Thursday, 6 May 2021

May 6th, 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

There aren't many things in this world that revolutionise the way we consume media.

And the videodisc certainly didn't.

However, on this night in 1981, BBC One's The Risk Business was looking at the device's impending launch and asking if it was really going to catch on.

It didn't.

Straight after that, Sportsnight was looking forward to something that certainly had caught on.

And that was the FA Cup. For we were mere days away from the competition's 100th final, contested by Manchester City and Tottenham Hotspur. My awesome mastery of maths tells me that means this year's final will be the 140th. 

When it came to music, the UK singles chart had a brand new Number One. And that was Adam and the Ants' highwaymantastic Stand and Deliver.

There was also good news for the band when it came to the British album chart, as Kings of the Wild Frontier still held sway on that listing.

Marvel Super Adventure #1, Daredevil and the Black Panther

What's that, Marvel UK? It's weeks since you last launched a new comic? So, It must be time for another one?

But this one's a book with a difference. In a stunning volte-face from the days when Dez was in charge, this publication contains just two strips; Daredevil and The Black Panther.

And it's not just any old adventure for Wakanda's finest. It's the start of Jack Kirby's King's Solomon's Frog, the tale that outraged me as a youth, after I'd become accustomed to Don McGregor's vision of the character.

But the issue's main tale deals with the first-ever clash between Daredevil and the Jester, an encounter Marvel UK had first reprinted in the mid-1970s. 

I do wish I'd known this book existed, at the time. With its concentration on just two strips, it would have given me hope for the future of Marvel's weeklies.

Spider-Man and Hulk Weekly #425

Spidey and the Daughters of the Dragon combine to battle that bloke whose name I can never remember. The one who's, basically, an evil Iron Fist.

In his own strip, the web-spinner's set to trade blows with the Sub-Mariner who's busy wrecking surface-dwellers' vessels and blathering on about war, as always.

In the Hulk's strip, I would assume Bruce Banner's still trying to get to the bottom of what's going on with The Presence and Dr Phobos in Siberia.

Captain America #11, Dazzler vs Dr Doom

It's the least likely super battle ever, as the Dazzler tackles Dr Doom.

Apparently, Doom's out to steal the Latverian Crown Jewels from where they're on display at the United Nations.

I do have to say it, if Doomy loses to the Dazzler, it really is time for him to hang up his cloak.

The star of the book, meanwhile, has been chained to the front of an oil tanker, by Mr Hyde and Batroc who've decided to use him as a hostage in their extortion plot against New York.

Elsewhere, Iron Man's taking on a zillion-and-one super-villains in Justin Hammer's secret base.

And the Defenders are back from Asgard and about to engage with the return of Lunatik.

Future Tense and Valour #27, the Micronauts

Baron Karza's back!

But he only seems to have two legs. Didn't he have four, at one point?

Wasn't he some sort of cross between Darth Vader and a horse?

We also get adventures for Conan and the Star Trek gang but I don't know what adventures.

Marvel Action #6

It's the one where the Fantastic Four must stop a giant robot, thus tying-up loose ends from that cancelled giant robot comic whose title escapes me.

Meanwhile, the Watcher's still asking what would have happened had Dr Strange become a disciple of Dormammu.

And Thor's up to something but I don't know what. Whether he's disposed of the Grey Gargoyle's space pirates yet is a thing I can neither confirm nor deny.

Savage Action #7

It's a Paul Gulacy cover which, dare one suggest, isn't amongst his best work?

Amongst this month's savage actioning, we get adventures for Blade, the Black Widow and the Punisher.

We also get the arrival of a column called Inside Comics which sounds intriguing. No doubt, by the time we've finished reading it, we'll have far greater knowledge of the art form and be all set, ready to forge a career in the industry we all love.

Doctor Who Magazine #52, Jon Pertwee

Not too long after the mag's Tom Baker dedicated issue, we get one devoted to his predecessor and the Unit years.

And I'm not sure I can say much beyond that.

Savage Sword of Conan #43

Blow me down with a feather because this issue also includes the Inside Comics column.

We also get news, reviews and a comic mart, not to mention a distinctive Howard Chaykin cover.

This month's main story appears to be the Treasure of Trancos which the cover declares to be one of the most famous Conan epics ever. I must confess I've never heard of it. I'm not sure if the fault is mine or the story's.

Regardless, this, like Savage Action, boasts of being one of Marvel's New Direction monthlies. I am intrigued by this description, even though I don't know what it means.

Marvel Superheroes #373, the Avengers vs Thanos

Thanks to Judo Jim Starlin, the Avengers, Warlock and Captain Marvel take on the forces of Thanos - in outer space!

We also get more of that Inside Comics column.

Empire Strikes Back #145

Luke and Leia are on some planet or other, being menaced by a huge, shaggy beast.

Killraven's still in the Herb Trimpe era and about to have trouble with someone called The Warlord. Is that the man with the metal arm and the bionic eye?

This would appear to be the story in which Killraven dumps the Zardoz look and adopts the outfit we more usually associate him with.

And it's exciting times for all fans of Ray Harryhausen, as we get pretty much the whole of Clash of the Titans adapted in just two pages of artwork. It has to be the most efficient comic book adaptation of all time.

Frantic #15

Frantic tackles Benson and Apocalypse Now, as well as, seemingly, Australia.

Rampage #35, the Thing and Spider-Man vs Thanos

You just can't get away from Thanos, this month. Not only is he taking on the Avengers in Marvel Superheroes, he's also tackling the Thing and Spider-Man in Rampage. He must be the hardest-working villain in the cosmos.

And, as if to prove it, the Titanic fiend's out to extinguish the sun, as a gift to Death.

I predict he will fail in this ambition.

In the X-Men's strip, believing his mutant charges to be dead, Professor X looks back to the events which led to him creating the group in the first place.

Starburst #33, Scanners

It's a dramatic cover for Britain's leading sci-fi mag, as Starburst reviews the head-exploding excitement of Scanners.

Margot Kidder provides an allegedly controversial interview.

And we get a history of the Bond flicks, a look at Popeye the Movie and The Bride of Frankenstein.

Hulk Pocket Book #7, Hercules

Unless I miss my ever-loving guess, this issue, we get the first-ever meeting between the Hulk and Hercules, after the Hulk interferes with the train on which Herc's riding.

I do remember that the tale takes place during the middle of the multi-part Thor epic in which Hercules is tricked into taking up residence in Hades, by Pluto who's disguised as a film producer, and that Herc's on the train because he's en route to that fateful meeting.

Seeing as Hercules guested in both Thor and the Hulk books at the same time, I do wonder if Stan was considering giving the Olympian his own series and was using the strips of existing Marvel stars to establish him with readers?

Chiller Pocket Book #14, Man-Thing

I don't know much about the contents of this one but I do believe Man-Thing's up against the Foolkiller.

On second thoughts, that seems like it'd be quite a one-sided fight. Therefore, I'll assume it's more likely that it's Richard Rory who's up against the Foolkiller.

Conan the Barbarian pocket book #7

Barry Smith takes a rest, as Gil and Roy deliver Conan vs the Gods of Bal-Sagoth, a tale which sees Conan and Fafnir fight a bunch of demons, on an island, then do a runner when its volcano erupts.

If I were Conan, I'd sue that travel agent.

It's just occurred to me; is the existence of this book the reason Savage Sword of Conan no longer claims to be Britain's Number One Sword and Sorcery comic? After all, it might not be good marketing for Marvel to imply this one is second-best.

Fantastic Four Pocket Book #14, the Silver Surfer

That cover tells me we've reached the story in which the Silver Surfer decides to unify mankind... becoming a threat to it.

I'm not convinced this is the greatest plan of all time.

Fortunately, the Fantastic Four and the Watcher are here to sort it all out.

Not to mention the Sonic Shark Missile.

As if that wasn't enough excitement for us, we get an epic clash between the FF, Thor, Spider-Man and Daredevil when the team becomes convinced Daredevil's actually Dr Doom in disguise!

Spider-Man pocket Book #14, the Enforcers

Spider-Man faces his least deadly threat yet, as the Enforcers return.

If I remember right, the Enforcers and Sandman have abducted the Human Torch - and only Spidey can save him.

Young Romance pocket book #7

I can offer no specifics about the contents of this issue but have no doubts at all that heartbreak is everywhere to be found.

Titans pocket book #7, Iron Man vs the Mandarin

It's all go for Iron Man, as he finds himself trapped in the lair of the Mandarin.

I'm fairly certain this is his first encounter with the ring-happy Fu Manchu wannabe who's so confident of victory that he can't even be bothered to get up out of his chair to achieve it.

Elsewhere, Thor takes on the menace of the Carbon-Copy Man and, for some reason, the book prints the first page of the story twice.

Is this a mistake by the publishers? Or is it a clever joke based on the fact the villain of the piece is called the Carbon-Copy Man?

And will we ever know the answer to that question?

X-Men pocket book #14, the Blob

The X-Men graduate from Professor X's academy but they have little time to celebrate, as Cyclops announces he's quitting, and the Blob is back to do whatever it is he's out to do.

Not only that but, in the issue's other tale, the gang have to tackle Unus the untouchable.

I'm pretty sure both these adventures end with the villain of the piece retiring from his career in crime and deciding he'd rather just go back to everyday life, which is quite an unusual way to end a super-hero battle and one I approve of.


Anonymous said...

'Spider-man & Hulk' # 426, 'Captain America Weekly' # 11, & 'Savage Action' # 7

Common themes?

1.) Before a battle, a superhero is a shadow of their normal selves / below par / under the weather

2.) Battle for a name/identity

3.) Dishonouring yourself

4.) Stereotypical oriental stories

1.) Before a battle, a superhero is below par

Often, superheroes being below par, excuses them for losing 'round one' against the villain. Last week, Mr.Hyde caught Captain America off-guard, and pounded him unconscious, because Cap's reflexes were dulled, through lack of sleep (Steve Rogers pulled an all-nighter, to finish his art portfolio, and get it delivered to 'Carmen' (Infantino?) next morning.

This week, In 'Spider-man & Hulk Weekly', Iron Fist dragged himself off his deathbed, to save Spidey, whom Steel Serpent had cornered against some playground netting. Davos/Steel Serpent tells Iron Fist: "I am at the peak of my form...while you are but a shadow of your former self" etc.

Likewise, in Spidey's other story, someone singing at 3am prevents Peter Parker getting any sleep at all, presumably before he encounters Namor, next issue.

What I liked about Jim Shooter's Avengers was, you got to see what the superheroes could do AT THEIR BEST. For example, when Iron Man was about to fight Hercules, he said: "It's a good job I'm fully charged, because it looks like I'm in for the fight of my life!" The operative words are Iron Man's armour is 'fully charged', not failing - like it usually was! But...I digress.

2.) Battle for a name/identity

Iron Fist & Davos fight to determine who's worthy of the iron fist. As Colleen Wing says, "Iron Fist has to prove-- here and now, to himself more than anyone--that he is worthy of his name and all that goes with it."

This is very similar to last week's flashback of Erik Josten (The Smuggler) battling Luke Cage for the name 'Power Man'.

3.) Dishonouring yourself

In Hulk, this week, an elderly Japanese film director (of Samurai heritage)feels he's dishonoured himself, by making a Schlock monster movie, and filming such trash in a sacred temple to boot, just to honour a film contract.

In 'Savage Action', Blade's self-image is damaged, seemingly beyond repair, when he kills a girl, by accident.

4.) Stereotypically oriental stories - Hulk's a samurai tale; Iron Fist's Kung Fuey; and last, but definitely least, Dragon Lord's more of the same.

Anonymous said...

'Captain America Weekly' # 11

Captain America

Mr.Hyde tells Captain America, he's going to crumple his shield. Cap replies, "Better men than you have failed." Better men? Stronger maybe. Nefaria? Dragon Man? (but he's a robot.) Usually villains, on failing to break Cap's shield, angrily discard it. Nefaria hit the Back Panther, knocking him senseless - whilst Dragon Man almost hit an airliner! Hyde throws the shield into Batroc's barge, next to the Leaper's goons.

Captain America's still a figurehead for the supertanker, tied to the massive anchor cable, but first manages to scrape one link loose. Next, through sheer will power, Cap strains his muscles to the max, and breaks the other chain.

Now this is why the idea that Captain America and Daredevil's strength is roughly the same is ludicrous. What's the point in a super soldier formula, if you're only a peak athlete?
Anyway, Cap should have retained some of the strength he got from the Viper.

Unfortunately, in freeing himself, Cap knocks his head on the side of the supertanker, plunging down towards the ocean!

Iron Man

It's Iron Man vs Stiletto, Discus, Leap Frog, Whiplash, the Beetle, Blizzard, Melter, Water Wizard, Spymaster, Constrictor, Man-killer and Porcupine.

Water Wizard makes the pragmatic decision to flee, like Taskermaster would, or that Pumpkin headed villain, in Machine Man.

The Constrictor realizes it's a case of 'too many cooks spoil the broth', saying: "There isn't enough room to utilize our powers."

Anyway, Iron Man trashes them all, and flies to a great height, holding Justin Hammer's pet scientist, Barnett, upside down, until he confesses to sabotaging his armour. Isn't a confession under duress inadmissible?


It turns out Dr. Doom's jewels aren't just any old jewels; no - they're the fabled 'Merlin stones', and Doom wants to complete the set! Dazzler roller skates very fast, then jumps up, and uses a double-footed drop kick to knock a heavily armoured Dr. Doom over! This left me very slightly sceptical. Soon Doom recovers, and electrifies the shiny floor ( some spilled water?) to incapacitate Dazzler. Last week, Tony Stark did this to one of Justin Hammer's goons. Next week Doom's going to make Dazzler his disciple/errand-girl, to find the other Merlin stones - or something - c.f. Dr.Strange & Dormammu in one of this week's other weeklies. Are Doom & Moses Magnum the only villains with finger blasters?

The Defenders

Nighthawk & the ladies are met by two Feds, who want to audit Kyle Richmond's financial affairs. Later, Val & Patsy go to a party at Empire U, where some student gets angry, and starts accusing an academic of being Lunatik.

Anonymous said...

'Spider-man & Hulk Weekly' # 426

In the 70s, Bathyspheres/diving bells were big - maybe due to Jacques Cousteau. The Submariner smashes up a diving bell, but rescues its crew members. I remember the original Captain Britain (the one with SMALLER union flags on his costume), using his own strength, combined with the power of the Star Sceptre, strained his powers to their max, and lifted a diving bell out of Loch Ness. This marked the upper limit of the original Captain Britain's strength. But...I digress.

Namor & Spidey both appear in a bad light. Namor doesn't represent his people's wishes. Rather, he starts rabble rousing them, encouraging them to attack the surface dwellers. Likewise, Spidey refuses to help Deb Whitman's uncle - an old salt, whose sailors are all against him. Luckily, by the end of the page count, Peter visits Aunt May, and sees the error of his ways. Bless. Once more, Spidey realizes, with Great Power...etc.


An old samurai film maker is disgraced, desecrating a temple to make a schlock monster movie. The Hulk, after swimming for days, turns up.(How did Hulk stay angry all through his swim, so as not to transform back to Banner?) Hulk sees a green jade Buddha statue, and instantly feels a connection. Glenn Talbot's War Wagon picks up Hulk's radioactive trail. Mount Kuroishi keeps getting mentioned.

Dragon Lord

The modern, twentieth century Dragon Lord must face the Godzilla monster, even though he's (Dragon Lord, not the monster!) now living a suburban life, with a wife named Phyllis. He creates a mystic noose, which pulls the Godzilla monster near him. Next Dragon Lord summons a mystic monster that looks like Kong with a short beak, with teeth in it (not a million miles from Alf!) The mystic monster fails. What happens next? Are you even bothered?

Anonymous said...

'Savage Action' # 7

Last month's 'Savage Action' was pure class. It was good to see the Punisher return. At the start, The Punisher was the magazine's lead character. What's more, good though the Man-Thing is, he doesn't fit Savage Action's mission statement/tag line of 'Dark Avengers, mercenaries, and enigmatic soldiers of fortune!'

Blade's a good fit, too. Moon Knight & Dominic Fortune have girlfriends with stylish names - Marlene Alraune & Sabbath Raven. Blade's girl's named 'Safron' - similar deal!

Last month's 'Savage Action' was a Tony Dezuniga fest. Dezuniga did the art chores on both Blade & The Punisher. This month, Blade has Rico Rival, instead, so the panels are a little cramped, but it's still good stuff!

Last month's Blade was an outstanding story, about Blade's self-concept being damaged, seemingly beyond repair (a Joseph Conrad theme.) In thick fog, Blade threw a wooden stake at one of multiple vampires, but finds he's killed a girl instead - leaving Blade wracked with guilt. Claremont glosses: "Funny how things change -- one moment you're cock o' the walk, big man on campus, top dog - the next you're dirt. A moment ago, Blade was a proud man, secure in the knowledge what he did was right. A moment ago, Blade was a man who never made a mistake. But that was a moment ago, when Jodie Harper was still alive."

The only ally Blade has in his journey through this personal Hell is a tough female cop, named Kate Fraser. She's also a psychic, who can read a person's past, from creation to destruction (come on, this is a Chris Claremont story!) Kate's no shrinking violet, and if Blade mouths off at her, she'll give him as much back.

The story's dialogue is razor sharp, and the tale's non-stop action from start to finish.

I could go on - but it's a brilliant story. One of Claremont's best ever. Blade's speaks like Luke Cage, but with a more 'hard core' edge. "Enjoy Hell, you evil, motherin' scum!" Blade snipes at Stephan Roak, a vampire who's also a master swordsman.

Anonymous said...

This month is a characterization piece, as Claremont delves deeper into Blade's origin. In terms of Blade's origin, he's decades ahead of his time. To say Blade comes from a dysfunctional family is an understatement. Blade's mother - a lady of ill repute - died by a vampire as soon as he was born. Blade's surrogate father is a former junkie jazz player, named Jamal Afari. This father figure also fights vampires, but eventually Dracula makes Jamal a vampire, too - and Blade must kill him.

Blade & Kate are up against the Legion of the Damned, led by a female aristocrat, Marguerite D'Alescio, who's second only to Dracula - but, strangely, isn't a vamp herself. Attacked by the Legion, Blade & Kate flee to the London Underground. Pinned down, Kate pops a vampire's eardrums (just like Claremont had Ms.Marvel do to Grotesk) and throws him onto the third line of the railtrack, frying him!

By the end of the page count, Blade's personal Hell gets even worse, as the vamps have turned his girl friend, Safron, into a vampire!

The Black Widow

Ostensibly, the Widow's mission is to assassinate her old mentor, Irma Klausvichnova. In reality, Irma's been replaced by S.H.I.E.L.D. agent Stacey Cromwell, and Natasha's being used to flush out a double agent. Gulacy draws the double agent to look exactly like Michael Caine as Harry Palmer. The mysterious guy who's running the whole operation Gulacy draws exactly like Humphrey Bogart. Hilarious? No.

The Punisher

Frank Castle continues telling "masseuse" Audrey his origin story, then shoots her. As the saying goes, "If I told you, I'd have to kill you." More seriously, Audrey is the mob's mysterious assassin, who was hired to kill the Punisher.


Anonymous said...

(Un)Interesting point - Misty Knight's big gun is a Colt Python, whereas Bethany Cabe's big gun is a Smith & Wesson.

That weird 'hugging' scene in which Iron Fist reclaims the iron fist from Davos, is a bit like Adam Warlock transforming Thanos to stone. Furthermore, in the final scene Iron Fist & Misty kiss, just to reassure the reader Danny's not shopping for Killraven boots! Not that there's anything wrong with the said footwear!

Savage Action:

Black Widow's title - "I got the yo yo, you got the string" - Like those strange US yo yo- like lollipops Charlie was on about?

Blade's title - Dawn of Blood - Wan't Charlie talking about Dawn's hit single?

Coincidence or what?


Steve W. said...

Thanks for the epic summary, Phillip. Once again, you've gone far above and beyond the call of duty.

Didn't the Green Goblin have some (fairly feeble) finger blasters?

I'm sort of feeling Dragon Lord is not a strip that would have appealed to me.

Anonymous said...

Thanks, Steve!


Charlie Horse 47 said...

1) If Hulk had the Gladiators buzz saws, he could of just cut Herc's jugular. Problem solved.

2) "I got the yo yo you got the string" could be "I got a brand new pair of roller skate you got a brand new key!"

3) I can't believe you guys don't know your lollies.

4) I don't like how Paul Gulacy drew the BW's right breast. I mean, it looks like a can of soup hiding underneath? I prefer the red head's on the right side of the cover.

5) When you UK guys say "jab" for a vaccination is that slang, like cop is for police?

Anonymous said...

Phil, I also don't believe Captain America and Daredevil are in exactly the same class. So Cap's Super Soldier Serum automatically takes him to the pinnacle of human ability. Okay.
That means he could win every medal in the Olympics. He still works out and trains and stuff, but I dunno if he has to.
Daredevil has to work out. He has to train. He's got super-senses, sure, but at the end of the day he's a lawyer. He's gotta sit on his ass a lot.
None of the five or six lawyers I've had were in very good shape.

Charlie, the Gladiator's buzz-saw would jam up on Herc's big fat neck.
How do does one have a buzz-saw strapped to each forearm and not eviscerate himself?! Whoops, there goes my femoral artery!
I used to operate a table saw on one of my jobs and it's a miracle I still have ten fingers. Ray, that old dude that worked there, was down to seven and a half.


Charlie Horse 47 said...

MP - Did DD then develop a radar sense?

I guess we have to assume super soldier cap with his super strong shield should knock DD into next week in about two seconds. I mean, would you imagine DD taking on some of the Skull's Sleepers? Can you imagine DD defeating the Red Skull with the Cube Cosmic in his hands? I say thee nay!

Plus the Cap I knew drove a motorcycle. Did you ever see DD driving a motorcycle? Cap could just run him over with his motorcycle.

Nope... DD is really no stronger than the Falcon.

DD fighting Cap would be as nonsensical as... say... Falcon fighting Spidey.

Charlie Horse 47 said...

The Dazzler vs. Doctor Doom!

How did I miss that growing up?

Anyhow, it looks as if Doom is sporting a pistol on his belt so clearly Dazzler has no chance since Doom could just shoot her? Just pull out his "9" and pop her between the eye balls!

Charlie Horse 47 said...

O.m.gosh... Imagine SKull using the Cube Cosmic and exiling DD to that Caribbean Island instead of Cap (where Cap first meets Falcon)!

And then out blind DD runs up against "The Exiles" and Baldini whips out his scarf! Poor DD... can you imagine his thought processes...

"Wait? It sounds like a scarf blowing in the breeze! But it can't be because it's 95 forkin degrees down here! The sweat is running in my eyes but thank god I'm blind and it does not burn! Oh, oh... it IS a scarf. Wait! Can it be the dreaded Baldini who was hand-trained by the Skull to use a scarf as a deadly weapon? Holy Mother! I'm done for!"

Yep - that's how I imagine Boy Roy writing that encounter. With Gene the Dean's artwork it is a winner for sure!

Anonymous said...

Did this battle between Dazzler and Doc Doom happen in Studio 54?
...because, well, it was the late '70's and it was NYC and Dazzler had...disco powers.
Did Liza Minelli or Rod Stewart show up?
And if they did, why did Doom not kill them?


Anonymous said...

No Liza Minelli or Rod Stewart M.P., but iirc Nightmare turned up.

The postman delivered my copy of Monsters earlier today. Awesome!
It made up for the disappointment at waking up to find the Brits weren't at war with France this morning.


Anonymous said...

I dunno whether to envy you or not, Sean.
From what I saw of it is dark.
I think you're right, about the germ of this book coming from the Hulk.
I know I've read somewhere that Bruce Banner was abused as a child, and in the Hulk we see him reverting to his childhood Id, operating on a five-or-six year-old level.
Like addiction, tragedy or horror can trap people at a certain age. They can't get past it. Frozen in time.
So the Hulk is fearful, upset, and angry. He doesn't understand what's going on and might lash out.
It makes sense. Although I think Lee and Kirby imagined Banner as a control freak who's lost control, and the bestial, dark side comes out. Only at night, and he doesn't sprout hair, he gets big and green.
Sorta like Frankenstein meets the Werewolf. In the same guy.


Anonymous said...

M.P. - At the start of the Hulk tv series, Lou Ferrigno's Hulk looking at his reflection in the water, is a clear reference to a famous scene in the classic Frankenstein movie (as you possibly already know.) Deathlok also references this movie scene.

Charlie - In next week's Marvel Super Adventure weekly, Captain America fights DD, in a charity match (c.f. Smashie & Nicie - "Does a lot of work for charity, but doesn't like to talk about it!" ) It's the one whose most memorable line comes from the spectators - "Cap knows every trick in the book!" "Yeah - but so does old DD!" Steve's covered this one before.

Charlie - "jab" also denotes the action - a prodding, poking action/motion.


Anonymous said...

Jungle Action was a fave of mine back in the day too Steve, but Kirby's Panther was great too. Sure it was different, but how could you not enjoy King Solomon's Frog, Mr Little, The Six Million Year Man, Princess Zanda, and all that?
In retrospect, I think the McGregor version now seems quite 70s, and Kirby's take holds up better.

Warlock was another 70s fave, and those issues of Marvel Superheroes and Rampage were where I finally got to read that Avengers/MTIO crossover. Classic stuff, from when Thanos was up for total stellar genocide because he was in love with death, and not just a Malthusian crank.
(What is the point in only wiping out half the people? I mean, c'mon - the population of the Earth has doubled in my lifetime, so its hardly a long term solution to anything)

After ages filling in the gaps between the US Strange Tales/Warlock monthlies I had with reprints - what a drag, having to check out Star Wars Weekly for a few pages of Judo Jim Starlin in the back - it was great to get the whole conclusion in one go. Marvel UK get fair bit of (justified) stick round these parts, but you have to give them credit for that.
Although I still think they missed a trick not putting both parts together in an annual, or one of those Collector Editions.


Anonymous said...

Yes, Kirby’s Black Panther was an abrupt about-face after 4 years of Don McGregor. But honestly, I didn’t even mind it all that much at the time. I loved McGregor and Co’s first JUNGLE ACTION serial — and still do — but the ‘Panther Vs The Klan’ follow-up never really grabbed me. It was certainly a courageous thing to attempt, but story-wise it never had that ‘can’t wait to see what happens next issue!’ narrative propulsion. And sadly, the art was kinda lacking too. Maybe the mighty Billy Graham was getting tuckered out — and unfortunately, I think that inker Bob McLeod was just a poor fit for him. McCleod was always a solid inker, but his super-tight, more ‘realistic’ style smothered the almost manic intensity of Graham’s exuberant, almost cartoony figures and faces. On way too many pages, it looked like it could have been ANYBODY under the inks.

So when JA got cancelled and then replaced by Kirby’s wacky-doodle sci-fi ‘One Damn Thing After Another’ version, I was actually ready for it. Like sean, I enjoyed the kooky characters and the Way Out concepts. I do agree with the consensus perceived wisdom that the strip’s greatest weakness is Kirby’s characterization of T’Challa himself. The series just isn’t ABOUT him — AT ALL. He’s the ‘straight man’, the dullest, least interesting character in the entire cast. But it’s still a fun, zippy book.


Steve W. said...

Charlie, I suspect the Gladiator's saws would just bounce off Herc's hide.

MP, I just hope the Gladiator never makes the mistake of trying to pick his nose.

Charlie, in fairness, DD did manage to single-handedly defeat the Emissaries of Evil, featuring Electro, Leapfrog, Stilt-Man, the Matador and Gladiator, all at the same time, in his first annual. I'd say they're a bit more formidable than the Red Skull's Outcasts.

Apart from the Matador, of course. I reckon even I could beat the Matador.

Steve W. said...

Bt and Sean, I have, over the years, reconciled myself with Jack Kirby's Panther series.

I still prefer Don's version, though.

Charlie Horse 47 said...

Electro vs. Shocker! Who wins?

Anonymous said...

Oh, if I were stranded on a desert isle, I would TOTALLY rather have the collected McGregor / Buckler / Graham ‘Panther’s Rage’ with me than the complete run of Kirby’s Black Panther. It’s not even close.


Anonymous said...

Thats was a good point about the McGregor Panther reaching the end of the line with those Klan issues anyway b.t.
Black Panther stories were always weakest when they were set in the US; I appreciate that was probably an editorial decision, but it was a big problem after Panther's Rage had been about the consequences of his absence from Wakanda. Plus - Windeagle?!?

For a Desert Island Panther I'd probably go for McGregor's end of the 80s return to the character, Panther's Quest. His writing is better than earlier, but tbh the real draw is the excellent artwork of Gene Colan and Tom Palmer.


Anonymous said...

I'd like to see that Iron Man story where he fights all those guys at once, sorta "running the gauntlet" as it were. I've got reprints of the comic where Daredevil takes on the Emissaries of Evil and Spidey took on the Sinister Six. (I used to buy a lot of reprints, because M.P. wasn't rolling in money.) So it's a plot device, if that's the right term, that's been used again and again. I think they did that with the Hulk too, didn't they?
But that line-up that Iron Man is facing...there's a lotta low cards in that hand. Leap-Frog, Porcupine...
I think there was an inflation of Iron Man's powers over the years. Just like with a lotta Marvel characters. The Hulk and Wolverine are basically un-killable now, aren't they? So much for danger and suspense.
But they had stories where Iron Man punched out the Hulk and defeated the Growing Man on his lonesome. And Shooter was writing I.M. in the Avengers like he was almost on the same level as Thor.
I say thee nay! It more interesting when he was less powerful, maybe a bit below a Sub-Mariner level.
One cool idea, I think, is to phase out Stark as Iron Man completely (temporarily, at least) and have some goof who owns a garage build his own cheap-ass inferior Iron Man suit outta junk layin' around and take up the mantle. Then he would have all kindsa problems with muggers and the occasional super-villain D-lister. Like maybe the Owl or the Jester or the Trapster or somebody like that. I would buy that comic!
Actually, I guess they did do that in Howard the Duck, and the Iron Duck was nearly defeated by Dr. Bong.
Anyway, it's an idea.


Anonymous said...

M.P. - I agree that Iron Man's normal strength is a tad below the Submariner's. Like you alluded to, Jim Shooter had Iron Man momentarily override his normal limits, putting all his power into one super powered punch, to lay into Nefaria. I liked that!

Also, when Thor used a lightning bolt against Iron Man (the Moondragon/Thor/Drax storyline), shell-head absorbed it, and used the energy from it to hit Thor, with a super powered punch.

(Iron Man absorbing electricity is strangely inconsistent, though. He did it with the Constrictor, but not with Whiplash!)

However, when David Michelinie had Iron Man knock out the Hulk (admittedly, it did greater damage to Iron Man), that crossed a line! Moreover, once that line had been crossed, it helped usher in Marvel's other 1980s stupidities, and line crossing.

Strangely, Jim Shooter didn't invent Iron Man's ability to overload his armour, increasing his strength, momentarily. It happened as far back as Tales to Astonish # 92, when Iron Man said, "BY SETTING MY TRANSISTORS TO THEIR HIGHEST INTENSITY, MY STRENGTH BECOMES VIRTUALLY LIMITLESS FOR A SHORT PERIOD OF TIME."

Apologies if you're already familiar with Tales to Astonish # 92!


Anonymous said...

I might have the reprint, Phil. When I was a teenager I stumbled upon this old hippie used-book store in Mankato Mn. (Mike Ploog was born there!) Very weirdly, they had this enormous cache of Marvel reprints. Just reprints. Y'know, Marvel Super Action, Marvel Triple Action Marvel's Greatest Comics etc., etc. Like that.
It was a weird gold mine, one that a comic collector might see only rarely is his time, about which there are hushed whispers.
They were goin' for a quarter a pop, and I nearly plotzed. It took me months to clean that sucker out, because the professional restaurant dish-washer game was not as lucrative as one might suppose. Two-fifty an hour was not a handsome sum to command, even back then.
See, I hadda get all that Marvel '60's stuff from reprints; I didn't get the originals because I was in the Diaper Brigade at the time.
I shouldn't knock it; being an infant kept me outta 'Nam.
I'm not like, 120 years old, like Sean or Charlie.


Charlie Horse 47 said...

MP - It's not like I'm farting dust, man.

But regarding increased super powers, I wonder if it would have worked for us old dudes had they kept the original "limitations" or human-interest stuff in place.

I mean things like (and I my memory is vague I admit)

- Subby could only be out of water of an hour maybe?
- Iron Man was constantly recharging his heart and needed to rely on his built inroller skates occasionally.
- Thor was only allowed 1 minute away from his hammer. And he would revert back to Blake.
- Spidey was always broke.
- Hulk had to deal with Banner and the idiot Rick Jones.

Oddly, I always thought of Iron Man as potentially the strongest of the bunch after Thor and Hulk. Granted Hulk (and Thing) would twist iron / steal light poles into curly q's all day long and since Iron Man was made of Iron... But I figured with those high powered transistors and various other gadgets stored on his armor he could blast someone like Subby into next week. That's how I used to imagine things.

Excuse me while I go make a smoothie of Geritol and Macca Root. Have a hot date tomorrow!

Killdumpster said...

Electro wins in my book, oh my brother.

Killdumpster said...

Yeah, M.P., in a recon of Banner's history his father abused him because he was way-beyond the intelligence for his age, and thought him a mutant.

Killdumpster said...

Aw, Charlie, oh my brother! I can take Mr. Jones called "annoying", but not an "idiot".

The man was a key factor in forming the Avengers, and halting a Kree invasion! With no superpowers!

I'd like to see that Snappy-guy or Jimmy Olson from DC do stuff like that.

Killdumpster said...

Steve, I believe they re-mastered Kings Of The Wild Frontier with Stand And Deliver. I owned it on CD, and need another copy.

Anonymous said...

Charlie, there was never any rule that the Sub-Mariner couldn't live an hour without being immersed in water.
You're thinking of Aquaman!
And even D.C. Comics dispensed with that limitation a long time ago. How can you have a super-hero in the Justice League who's gotta be hosed down every sixty minutes?
Maybe I oughta be hosed down every sixty minutes. I was very fond of the Peter David/Grant Morrison version of the character. He was a genuine bad-ass, and not afraid to get cosmic.
In Morrison's Earth 2, he took out Power Ring with one punch.


Anonymous said...

M.P. - I must choose my words more carefully. I tend to just blurt out the first thing that enters my head! Obviously you're only a bit older than me, so I know Vietnam wasn't your posting. I, myself, read 'Tales to Astonish' # 92 in Essential Iron Man, and thought you might have done the same, too!

Sometimes 'reprints' seems a slightly derogatory term in America (on some blogs.) In the UK, of course, 'reprints' were the norm - except when it was reprints of reprints. To me, mid-late 1981 was the year of Iron Fist (Blockbuster Monthly followed by Iron Fist's Kerry Gammill era.) Older members of this blog, in contrast, read the former of these stories before, in 1975. It seems Charlie - like in the She-Hulk/Man Thing story - has found a way to reverse the aging process. I commend him!

I also bought reprints in vast amounts once (in the 1990s.) Marvel UK ones, that is. Sadly, it was the collection of a fellow comics reader who died in a motor cycle accident - or part of it. At least it went to someone who appreciated them - and added them to the GCD! Here's raising a glass to a brother in arms!

I think Namor's strength dropped the longer he was out of the water.


Anonymous said...

KD - As regards Adam & the Ants, as a kid, I remember my brother and myself annoying my parents by repeatedly singing the lyric: "Prince Charming - Prince Charming - ridicule is nothing to be scared of!" Immature, I know. I didn't need any of Charlie's magic potion, being so immature in 1981!


Charlie Horse 47 said...

MP - I really recall Namor having to get wet now and then. ALmost vividly. Philip concurs! THerefore...

KD - I was just trying to jerk your chain about RJ, LOL. My point is actually just that the RJ companionship always provided a window us mere humans could theoretically open, like Rick, and hang out with the heroes.

MInd you, I have yet to consider driving out into an atomic bomb test zone. But should I stummble over bracelets in a cave baby... look out!

Steve W. said...

Charlie, Namor could stay out of water for as long as he wanted but he had to remain wet to sustain his full strength. As MP says, it was Aquaman who couldn't survive out of water for more than an hour.

KD, it's exciting news for all Adam and the Ants fans.