Tuesday, 5 July 2022

The Marvel Lucky Bag - July 1972.

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

It's time to get those banjos out because July 1972 saw the release of classic city-dwellers' paranoia-fest Deliverance, a film that, despite its fame, I've, somehow, never seen.

Admittedly, I think I always get it mixed up with The Hills Have Eyes which I have seen. 

Possibly feeling in need of deliverance themselves were Britain's music lovers because, that July, both national charts seemed to be stuck in amber. 

In the whole of that month, the British singles chart bore just one Number One. And that was Donny Osmond's Puppy Love. Much as I like to be open-minded about music, I cannot claim it to be a favorite of mine. 

The UK album chart was similarly motionless, with just one LP claiming the top spot in that period. That was 20 Dynamic Hits by those Various Artists I love so much.

Amazing Adventures #13, The Beast

I don't really know what happens in this one, other than that it involves the Brotherhood of Evil Mutants and would appear to take place in a circus.

Creatures on the Loose #18, Gullivar Jones

Gullivar Jones is still battling the forces of evil on Mars.

And, this time, it's the monumental Phra he has to deal with.

My memories of this adventure are a little vague but I seem to remember the aquatic antagonist has a working computer in his underwater lair.

Why he has that, I couldn't say.

This may also be the tale in which Gullivar and the pterodactyl man whose name I forget decide to team up with each other.

We also get a back-up strip called Under the Knife and another called What Lurks in the Mountain? I don't know anything about either of them, other than that they're reprints and the latter's drawn bySteve Ditko.

Kull, the Conqueror #3

Conan's less popular predecessor continues the heroic fight against evil - and cancellation - and does it by battling the forces of Thulsa Doom.

Marvel Feature #4, Ant-Man

It's what the whole world's been praying for, as we're granted the return of Ant-Man who replaces the Defenders in this book.

I do believe it's an adventure in which Hank finds himself permanently stuck at ant size and is then presumed dead.

Apparently, Peter Parker shows up but I can't recall in what capacity.

Marvel Premiere, Dr Strange #3

Adam Warlock's departed Marvel Premiere and made way for the return of Dr Strange who, following an encounter with a truck, finds himself trapped in the outlandish realm of Nightmare.

While it's good to re-encounter both those characters, what really matters is that it's all brought to us by the skills of Stan Lee and Barry Smith.

Special Marvel Edition #5, Nick Fury

I'm in the habit of ignoring comics that star Nick Fury but this one's a Special Marvel Edition. So, I feel like I should include it.

Fury and his men are despatched to Italy to rescue an army division that's bottled up behind Massacre Mountain. I do believe the tale's reprinted from 1963's Sgt Fury and his Howlin' Commandos #3.

Sub-Mariner #51

Namor has yet another clash with Prince Byrrah who turns out to be in league with the Badoon.

Fortunately, even the scaly aliens are no match for the avenging son and he soon puts paid to all their plans.

And rescues his cousin Namorita, in the process.

Where Monsters Dwell #16

Three tales of terror await us in this month's issue.

In the first, Goom may be gone but his son Googam's still on the loose, and humanity must tremble when he encounters the family of the scientist responsible for his father's defeat.

In our second yarn, a man who plays the rear end of a showbiz horse is jealous of the man who plays the front end and, so, he kills him. However, when he returns to the stage, that night, he's trampled to death by the front part of the costume. Did someone really write this story? And, if so, why?

Finally, a famous magician's furious when his power is questioned - and he reveals the shocking truth that the whole world's just an illusion and that only he is real.

However, that doesn't prevent him from fading away as the story ends.


McSCOTTY said...

Steve, from memory the pterodactyl character in Creatures on the Loose was called Chak the winged man. In the Ditko tale "What lurks in the mountain" an evil Asian dictator hears a space ship landed on a mountain etc long story short his army climb the mountain to try capture the UFO for his evil ways, but the mountain is the space ship itself and it takes off with the baddie and his soldiers on the mountsin, doomed to die in space. Lovely Ditko art. That Kull series by Roy Thomas and John & Marie Severin was wonderful .

Steve W. said...

Thanks, McScotty. That fills certain holes in my knowledge.

Anonymous said...

The last story in Where Monsters Dwell #16 - 'I Am... Gorak!' is another good Ditko one.
Sorry Steve, but thats not quite right about the famous magician - the eponymous Gorak - being the only real person. He says he is, but the ending reveals that like the rest of the illusory world he's just lines on a comic book page, and only the reader is real.
Its a pretty stylish piece of work for the Atlas era.

Thats a great Dr Strange story in Marvel Premiere #3, probably the best before the Englehart era.
Barry Smith was starting to hit his stride as an artist so obviously it looked good - I first read it in the early 80s in a collected Dr Strange book, and it still looked striking a decade or so after its original appearance - but he also deserves more recognition as a writer because he's really good at that too (he actually managed to get a plot credit, which was no mean feat working with Stan Lee back then).


Anonymous said...

Can't say I'm much of a one for Donny Osmond either Steve, but 1972 was a good year for records anyway, and July was no exception - the 'Superfly' and 'The Harder They Come' soundtrack albums came out that month, as did Ornette Coleman's 'Crisis' and Frank Zappa's 'Waka Jawaka'. So music lovers were well served.

Single of the month was surely Cameroonian multi-instrumentalist Manu Dibango's 'Soul Makossa' (although I think it was bigger a few years later when it was reissued in a longer version as one of the first popular 12' singles).



McSCOTTY said...

I think this was a great month for albums which included the legendary " Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars" by Bowie, Don McLeans "American Pie" , Alice Coopers "Schools out" and Cat Stevens "Teaser and the Firecat" amongst others. This was certainly my ear?t pre teen era for music. I loved those K-Tel and Ronco and arcade record compilations - I had " 20 Dynamic hits" although I preferred "20 Fantastic hits " that entered the charts this month.

Anonymous said...

Oh dear Paul, I just looked up '20 Fantastic Hits' - it has Donny Osmond's Puppy Love on it...


Colin Jones said...

In 1989 the rules for compiling the album charts were changed so albums by various artists were no longer included and instead they got their own chart. This happened because music artists complained that albums like the NOW THAT'S WHAT I MUSIC series were constantly hogging the #1 spot. But the new rules meant that the album chart didn't reflect what was really happening in albums sales. The UK's best-selling album might have been a compilation by various artists but it was completely ignored by the UK albums chart!

Colin Jones said...


Colin Jones said...

I don't understand why Conan was popular but King Kull wasn't when they were both sword-and-sorcery.

McSCOTTY said...

An Sean but that album also had Slade, Edison Lighthouse, Lou Christie (Im gonna make you mine) Johnny Johnston and the bandwagon (Blame it on the Pony Express) Melanie, the Delfonics etc all classic late 60s early 70s pop.

Redartz said...

McScotty- I too loved those K-Tel records! I had several, and liked them even while being annoyed by the cut length versions often used. They really reflected how varied the musical tastes of the 70's listening public were. Perhaps they also are responsible for my continuing love for compilations yet today. My cd shelves are full of them...

Colin- Much as I liked Conan, Kull never grabbed me (probably a good thing). Can't give any reason why one appealed and one didn't, but your question is a good one!

On the subject of Donny Osmond- my sister loved him. She had his poster hanging in her room. His smiling face seemed a bit too ...smiley...

Steve W. said...

Colin and Redartz, I'm afraid I've not had enough experience of Kull to have a valid opinion on his lack of popularity. My perception is that Conan was more "fun" with his stealing, pirating, wenching, drinking and Cromming but I could be totally wrong.

Sean and McScotty, is this the 20 Fantastic Hits in question?


If so, this is the track listing for it.

Rod Stewart– Maggie May

The Osmonds– One Bad Apple

The Mixtures– Pushbike Song

Melanie – Brand New Key

Vanity Fare– Early In The Morning

Slade– Coz I Luv You

The Piglets– Johnny Reggae

Johnny Johnson & His Bandwagon*– (Blame It) On The Pony Express

The Bee Gees*– My World

Dawn – Candida

The New Seekers– Beg, Steal Or Borrow

The Delfonics– La La Means I Love You

The Hollies– The Baby

Donny Osmond– Puppy Love

Edison Lighthouse– Love Grows (Where My Rosemary Goes)

Lou Christie– I'm Gonna Make You Mine

Barry Ryan– Can't Let You Go

Daniel Boone– Beautiful Sunday

Melanie – What Have They Done To My Song Ma ?

The Chelsea Football Team– Blue Is The Colour

Out of those, I have a liking for the Slade, Rod and Melanie tracks.

I've never heard of the Daniel Boone, Barry Ryan, Lou Christie, Hollies, Dawn, Bee Gees, Johnny Johnson and Vanity Fare tracks.

The Baffling Inclusion Award has to go to Chelsea Football Club.

McSCOTTY said...

That's the very one Steve, some bland tracks but some decent tunes.

Anonymous said...

There must've been quite a few returnable soda bottles along my country road back in July '72. That's probably the only reason I had cash to have so many comics from this post, and the last.

Those AA & Marvel Feature storyline runs, featuring Beast & Ant-Man, are STILL some of my all-time favorites. Great art & writing, and I was able to get each issue 'cuz the titles were bimonthly.

Sure missed the Beast when he left AA, especially when they turned him into a bouncing Bozo in Avengers.

Since most of time I had to do my comics shopping like the Flash ( errr, my mother), I just grabbed that issue of Marvel Premiere just because I saw the cover title sticking out of the spinner rack. Ran to the counter and paid for my comics without looking.

Just assumed it featured Adam Warlock. Was slightly bummed to discover Dr. Strange. Not my fav hero. Did enjoy that issue, though, with the Barry Smith art and inclusion of Nightmare. Barry draws horses beautifully.

Anytime there were no new Marvel comics that interested me, the monster reprints were my go-to.

Aaahhhh. Donny Osmond. My sister's were OBSESSED for that guy. They drove me psycho playing his 45's over & non-stop. It got so bad I tried to lookup his address in our local phone book, to KILL him! I was 6 years old.

Met him in my old music warehouse, back in the early 90's I think. He was in town doing JOSEPH & THE AMAZING TECHNICOLOR RAINCOAT. One of our sales reps brought him over.

He was one helluva nice guy. We bullshitted for about 30 minutes, and I told him about my childhood murder plot.

He started laughing and said, "I hear stuff like that ALL THE TIME!!!"


Colin Jones said...

Anyone else gripped by the Boris drama? Britain's wannabe Trump clings shamelessly to power.

Anonymous said...

Yes. I've been keeping tabs on ALL the world leaders, especially our dementia patient President Brandon Poopy-Pants & his VP Kacklin' Kamala.

Anonymous said...

While I understand how most of you folks "across-the-pond" disliked the Big Orange because of his brash arrogance & nasty tweets, if he was in office now Russia wouldn't even TOUCHED Ukraine.

Biden probably wants WWIII, thinking a wartime president always wins elections. All his party cares about is to stay in power, at any cost.


Anonymous said...

Er, Trump basically congratulated Putin on attacking Ukraine, Killdumpster.

When he was in office he didn't do even do anything about the North Koreans test firing nukes, so I don't really understand where the idea he'd be tough on Russia or China comes from. In fact, Trump's antipathy to NATO is about the only thing to be said for him imo.

And all politicians want to hang onto power. Not sure why Biden should be singled out on that score - he hasn't even backed an attack on the Capitol because he couldn't accept an election result yet.


Anonymous said...

So, farewell then Boris...
I think he's staying on in the job for a few more months, while they find some other idiot that enough of the English will vote for at the next election.


Anonymous said...

Oh wait, correction - maybe he'll be gone sooner. Theres even talk on the news of bringing back Theresa May for the interim. What a mad country.


Colin Jones said...

It'll please Kate Bush though, Sean ;)

Anonymous said...

I had many of these comics too, off the spinner. I shutter to think what percent of my income, as an 11 year old, was being spent on Comics L O L! Charlie

Anonymous said...

Osmonds doing “Crazy Horses” ar the Ohio County Fair. Dont get no better than that! Charlie