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Tuesday, 3 August 2021

The Marvel Lucky Bag - August 1971.

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

Has your city been taken over by blood-thirsty vampire zombie mutants?

If so, you need Charlton Heston.

Unfortunately, in August 1971, he wasn't available. He was too busy battling them in the streets of Los Angeles, thanks to it being the month in which his film The Omega Man was released.

I'd say that's the most famous of the films released that month but the one with the most intriguing title was probably Let's Scare Jessica to Death which Wikipedia informs me is about a woman who comes to believe a mysterious female she's let into her home is actually a vampire.

It sounds like she needs Charlton Heston too!

Over on the UK singles chart, August kicked off with T. Rex at Number One, thanks to Get it On but that was soon removed by Diana Ross who claimed the top spot, for the rest of the month and beyond, with I'm Still Waiting. Clearly, for Diana Ross, the wait was over.

Things were slightly livelier at the peak of the British album chart where we leapt into August with Hot Hits 6 by Various Artists at Number One before that was replaced by the Moody Blues' Every Good Boy Deserves Favour and the month ended with Top of the Pops Vol 18 at the summit.

And there was me thinking that compilation albums dominating the charts was a 1980s thing.

Astonishing Tales #7, Ka-Zar

The Grand Comics Database informs me that, in this month's Ka-Zar tale, the battle with Damon ends when Lelania possesses Tatia's body and takes Damon away.

I don't have a clue who any of these people are but I suspect this may still be the story about the mad god who's returned to the Savage Land, in search of his late wife.

When it comes to the book's other strip, the Black Panther successfully thwarts Dr Doom's attempts to get his naughty hands on Wakanda's Vibranium.

Outlaw Kid #7

It's a very thin month for Marvel, with the company only publishing 18 titles.

Thus, I'm reduced to including a cowboy comic. 

Tragically, I've no information about what happens in this one, other than it features no fewer than five tales of adventure starring the Outlaw Kid.

Sub-Mariner #40 Turalla

Subby and Spider-Man travel to the city of the Black Sea People where the prince of Atlantis must fight the seemingly unstoppable Turalla, in order to bring a halt to the villain's dreams of conquest.

From memory, I don't think Spidey actually does anything in this tale.

Monsters on the Prowl #12 Gomdulla

It's time to quiver with fear, as the terrifying Gomdulla goes on the rampage!

Granted, he may look like a comedy character but I'm sure he's far more awesome in the book than he is on the cover. For, inside, he's revealed to be an alien robot in disguise.

Hold on. Wasn't that the plot of an old Doctor Who adventure?

In the second tale, aliens attempt to invade our planet but are repelled when humans realise their deadly weapons are, in fact, harmless.

And, in our final tale, an aquarium attendant reveals the origin of a monstrous sea creature that's on display.

Millie the Model #191

Millie the Model's still going, although only in reprint form.


Anonymous said...

Boring factoid - Every Good Boy Deserves Favour (or Football) is a mnemonic to help remember the notes (E G B D F) on the lines of the treble stave. The notes on the treble spaces don't really need a mnemonic, as they spell 'FACE'.

I'll get my coat....


Anonymous said...

Suits you, Phillip...

Steve, mildly curious, I looked up Hot Hits 6 - turns out it was on MFP, and features terrible covers. You may be interested to know that it included Chirpy Chirpy Cheep Cheep, as did Top Of The Pops vol 18.
So that means at least two other versions came out, on top of the original - clearly there was something very wrong going on in this country back in '71.

Astonishing Tales #7 - "co-starring: the man called T'Challa!"
Looks like Marvel were a bit shy about putting the words "Black Panther" on the cover. As we're not far off from that FF story when Ben and Johnny bust the "Black Leopard" (oh dear) out of a Rudyardan jail, its not hard to figure out why.
Disappointing. As is the story, although on the plus side Gene Colan drew a cool Panther.


Anonymous said...

Rudyardian jail? Kipling - a colonialist? Surely not! I mustn't buy any of his exceedingly good cakes!


Colin Jones said...

Stan Lee considered the name 'Coal Tiger' before deciding on 'Black Panther' so maybe he wished he'd gone with that first name after all.

The Omega Man was based on the novel I Am Legend by Richard Matheson (but I suppose everyone knows that).

I notice that the Sub-Mariner is no longer "The Savage" Sub-Mariner - I always wondered what was supposed to be savage about him!

Steve W. said...

Sean, there were a fair number of versions of Chirpy Chirpy Cheep Cheep unleashed upon the world. The song's writer had a hit with it in France. Middle of the Road had a hit with it in the UK. And Mac and Katie Kissoon had a hit with it in the US.

Phillip, I remember our music teacher sharing that EGBDF mnemonic with us.

Colin, I think Stan made the right decision in going for, "Black Panther." I can't really see Marvel Studios releasing a film called The Coal Tiger.

Colin Jones said...

The 'Monsters On The Prowl' cover makes a common mistake about Egyptian mummies. When a dead body was wrapped in bandages the arms were bound to the chest and the legs were bound together. So if a mummy could come to life it wouldn't be able to move its' arms and it would only be able to hop around. But a hopping mummy wouldn't be so scary in a horror film!

Colin Jones said...

Steve, apparently the Coal Tiger is now an actual Marvel character - he's the Black Panther's son.

Charlie Horse 47 said...

I feel like a twit... all those years playing music and I never picked up on the Moody Blues acronym.

I have the Tales to Astonish. For some weird reason, that issue must have been in every store, every kid's collection. It defines ubiquitous. (Until KD, MP, Red tell me they've never seen it, lol.)

Subby's gonna get real good, real quick. His dad's gonna be found and killed in a few issues (or did he die from stress of battle or simply die)?

Charlie Horse 47 said...

Diana Ross - I'm Still Waiting

Another one of those cross-the-water anomalies!

#1 in the UK and peaked at #63 in the USA.

Charlie has not knowingly heard this song. Ever. Even on MeTv FM!

I did listen to it just now though. That'll do me until 80 years ago today, lol.

Charlie Horse 47 said...

I would like to bring everyone's attention to the top 10 in the USA this week in 1971.

Holy Cow! Everyone of those songs was HUGE!

Mercy, Mercy Me by Marvin Gaye is still one I crave to hear periodically.

Same with "Indian Reservation" by Paul Revere and the Raiders! Hell, I even bought that single at the age of 10. Yowza!

Anonymous said...

Surely it was Jack Kirby rather than Stan Lee that originally came up with Coal Tiger?
That name would have made more sense back in the mid-60s, which was still the era of de-colonization, although why Marvel would use it now is baffling. Its the kind of reference to the history of a character that indicates how inward looking mainstream superhero-type comics are now, obsessed with their own past.

Whereas the seeming coincidence of Black Panther also being used by the political party formed in Oakland a few months after FF #52 came out demonstrates just how much back then the work of a key comic creator like Kirby was at the cutting edge of its time.


Colin Jones said...

Charlie, Diana Ross had another UK #1 hit in 1986 called 'Chain Reaction' and that wasn't a hit in America either.

I don't think 'Indian Reservation' was even released in the UK. It's a great song but I only heard it for the first time about ten years ago.

Colin Jones said...

UPDATE: Coal Tiger is the Black Panther's son in an alternative universe - he's not an official Marvel character.

Anonymous said...

Aaaargh - alternative universes! They've become the bane of American superhero comics.

As a kid I liked the old JLA/JSA crossovers, and a bit later the original Days Of Future Past and the Moore/Davis Captain Brexit variations, but between all the stories since feeding off that stuff, the increasingly convoluted continuities and various reboots, who cares?
Come up with something new for a change Marvel and DC, you lazy gits.


Redartz said...

Charlie- well, I didn't have that "Astonish" back in the day. Got it years later as a back issue, so you can say I've at least seen it...

Steve- those chart-topping compilations you mention, did they feature the 'original hits by the original artists' or were they cover versions? Over here we had both types, but as far as I know no compilation ever topped the Billboard 200. I'm on a compilation binge again this week- picked up an lp at a flea market over the weekend: "The KIRL Music Machine" Presents 21 Super Hits". Ok, not a title that inspires awe. Anyway, it's vintage 1968 and has a bunch of cool sixties hits that were absent from my collection. Apparently it was a radio station promotional giveaway for a St. Louis, Missouri AM station. Did your UK stations do such giveaways? I'm guessing the BBC passed that sort of thing up...

Charlie Horse 47 said...

And the variety of the Top 10 in the USA!

Mercy, Mercy Me - which really defines soulful black people's music.

Indian Reservation - Maybe the last song sung about the life of American's natives?

Take Me Home Country Roads - Johnny Denver. Country.

What the World Needs Now is Love Sweet Love - "Religous"

Anonymous said...


I am legend was also a big influence on George Romero. Heston had a nice run of sci-fi movies around that time with Planet of the Apes, Omega Man and Soylent Green.

Get it on is the topper most of the popper most for me this week. Gotta love Lady Stardust.


Anonymous said...

Charlie - Take Me Home, Country Roads is featured on 'Soul Music', right now!


Steve W. said...

Red, as far as I'm aware, the Top of the Pops and Hot Hits albums were composed entirely of cover versions. I don't remember any radio stations in Britain ever doing giveaways.

Charlie, thanks for that Billboard link.

This is the UK chart for that week:

The UK Top 10 isn't exactly packed with memorable tracks. In fact, I've never heard of five of them.

DW, my favourites from that week's UK Top 50 are:

"Won't Get Fooled Again" - the Who. It bangs.

"Tonight" - the Move. Jeff Lynne and Roy Wood on the same record. What more could any human being ask?

"Get Down and Get with It" - Slade. Slade's first hit. For me, the arrival of Slade on the charts signals the true and irreversible arrival of the 1970s.

"When You Are a King" - White Plains. It's arguably completely naff but, also, so weird I have to love it.

The ones I never want to hear again are:

"When Love Comes Round Again" - Ken Dodd. For those unfamiliar with him, he was a legendary comedian who somehow managed to have 18 Top 40 singles as a straight singer. None of them were comedy records. Nearly all of them set new standards in lachrymosity.

"Leap up And Down (wave Your Knickers in The Air)" - St. Cecilia. I think the title says it all.

The Top 50 contains 24 songs I've never heard of.

Anonymous said...

Somewhat ironically, St Cecilia is the patron saint of music Steve.
You may be interested to know "Won't Get Fooled Again is on Top Of The Pops vol 18. Or maybe not. My recollection is that the artists on those cover albums weren't credited - I suppose they didn't want to take the blame.

My preference is for records NOT featuring Jeff Lynne or Roy Wood, let alone both together. Although obviously that doesn't mean every record without either of them - forced to choose between listening to Ken Dodd or the Wilburys, if you put a gun to my head I expect I'd go for the latter. Actually, I'd probably prefer the Wilburys' jokes too.
Hope no-out there takes umbrage at any of that.

Agree with DW on what I call the "Heston trilogy" - it was unusual for a big star to be in sci-fi flicks back then, so he (Heston, not DW) was quite ahead of the curve.
Soylent Green is my favourite of the three.


Charlie Horse 47 said...

Hey kids! Jack Kirby’s “ding bat love” is now on sale for half price at tomorrow is publishing!

Charlie Horse 47 said...

Sean - There are quite literally folks waiting for you to give us informed look on French Prof rock at back in the Bronze Age!!!

Me, bt, Red..

Please, for the love of God, don’t leave us with nothing else to read besides “ ding bat love.”

Charlie Horse 47 said...

By the way, “dingbat love” does feature two of Jack’s unpublished stories to the dingbats!

Killdumpster said...

While I loved Heston's performances in sci-fi films ( Planet Of The Apes, Soylent Green), I'd have to say that OMEGA MAN was the least impressive of all the adaptions of I AM LEGEND. Vincent Price's LAST MAN ON EARTH still rules.

LET's SCARE JESSICA TO DEATH is one of my vampire film favs. The surrealism and suspense shatters in a indefinite conclusion in the final act. I gotta view that again.

Only book featured that I owned was ASTONISHING TALES #7. Hokey Smokes, Buzzsaw Brain-winkle!! I can't remember a single page!

Killdumpster said...

When I was a 12 years old I won tickets to a circus guessing that John Denver sang Country Roads from a AM radio contest. It was the same circus that my father was attacked by an elephant 5 yrs earlier! Tell me if I've told that story before.

Steve W. said...

KD, I'm fairly certain you've not told that story before.

Charlie Horse 47 said...

KD! My man! You've not told us that story before about the elephant! You did tell us about the mom who blaster her husband and then showed up at the bus stop with her kid, covered in blood. That was a story brother!

Charlie Horse 47 said...

Gents - I just read Captain America 140! Charlie is just too busy to keep up with Relentless SDC's pulse-pounding schedule!

I will say it is top shelf, as far as comic books go.

Excellent, "plausible" story! Well written, no real logic gaps.

Are it great by Jazzy Johnny! Plenty of Romita "crackle!"\

I always found the Gargoyle a compelling villain. Didn't realize he was French and first appeared in Thor 107, per the footnotes.

Falcon is still a bit stand-offish and his girl friend a bit of a dick to white Steve Rogers.

The Soap Box was quite interesting!

Marvel is welcoming Reed Crandall and Al Williamson on board! But they only refer to them as former EC comics artists when Crandall (I don't know Williamson so much) clearly was a key player at Quality Comics during the Golden Age with incredible are on Blackhawks, Doll Man...

Question 1 - So what did Crandall draw for Marvel around 1971?

QUestion 2 - Would barely anyone reading Cap 140 have even heard of EC Comics?

Marvel welcome back Syd Shores as an original Cap artist from "the golden age."

Question 3 - When did Comicdom start using the terms Golden Age and Silver Age?

If anyone has any thoughts, Charlie would love to hear them.

(Well at this time I am watching Hungary (my mother's homeland) play Spain in women's water polo! How exciting! Live!)

Charlie Horse 47 said...

I know you chaps like your Stonehenge!

So... Let's talk about Woodhenge!

I was visiting my daughter in St Louis this weekend. We toured the Cahokia Mounds.

Points of interest:

It was basically as large / larger than Paris or London during it's height, around 1000 AD, with between 20,000 ish Natives.

Like the Mayans at roughly the same time, they simply disappeared. No known reason. (It was a relief to know white folks didn't kill them off.)

They had something now referred to as "woodhenge" which were logs as big as telephone poles sunk into the ground in a circle to plot the months of the year! I was kind of bugged by the term woodhenge, I mean isn't there a non-Euro name that could be applied to the natives? Is Charlie being overly sensitive???