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Monday, 11 October 2021

The Marvel Lucky Bag - October 1981.

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

October 1981 was no time to be faint-hearted.

For, horror undreamt of was about to enter your life, thanks to the release of Sam Raimi's low-budget classic The Evil Dead. How we gasped as a man with a chainsaw took on the nightmare threat of a stroppy tree and more.

But it wasn't the only important release of limited budget, that month. The world's less discriminating cinemas also saw the release of Galaxy of Terror which may not be as celebrated as The Evil Dead but it did employ a man called James Cameron as its production designer and second-unit director. And there are those who claim his later film Aliens owed more than a little to the contents of that movie.

But, also, appropriately, with it being October, the month saw the release of Halloween II,  which was nice news for people who like that kind of thing.

Fantastic Four Annual #16, Steve Ditko

The Fantastic Four get their 16th annual - and it's a surprise for some of us to see it comes courtesy of the pencils of Steve Ditko who not only draws the cover but also the solitary tale contained within.

The Ed Hannigan written epic features someone called Dragon Lord.

And if that's not dragony enough for you, it also contains Dragon Man and the Dragon Riders.

Sadly, it doesn't contain any Fin Fang Foom.

And I don't actually know who Dragon Lord is.

I'm assuming he can control dragons.

But not Fin Fang Foom.

Marvel Team-Up Annual #4

Gasp as this year's Marvel Team-Up annual gives us the return of the Purple Man!

I don't have a clue what occurs in this one but it would appear it takes the combined might of Spider-Man, Moon Knight, Iron Fist, Power Man and Daredevil to stop him.

Marvel Two-in-One Annual #6, The Thing and American Eagle

And it's yet another annual. This time, for Marvel Two-in-One, as the Thing and newcomer American Eagle must prevent Klaw from stealing Vibranium from the Savage Land.

And, apparently, Ka-Zar and Wyatt Wingfoot get dragged into it all, as well!

Dragonslayer #1, Marvel Comics

It's bad news for Dragon Lord because Dragonslayer launches its first issue, which sets out to adapt the movie of the same name.

I don't know if I've ever seen Dragonslayer. Looking at its summary on Wikipedia, nothing about it sounds familiar.

The Defenders #100

We've had plenty of annuals, so far, this post but we've now got an ever-loving 100th issue to celebrate.

And that's from The Defenders.

Over the course of 38 pages, our team who aren't a team must battle multiple incarnations of Satan, in order to prevent him from unleashing Hell on Earth.

Conan Annual #6

And, not to be left behind, Conan also has an annual that's freebooting its way around Hyboria.

It's another 38-page epic but I don't have an inkling of what happens in it.

I do know, though, that the villain of the piece is called Barlonius.

For Your Eyes Only #1, Marvel Comics

Hold the front page because we've got the launch of Marvel's adaptation of For Your Eyes Only, one of the few Bond films I can't remember ever having seen.

Therefore, the plot of the movie escapes me.

I'm assuming it involves a fancy car, a megalomaniac who wants to rule the world, an unlikely gadget, a bad girl who turns good, an extravagant base and a deadly but unlikely henchperson.

Whatever it's about, it's brought to us by the licensed-to-thrill team of Larry Hama and Howard Chaykin.

Captain America Annual #5

Not to be outdone by all those whippersnappers, Captain America, too, has an annual.

It would appear to feature a battle to the death with the Constrictor and is also 38 pages long but that's literally all I can say about it.

Other than it's the handiwork of David Michelinie and Gene Colan.

And it includes an ad for Hostess fruit pies which is called The Hulk vs. The Phoomie Goonies.

The Phoomie Goonies. Marvellous.

25 comments:

Anonymous said...

A Killgrave story means mind-control of some of the superheroes, playing them off against Spidey & one of the other ones, I imagine. Listing Power Man & Iron Fist on two separate lines (more for your money), rather than together, as 'Power Man & Iron Fist', smacks of desperation.

I think one of For Your Eyes Only's claims to fame was it immediately ditched the fancy car, in favour of a 2CV (acting against type - sort of). But even this is implying the fancy car, by way of contrast.

I remember one Captain America issue, featuring the Constrictor, which got his voice completely wrong (it was a Roger McKenzie story). When Len Wein created the Constrictor, he was articulate, & spoke in grandiose villain-speak. Roger McKenzie's Constrictor, in contrast, spoke like a semi-literate street tough - a complete change in character, with no explanation. Let's hope David Michelinie does a better job in this Cap story. Electro's voice changed once, too - but that was commented on, and explained!

Phillip

Anonymous said...

You can read Cap for free on that site Charlie introduced us to, a while back:

https://view-comic.com/captain-america-1968-annual-5/


David Michelinie doesn't get the voice wrong. Also, Gene Colan provides an interesting take, one of his returns to Captain America after many years. The problem is the Constrictor doesn't really use his powers, so why feature him. Electrified adamantium coils? Speed & agility? Where are they?

Phillip

Steve W. said...

I'm trying to remember if Paste Pot Pete was another one whose voice changed but I can't be certain.

Redartz said...

That Marvel Team Up Annual was pretty good. The Frank Miller cover was sharp; I remember wishing that he had done the interiors. As it was, Herb Trimpe drew it. At any rate, the story was cool, with Killgrave and the Kingpin. And Spider-Man singing Elvis Costello from a lamppost.

Afraid that none of the other books stuck to memory, other than the Bond adaptation. As for the film itself, it was one of the better Roger Moore offerings. Not as jokey as "Moonraker". Thankfully....

Colin Jones said...

I bought Defenders #100 but sadly I never saw any US annuals on sale either this month or any other month :(

Anonymous said...

I agreed that's a nice Miller cover on the MTU annual. Placing it below Ditko's FF annual accentuates how much Miller was riffing Ditko on his early Spidey covers (ASM annual #14 being the most obvious).

DW

Anonymous said...

Miller did work on the interior of that MTU Annual... as writer, which I believe was a first for fearless Frank. You can tell, as compared to Daredevil - where he also had his artist hat on - its much more of a standard Marvel superhero comic. But better than average for the time.
And to be fair, Herb Trimpe wasn't exactly a Sienkiewicz or Mazzucelli.

I wonder if it was some kind of tryout. That Spidey, Moon Knight, Iron Fist, Luke Cage and DD line-up does seem like it could be an early 80s idea for a new super team.

Or non-team, as those has-beens the Defenders certainly needed replacing - even at the time #100 seemed like a very mid-70s kind of comic (while not actually being anywhere near as good as the series was in its heyday).

-sean

Anonymous said...

Huh. Gil Kane Conan covers are like London buses, you wait ages for one and then two turn up at the same time.
The one in the last post was much better imo - you didn't notice the absence of a cowering wench as much.

-sean

Charlie Horse 47 said...

Sean - Charlie noticed the absence of the helpless wench in Sunday's Conan posting on the Kane cover.

Charlie Horse 47 said...

Charlie knew when he saw MTU on the spinner rack about 49 years ago that it was a baseless grab at $ and would lead to proliferation of imaginary comics.

And here is the proof: annuals of things like MTU and MTIO, lol.

Really - we are farther away from MTU #1 and closer to Ronald Perlman buying Marvel to make $$$ at this point. Farther from the glorious 60s and closer to the 90s... oh boy.

Anonymous said...

Yeah Charlie - back in the 60s Martin Goodman wasn't much interested in money at all, and essentially ran Marvel Comics as an artistically philanthropic enterprise.

-sean

Anonymous said...

Er... that may come across a bit more brusquely than I intended Charlie. Apologies if
I caused at offence.

-sean

Dave S said...

Dave's Cover of the ...error Lucky Bag is the Marvel Team Up annual. A much better Frank Miller cover than the Hulk one we've seen recently!

The Defenders cover, I'm sure, is a homage to something- X-Men 100 maybe?

I bought that Cap annual in the late 80s from a second-hand bookshop inexplicably jammed halfway into a residential cul-de-sac in my home town. It's a really good story about a man obsessed with watching people die (and owns a cat named Fur-Person) nicely drawn by the legendary Gene Colan. For years afterwards, I would occasionally call my own cat Fur-Person. He never reacted though, so I'm guessing he wasn't a David Michelinie fan.

Charlie Horse 47 said...

Dave! If i were to Pick a cover to draw it would be the Cap annual!

Charlie Horse 47 said...

Steve -

Charlie am hurt there was no coverage of the world Conkers championship this past weekend.

Charlie can only hope this was an oversight and not a harbinger of things to come.

dangermash aka The Artistic Actuary said...

A couple of changes that spring to mind:

- Sandman somewhere in FF #50-70

- Egghead talking in Shakespeare quotes somewhere in Avengers #50-90

Steve W. said...

Charlie, sadly, I was totally unaware of the World Conker Championship taking place. Had I known, I would, of course, have sent a whole team of reporters down to cover the event, for the blog.

Dave, my cover of the month would also be the Marvel Team-Up. It is a thing of cleanliness, elegance and balance.

Colin, I don't think I ever saw any US Marvel annuals after the very early 1970s.

Anonymous said...

As you know Steve, I'm not usually one for going off topic so I hope you don't mind me bringing it up, but I heard a fascinating radio news item earlier about the "Halifax hum", a constant mystery noise in the town for the last year or so.
Is that a general Yorkshire thing these days? Do you have strange environmental sounds in Sheffield?
Or - Phillip - Leeds or wherever it is you are?
And if so, any theories?

-sean

Steve W. said...

Sean, I can announce there are no mystery sounds in my area but I do know various places around the world have been blighted by them over the decades. As for what they are, I can shed no light upon the matter.

Colin might have some ideas. He reads The Fortean Times and I know that's taken an interest in the topic, in the past.

Anonymous said...

No hum here, Sean. Like Steve says, mystery hums are a Fortean perennial!

Phillip

Charlie Horse 47 said...

Sean - I've heard this story before about the hums. Lots of references to the UK.

https://www.nbcnews.com/sciencemain/mysterious-hum-driving-people-crazy-around-world-6c10760872

No worries about Martin Goodman, lol.

Colin Jones said...

Yes, I've read about those mystery hums in Fortean Times but I hadn't heard about the Halifax one.

Colin Jones said...

I suspect China or the EU is behind it all. Or maybe China AND the EU.

Anonymous said...

Maybe Bing Crosby & Bowie!

Phillip

Charlie Horse 47 said...

Please! This is a serious blog Phillip!! Obviously the Mole Man!!!