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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...


Anonymous said...

Comics you missed (failed to buy).

As a kid, if a comic had a cliff-hanger, and you missed the story's concluding part, you'd be bitterly disappointed.

What were the comics you failed to buy, which left you most bitterly disappointed?

Here are mine:

1.) X-Men # 137 - WHSmiths didn't have the ending to the Dark Phoenix Saga. I was bitterly disappointed. Boo hoo! I had to make do with 'What If Phoenix had Not Died?' for my ending. When I finally acquired X-Men # 137 ten years later, it turns out the 'What If' version seemed better!

2.) Korvac Saga finale - I got this a couple of years late. It's the only cliff-hanger/finale that lived up to all its promise & more!

3.) Sphinx vs Galactus - Having followed the Sphinx's long development, in Nova, this cliff-hanger seemed amazing - potentially one of the best modern FF stories ever. The ending, however - which I finally acquired, years later - was disappointing. Despite his giant stature, the Sphinx proved no challenge for Galactus.

4.) "If Daredevil dies, then so do you (the Man-Bull)! This the Black Widow swears!" Daredevil was shot at point blank range - aged 8, I didn't understand DD would survive - I thought he was dead - or mortally wounded! I was bitterly disappointed not to see the Widow's terrible revenge. Years later, I got it - and it seemed rubbish!

5.) White Tiger vs Spidey - the Tiger beat Jack of Hearts - I was bitterly disappointed not to see the conclusion of his Spidey fight! Years later, I got it - not bad!

6.) Captain America vs Baron Blood - as a kid, disappointed to miss the conclusion. Years later, like Korvac, this is one of the few cliff-hangers that really delivered.

7.) Iron Fist - the follow up to the Ninja running Bob Diamond through with a katana - Kerry Gammill's great stuff. But, years later, the double sized conclusion - a bit above average. Not amazing, though.


Charlie Horse 47 said...

Darn! I was going to ask everyone their favorite song by the UK hit making machine Jeff Lynne!

Steve W. said...

Don't worry, Charlie. We can do both. It's that kind of site.

Phillip, I shall go away and contemplate what my examples are.

Thanks to both of you for your topics.

Anonymous said...

Charlie - As regards Jeff Lynne, possibly Xanadu! Tom Petty's songs are good, too. Points deducted for "Everything I do, I do it for you!"


Redartz said...

Oboyoboyoboyoboy! Two questions to answer!

Phillip- way back when I was just a little comic reader, I was eagerly following the "Petrified Tablet" arc in Amazing Spider-Man (starting in issue 68 and running through issue 75). At age 8, I could only rely upon our local drug store (apothecary, for the UK, correct?). I got 68 through 74, and never saw the conclusion until 7 years later as a teenaged 'serious' collector.

In those teen years, I was fortunate enough to live in a town with a comics shop, so I generally didn't miss much.

Charlie- for your question, I'd go with "Strange Magic". Evocative....

Colin Jones said...

Red, we say "chemist" not apothecary.

Some comics I missed:

The final part of the Morbius/six-armed Spidey story when it was reprinted in Marvel UK's 'Spider-Man Comics Weekly' in 1975.

The final part of Escape From The Planet Of The Apes in Marvel UK's Planet Of The Apes #62 in December 1975.

The final part of Conan vs. Amra (a psychopathic Hyborian Age Tarzan) in Conan The Barbarian #64.

Phil, I too missed Uncanny X-Men #137 but I was able to buy it via mail-order about a year later. Like you I actually prefer the What If alternative version!!

Colin Jones said...

The first Marvel comic I missed was Planet Of The Apes No.8 dated December 14th 1974 - I'd only been reading Marvel for three weeks so missing comics started early!

Redartz said...

Colin- in the words of the immortal Homer Simpson: "D'ohhhhh!"

Charlie Horse 47 said...

Good question Phillip!

Charlie had the first 5 Luke Cage Hero for Hire issues. This was a major accomplishment since I was buying them off the spinner at a small grocery store in Gary, Indiana, and distribution erratic.

And then there was no #6, and #7 eventually showed up.

Charlie was a mess!

Then one day Charlie spotted #6 in a local department store in a machine that dispensed comics. Ole Charlie had to beg his dad for a nickel to get to the 15 cents needed to insert into the machine.

Unfortunately Charlie inserted the 15 cents into the wrong slot and, when he pushed the handle in, a forking Archie fell to the bottom of the machine!!!

Charlie begged his old man for 15 cents but he was not sympathetic. "You already got one comic! How many do you need???!!!"

Charlie Horse 47 said...

I had bought Avengers 89, 90, 91, 92 and then never saw another Avengers until 100, in a different town. He'd been buying them off the spinner rack.

I finally read #93... I think it was a collected TBP like 30 years later!

WOW! That issue by Neal Adams rocked the house! It sill does!

Anonymous said...

Captain Britain weekly #15. I wasn't too fussed at missing the CB story (the first encounter with Mastermind) but this issue concluded the Fantastic Four v The Overmind story. I think I tracked it down couple of years later and, naturally, it was a let down.

Favourite Jeff Lynne song - Mr Blue Sky. Probably the Lily Allen version. How's that for fighting talk!


Anonymous said...

Redartz - Also, in UK chemists, comics aren't sold! Spidey's tablet arc? Interesting!

Colin - Spidey was accustomed to growing appendages, long before the Spider Lizard! As regards "What if Phoenix had not died?" - yes, what a good story! (Mary) Jo Duffy did some good stuff in Iron Fist, too.

Charlie - Heartbreaking! I'd have given young Charlie that dime - it's almost Dickensian! Also, Charlie's third person's slipping into first person!

As regards newspapers, etc, sold in glass cases - in the UK, kids would smash them up, almost immediately. Our only similar thing is Nestle Crunch machines on train station platforms.

DW - Looking up CB # 15 - for CB, the Friedrich era dipped, after Claremont. Stately Braddock manor, etc - not good! The story about the villain turning out to be a computer hologram's somewhat like the Space Sentinels story, "The Sorceress".


Charlie Horse 47 said...

You know... Steve could probably squeeze out a post on all the modalities used to deliver us comics and candy and soda pop!

The comic machines I refer to were not necessarily know throughout the USA either.

Below is a picture. YOung Charlie assumed you inserted the coins at the top of the comic, not the bottom. Luke Cage was in the center on the right hand column. I ended up with Archie, which was second from top.

Anonymous said...

Charlie - That machine looks complicated for an adult to understand, let alone a kid!


Fantastic Four follower said...

Ironic that 'Redartz'was unable to find a'tablet' in a chemist/drugstore!

Anonymous said...

Tough to pick just one Jeff Lynne song — there’s at least five or six on OUT OF THE BLUE alone, ‘Night in the City’, ‘Turn to Stone’, ‘Mr. Blue Sky’, etc. Hell wid it, I’ll just go with ‘Do Ya’ , the ELO version (though I like The Move original too).

As for Philip’s topic — it’s funny, but as much as I complain about how dodgy the distribution was when I was a kid, I can’t think of too many comics that I missed in the middle of a run. CAPTAIN AMERICA 172 was one that I couldn’t find, the third story in the Secret Empire saga. By the time I went looking to buy it as a back issue in comic shops, it was a bit pricey because the X-men were in it. I eventually found a less than mint copy that didn’t cost me an arm and a leg. Good thing too, it’s really not a great issue.


Steve W. said...

I've now thought about it and my favourite Jeff Lynne ELO song is probably Livin' Thing although, in the interests of grammatical consistency, he should have called it Livin' Thin'.

As for comics I missed out on, among the ones that most leap out at me are:

The Shadow #1.

Detective Comics #443 in which Batman and Manhunter team up.

The Savage Sword of Conan #5 with the Boris Vallejo tree crucifixion cover.

Dave S said...

The first back issue I ever bought was Iron Man 152 (the debut of his frankly gorgeous stealth armour), around 1984ish. Didn't read the second part of the story til approx 25 years later. It didn't really bother me too much, cos obviously I knew Shellhead would get out of his terrible predicament somehow (cos I had seen current issues of IM)

dangermash aka The Artistic Actuary said...

Red missed ASM #75?

No! It cannot be! It is madness!

Anonymous said...

I still haven't even read ASM #121 dangermash.

Disappointments -

1. Finally reading Dr Strange #19 when it was reprinted in Rampage monthly a few years after the event.
Although not generally keen on Englehart's writing, I loved his Doc; the earlier Brunner-era usually gets the attention but the issues with Gene Colan and Tom Palmer really did it for me as a kid because I managed to get all them - Eternity, the destruction and *spoiler alert* recreation of the Earth (that was a mind blower back then I can tell you), New Atlantis, Clea copping off with Ben Franklin - except the last part.

And when I finally read it... it was written by Marv f****** Wolfman instead, and retconned everything that came before (turned out it wasn't even really Ben Franklin).
Even the artwork of the mighty Alfredo Alcala didn't make up for the disappointment!
Sorry to go on - decades later it still stings.

2. Miracleman #6 finally got to the (then) new Marvelman stuff a couple of years after one of the greatest cliffhanger endings ever - "...Marveldog! Ha ha ha ha ha ha!"
No worries about Alan Moore's writing, but eh - it looked awful. The new fella was no Alan Davis, let alone Garry Leach.

3. Steve Canyon #1. Kitchen Sink were publishing the Spirit mag at the time, and Eisner and other old school artists used to rave about Milt Canniff all the time, and how great his work was.
So this new mag reprinting his Steve Canyon - whatever that is - has got to be worth checking out, right? OMG - its like Fr*nk R*bb*ns! For 60 pages!!


Anonymous said...

Best I don't comment on Jeff Lynne - I wouldn't want to cause any ELO or Wilburys fans to take umbrage.


Anonymous said...


That Chuck Beckum artwork was really terrible wasn't it? I was hoping Marvel would have it redrawn when they reprinted it a few years back but alas. The Rick Veitch issues were also terrible and so I now tend to think of the story finishing on the Marvel-dog cliff hanger. I'm not sure the later material really added much. The Totleben art seemed ok at the time, but while its nicely illustrated the story telling aspect of the art hasn't aged well (if that makes sense).


My first Marvel comic was Planet of the Apes #4, and so I was a week ahead of you. However, the next issue I saw at the newsagent was #20! Oddly, most issues from then appeared as normal. I then picked those early issues from a newsagent in Cornwall the following summer (for 2p per issue). Good times.


Anonymous said...

Yeah DW, thats right about Rick Veitch's work on Miracleman too. You're not the only one who hoped Marvel would have bk 2 redrawn, but I wasn't in favour - despite the disappointment I reckon the troubled history of the series is a part of it.

Like, if you were going to fix it where would you stop? How about changes to bk 3?
Actually, I always thought Totleben was a bit over-rated - he was good enough, but... maybe it would have been better to have had someone else pencilling, or at least doing layouts?
I think I know what you mean by dated story telling, but I wonder if thats partly down to Moore too, and the choice to do it in flashback - it does all get a bit "purple prose"...

While we're at it, what about V for Vendetta? The "new" part was alright, but compared to the Warrior-era stuff both Moore and Lloyd seemed to be going through the motions a bit, like they weren't as enthusiastic. Which is understandable, going back to finish earlier work.


Anonymous said...

PS Ooh, another, related disappointment - weren't Marvel supposed to be picking up the Miracleman story again themselves after the reprints, and give us Neil Gaiman's conclusion? Where is it?!?


Anonymous said...

Prior to Marvel obtaining the rights there were rumours that Leach was going to re-ink all the post Warrior stuff to give it a consistent look. I assume he meant book 2 because the inking is the best bit of Totleben's arc. That said, I agree it would hardly have made any real difference because Moore had changed the writing style. I still have the Warrior issues, somewhere, and only bought the collected first book (having sold the Miracleman issues decades ago). If we, as long term readers, are disappointed Imagine how Marvel must feels having paid a motza for the rights and not got another Watchmen. Presumably projected sales no longer warrant Nifty Neil taking the time to write the remainder of his run.


Anonymous said...

Re. Totleben, I think his work looks nice as single images but the story telling wasn't great. I guess its telling that Len Wein gave pencils to Bissette and Inks to Totleben when they took over Swamp Thing. I recall Bissette mentioning that they originally approached DC with Totleben pencilling and Bissette inking. Being fair, his eyesight was failing during this period.


Anonymous said...

DW. it is a bit weird Marvel thought Miracleman could be a big crossover hit in the 21st century.
A lot of the love for MM is because of its impact on old codgers who read it in Warrior back when it was something really fresh and new. Its not hard to see how it could be disappointing for newer readers, coming to it well after the more accomplished and consistent Watchmen, and all kinds of imitators like Grant Morrison MBE, Warren Ellis and the rest.

Having said that, a Gaiman conclusion would surely be a decent seller for Marvel, especially with the right artist (can't say I'm particularly attached to Mark Buckingham continuing on MM). Gaiman talks about it occasionally, but I guess he's busy and doesn't have much financial incentive to work in comics.

If only Todd MacFarlane had won in court, eh? Then we'd have had loads of Miracleman comics over the years!