Thursday, 7 January 2021

January 7th, 1981 - Marvel UK, 40 years ago this week.

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

Forty years ago this week, Europe drew that little bit closer, as Greece joined the then European Economic Community. Clearly, nothing could halt the inevitable growth of the European Union. Nothing!

Back in Britain, a lengthy manhunt finally ended with the arrest of serial killer the Yorkshire Ripper.

Rather more cheerily, BBC Two's adaptation of The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy began transmission. It later received the Royal Television Society's award for Most Original Programme of the Year.

Over on the UK singles chart, John Lennon snatched the Number One spot, with Imagine, and was also at Number Two, with Happy Xmas (War is Over).

ABBA, meanwhile, continued their dominance of the British album chart, thanks to Super Trouper.

Titans Pocket Book #3, Iron Man and Captain America

Unless I miss my guess, this issue, we see Iron Man battle the hordes of Attuma, and we get the origin of the Red Skull.

But it seems we're also treated to the occasion when Iron Man travelled back in time and met Cleopatra, thanks to the pencils of dashing Don Heck.

Just what this week's Thor story involves, I have no idea.

Star Heroes Pocket Book #10, the X-Men

Here's a turn-up for the books, as the X-Men get their own series in a publication that's supposed to be dedicated to space-faring protagonists, which the original X-Men are, most assuredly, not.

It's also surprising because the adventures of the original X-Men are already being reprinted in Marvel Superheroes.

With the New X-Men also present in Rampage, it means the world's dashingest mutants now have three strips in the pages of Marvel UK's publications.

One can only assume they're proving popular with readers.

Incredible Hulk Pocket Book #3, Tyrannus

Hooray! The Hulk has his first encounter with Tyrannus, continuing the tradition of Marvel's heroes encountering underground menaces, in their early issues.

Sadly, that's all I know of the contents of this book but it's a hundred pages long, so it's clearly packed with Hulky goodness.

Chiller Pocket Book #10, Man-Thing

I only know two things about this issue.

One. The Man-Thing's in it.

Two. The back cover features an advert for a Star Wars wristwatch.

I like to think that's all we need to know about any book to convince us to buy it.

Conan the Barbarian Pocket Book #3

I've no doubt at all that this issue contains the whodunit tale in which Conan and a bunch of supporting characters find themselves trapped in a big house, overnight, with a mystery killer who turns out to be a snake with a human head.

It's escaped from an ancient bowl and only our hero can stop it.

Not only that but this issue contains Devil-Wings Over Shadizar which is one of those titles that lodges in your brain forever, even if you can't actually recall what happens in it.

Fantastic Four Pocket Book #10, Ronan the Accuser

Ronan the Accuser makes his judicial debut, as the Kree set out to punish the fantabulous foursome for destroying their Sentry and his secret base.

Ronan may be big news in outer space but the FF soon teach him who's boss.

Spider-Man Pocket Book #10, Dr Octopus

Dr Octopus is back and, somehow, Betty Brant's brother's got himself tangled in his tentacular machinations.

It can only end in tragedy.

And it does.

And, because of it, Betty turns against Spider-Man.

Which is bad news for Peter Parker whose love-interest she currently is.

Young Romance Pocket Book #3?

This is an odd one because I can't find a copy of the cover to Young Romance Pocket Book #3 anywhere online.

Needless to say, I can't unearth any information about its contents, either.

I'm starting to wonder if it has ever even existed.

If it does exist, I'm confident it features various attractive young women sobbing over the current state of their love life.

Doctor Who Magazine #48, State of Decay

This month, the mag looks at the show's latest serial State of Decay which, I think, is the one about space vampires in a big castle that's really a spaceship.

It also looks back at The Talons of Weng-Chiang, the series' Victorian adventure which not only gave us a giant rat but inspired a 1980s band to call itself Wang Chung.

But the issue kicks off with an article investigating claims Doctor Who's too frightening for a young audience.

After that, we get a two-page look at some of the show's monsters.

We're also supplied with a report on the previous month's Marvel Convention, at which, it seems, many people from the show were present.

This month's comic strips are Dreamers of Death which sees the departure of Sharon, and Touchdown on Denab-738 which features K-9 in solo action.

Rampage Monthly #31, the X-Men

Magneto's holding the X-Men prisoner in his base beneath the Antarctic - and now he's causing trouble in Australia.

Luke Cage is involved in a tale called Jingle Bombs which threatens to ruin the Christmas of everyone in New York.

And the Thing and Thor unite to tackle someone called Seth who I have a suspicion may be the Egyptian god Set.

The Empire Strikes Back #142

I'm afraid to say the contents of this one are a mystery beyond my solving.

An even greater mystery is why it claims to be from December 1981 when it's from January 1981.
Frantic #11

Frantic takes some sort of look at Kiss, a band that, at this point, I only knew of thanks to their appearances in Marvel mags. Just as I only knew of the Harlem Globetrotters through their appearances in Scooby-Doo.

It would also seem to be satirising Buck Rogers, a show that, surely, had its tongue so far embedded in its cheek that it was beyond parody.

Starburst #29, Battle Beyond the Stars

Hooray! We get info about Battle Beyond the Stars which, despite its title, didn't take place beyond the stars at all. It has to be the most misleading film title since Neverending Story.

We also get a look at John Carpenter's The Fog, and the Starburst Fantasy Awards.

Just who wins those awards, I could not say. I suspect it depends on whether The Empire Strikes Back is counted as Fantasy.

Savage Action #3, Moon Knight

Moon Knight's discovered who's stolen a statue, and arranges to buy it.

I must confess to not knowing just what it's a statue of but have no doubt it's vitally important and I'm getting a Maltese Falcon vibe about it all.

Night Raven, meanwhile, is investigating just how come a bunch of leading politicians has suddenly become senile.

And the Man-Thing is up to something in a Jim Starlin drawn tale called Among the Great Divide.

Marvel Superheroes #369, the Avengers

This is it. The Big One. We get the origin of Michael Korvac. An origin which involves both the Badoon and the home base of Galactus, and you can't say that about many origins.

Not only that but we get an investigation into just who's killed the Collector.

Elsewhere, the original X-Men are still having trouble with Sauron.

But not, it seems, for long, as the ptalking pterosaur plunges to his doom.

Or does he?

The Champions are going through their zillionth issue of battling the Crimson Dynamo, Titanium Man and Griffin. They really are making heavy work of disposing of them.

Then again, that could be because they're too busy fighting amongst themselves.

Also, it's turned out the Crimson Dynamo is Ivan's son.

Savage Sword of Conan #39, Marvel UK

The Hour of the Dragon continues, for the umpteenth month running. I know I've said it before but that really is a long hour.

This installment is Sword of the South, the long-awaited sequel to Walt Disney's Song of the South.

It would also appear we get a meeting of Red Sonja, Conan and Kull which I would assume to be a reprint of the storyline from Conan the Barbarian #68.

I could, however, be completely wrong.

Spider-Man and Hulk Weekly #409

The Hulk and Doc Samson are still having to contend with Woodgood's highly-strung creations.

Back in New York, Daredevil must tackle the Gladiator and Beetle who, I think, have hijacked a train. Needless to say, they prove no match for our hero.

Meanwhile, Spidey's up against the Smuggler who I would assume to have been smuggling things.

Forces in Combat #35, ROM

All I know about this issue is ROM's still whittling about his lost Neutralizer. I'd probably be concerned about it too, if only I knew what it is.

But that's quite a striking cover, even if it does seem to have originally been intended purely for use as a splash page.

Team-Up #17, Ant-Man, Marvel UK

Scott Lang's Ant-Man takes on a very angry-looking villain.

I've a feeling I've read this tale in the not-too-distant past but don't have a clue when, where or why.

I see Spider-Man's teaming up with the Black Widow. I wonder if it's the one in which she's lost her memory, thinks she's a school teacher and can't understand how she keeps developing the ability to beat people up every time she's attacked?

Future Tense #10, Star Trek

Marvel's adaptation of Star Trek: The Motion Picture glides serenely along and, now, the Enterprise's new lieutenant's been possessed by V'ger!

The Micronauts are encountering their deadliest foe yet.

A broken fridge.

There's an Alex Nino drawn strip whose word balloons are too annoying for it to be worth the effort of reading them.

Finally, the High Evolutionary's mithering about the danger of Earth and Counter-Earth discovering each other's existence.

Valour #10, Conan the Barbarian

Conan's still fighting a tribe of vampires.

Moon-Boy's worrying about the dangers of alien invasion, while Devil Dinosaur's more interested in having a nap.

King Arthur's still trying to retrieve Guinevere from her abductor - who turns out to be the son of the Prince of Evil!

Dr Strange is still in the process of rescuing Wong, from another dimension.

And, in this week's tale of Asgard, Odin decides to give Balder the gift of invincibility - after having earlier ordered all his friends to kill him.

What a guy.


Anonymous said...

It's 1981, and Marvel UK's tectonic plates are shifting. In a dramatic announcement, "the Editor" informs readers that, in 3 short weeks, 'Forces in Combat' & 'Future Tense' will be merging, to form one comic! This little stunt surprises no-one who read Marvel UK at that time, as it was a tried & tested ploy - but, anyway....

'Forces in Combat' # 35

The cover of 'Forces in Combat' is unusual, the story starting there, before you've even opened the comic! The cover promises an 'EPIC' ROM story - turns out it's 9 pages! Anyway, ROM lands in Clairton, where Brandy Clark & Steve Jackson are held in jail, by small-town cops, who don't believe their story about ROM fighting alien plants. Can you blame them? ROM promptly busts Brandy & Steve out of jail, whereupon the cops are forced to admit ROM is real.

ROM wants to go to Washington, where the neutralizer is being held, so Brandy gives him directions, but tells ROM the air force will shoot him down! ROM looks into Brandy's tear filled eyes, and sees his abandoned Shalla-Bal - I mean Ray-na - but decides to leave Brandy in Steve Jackson's incapable hands. On his way to Washington, ROM speeds past a train, in which a female investigative reporter sees the Space knight, and thinks he'll be the scoop of the 80s! The page count ends with the air force detecting ROM!

Chamber of Horrors had Gene Colan as the Master of Ceremonies last week. This week, it's Sal Buscema at his drawing board, who introduces the story - and does the art. A mad scientist wants to transfer his brain into a robot. His lackey, Ygor - I mean Hugo - is always getting slapped around, and called a worm, by the mad scientist. Anyway, Hugo gets his revenge, by transferring the mad scientist's brain not into the robot, but into a worm!

What's Kull up to, this week? Morbius always gets asked to kill somebody. Kull always gets sent on a suicide mission/accepts a poisoned chalice. This week it's no different. Last time, Kull's mystery lady was taken off to freshen up, whilst Kull stayed with the weird city's leader, for an important talk. Turns out a cyclops from another dimension stole their former king's crown, and killed him, before being driven back, by sorcery. The city's leader asks Kull to be their new king. Kull mulls it over, thinking he'll use the weird city's army to recapture his Topaz throne (they've nicked this from Elric's Ruby throne!), so agrees to the offer. Now, the city's leader tells Kull that, in order to become king, he must recapture the crown from the nasty cyclops monster! Next thing you know, they'll hold Kull's girl hostage, to ensure he plays ball! But, then again, maybe not! It's still Rudy Nebres on the art chores.

Anonymous said...

Machine Man's alter ego, Aaron Stack, is at a corporate meeting about a new super embassy, which can withstand any attack. Brock Jones (the Torpedo) is there, too, as his sister is one of Stack's colleagues. At this point, Marvel were trying to cram the Torpedo into anything! Brock Jones is supposed to be a security guy, here, but he was an insurance broker before, so it makes no sense whatsoever. Anyway, Machine Man sees a known gangster/hood, spying on the corporate meeting about the Super embassy, and follows him. Machine Man tells the reader he'll let the authorities handle the matter, as he's mentally unstable (last week's business about his melting face), at the moment. Unfortunately, the skylight breaks, as it can't support Machine Man's 850 pound weight. This is clearly wrong, as, in an earlier issue, Machine Man weighed 2,000 pounds. Has he gone on a diet? And how come Machine Man's exactly the same weight as ROM? Whatever! Machine Man falls amidst Jack O'Lantern's goons, who attack him, brandishing gym equipment - free weights, and the like.

Anonymous said...

'Spider-man & Hulk Weekly' # 409

On the cover, Doc Samson & the Hulk in an 'I've got your back' pose. The colours are drab & dull - too much grey.

We've got 2 Sal Buscema & Bill Mantlo stories, this week - Hulk & Daredevil. Daredevil is the better of the two. This story shows how effective Daredevil is in hand-to-hand fighting, and how effective Sal is at drawing it - when teamed with an inker like Klaus Janson. The story is non-stop action, almost like a Ms.Marvel story - it also has the hero rescuing civilians in the middle of the battle - another feature of Ms.Marvel stories. There's kind of a transport theme, as Daredevil stops a runaway bus, then the Gladiator & the Beetle commandeer a train. Bill Mantlo was also okay with Daredevil in that Human Fly story - the one with the White Tiger & Copperhead. The Human Fly had very few okay stories - but that one had a fine Byrne cover - but, I digress...

In the Hulk, nothing much happens. The Hulk beats the baddies, with Fred staying with Siren to write his Hulk biography. Thunderbolt Ross starts ranting at the Hulk, and when Hulk's pals object to him throwing Ross aside, the Hulk jumps off.

In Spider-man, Bruce Patterson's still inking the title, but Marie Severin's gone, being replaced by old standby, Jim Mooney.

There's a China town setting, to start with (like with the Vulture story-line.) Peter's feeling down, having lost his job, as the Daily Globe's ceased publication. Peter's Chinese mate, Phil Chan, takes him for a night on the town, but they see one of the White Dragon's goons, and Peter - as Spidey - chases him, but is given the slip! The goon is working for the Smuggler. Aunt May is engaged to somebody called Nathan Lubensky. Is it an alias of Doc Ock? By the page count's end, Spidey has reacquired the White Dragon's goon, as he placed a Spider-tracer on him! Roger Stern does his usual thing about trailing the next story, before he's finished the present one, name dropping Madame Web.

In Spider-woman, Jessica's been captured by a spy from the American Revolutionary War, who is condemned to live forever, unless he can get a woman to die along with him. You know it's a Spider-woman story, as Jessica's chained up, being forced to listen to a boring lecture! Is this guy taking lessons from the Hangman?

I haven't got Team-up, this week, but I have got some of the monthly titles - which I might inflict on you, tomorrow!


Anonymous said...

I can't wait til tomorrow Phillip!

Kull was a king, so how come he kept being sent on suicide missions? Isn't it someone else's job to do the dangerous stuff?

Don't mention the Brexit Steve! (I think you got away with it there though)
Good to see the monthlies are moving away from that boxed SezDez era cover format. Its particularly unsuited to the regular comic book covers - Rampage, Marvel Superheroes (eeesh - that yellow border!) - but its also a shame to see Nestor Redondo's SSOC painting shrunk like that.


Steve W. said...

Thanks for the latest summary, Phillip. I do remember that Aunt May's new fiance is a man in a wheelchair and that, despite him seeming like a very nice man, Peter Parker doesn't trust him.

Sean, it seems like Kull and Namor should have swapped notes about how not to run a kingdom.

Anonymous said...

Well, they were both kings of Atlantis Steve, so that makes sense.

Anyhow, while I'm not familiar with Savage Action, I have read that Man-Thing story 'Among The Great Divide' in the US b&w Hulk mag. I don't want to step on Phillip's toes, but...

Its an odd one, about a woman in her late teens with a multiple personality disorder and psychic powers that physically incarnate her various personas. Written by Steve Gerber, despite some questionable psychobabble it sort of anticipates the proto-Vertigo comics that Alan Moore, Jamie Delano and Neil Gaiman did at DC later in the 80s.

I always thought it was a shame Gerber didn't make much of a comeback when the direct market allowed for better work, which he seemed to be capable of (even if he didn't often do it).


Anonymous said...

Oops. It seems while Kull was from Atlantis, he was actually king of Valusia.
I just looked it up - guess it would make more sense do that before posting a comment. Duh.


Colin Jones said...

Steve, the Conan story with the human-headed snake is "The God In The Bowl" which was one of four Conan stories rejected by the editor of 'Weird Tales' magazine (where all the Conan stories first appeared). That particular story was eventually published in the 1950s. The other three rejected stories were:
The Frost Giant's Daughter
The Vale Of Lost Women
The Black Stranger

Charlie Horse 47 said...


I don't know if you realize this but "Red Wolf" was spotted in the Washington DC Capitol Building yesterday. I noticed he didn't have his wolf. I can only assume he had a connecting flight in the the Shire of York, en route to D.C., and a Yorkshire man stole his wolf?

Charlie Horse 47 said...

MP, Sean - As you have rightly guessed, I am the Charlie upon whom Graham Greene based "Our Man in Havana."

Thanks for blowing my cover.

Geeze, MP... you were a soldier like me. Didn't you take an oath to the US Constipation?

Colin Jones said...

A few days ago MP said that Trump was turning into a super-villain and he was right!

Anonymous said...

Charlie, Colin, the peasants are revolting.

I'm disgusted too but we'll survive this. But those guys better go to federal prison. That's all I'm gonna say.
It ain't the worst day in American history, either. Not by a long shot. Hasn't anybody ever heard of Antietam? That was our Somme.

Colin, to switch topics abruptly, I'm aghast that "God in the Bowl" and "Frost Giant's Daughter" were rejected. What! Those were among the classics.

Phil, I had forgotten about Fred! He was the long-haired hippy dude with a van that hung around with the Hulk, right?
Drove him to Berkely. It was tough on his shock absorbers, as I recall. Good thing they had a lotta munchies on hand.


Anonymous said...

Not a very good super-villain though Colin - I bet Dr Doom doesn't care about being blocked by Twitter for 12 hours.

And sorry Charlie. Hasta la victoria siempre!

Anonymous said...

Trump is kinda like the Red Skull of supervillains, Sean. No apparent coherent master plan (none that I could figure out) and no follow through. The other villains despise him. And his minions hate him.
Of course, Trump can't pull out an S.S. model Luger, yell "Bungler!" and shoot them in the head.
Trump prefers to let other people do his dirty work for him. He's chickenshit.
Why they keep doing it, I have no idea.


Anonymous said...

If we're talking Captain America villains M.P., you really want to look to the Madbomb storyline for comparisons.
That has a whole secret underground society of fascist crazies - discovered by Cap in South Dakota, as I recall - run by a rich elite who want to overthrow the US and replace it with the upper class rule of the Taureys (geddit?).


Anonymous said...

What? Are you sure that happened underground here in South Dakota, Sean? As far as I ever knew, we never had anything underground out here except more ground.
Are you suggesting that the Madbomb weapons, "Peanut", "Dumpling" and "Big Daddy" were all stored in secret subterranean bunkers out here?!
Well, they did say the Badlands, I guess. That's actually a good 200 miles west of me but I guess you could hide a "Killderby" out there.
You could hide anything out there. There's a whole lotta nuthin' unless you count rocks and dinosaur bones.
I thought I was dead once but it turned out I was just in northwestern Nebraska.


Anonymous said...

Let's glance at a couple of UK monthly comics - 'Savage Action' # 3 & 'Rampage' # 31.

Common themes? Multiple personality disorder (now called 'dissociative personality disorder') & Egyptian gods!

In 'Savage Action', Moon Knight has multiple personalities (to Sean, they are just aliases); likewise, Sean already pointed out that, in the Man-Thing story, 'Among the Great Divide', a girl is also suffering from multiple personality disorder. 'Rampage', too, has this same theme, as Luke Cage faces a mentally disturbed villain, with multiple guises/identities.

What about Egyptian gods? Well, in 'Savage Action', Moon Knight is searching for a stolen statuette of the Egyptian god, Horus - whilst in 'Rampage', Thor & the Thing battle the Egyptian god, Seth (don't they mean Set?)

First of all, 'Savage Action'.

'Savage Action' was an excellent comic. It's original remit was dark avengers & enigmatic soldiers of fortune. This covered the Punisher - the lead character (to start with) - and Marc Spector (Moon Knight), along with Dominic Fortune, and Night Raven. Even the heroes' girlfriends had stylish names, like Sabbath Raven and Marlene Alraune. According to Savage Action's editor (issue #1 ), the comic was nearly two years in the making. I agree, it's a brilliant blend of characters, but two years to decide on them?

The Punisher differs from Superheroes, as he assesses threats to understand what kind of opponent he's facing. For example, if a shooter takes a second shot after the first one failed, he's likely an amateur, as a professional never does this. To kids, this concept of "experience", is a new idea. The Hulk & Spider-man don't make informed decisions! Dominic Fortune was just getting interesting, too, in 'Savage Action' #2, as we learn his name is really David Fortunov, and he's living some kind of double life...but the title ends before this is followed up.

For some inexplicable reason the Punisher has now been dropped, as has Dominic Fortune! (Why couldn't they have continued with Howard Chaykin's 'The Scorpion', but just changed the name to Dominic Fortune? ) We're left with Moon Knight, & now the Man-Thing, along with a Night Raven text story, with helpful illustrations!

In Savage Action's first two issues, Tony Dezuniga figured prominently, but we're now at issue # 3! First of all, Moon Knight. This story is the second part of a 'Who dun it?' The art is by Pollard, with inks by Frank Giacoia & Mike Esposito. There's some reasonable martial arts, but not enough shadows for a Moon Knight story. In this story's first part, last month, it was Gene Colan, inked by Tony Dezuniga (Palmer might have shadowed it even more.)

The story centres on a stolen golden Horus statuette. Unfortunately, it's drawn to look like a mini King-Tut, not Horus! Steve speculated on a Maltese Falcon vibe - and, of course,
Horus was a falcon-headed god!

Anonymous said...

At this point in time, as a character, Moon Knight is still finding his feet - something particularly evident here! Although Moon Knight was a crime fighter, the hallmark of his stories was an occult/horror vibe. Yet in this story, Moon Knight is doing detective work - almost like Batman - diminishing the title. Moreover, Moonknight only has two identities, at the moment. Jake Lockley, for example, doesn't seem to exist yet. Plus, Moon Knight's identities still seem more like aliases, rather than later, when they turned into a psychological disorder. We're introduced to characters, like Moon Knight's press contact, Curt. Marlene's making Moon Knight a new cape (like a 50s wife?), replacing the old, cumbersome one, that attached to his wrists. Sienkiewicz started Moon Knight off, he's disappeared for 2 issues, whilst we have Gene Colan & Keith Pollard, but luckily he'll be back soon, and, as a character, Moon Knight will 'find his feet'.

The story has so many twists and turns, and red herrings, that I can't explain it. Anyway, Moon Knight fights some dogs, so Charlie should be happy. The assassin Moon Knight catches, at the start, is named 'Anton' - so, I thought this might be an early appearance by the Midnight Man, but it turns out it's a different Anton!

Night Raven is another text story, with illustrations by John Bolton & David Lloyd. David Lloyd did the art chores last month, too - but for 'Savage Action' # 1 it was a different art team. The story is called, 'The Chessmaster', with a chess position, and Night Raven & the baddie calling out moves, in descriptive notation. Whoever wrote the story's knowledge of chess is limited, as the moves suggested are impossible from the illustrated position!

Sean's already given a summary of the Man-Thing story, 'Among the Great Divide'. Is the 'Great Divide' a geographical divide, or a metaphorical divide? You must read the story to find out! Sara McLachlan's song, 'Possession' had 'great divide' in the lyrics - but I digress! This Man-Thing story has slightly 'mature content' (for 1981), but is tame by today's standards.

Anonymous said...

'Rampage' # 31

This X-Men story follows up my favourite single X-Men issue, 'Magneto Triumphant'. In terms of characterization, the story has classy touches. For example, Magneto sees 'Nanny', his robot nurse for the X-Men, whizzing round in circles, and remarks: "Nanny, I thought I built you better than this!" Magneto's showing empathy - well, not quite - for his robots! This shows characterization in one sentence - without a complicated backstory to make a character come alive for the readers! Chris Claremont was at his best here, and earlier! Doctor Doom would never register compassion for his robots, like this, as Doom's a cornier character!
Anyway, Cyclops finally gets the X-Men to work as a team, not as individuals, winning Magneto's grudging respect. Jean & Hank escape Magneto's volcano, but end up collapsing in the antarctic snow, believing the other X-Men didn't make it. You all know the story!

Power-man is quite an interesting story, called 'Jingle Bombs', by Steve Englehart, with art by George Tuska & Billy Graham. Luke Cage is attacked by three soldiers - who are each from a different historical era. Cage realizes that, although they look different, they are all the same man! This man is a mentally ill former O.S.S. spy, who's a master of disguise, but has become disenchanted with the present day, believing everything was better in the past. This man actually respects Cage immensely, for showing neither fear nor hate, but compassion towards his opponents - the three "soldiers" from different eras. Despite this, he intends to detonate an atomic bomb, so Cage must stop him! There's a lot of dated stuff about mental illness, which doesn't read well, but apart from that, it's not a bad story.

Oh, for Charlie's benefit, the title is 'Luke Cage - - Hero for Hire' - not Power-man!

Finally, we've got Thor & the Thing versus Seth (which should be Set!) This story starts with an apologetic note, on the grounds that the advertised story, the Thing's team-up with the Liberty Legion, isn't appearing, "Due to circumstances beyond our control." I remember debating with Sean whether or not Rampage Monthly planned many issues in advance. I'm no clearer on this issue! The story starts with a villain named 'Black Sun', who tried to destroy the Thing & the Torch, by harnessing an imploding universe, but now seems to have destroyed himself. Johnny's left comforting a crying girl, named Janice Lightner. They take Black Sun to the hospital, where Seth tries to get to him, but of course Don Blake is working there, and transforms into Thor! Punch ups ensue, and Seth has lots of Harryhausen type skeletons to back him up! The story continues next month.


Steve W. said...

That's another magnificent summary, Phillip. I would love to know why they kept calling Set, "Seth." I mean, it is technically admissible because it's the Greek name for him but that doesn't really explain why they'd use it.

Anonymous said...

Steve - I always remember that 1970s supernatural-type book, "Seth Speaks", in which a woman channels an entity called "Seth." As a kid, it was a bit scary!


Anonymous said...

Phillip, Gene Colan and Keith Pollard actually drew their respective Moon Knight stories first in the original US Hulk mag back ups.
At that point, Colan was the best artist for the character, and it occurs to me now that sidelining the occult vibe in favour of a more action orientated approach might have been to play to Sienkiewicz' strengths when he got the regular gig.

I never claimed Moon Knight's multiple personalities were only aliases, just that they could easily be read that way - and might as well have been - since the disordered concept wasn't really explored properly.

And Dr Doom is not corny!
You know what is corny? Empathizing with machines! I don't see how being some sort of weirdo appliance fetishist gives Magneto depth...


Anonymous said...

Sean - I'd assumed Marvel UK published Moon Knight in the correct order. Obviously not!

Apologies for misremembering your take on Moon Knight's dissociative personality disorder (as viewed from the 21st century.)

Dr.Doom may not be as corny as the Jolly Green Giant, but you must admit there's some corn in him. I'll admit that when Doom killed his cloned son, that wasn't corny - it was just plain nasty & disturbing!

I don't think Nanny was that kind of robot, Sean! Even if Magneto was up for it!


Colin Jones said...

I think the Luke Cage "Jingle Bombs" story had also been in the 1975 Giant Super-Hero Holiday Grab Bag.

Steve, on the subject of Set/Seth, we could also ask why Hercules isn't called Heracles? Hercules was the Roman name but Heracles was the proper Greek name and the Marvel character was supposed to be an Olympian god so he should be called by the Greek name.

Charlie Horse 47 said...

Phillip - Thank you for that! Luke Cage - Hero For Hire!

I haven't been feeling well and tt makes me feel better.

I mean two days ago our government, which spends (on the books) $750,000,000,000 a year on defence, fell in two hours to Chewbacca and the cast from Ozark.

Anonymous said...

Steve, I know you googled that! How many people know "Seth" is the Greek form of Set!
Not me, that's for sure.
Y'know, my introduction to Moonknight was in David Kraft's run on the Defenders, during the Scorpio arc. In some ways he was comic relief. He was always wisecracking and sometimes it was hilarious. It was clear he was a badass (for a regular human) but he repeatedly and humorously voiced his displeasure at having to deal with superhumans (particularly the Hulk) who could crush him like a grape. He was horrified when Valkyrie ripped the wheel off a taxi cab and bounced it off the Hulk's head, for obvious reasons. Scorpio even complimented him on his wit, and offered him a beer. Moonknight drained it and then used the trapped air inside the empty beer can to survive Scorpio's deathtrap.
Beer: Is there anything it can't do?
But after that, every time I saw the character he seemed super-serious and dark, basically Batman.
That's been done to death. I preferred Kraft's version.


Anonymous said...

Its not that unlikely Steve would know different form of Set, M.P.
Surely you've been coming here regularly for long enough by now to know he doesn't google anything to do with the comics!
(Don't worry Steve - I've got your back)


Anonymous said...

Wasn't Ozymandias the Greek version of Ramses II?

...and yeah, I had to google that.
Just for spelling, mind you.


Anonymous said...

M.P. - I think we're like ducklings. We "imprint" on characters, in the first version we see of them, then compare subsequent versions unfavorably (with some exceptions.) Sean will be at the keyboard, citing Miller's Daredevil!


Anonymous said...

See Miller's Daredevil, for example.


Anonymous said...

(My first Daredevils were from the early 70s - Conway, Gerber, Colan etc - and I thought the Miller-era, once he started writing it, was much better so it isn't really a good example at all. But I don't like to turn down requests ;)


Anonymous said...

Spot the difference:


Anonymous said...

I think you're exactly right, Phil. I started reading Marvel in the Seventies, so anything that's not Bronze Age seems a little off to me. But I bet all you guys have nervously sidled into a comic book store in the last few years, possibly wearing a disguise like I do. Then you got a look at what Marvel is putting out these days and ran out into the parking lot clawing at your eyes with your bloody fingers and screaming "NO! God no! AAAAAHHHHH"