Tuesday, 1 December 2020

The Marvel Lucky Bag - December 1970.

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


What's that?

It's the sound of someone knocking!

And I'm not the only one who can hear it - because Dave Edmunds can too!

And it's lucky he can because, thanks to that sound, in December 1970, he grabbed the Number One spot on the UK singles chart, and he heard it so clearly that his was the only record that topped the hit parade that month.

That record was, of course, I Hear You Knocking, in case I was being a bit vague there.

Over on the UK album chart, Led Zeppelin started the month at Number One with Led Zeppelin III but then had to make way for the power and majesty of Andy Williams and his Greatest Hits package.

Led Zeppelin and Andy Williams. It's a rivalry as old as time itself. 

The cinemas, that month, saw the release of a whole slew of movies, possibly the best-known being Little Big Man, Love Story and The Aristocats. I must confess I've only seen two of those movies and neither of them is Love Story.

Astonishing Tales #3, Ka-Zar and Dr Doom

Thanks to Gerry Conway and Barry Smith, Ka-Zar and Garokk the petrified man return to the Savage Land to discover Zaladane's making a bid to take the place over.

Not only has she destroyed Tongah's village but, now, she's attacking the domain of the Lizard-Men!

And Ka-Zar's not the only one with a battle on his hands because Dr Doom has to defeat not one but two threats to his throne, in the Faceless One and the Doomsman.

I remember the Faceless One being the villain with a multi-legged goldfish bowl where his head should be. The Doomsman is, of course, just a man wearing bandages.

Fantastic Four Annual #8, Sub-Mariner

Readers of the Fantastic Four's monthly mag have only just got over the terror of seeing the hordes of Atlantis trying to invade New York and, now, thanks to this annual, they're going to have to watch yet another watery attack on the city, this time reprinted from the pages of the team's very first annual.

Also reprinted from that annual is a whole mountainload of pin-ups of the FF's deadliest foes.

Sadly, Jack Kirby's retelling of Spider-Man's first encounter with the FF, which was in that first annual, is not also replicated here.

Ka-Zar #2, Daredevil

Someone at Marvel clearly thinks Ka-Zar has the potential to be a people pleaser because he's still appearing in two books a month.

This one sees a reprint of Daredevil's first visit to the Savage Land, a visit which leaves him blind and at the mercy of a caveman, as the Plunderer makes his not-totally-overwhelming debut.

On top of that, we get the Angel in solo action. I don't know what happens in the story but it does appear to be an all-new adventure for the pinioned powerhouse.

Amazing Spider-Man Annual #7, the Vulture

Spidey has his first-ever meeting with the Chameleon when the two-bit spy frames him, as only the Chameleon can.

Then we get the wallcrawler's first meeting with the Vulture when the winged wrongdoer keeps helping himself to other people's money.

There's then a limited villain's gallery before A Guy Named Joe shows up for Steve Ditko's final Spider-Man tale.

Sub-Mariner #32

Subby heads off to Lemuria, in order to forge an alliance against the untrustworthy surface-dwellers but finds its inhabitants also can't be trusted, as they're now being led by the luscious Llyra who can mentally control all sea creatures.

Can Namor defeat the azure aggravationist? And just what is the stunning secret she shares with her air-breathing twin sister?

X-Men Annual #1, the Avengers

The X-Men may be struggling to sustain a regular comic but that's not stopped Marvel from finally granting them an annual.

In it, the mutants blunder into the Avengers, in their attempts to stop Lucifer who's got his hands on an atom bomb that's wired to explode if his heartbeat doesn't do whatever it is his heartbeat's supposed to do.

The book's second half is dedicated to the Stranger's first arrival on Earth and his subsequent abduction of Magneto and the Toad.


Anonymous said...

Anyone tried listening to Andy Williams Greatest hits backwards? I wonder if there were any messages from Satan...

It doesn't look much like late 1970 here Steve, but then you seem to have gone for mostly reprints this time.
Of the new stuff, only Ka-Zar going a bit sword and sorcery with Forest Gate's finest, Barry Smith in Astonishing Tales looks like being interesting. And even if its not exactly one of Marvel's best, the Dr Doom story is at least drawn by Wally Wood.

Btw, the Faceless One returned in that Hero For Hire story when Luke Cage had to go to Latveria to get paid.


Charlie Horse 47 said...

Ok... this is rocking Charlie's world. The House of Ideas released annuals in the winter? Charlie thought it was strictly a summer love affair.

Charlie Horse 47 said...

Charlie fondly remembers reading the X-Men #1 in the middle of summer at the age of 9 or 10.

Charlie was with his grandfather at some German guy's house, hunkered down reading how Cyclops exhibited supreme control over his eye beam to disarm a bomb, while grandpa toiled outside building Alfred's swimming pool.

Charlie Horse 47 said...

MP - Charlie can't believe you used the "r" word in the last blog. Some SJWs are going to kick your butafuco into next week buddy! Charlie thinks you should take refuge in some god-forsaken place like North Dakota... or Idaho even.

Colin Jones said...

The Barry Smith Ka-Zar story from Astonishing Tales was later printed in my first ever Marvel comic, Planet Of The Apes #5 dated November 23rd 1974.

About 10 years ago I was reading the Radio Times and they featured an interview with Andy Williams in which he was ranting about Obama being a socialist who was destroying America.

Anonymous said...

If only Williams could have lived long enough to see how great America is again now, after four years of the next fella Colin.
Although perhaps he'd be disappointed, as its starting to look like Hugo Chavez' plot from beyond the grave to steal the 2020 election for the radical Marxist SJWs may be working...


Charlie Horse 47 said...

Quick question... b/c Charlie's memory meds ain't working...

Charlie thought Joe, in "another guy named Joe" from the Spidey annual was the Joe Chill who shot Uncle Ben?

But Charlie sees he is in a super-duper outfit. Did he go "full-villain" at some point or is this a Doom-bot or a dream or... is Charlie in need of better meds?

Charlie Horse 47 said...

Steve, et al... I am awaiting y'alls comments on USA New Wave at Back in the Bronze Age. Surely you got something to say!!!

Charlie Horse 47 said...

Steve - if you are going to review war comics, I recommend, from OK to best, as follows.

Marvel - actually more like swashbuckling, not war
DC - the last round in the pistol takes out a Tiger Tank every time
Charlton - to the point, more realistic, irony
EC - Two Fisted War Tales - lots of irony, great art, realistic-ish
Sad Sack - Thought not set in wartime, MP, I (others?) can attest that the Sack's non-stop cluster f#cks are quite realistic of the Army.

Steve W. said...

Charlie, I'm formulating my thoughts on American New Wave, even as I type. I shall post them on BitBA, later this very evening.

The Joe in A Guy Named Joe is not the character who killed Uncle Ben.

Sean and Colin, I think I always get Andy Williams mixed-up with Val Doonican.

McSCOTTY said...

A guy named Joe was a really good story with some great Ditko art. The character was a failed boxer that had a chemical accident that gave him super powers but sent him a bit loopy. I think he re appeared years later in a couple of tales the last one as a villian in a Captain America comic I used to have but can remember very little about ( was just surprised the character was still being used when I saw it) .

Charlie Horse 47 said...

Andy Williams... he may have been one of the singing dudes with a TV show like Dinah Shore and Don Ho and Sunny and Cher and Tony Orlando and... it's kind of funny there are no singers hosting shows anymore like that?

But Charlie only knows him b/c there was an annual Xmas record of hits by famous folks by Goodyear and Columbia and old Andy seemed to be on them.

As long as we are talking about TV - Charlie is digging the "decades" channel with its Dick Cavett reruns. Not so long ago it was John Lennon, then the cool cats who found Dracula's castle, and last night Muhammed Ali. It wasn't until Charlie aged that he thought of how courageous it was for Ali to tell Uncle Sam to blow it out his backside and not be drafted. What an inspiration. (This is also tangential to Steve's burning desire to read and review a war comic, LOL.)

Anonymous said...

No, Val Doonican was completely different Steve - he was an early prototype in the ongoing Irish plot to get our own back on the Brits by inflicting terrible music on you.
Its going to be difficult to do worse than U2, but I expect someone is working on it...


Redartz said...

Like Charlie, I'm amazed those Annuals were released in Winter! I'm stunned. I'd have sworn they were a summer tradition by statute.

Regarding Andy Williams- my folks had his records and faithfully watched his variety show (I mainly recall the Cookie Bear). And those variety shows are pretty much extinct. Although there are some that still pop up during the holidays...