Tuesday, 9 June 2020

The Marvel Lucky Bag - June 1980.

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

Our cinemas went cowboy crazy in June 1980, as both John Travolta's Urban Cowboy and Clint Eastwood's Bronco Billy hit the box office, almost simultaneously.

Which was the more successful, I've no idea. How much resemblance the two bore to each other, I've also no idea, as I've never seen either.

I think I've always got Urban Cowboy mixed up with Midnight Cowboy and it's come as a shock to discover they're totally different films. That's the wonder of the internet; every day you learn that little bit more.

Also out that month were The Blues Brothers and Herbie Goes Bananas.

Cinematic oddity of the month was a thing called Up the Academy, a Mad magazine movie directed by Robert Downey Senior, starring Wendell Brown, Ralph Macchio, Antonio Fargas and Barbara Bach. It seems to resemble Police Academy, only set in a military school and is so magnificent that it was completely disowned by the staff at Mad.

If only they'd had the sense to put the words, "Carry On," at the beginning of its title, they'd, no doubt, have had a box office hit in Britain, at least.

Ghost Rider #45

It would seem Johnny Blaze is challenged, by a hot-shot cyclist, to exit retirement and defend his status as the world's greatest stunt cyclist.

Apparently, this is the issue in which Flagg Fargo makes his debut.

I don't have a clue who Flagg Fargo is.

Nor do I know why Ghostie's fighting a light aircraft on the front cover.
Marvel Team-Up #94, the Shroud and Spider-Man

The Shroud!

Who is he?

What is he?

I've no idea. I know he looks a bit like Cloak from Cloak and Dagger but assume he's a totally different character.

By the looks of him, he's probably in the habit of declaiming the most pompous dialogue of all time.

Savage She-Hulk #5

Someone's stealing oil from Roxxon Oil's storage facilities and the She-Hulk's determined to get to the bottom of it. As a result, she finds herself up against a giant mechanical snake.

Super-Villain Team-Up #17, Red Skull, Hatemonger and Armin Zola

The Hate-Monger?

The Red Skull?

Arnim Zola?

The Cosmic Cube?

How can the world possibly stand against such power?

Well, bearing in mind this is at least the third time the Skull's got his hands on the Cube and he totally failed to achieve anything on the previous two, I suspect the world can sleep quite safely in its bed.

In fact, my suspicion is it won't be long before the three villains are betraying each other and wrecking all their plans, in the process.

It should be noted that this is the series' final issue.

Tomb of Dracula #5

I can shed no light upon what happens in this one. I just included it because it has a strikingly coloured cover by Howard Chaykin.
What If #21, Sue Storm had married the Sub-Mariner

It's the big one!

The one that asks what would have happened if Sue Storm had married the Sub-Mariner.

Mostly, she'd have drowned, as he lives underwater.

But she's not the only one, as, tormented by his loss of Sue, Reed Richards goes mad and tries to drown the entire population of Atlantis.

Fortunately, the level head of Namor is on hand to calm things down.

The main thrill of this book is seeing the FF and Spider-Man drawn by Gene Colan.

Marvel Premier #54, Caleb Hammer

It's the coming of Caleb Hammer.

For all I know, it may also his going, as I don't have a clue if he ever appeared again.

As far as I can make out, he's basically every Clint Eastwood wild west character you've ever seen, on a mission of revenge for something or other.


Anonymous said...

The Shroud first appeared in Super-Villain Team-Up in the mid-70s Steve, back when the super-villains teaming up were Dr Doom, Namor, and Henry Kissinger.

Basically, as a kid the Shroud's parents were killed in front of him when they left the cinema, so he decided to fight crime when he grew up (as you do) and went to learn martial arts and whatnot in India, Tibet or somewhere like that, with a cult that brands trainees in the face making them blind for some reason I don't recall.

On the subject of SVTU, in #17 that is actually A cosmic cube, rather than THE Cosmic Cube. The Red Skull and Hate-Monger decided to make their own, with the help of top AIM scientist George Clinton. Yes, that was his name.
The story also features Bootsy Collins, agent of SHIELD (I am not making this up), which isn't something you'd expect from the Nazi-fest promised by the cover.

Marvel really missed a trick by not doing an 18th issue with a Modok/Dr Funkenstein crossover.


Charlie Horse 47 said...

Charlie can only comment on the movies b/c he has not seen a single of these comics, lol.

The Urban Cowboy movie spawned a fad in Mechanical Bull Riding as I recall. It also put Gilley's Bar on the map in a big way since most of the flick was filmed inside it IIRC.

I ain't never ridden no mechanical bull, and I ain't never been to no Gilleys in Texas. But, like everyone else in the early 80s, I did buy a pair of shit kickers to parade around in, lol.

Was wearin shit kickers a thing in the UK?

(I'm just dying to hear if MP, KD, et al. had some!)

cerebus660 said...

Charlie Horse 47 - I've never worn a pair of shit kickers ( not quite sure what they are but they sound lovely ) but I have ridden a mechanical bull. This was at Blackpool Pleasure Beach back in the '80s - for the benefit of our American friends, this "beach" wasn't as exotic as it sounds. It was man versus bull and the bull won. Big time.

Killdumpster said...

I was in my Heavy Metal-to-Punk phase when that horrid Urban Cowboy craze started.

Ugh. People coming into the record store I worked at, wearing the cowboy hats, boots, and HUGE belt buckles wanting the damn soundtrack.

I remember my mom asked me what color of cowboy hat I wanted. I yelled."YOU GOTTA BE KIDDING ME!!"

Oh, those rootin', tooting hillbillies got to let their redneck hangout during that time period.

I always got dates from the girls that shopped at the record store, but viability went up 50% since I wasn't a wanna-be cowboy.

Charlie Horse 47 said...

KD - if you'd a got yourself a pair of shit kickers, never mind the belt buckle, and maybe a classic "muscle man" t-shirt that said something like "I need an earth girl" your viability would have been such that John Travolta would have been jealous!

dangermash aka The Artistic Actuary said...

According to the dictionary (a proper dictionary, not the online Urban Dictionary), a shitkicker can be (i) an unsophisticated or oafish person, especially one from a rural area, or (ii) a substantially made boot with a thick sole and typically with reinforced toes.

I like the first definition. It makes me think of the clientele in those all male heterosexual bars that Ray Krebbs used to hang about in in Dallas where everyone drives pickup trucks, wears huge hats and checked shirts and wouldn't be seen dead drinking beer from a glass and where the jukebox plays nothing but an endless stream of Marshall Tucker Band albums. If 1980 KD ever strolled into a bar like that he'd be hung from a tree.

Charlie Horse 47 said...

"Shit kickers" refers to cowboy boots! I learned the term from an actual cowboy I went to university with around 1980. Nothing could be finer to him, during the summers, than out on the range with a horse, 100s (1000s?) of cattle, making the equivalent of about $1 / hour, and sleeping in a bunk house with other cowboys.

In fairness to those from rural areas, the south, the west in the USA, I do appreciate they were normal attire, along with starched and pressed blue jeans, for a hot night on the town!

But for us yankees, it was strictly a fad due to Urban Cowboy. I fondly remember wearing my shit kickers at a frat party and grooving to Flock of Seagulls, Human League, The Cars, etc. Talk about cross culture experiences, lol.

Killdumpster said...

I was in one of those bars back then, DM.

Was visiting relatives in Texas, and went with my cousin to his favorite watering hole.

No hanging attempts, but I did manage to get us kicked out.

Steve W. said...

I am proud to declare that I've never worn a pair of cowboy boots.

Sean, thanks for the Shroud info. He sounds suspiciously like Batman, apart from the blindness.

And, also, thanks for the Cosmic Cube info. Sounds like they just needed Rick James to save them all.

Charlie Horse 47 said...

Rick James! Yea baby! "She's a very kinky girl. The kind you don't take home to mother!"

Yea, what the hell would Hate Monger, Red Skull, and whatever... armed with the C Cube... be able to do against Rick James!

I mean, last I read of what Skull did with the C Cube (like around Cap 115) he used it to transport himself down the hall in a hotel to get away from autograph seekers, LOL, when he had taken on Cap's identity.

Anonymous said...

If only Rick James instead of Rick Jones had bonded with Captain Marvel Charlie, maybe you'd have had more of an appreciation for the red and blue costume era?

Steve, even as a kid at the sort of age I could enjoy a comic like Super-Villain Team-Up uncritically, the Shroud was obviously a poor Batman copy (with just a touch of Daredevil mixed in). In comparison Nighthawk seemed like the height of originality.


Killdumpster said...

It actually would have been entertaining to have Rick James bonded to Mar-vell.

If some of Rick James' funk bled into Marv, maybe his book wouldn't got cancelled. That comes from a die-hard Rick Jones fan.

I can see Marvel shouting at the aliens he was fighting, "Baby, shoot me, with your Love Gun!!" Lol.

Killdumpster said...

One of the stories could have been titled
"Bustin' Out Of SKRULL L7!" Lol!

Killdumpster said...

Yeah, the Shroud was a lame consolidation of Batman, Daredevil, and quite a bit of the Shadow. Still kinda dug him, though, even if he had zero chance of killing Doom.

It was interesting when I read an issue of Captain America where he was the leader of a team called Nightshift. Members included Brothers Grimm, Tatterdemalion, and WEREWOLF BY NIGHT!!

Supposively they were a team of supervillians that the Shroud would choreograph their activities where they actually did good.

That would have been a good book, but I can see the difficulty in writing something like that.

Anonymous said...

The Shroud was such a boring character that in an issue of SVTU even joining the Ringmaster's Circus of Crime undercover while they were on tour in Latveria couldn't make him interesting.


Killdumpster said...

I'll agree with that, but I still was a regular reader of SVTP. Doom & Subby, what's not to like? Well, maybe that's a little overboard...

Killdumpster said...

It would have been great to have Bill Everette on SVTP, but Trimpe did a plausible job.

Bill's Sub-Mariners before he died were excellent eye candy.

I could feel the affection he had for the character he created.

Charlie Horse 47 said...

KD - truer words were never spoken about Bill Everett and Subby: it was a love affair.

Redartz said...

Steve- like you, I have never had a pair of cowboy boots. And like KD, I avoided that whole "Urban Cowboy " scene like the plague. That said, I must admit to a few (very few) Country songs among my collection. Mary Chapin Carpenter wrote some decent stuff, very listenable.

The Shroud was pretty forgettable. Even now he escapes my memory for the most part. Did like SVTU, though.

Sounds like Marvel missed an opportunity back then. They did Kiss and Alice Cooper, they could have had a Funkadelic book...

Steve W. said...

Red, I must confess that Country music is not a great love of mine. Apart from Dolly Parton's Jolene, I'm struggling to think of a Country song I like.

Anonymous said...

I really dug the Highwaymen. Together and separate.
I think Willie was almost more of a jazz singer than country.
He did this version of "Blue Skies" that gets me every time.
Steve, if you're not fan of country (and I'm not a fan of the current stuff, which is abominable) you might check out Johnny Cash's later stuff, which seems to me undefinable in terms of genre, but incredibly powerful.

I'm a big fan of SVTU. #7 was my introduction to Dr. Doom, the Sub-Mariner (pronounced Sub-Mareener in my head) and Henry Kissinger. He shows up too. It was a weird, funky little series.