Sunday, 7 August 2022

The Marvel Lucky Bag - August 1972.

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

Numerous were the movies which entered our lives and cinemas in August 1972.

For instance, we found ourselves treated to The Magnificent Seven Ride, And Now for Something Completely Different and Snoopy Come Home which I'm sure are all fine films.

But it was within the field of horror that the month truly excelled, thanks to the release of Blacula and The Last House on the Left.

Admittedly, I say, "excelled," but I don't think I've ever seen either of those films and must, therefore, assume that they're good, on the grounds that I've heard of them, and that means they must be good.

Something else I've heard of is Alice Cooper's School's Out. And that's because it started August 1972 at Number One on the UK singles chart before having to make way for Rod Stewart's You Wear It Well in the second half of the month.

There was no such tussling when it came to the British album chart. Indeed, only one LP reached that listing's pinnacle in the whole of August, and that was 20 Fantastic Hits by those Various Artists that I have posters of on my bedroom wall. But, you know what? I can never decide which Various Artist is my favourite. In all consideration, it's probably Ken.

Astonishing Tales #13, Ka-Zar vs Man-Thing

Speaking of Ken, here's Kevin.

Ka-Zar, with the assistance of AIM, manages to capture the Man-Thing who quickly escapes from the lab he's been taken to and follows our hero and Bobbi Morse as they go off in search of the abducted Dr. Calvin.

The Defenders #1

After their successful try-out in Marvel Feature, the Defenders get their very own comic.

Not that they have much time to enjoy it, as that naughty Necrodamus only goes and tries to sacrifice Subby to the Nameless One.

Hero for Hire #2

I don't recall too much about this story but I'm aware that Luke dispenses with the man who framed him and sent him to prison.

Apparently, that man is Diamond-Back.

Marvel Spotlight #5, Ghost Rider

A legend is indeed born, as the Ghost Rider leaps over a hundred buses to land on our spinner racks.

To save the life of his mentor, Johnny Blaze has made a deal with the devil and is transformed into the spirit of vengeance.

So big an impact does the character make that he ends up being played, on screen, by Nic, "Not the bees!" Cage. Truly, no 1970s character can aspire to more.

Sub-Mariner #52, Sunfire

Subby finds himself in Japan and up against the world's most annoying character Sunfire but I don't have a clue why.

Warlock #1

But the big news of the month is that, not only do the Defenders get their own comic and Ghost Rider get his own series but Adam Warlock gets his own book as well!

I don't remember too much about this issue but I do know the-artist-formerly-known-as-Him must confront the blood-curdling menace of Pih-Junn who's an evil pigeon.

With villains of that quality, it's hard to believe the book is only destined to last for just eight issues.


Anonymous said...

Sunfire - the most un-explored character in the Marvel Universe. What a waste… Sooo much potential. CH-47

Anonymous said...

Yeah, the 70s were an interesting time in Japan Charlie, so I can see there were definitely possibilities for doing something interesting with Sunfire. But the most un-explored character...?
What about - just of the top of my head - the Red Guardian (the second one, from the Defenders)? And Thundra. Or Ape-Slayer...

Anyway Steve, wow - Defenders #1, Warlock #1, the first Ghost Rider (in a comic that had just given us Werewolf By Night, and would follow up with the Son of Satan) and Luke Cage #2... the 70s proper were really kicking in at Marvel in the summer of '72, big time.

Ghost Rider was one of those c-list Marvel characters who got his own series back then, even though there wasn't much of a concept there - he rides a motorbike, and his head is a skull on fire, thats it.
But what more do you want when you're 7?


Anonymous said...

Never mind what the number one album was, Steve, there were more interesting records lurking in the shops back in August '72. Like Fela Kuti's fantastic double lp 'Roforofo Fight', which was released this month -

And 'Irrlicht', first album by the late German space cadet Klaus Schulze. Lots of treated organ and guitar, and the sound of the EMS VCS3 -
Sehr kosmische...


Colin Jones said...

Ka-Zar is an English lord called Kevin Plunder. What kind of aristocratic name is that supposed to be?? I suppose Tarquin Trumpington-Smythe wouldn't sound so cool.

I'm embarrassed to admit I've seen Ghost Rider starring Nic Cage but I can't recall a single thing about it. I watched it on DVD on July 27th 2012, the same night as the opening ceremony of the London Olympics.

Steve W. said...

Colin, my main memories of the first Ghost Rider movie are of Cage being ludicrously old to play Johnny Blaze, and of a ridiculous sequence where he and the original Ghost Rider ride halfway across America to confront the villain and, when they get there, the original Ghost Rider promptly declares his duty here is done and departs, making you wonder why he bothered to make the journey.

Sean, I'm sure those albums were great but this month's album chart contained the first ELO album. It's going to be hard to top that.

Charlie, I would have been happy for them to never explore Sunfire ever again.

Anonymous said...

Amazingly enough, my Monty Python Collector's Edition does not contain AND NOW FOR SOMETHING COMPLETELY DIFFERENT . I believe the American rights to that film must be owned by a movie studio. I did watch it once, but popped off because it was just a compilation of sketches, and I owned the real thing.

Since I own every Wes Craven film, of course LAST HOUSE ON THE LEFT is in my library. It's graphic & wanky, but not really "all that". William Marshall MADE it in BLACULA & SCREAM, BLACULA, SCREAM! Highly recommend either for anybody interested in horror blacksploitation films.

I'm unsure if you UK folks experienced watching K-Tel records mail-in adverts on tv. Every once in a while my mom would send away for one, since they were loaded with hits, and relatively cheap. My favorite was 20 MONSTER HITS, with Robby the Robot on the cover in front of columns of speakers.


Killdumpster said...

At one point I had every Alice Cooper LP. It was cool that Alice included little extras with his albums. The SCHOOL'S OUT album cover folded open like a school desk, with a pair of paper panties inside.

Charlie H47-
I always dug Sunfire also, but let's face it, he was even more arrogant & headstrong than Namor. Great issue though, featuring innards by Subby's creator Bill Everett. Rip.

Wish they would have kept him in the X-Men after the GIANT-SIZE reboot, but I guess they figured there were too many hot-heads (no pun intended) on the team. At least he left the team on his own instead of killing him off like Thunderbird.


Anonymous said...

Hokey smokes, Agreement-winkle!
We both know that doesn't happen often.

Yes, I managed to acquire Defenders #1, Warlock #1, and Marvel Spotlight #5. After Marvel Feature #1, I was a diehard Defenders reader. Though I was a Hulk & Namor fan, I wasn't much for Dr Strange. That title made me appreciate him more, but he was presented better by other artists (Ditko, etc) than "Our Pal Sal".

Was so glad to get Warlock's first issue, as I followed him since his Marvel Premiere appearances. My father, who would occasionally read my comics didn't care for him. "He reads & looks like a damn hippy!" Lol.

Wish I would've been able to pick-up ASTONISHING TALES # 13, as I was fairly loyal to that title since the Ka-Zar/Dr. Doom split-book days. Plus the Man-Thing looks menacing on the cover, though in my opinion he was best done by Ploog. Speaking of Ploog...

I was supremely fired-up to get Marvel Spotlight #5! I had previously read cowboy Ghost Rider stories, but with the in-house adds, his cool appearance, and being a "biker" myself (dirtbikes at the time, I was 10), it was top-shelf to get it.

No one did Man-Thing, Werewolf By Night, or Ghost Rider like Ploog.


Anonymous said...

Haven't we done the transatlantic confusion over 'top shelf' here? (;

Yeah Killskip, Mike Ploog did some good work on Ghost Rider.
Gary Friedrich on the hand, not so much. He was so obviously making it up as he went along, and not in a good way. One month Johnny Blaze is trying to save his old man's soul, the next their motivation has completely changed and they're deadly enemies.
And don't get me started on Linda Littletree the Witch Woman, and the representation of native Americans. And for that matter, Satanists.
And lets not mention Johnny's relationship with his sister (ok, she was his step-sister, but still... ay-yi-yi, how did that get past the comics code?)

On the plus side though, the Ghost Rider had a motorbike and his head was a skull on fire, so he always at least had that going for him (even in the Champions).
No such luck for Warlock. He started off well in Marvel Premiere, but once you get past that cool origin story, it all gets a bit boring until the Judo Jim Starlin era a few years later imo.


Anonymous said...

Steve, the first ELO album is the one with 'The Battle of Marston Moor' on it, right? The appeal of Jeff Lynne is a bit of a mystery to me, and as you might expect a record with a song bigging up Oliver Cromwell and his lot isn't likely to change my mind.

Also, I'm not convinced theres much of a place for cellos and oboes in rock music. Although to be fair I did pick up a copy of the Third Ear Band's soundtrack for Polanski's 'Macbeth' - also released in '72 - for a couple of quid in a charity shop a while ago, and its actually not too bad.
(In my defence, it was a first press on Harvest with the original textured sleeve by Roger Dean, so I was hoping to flip it on Ebay. Alas, it seems record collectors aren't opening their wallets for albums that sound like early '70s prog was invented in medieval Scotland.
Even though it includes a 12 year old Keith Chegwin on one track!)


Anonymous said...

That whole thing with Warlock was straight outta Jesus Christ Superstar.
Remember the soundtrack? "Jesus Christ, superstar, speeding down the road in a stolen car..."
Okay, I'm probably going to Hell for that.
Heck, I own several of these myself, back from the '80's when I was picking up back issues from the "60's and '70's much like a brain-addled child plucks flowers in a meadow.
I hope they're worth something now, because that's basically my retirement plan at this point.
I thought Astonishing Tales was great. Nice clean John Buscema pencils, and I'll read anything with a swamp monster in it.


B Smith said...

Sean, "The Battle Of Marston Moor" was a Roy Wood composition - drummer Bev Bevan was so unimpressed with it he refused to play on it. It's - well, it takes a few listens to get used fact, some never do.

Anonymous said...

Straight after posting that comment I knew instantly it would almost inevitably have been Roy Wood who wrote it, b.t.
Its still not for me.


Colin Jones said...

But Oliver Cromwell abolished the monarchy, Sean.

Anonymous said...

Well, he obviously didn't do a very good job of it Colin.