Wood on Daredevil... didn't do a thing for me.

Did Wood on DD really do it for you chaps?

Redartz said...

Charlie- it's been too long since I read any of those Wood DD's to speak with any certainty. But I do have the magnificent Daredevil 7 on my tablet, that battle with Subby is truly epic. And it's a visual feast, to these (admittedly nearsighted) eyes...

Anonymous said...

Not me Charlie, or even Wally Wood himself it seems.
Although to be fair, he did create Stilt-Man...


Steve W. said...

All I can say is thanks to all of you for the Caligula info.

Charlie Horse 47 said...

I'm not sure if "thanks" is the word, Steve Does Everything... Once you get a mental visual of a buttery fist, it's hard to unvisualize it LOL.

dangermash said...

Avengers #20 is a good spot, Redartz.

But now that we have the first cover credits for penciller and for an inker (both Wally Wood), where's the first cover credit for a writer?

I don't think I'll bother asking about letterers.

Anonymous said...

To get the ball rolling dangermash, I'll point to the aforementioned Cap #193 - Kirby was the writer as well as artist.


Killdumpster said...

Buttery fists... " they're not just for breakfast anymore!" Lol!

Killdumpster said...

I always loved Wally Wood, but now that I know he created Stilt Man, in my mind he has achieved God-like status.

Charlie Horse 47 said...

You know... I have this god awful visual of reaching into the long "cup" of buttery popcorn with hands getting oily from the faux butter, while watching that scene at the theatre and frankly it makes we want to woof my cookies, lol.

Killdumpster said...

"I can't believe it's not butter"...AARRRGH!!!!

Anonymous said...

I'm not sure of the issue number (or if this counts) but there was a hilarious issue of Thor that I used to have where Hercules broke the fourth wall on the cover by shoving Thor aside and proclaiming that Walt Simonsen was on vacation so he was as well.


Anonymous said...

I haven't seen Caligula either or I, Clavdivs but I know Christopher Biggins played Nero in the latter.

Steve W. said...

And Brian Blessed's it too, Colin, though I can't remember who he plays. One of the emperors.