Thursday 30 September 2021

September 30th 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

Late September?


Need to get somewhere in a rush?

Then you're in luck because this week of that year saw not one but two big events in the field of public transport.

For those who wished to fly, the Boeing 767 airliner made its first flight. I don't know what the difference was between it and the 747 but it had a bigger number in its name. So, it must have been good. 

For those who wished to trundle along on tracks, however, France was the place to be because it was the week in which the TGV high-speed rail service between Paris and Lyon was launched.

In the world of sport, though, things weren't going quite so happily. On this day in that year, football was rocked by the death of legendary ex-Liverpool manager Bill Shankly who'd died, from a heart attack, at the age of 68.

Captain America #32, Iron Man vs the Titanium Man

It looks like Iron Man's up against the Titanium Man who I assume to be out to restore his credibility by trashing his arch-enemy.

I've a feeling he'll fail in that aim.

Just like he always does.

Elsewhere, it would appear the Dazzler's up against the Enforcers who she was up against last week.

But, of the whereabouts of Cap and Thor, I can say nothing.

Spider-Man and Hulk Team-Up #447

That really isn't the greatest Hulk cover of all time, by Frank Miller.

If I remember rightly, the story involves a mysterious super-villain called the Corrupter who's recruited a rubbish super-villain called the Night Flyer to fight the Hulk, so the Hulk'll get angry.

That's because the Corrupter has the power to seize mental control of those who are angry.

And he fancies having the Hulk at his beck and call!

We also get the arrival of the all-new Teen Brigade who Rick Jones manages to put in mind-boggling levels of danger, despite them being schoolchildren.

Apparently, in his strip, Spidey's going to church but I don't have a clue why.

Marvel Super Adventure #22, Daredevil vs Stilt-Man

Daredevil's still in Hollywood and still intervening in the life of brand-new TV star Karen Page.

Meanwhile, the Stilt-Man's still intervening in his life.

But there's also the Stunt-Master to contend with. Can anyone possibly get out of this mess alive?

Elsewhere, the doings of the Black Panther are a total mystery to me.

He's probably still fighting the Vibranium Beast. Life's hard when you're a prince of Wakanda.

Come to think of it, why is he Prince of Wakanda? As he's its supreme ruler, shouldn't he be its king?

And why is Namor the Crown Prince of Atlantis? How come he's not its king?

What kind of messed-up ideas about monarchy do these places have?

Tuesday 28 September 2021

Speak Your Brain! Part XI. Comics you failed to buy.

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
A wise man once said, "Goodbye, Ruby Tuesday," but, right now, it's a case of, "Hello, SteveDoesComics Tuesday!" as the least prepared feature on the internet returns.

The rules are; the first person to comment below will set the starting point for the day's discussion.

Could it involve sport, art, films, music, books, myth, magic, mystery, sofas, mystery sofas, sausages, Scotch eggs, Scotch whisky, Scotch broth, flip-flops, bin bags, soda, pancakes, sci-fi, horror, sewage or sandcastles?

I don't know.

But you do...

Sunday 26 September 2021

Weird Adventure Comics #436, the Gasmen... and the Spectre!

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

Weird Adventure Comics #436, the Gasmen and the Spectre
Everyone knows this is the site that can't help revolutionising the internet. A mere 11 years ago, I did it by publishing a review of this issue that, at no point, actually involved me reviewing the issue, as I blathered on about virtually everything except the comic.

So, after recent requests, in the same manner as Russell T Davies has returned to Doctor Who, I've decided to return to this issue.

But because I still can't be bothered to do a proper review, I'm launching the daring experiment of tackling it as a read-along experience dictated upon my phone.

That means you can read along with it too.

What can go wrong?

Everything can go wrong.

Can this madness succeed?

Yes, it can - just so long as everyone who ever encounters this post has a copy of the comic to read along with.

Which I'm sure everyone does.

After all, how could it be possible for anyone in the world not to have that?

So, let's get stuck in.

First, it's the splash page... 

...and it's just a replica of the cover but not as good.

It does, however, tell us this tale's called The Gasmen and... The Spectre and it's written by Michael Fleisher, and drawn by Jim Aparo who I'm assuming also does the inking, colouring and lettering, as is his habit.

It also credits Russell Carley for script continuity, whatever that is.

We also have a caption telling us the Spectre is hard-boiled detective Jim Corrigan on a mission to eliminate all evil from the world.

Mostly by killing people one at a time.

This may be a lengthy mission.

Page 2.

Weird Adventure Comics #436, gas attack
A car show at the New York Coliseum [sic] where a father takes photos of attractive women while pretending to be taking photos of cars.

Unfortunately, it's at this point a bunch of men walk in, wearing gas masks and promptly gas everyone, including a young girl whose mother looks old enough to be her grandmother.

It does strike me the father has the same face that all Jim Aparo men do - and so does the mother. Jim, clearly, never saw a face he couldn't recycle.

Page 3.

Everyone at the show's dead while, at the offices of Newsbeat magazine, an unnamed reporter's trying - and failing - to get his editor to accept an article about something that's seemingly incredible.

Page 4.

Weird Adventure Comics #436, Earl gets finger-wagged
We learn the reporter's called Earl and is yet another character with that face. However, he distinguishes himself by wearing glasses.

The editor, however, for his way to be recognisable, has a chubbier version of the face.

He's not happy because Earl's proposed article is about an angry ghost flying around New York, in his underpants, and killing crooks. To him, this sounds unlikely.

That conversation's cut short when a woman barges in and tells the pair about the car show massacre. The editor tells Earl to get down there and to stop going on about ghosts in underpants.

Page 5.

Jim Corrigan's at the Coliseum and pondering the situation. He's told that everyone was killed by the same gas the Germans used in World War II. It's never explained how the man who tells him this knows this.

Earl shows up and asks what's happened. Jim Corrigan's pointlessly rude to him.

Page 6.

At last, we meet the man to blame for all of this. 

He's a German in a World War II uniform who lives in an abandoned observatory on a cliff. I am struck that this set-up feels very Golden Age to me. This might be shrewd writing by Fleisher to reflect the WWII nature of the villain or it might just be the way Fleisher writes.

Readers of his work for Atlas comics'll be pleased to know that, so far, there's no sign of cannibalism.

The German's underlings are clearly not military personnel and think him a loon, merely acting like soldiers, in order to humour him.

Page 7.

At the mayor's office, we discover the German is called Field Marshall Offal. I'm willing to bet no German has ever had the surname Offal.

Impressively, for a tale from the mid-1970s, Offal's demanding New York gives him one billion dollars or he'll launch another gas attack. It's good to see he's not demanding a sum that, in 1974, is massive but, in 2021, would seem pitiful, Dr Evil style.

Not so impressively, he wants it in $1,000 bills, which means, by my reckoning, the city will have to give him a million bank notes. Isn't that a little impractical? Where, exactly, is he going to keep one million bank notes? For that matter, how's he going to count it, to make sure they've not short-changed him?

We then get a joke I don't understand about the Watergate burglars not having that sort of money. I'm sure it made more sense to people at the time, especially ones who weren't ten years old and British and were, therefore, more familiar with the financial details of that scandal.

Weird Adventure Comics #436, DC house ad
Next page.

It's a house ad for some of DC's publications this month. There are eight books in total. Of them, I've read the Kamandi and Witching Hour issues. The Jonah Hex cover looks the classiest.

Page 8.

The mayor decides he has to give in to Offal's demands.

Jim Corrigan tells him that'll just encourage more gas attacks.

But the mayor's a spineless jellyfish about it all, thus guaranteeing he's going to have to hand over a billion dollars to crooks, on a regular basis, from now on.

However, Jim requests the man let him deliver the money to the extortionists, and the mayor agrees, seemingly never considering Jim might just run off with it. It seems to me that one billion dollars is a lot of temptation to put in a man's hands.

Weird Adventure Comics #436, Jim Corrigan and his car
And, so, that afternoon, we find Jim in the woods, by his nicely drawn car, with the money, waiting for the villains to arrive.

Jim has the one million bank notes in a middling-sized case he's holding. I would love to know how they got a million bank notes into it. I'm assuming currency compression is one of his magic Spectre powers.

Page 9.

A helicopter shows up and the gas mask clad pilot tells Jim he's coming along with him, or else.

However, they're not alone.

Earl the reporter's been tailing Jim and is determined to follow the helicopter, in his car.

Happily, the helicopter flies away really slowly and makes sure to stay above the road, at all times, so it's possible for Earl to pursue it.

This does remind me that, in Earl's previous appearance in the book, Jim Corrigan kept referring to him as Clark Kent, which mightily confused me as a child. I couldn't work out if he was literally meant to be Clark Kent or not.

Now, as a grown-up, I realise Corrigan was merely being sarcastic and that Superman doesn't exist as anything more than a fictional character in these stories. Just as he doesn't in the Black Orchid stories that are being published around this time.

Does this mean those Black Orchid and Spectre tales take place in the same universe?

I like to think they do.

Page 10.

The helicopter reaches its destination and, here, the pilot decides to kill Corrigan to prevent him from spilling the beans about the hideout's location.

Weird Adventure Comics #436, The Spectre appears from gas
It does make you wonder why he's even taken Corrigan there when he could have just taken the money off him and left him in the woods.

Then again, he could have taken the money off him and not even bothered delivering it to Offal, keeping it for himself.

The man's clearly a fool.

But no sooner is Corrigan hit by a cloud of the fool's deadly fumes than he turns into the Spectre whose green cape merges nicely with the gas. This is what I love about Aparo, he always makes the Spectre look stylish. 

So, that's the end of the pilot, and the ghost goes on the hunt for the big fry.

He finds him inside the observatory and, at the very sight of the deadly do-gooder emerging from a wall, one of the henchmen gasps out loud.

Page 11.

Offal declares the intruder to be a spy and orders him shot.

Weird Adventure Comics #436, the Gasmen and the Spectre!
Tragically, bullets are useless and the ghost slaughters the henchmen by making a pair of dividers grow to huge size and impale them.

Deciding cowardice is the better part of valour, Offal flees and heads along a jetty, towards his motorboat.

As he gets there, he compares himself to Napoleon retreating from Russia, which is a nice bit of characterisation from Fleisher, signalling just how puffed-up, delusional and conceited the man is.

However, it's in vain, as the Spectre appears before him, mentally declaring, "Some men will always choose the path of evil..." which feels an awful lot like the kind of stuff the Shadow loves to spout.

Page 12.

It's the big showdown between the Spectre and Offal.

Not that it's much of a showdown, with the creepy crusader ignoring Offal's demands to be treated in accordance with the Geneva Convention, and turning his motorboat into a giant squid that promptly eats the man, making it the third time this issue - when the cover and splash page are taken into account - we've seen him being eaten by the thing.

Page 13.

Earl's finally arrived at the scene and finds the helicopter pilot's been turned to stone and embedded in a cliff face.

Suitably spooked, the reporter goes in search of Corrigan and finds him.

Corrigan's pointlessly rude to him again and, as they depart the story, cuts short Earl's querying of whether he's seen a ghost in underpants lately.

And, with the word, "Nope," ringing in our eyeballs, Jim Corrigan and we wave goodbye to this tale of Heavenly retribution.

How great was all that?

It was muchly great. It's a tale of zero subtlety, sophistication, depth or fleshed-out characterisation, totally devoid of twists and turns. In the final analysis, it's just, "Here are some bad men and here's the Spectre killing them."

In plot terms, there's no need for Earl to be there. He has no impact upon anything.

But he is necessary for mood, in order, to inject some intrigue into events, thanks to his not knowing what's going on.

For that matter, Jim Corrigan isn't really needed in this story either. Given the Spectre's powers, he could, presumably, find and destroy the bad guys, with no involvement at all from his cop alter-ego. However, without him, it'd be a very short story and one damagingly deficient in human involvement.

None of this matters, one way or the other, of course. All that matters is Jim Aparo's showing villains being killed and, sometimes in life, Jim Aparo killing people is all you need.

Weird Adventure Comics #436, Nope

Thursday 23 September 2021

September 23rd 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 week in 1981, just three letters were dominating the UK album chart.

And those letters were A, B and C.

No, it wasn't a certain band from a certain city.

It was ABACAB, the latest LP by Genesis, which had just smashed in at Number One on that very listing.  How certain everyone had been the band would flounder after Peter Gabriel left.

And how wrong they'd been.

Meanwhile, over on the singles chart, there was no change, as Adam Ant's Prince Charming retained the top spot it had first claimed the previous week.

Captain America #31, Thor, the day the thunder died

My eyes detect that Marvel Action Starring Captain America is now officially just Captain America, meaning the book's reverted to the title it had before it merged with Marvel Action all those not-so-many weeks ago.

And, just to celebrate his newfound dominance of the book...

...the captain doesn't feature on the cover.

Instead, it's Thor's turn to do so and, as far as I can make out, it's well-deserved because, inside, he sits around telling some children a tale about when he and Loki were challenged, as youths, by Utgard, Master of Utgartdhall.

Sounds thrilling.

Can't wait to read it.

Sadly, I can shed no light upon what Cap, Iron Man and the Dazzler are up to.

Spider-Man and Hulk Team-Up #446, what if Gwen Stacy had lived?

By crikey, it looks like the Watcher's going to be asking just what would have happened had Gwen Stacy lived.

Well, obviously, she'd have had the chance to see the children she had with Norman Osborn grow up to be super-villains and would have been able to introduce them to their auntie, the clone of her that Professor Warren created.

Tragically, I suspect that none of this is touched upon in this story.

The Hulk's activities, this week, are not totally clear to me. It's possible he's still at that airport and still trying to stop Landslide and Avalanche trashing the place.

Marvel Super Adventure #21, Black Panther vs the Vibranium Beast

Now the Black Panther's in trouble. He has to fight the dreaded Vibranium Beast!

I don't know what the Vibranium Beast is but I can't help feeling it's going to be a whole heap of annoyance for him.

Speaking of which, in Daredevil's tale, it would appear Brother Brimstone's inconveniently died.

And DD's out to uncover his murderer.

But is he really dead?

And just how does all this involve tar pits and stuffed mammoths?

Tuesday 21 September 2021

Speak Your Brain! Part X. Heavy Metal and meat pies!

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's that kind of a Tuesday again.

The kind where I have nothing to write about and, thus, unleash, once more, into the wild, the excitingest feature on the internet, by decreeing the first person to comment below will set the starting point for the day's discussion.

That starting point may involve sport, art, films, music, myth, magic, mystery, sofas, mystery sofas, sausages, Scotch eggs, soda, pancakes, sci-fi, horror or sandcastles.

It may involve something else completely.

It may involve something not else completely.

Only you can decide...

Sunday 19 September 2021

2000 AD - August 1983.

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

There's a well-known claim that every actor in Britain has, at some point, appeared in The Bill, to the degree that the show was virtually a form of national service for thespians.

August 1983 was the month in which that became possible because it was when the long-lived cop drama was first launched.

But, whisper it quietly, it wasn't called The Bill.

In a shocking revelation of the kind that only Wikipedia can furnish, it turns out the very first episode was broadcast under the title of Woodentop.

For those of us over a certain age, the word "Woodentop" conjures up images of a 1950s children's show, of almost that same name, which featured a family of marionettes and their dog called Spotty.

Clearly, such a thing could not be allowed to stand and, happily, after that first episode, Woodentop became The Bill and we could all sleep easily in our beds.

Except for the characters in the show whose police station seemed to get blown up by rogue cops every other week.

That was small screen melodrama but what of the big screen?

That month saw the release of many movies which quickly vanished into obscurity but amongst the ones that lingered slightly longer in the memory were Hercules, The Curse of the Pink Panther and Cujo.

Hercules, of course, starred former Hulk actor Lou Ferrigno and features the legendary scene in which the Greek grappler throws a bear into outer space.

The Curse of the Pink Panther was the one that starred Ted Wass of Soap fame as a replacement for Inspector Clouseau. How good a job he did of it, I couldn't say, as I can't recall it ever appearing on my television.

Then again, the fact it never seems to show up on TV may not be a good sign.

Over on the UK singles chart, the month was dominated by KC and the Sunshine Band's Give It Up which held the top spot for most of that spell until UB40's cover of Red Red Wine deposed it at the month's very climax. 

The British album chart, meanwhile, was dominated by The Very Best of The Beach Boys and Michael Jackson & the Jackson 5's 18 Greatest Hits, with the two albums alternating in their ownership of the top spot.

Top of the comics was, of course, 2000 AD and, in that month, it was still giving us Rogue Trooper, Judge Dredd, Tharg's Future-Shocks, Robo-Hunter and, for the most part, Skizz.

However, that last strip soon had to make way because, with Prog 330, a new star appeared within the 2000 AD galaxy, in the shape of Sláine who I remember being a cross between Conan the Barbarian and the Hulk - a Celtic warrior who could increase in size, strength, tattoos and brutality when the need arose.

I can't say I ever particularly enjoyed his strip but I do, at least, remember it. So, it must have been doing something right.

2000 AD prog 328, Judge Dredd

2000 AD prog 329

2000 AD prog 330, Slaine

2000 AD prog 331, Rogue Trooper

Thursday 16 September 2021

September 16th 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

Are you waiting for your mail to arrive?

If so, you'll know just how vital a good postman is.

And that means you'll be awed to know that, on this very day in 1981, a new kind of hero was born.

That hero was Postman Pat.

For, it was there and then that his show first aired on BBC One and a delivery legend was born, leading to forty years of argument about whether his theme song includes the words, "black and white cat," or, "black and white cap."

Reader, I have the definitive answer but refuse to reveal it.

What I can do is expose what happened in his very first adventure.

It was this:

Postman Pat and Jess call in at Mrs Goggins' post office to collect the items to be delivered in Greendale. But his round quickly becomes a search for Katy Pottage's missing doll.

Tense stuff, I'm sure you'll agree.

Over on the UK singles chart, things were probably no less tense. It was bad news, after all, for Soft Cell, as their track Tainted Love was deposed by Adam Ant, thanks to his recording Prince Charming.

That chart had the kind of people on it you'd expect to be on an early 1980s UK chart. But, rather intriguingly, it also included a trio of once-faded early 1970s Glam gods who'd helped sire such phenomena as Adam Ant in the first place.

That's right, Marc Bolan, Slade and Alvin Stardust were all in the Top 100 - with Stardust even managing to be in the Top 10, thanks to Pretend.

Was this coincidence?

Had the New Romantic movement spawned a wave of nostalgia for the days of Glam that had propelled those stars back into the public consciousness?

I've no idea.

Over on the British album chart, Meat Loaf was still ruling the roost, thanks to his LP Dead Ringer.

Spider-Man and Hulk Team-Up #445, She-Hulk

Spider-Man teams up with the She-Hulk, thanks to the biros of Tom DeFalco & Jim Shooter, and the pencil of Herb Trimpe.

This is the limit of my knowledge of this issue's contents.

Marvel Super Adventure #20, Daredevil vs Brother Brimstone

And I know barely more about this one.

Clearly, Daredevil's up against the bludgeoning powerhouse that is Brother Brimstone which suggests to me that he's still on the trail of Karen Page and is still in Hollywood.

After all, as far as I can recall, Brother Brimstone is, in fact, a heavily disguised lowly technician working on the TV show Karen's currently starring in, in her capacity as an actress.

And he's a small man in a big exo-skeleton.

Of the Panther's activities, this week, I can say little.

However, Marvel UK's still playing on the idea that this is a comic for all lovers of moodiness.

Marvel Action starring Captain America #30, Dr Octopus

Doc Ock makes a rare appearance against someone who's not Spider-Man.

And that suggests this is the tale in which Cap goes in search of a youth who's run off with a biker gang, only to have the tentacled terror gatecrash the meeting.

Happily, the bikers quickly recognise Cap's an OK cat, for a square, and help him see off the villain.

The Dazzler, meanwhile, is starring in a tale called Hell... Hell is for Harry. I can make no claims to know just who Harry is.

And Iron Man's battling the Titanium Man.

I'm sure Thor's fighting someone too but I can shed no light upon their identity.

Tuesday 14 September 2021

The Marvel Lucky Bag - September 1981.

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

It was a case of, "Periscopes at the ready," in September 1981 because it was the month that saw the release of celebrated submarine movie Das Boot. Surely, at the time, the most globally renowned German-language film since Metropolis.

It was also probably the most famous movie about submersibles released since Yellow Submarine.

It was, however, very different from Yellow Submarine.

The month also featured the unleashing of The French Lieutenant's Woman and Mommie Dearest, neither of which I've ever seen, despite their high profile.

Marvel Super Special #19, For Your Eyes Only

And, speaking of movies, James Bond comes to Marvel Town when his latest mission gets adapted, thanks to the typewriter of Larry Hama and the pencils of Howard Chaykin.

Just to leave us both shaken and stirred, we also get a look behind the scenes of the movie.

Raiders of the Last Ark #1, Marvel Comics

Anything James Bond can do, Indiana Jones can do.

And so it is the adventurous archaeologist also gets his very own adaptation of his very own film.

This time, we get a Walt Simonson script and a John Buscema art job.

Spider-Man, Captain America, The Incredible Hulk and Spider-Woman Collectors Edition

Who hasn't fantasised that, at some point, there'd be a comic starring Spider-Man, Captain America, The Incredible Hulk and Spider-Woman?

I know I have.

Frankly, I can't stop fantasising about it.

And now, at last, we get it, thanks to their very own Collectors Edition.

I really don't know what happens in it but, with the Enchantress, Wizard, Rhino and Trapster also onboard, it promises to be an action-packed 27 pages.

Apparently, this was a comic produced for, and distributed entirely through, 7-11 stores.

Marvel Two-In-One #79, The Thing and Blue Diamond

The plot of this one is a mystery to me and I'm not that familiar with the Blue Diamond but I've included it purely because it features someone called Star-Dancer.

I've no idea who she is but what reader could resist a comic that features someone called Star-Dancer?

The Dazzler #7, the Incredible Hulk

Speaking of dancers, the Dazzler's still going strong.

So strong that she's now decided to take on the Hulk.

Not only is he in this issue but the Enforcers are, as well.

And they're out to kill Harry S. Osgood!

Weren't the Enforcers also present in the story that first pitted Spider-Man against the Hulk, way back in the 1960s? Clearly, Marvel history has a knack of repeating itself.

Marvel Super Special #18, Raiders of the Lost Ark

Marvel's clearly decided the comic-buying public can't get enough Indiana Jones, because, this month, it gives us not one but two books that adapt the movie.

And this seems to be the exact same adaptation as is in that other book.

Can this madness succeed?

Well, the approach worked with Star Wars. So, why not?

Sunday 12 September 2021

Forty years ago today - September 1981.

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

Many are the times a man must let bygones be bygones and put the past behind him.

But, right now, I'm going to put the past in front of me.

In fact, I'm putting it slap-bang in front of everyone.

Avengers #211, Everybody wants to be an Avenger

A mystery - and a fight - breaks out when a zillion-and-one Marvel heroes are summoned to the Avengers Mansion to try out for the team but no one seems to know who sent for them all.

Then it turns out it's Moondragon who's to blame, as she's decided to interfere in who should and shouldn't be in the gang.

Anyway, somehow, at the end of it all, the Vision, Scarlet Witch and Jocasta have left the team and, in their place, Tigra's joined, even though none of the Avengers have a clue who she is.

Strangely, at no point does Tigra point out to them that their previous member Hellcat "borrowed" her old costume.

Iron Man #150, Dr Doom

It's a double-length epic, as Iron Man and Dr Doom find themselves trapped in medieval England and entangled in the courtly machinations of King Arthur and his acquaintances.

Needless to say, it's barely five minutes before Shellhead's teamed up with Arthur, and Doomy's allied himself with Morgan Le Fey.

That conflict over, the armour-clad clobberers then have to join forces, in order to get themselves back to the present.

Spectacular Spider-Man #58, the Ringer

Our favourite wallcrawler's put through the ringer by Marvel's newest villain who I have no doubt is destined to go on to be one of Marvel's greats, on a par with the Boomerang.

Greg Salinger also puts in his first appearance.

I know! Greg Salinger! Who'd have thought it?

I now have to Google to find out who Greg Salinger is.

I have now checked. It would appear he becomes the 2nd Foolkiller.

X-Men #149

For reasons I struggle to recall, the mighty mutants go back to Magneto's abandoned headquarters beneath the Antarctic - only to bump into what's left of Garokk the Petrified Man.

And it would be true to say he's not pleased with them.

Meanwhile, on an island in the middle of nowhere, Cyclops bumps into Magneto himself!

Captain America #261, Nomad is back

Cap visits Hollywood to get involved in a movie that's being made about him but no sooner does he arrive than Nomad shows up and starts trying to steal his glory.

Who can this mystery man be?

And what does he have to do with a giant homicidal version of Cap?

Fantastic Four #234

This is a peculiar one, as the FF find themselves confronting a man whose every wish comes true.

When I say, "confronting," I'm not sure if they ever actually meet him.

Thor #311

When a young boy, wrongly shot by the police, is brought in to be treated at the clinic where Don Blake helps out, Thor has to step in to prevent a full-blown race riot from breaking out.

However, thanks to our hero neglecting his doctoring activities, in order to concentrate on his Thor activities, the boy dies, which doesn't do Don's reputation a lot of good.

Admittedly, it doesn't do the boy's life a lot of good, either.

Daredevil #174, Elektra and the Gladiator

From what I remember, the Kingpin's secretly ordered a ninja-packed hit on the lives of the Gladiator and Matt Murdock, meaning Elektra has to step in and help the pair out.

Conan the Barbarian #126

My memories of this one are a bit muddled but I think Conan promises to get a jewel for an ageing witch, in order to free her people and it all leads to a fight with a giant worm.

Amazing Spider-Man #220, Moon Knight

What's this? Moon Knight's turned to crime and agreed to kill Spider-Man, on behalf of the mob?

Well, no, he hasn't. It's all a ruse cooked up by Spidey and Knighty to help the latter infiltrate the criminal underworld and bring down its leadership.

Incredible Hulk #263, Avalanche and Landslide

The almost identically-powered Avalance and Landslide decide to have a scrap - and the Hulk, Rick Jones and Betty Ross get caught up in the middle of it.

As does the airport where it's all happening.

Just how is anyone going to get out this alive?