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Thursday, 29 July 2021

July 29th 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 are those who cry at weddings. 

And, on this day in 1981, I was certainly crying about one.

That's because it was on every TV and radio channel, virtually all day long, meaning there was no way for me to escape it.

The wedding was between Prince Charles and Lady Diana Spencer at St Paul's Cathedral in London, which took place before a global audience of over 750 million people.

Admittedly, I may be exaggerating when I say there was nothing else at all on TV. After all, that self-same evening, BBC One treated us to a showing of The Sound of Music featuring the future stars of the live-action Spider-Man TV show, the Logan's Run TV show, Lost in Space and Starcrash, all in one mighty tale of nuns vs Nazis.

Earlier, that week, things had got rather dramatic in these isles when around 1,000 motorcyclists clashed with police in Keswick, Cumbria. I feel that would have been something worth seeing but also something worth avoiding.

Not to be avoided, ever, is the UK singles chart, and that, week, the Hit Parade's top spot was seized by the ubiquitous Shakin' Stevens when his cover of Green Door removed The Specials' Ghost Town from the summit.

There was to be no removal for Cliff Richard on the British album chart. The man who'd been the Shakin' Stevens of the 1950s held onto that list's summit, thanks to his LP Love Songs.

Spider-Man and Hulk Team-Up #438, Captain America and the Scorpion

In our cover tale, Spider-Man and Captain America must unite to combat the deadly menace of the Scorpion in a tale I believe to be drawn by Herb Trimpe.

Elsewhere, Bruce Banner finds himself washed ashore on Easter Island.

And he's not alone.

Because the Absorbing Man's on it as well!

The villain's lost his memory.

But how long before he gets it back?

Thrilling stuff indeed but it all pales into insignificance before the real news of the hour.

Which is that, at last, we can all be the crime-fighter we've always dreamt of being, thanks to this issue giving us a free Spider-Man mask that I've no doubt will be as awesome as the one given away, all those years earlier, in the first-ever issue of Spider-Man Comics Weekly.

Admittedly, that mask was just a red paper bag with eye holes cut in it but, still.....

Marvel Action starring Captain America #23, the Hulk

There are five action-packed strips in this book.

Sadly, I only know what happens in one of them.

And that's the cover story. I can exclusively reveal Bruce Banner and Captain America are kidnapped by a gang of villains out to make a robot that can rival the Hulk in power. 

Can it be curtains for our heroes?

No, it can't because the robot turns out to be a total dud and the villains are soon routed, what with their main weapon being a tub of glue.

Marvel Super Adventure #13, Daredevil vs the Stuntmaster

It looks like we're getting the first-ever appearance of the Stunt-Master when the wannabe Evil Knievel gatecrashes Daredevil's plan to announce his retirement.

Needless to say, this causes the man without fear to cancel that plan, much to the chagrin of Karen Page.

Apparently, we also get the chance to witness the righteous rage of the Panther. Upon the events of that tale, I can shed no light.

Tuesday, 27 July 2021

Speak Your Brain! Part VI. Bookshops!

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

The Steve Does Comics Megaphone
Image by Tumisu
from Pixabay
Once more, the internet reels with horror as another Tuesday comes around, meaning the time has arrived for the latest round in the feature that's rocking this ever-shrinking world to its very foundations.

Thus it is that the first person to comment below will set the starting point for today's discussion.

Could it involve sport, art, films, music, myth, magic, mystery, sofas or illusion?

I don't have a clue.

You, on the other hand, probably have.

So, if there's anything you feel needs discussion, feel free to say so in the comments section provided.

Sunday, 25 July 2021

You decide! Marvel movies!

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

Image by
OpenClipart-Vectors
from
Pixabay
There are times in this life when you have to slam on the brakes.

You may be about to hit a nightmarish bend in the road.

A cat may have just leapt out in front of your tank when you're about to invade a small country.

Or you may have just been about to write a blog post.

One of those things has just happened to me.

And it didn't involve cats.

There I was, all set to launch myself into reviewing that issue of Adventure Comics where the Spectre inflicts a giant squid upon a 1970s Nazi, when I suddenly realised, I don't think I've ever asked you what your favourite Marvel movies are.

Clearly, this is an oversight I must correct.

And I am.

Of course, there are two possible definitions of the phrase, "Marvel movie."

One could refer to films made by Marvel Studios. The other involves films that are based on Marvel Comics strips, regardless of the actual studio behind the film.

For the purposes of this post, I'm including anything at all that features a Marvel character. Granted, by that token, Howard the Duck is eligible for inclusion in this debate. And, if you wish to put Howard forward, that is within your fundamental rights as a commentator.

I, however, shall not be putting Howard forward.

First off, I shall say that, while I've not minded the Marvel Studios ventures, none of them has held any great emotional resonance for me. Ultimately, I think I tend to find them a little too glib to ever be truly gripped by them.

Also, I've not actually seen them all, yet.

Of the Marvel Studios ones I have seen, Captain America: The Winter Soldier has probably been my favorite, thanks to its sense of momentum and conflict.

And, the non-Marvel Studios films?

Two leap to mind.

One is a golden oldie now.

That's Spider-Man 2. The one with Alfred Molina as Doc Ock. Not the one with Jamie Foxx as Electro. 

Possibly tainted by memories of Spider-Man 3, the Tobey Maguire films seem to have gone heavily out of favour in recent times but I do feel Spider-Man 2 is a masterclass in how to handle a super-hero movie and its themes.

My other favourite is Deadpool 2.

The first Deadpool was fine but little of it has managed to lodge in my memory. The sequel, though, is strangely endearing, for such a determinedly cynical film and has a surprising level of ambition to its story-telling.

Also, the catastrophic parachute jump is easily my favourite sequence in any super-hero movie.

It also mocks the idiotic convention of super-heroes jumping from great heights and landing on their knees.

What more could you want from a film?

Probably plenty but only you can tell me what that plenty is. So, if you have favourite Marvel movies, feel free to name them in the comments section below.

Thursday, 22 July 2021

July 22nd 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
***

In this week in 1981, a world record was smashed as the Queen officially opened the Humber Bridge in East Yorkshire.

It may have lacked the glamour of the Golden Gate but the structure was, at the time, the longest single-span suspension bridge on the planet and enabled those dwelling south of the river to venture into the realm of Northumbria without having to get their feet wet.

Once, the people of Grimsby could only dream of visiting Hull. Now they could do so with ease.

And, once they'd entered that ancient realm, did they ever leave it again?

It's hard to believe they'd want to. 

Spider-Man and Hulk Team-Up #437

I've no doubt at all it's a massive grab-bag of thrills, this week, as Spider-Man takes on Killer Shrike and a special mystery villain.

I've no idea who the mystery villain is.

Then again, he's a mystery villain. So, how could I know?

Then againer, to be honest, I don't have that much idea who Killer Shrike is. I know the name and feel it's a great one but, as far as I can recall, I've never actually read a tale with him in it.

The origin of Woodgod appears to be rumbling on, with him having reached the stage where he takes on Del Tremens' flying attack squad.

Needless to say, it doesn't stand a chance against the cloven-footed clobberer

But that's not all the excitement we get this week because we're also witness to the destruction of Hydropolis, when the Hulk breaks free.

I'm assuming Hydropolis ends up flooding, based on the fact it's at the bottom of the sea.

I also suspect the ending of the Captain Omen story, where everyone explodes, will not be repeated.

Marvel Action #22, Thor vs the Stilt-Man

Now Thor's in trouble!

Stilt-Man's on the loose and the man who gets beaten up, every few months, by Daredevil is confident he's got what it takes to bring down Marvel's mightiest hero. You know, the one who once chased off Galactus?

I'm suspecting Stilty's optimism may prove to be unfounded.

Captain America, the Fantastic Four and the Dazzler are also in this issue.

I don't have a clue what any of them are up to.

I do know, though, that Iron Man's still trying to stop the Hulk, following Tony Stark's disastrous attempt to cure Bruce Banner.

Marvel Super Adenture #12, Daredevil

Hooray! We get to see Marvel's, "Moodiest solo stars in all-out action!"

I'm not too sure what the Panther's moodying his way up to but I do know Daredevil's got plenty to be in a sulk about because the silly police are firing bullets at him, in the belief he's actually the villainous Death's Head.

Once that problem's dealt with, DD reveals he's worked out that fiend is actually Karen's father.

But what is that? Over there? As the fight reaches its stunning climax? A conveniently placed vat of deadly something or other?

Why do I get the feeling its placement's going to prove to be bad news for the skullsational scoundrel?

Tuesday, 20 July 2021

Speak Your Brain! Part V. Comic book hidden gems.

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

The Steve Does Comics Megaphone
Image by Tumisu
from Pixabay
It is time, once more, for this blog to collapse into its newest feature. The one in which the first person to comment below sets the topic for today's discussion.

What dread and magnificent topics will emerge?

And who shall be first to speak?

Sunday, 18 July 2021

2000 AD - June 1983.

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

At some point in the early 1980s, Orville the Duck famously declared he wished he could fly. Way up to the sky.

But someone who actually did fly up to the sky was Sally Ride who, in this month in 1983, famously became the first American woman in space, thanks to the Challenger Space Shuttle, and its STS-7 mission of which I know nothing.

Going further into space than even that was Pioneer 10 which was passing the orbit of Neptune and, thus, becoming the first man-made object to leave the vicinity of the Solar System's major planets. I would assume it's still going, although you never hear anything about it, these days.

I don't know if the cinemas of June 1983 were jam-packed full of people but they were certainly jam-packed full of movies, with the month seeing the release of such memorable movies as The Man with Two Brains, Psycho II, WarGames, Trading Places, Octopussy, Superman III and Twilight Zone: The Movie.

It also saw the release of a film called The Survivors which seems to have had nothing to do with the 1970s BBC One series of the same name. The series that somehow managed to reinvent the genre of Post-Apocalyptic Plague Drama as a welly-wearing retread of The Good Life.

When it came to the UK singles chart, the Police were riding high, claiming the Number One slot, with the stalkertastic Every Breath You Take, until the month's very final week when it was toppled by Rod Stewart's Baby Jane.

Over on the British album chart, it was Michael Jackson who ruled the roost, initially, until he was dethroned by The Police's Synchronicity

There was clearly much happening in space, that month, but there was a comic, of course, that was always venturing into the cosmos.

And that was 2000 AD.

Right then, it was still giving us Robo-Hunter, Tharg's Time Twisters, Skizz and Rogue Trooper. It was also giving us the antics of Judge Dredd who concluded the month's adventures by coming up against a werewolf.

As if that wasn't all thrilling enough for us, the comic also offered the chance to win Star Wars action figures and video games, thanks to the impending release of Return of the Jedi.

2000 Ad prog 219

2000 Ad prog 220

2000 Ad prog 221, Robo-Hunter

2000 Ad prog 222, Judge Dredd

Thursday, 15 July 2021

July 15th 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
***

Well, there's a disappointment. Nothing was happening in this week in 1981 that hadn't been happening the week before.

I shall, therefore, plough straight ahead with my look at what Marvel UK had to offer during that spell.

Spider-Man and Hulk Team-Up #436

Hold on tight, tigers, because the Hulk's up against the horror of Hydropolis!

This is because, in a development remarkably similar to the Captain Omen storyline from several years earlier, Bruce Banner's found himself in an undersea kingdom; created by a man named Rypel, in order to exploit the natural resources of the oceans.

However, Rypel's a tad more aggressive than Captain Omen and has decided to destroy the United States.

Can Bruce and his fellow captives prevent this watery madness?

I'm guessing they can.

Elsewhere, this issue, we're getting more of Woodgod's origin.

And Spider-Man must deal with the return of Hydro-Man. In which case, I'm assuming we're leading into the tale in which Hydro-Man and Sandman merge into one giant villain.

All of which does raise the question of hyphenation. If Sandman is Sandman, why isn't Hydro-Man Hydroman?

Why isn't Superman Super-Man?

Why isn't Star-Lord Starlord?

Why isn't The Wasp The-Wasp?

Marvel Action and Captain America #21, Iron Man vs Hulk

It's a thrilling moment for us all, as Marvel Action and Captain America Weekly merge into one new comic featuring all our faves, such as Thor, the Dazzler, Iron Man, the Fantastic Four and, of course, Cap himself.

I can shed little light upon the contents of this epoch-making issue but it's obvious we're still partway through the story in which Tony Stark tries to cure Bruce Banner of being the Hulk - and only succeeds in making the Hulk more dangerous than ever.

Marvel Super Adventure #11, Daredevil

The man without fear has his first-ever encounter with Death's Head.

Doesn't this version of the villain turn out to be Karen Page's dad or something?

First, Mike Murdock dies. Then, Matt Murdock dies. Then her dad turns out to be a criminal on a skeletal horse. She doesn't have a lot of luck, does she?

In the comic's other majestic strip, it would appear the Black Panther encounters the Earth's deadliest drink.

I think we can only hope he has the sense to not try and drink it.

Tuesday, 13 July 2021

The Marvel Lucky Bag - July 1981.

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

There are times in this life when you just want to get away from it all.

And July 1981 was no exception.

After all, that month, our cinemas were hit by not one but two movies dedicated to that very concept.

One was Escape from New York and the other was Escape to Victory.

I'm happy to declare, right now, that Escape from New York is the better of those two films but I do know there are those - especially in the football-loving community - who view Escape to Victory as a cinematic masterpiece.

The other high-profile movie to be unleashed that July was Dudley Moore's Arthur which I've never seen and can, thus, offer no commentary upon as to what degree it involves people trying to escape.

I do recall it featured that song by Christopher Cross which brought the theme of escape into my mind every time it came on the radio. Mostly because it made me want to flee the room, with my ears covered. Also, I can't hear it without thinking of Steve Wright in the Afternoon. For some reason, this makes me unhappy.

But none of this matters. All that matters is what Marvel's less popular titles were up to while all this was going on.

Bizarre Adventures #27, X-Men

Bizarre Adventures gives us a whole heap of X-Men action, which is never a bad thing.

I'm not sure what goes on in the main tale but it would appear to involve Phoenix and Attuma, which seems quite an intriguing thing.

We also get a tale called Winter Carnival which seems to be about Iceman and a bunch of statues, plus a story involving Nightcrawler and the Vanisher.

I suppose it does make sense to have Nightcrawler come up against the Vanisher, given the similarities in their powers.

ROM #20

Judging by that cover, it's curtains for our favourite space knight.

At least, that's what the Dire Wraiths are hoping when Rom returns to Earth, from Limbo.

Concerned by a vision of his homeworld in ruins, our hero wants to get back there, sharpish.

But how can he abandon his Earth friends?

How?

Spidey Super Stories #53, Dr Doom

I've included this one purely because its cover involves Dr Doom riding around on the back of a giant monster.

That conch-shell horn-thing the villain's holding should hint to us all that the Sub-Mariner's involved.

In another tale, we get the return of the Meteor Man and what appears to be a team-up with Hellcat.

Hellcat and Spider-Man does sound like it could be a fun combination.

I'm going to say it, right now. This looks like it may be the best Spider-Man comic published this month. And I don't care if it is aimed at six-year-olds.

What If? #27, the Phoenix

That's a very striking cover by Frank Miller - although it's quite difficult to work out just what's going on.

This month, the Watcher will mostly be asking, "What would have happened if the Phoenix hadn't died?"

Obviously, with the benefit of hindsight, we all now know that she didn't die. Thinking about it, it seems odd the Watcher didn't know that.

Anyway, I can shed no light upon the events which transpire within this tale.

I'm sure, though, that it will all end up unhappily.

Man-Thing #11

Tragedy hits the Marvel universe, as the Man-Thing's comic squelches to its demise, after just eleven issues.

According to the Grand Comics Database, this issue features guest appearances by Jim Shooter, Louise Jones and Danny Fingeroth in a tale in which Chris Claremont becomes the Man-Thing.

Erm, what?

Sunday, 11 July 2021

Forty years ago today - July 1981.

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

It's Sunday, the 11th of July, 2021 and a nation holds its breath, as English football balances on the see-saw of History.

Which way will that see-saw tip and who will be sent soaring skywards and who will be sent plunging to the ground to lie there in a crumpled heap of bitter disillusion?

I've no idea.

But I do know what else is History.

And that's the Past.

And you know what lives in the Past?

The following comics do.

Captain America #259, Doctor Octopus

At the request of a concerned father, Cap goes in search of a youth who's run off with a biker gang but Doc Ock turns up, looking to steal Cap's shield, so he might discover the secret of its metal, and a fight breaks out.

One that, it has to be said, lasts a lot less time than Spider-Man's battles with the tentacular terror normally do.

Could it be? Could Captain America be a better fighter than Spidey?

Amazing Spider-Man #218

In a nightmare of gargantuan proportions, the Sandman and Hydro-Man have amalgamated into a huge, brainless monster and, now, an impresario wants to charge people to see it.

The story then unfolds into a duff reenactment of King Kong.

We know it does because the script keeps, laboriously, pointing out that it has.

I'm willing to claim this is not the greatest Spider-Man story of all time.

Daredevil #172, the Kingpin and Bullseye

Now that his wife's dead, the Kingpin's reasserted his control over New York's mobs and hired Bullseye.

But Daredevil's out to put a stop to all of that.

Or is he?

Thor #309

Thor must fly to the rescue when evil property owners take to destroying their own buildings, for the purposes of insurance fraud.

Which wouldn't be that big a deal, except they insist on doing it when the residents are still in the buildings.

I'm pretty sure a recent issue of Captain America featured the exact same premise, except, in that case, the buildings were being destroyed by a man with a flamethrower instead of a flying tank.

X-Men #147, Dr Doom

Having finally escaped Dr Doom's various traps, the X-Men set about putting a stop to his and Arcade's antics.

And you know what? They succeed.

Then, they all, basically, shake hands with each other and go their separate ways, bearing no hard feelings, with Doom and Storm still being a bit flirty with each other.

What is this madness you are inflicting upon us, Claremont?

Avengers #209

I believe a rogue Skrull poses as Jarvis, in order to poison the Beast's girlfriend and blackmail the Avengers into getting some stone or other that does something or other. Judging by its name, it probably resurrects people.

I forget how this tale ends but I'm assuming the Skrull's foiled and the Beast's girlfriend makes a full recovery.

Conan the Barbarian #124

Two underground civilisations are at war with each other, and Conan finds himself leading one of the armies.

Needless to say, his army's triumphant and the battling barbarian causes the death of the rival sorcerers who are behind it all.

Iron Man #148

From what I can recall, some South American bad guys kidnap some of Tony Stark's scientists. So, Iron Man heads right down there to rescue them.

Only to discover the main scientist's on the side of the bad guys and doesn't want to be rescued!

Fantastic Four #232, Diablo

Diablo's back, and out for revenge upon the first family of comics.

To do it, he sets four elementally-powered creations upon the quartet but, as always the do-gooders prove too clever for his cunning connivings.

Incredible Hulk #261, the Absorbing Man

The Absorbing Man's lost his memory, and the Hulk's turned back into Bruce Banner. Now, the two men are stuck on an island together.

But how long can it be before Crusher regains his memory and Bruce is, once more, the green goliath?

In other words, how long can it be before a punch-up breaks out?

Obviously, the answer's, "Not long."

Spectacular Spider-Man #56, Jack O'Lantern

Now, there's a familiar-looking cover.

Having been blown up in his recent fight with Machine Man, Jack O'Lantern wastes no time in getting back on the crime bandwagon and, for reasons that escape me, takes Aunt May's new boyfriend hostage.

But, of course, Spidey's soon to the rescue.

And it turns out Jack has little stomach for a fight.

Thursday, 8 July 2021

July 8th 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
***

This town is coming like a ghost town.

Or at least it was in this week exactly forty years ago.

That's because it was the week in which the Specials' song of that name hit the Number One spot on the UK singles chart.

And rarely has a chart-topper caught the mood of the times quite like that did.

For, even as that was occurring, all around the country, Britain's cities were being engulfed in flames, as riots broke out on a scale few of us had ever seen before.

Was this it? Was it the end of civilisation?

No. It wasn't.

After all, how can civilisation ever hope to end when we've got Cliff Richard?

And have Cliff Richard, we most assuredly did because - possibly not reflecting the times quite as strongly as the Specials - that week, his album Love Songs claimed the top spot on the UK album chart. 

Captain America #20, the Dazzler

I can reveal almost nothing about the contents of this week's issue but, clearly, the Dazzler's in it and fighting a man dressed in blue.

He vaguely reminds me of The Tick.

I suspect he's not The Tick.

Elsewhere, Iron Man's fighting the Hulk.

I can only assume it's the story where Tony Stark gives Bruce Banner refuge in his factory and sets about trying to cure him, only for things to rapidly go Hulk-shaped.

Meanwhile, Cap's up against the Demon Druid. In which case, it's probably the tale where the star-spangled super-doer investigates goings-on in a haunted English castle and finds it's all gone a bit Scooby-Doo in there.

But wait? What's this? It seems this is the last-ever issue of Captain America, as, next week, it merges with Marvel Action to give us a comic that's, no doubt, twice as good.

Spider-Man and Hulk Team-Up #435, Woodgod

Hooray! Woodgod makes his senses-shattering debut!

Granted, it's not really his debut. Nor is it that senses-shattering because I'm pretty sure Marvel UK's already published this tale, way back in the long-ago days of Star Wars Weekly

Also, the character himself recently guested in the Hulk's strip.

Back in New York, Spider-Man's still tackling Jack O'Lantern and the hostage situation the pumpkin-powered plonker's created.

Needless to say, the fiend proves no match for our hero.

Marvel Action #15, Damocles

Thor finds himself facing the power of Damocles who I remember being a man with a huge big cannon on the back of his van.

Obviously, Thor soon dispatches him but this is not so much a tale of thunder god vs villain, as a tale of brotherly love, rivalry and estrangement between Damocles and his sibling.

Also, this week. it appears the Human Torch is up against Hammerhead in a tale with which I'm unfamiliar.

Marvel Super Adventure #10, the Black Panther

Horror of horrors, the Black Panther finds himself facing a follically-challenged yeti, and Daredevil's fighting Mr Fear on his big, flying disc thing, who's out to make the world think the man without fear is a coward.

Tuesday, 6 July 2021

The Marvel Lucky Bag - July 1971.

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

It's time to do whatever it is you do while watching Shaft, because, this month, fifty years ago, that very film came out and things would never be the same again.

Obviously, as a man of culture, I'm more excited by the fact it was also the month in which the Japanese classics Gamera vs Zigra and Godzilla vs the Smog Monster were released.

In a tragedy worthy of Sophocles himself, I've never seen the former of those monster movies but, happily, I am, at least, fully familiar with the latter which Channel 4 once showed in a season dedicated to the worst films of all time. 

Worst films of all time? Do these people have no taste?

Speaking of having no taste, over on the UK singles chart, the first half of the month was hogged by Middle of the Road's classic Chirpy Chirpy Cheep Cheep before Bubblegum gave way to Glam when T. Rex's Get it On elevated itself to the top spot. Bubblegum vs Glam? Truly, the 1970s had arrived.

When it came to the album chart, things were looking distinctly static, as Bridge Over Troubled Water spent the whole of July at Number One - a position it had already held on several previous occasions.

Amazing Adventures #7, The Inhumans and Black Widow

Yeah, burn, Black Bolt, burn!

The Inhumans get more relevant than ever, as their leader hits the streets of Los Angeles or San Francisco or somewhere like that.

Has he lost his memory, at this point, or does that come later on?

Or did it happen earlier?

I can shed no light upon what happens in the Black Widow's story.

I do feel it's highly impertinent of me to criticise Neal Adams but he really hasn't done a good job of drawing the Black Widow there. She looks way too stretched out and her head doesn't seem to be properly attached to her body.

Creatures on the Loose #12, Korilla

Stan Lee works his trusty magic, as yet another monster with a name that sounds like, "gorilla," threatens humanity. 

The hero of this tale faces a major headache when the authorities won't believe his claims that aliens are about to invade our planet.

Fortunately, he manages to foil the plot and the failed invaders are, therefore, murdered by their bosses.

In our second tale, Igor decides to complete Frankenstein's legendary experiment, after the not-so-good doctor has a heart attack.

Sadly, for Igor, things don't go well.

Where Creatures Roam #7, Glop

Now we're in trouble - because humanity's threatened by Glop!

Glop would appear to be a statue brought to life when covered by strange alien paint.

Fortunately, a handy artist destroys him, thanks to being in possession of a bottle of turps.

In the second tale, scientists experiment on a monkey to give it higher intelligence.

But here's the twist. The fact that their patient is a monkey is only revealed at the story's denouement.

I like to think there aren't many monkeys out there that can bandy around words like, "denouement." And that's why my place will never be taken by a monkey.

Although an orangutan might fancy its chances.

In the book's third, and final, tale, a baseball player's mitt is populated by tiny people who're forced to flee it when they see a baseball heading their way.

I'm assuming they think the ball is another planet and it's only at the climax that we discover they're on a baseball player's mitt.

Where Monsters Dwell #10, Gigantus

Gigantus turns up, looking to invade the surface world, on behalf of Atlantis. Fortunately, an advertising executive chases him off with a huge mannequin.

Next, we get the tale of an evil king who was once turned into a frog. He awakes from his ages-long slumber, only to discover everyone in the modern world looks weird and, so, goes back to sleep, having not liked what he's just seen, not realising it's Halloween and everyone was merely in costume.

Next, a man hires a drifter to fix his car. When the man won't pay, the drifter climbs into the automobile and flies it off into outer space, what with him being an alien.

On a future Earth, fed up of having to work an hour a week on a farm, a man flees to a planet that's filled with easy-to-access vegetation.

Only to discover the vegetation's too hostile to be eaten and the locals have to work eight hours a day to feed themselves.

My Love #12

We get yet more tales of tear-drenched romance.

I've posted this one purely because that's a lovely cover that the Grand Comics Database credits to John Romita but really doesn't look at all like Romita's handiwork.

Sub-Mariner #39

Having decided to desert Atlantis, Subby promptly sets up base in an abandoned jail in New York.

However, the local politicians and military are having none of it and declare war upon the avenging son.

Needless to say, Subby's perfectly happy to fight back.