Tuesday, 13 April 2021

The Marvel Lucky Bag - April 1981.

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

It's not every day you're walking past a lake and there's a hand sticking up out of it, holding up a sword.

In fact, unless you're King Arthur, it's not any day.

However, that realisation does bring me to look at the cinematic releases which April 1981 unfurled upon us.

Of course, I can only be referring to the fact that one of those films was John Boorman's Excalibur. How I remember all that clanky, shiny armour. How little I recall of the rest of the film.

But it wasn't alone. For, that month also brought us such celebrated movies as The Howling and Atlantic City

I've seen all three films but none of them recently enough to have a strong opinion of them. Of the three, I think I enjoyed Atlantic City the most but I could be wrong.

Two films, released in April 1981, which I've definitely not seen are Going Ape! and Ringo Starr's Caveman.

Exactly what Going Ape! involves, I've no idea but I mention it purely because I feel such a title deserves recognition and, you never know, others who visit this site may have heard of it and have it on their list of favourite films of all time.

The Defenders #94, Hellcat

It looks like it's all action for the Defenders, as they answer a distress call, only to discover Hellcat's been possessed by someone called Avarrish who I would assume to be a demon.

My vast intellect detects that "Avarrish" is probably a play on the word "avarice." I, therefore, assume, that greed must be his or her big thing.

Epic Illustrated #5

The Brothers Hildebrandt supply us with a cover while the inside offers adventures for the likes of Almuric and Dreadstar.

For some reason, Judo Jim Starlin's billed as James P Starlin in this issue. I hope he's not starting to succumb to Barry Windsor Smith Syndrome

We also get an interview with those sibling cover artists, as well as various samples of their work.

Shang-Chi Master of Kung Fu #99, Death Boat

It's ages since this site acknowledged the existence of Shang-Chi, and this seems as good a time as any to put that right, as Fu Manchu's son finds himself just one issue short of his century. This strikes me as a remarkable feat for a comic launched purely to cash in on an early 1970s craze.

Sadly, I don't have a clue what happens inside the book but have no doubt it'll be as stylish as ever.

Spider-Woman #37

Speaking of comics that have lasted longer than I would have expected, Spider-Woman hits her 37th issue - and still has a few left in her yet.

But that's an intriguing cover. It seems to involve a female version of the Banshee.

Not to mention the return of the Juggernaut.

It also features Nick Fury but I'm not so intrigued by that.

My in-depth research suggests the female version of Banshee is called Syrin and is the niece of Black Tom Cassidy who's involved in a plot to steal a load of vibranium.

What If? #26, Captain America had been elected president

Marie Severin's cover makes it clear what this issue's main subject is.

I haven't read the tale but am sure that, if Cap became president, he'd probably end up having to quit on some matter of principle or other.

The back-up tale asks what would have happened if the Man-Thing had retained Ted Sallis' brain.

I would assume the strip would just have been identical to Swamp Thing.

But I do know the tale includes a character called Bendix.

But wait. What? Isn't that the name of a washing machine manufacturer?

We also get a 6-page tale dealing with the history of the Eternals, which seems to involve a fair bit of Kree action; no doubt making them seem even more like the Inhumans than ever.

Ka-Zar the Savage #1

It's exciting news for us all, as Ka-Zar gets a brand new series of his own.

Admittedly, it's not quite his own, as he has to share it with Shanna the She-Devil.

Tragically, I know not what happens in the story itself.

But I'll be gobsmacked if dinosaurs aren't involved.

Marvel Premiere #59, Doctor Who

Doctor Who continues to, no doubt, hit it out of the ballpark in the pages of Marvel Premiere.

I don't have a clue what's going on on that cover but I do know the issue's main story's called City of the Cursed which sounds like the kind of place you don't want to visit.

There's also a Werewolf by Night tale called Full Moon on the Highway.

I'm not sure Werewolf by Night is an obvious bedfellow for Doctor Who but there you go. I'm sure Marvel knows what it's doing.


Anonymous said...

A female version of Banshee? Its political correctness gone mad, Steve! What ever next, a black Black Tom Cassidy?

Of course a Banshee is a female spirit so it was always a ridiculous name for the super-hero, yet for some reason they changed it to Syrin (what?) for the new version. But just in case you thought at least the lack of a corny Oirish name was an improvement on how Marvel usually did things, her hitherto unknown existence was explained away by her mother being killed by an IRA bomb.
I suppose at least it wasn't anything to do with the leprechauns.


Colin Jones said...
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Killdumpster said...

Sean, I agree with you about Banshees's mis-gendered name, but Siryn was a female appropriate title for that character, based on the "sirens' that would lure sailors to their deaths with their beckoning songs.

Anonymous said...

I assumed Siryn was some sort of reference to sirens Kd, but I don't get the point of the spelling.
Maybe there isn't one, and Claremont or whoever just thought using a "y" was kewl.


Anonymous said...

What if Captain America was elected president?
I guess he'd have change his name to President America.
And he'd have kept Reagan out of the White House.

It looks to me like those people in the background of that What If? cover have been drawn to be recognizable as specific individuals. Any American commenters know who they're supposed to be (apart from the obvious Marvel characters)?

I had a quick look online, and apparently the geezer swearing Cap in is Jack Kirby. Which I would never have figured out.


Steve W. said...

Sean, I think I spot Gerald Ford and Ronald Reagan in that crowd.

Colin, thanks for the Shang-Chi info and Marvel Special Edition numbering revelation.

Anonymous said...

Yeah, I thought maybe Reagan and Ford were there Steve, but it seemed odd not to also include Carter, so with the likenesses being iffy I wasn't sure.


Charlie Horse 47 said...
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Charlie Horse 47 said...

Greetings Gents!

Well, not having read any of these, or even seen the covers to nearly all...

All I can do is comment on Cap's cover. Ouch.

I think the guy to the left of Kirby's collar is LBJ.

I am guessing the guy with glasses, and the deer-in-the-headlights look is Bush Sr. who was VP to Reagan.

I don't see a Nixon. Hmmm... LOL.

THere might be some supreme court guys. Perhaps there are some Dems like an elder Kennedy or a Tip O-Neil. Back when politics was seemingly move genteel.

Oddly enough the guy I think is LBJ... I wonder if it is Humphrey?

FWIW - Humphrey most likely would have been President in 68 if the election had taken place just a few weeks later. Nixon was losing market share very fast! Also, the supreme racist George Wallace split the Democratic Ticket by starting his own party. Not sure who that helped / hurt since Nixon took the racist white dudes from the Democratic to the Republican party. Those racist white dudes are still referred to today as "Dixie-crats" and are assumed to form the base today's of the Republican party.

Regarding George Wallace, I recall watching TV as a child when they said he was shot. He was paralyzed from the waist down for the rest of his life.

And that's Charlie's history lesson for today, LO.

Redartz said...

Steve, that Ka-Zar series wS actually very good. Nice Brent Anderson art, and they had ditched the "Ka-Zar King of Savage Land" kind of dialogue. Indeed, his relationship with Shanna made the book as 'soapy' as Peter Parker's adventures ...

Charlie seems to have most of that Cap cover, well, covered. I'm sure each of those faces is a reference, but beyond that I'm at a loss...

Anonymous said...

Charlie, you might well be right about Bush on that cover.
LBJ died in '73 and Humphrey followed him to the great convention in the sky a few years later, so I don't think thats either of them to the left of Kirby's collar. But looking at a pic of Wallace online, it could be him...?


Steve W. said...

Charlie, thanks for the history lesson. I must confess to having previously been unaware of Humphrey.

Red, up until now, I've not, I think, encountered Brent Anderson's work. Looking at that Ka-Zar cover, it looks somewhere between Neal Adams and Gene Colan in style.

Killdumpster said...

Thinking of Captain America as president made me remember a godawful early 60's Saturday morning cartoon called Super-President.

Yep, a guy who was POTUS and a superhero at the same time. Mind-blowingly bad. Don't know if the UK was ever subjected to that one.

If he were a real person, I believe Ben Grimm would make a good president. We've already had one orange non-politician prez.

Anonymous said...

Dr Doom would be a good choice for US President imo.
He wasn't born there, but I doubt he'd let that get in his way (good luck to anyone demanding to see his birth certificate).

Drain the swamp, and tremble before Doom!


Charlie Horse 47 said...

Dr. Doom for President???

Am I crazy or didn't Marvel promote Howard the Duck for President??? I swear I have a politcal button with Howie for Prez???