Tuesday 30 November 2021

Speak Your Brain! Part XVI. Morecambe & Wise or The Two Ronnies?

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
Come, sweet Tuesday, trickle in through my windows. For, today is the day that sees the return of the internet's most talked-about feature.

The one in which I invite you to decide upon the subject of the day.

But what might it be?

Could it be sport, or art, or films, music, books, fairy tales, fairy lights, fairy cakes, myth, magic, murder, mystery, mayhem, sofas, sausages, eggs, whisky, broth, Garth Marenghi, Garth Brooks, Bruno Brookes, Bruno Mars, Mars Bars, flip-flops, flim-flam, see-saws, flowers, flours, bread bins, bin bags, bean bags, cola, pancakes, pizzas, sci-fi, Wi-Fi, Hi-Fi, horror, sewage, saunas, suet, Silurians, sins or sandcastles?

It could be.

That is for you - and you alone - to decide.

Sunday 28 November 2021

Black Magic #6.

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

Black Magic #6, DC comics
If there was one thing you couldn't move for in the 1970s, it was DC horror anthologies, with the spinner racks awash with the likes of House of Secrets, House of Mystery, The Witching Hour, The Unexpected and a zillion other titles.

However, one was different.

Unlike those other books, Black Magic was a reprint title and was, thus, more in the vein of the horror anthologies Marvel was producing at the time, such as Tower of Shadows and Tomb of Darkness.

Sadly, this policy didn't prove any more successful for DC than it was for Marvel and, despite its enticing title, the book only survived for nine issues before meeting its maker.

While I remember there being plenty of DC house ads for issue #1, issue #6 is the only one I ever actually owned.

So, let's see what this nightmarish delve into terror contains.

Black Magic #6, the 13th Floor
For a start, it contains The Thirteenth Floor! in which  Clement Dorn is out to commit suicide - if he can only find the right spot from which to do it.

Seeking a high window to leap out of, he makes his way to a room on the 13th floor of a building, only to discover, when he enters, that it's the waiting room for the Afterlife and that he's now in danger of being dragged off to hell by Satan himself.

Happily, he finds his way back to the outside world and, lesson having been learned, decides not to commit suicide, after all.

That synopsis makes it all sound quite nightmarish but, despite being played totally straight, it's surprisingly light in spirit, bringing to mind such movies as A Matter of Life and Death.

Black Magic #6, Satan's Sister
Next, we get Satan's Sister! in which reporter Mark Kenyon tries to discover just why Peggy Farr hates her identical twin sister Lisa.

Mark's problem is Lisa says she can't marry him as long as the shadow of Peggy hangs over her. Thus, he sets out to talk sense to the magnificently psychotic Peggy who responds by deciding she's going to kill him.

It'll come as a surprise to absolutely no one that the tale climaxes with Mark discovering Lisa doesn't actually have a sister.

And we end with a cliffhanger, as the door of the room he's in starts to open and Mark doesn't know if the woman walking in through it is going to be Lisa or Peggy.

Now, we're offered The Girl Who Walked on Water! brought to us by Joe Simon and Jack Kirby.

Black Magic #6, the Girl Who Walked on Water
In it, Walter Zeiss and Ernest Hunt spot their chance to make a fortune when they meet a girl called Anna Marie Kunowski who can walk on water (and walls).

But their plans are scuppered when her friend Tommy tries to copy her feats, and falls from a window. So badly injured is he that it destroys her belief that it's possible to do such things. And, thanks to this, her ability abandons her.

But we end with I Wouldn't Let Him Die, a one-page text story which I haven't read because it doesn't have pictures, and I have a pathological fear of comic book stories that don't have pictures. I'm sure it's great, though.

So, how does this collection of Golden Age goodness stand up?

Surprisingly well. I've commented before that Golden Age horror tales are not exactly terrifying. Then again, neither are Bronze Age ones. And these are definitely not terrifying.

But the first two tales really do have a strong movie feel about them, as though you're seeing cinema acted out before you in the form of comic book panels. The third feels more like a comic book tale but has a surprising potency, thanks to Anna Marie's distress over the harm poor Tommy comes to because of her. We never learn how serious that harm is but we are told he's, "Hurt awful bad."

So, yes. to my surprise, I give it a thumbs up. 

And that means I'm going to view it as an affront to the powers of darkness themselves that it only lasted for a handful of issues.

Assuming, of course, that the powers of darkness care.

Thursday 25 November 2021

November 25th 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 times in this life when you know what it feels like to be a girl called Dorothy. Mostly when you've just teamed up with a robot, a scarecrow and a talking lion.

However, this week in 1981, the citizens of Britain got a full-on chance to feel that Wizard of Oz vibe, as the UK was hit by the largest recorded tornado outbreak in European history.

In the space of just one day, 104 confirmed tornadoes broke out across Wales and England.

Although most of them struck in rural areas, several large cities were blasted, including Liverpool, Manchester, Hull and Birmingham.

I was going to ask how come I've no memory of this cataclysmic event but I note it didn't, at any point, touch the southeast of England. So, I'm assuming it was all but ignored by the national media.

What was broadcast by the national media, that week, was The Three Doctors; the latest part of BBC Two's The Five Faces of Doctor Who season, which went out on this very evening.

How we gasped as the first three Doctors teamed up to tackle the anti-matter threat of Omega, mad, shouty ruler of another universe.

And how we gasped even more, as Omega took off his hat, only to discover he had no head underneath it because his mammoth ego was all that was left of him.

Let that be a lesson to us all.

Super Spider-Man TV Comic #455

It's another high quality cover as Spidey's comic roars ever onwards.

Inside, Ramrod's on the loose at ESU.

And that's bad news for Peter Parker's singing cowboy neighbour Lonesome Pinky who is, apparently, the only one who can foil his sinister scheme.

But, perhaps the greatest source of excitement for us, as we approach Christmas, is the revelation that we can also win 20 Spider-Man annuals!

Captain America #40, Daredevil vs Tagak the Leopard Man

Judging by that cover, it's a slightly more glamorous adventure for Daredevil than he's used to, when he gets to team up with Tagak the leopard man, in order to capture an inter-dimensional thief.

Meanwhile, on Asgard, Thor's still having trouble with the new fake Thor who's taken his place and his girl.

More Earthboundly, Cap's fighting the Constrictor on a sinking ship.

And there's even more excitement for the lot of us because we can win not 19 but 20 Captain America annuals.

Tuesday 23 November 2021

Speak Your Brain! Part XV. Artists you've changed your mind about.

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
Talk is cheap and so am I.

Speech is free and so's this site.

That can only mean one thing.

It's time for me to once more invite you The Reader to select the topic du jour.

As always with this feature, the first person to comment sets the starting point for the day's debate.

It may include sport, art, films, music, books, fairy tales, fairy lights, fairy tales, myth, magic, murder, mystery, mayhem, sofas, sausages, eggs, whisky, broth, Garth Marenghi, Garth Brooks, flip-flops, flim-flam, see-saws, flowers, flour, bread bins, bin bags, bean bags, cola, pancakes, sci-fi, Wi-Fi, horror, sewage, saunas, suet, Silurians or sandcastles.

It may not.

Only you may decide.

Sunday 21 November 2021

2000 AD - October 1983.

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

October 1983 was a case of pressing your foot down on the accelerator, as British entrepreneur Richard Noble set a new land speed record of 633.468 mph by driving Thrust2 in a straight line, at the Black Rock Desert, Nevada.

Noble may have been fast but he was a positive slow coach compared to light.

And, at last, we could be certain of that because it was also the month in which the 17th General Conference on Weights and Measures decreed that, from now on, the metre would be defined entirely by its relationship to the speed of light. Thus it is that we now know a metre is the distance light travels in a vacuum in 1/299,792,458 of a second.

I just feel sorry for the man with the stopwatch who has to time it.

Elsewhere, the US military was moving pretty quickly too, as it carried out an epic invasion of Grenada, at the behest of Eugenia Charles of Dominica, a member of the Organization of American States.

Back in Britain, things were progressing well for Culture Club's Karma Chameleon which held the singles chart's top spot for almost the whole month. The exception being its final week, when Billy Joel's Uptown Girl snatched the crown.

Things were slightly more volatile on the British album chart, with three LPs hitting Number One that October. They were, in this order; No Parlez by Paul Young, Genesis by Genesis, and Culture Club's Colour by Numbers.

The cinemas of the world, meanwhile, saw the unleashing of a whole clutch of memorable movies. Among them were Never Say Never Again, The Dead Zone, The Right Stuff, Rumble Fish and The Wicked Lady.

And I've just realised I've never seen any of them.

I did once try to watch Never Say Never Again but James Bond was playing a computer game and the wrongness of such a thing demotivated me from watching the rest of the film.

But what of the galaxy's greatest comic? Was it proving to be as thrilling as the real-world events that were then transpiring?

I don't have a clue, as I don't recall the contents of any of the relevant issues but I do know they involved Judge Dredd, Sláine, Nemesis the Warlock, Strontium Dog and Rogue Trooper.

But what's this?

It looks like someone had better ring for Conan because, in most of these issues, Sláine is tackling The Bride of Crom.

How positively uncromulent.
2000 AD prog 336

2000 AD prog 337, Nemesis the Warlock

2000 AD prog 338, Judge Dredd

2000 AD prog 339, Johnny Alpha

2000 AD prog 340, Nemesis the Warlock

Thursday 18 November 2021

November 18th 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

You know who was under pressure, this week in 1981?

David Bowie was.

And so was Freddie Mercury.

But possibly not that much pressure, because their song of that title had just smashed its way to the Number One spot on the UK singles chart; dethroning the Police, in the process.

And good news abounded for Queen on the British album chart, as well, with their Greatest Hits LP retaining its place at the pinnacle there.

Also under pressure - but in a very different way - was the Doctor and his assistant Jo, on this very evening of forty years ago.

Horror of horrors, they were confronted by the nightmarish Drashigs in BBC Two's repeat of The Carnival of Monsters, the latest installment in its Five Faces of Doctor Who season.

Half glove puppet. Half serpent. Half caterpillar. All terror. Who could forget the Drashigs?

Some sights stick with you for the whole of the rest of your life.

Super Spider-Man TV Comic #454

It's great to see the classy photo covers are back!

In this one,  I'm assured that Spidey teams up with Moon Knight.

In which case, I'd guess it's the one in which Moonie's out to infiltrate New York's criminal underworld by pretending he's out to kill our favourite webhead.

Fortunately, Spidey's in on it and justice is soon brought to the gangs of New York.

This week's centrefold is a poster in which Spider-Man's about to tackle the Sinister Six.

Marvel Classics Comics #4, Alice in Wonderland

If you want an escape from reality, this is the book for you, as the company gives us its adaptation of Lewis Carroll's Alice in Wonderland, as brought to us by the trusty pencil of Alfredo Alcala.

Captain America #39, The new Thor

Can it be true? Can a new Thor be on the scene?

Yes it can!

Roger "Red" Norvell - presumably no relation to Duncan - puts on Thor's belt of strength and Iron Gloves and becomes a new thunder god, who's even more awesome than the old one.

He then orders Sif to leave with him or he'll destroy Asgard.

I have a feeling he'll soon be getting his comeuppance.

Back on Earth, Captain America's still having his Hollywood showdown with the Red Skull, as tempers just keep rising over the making of a Captain America biopic.

Elsewhere in that nation, a famous painting by Rembrandt has been stolen by a shadowy figure.

And it can only mean one thing.

That Daredevil's about to meet Tagak the leopard man.

Tuesday 16 November 2021

Speak Your Brain! Part XIV. Your Christmas Wish List.

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
As sure as night follows day, Tuesday follows Monday.

And that can only mean one thing.

A nightmarish thing.

That it's all gone freestyle, as I invite you, once again, to decide upon today's tormented topic.

It's true. In an offer too thrilling to resist, the first person to comment, below, sets the starting point for the day's discussion.

It might be on one of a whole range of subjects. It may involve sport, art, films, music, books, fairy tales, fairy lights, myth, magic, murder, mystery, mayhem, sofas, sausages, eggs, whisky, broth, Garth Marenghi, flip-flops, flim-flam, see-saws, flowers, flour, bread bins, bin bags, cola, pancakes, sci-fi, horror, sewage, saunas, Silurians or sandcastles.

It might not involve any of those things.

Only you can decide.

If you're fast enough.

Sunday 14 November 2021

Forty years ago today - November 1981.

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

It's time, once more, for me to smash the past in the face, with heaps of Marvel awesomeness.

Avengers #213, the Court-Martial of Yellow Jacket

Then again, it's possibly not that awesome, as we reach everybody's favourite issue of The Avengers, in which Hank Pym goes completely mad, hits the Wasp and builds an indestructible adamantium robot to attack his teammates, so he can defeat it and prove he's worthy of being an Avenger, which seems an odd way in which to prove you're worthy of being an Avenger.

And I suspect his teammates will agree.

Thinking about it, it does pose an obvious question. With this kind of scientific knowledge, why has Hank not simply built an indestructible adamantium robot to fight super-villains? If he did that, the Avengers could practically retire.

Captain America #263, the Ameridroid and the Red Skull

The Red Skull's back and trying to make a film about the death of our hero!

Of course, that means he's going to have to kill our hero.

Our hero's not too keen on that plotline and decides to come up with a few story ideas of his own. Most of them involve him hitting the Red Skull in the face.

Elsewhere, the recently deceased Nomad's publicly outed as a phony, and a movie executive pulls the plug on his own plans for a Captain America film.

Also, the Ameridroid dies doing heroic things.

Daredevil #176. Elektra

Daredevil's lost the use of his radar sense and, so, goes in search of Stick, the guru who first taught him how to fight like a ninja, as detailed in Daredevil #1, all those years ago.

The trouble is that seemingly every villain in town, plus Elektra, wants to have a word with Stick, as well, leading to an awful lot of conflicty people in one place at the same time.

I have a feeling that situation's not going to end peacefully.

Iron Man #152, stealth armour

Iron Man uses his new stealth armour to sneak into a complex in East Germany, in order to rescue his girlfriend and security expert Bethany Cabe.

Only to discover, when he gets there, that she doesn't need rescuing because she's there to rescue someone else.

Anyway, it all ends up with Shellhead getting zapped by the Living Laser - and now he has stuff to worry about.

I do believe this is the issue in which Bethany finally tells Iron Man that she knows he's Tony Stark.

Amazing Spider-Man #222, The Whizzer

The Whizzer gets tired of being a laughing stock and decides to reinvent himself as The Speed Demon.

That's the Whizzer from the Squadron Sinister, I should point out. Not the one who used to fight Hitler in the 1940s.

With his new-found self-respect in place, the villain goes on a spree, robbing department stores.

A spree which only lasts for as long as it takes Spidey to web up a few department store exits.

Spectacular Spider-Man #60

Hooray! Spidey defeats the Beetle, despite the criminal's hi-tech new suit of armour.

However, everyone thinks it's the Gibbon who's defeated the wrongdoer and it's he, therefore, who gets all the plaudits.

Thor #313

Tyr, the Norse god of war, has tried to kill Thor, so the thunder god returns to Asgard to demand Odin explain why the bounder was sent to Earth to attack him.

There's also a giant monster blundering around New York who I think has been unleashed by Loki and is out for revenge against Thor who once defeated him in his salad days.

Uncanny X-Men #151

Can it be the last we ever see of Kitty Pryde in an X-Men comic?

We can only hope so, as her parents decide Professor X's academy isn't the best place for her and, therefore, transfer her to a far better school run by Emma Frost.

Given that Emma's an evil super-villain, this is clearly not a good idea.

So, Storm accompanies her to the place - only for Emma to perform a psychic mind-swap, leaving Storm trapped in Emma's body, as Emma - in Storm's - heads for the X-Men's HQ, looking to destroy the heroes.

Conan the Barbarian #128

Conan heads back home and bumps into a childhood friend who's now married to a woman from Khitai who's actually a witch and is mixed up in some supernatural shenanigans or other that Conan just can't avoid getting caught up in because he's Conan and that's what he does.

Fanastic Four #236, Terror in a Tiny Town

It's an instant classic, as the FF's minds are transferred into the bodies of dolls in a model village and have their memories of ever having been super-heroes removed.

It turns out it's all down to a plan by the Puppet Master to give Alicia the, "normal," life she couldn't otherwise have.

Except, like a mug, he's brought Dr Doom onboard to help him set it all up.

And, of course, Doomsie couldn't care less about Alicia's happiness - or the happiness of anyone else either.

Incredible Hulk #265, the Rangers

The Corruptor still has control of the Hulk!

And that means it's up to the spontaneously arranged new super-team the Rangers to stop the green grappler.

Except, of course, that's way beyond their skillset.

But it's OK because, somehow, everything's resolved and it all ends happily.

I suspect Rick Jones probably just appeals to the Hulk's good side enough times for it to finally work.

That's how these things usually go.

Thursday 11 November 2021

November 11th 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

A person of taste and judgement might be OK with finding a bunch of croutons in their soup.

But what about a bunch of Krotons?

That's right. This evening in 1981 was the night on which BBC Two repeated the 1960s Doctor Who story The Krotons as part of its Five Faces of Doctor Who season.

How we trembled, as the robotic villains tried to violently dispose of the Doctor, Jamie and Zoe. And how we, no doubt cheered, when they failed.

Over on the UK singles chart, things were far less life-or-death and the week saw the Police claim the top spot with their summery track Every Little Thing She Does Is Magic.

Meanwhile, on the British album chart, Queen's Greatest Hits reclaimed the Number One slot it had lost, the previous week, to Shakin' Stevens.

Exactly forty years later, that Queen album is still on the chart and residing at Number 23, with just 30 weeks to go before it clocks up its 1,000th week on the listing.

I'm not a huge Police fan but tracks that I approved of on that week's singles chart were:

Labelled with LoveSqueeze

Joan of ArcOrchestral Manoeuvres in The Dark

Under PressureQueen and David Bowie

A Good Year for The RosesElvis Costello

Open Your HeartThe Human League

O SupermanLaurie Anderson

The VoiceUltravox

BedsitterSoft Cell

I Go to Sleep - The Pretenders

Walkin' in the SunshineBad Manners

The Lunatics (Have Taken Over the Asylum)The Fun Boy Three

Cambodia - Kim Wilde


Tainted LoveSoft Cell.

Interesting to see 999's cover of Indian Reservation in the lower reaches of that chart.

For those who wish to investigate matters further, the UK singles chart for that week can be found right here.

And the corresponding album chart is located here.

Super Spier-Man TV comic #453

It's a dramatic cover and it belongs to the story in which Peter Parker breaks into a prison, in his capacity as a newshound, to investigate just why so many criminals have been able to escape, of late.

Along the way, he also gets to tangle with the Grey Gargoyle and Jonas Harrow, as well as expose a crooked prison governor.

Readers will be pleased to know that two of the book's eight colour pages are used for a road safety advert.

And, of course, we get the latest exploits of Britain's newest super-hero Jett Lagg.

Marvel Classics Comics #4, A Christmas Carol

Personally, I could do without another retelling of A Christmas Carol but Marvel clearly thinks otherwise.

And so it is that we get the company's version of the Yuletide classic, as delivered by Doug Moench and Ken Landgraf, with seemingly everyone who's ever lived helping out on inks.

Captain America #38, the Red Skull and the Ameridroid, Marvel UK

Cap's still caught up in Tinseltown shenanigans when it comes to the movie that's being made about his life.

And that means he has to tackle The Nihilist Order and the Red Skull.

But, fortunately, he gets some just-in-the-nick-of-time help from the doomed Ameridroid.

Elsewhere, weakened by Loki, Thor must fight a bunch of rock trolls, with the fate of the universe at stake. Thankfully, he has his Belt of Strength at hand!

As for Daredevil's activities, I'm afraid I can shed no light upon the matter.

Tuesday 9 November 2021

The Marvel Lucky Bag - November 1981.

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

Big budget blockbusters were not abundant in the cinemas of November 1971 but there were a few films of note.

In my opinion, they were Time BanditsPorky's and, eerily and topically, The Pursuit of D. B. Cooper, a film about the infamous mystery hijacker who leapt from a plane, with $200,000 in ransom money, over Washington State in November 1971 and was never seen again.

This website seems to have become the D. B. Cooper Memorial Site, lately, judging by the number of times he's been mentioned on it. 

The film starred Robert Duvall and Treat Williams and, given that Cooper's true identity remains unknown, as does his fate, it was, by all accounts, a highly fictionalised retelling of events.

Spectacular Spider-Man Annual #3, Man-Wolf

I do have to say Alan Weiss' cover for this annual isn't the greatest thing I've ever seen.

Regardless, as we might guess, the main tale sees the return of Man-Wolf - although I can shed no light upon just what he does once he's returned.

Following that, we get something called Aunt May's Photo Album. The mind boggles at the thought of what that might contain.

And we finish off the book with a string of pin-ups dedicated to Spidey's many friends and foes.

Dennis the Menace #1, Marvel Comics

It's an exciting day for all fans of the American Dennis the Menace, as he gets a Marvel comic of his very own.

In it, Dennis has to stay with the Wilsons while his dad's at work and, later, convinces his family to put up Christmas decorations, even though it's scorching hot outside.

Avengers Annual #10

I don't have any great knowledge of what occurs in this one but, judging by that cover, it seems to be completely incident-packed, with Captain America totally defeated, Iron Man lying around on the floor, Spider-Woman doing a daring midnight rescue, the new Brotherhood of Evil Mutants on the loose, a shocking mystery guest, and a cameo appearance by the X-Men.


As Jarvis would, no doubt, say if he were here to say anything.

X-Men Annual #5, the Fantastic Four

It's all kicking off in this one too, as the X-Men and Sue Richards travel to Arkon's world, in order to rescue the rest of the FF and liberate Arkon's people from a Badoon invasion.

Thor Annual #9, Dormammu

And, last but not least, Thor gets his own annual, as well, in which Odin and Dormammu play chess for the fate of the universe.

This leads to Thor travelling to Dormammu's dimension to try and put a stop to it.

But, hold on. Odin's playing chess?

The man's a blithering imbecile. How's he ever going to be able to win a game of chess?

Also, since when does Odin get to hold the fate of the universe in his hands? Won't the Celestials, Galactus, Eternity and a whole bunch of other entities have something to say about all this?

Sunday 7 November 2021

Fifty years ago today - November 1971.

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

November 1971 proved to be a month of mystery when, during a severe storm above Washington State, a man calling himself D.B. Cooper parachuted from the plane he'd hijacked - along with $200,000 in ransom money - and was never seen again.

Who was D. B. Cooper?

Where had he come from and what became of him?

Nobody knows, as, according to Wikipedia, the case remains the only unsolved skyjacking in history.

One place he definitely didn't land on was Mars.

We know that because it was also the month in which Mariner 9 became the first spacecraft to successfully enter that planet's orbit - and it saw no sign of him.

Elsewhere, computer science took a mighty leap forward with the release of Earth's first microprocessor, the Intel 4004.

And this month's British Empire Dismantlement Story was that Oman gained its independence.

But at the very heart of what remained of that empire, motorists were about to gain a little freedom of their own when the 10-route motorway interchange known as Spaghetti Junction opened, north of Birmingham city centre.

So keen on traffic was that interchange that 10 routes proved not enough to satisfy it and, thus, by the end of the following year, that total had expanded to a mahoosive 12 routes.

Amazing Spider-Man #102, the Lizard and Morbius, six-armed Spidey

Following his unfortunate mishap, whilst trying to rid himself of his super-powers, Spider-Man finds himself having to deal with both the Lizard and Morbius.

Still, at least he's turned up well-armed.

Avengers #93, Neal Adams, the Skrulls disguised as the Fantastic Four

It's the Avengers vs a herd of cows, and Ant-Man vs the Vision's tonsils, as Neal Adams arrives and the Kree/Skrull War steps up a gear, thanks to a memorable reenactment of Fantastic Voyage.

Captain America and the Falcon #143, Power to the People

For the first time in living memory, a Captain America cover doesn't feature the Grey Gargoyle.

Instead, it features a mystery villain who tricks the People's Militia into trying to burn down Harlem.

Could it be the Red Skull?

Could it be Baron Zemo?

Could it be Irving Forbush?

It's the Red Skull.

Obviously, it's the Red Skull. The mystery villain's always the Red Skull.

And, somehow, Cap'll still be shocked.

In other news, I notice this issue has a brand new logo as its masthead.

Conan the Barbarian #11, Barry Smith, Rogues in the House

This is it! Barry Smith and Roy Thomas give us their adaptation of Robert E Howard's Rogues in the House, as Conan gets released from prison to help a thief and ends up helping a priest tackle a giant ape that has ideas above its station.

My strongest memory of this one is the priest Nabonidus has a living room that's completely lined with mirrors.

If only I had a living room that's completely lined with mirrors, so I could look at myself, all day long, and appreciate my beauty, as others can.

Daredevil and the Black Widow #81

It's the big one, as the Black Widow saves Daredevil from drowning and then the pair of them finish off the Owl.

However, that's not the main event.

What really matters is the mysterious Mr Kline's revealed to be the robot MK-9 who now takes to referring to himself by the name Assassin.

That's a villain with far too many names for one robot.

Fantastic Four #116, Dr Doom leads the FF, Over-Mind

Hooray! Dr Doom takes over leadership of the FF, as they look to take on the meganormous threat of the Over-Mind.

But can even the epic leadership skillz of Doomsie triumph where those of Reed Richards failed?

Incredible Hulk #145, Ancient Egyptian gods and the Sphinx

Erich von Däniken's dreams all come true at once, as the incredible Hulk takes on a giant statue and a bunch of Ancient Egyptian gods from space!

Needless to say, those puny gods have no chance against the Hulk!

And neither does the statue.

Iron Man #43, Mikas

Iron Man tangles with someone called Mikas.

Frankly, I know nothing about Mikas, nor about this story.

I do, though, know this issue features a reprinted back-up strip in which Giant-Man must thwart the first appearance of the villainous Black Knight and his flying horsie.

Thor #193, the Silver Surfer and Durok

It's Thor and the Silver Surfer vs Durok the Demolisher.

Although, in truth, it's mostly the Silver Surfer vs Durok, as Thor quickly abandons the fight and flies back home to Asgard.

Happily, the Surfer's time-travelling powers prove more than adequate to defeat the rampaging monster.

Brave and the Bold #98, Batman and the Phantom Stranger

Now that Marvel's been dealt with, it's time for me to whip out my randomiser and, for purposes of comparison, see what DC was offering with a November cover date.

It seems that, these days, there's no escape from the Phantom Stranger on this site. And here he is again. This time, teaming up with Batman, although just how he teams up with the dark night detective, I've no idea.

I've also no idea why he'd even need to team up with him.

I do believe this issue also features a Challengers of the Unknown reprint from way back in 1963.

House of Secrets #94

I've included this one purely because it has a striking Bernie Wrightson cover.

No sign of Bernie inside, though.

Instead, we get four tales of the strange and supernatural with such titles as The Man with My Face, The Day Nobody Died, Track of the Invisible Beast, Hyde -- and Go Seek! and A Bottle of Incense.. A Whiff of the Past!

Lois Lane #116, bendy Superman

Three tales fill this comic.

In the first, someone called Desaad kidnaps Lois Lane and Dave Stevens, in order to lure Superman to an amusement park where he uses the science of Apokolips against our hero.

Then there's an adventure for someone called Dr Pat in which her career leaves her with no time for men.

I don't know whether her problem's resolved by the end of the tale. Nor do I know if the tale's any good but I do know it first saw print in 1949.

And, finally, it's trouble for the Thorn when K.A.R.L.  the super-computer comes up with a plan to destroy the somnambulist super-doer, on behalf of Poison Ivy.

Falling Love #126

We get a DC-sized dose of romance when five stories help us prepare for the world of Love.

In the first, Heidi studies piano with reclusive maestro Damon Crewell and soon falls for him, despite his harsh temper. Harsh temper? I'd dump him, if I were her.

Next, Michelle's boss encourages her to date his son Dean. But then she learns Dean's already secretly married!

Next, Jill likes John but she's far too lively for him. So, she tries to restrain herself. I can offer no information as to by what means she restrains herself.

Next, shy Linda's wrongly branded a snob, but she comes out of her shell when Tom starts to date her. But, horror of horrors, she finds out he only did it to win a bet! She should demand at least half his winnings. She could make a fortune this way.

And, finally, Nancy's dying sister fixes up Nancy with her boyfriend, so Nancy and he can be happy together after she's gone. Well, that's just plain creepy.

But forget all that. Just look at that cover. Have you ever seen one that's more crying out for Roy Lichtenstein to swipe?