Thursday 28 April 2022

April 28th 1982 - 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
***

Great News!

This week in 1982, peace came to Harrogate!

It was the week of the Eurovision Song Contest and, in that northern town, German singer Nicole only went and won the whole thing with her gentle anthem Ein Bisschen Frieden which our polyglot readers will instantly recognise as meaning, "A Little Peace," in English.

Just to celebrate her mighty win, within days of that triumph, Israel completed its withdrawal from the Sinai Peninsula, in accordance with the Egypt–Israel peace treaty of 1979.

That's the power of Eurovision.

Meanwhile, a bit further south, British troops retook South Georgia during the Falkland War's Operation Paraquet.

When it came to music, the week was a triumph for Barry Manilow who smashed straight in at Number One on the UK album chart with his platter that mattered Barry Live in Britain.

So popular was the LP that its debut forced Madness' Complete Madness to settle for only entering at Number Two.

Over on the British singles listings, there was no comparable drama, as Ebony and Ivory retained the top spot it had first claimed a week earlier.

Super Spider-Man TV Comic #477, the Falcon

As far as I can make out, Spider-Man and the Falcon have joined forces to bring down a vigilante gang we know is corrupt because it has the editorial support of the Daily Bugle. Will Jonah never learn how to tell the good guys from the bad?

We also get a rather dramatic poster of Captain Britain holding a Union Flag.

But, obviously, all of that pales into insignificance beside the revelation that we can win a Spidey-Tricycle!

A Spidey-Tricycle? I'm submitting my entry for it, right now!

The Incredible Hulk #5, theLeader

As last week's issue featured the yarn in which Reed Richards enables Bruce Banner to become the Hulk at will - and retain his intellect - I'm going to assume this one gives us the Leader trying to steal the tripodal Murder Module. Only for the new-improved Hulk to stop him.

We also get an Iron Man story and, I would assume, a Thor one but I can shed no light upon what they involve.

Not to be left behind by Spidey's mag, this one, too, gives us a poster. This time, featuring Iron Man and the Silver Surfer!

As with that other weekly, we can win a Spidey-Tricycle.

But, sadly, it seems we can't win a Hulkcycle.

Hanna Barbera's Scooby-Doo and His T.V. Friends #10

Hooray! 
Hanna Barbera's Scooby-Doo and His T.V. Friends #10 hits the nation's newsagents!

And that's all I can say about it.

Tuesday 26 April 2022

Speak Your Brain! Part XXVI. Your Desert Island Comics.

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 we enter the final Tuesday of the month, all thoughts turn, once more, to the return of the feature they said could never be done.

Come to think of it, they said it should never be done.

And, yet, done it has been.

It's the feature in which the first person to comment gets to decide what the rest of us get to talk about!

We could talk about sport, art, films, flans, books, bagels, cooks, nooks, crooks, rocks, music, mucous, fairy tales, fairy lights, Fairy Liquid, fairy cakes, Eccles cakes, myth, moths, maths, magic, tragedy, comedy, dromedaries, murder, mystery, mayhem, Moorcock, May Day, Christmas Day, New Year's Day, Doris Day, Marvin Gaye, the Equinox, parallelograms, pemegranates, sofas, sodas, sausages, eggs, whisky, broth, Bath, baths, Garth Marenghi, Garth Brooks, Garth Crooks, Bruno Brookes, Bruno Mars, Mars Bars, wine bars, flip-flops, flim-flam, flapjacks, see-saws, jigsaws, dominoes, dunderheads, flowerpots, flour pots, bread bins, bin bags, body bags, body horror, shoddy horror, doggy bags, bean bags, coal sacks, cola, cocoa, pancakes, pizzas, baking soda, sci-fi, Wi-Fi, Hi-Fi, sewage, saunas, suet, Silurians, Sontarans, Sea Devils, sins, suns, sans, sense, sludge, slumps, sunshine, slime or sandcastles.

We could talk about something else altogether.

Because, as always, that's a decision only you can make.

Sunday 24 April 2022

The most forgettable comics I've ever owned - Part 24: Monster Fantasy magazine #3.

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

Monster Fantasy #3, magazine
Barbarella! 

Barbarella!

Barbarella!

Who doesn't love Barbarella?

Probably anyone with any taste in movies.

And, yet, it's strangely hard to dislike, being one of those films - like 1980's Flash Gordon - that's probably more fun to remember than it is to actually watch.

"What are you blathering about, you moron?" I hear you cry. "What does this have to do with anything?"

Seemingly nothing.

But, also, everything.

For I can reveal I've been withholding vital information from you.

Recently, I wrote of how, while researching Marvel UK's brand new (in 1982) Monster Monthly, I stumbled across covers for Quasimodo's Monster Magazine and suddenly realised I'd owned a couple of issues of it, back in the 1970s.

Now, I must make a dramatic revelation.

Because, during that research, I didn't unearth just one publication I'd forgotten about. I unearthed two.

The other was a thing called Monster Fantasy. And, at once, I recognised the cover to issue #3, realising it too had once been in my possession.

But how could I have forgotten its existence? After all, it was that very mag which first introduced me to the aforementioned Barbarella. And not only that but, also, the rampant paranoia-fest that is Invaders From Mars.

It also introduced me to the monsters of the Outer Limits and the life stories of Laird Cregan, Lionel Atwill and Alfred Hitchcock.

It seems it gave me info I'd not previously possessed about Forbidden Planet, War of the Worlds, Phantom of the Opera, This Island Earth, Quatermass and the Pit and the 1930s Flash Gordon serials.

How could so much awesomeness be crammed into just one magazine?

I've no idea.

How could I have forgotten about its existence?

Easily. As with Quasimodo's mag, I'd always assumed that all the articles I'd remembered from it had been in Atlas/Seaboard's Movie Monsters mag.

What I do have an idea about is the nature of the book. It seems it was a sister mag to Quasimodo's, having also been produced by Mayfair Publications. In fact, so sisterly were the titles that they came out in alternate months, so as not to clash with each other.

Tragically, where the other mag lasted a full eight issues before falling from its bell tower and expiring, Monster Fantasy only endured for four, running from April to August 1975.

Still, despite its short life, it shall never be forgotten.

Except by me.

Except I've now remembered.

But for how long?

Thursday 21 April 2022

April 21st 1982 - 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
***

We all know that people are the same, wherever you go.

And we know that because two superstars told us so.

Those superstars were Paul McCartney and Stevie Wonder. And they were telling us it particularly loudly, this week in 1982.

In fact, they were saying it from a very high place - the top of the UK singles chart - thanks to their platter Ebony and Ivory having just hit the UK's Number One spot, dislodging Bucks Fizz's My Camera Never Lies in the process.

It's a strange record that manages to say quite profound things in an almost wilfully shallow manner. Call me a man who's missing the point but I must confess I prefer the version that only has McCartney on it, as making it not a duet instantly removes around 95% of its air of showbiz cheesiness.

Over on the British album chart, another set of old-timers were ruling the roost, as indefatigable party rockers Status Quo secured their fourth UK Number One, with an LP called 1+9+8+2. A quick check on Wikipedia confirms that I don't recognise any of the tracks on it. Which seems odd, given the band's ubiquity on the singles chart in that period.

They achieved this feat by keeping Haircut 100's Pelican West from the top spot. As I hated Haircut 100, I, no doubt, viewed this as a very good thing.

Also a good thing, that week - at least, as far as the government of Canada must have been concerned - was the enactment of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms which finally granted that country full independence from the United Kingdom.

The Incredible Hulk #4, the Fantastic Four

Unless I miss my guess, we're being treated to the Herb Trimpe drawn tale in which Bruce Banner decides to recruit Reed Richards' help in his attempt to rid himself of Hulkiness.

An endeavour that leads to a scrap with the FF and to him gaining the ability to Hulk-out at will while retaining Bruce Banner's intellect.

Elsewhere, Iron Man's battling Madame Masque's deadly Dreadnought robots in her comeback adventure.

And, on top of all that, we get a free Hulk poster!

Super Spider-Man TV Comic #476

Spider-Man and Quasar find themselves confronting Lightmaster in a tale I'm assuming to have been culled from the pages of Marvel Team-Up.

But who cares about that? What matters is we get a Spidey jigsaw puzzle! 

Granted, it has just twelve pieces and we have to cut them out ourselves...

But there's also a Thor poster!

And you can win a Hulk pick-up truck! Which does pose two obvious questions.

One; is it a real pick-up truck?

And, two; why does the Hulk need a pick-up truck?

Scooby-Doo and His T.V. Friends #9, the Flintstones

Hooray! I've actually managed to find the cover to an issue of Scooby-Doo and his TV Friends!

And we can see that it guest stars the Flintstones.

More importantly, we can win a fabulous Corgi toy.

I'm assuming that's a toy made by Corgi and not a toy corgi. Unless we're the Queen, I doubt we'd be that interested in the latter possibility.

Tuesday 19 April 2022

Speak Your Brain! Part XXV. Favourite comic book writers of the 1970s.

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

Easter's come and gone but Tuesdays will always be with us.

And that means just one thing.

The site's run out of ideas and it's time, once more, to demand them of its readers.

Yes! it's the return of the feature that's set the internet alight! The one in which the first person to comment gets to decide what the rest of us get to discuss!

It could involve sport, art, films, flans, books, cooks, nooks, rocks, music, mucous, fairy tales, fairy lights, Fairy Liquid, fairy cakes, Eccles cakes, myth, moths, maths, magic, tragedy, comedy, dromedaries, murder, mystery, mayhem, Moorcock, May Day, Christmas Day, New Year's Day, Doris Day, Marvin Gaye, the Equinox, sofas, sodas, sausages, eggs, whisky, broth, Bath, baths, Garth Marenghi, Garth Brooks, Garth Crooks, Bruno Brookes, Bruno Mars, Mars Bars, wine bars, flip-flops, flim-flam, flapjacks, see-saws, jigsaws, dominoes, dunderheads, flowerpots, flour pots, bread bins, bin bags, body bags, body horror, shoddy horror, doggy bags, bean bags, coal sacks, cola, cocoa, pancakes, pizzas, baking soda, sci-fi, Wi-Fi, Hi-Fi, sewage, saunas, suet, Silurians, Sontarans, Sea Devils, sins, suns, sans, sense, sludge, slime or sandcastles.

Then again, it might not.

Only you - and fate - can decide.

Sunday 17 April 2022

2000 AD - March 1984.

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

Friends, I must announce I'm currently turning this blog up to 11 because March 1984 witnessed the release of This Is Spinal Tap, the film that exposed the nightmarish truth of the music industry, for the whole world to see.

But it wasn't alone in hitting our cinema screens. That month, Hollywood was clearly determined to make us part with our cash and, so, we also got the unleashing of such imperishables as Against All Odds, Repo Man, Children of the Corn, Hotel New Hampshire, Pete's Dragon (re-release), Splash, Police Academy, Greystoke: The Legend of Tarzan and Romancing the Stone. Romancing the Stone is, of course, my favourite of that particular list.

The UK singles chart, at the time, may not have been as hyperactive as our cinemas but it did give us two Number Ones. March kicked off with Nena's 99 Red Balloons flying high, before that was deposed by Lionel Richie and his brand-new smash Hello, complete with legendary sculpture-based video.

While all that was occurring, the corresponding album chart gave us three Number Ones. The first was Into the Gap by the Thompson Twins. That was succeeded by Howard Jones' Human's Lib 
which was, itself, supplanted by Lionel Richie's Can't Slow Down. Number One on both the singles chart and the album chart? Could nothing stop the irresistible rise of Lionel?

"No," is the answer.

But what of the galaxy's greatest comic? What was it up to while our lives were being jam-packed with movies and music?

It was up to Sláine, Tharg's Time Twisters, Judge Dredd, Rogue Trooper, Tharg's Future-Shocks and D.R. & Quinch.

No great surprises there but Judge Dredd seems to have been having trouble with miscreants determined to break the laws of physics, thanks to The Haunting of Sector House 9.

2000 AD #358

2000 AD #359, Judge Dredd

2000 AD #360

2000 AD #361, Slaine

2000 AD #362, Judge Dredd

Thursday 14 April 2022

April 14th 1982 - 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
***

Politicians' lies are all over the news, right now but you know what never lies?

My camera.

Or at least Bucks Fizz's camera never does.

And I know that because the band who'd shot to fame through winning Eurovision, just a year earlier, spent this week in 1982 at the top of the UK singles chart, thanks to chronicling their photographic equipment's integrity.

And they did so by pluckily holding off Chas and Dave who were having to settle for second place.

For now.

Over on the British album chart, it was 666 that held sway, as Iron Maiden's The Number of The Beast spent its second week at the top - once more holding off a powerhouse challenge from Barbra Streisand.

Tracks I approved of on that week's UK singles chart were:

My Camera Never Lies  - Bucks Fizz

Ghosts - Japan

See Those Eyes - Altered Images

Layla (1982) - Derek and The Dominoes

Poison Arrow - ABC

View from A Bridge - Kim Wilde

Save It for Later - The Beat

Only You - Yazoo

and

Castles in The Air - Don McLean.

For any who wish to pursue the subject in greater depth, that week's UK singles chart can be found by clicking on this link here.

While the corresponding album chart resides here

The Incredible Hulk #3, the Glob

I do believe the Hulk's having his first-ever encounter with the Glob. A classic tale if I ever read one. And nice to see Marvel UK appears to have commissioned a brand new cover for the story.

Elsewhere, the company's still happy to cash in on the popularity of the TV show, which is now in the very latter stages of its run, to such a degree that it only has one month remaining before cancellation.

But if we're upset about that, there is some good news. For, contained within this comic is a chance for us all to become a Marvel artist.

At least, that's what it says on the cover.

And that's good enough for me.

Super Spider-Man TV Comic #475

"Spidey's 30 years old!" declares the cover.

And yet he's only just graduated college. Clearly, he must be a slow learner.

Despite that, it seems Marvel UK's decided it's cause for celebration, and so we get an anniversary issue, "Packed full of features."

Tragically, I've no idea what those features are.

But I do know we get a free colour poster.

And the chance to win a laser cannon!

A laser cannon?

Is that legal?

Hanna Barbera's Scooby-Doo and His T.V. Friends #8

Scooby-Doo and His TV Friends #8 hits the shops near you.

And, as so often before, I've not been able to find a cover for it anywhere. Nor any information about what's in it. 

Tragically, it seems this post has been destined to fizzle away like the hopes of all those who've been thwarted by the activities of those pesky teenagers.

Tuesday 12 April 2022

The Marvel Lucky Bag - April 1982.

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

See these eyes so green?

The astute reader will recognise that as the opening line to a song by David Bowie.

And we were all getting to know it in April 1982 because that month saw the unleashing of Paul Schrader's remake of Jacques Tourneur's 1940s classic Cat People.

As far as I can remember, the remake didn't prove to be as popular as the original. So, I shall use that as my cue to dive straight into what Marvel's less popular titles whose covers bore that month were up to.

Bizarre Adventures #31

Bizarre Adventures is back with more adventures that are, no doubt, bizarre.

Among this issue's collection of tales, we're treated to The Philistine, Dr. Deth with Kip & Muffy, Gore Galore, Violence Wears Many Faces, Recondo Rabbit, A Frog Is a Frog, Excursion to 1930 and Let There Be Life!

All brought to us by the likes of Denny O'Neil, Frank Miller, Larry Hama, Bill Sienkiewicz, John Byrne, Herb Trimpe, Steve Bissette and Steve Smallwood.

Dazzler #14, She-Hulk

It's the clash that had to happen, as Dazzler meets She-Hulk.

I can't say I know too much about what transpires in this one but I'm sure that, after the obligatory fight scene, the two women will agree to combine their powers to take on the real villain of the piece.

Marvel Graphic Novel #1 - The Death of Captain Marvel

History arrives in more ways than one, as a new series of graphic novels is launched and we get the death of Captain Marvel.

Despite its fame, I know very little about the story itself, other than that Captain Marvel dies.

I, of course, do not approve of Marvel killing a man who was one of my favourite super-heroes when I was a child.

The Very Best of Dennis the Menace #1

Captain Marvel may have died but Dennis the Menace is still very much alive.

And, just to prove, it, he has a new comic launched in his honour.

I'm unfamiliar with its contents but, by its title, I'm going to assume the book is filled with reprints.

What If? #32

The Watcher's favourite comic hits the spinner racks, once more. This time, asking the question we've all, doubtless, pondered; "What if the Avengers had become pawns of Korvac?"

Tragically, I can't supply the answer to that but it seems to involve him destroying them, then recreating them to do his bidding.

Spider-Woman #43, The Silver Samurai

Now Spider-Woman's in trouble. She's up against the Silver Samurai!

And that means she's also up against Viper!

To be honest, that's all I know about the tale but it's written by Chris Claremont. So, given that it's Spider-Woman vs Viper, I assume it probably has some strange stuff going on in it.

Dennis the Menace Comics Digest #1

Not only does Dennis the Menace have one new comic, this month, he has two. Meaning he now has three books published by Marvel. I can only assume he's a very popular character, despite being a menace.

Yet again, this is a reprint mag, with most of the tales being sourced from 1953 and 1954.

Sunday 10 April 2022

Forty years ago today - April 1982.

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

Time, once more, for me to leap from my trampoline of Time and faceplant myself into the rocks of Nostalgia.

The Avengers #218

It's an odd one when the Avengers meet a child who kills himself in front of them because he's really a man who keeps being born over and over again and can't stay dead for more than five minutes.

Now, he's trying to get the gang to bring him the ultimate peace he reckons only they can deliver.

Captain America #268, The Defenders

Cap teams up with the Defenders to tackle a man who plans to use a group of kidnapped psychics to launch World War Three.

When I say he teams up with them, this may be an exaggeration, as I don't remember them doing much at all to justify their presence.

Fantastic Four #241

And it's another odd one, as the Fantastic Four find themselves in Wakanda; prisoners of a two-thousand-year-old Roman who seems to be unbeatable and has a secret kingdom inside a mountain.

Basically, it's a mashup of She and Doctor Who's The Three Doctors - but without She or three Doctors.

The Incredible Hulk #270, the Galaxy Master

Who wouldn't want to read this comic? It has the return of the Galaxy Master, the return of the Abomination, the return of Amphibion, Dark [Night]-Crawler and Torgo. And it has outer space action!

Not to mention Rick Jones zapping himself with Gamma rays in a brainless attempt to turn himself into a super-hero.

The Spectacular Spider-Man #65, Kraven

Kraven's back and determined, as always, to defeat Spider-Man, in order to regain his sense of self-worth.

Unfortunately for the hunter, his girlfriend insists on helping him win the fight, which does not do any good at all to the villain's state of mind.

Thor #318, Easter Island heads

Hooray, Thor's up against the Stone Men from Saturn!

Oh.

It turns out he isn't.

They're just the Easter Island heads who, sadly, don't turn out to be his old foes and don't put up any kind of a fight; being, as they are, temporarily animated by Loki.

However, there is an old foe returning, as Fafnir the talking dragon decides to get his revenge on Thor, for past defeats, and claim an island on Earth as his new kingdom.

The Uncanny X-Men #156, the Star Jammers

The Starjammers are back.

But are even they enough to ensure the X-Men can defeat Deathbird and her Brood allies?

Elsewhere, Colossus makes a full recovery from last issue's death, thanks to alien technology.

Daredevil #181

It's the big one! For once, Bullseye manages to not be totally useless, and somehow kills Elektra who the Kingpin's hired to murder Foggy Nelson.

Will Daredevil be able to resist the urge to drop the villain from a great height?

No. He won't.

And that's bad news for Bullseye.

The Amazing Spider-Man #227, the Black Cat

The Black Cat's out of prison and determined to go straight.

Apart from doing regular robberies.

It all ends with a disappointed Spider-Man and a seemingly drowned Black Cat.

Conan the Barbarian #133

Conan encounters yet another princess. But, this time, she's a princess with a difference, as she's being held prisoner at the top of a crystal mountain, thanks to a witch's curse.

But is everything as it seems?

Iron Man #157, Spores

Suddenly hit by a teleport beam, Iron Man finds himself on an alien spaceship and having to save its computer from a gang of hostile spores.

Thursday 7 April 2022

April 7th 1982 - 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
***

Rock operas. I'm not a big fan. All that singing without speaking tends to wear me down.

Nevertheless, on this evening in 1982, I girded up my loins and sat down to watch Jesus Christ Superstar which was being shown on BBC One.

I think I lasted fifteen minutes.

In fairness, that's about as far as I've ever made it into any rock opera.

Well, Jesus may have been ruling supreme on television but, over on the UK album chart, it was a whole other kettle of fish.

And that fish was Satan.

It's true. By a coincidence surely too chilling to be coincidence, crashing straight in at Number One on that week's chart was Iron Maiden's The Number of The Beast which dethroned Barbra Streisand's Love Songs to prove it's far better to reign in the Hit Parade than it is to serve in Heaven.

There was no change, meanwhile, on the British singles chart, with the Goombay Dance Band's Seven Tears retaining the crown it had now held for several weeks. However, it was facing a strong challenge from that week's Number Two, Bucks Fizz's latest smash
My Camera Never Lies.

Could the Fizz do it? Could they, in the next few weeks, make the final push to achieve their third Number One in the space of a year?

Marvel Superheroes #384, Hawkeye

Information about this one's hard to unearth but it's clear Hawkeye features in some way.

I would assume it's in his capacity as an Avenger and I'm going to make a guess that this is that one in which the team finds itself battling a rock monster that's rampaging through New York.

A rock monster that turns out to be the Grey Gargoyle, encased in stone after his latest jaunt into space.

Not only do we get that, we also get more from Captain Britain and Night Raven.

But hold your horses. What's this? It seems we also get a mystery strip.

But what can it be?

I don't know. That's probably why it's described as a mystery.

Doctor Who Magazine #63, Peter Davison

The magazine dedicated to the most rebellious Time Lord of them all takes a look at the brand new serials Black Orchid, Earthshock and Time-Flight. Two of which are classics. The third of which definitely isn't.

But hold your space horses. We're also presented with a look at the Target Books that kept us entertained in the days long before home video was invented.

Strangely, the feature's billed as an interview with Target Books. I'm not totally sure how you interview a bunch of books but there you go. It's Doctor Who and, in Doctor Who, all kinds of strange things can happen.

Chiller Pocket Book #25, Man-Thing

Deep in the swamps of the Everglades, the Man-Thing encounters the Mad Viking.

It's a summary that vaguely rings a bell for me, leading me to conclude it's a tale that's previously appeared in Marvel UK's Planet of the Apes comic.

Blake's 7 magazine #7

Is that Del Tarrant on the cover?

If so, things aren't looking too good for him,

Hopefully, things are looking better for Blake actor Gareth Thomas who's interviewed inside.

We're also supplied with a comic strip called The Flying Bomb, as drawn by Ian Kennedy.


Super Spider-Man TV Comic #474

Looking at that cover, I think I actually owned a copy of this one. In which case, it was the first British Spider-Man weekly I'd read since about 1980.

So, obviously, I remember exactly what's in it.

Well, not really but I do know it features eight pages of glorious colour and we can win five Spidey View Masters! At last, we can see our hero in the stereoscopic vision he deserves!

Also, there's action with the Black Cat.

The Incredible Hulk #2

The Hulk's second issue hits a newsagents near you and it would appear its star's still battling the Evil Inhumans in that Central American country that's being mind-controlled by a giant hypno-robot.

But, just as the battle reaches its zenith, Thunderbolt Ross and his men show up.

Whose side will the Hulk take? Whose?

Elsewhere, we have the chance to become a Marvel artist, to meet Lou Ferrigno and to get our hands on a free poster of the Hulk attacking the good Inhumans.

Judging by the cover blurb, I suspect we're also getting part 2 of the tale which details what would have happened had Wolverine killed the Hulk during their first encounter.

Fantastic Four Pocket Book #25, Monster from the Lost Lagoon

It's bad news for the FF. Barely have they started their latest holiday than they find themselves up against the Creature from the Black Lagoon Monster from the Lost Lagoon. Although, as far as I can remember, the story doesn't feature an actual lost lagoon.

Happily, it all turns out to be a misunderstanding and they and the monster - and his wife - part on good terms.

Savage Sword of Conan #54, Marvel UK

I'm not too sure what occurs in this month's issue but I do know we get a tale called The Cobra Crown and another titled The Wizard and Red Sonja Show.

Either that or we get a tale called The Cobra Crown and the Wizard and a tale called Red Sonja Show.

I'm not sure either of those options makes any great sense.

But I'm sure it's all great.

We're also treated to more of Robert E Howard's poetry.

And the back cover is once again offering bullets for sale as lucky pendants.

Marvel Madhouse #11, Howard the Duck

Marvel Madhouse continues in its marvellously mirthful manner. This time, with help from Howard the Duck.

The Empire Strikes Back Monthly #155, Darth Vader

It's good news for all fans of Alan Moore. For we get a new tale from him that goes by the name The Dark Lord's Conscience.

I'm going to go out on a limb and guess that tale's about Darth Vader.

Other than that, I can reveal little of what transpires within it but I do know it features characters called Lady Dhol and Clat.

Because even that couldn't possibly satisfy us, we also have the chance to win a Star Wars watch.

I wouldn't have thought a Star Wars watch would be much use, as it would always insist it's a long long time ago.

Spider-Man Pocket Book #25, the Lizard is back

The Lizard is back!

And the whole world had better watch out!

I do believe this tale features the first appearance of Curt Connors' alter-ego since his debut, back in the very earliest days of Spider-Man's career.

In retrospect, it does seem baffling that it took almost forty issues for such a classic villain to return.

Monster Monthly #1, Marvel UK

What's this? A brand new mag? And one that actually looks intriguing? If not very Marvelly?

Once inside, we encounter the adventures of Tigra and Frankenstein and, it would appear, a poster of An American Werewolf in London.

We also discover an article dedicated to the work of Willis O'Brien, reviews of the latest monster movies, and a retrospective upon the career of Peter Cushing.

Captain America #59, Thor

As far as I can make out, this is the last-ever issue of Cap's mag which has managed a creditable 59 issues before biting the bullet.

Does it go out in style?

I couldn't possibly say but I do know Cap's elderly neighbour is still out to kill an old Nazi acquaintance and that Iron Man's in the process of re-encountering Madam Masque, following a lengthy separation.

I can cast little light on what Thor's up to. I think it might involve a priest who's suffering a loss of religious faith until an actual god - in the form of Thor - shows up.

This book, too, gives us the chance to win five Spidey View Masters.

Rampage Monthly #46, the X-Men

It looks to me like the X-Men are still battling Moira McTaggart's out-of-control son Proteus who, I think, is out to kill his politician father.

Sadly, I know nothing of what else happens in this issue.

X-Men Pocket Book #25, Cobalt Man

In this exciting issue, Jean's hanging around with two men called Ralph and Ted. Presumably, not the Ralph and Ted from The Fast Show.

Tragically, Ralph, who used to work for Tony Stark, puts on his newly-built Cobalt Man armour and then goes completely mad.

He then wrecks his lab and heads off to kill Tony Stark.

This sounds like a job for the X-Men.

Worzel Gummidge #7, Marvel UK

Worzel's back.

And the cover promises us lots of fun.

I've no doubts at all that it will keep that promise.

Starburst Magazine #44

Britain's favourite sci-fi mag is back for its 44th issue.

Of course, some of us can remember when it was called Opal Fruits Magazine

And it returns in style with a look at Halloween II - in colour!

Also, we get coverage of Creepshow and Suspiria.

Plus, there's an interview with Wes Craven of Scream, Nightmare on Elm Street and The Hills Have Eyes fame, even though, at the time of this magazine coming out, he's only famous for one of those, as he hasn't yet made the other two.

This issue, it appears, also tells us that Ghost Story is high on stars and low on suspense.

Not that I know what Ghost Story is.

I'm guessing it involves ghosts.

And a story.

Scooby-Doo and his TV Friends #7, Marvel UK

In a shocking development, I've managed to find a copy of the cover to an issue of Scooby-Doo and his TV friends! I feel like I deserve an award.

On top of the usual features, we also get the chance to build ourselves a haunted house by cutting various pieces out of the comic and glueing them together.