Sunday, 8 March 2020

Forty years ago today - March 1980.

There was once a cinema newsreel series called The March of Time which covered the events of the day and ended each report with the words, "Time marches on!"

And you know what? It was right.

So, let's fling ourselves into that very march.

But not the March of Time.

The March of 1980.

Even though, admittedly, none of these comics actually came out in March.

Avengers #93, Inferno

The steelworker who fell into a huge big cauldron, along with a chunk of Thor's hammer, is still on the rampage and out for revenge against the people responsible for him falling in.

Can the Avengers stop him?

No, they can't.

I bet the FF would've stopped him.

And Thor.
Conan the barbarian #108

It's more of the usual; Conan rescuing a damsel in distress and seeing off various menaces along the way.

Captain America #243

An evil but enfeebled zillionaire steals one of SHIELD's LMDs so he can have his brain transplanted into it.

Unfortunately, it all goes horribly wrong!

And it's Captain America who's going to have to sort out the mess!

Incredible Hulk #245

The Hulk heads back to Gamma Base or Hulkbuster Base or whatever it's called this week, in an attempt to retrieve Jarella's body and return it home.

But, to do that, he'll have to see off Glenn Talbot who's decided to put on a Mandroid suit and slug it out with him.

And, if that's not enough, now Captain Marvel shows up!

Spectacular Spider-Man #40, Spider-Lizard

Still trapped in the form of Spider-Lizard, our now-brainless hero goes berserk in New York City - and only Curt Connors can stop him!

Uncanny X-Men #131, the White Queen

I think this is the one where Phoenix and the White Queen have a completely one-sided fight which blows up half the neighborhood and causes Scott to start worrying about Jean's power-levels.

Iron Man #132, the Hulk

Having turned Bruce Banner permanently into a permanently angry Hulk - in a totally useless attempt to cure him - Iron Man now has to work out a way to stop the brute.

Thor #293

Weirdest story of the month has to go to Thor who has to fight a giant eyeball to find out just what the link is between Odin and the Celestials.

Daredevil #163, the Hulk

The Hulk's busy this month. Not only is he tangling with Iron Man but he has to take on Daredevil.

I know what you're thinking. You're thinking, "But, Steve, how can DD possibly take on the Hulk?"

And the answer is he can't. He has about as much luck against Hulkie as he once did against the Sub-Mariner.

Amazing Spider-Man #202, the Punisher

Spidey and the Punisher take on some minor crooks in a tale I can claim to know little of.

Fantastic Four #216

After being mugged, a scientist friend of Reed Richards turns himself into a Watcher-type being, teams up with Blastaar, un-teams up with Blastaar and then leaves the Earth behind, in search of better things.



Killdumpster said...

The only book I had out of today's post was the Iron Man issue. Shellhead vs. Greenskin was always an interesting battle.

Hulk looked kinda small on the cover, though.

Maybe DD battled Hulk after he didn't pay his lawyer fee from when Matt Murdock defended him in court years earlier.

Killdumpster said...

Inferno's origin reminds me of a really bizarre story. My father worked at a steel mill where a co-worker committed suicide by jumping into a cauldron of molten steel.

That seemed like a horrible way to go, but my dad said he was instantly vaporized.

About 3 years later, while working for a home improvement company, I installed windows & screendoors for his widow.

She screeched & screamed at us like a harpy on cocaine from the time we knocked on her door till the job was done.

She couldn't have been more b*itchy if she was exposed to Gamma/Cosmic rays, then got a nuclear-powered cattle-prod up her butt.

My pals and me agreed the poor guy was better off.

It was basically around the time of Inferno's appearance. I wonder if that was the inspiration, being that Shooter was from the 'Burgh and may have heard about it.

Killdumpster said...

Wish I would've read that Spider-Lizard story. I always dig it when heroes are temporarily transformed, like when Spidey grew extra arms.

Back in the late 60's. DC put out bubblegum packs with stickers of their comics covers. One sticker I had seemed to be a Batman cover where Bats was transferred into a tiger-guy, about to pounce on Robin. Did anyone read that?

Once I bought a Brave & The Bold, co-starring Metamorpho, just because Bats turned into Bat-HULK. That was a goofy fun story, but I wished I would of bought one of a number of Marvel books from the rack instead.

Charlie Horse 47 said...

Wow, wow, wow... Hulk on 3 covers! But only one says he is a "TV something or another."

Funny how Hulk became more mindless when Stark tried to help him, like Spidey became more Spidey-ish when he took the drug in ASM 100 - 102.

Did any of the other heroes try to lose their powers or the inspiration for them? Certainly Thing did... but...

- Did DD try to get vision?
- Did Don Blake try to walk without a stick?
- Did Stark get a heart transplant?

Just askin...

Well, until all of Britain starts watching the Queen' Xmas day speech again, MAKE MINE MARVEL!!!

Charlie Horse 47 said...

SDC - isn't their an international Snookers match coming up in the People's Republic of Sheffield soon???

Also, do they eat Meat Pies at Snookers Tournaments? Or is it just a soccer thing?

I just imagine a meat pie exploding all over the green felt... ouch!

Anonymous said...

Not a great crop of comics here (except for maybe Daredevil) but Marvel's output as a whole wasn't great. The Avengers wasn't too bad, I guess. Personally, I couldn't stand Claremont or the X-Men. A lot of it seemed to be characters standing around talking about what bad-asses they are. "Hear me X-Men! I am no longer Jean Grey! Now and forever more I am the Phoenix!"
On another note, I don't imagine you guys in the U.K. have Daylight Savings. It kicked in over here last night. Basically you lose an hour on the second Sunday in March and then gain one on the first Sunday in November.
It's a bit disorienting in the late winter but you wind up with an extra hour of sleep for one day in the fall.
This is a pagan practice, dating back to when our ancient ancestors worshipped the Elder Gods and committed unspeakable rites to insure the orderly passage of the seasons.
In dark corners of the continent like Iowa, for example, in remote little villages they still sacrifice people to the Corn God, He Who Walks Behind the Rows.
I know, because I'm originally from there. It's a standard Lutheran practice. In other places it's the Great Pumpkin.


TC said...

KD, the were-tiger image sounds like Batman #209 (cover date Feb. 1969; probably on sale Dec. 1968). The D-list villain Mister Esper, aka Brainwash, used a hypnotic gadget to cause hallucinations, including people turning into half human/half animal monsters.

dangermash said...

Charlie - I think it was issue 8 or 9 of DD when Karen drags Matt out to some scientist who lives in a European castle in the hope that he can cure his blindness. The scientist has some scam running and ends up dressed as a knight & fighting with DD. A real come down after the Sub-Mariner story not long before.

And with Iron Man, I think there was some point in the Bronze Age when the whole Stan-Lee-hero-with-a-weakness thing was getting tiresome and his heart problems were sorted.

The ones that lost their powers tended to be the ones that liked them and wanted them back. Quicksilver and Scarlet Witch got drained and needed a break to recharge at some point in Avengers #30-50 (when the wasp was back and Stan/Roy couldn’t possibly allow more than one woman in the team - Happy Women's Day!). And Mr Fantastic had to go back into space at some point to get his powers back - maybe not long before FF #200?

Steve W. said...

Charlie, the World Snooker Championship will be starting in a few weeks from now. People definitely don't eat pies while watching it. The audience is expected to be silent and still during play. Basically, they have to act like they're in the world's strictest library.

MP, we do have daylight savings. Nobody likes it but the government always refuses to get rid of it. In winter, we're on Greenwich Mean Time. In summer, we're on British Summer Time.

Anonymous said...

Steve, I figure we all gotta account for...or make accommodations for...uh, the, er, tilt of the Earth. Which is currently around 23.4 degrees.
Or so I'm told. I'm not that good at math or science.


Charlie Horse 47 said...

MP - this clock switching is a real, real PAIN b/c I get screwed when the Brits do it and when we do it.

I listen to Talk Sport from the UK live stream on my smart phone. Their most popular show comes on at 13:00 their time. That equates to 7 AM our time when I am driving my skinny white ass to work.

But today, when I leave at 7 AM it will be 12:00 UK time which means I hear some other talk show.

This is a true "first world" problem and I have no idea how I will get through this until the UK changes their clocks (I am guessing in a few weeks?).

I could self medicate but I will just focus on the upcoming reports from SDC on the championship snookers and the (hopefully!) photos he will provide.


Killdumpster said...

It takes me 2 weeks to adjust to Daylight Savings time-changes. I loathe it.

Killdumpster said...

TC, thanks for the Batman info.

Colin Jones said...

Charlie, British clocks go forward one hour at 2am on Sunday, 29th March.

Anonymous said...

Daredevil was probably the best comic here Steve, although it got much better when Roger McKenzie left and Frank Miller started to write as well draw it.
John Byrne was a good choice for artist on the FF, but #216 was a bit dull otherwise - the series was much better when he started writing it too.
And Thor was really terrible for ages, til Walt Simonson came back on the art and also wrote it.

You have to wonder why Marvel didn't just sack all their writers - the comics really seemed to improve without them...


dangermash said...

If you're going to comment on the poor quality of material being churned out by Marvel at this time, Sean, don't forget ASM #201-209. The 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th, 6th, 7th, 8th, 9th and 10th worst ASM issues up to this point in time. Only that Chameleon; story in #186 is worse.

Anonymous said...

Well, ASM didn't quite fit with my idea to get rid of the writers and just let the artists get on with it dangermash, and I'm not overly familiar with those issues anyway.
But looking at the cover of #202 I've little doubt you're right, and assume the Punisher is annoying in that issue.
To paraphrase a wise man here a couple of months ago, why doesn't Spidey just smash the Punisher's face in?


Fantastic Four follower said...

In response to Dangermash I loved Daredevil #9 which featured Wally Wood artwork. I wonder did Stan come up with the story just to show off Woods classic artwork in an historical/EC comics type setting which basically allowed Wood to blow his artistic contemporaries away! Obviously I rate him highly and now that I think of it, Daredevil #5, featured a fancy dress cover and story which again highlighted his superb artwork.He also inked Avengers 20-22 and Ironman in Tales of Suspense #71 which are worth checking out.

Anonymous said...

K.D., when it comes to ways of adjusting to the time change during Daylight Savings Time, have you considered just getting drunk and passing out?
Sure, you're gonna wake up disoriented, but it will be a familiar sort of disorientation.

I'm only here to help.


Charlie Horse 47 said...

C'mon March 29! Thanks for providing me hope Colin!!!

Anonymous said...

Wow -- out of all those, I only bought the Daredevil and X-Men. Amazed to see I'd cut back on my monthly Marvel consumption by that much by 1980.

- b.t.

Killdumpster said...

My man! You're a fragging genius!! Lmao!!!

Anonymous said...

In the '80's I abandoned Marvel and shuffled on over to D.C., grumbling and cursing all the while.


Anonymous said...

How many months ahead of March were these released? I recall buying Avengers, Cap, Hulk , X-Men and Daredevil. Whilst I would have bought one or two as back issues, this seems a lot of comics in a single month for a fiscally challenged 12 year old. I suspect they may have dropped in January and there was Christmas money involved.

I guess Miller, Byrne and Simonson are the big three writer/artists of the 1980s and so we're heading towards a sweet spot.


Steve W. said...

DW, I think Marvel comics typically came out around three months before the cover date. I could not say that for certain, though.

Anonymous said...

That was newstand distribution in the UK Steve. Worth pointing out though that in comic shops - which were appearing more outside London at the start of the 80s - direct market imports were on sale at the same time as in the US (ie a few months before the cover date).
So if you lived anywhere near a specialist outlet you had two opportunities a few months apart to buy American comics as new issues.

I was like M.P. (I know, but what can you do? - its how things were at the time) and became more interested in DC, as their creative revival after the lows of the late 70s started sooner than Marvel's.