Sunday, 3 January 2021

Fifty years ago this month - January 1971.

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

Everyone knows the big problem with cricket is it's like watching paint dry - but slower.

However, in January 1971, a cure for this tedium was found, as the first-ever One-Day International was played, between Australia and England, at the Melbourne Cricket Ground.

Having never seen the game in question, I cannot comment on whether it was a thriller but, if it wasn't, at least it didn't last long.

Something else that hadn't lasted long was the second Emley Moor transmitter in West Yorkshire, which had managed to collapse in early 1969. However, this month, nearly two years later, its magnificent replacement began broadcasting from the same spot. The new, improved tower was 1084 feet tall and is still, 50 years later, Britain's tallest freestanding structure. Take that, Shard.

Avengers #84, Arkon is back

Arkon's back and causing no end of trouble.

Is this the one in which he abducts the Scarlet Witch, having decided he wants to marry her?

I've no doubt the Avengers will soon show him the error of his ways.

Then again, I espy the Enchantress on that cover. I struggle to recall just what her part in all this is but I have some vague memory that it involves the Black Knight, in some way.

Captain America #133

I do believe MODOK's decided to unleash a giant robot upon Harlem.

Poor old Harlem, it just can't get a break in early 1970s Marvel comics.

Apparently, we're also treated to the origin of the big-headed chair-sitter himself.

From what I can remember, he was a humble AIM operative who got subjected to that organisation's most diabolical plan yet.

But perhaps this tale gives us a different explanation?

Come to think of it, is this the original MODOK? Wasn't the first one killed in his debut appearance and then replaced by another?

Daredevil #72, Tagak the leopard man

Daredevil finds himself battling the mirror-spawned menace of Tagak the leopard lord.

I've a feeling Tagak's actually a good guy and that, once the obligatory misunderstanding's out of the way, he and DD team-up to tackle some fugitive ne'er-do-well from another world.

Fantastic Four #106

I think this is the end of John Romita's short run on the strip, as Reed, Sue and Johnny try to stop the mystery monster that's running amok in the streets of NYC, while Ben sits in a chair, at home, and waits to be turned into a normal man again.

Incredible Hulk #135, Kang the Conqueror

Kang devises a genius scheme to send the Hulk back in time to kill Bruce Banner's ancestor the Phantom Eagle, so the Hulk will never have existed and, therefore, the Avengers will never have formed and, therefore, Kang will never have suffered the defeats that have prevented him from gaining control of the 20th Century.

Let's hope no one points out to him that if the Hulk kills his own ancestor and never exists, it'll be impossible for him to go back in time and kill his own ancestor, thus completely wrecking Kang's genius scheme.

Irom Man #33

The Spy-Master's around.

He's infiltrated Tony Stark's factory.

That's all I know.

Come to think of it, that cover looks familiar. Have I done this book before?
Amazing Spider-Man #92, the Iceman

Gwen Stacy's brought-in wannabe district attorney Sam Bullit to stop Spider-Man, following the death of her father.

Spidey, of course, comes up with a brilliant plan to win her over.

It involves abducting her and threatening her.

What a great boyfriend.

Luckily, Iceman's on hand to put a stop to all that kind of nonsense and, after the obligatory fight, he and Spider-Man team-up to rescue Joe Robertson from Bullit's evil clutches.

Thor #184

It's the start of Thor's epic quest to discover just who's behind the giant hand that's wiping out entire galaxies.

And what does it all have to do with the mysterious Silent One who's taken to hanging around in Odin's living room and being needlessly enigmatic?

42 comments:

Steve W. said...

After some searching, I've now discovered the reason that Iron Man cover looks so familiar is that I have indeed done it before. In fact, December 1970 was the first post in my, "Marvel Comics, 40 years ago," feature, ten years ago, meaning I've now caught up with it.

This means I now have to think of how I'm going to tackle the, "50 years ago," feature, from now on...

Steve W. said...

It is worrying, though, that a post made ten years ago, felt recent to me...

dangermash aka The Artistic Actuary said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
dangermash aka The Artistic Actuary said...

That's the second time Arkon's come up against the Avengers and I think he had his eye on the Scarlet Witch first time round. This time, of course, he has The Enchantress on his arm so who needs the one with the inappropriate brother?

The artwork in this month's Avengers issue is fantastic. I've probably said this before here but for me it forms an unbeatable trio with Silver Surfer #4 and Cap #110.

And Sam Bullit spouts a list of racist crap in ASM. His demise at the end of the issue is immensely satisfying - not a feeling I'd often get at the end of a Stan Lee scripted ASM.

Anonymous said...

Yeah, thats right about Arkon and the Scarlet Witch, dangermash.
Avengers #84 is the one where the Black Knight is stuck in Arkon's dimension after being zapped there from Stonehenge.

Steve, Modok's origin in Cap #133 is the humble AIM operative subjected to a diabolical plan one.
As it happens though, there was a different explanation given of his origin some years later, that he was an artificial being built by AIM scientist Bernard Worrell. No, really - Worrell was recruited to the organisation by, naturally enough, George Clinton (who you may recall from under one of your Lucky Bag posts first appeared in an issue of Marvel Super-Villain Team-Up).

AIM often did seem to be standing on the verge of getting it on...

-sean

Anonymous said...

Just had a look at your 40 years ago post from Jan 2011 Steve, and fwiw I thought you did a better one second time round.

-sean

Anonymous said...

Er... not that there was anything wrong with the first one.

-sean

Steve W. said...

Sean, I agree. The new post is better than the old one.

Thank you for revealing previously unsuspected link between MODOK and Funkadelic.

Dangermash, it's a long time since I read that 2nd Arkon tale. I definitely need to revisit it.

Anonymous said...

Steve

The slow pace of test cricket is what provides the charm. Five continual days of play, weather permitting, often climaxing in a draw. What's not to love?

Repeats aside, these are a great collection of covers. They certainly satisfy the what's in the box test.

Perhaps you can re-imagine, remix or re-master the original posts similarly to seemingly every music album from our youth. Perhaps add an additional title not included in the original line up, or an early demo version of that month's big hit. I'd love to see the Vince Clarke remix of FF#106 ;-)

DW

Charlie Horse 47 said...

Steve - time to start thinking about "60 years ago.."

Charlie Horse 47 said...

Such fond memories of that Hulk.

It's one of my earliest memories of buying comics. Bought it at the old (for the USA) News Agency building in Crown Point, Indiana.

Going there with my grandfather... the wooden floors creaking as you walked to the back where there were two glorious spinner racks!

So what was it about the Hulk issue that convinced this 9 year old to buy it over the other comics? I think the Phantom Eagle inside probably had a lot to do with that. It was perhaps simpler to understand too, like a one-and-done story.

PS: Crown Point is where the great Valentino was married and John Dillinger (inspired by the Peaky Blinders) escaped from jail with a gun carved of soap. He robbed a bank on his way out of town and headed up to Chicago where he was done in by "The Lady in Red."

Charlie Horse 47 said...

Steve - I dig your one-off reviews!

If you want to throw more of those into your bag of mirth as your start covering issues you've already treated us too, it's much appreciated by this faithful one!

I mean, you got DC, Harvey, Charlton, Gold Key, DC Thomson... the possibilities are endless! And with your gift of writing... ohhh buddy!

Anonymous said...

Also Steve, Sly and the Family Stone basically ran Latveria in the 70s
(Ok, that one I did make up).

So DW is into cricket? That makes sense I suppose - it is his national game - but if anyone was going to disagree with your assessment for some reason I was expecting it would be dangermash.

-sean

Anonymous said...

I guess you do have the weather for cricket DW.

-sean

Anonymous said...

A fairly strong crop of comics, Steve, not bad, but I never really got that Arkon character. Some sorta sword and sorcery type dude.
There seems to be this idea that sword and sorcery characters always live on worlds where they have not yet invented pants.
They can make swords, however.
If I was a barbarian, a decent set of trousers would be the FIRST new idea I would come up with, right along with fire and a pokey stick.

M.P.

dangermash aka The Artistic Actuary said...

Sorry Sean - seeing Avengers #84 up there made me shot straight on to the conics and miss the preamble.

DW's right. The slow pace of test cricket is part of the charm. Great to have in the background all day while working, painting, sitting in the sun, whatever. One day cricket's not the same. There's too much happening, demanding attention and distracting from everything else. There' also a lack of purity to it, in the same way that the quality of grandmaster chess reduces as the time limits are shortened.

Anonymous said...

Sean

I'm such a cricket tragic I follow tests, one day and 20 over games. About to watch Brisbane Heat in the Big Bash League. Queenlsand has perfect weather for cricket in the winter, when no one plays. Instead it is a summer sport played in 40+ degree heat and when the government recommend avoiding direct sunlight between 9am and 4pm.

Agree Dangermash, nothing nicer than the Ashes on TV at work. Obviously, I still go for England ;-)

DW

McSCOTTY said...

Like Charlie I also have fond memories of that Hulk issue as it was one of my first Marvel purchases as a kid. I recently purchased a new version of my original (well about 5 years ago). I still have my original of the Iron Man issue 33.

Charlie Horse 47 said...

Gerry of the Pacemakers just passed

Mary Ann (Dawn Wells) of Gilligan Island just passed

But our comic heroes keep on truckin!

Steve W. said...

And Hammer stalwart Barbara Shelley has also now died.

Steve W. said...

DW, I definitely think a remix of those old posts is in order.

MP, I think we can only conclude that it's always warm where barbarian heroes live.

Then again, I have vague memories of a comic in which Red Sonja runs around at the North Pole, in her metal bikini.

Anonymous said...

I think Sonja had more than just the cold to worry about Steve - that metal bikini looks like it had to be pretty uncomfortable in any weather.
Btw, I saw the Justice League flick last night, and have to say you were far too kind about it in the comments recently.

DW, is there not an Australian version of the Tebbit test - are you sure cheering on England in the Ashes won't get you sent to some off-shore camp in Nauru or wherever?
Especially in Queensland (;

-sean

Anonymous said...

I watched Justice League too, Sean. Superman made all the other heroes superfluous. Hordes of anonymous baddies (the audience isn't bothered if they're defeated or not), each looking like the Beetle (maybe they should have called Daredevil!) Chris Claremont would have given them names - maybe alien names! What's the alien version of 'Salvatore'? Steppenwolf appeared out of nowhere - no proper origin story, zero investment in him, as a character. Also, he looked like Heimdall. Those mother boxes were just like Soul Gems, in that the baddie's got to get the complete set. One of the 'Sons of Men' - or whatever - looked almost like recycled footage from a 'Lord of The Rings' movie.

Still - it passed the time. Slightly better than Wonder Woman (?)

Phillip

Anonymous said...

You're not keenly anticipating the Snyder Cut either then Phillip?
I'm not much into superhero films anyway, but I was surprised how poor Justice League was just on a purely technical level - fx, design etc - considering how much it cost.
The sound of Jack Kirby turning in his grave was pretty distracting too.

Wonder Woman was a bit better imo, but it still wasn't up to much. The WW1 stuff was particularly annoying - why would an Amazon take sides? That would work with a WW2 setting - everyone hates nazis, right? - but what made one lot any better than the other in 1914?
And as for the claims its a feminist film, where were the Amazons that didn't look like fit supermodels, even in the background shots of Themys... Them... Paradise Island?

Gal Gadot was quite easy on the eyes though.

-sean

Charlie Horse 47 said...

WOW! I MEAN WOW!

Talking about:

Red Sonja's chain mail loin cloth!

Gal Gadot!

Hot feminists on Paradise Island!

Talk about taking the chill out of yet another battleship-grey Chicago winter day!

I found Wonder Woman entertaining... the only DC film I've seen in 20 years now? More importantly for comics is my wife and daughter found it hugely (!) entertaining. They didn't give a hoot about the theoretical questions like looks, why join the allies, etc. LOL.

As for me, it became tiresome, the sexual tension between WW and Major Steve. I mean I'm not watching WW to see if she does the horizontal bop. BUT... the wife and daughter liked the tension so... w.t.h.... who cares what Charlie thinks, LOL.


STEVE - as you can see there is a market out there for occasional commentary on DC stuff! Also, I got that blockage posting here again about "BRexit and Tariffs beginning 1/2/2021."

Charlie Horse 47 said...

Speaking of Brexit...

Are you guys fighting with the rest of the EU about Cod yet?

Has the Chunnel been flooded to stop an invasion (or perhaps a Covid quarantine by France suffices?)

B.t.w. assuming you UK gents have seen Peaky Blinders... If this were really 1919, would the Irish and Birmingham accents be far thicker than as portrayed? It strikes me as interesting this is the first UK show I've watched where I really do not need subtitles.

Thanks, Curious Charlie

Anonymous said...

Oh no - don't mention the Brexit, Charlie!
(I did the other day, but I think I got away with it)

-sean

Anonymous said...

You think you guys got political chaos.
Lemme tell ya, I hope you fellers across the pond ain't been following political news here in the states.
Trump has finally become completely insane.
It's like Trump has been bitten by a radioactive Trump, and has become some kinda...I dunno, "Super-Trump".
He's crossed the line into cartoonish supervillainy.

M.P.

Colin Jones said...

Steve, I'm sure none of us minds if you repeat posts from ten years ago considering hardly any of us were reading Steve Does Comics in those far-off days. I've just been looking at some of the posts from December 2010 and I was struck by the tiny number of comments compared to the zillions you get now. One post even had ZERO COMMENTS - the mind boggles!!

Nothing to do with superheroes but a few days ago I watched the film 'The Never-Ending Story' for the first time, 36 years after it was released. Even though I'd never seen the film I was very familiar with the theme song by Limahl (of Kajagoogoo fame) from when it was a Top Ten hit back in 1984.

Colin Jones said...

Is Twelfth Night on January 5th or January 6th? The internet can't decide. But as it's still officially Christmas here's a festive joke:
What's the name of Scrooge's favourite pub? The Bar Humbug.

This is my first (undeleted) comment of the year so may I wish all SDC readers (and you Steve) a happy 2021...
(or 12021 in the Holocene Calendar, which should be adopted as the official calendar IMO).

Anonymous said...

Colin, shine on you crazy diamond.

M.P.

Charlie Horse 47 said...

Colin... you are clearly a cool cat, like the elusive MP and Floridian Panther, who prowls the highways, byways, and back alleys of our world of entertainment!

Truly, I expect you to be knocking at my door with an old transistor shortwave radio dialed into BBC international saying, "Charlie... you've got to listen to this!"

I love SDC more than life itself!

Redartz said...

Ah, by this time in 1971 I'd shifted exclusively to Archie comics, so none of those offerings got me until years later. Nevertheless, it's always well worth visiting Steve Does Comics just to experience the wild streams of conversation! Aaaaaand, it helps distract the mind from the evil supervillainy currently being committed by a certain orange head of state.

Oh, and Charlie went and mentioned short wave radio. Last year I picked up a vintage unit at auction and got it working. There are still folks broadcasting on it, in various languages, nearly lost amidst the static. Fascinating...

Charlie Horse 47 said...

Colin... you are clearly a cool cat, like the elusive MP and Floridian Panther, who prowls the highways, byways, and back alleys of our world of entertainment!

Truly, I expect you to be knocking at my door with an old transistor shortwave radio dialed into BBC international saying, "Charlie... you've got to listen to this!"

I love SDC more than life itself!

Charlie Horse 47 said...

Not sure why I posted twice above. I got the "Brexit in effect as of 1.1.2021 and tariffs" but i guess somehow I got a two-fer.

Charlie Horse 47 said...

Red - I still have a shortwave my french father in law gifted me at Christmas in 1991 in France. It was the only Xmas I spent in France, in that little village on a hill top.

When the Church reenacted the birth of Jesus at midnight mass, with the whole village in attendance, "shepherds" carried in life animals recreating the manger scene.

I did try the radio a few months ago. Works fine, but seemingly far fewer international stations on the short wave. Probably replaced by the internet?

Anonymous said...

Not that many people listen to shortwave these days Red - I'm now wondering if Charlie is actually a Cuban spy.
www.en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Numbers_station
Not that I have a problem with that myself of course. Venceremos! Viva la revolucion!

-sean

Anonymous said...

Ha!
I think Charlie is another fellow fallen idealist, now turned cynic, like me. Rare to see them in the officer corps.
Now if you want to meet a real radical communist, I could introduce you to my mother.
She once bought me a Che Guevara T-shirt.

M.P.

Steve W. said...

Colin, I've never been able to make sense of the 12th Night thing.

Charlie, I think things like Peaky Blinders are made with half an eye on international audiences, these days, so I suspect the accents are deliberately user-friendly.

Steve W. said...

PS, to everyone, I should point out I'm not the one who keeps deleting Colin's comments.

Anonymous said...

Nobody blames you Steve.
I really need to figure out how to start deleting some of my comments.

M.P.

Colin Jones said...

Indeed, Steve is blameless! It was me who deleted my two comments in the previous post.