Tuesday, 2 June 2020

The Marvel Lucky Bag - June 1970.

Thanks to Charlie Horse 47 and Killdumpster for their sponsorship of this post, via the magic of Patreon.

Grab your bucket and spade because it's officially summer!

How do I know that?

Because the Number One spot on the UK singles chart for the whole of this month in 1970 was held by Mungo Jerry's In the Summertime, the track that cheerfully told us all to go drink-driving.

Over on the album chart, more sober things were afoot, as Simon and Garfunkel's Bridge Over Troubled War dominated that summit for the entirety of June.

Meanwhile, the cinemas of the world were being exposed, for the first time, to Two Mules for Sister Sara, Beyond the Valley of the Dolls and Kelly's Heroes.

Obscure movie release of the month was The Strawberry Statement which was, it seems, a film about the Student Revolt, inspired by James Simon Kunen's book covering the Columbia University protests of 1968.

Captain Marvel #20, the Rat Pack

If I remember correctly, Rick Jones decides the best man to help he and Marvy finally escape each other's company is Bruce Banner.

How he concludes that a man whose specialty is building bombs is the best-qualified man to free the pair of them from the Negative Zone, I've no idea. I'd have thought Reed Richards might be better suited for that.

But it does, inevitably, mean we'll have the chance to see Mar-Vell fight the Hulk, thanks to Banner's famously calm temperament.

But, before he can do that, the hero has to deal with a bunch of thieving criminals.

Chamber of Darkness #5

In this month's thrilling issue, a pilot, who survived his plane crashing, comes to realise the incident has left him inconveniently dead, we get an adaptation of HP Lovecraft's The Music of Erich Zann, and a Denny O'Neil tale called The Beast From the Bog.

Maybe it's just me but it always feels strange to see a Denny O'Neil credited tale in a Marvel comic.

Silver Surfer #17

"There's NO other choice! It's SHIELD -- or ME!"

Somehow, that doesn't seem a very Silver Surfer kind of thing to declare.

Regardless, inside the comic, under orders from Mephisto, our hero attacks SHIELD's HQ, not realising the villain has landed Shalla-Bal a typing job there.

Sub-Mariner #26, Red Raven

Subby decides to revive Red Raven, who's been found lying dormant in a tube.

Unfortunately, it turns out the winged wonder's gone completely mad and wants to destroy humanity.

Needless to say, the Atlantean Prince has something to say about that.

I've always had a soft spot for Red Raven, as he was one of the first Marvel characters I ever encountered. It saddens me to see him suffering such a fate.

Our Love Story #5, Allan Stone

It's the chance to sob our hearts out, once more, to pillow-drenching tales of love and romance; this time, inflicted upon us by Allan Stone, amongst other knee-trembling heartthrobs.


Anonymous said...

"'War' Cries the Raven!"
The Sub-Mariner certainly did have something to say about Red Raven wanting to destroy humanity Steve, which seemed a bit ridiculous in light of his own history with the surface dwellers.

The major knee-trembling heartthrob in Our Love Story #5 was Jaunty Jim Steranko, making romance comics great again with the striking "My Heart Broke In Hollywood", his last story for Marvel.


Timothy Field said...

I was fortunate enough to see Mungo Jerry perform at a wedding in the 80s, not that they had actually fallen that far, I think the groom's brother was the drummer at the time.

Charlie Horse 47 said...

Mungo Jerry - our Ukulele group leader has us play that every summer. It's boring as hell to hear 50 people play that song on a Uke and just as boring to play. Maybe it has 2 hordes? That's why it didn't beat out Bridge Over Troubled Water, fwiw.

Charlie Horse 47 said...

Kelly's Heroes - it's one of the few war films I'll watch every few years. When you juxtapose the understated Eastwood against Don Rickles, Donald Sutherland, Archie Bunker, the German Colonel guarding the vault with his Tiger Tank... It just works beautifully!!!

Sutherland's "negative vibes" remarks are almost up there with "here's looking at you."

Charlie Horse 47 said...

I've never read any of these comics and remember nothing about them which is strange. Or maybe not... who wants to read a pepsi-colored Mar-vell's stories? Not Charlie... gimme green or go home!

Killdumpster said...

"In The Summertime" was a treasured '45 in my childhood record collection. Right up there with my Banana Splits mail-always.

It's still a fav song of mine. I own Mungo Jerry's Greatest Hits on CD. Wanna copy, Charlie? Lol!

Man, Two Mules For Sister Sarah. That and Hitchcock's The Trouble With Harry are my favorite Shirley MacLaine films. She was such a tasty treat when she was young. I've always had a soft-spot for cute/sexy crazy redheaded women.

Subby was the only book I got that month. Too bad Marvel was bent on making him a villain. Sure he was in the Liberty Legion in the Invaders series, but it could have been great to have him as a hero during modern times.

The Defenders would have been a great title for him. Especially in the later years. They could have kicked out their lame, winged members Gargoyle & Angel.

Killdumpster said...

I was talking about Red Raven. It was the 5th time I tried to respond.

Anonymous said...

You'd think Namor and Red Raven could have talked out their differences, but they didn't seem to even remember each other from teaming up in the Invaders/Liberty Legion days.
Its almost as if Roy Thomas was just making things up as he went along, without a plan.


Charlie Horse 47 said...

Sean - I have to agree! It's a wonder Boy Roy didn't also introduce Whizzer and Chips in Subby as well!

Anonymous said...


Interestingly (or not) the British release of 'In the Summertime' was a 33 1/3 maxi single.

I just flipped through Our Love Story #5 online and it must have had the best artwork of this month's comics by a mile. Buscema/Giacoia, Colan/Romita and then Steranko.


cerebus660 said...

Those Sub-Mariner and Captain Marvel issues were two of the first comics I ever owned and still hold a special place in my heart.

Obscure fact time: Roy Thomas once proposed a comic starring the Red Raven, Bucky and ( I think ) Triton. Funnily enough that titanic trio never made it to print.

Anonymous said...

Charlie, any thoughts on whether Namor would have been a Whizz Kid or a Chip-ite?


Killdumpster said...

Wow! Extended version of "Summertime"?! Were there more lyrics, or just a longer motorboat segment? Lol.

Charlie Horse 47 said...

KD, DW - that weird sound in the middle of Summertime, when the music stops, is a motorboat??? Seriously? I've never met anyone who knew what it was!

ANyhow, if the didn't have that "washboard" click... click-click sound in the middle it would not be the same. The washboard made it.

The motor boat... i remember endless discussions about "what the heck is that." LOL

Killdumpster said...

Triton was a member of a made-up team when I drew comics & covers in grade school. He was primarily in it because he was fun to draw.

You never know, though. There might have been some serious swimming business that needed taken care of.

Roy thought about a Red Raven, Bucky(?), Triton team? Must've been a bit of LSD floating around the bullpen.

Anonymous said...

DW: yes, OUR LOVE STORY 5 wins Best Art of this batch, hands down. Steranko’s super-stylish Bob Peak / Peter Max mash-up pastiche gets all the attention but the other two stories are gorgeous too. Funny story — I bought my copy of this comic from Steranko himself at San Diego Comic Con about 15 years ago. It was pretty beat-up, cover still attached but barely, and wrinkly as hell. He wanted $40 for it. I said, ‘40 bucks, seriously? In this condition?’ He kinda sheepishly said ‘Okay, twenty’ , I handed over the dough and walked away well pleased with myself. Until I realized I hadn’t gotten him to sign the thing! Dumb-ass.

I used to love the Thomas/Kane/Adkins run of CAPTAIN MARVEL. I still dig the art but find Roy’s writing almost unbearable these days. Mar-Vell’s OTT pompous incantatory speechifying reads like a bad parody of Stan Lee at his worst.

- b.t.

Anonymous said...

Oh, and as for ‘In the Summertime’ — can anyone tell me what ‘you can shish right out and gurge the spa’ means?


Killdumpster said...

I thought it was "shish right up and touch the sky"

Maybe "shish" was slang for "jump"?

Killdumpster said...

Man, "gurge the spa" is putting unpleasant thoughts in my head.

Killdumpster said...

Now, I may have liked to "gurge the spa" with a young Shirley MacLaine.

Steve W. said...

Bt and KD, I can exclusively reveal that, in In The Summertime, Ray Dorset is singing, "You can stretch right up and touch the sky."

Obviously, he's wrong. You can't.

Unless you're Reed Richards.

Charlie, KD, DW, that was a motorboat? I've always assumed it was just a not very good sports car.

Cerebus, that sounds like a super-hero team that could have rivalled The Champions for popularity.

Sean and Charlie, I don't know about Namor but I loved Whizzer and Chips equally.

Tim, did they just do that song, or were there others from their repertoire? From what I remember, Ray Dorset also wrote Kelly Marie's Disco smash Feels Like I'm in Love. I would've loved to hear Mungo Jerry do that one with a washboard.

Steve W. said...

Good grief! I've just discovered Ray Dorset wrote Feels Like I'm in Love for Elvis Presley!

Tragically, The King never got round to recording it.

I feel like the world missed out on something truly awesome.

Killdumpster said...

It's amazing that "In The Summertime" had so many mysteries that needed solved!

Charlie Horse 47 said...

Well, that song is one of those things that just sticks in your head... And per the Wikipedia the mystery is finally solved:

In an interview with Gary James, Dorset (the lead singer and writer of in the Summer Time) explained the origin of the "motorcycle" sound towards the false ending in the middle of the song: "I said, 'We'll just get a recording of a motorcycle, stick it on the end of the song and then re-edit the front and then put the front off to the motorcycle so it starts up again.' But I couldn't find a motorcycle. Howard Barry, the engineer had an old, well, it wasn't old then, a Triumph sports car, which he drove past the studio while Barry Marrit was holding the microphone. So, he got the stereo effects from left to right or right to left, whatever. And that was it."

Charlie Horse 47 said...

Today is a day of many startling revelations:

First Charlie learned that it's a Triumph sports car making the "In the Summertime" noise.

Second Mungo Jerry is a Brit group. I figured they were from Kentucky! I swear! (Sheffield?)

Third, this thing sold 30,000,000 copies!

Charlie Horse 47 said...

Did you know that the cat who designed Elvis's jump suit also designed same for the Osmond family?

Sean, Steve, Colin, KD, and the rest of you lot! I beg of you to watch the attached link. It may go a long way towards evening the scales of justice for the indignities you tortured Charlie with: Plastic Bertrand, Japanese, Boy, Boney M... (It is safe for home viewing... just like the aforementioned videos LOL)


Charlie Horse 47 said...

Did you know Joe Rush played the washboard for Mungo Jerry? CHarlie didn't... until today!

Anonymous said...

I am delighted to hear that it’s a Triumph feebly revving up in that “In The Summertime” music break — I always thought it sounded like a ratty old sports car, not a motorbike or a motorboat. Honestly, I was already reeling from the idea that there are ukuleles in the song, and that there are, in fact, no such verbs as “shish” and “gurge”. I don’t think I could have handled one more thing.

- b.t.

Killdumpster said...

Man, I thought for sure it was a motorboat. It sounded just like the clunky one my dad had in the 60's.

Guess I "shished" right into a "gurge the spa" moment. Lol.

New blog site coming soon... because you demanded it!


Killdumpster said...


I'm going to use the terms "shish" and "gurge" in everyday conversations now, until they appear in Webster's Dictionary.

Anonymous said...

Shish your gurge sn't that a banjo rather than a uke on In The Summertime?
I suppose it could be a banjolele. Still, either way, you have to give it to them getting a hit as late as 1970 with a sound like that - sorta the last gasp of skiffle.
"Ey, wheres me washboard?"


Steve W. said...

Charlie, there is a copy of Crazy Horses sitting no more than 12 feet away from me, right now.

While we're dwelling on In the Summertime, I feel we should acknowledge the existence of the noticeably similar Pushbike Song which was a global hit a year later: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3LZ9TGOGt04

Anonymous said...

I think the UK 33 had an extra track rather than an extended mix. Its main advantage was that someone's drunk aunt, at some early 70s party, could put it on at the wrong speed. Obviously much hilarity would follow as several other aged relatives will attempt the can't dance shuffle at the wrong speed. Or perhaps that was just my relatives...


Killdumpster said...

I would have bought a ticket for that show.

Redartz said...

Hmmmm, I never saw any of those films until adulthood. At that point in time I was limited to Disney fare. Probably saw "The Love Bug" or some such that summer.

That Love Story book looks incredible. Colan inked by Romita! I'd love to get a look at that. But for now, I'd better go shish my gurge...

dangermash aka The Artistic Actuary said...

Just thought I'd point out that Feels Like I'm In Love by Kelly Marie is my karaoke go to. Been a while since I've been drunk enough to perform though.

Anonymous said...

Thinking about Mungo Jerry’s crummy-sounding Triumph. It’s a weird thing, but I’m pretty sure cars USUALLY sound kinda cruddy in songs.

Roger Taylor’s daft auto-erotic epic “I’m In Love With My Car” ends with the object of his affection “vroom vrooming” away, and it doesn’t sound like the kind of car that would make MY heart skip a beat, I can tell you that. Everything else on that fershlugginer album is over-dubbed and polished to perfection, and the car sounds like it’s just some random junker they happened to point a microphone at and then said, “Yep, that’ll do”. Poor thing sounds like it’ll barely make it out of the neighborhood.

And then there’s “Detroit Rock City”. That whole cinematic opening bit with the guy leaving the house, digging out his keys, revving up the car and driving away towards his doom — you’d think they would have put some effort into finding a badass muscle car or something but nope, sounds like it’s just some crappy old car with a bad muffler. The climactic crash sounds pretty good, I have to admit.


Killdumpster said...

Karaoke is proof that Satan is real.