Sunday, 14 August 2022

The Marvel Lucky Bag - August 1982.

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

Here's a question.

Of the following films released in August 1982, which would you be most willing to buy a ticket to see? Fast Times at Ridgemont HighFriday the 13th Part IIIAn Officer and a Gentleman or The Beastmaster?

Personally, I'd probably go for Fast Times at Ridgemont High, even though I don't know what it's about.

I'd choose that one because slasher movies do little for me, 1980s sword and sorcery movies definitely do nothing for me and, based purely on the theme tune and its attendant video, I really don't feel like I'd enjoy An Officer and a Gentleman. I am, however, pleased that it revived Joe Cocker's career.

Bizarre Adventures #32, Thor

That's a very appealing cover by Joe Jusko.

I can't reveal too much about this issue's contents because I don't know anything about them but I do know the Thor tale's called Sea of Destiny and that the book's 68 pages also contain non-Thor stories with such titles as Demon's Bridge, What Fools These Gods Shall Be! The Streak, The Prophet, G-D! and Let There Be Light.

I can shed no light upon whether The Streak bears any relation to the Ray Stevens single of the same name.

Ka-Zar the Savage #17

Given that I know nothing of what happens inside this one either, I've included it purely because that's a notably atypical Ka-Zar cover by Brent Anderson.

Marvel Graphic Novel #2 - Michael Moorcock's Elric The Dreaming City

My familiarity with Elric is limited entirely to his guest appearances in early issues of Conan the Barbarian but if I wanted a crash course in him, this looks like the place to get it, as we receive a 58-page tale in which he leads a fleet to the fabled city of Imrryr to rescue his love Cymoril and take revenge upon his cousin Yyrkoon.

Then again, just seeing those names has put me off reading it.

Regardless, it's all brought to us by the trustworthy talents of Roy Thomas and Craig Russell.

ROM #33

If I thought the Ka-Zar cover was atypical, that's nothing compared to this month's Rom offering.

Brought to us by Al Milgrom, it feels more like something that would have fronted one of those early-1970s DC mystery romance comics.

Anyway, it would appear that, inside the book, Rom rescues a blind girl from a coven of Wraiths who want to experiment on her.

What If? #34

This is a very strange one indeed. It seems to be composed entirely of single-panel takes that ask a million and one questions in a comedic vein, such as What If Reed Richards Took Postman Willie Lumpkin Up On His Offer to Join the Fantastic Four?What If Nick Fury Had to Wear An Eyepatch On His Right Eye Instead of His Left Eye? and What If Black Bolt Got the Hiccups?

Thinking about it, that last question's a perfectly valid one and needs immediate answering.

Marvel Super Hero Contest of Champions #3

It may be all jolly japes in What If but the third installment of Contest of Champions is a far more serious affair, with the whole thing reaching its climax in Japan and the Grandmaster being declared the winner.

Apparently, there's a huge blunder in this issue, that undermines the whole resolution. Not having read the tale, I shall leave it to others to explain what it is.

Marvel Team-Up #120

It's the team-up some of us never expected to see.

Mostly because I thought Dominic Fortune was from the 1930s. 

Then again, Spidey once, sort of, teamed up with Doc Savage.

However it happens, it seems the heroes prevent Turner D Century from using his Time Horn to kill everyone under the age of sixty-five.

Spider-Man and the Incredible Hulk

I've no information at all about this curiosity, other than that it might be drawn by Frank Springer and John Romita.

The identity of the writer doesn't seem to be known at all and, as far as I can make it, it's not even certain that Frank Springer did pencil it.

But is that the Leader I detect on that front cover?


Anonymous said...

In the Grafton Elric novels, 'The Weird of the White Wolf' ( an Elric novel comprised of short stories) included the Dreaming City. Yet Marvel has separate P.Craig Russell Elric graphic novels entitled 'The Weird of the White Wolf' & 'The Dreaming City'. It's confusing enough Moorcock shuffling the deck (as b.t. once described it), every decade or so, without Marvel reshuffling Moorcock's shuffles.

Charlie might be interested to know Contest of Champs includes a French superhero, named 'Le Peregrine'. He's a conflation of Nighthawk & Batroc, as he has wings, and uses Savate.

There's also a West German superhero - Blitzkrieg - who's like Electro.

I think the battle's in China, not Japan, as the terra cotta warriors are referenced.

The Chinese superhero's a cross between the Multiple Man & Mangog. He can make copies of himself, and can use the strength of the entire Chinese population.

Shamrock's opponent should have been the Black Cat, not Captain American. With Felicia Hardy's bad luck, & Shamrock's good luck, the two would have cancelled each other out!

Spoiler - the Grandmaster thinks that by winning, he'll bring his brother, the Collector, back to life. However, the Unknown - death - demands a life in return. It ends up being the Grandmaster himself. Not a brilliant ending.


Anonymous said...

Shamrock's opponent should obviously have been Captain Brexit, Phillip!

Still, I suppose he had a go at the Irish in Marvel Super-Heroes a few months earlier, so in Contest of Champions he attacked the Arab Knight instead...

'The Dreaming City' makes sense as a standalone story - which is how Moorcock originally wrote it - so I don't see a problem there.
If I have a criticism it would be that Craig Russell's colouring was quite flat at this point, and didn't really take advantage of the possibilities for subtlety and mood that the better printing of the graphic novel format offered. Which is a shame, because he did some really good work otherwise.

Steve, none of those films appeal to me. If offered a free ticket to a cinema showing films released in August '82 I'd probably ignore all those, and opt for Fassbinder's 'Querelle' (I've not seen it but I have read the book - Jean Genet is always good for a laugh).

You're right, that is a nice Bizarre Adventures cover, and theres some even more appealing Thor artwork inside too, by the reliably great John Bolton. Unfortunately its a bit of a boring story - Thor has a fight with a giant sea horse (er... thats it) - and the rest of the mag is pretty forgettable.


Charlie Horse 47 said...

Alas, poor Charlie has not even seen the cover to any of these comics. However, He has seen Fast Times at Ridgemont High and Officer and a Gentleman.

They are both worth a look.

Fast Times is boy humor. Plenty of eye candy. Our hero is Spiccoli the stoner. Charlie did see it 40 years ago and then last year with his son just to round out his son's cultural education. The pizza scene, where super stoned Spiccoli (played by Sean Penn) has a pizza delivered to the class room, is definitely a hoot! I dare say, when asked to name a Sean Penn movie, most would say "Fast Times?"

Officer and a Gentleman created a real buzz in the USA with the love scene involving Richard Gere and the chick who falls for him. Was it necessary or simply gratuitous? (It was rather steamy for the times.) Gere is at a military camp for those who would aspire to be naval pilots. But in the USA, there's a lot of "love 'em and leave 'em" at the military bases b/c offices are transferred either after a class ends or every three years. So... does he stay with the girl after the school ends (maybe 16 weeks?) or does he dump her as is the norm?

For fun, Charlie used to introduce himself as "I'm an officer working on being a gentleman" back when he was a Captain and Aviator. If one was familiar with the film, it would garner a wink and chuckle.

Anonymous said...

FAST TIMES AT RIDGEMONT HIGH is the only one of that group that I’ve seen, so I guess that’s the one I would buy a ticket for. Because apparently I did. Unless of course i just saw it on cable TV, which is a distinct possibility. It’s not a bad movie, in fact it’s probably one of the better ‘Teen Comedies’ of that era. It put Sean Penn and Jennifer Jason Leigh on the map, for what that’s worth.

I used to work near the Sherman Oaks Galleria, where parts of it were filmed — I used to go there fairly often on my lunch hour, grab a bite at the food court and browse at the Walden Books on the lower floor. So, watching the movie these days triggers a bit of nostalgia. Also, at one point, Judge Rheinhold’s character drives right past one of the liquor stores in my hometown where I bought comics every week when I was a kid. So that’s kinda neat.

IIRC, ‘The Dreaming City’ was Moorcock’s very first Elric story, so as Sean says, it should be relatively easy to follow even if one isn’t well acquainted with the character. Also, I agree about the coloring — I love Russell’s artwork, but I’ve always thought his color schemes were a bit pastel and bland. Still, I thought it was one of the better Marvel Graphic Novels. I was about to say it was one of the few that I didn’t get rid of over the years, but I just now went looking for it on my shelves and can’t find the damn thing. Dang, I HOPE I didn’t dump it on one of my down-sizing purges…


dangermash aka The Artistic Actuary said...

So, in Contest Of Champions, one of the teams wins three fights and loses one but when they add up the scores at the end they say it's two all. That's the big blooper. Yeah, I can see how that would undermine the whole storyline.

Colin Jones said...

Blitzkrieg is a rather tactless name for a German superhero, isn't it? Do other German superheroes have such names as V2 and Panzer?

The only one of those films I've seen is 'An Officer And A Gentleman' (on TV) but 'The Beastmaster' is the one I'd choose to see.

Colin Jones said...

The only comic I bought was ROM - I recognised the cover straight away!

Anonymous said...

As regards 'An Officer & A Gentleman', Robert Loggia - the actor who played Richard Gere's character's father - looked like the inspiration for the Ramrod's face (as drawn by Bob Brown, in Daredevil). Seeing as DD was 1972/73, Bob Brown might have been watching Loggia's earlier stuff, perhaps!


Anonymous said...

LOL! I kinda doubt Robert Loggia’s face was the actual inspiration for Ramrod’s kisser, but dang, there sure is a resemblance. Even more so in his first appearance as drawn by Dashing Don Heck in DD 103. Loggia HAD been around for awhile (he starred in a terrific short-lived TV series called T.H.E. CAT in 1966), so it’s entirely possible.

And as for Le Peregrine — a villain who flies and knows savate? My God, he’d be UNSTOPPABLE….


Anonymous said...

Charlie - Yes, it might be the Don Heck one, even more than Bob Brown!

- As regards, Le Peregrine - Yes, he was giving the Angel a good kicking. Literally!


Anonymous said...

b.t., Marvel Graphic Novels were like Epic magazine, in that they seemed like a good idea at the time but soon became a bit obsolete as the direct market evolved (so for instance the Thomas/Russell Elric pretty quickly migrated to the then newish mini-series format at First).

Or maybe it was just that Marvel approached them in the same half arsed way they did Marvel Fanfare?
It was never clear to me what the graphic novel series was for - new creator-owned standalone stuff like 'The Dreaming City', and Simonson's Starslammers, niche Marvel projects like a new McGregor/Russell Killraven, or were they just about trying to get their regular characters like the X-Men into proper bookshops?
And filling a gap in the schedule with, say, a launch for the New Mutants didn't help with figuring it out either.

I suppose you could see it as a more general question of what comic shops were actually for. Did the readers really want new books that tapped into the unrealised potential of the form, or flashy new super-hero comics without the comics code?
On the subject of new developments - and for context - this month Eclipse published their first regular colour comic, Sabre #1 by Don McGregor and Paul Gulacy, and DC put out Night Force #1 by Marv Wolfman and Gene Colan.


Anonymous said...

SEAN! , that is an excellent idea? Steve, along with those wonderful DC comics you are now posting, notably justice league of America, is it in your wherewithal to be able to start posting some independent comics?

Steve W. said...

Charlie, I fear the workload of adding independent comics as well would be too much for me.

Phillip, thanks for the Contest of Champions info.

Sean, thanks for the Thor info.

Bt, thanks for the Fast Times info.

Dangermash, thanks for the Contest of Champions finale clarification.

Colin, I too thought "Blitzkrieg" seemed a little insensitive, as a name.

Charlie Horse 47 said...

IIRC - weren't folks upset with the Brit papers referring to Boris Becker as "Boom Boom" during his hey days at Wimbledon? It was a reference to the london big guns shooting down german bombers during WW 2?

So, it does seem odd to call a German comic character Blitzkrieg. Like calling a Japanese character "sneak attack."

Anonymous said...

Or calling an American one Nuke?
Although obviously Frank Miller was making a point with that one (;
"Gimme a red..."


Colin Jones said...

Or calling a Japanese character Kamikaze, Charlie.

Colin Jones said...

Charlie, Boris Becker's nickname "Boom Boom" had nothing to do with big guns shooting down German planes!

The British press couldn't keep calling him "Bonking Boris" forever!

Anonymous said...

I looked it up, and "The Dreaming City" really was the first Elric story Moorcock wrote. That would be out of chronological order, and he woulda had to have backtracked to write the first couple books in the series. I'm surprised by that, but REH did the same thing with Conan, his first story having Conan as King of Aquilonia.
Apparently, both of 'em later figured the characters had potential for backstories. I guess writers throw stuff at the wall, waiting for something to stick.

I think a good name for a German superhero would be Der Volkswagen.
He would be armored of course, and probably short of stature. Like Box from Alpha Flight.
And probably about as intimidating.


Anonymous said...

How about Autobahn for a German speedster?


Anonymous said...

M.P., Moorcock - or maybe his bank manager - obviously thinks theres still potential there, as he has yet another new Elric book set before 'The Dreaming City' coming out later this year.

Get ready to update again Phillip...


Anonymous said...

Sean - I'm not optimistic. A few years ago, I started one of those 'Moonbeam Road' Elric books Moorcock wrote, more recently - it was absolutely terrible! I read about 3/4 of it, and I'm not sure if I even finished it - nothing like the original books! Maybe, with Moorcock, it's best remembering him at his peak. To me, the Elric "canon" is the original series ( well, not original, but before 'The Fortress of the Pearl' was added!)