Tuesday, 10 March 2020

The Marvel Lucky Bag - March 1980.

The Marvel Lucky Bag. Just how lucky will it be for us this month?

There's only one way to find out.

And this is that way.

Marvel Treasury Edition #25, Hulk vs Spider-Man

Weren't the 1980 Winter Olympics held at Lake Placid?

If so, never has a place been less appropriately named because, judging by that cover, there's nothing placid about it.

And, also, is this a brand new story, written purely for this treasury edition? If so, I would've thought that makes it a special beast indeed.

Whatever the truth of the matter, it seems to involve the Mole Man, Kala and various other underground and geologically-based foes.

Beyond that, I can say little, other than the cover's by Al Milgrom and Jack Abel, and the insides are by Happy Herb Trimpe.

Star Wars King-Size Annual #1, Walt Simonson

At last! Sci-fi's mightiest franchise gets its own annual, a mere three years after Marvel started doing tales about it!

Given the importance of the licence in keeping the company alive, it does seem odd that it took so long for Marvel to accord it the honour.

Regardless, I do believe that's a Walt Simonson cover and that it featured, very recently, on the front of Marvel UK's Star Wars comic.

King Conan #1, Marvel Comics, Thoth-Amon

Not content with having two comics, Conan now has three!

Bearing in mind he was allowed to have so many books, we must conclude he was a man who knew how to shift comics. It's a remarkable achievement, considering he only had about two stories, which got repeated endlessly with the names changed.

I know nothing of what happens in this tale but I do know this issue includes a feature in which Roy Thomas talks about the history of Conan since the early 1930s and reveals his plans for the future of the strip.

Needless to say, John Buscema is the artist on this book.

Marvel Two-In-One #61, the Thing and Starhawk, Her

I do believe the grammatically challenging Her makes her senses-shattering - and gender-bending - debut when former Hulk foe Paragon transforms himself into a female version of Adam Warlock.

I'm not sure how The Thing and Starhawk come to be involved.

Marvel Spotlight #5, Dragon Lord

I've no previous knowledge of this story's existence but it features dragons and it's from the pencil of Steve Ditko. It is, therefore, guaranteed to intrigue me.

Apparently, it's about a modern-day technology expert who defeats his monstrous foe, with the aid of a barbecue grill, which is not what I would have guessed from either the cover or the strip's title.

The internet informs me the tale was meant to be a Godzilla story but had to be rewritten and redrawn when Marvel lost the rights to the character.

Whether Godzilla was defeated, in the original version, by a barbecue grill, I could not say.


McSCOTTY said...

Dragon Lord is a nice little book with some lovely Ditko art, well worth picking up. Wasnt aware it was meant to be a Godzilla story but that explains a lot .

dangermash said...

So Hulk is up against Glenn Talbot, Daredevil, Iron man and now Spider-Man all in the same month? Is he in a Defenders comic top?

dangermash said...

Ah, yes he is. So he's up against Ytitnedion too. That's No Identity backwards. Do I get a no prize?

Steve W. said...

Dangermash, the Hulk is indeed in The Defenders that month. In fact, as far as I can ascertain, he appeared in no less than seven Marvel books that month.

They were:

Daredevil #163
Defenders #81
Incredible Hulk #245
Iron Man #132
Marvel Super Action #17
Marvel Super-Heroes #87
Marvel Treasury Edition #25.

McScotty, I shall definitely have to track down a copy and see how Godzillaesque it is.

Steve W. said...

And, Dangermash, you definitely deserve that No-Prize.

Anonymous said...

I've read that Two-In-One story Steve - Her tried (I see what you mean by grammatically challenging) to find Him/Warlock through Alicia, which is how the Thing became involved; he got in touch with the Avengers for help who weren't around, but the Guardians of the Galaxy were still staying at the mansion, so Starhawk turned up.
(Somewhat surprising the Guardians were still there so long after all that Korvac stuff, but I suppose we've all had house guests like that at some point)

Moondragon also turned up somehow, because... well, because she was a bit cosmic too, and a continued story in a team-up book needed a different co-star for the next issue.


Steve W. said...

Thanks for that explanation, Sean. It suddenly all makes sense to me.

Charlie Horse 47 said...

Clearly the Hulk was still TV's newest, greatest, or greenest sensation and needed to be featured on as many comics as possible?

Killdumpster said...

It would be interesting to see Trimpe's rendition of Spider-Man, as I don't think I've ever seen him draw Spidey before.

While I dug Herb's Hulk and Iron Man, his more athletically inclined characters always seemed a little stiff. Hope he had a good inker.

Steve W. said...

I think I remember Herb drawing Spider-Man in about one panel in The Incredible Hulk #152 but, other than that, I can't recall him ever drawing the character.

Killdumpster said...

Heck, Steve, I can't remember that!

Lets face it, though. Trimpe probably wouldn't be a first contender to take over a Spidey book.

Killdumpster said...

Neither he nor Sal Busema had the motion flow in their design like Ditko, Romita, Colan & Kane.

Killdumpster said...

Forgot to mention Ross Andru. That guy did great Spidey.

Anonymous said...

Happy Herb was the regular artist on Marvel Team Up around '81/'82 (including an annual written by Frank Miller, which is the main reason I remember him working on the series).


Killdumpster said...

Wow, Sean, oh my brother!

That truly is a revelation!

Being notso comics-minded during the early 80's, I'd love to check out those Trimpe Team-Ups. Just for the oddity of Herb on Spidey. Its gotta be more entertaining than our pal Sal.

In the early to mid 70's Marvel Team-Up was one of my favorite books. More often than not it was the only Spidey-related book I could buy off the rack.

Steve W. said...

KD, if I remember right, in that Hulk issue, the FF and Daredevil are fighting the Hulk at an airport when Spidey show up, asks if he's needed, gets told he's not and promptly swings right back out again, never to be seen again in the story.

Sean, thanks for the Marvel Team-Up info. That was something I tee was unaware of.

Anonymous said...

Herb Trimpe was full of surprises in the early 80s Steve - who'd have expected him to bring Barry Smith back to Marvel either, as his inker?


Anonymous said...

My memory of that TEAM-UP ANNUAL by Miller and Trimpe is a bit hazy, but isn’t that the one where the Purple Man turns a bunch of people into a mob of ravaging madmen and sics ‘em on our heroes? I seem to recall a full page splash that was SUPPOSED to be a “money shot” of hundreds of possessed New Yorkers attacking Spidey and Co. — but apparently Herb said “Screw THAT, they’re not paying me enough!” and instead drew Moon Knight and Spidey running away from the camera, in pretty tight close-up, with Spidey looking back over his shoulder. To make any sense of it at all, Miller (or possibly the editor) had to give Spidey a balloon that literally says something like, “Run, Moon Knight! There are hundreds of possessed New Yorkers attacking us!” It’s kinda brilliant.

- b.t.

Anonymous said...

Yeah, thats the one b.t. Luke Cage and Iron Fist were co-stars too.

Didn't know that about the splash - good for Herb! You'd think being an artist too Miller would have been more aware than most writers of practicalities like that, and avoided a large crowd scene.
But I suppose if comic book artists had more of a sense of solidarity their page rates would have been better anyway...