Sunday, 2 October 2022

Fifty years ago today - October 1972.

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

There was trouble at the mill in October 1972 because it was the month in which Emmerdale Farm, the long-running soap set in Yorkshire, was first broadcast on the UK's ITV network. So successful was it that it's still running, to this day, albeit under the abbreviated title of Emmerdale.

There was also good news for Chris Carter, as the month saw the first female FBI agents enter service, thus making it possible for him to create The X-Files.

Admittedly, he was only sixteen at the time. So, we'd have to wait another couple of decades for him to do it.

The month also saw good news for the European Community, as Denmark joined it.

The Faroe Islands, however, chose not to.

Conan the Barbarian #19, Barry Smith

Conan the Barbarian #19 sees Barry Smith's cover enhanced by a rather lovely colour scheme.

But, inside the book, things aren't so lovely, as Conan now has a job with the Turanian military and is laying siege to the city of Makkalet. However, in the fighting, his friend Fafnir gets wounded by a flaming arrow.

Amazing Spider-Man #113, Dr Octopus

Dr Octopus is back - and at the worst possible moment, as Spidey's suffering from an ulcer brought on by the stress of Aunt May having gone missing!

Avengers #104

I do believe our heroes are still fighting the Sentinels, down under.

I must confess I've always liked the Sentinels far more in this appearance than I ever did when they turned up in The X-Men.

Captain America #154

Phony Captain America kidnaps the Falcon and tortures him to locate the whereabouts of Real Captain America.

Once he escapes, the Falcon rushes to the Avengers Mansion.

But Phony Cap's been watching him!

Daredevil #92, the Blue Talon

The Black Widow and Danny French are captured by Damon Dran and interrogated about Project Four.

And they're not the only ones with problems, as a reporter claims Matt Murdock's secretly Daredevil!

Until Matt shows up at a fight between DD and the Blue Talon.

How can this be possible?

And just what is the Black Panther's part in all this?

Fantastic Four #127, Mole Man and Kala

For reasons I can't recall, the Fantastic Four find themselves, once more, in the subterranean world of the Mole Man, Kala and Tyrannus, ensnared in that trio's latest round of mutual treachery and backstabbing.

Incredible Hulk #156

Hooray! The Hulk's back in Jarella Land!

The bad news is that, thanks to the machinations of the evil Lord Visis, our hero must fight amongst himself!

Iron Man #51

I don't remember too much about this one but I do recall the axe-swinging villain on the cover's known as the Cyborg-Sinister but is better known to most of us as the Super-Adaptoid!

Thor #204, Sif

It's always great to see Thor and Sif in good, defeatist mode.

Then again, maybe they have reason for it. After all, one by one, their friends are being abducted by Mephisto!

X-Men #78, Merlin

All I know of this one is what's revealed on the cover. Which is the X-Men seem to be up against Merlin the magician.

But years of comic reading experience make me suspect the villain may not be who he claims to be...

Adventure Comics #424, Supergirl

That's Marvel's output for the month looked at but, lest we forget, the company's not alone in the US market. After all, it has a rival. And, thus, to contextualise The House of Ideas better, we must study a random sampling of what that rival has to offer.

A stylish Bob Oksner cover finds itself wrapped around a Supergirl tale in which the maid of might unearths just where a syndicate boss has been hiding the bodies of his victims.

Admittedly, firing them into space does seem a little extravagant but it's a comic and practicality is, therefore, not a concern.

We also have a back-up strip in which an alien race attacks the Earth, thinking itself invincible.

I bravely predict it will be well and truly vinced.

The Brave and the Bold #103, Batman and the Metal Men

It's the team-up you thought you'd never see, as Batman teams up with the Metal Men.

Sadly, that's all the info I can impart but I do know it's scripted by Bob Haney. So, anything can happen in the next twenty-three pages.

And probably will.

Justice League of America #102

The Justice League and Justice Society are still trying to find the Seven Soldiers of Victory but, no sooner do they succeed in that task than the Hand makes his move to destroy Earth-2!

Superboy #191

It's one of my Superboy faves, as Kathy the Kooky Genius returns to help our hero rescue her kidnapped parents.

We also get a Cary Bates/Dave Cockrum Legion of Super-Heroes tale in which Dr Regulus tricks Sun Boy into recharging his powers for him!

The Unexpected #140

It's thanks to a striking Nick Cardy cover that I've included this one.

Within, we get three tales of intrigue and surprise. 

In the first, Cort Roberts tries to control his family, until his son becomes a seething mass of hatred. That's puberty for you.

In the second, Owen Rogg kills his friend and takes his place on an expedition.

And, in the third, we meet a millionaire who'd pay anything to see again.

Wonder Woman #202, Fafhrd the Barbarian and the Gray Mouser

It's the story you thought you'd never see!

Mostly because it makes no sense.

In a tale written by Samuel R Delany, Diana Prince and Selina Kyle somehow find themselves trapped in another dimension and caught up in an adventure involving Fritz Leiber's Fafhrd and the Gray Mouser.

What next? Elric?

30 comments:

Anonymous said...

DD # 92

In comics, establishing shots are useful - for debutante readers, in particular.

Why, you might ask?

Well, the following's a case in point

Opening scene...

Matt's furious – Natasha's with Danny – and hurls a ceramic Buddha at a large portrait of Natasha, hung over a fireplace, resulting in smashed glass & a broken Buddha!

A Natasha picture that's even larger – in her Black Widow costume – is on an adjacent wall, behind Ivan, who's on the couch, mulling.

“Why does Matt have Natasha pictures, in his lounge, if he's supposed to be blind?” a new reader might ask.

And, if it isn't Matt's place - but Natasha's - why are massive pictures of herself, up on the walls? Is she a narcissist of some kind?

Anonymous said...

Moreover, if it is Natasha's mansion, why's Matt smashing up someone else's home? He could get struck off / disbarred, from the Law Society!

But Ivan's presence means Natasha's mansion's where it's at, smart Alec readers declare! Maybe – but first time readers wouldn't know this!Gerry Conway's continous exposition deficit strikes again!

Worldly-wise readers – and Mary Whitehouse - might say, ah, but Matt & Natasha are “living in sin”, at Natasha's ironically decadent, capitalist-hating mansion! But, often readers buy comics “on spec”, so how's a first time Daredevil reader to guess that?

Matt's wearing a large necktie, of some kind ( a sartorial habit villain Damon Dran also shares.) The necktie's not a cravate – maybe it's an ascot, or something. I'm no expert on neckties!

Seven or eight panels later, according to the narrator, Matt is indeed at Natasha's north shore mansion – but all confusion could have been avoided, by starting with an establishing shot of the mansion (but then the drama of Matt throwing his Buddha figurine out of the pram would be missing!)

The problems caused by missing establishing shots, have been seen before. Regular readers will have forgetten 'Panic in New York', the 'Blockbuster ' Inhumans story, where a collapsing balcony (accommodating four Inhumans) close-up, provided the opening scene. This scene being beneath the title, 'Panic in New York', implying the Inhumans were in New York (when – in fact – they were still in Attilan) - all because a long shot (establishing shot) wasn't used!

https://www.blogger.com/comment.g?blogID=6263300365798803459&postID=1133994095796227644&bpli=1

Establishing shots are always a good idea. But – better still – is starting a story with action & drama, WITHIN an establishing shot. For example, the double page spread of Natasha missing Daredevil's grip, with San Francisco's famous landmarks providing a backdrop, a couple of issues ago.

( See Paul's excellent blog - https://twthen.blogspot.com/ - August 17th, 2022).

Anonymous said...

In DD # 90, I speculated whether Natasha is unaware of Daredevil's powers, at this point in their relationship. After all, she explains emotional reactions of hers, to him, saying:

“Matt, I'm frightened—I--I can't explain---but I'm terribly—horribly afraid!”

when Daredevil would already know this, from being continually aware of her heart rate, when in close proximity to her.

In this issue ( DD # 92), however, Gerry Conway now makes it crystal clear that, to Ivan, Daredevil's powers are no secret – so presumably Natasha knows about them, too.

Ivan knows about Daredevil's senses being heightened, offering Matt a San Francisco map, to read,
saying: “Run your fingers over it, Matt--” Daredevil's sense of touch is so sensitive, it can detect ink being raised above page level!

( However, to a first time reader - or an 8 year old - “Run your fingers over it, Matt” wouldn't mean anything. Gerry Conway's being “exposition light”, again!

For me, it was only when I read a factoid in the 1979 'Mighty World of Marvel' annual, that I understood how, with Daredevil's acute sense of touch, reading newsprint was no problem, what with the ink being minutely raised, above the level of the paper ! )

Anonymous said...

Likewise, to Ivan, Daredevil's radar-sense is no secret, either.

Ivan thinks... “Maybe I don't have radar-senses like Matt- - but I don't need 'em to tell he was lying to me back there - - ”

( Ivan asked Matt if the globe - Project 4 - Natasha told him she & Danny French are looking for, is anything he knows about, whereupon Matt lied, denying it. )

Ivan's no longer the “over protective uncle” to Matt, in respect of Natasha. The two men work together, now ( whilst still keeping some secrets from each other! )

So, there you have it! Ivan knows all about Daredevil's radar-sense! (Does Ivan know the Mole-man has a radar-sense, too? But, I digress...)

Matt & Ivan split up, to search for Natasha. Matt covers Chinatown, whilst Ivan searches down-town San Francisco ( Ivan's Corvette Stingray's in an underground parking-lot/garage, at the mansion). Underground parking-lots ( like stairwells!) figure prominently in Colan & Palmer's Daredevil - c.f. Danny French's grubby hideout - as they allow Tom Palmer's shadows to create atmosphere.

Daredevil, heading downtown, hears a store-keeper being held up, at gun-point, and circles round to foil the robbers, thinking: “- - Trouble is DD's business!” So Daredevil's private eye, Philip Marlowe, now - as well the World's Greatest Detective? (see, “clues”, last issue.)

Captain America, at the start of Baron Blood, also disturbed a robbery, with a store-keeper being held up, at gun-point (see 'Captain America Weekly' # 14, SDC May 27, 1981):

In Captain America's case, for the ringleader, Cap's presence, as a living symbol of America, was so overwhelming, his shotgun was handed over, without much of a fight.

Anonymous said...

Daredevil's “presence”, unfortunately, for the criminal community, doesn't garner the same respect Captain America's does! So, Matt fights it out, defeating the robbers, whose leader wanted revenge on the store-keeper, for shooting his kid brother.

( Incidentally, sometime someone ought to compare/contrast, in Baron Blood, Rubinstein's use of shadows, with Palmer's shadows, in Dracula! )

The fight over, Daredevil, hides in a wall corner, amidst shadows, as a Rolls-Royce passes by. Why's Daredevil drawn hiding? Is it just, for Tom Palmer, an excuse for atmosphere, through the use of shadows?

Maybe Conway's notes to Colan & Palmer say: “Daredevil, swallowed by wall-edge shadows” !

The point is, Daredevil's under surveillance. More accurately, “hostile reconaissance” ! New villain, Damon Dran, in the Rolls-Royce, is taking Daredevil's measure! (“Suits you, Sir!”)

Like last month, with Mr. Fear, however, for a writer, the same problem exists. Doesn't Matt's radar-sense make close range “hostile reconaissance” virtually impossible?

This time, Gerry Conway explains this inconsistency to the reader.

Because Daredevil's so preoccupied with his own thoughts, and his search for Natasha, he doesn't notice the darkened Rolls-Royce, or hear the conversation within it, concerning him (I've improved

Anonymous said...

the syntax, slightly!)

Tenuous!

So who is Damon Dran? Well, he's a millionaire munitions magnate, with a deep fear of mortality (a bit like Count Nefaria, wanting to steal Mjolnir, thinking it's the secret to Thor's immortality ? ) Dran has three manservants/goons – Williams, Charles and Jonah ( oh, and there's the Blue Talon, too!)

In Damon Dran's lair, Danny French & Natasha are captives. According to Dran's manservant, Charles, the pair refuse to divulge the Project 4 energy globe's location. So, Damon Dran's “Mind Probe” is unleashed! This devilish contraption induces a flashback, for Danny French (cue panel boxes framed by wavy lines, not straight lines!)

In the flashback, Danny & Natasha are driving a sportscar, which “raced through twilight shadows” ( yes – permission's again given for inker Tom Palmer's shadow work! )

Suddenly, Charles – Dran's manservant/goon – high powered rifle-shoots the tyres, sending the vehicle careering out of control! In DD # 90, we noted Colan's dynamism, when drawing speeding cars. It's also the case, here!

The caption declares... “Once again, the hunters had become the hunters!” As we saw last month, in DD # 91, “the hunter becoming the hunted”, is a repeated motif, in Conway's Daredevil.

Anonymous said...

After the sportscar crashes, Damon Dran's goon, Charles, goes to apprehend its occupants. Exiting the car, the Black widow dodges Charles's karate chops & kicks, and is doing well, until Danny French decides to intervene.

To say Danny French hasn't “got your back”, in a fight, is an understatement!

SDC's regular readers will have forgotten that, 40 years ago, on April 29th, 1981, in 'Spider-man & Hulk, incorporating Team-up', Steel Serpent (Davos) sneered at 'lethal ladies' Misty & Coll, declaring:

“With an ally like Spider-man, you have little need of enemies!”

Well, with Danny French as an ally, the Black Widow, another 'lethal lady' ( as 'Savage Action' dubbed both Natasha & the Daughters of the Dragon), has even less need of enemies!

Danny French not only doesn't help defeat Dran's goons, he waits until Natasha's back's turned, and hits her over the back of the head! All because his machismo was dented, by her doing the fighting for him, and making him look ineffectual!

How would Danny's fragile ego fare, were Thundra his partner ? Thundra certainly knew how to deal with Machismo (or, rather, Mahkizmo!) But, I digress...

According to Danny, he can beat Charles, “no sweat”. In reality, however, Danny loses, in short

Anonymous said...

order!

Abruptly, the scene switches back to Dran's lair, to remind readers these events aren't happening right now, but are Dran's devilish “Mind Probe”, dredging Danny French's recent memories, for the 'Project 4' energy globe's location. Danny exchanges defiant quips with Dran, before the voltage (?) is increased.

Dran's “Mind Probe” resembles Reed Richard's “Thought Projector”, which Ben Grimm used ( for gratuitous flashbacks ), in last month's 'Fantastic Four' ( FF # 126). Has somebody been “cribbing”?

Back at Natasha's ironically capitalist mansion, an exhausted Daredevil's asleep, having spent all night scouring San Francisco for Natasha. At this point, Ivan – who got a few more leads than Daredevil – wakes Matt, offering him a cup of coffee.

As the pair switch the television on, an investigative reporter reveals Daredevil's secret identity as Matt Murdock, noting both moved to San Francisco with Natasha ! At this point, Matt freaks out!

Simultaneously, 24hr News junkie Dran, who's watching the same 6.30am broadcast, orders his lab-goon, Jonah, to wake Natasha. Unfortunately, Natasha's comatose, so Dran's assassin, Yamura ( the Blue Talon), is summoned instead. At this point, Yamura – for a dramatic entrance – smashes through a malfunctioning electronic door, to enter the lab !

( Yamura - Blue Talon - is a giant of a man, about 7ft tall, despite Japanese people stereotypically being vertically challenged. His face is graced with a diagonal stitch, whilst both Blue Talon's

Anonymous said...

hands' pinky rings, have obtuse triangled (?) blades attached. Yamura's delicate use of his hands was lost, when he left Japan, you see. )

Speaking to Yamura, according to Damon Dran, Danny French is an “erstwhile detective.” Now, this is strange. Previously, the story's always described French as a “mercenary”. So, why suddenly change this? Will Danny French become a “good guy”, by the story's end?

This is not unknown in Daredevil stories. Jason Sloan – who, to Daredevil & Natasha, was a manipulator like Killgrave or the Owl (see DD # 90) – later becomes a “good guy,” who bravely stands up to Terrex & Kerwin J. Broderick. But, I digress...

Anyway, Damon Dran issues French an ultimatum. Either divulge the 'Project 4' energy globe's location, or Dran will order Yamura to kill Matt Murdock ( i.e. Daredevil. )

Now, where's the logic in this ? As Daredevil is French's rival for Natasha's affections, will bad boy Danny beg Dran, “Please, please, spare Daredevil – I'll tell you anything, Mr. Dran!” ? Danny might just say, “You're bluffing! Kill Murdock – what do I care?” If Dran's “Mind Probe” was any good, Dran would know this! And – predictably – Danny doesn't respond to this threat, saying Dran will kill them, anyway.

Back to Ivan & Matt's Natasha-search! “For the day is long, and when evening finally arrives--” Traditionally, evening's always a Colan Daredevil story's time – so Tom Palmer can employ shadows!

Anonymous said...

Ivan – wearing his chauffeur's peaked cap – scruff of the neck grabs a bar-tender, which – in Daredevil – always prompts instant confessions!

According to the bar-keep, “French is some sorta private eye—he rents a studio up on Claymore street!”

Again, French transforms from “mercenary”, into private detective! And there's me thinking Daredevil's “Trouble is my business”, before saving the store-keeper, made him Philip Marlowe! Seems everyone's a gumshoe, these days!

Soon afterwards, a staircase/stairwell (very shadowy, of course) leads Ivan to Danny French's office.

Meanwhile, Yamura – the Blue Talon – has trailed “Daredevil” to Natasha's ironically capitalist mansion. The caption declares:

“- -Two figures separate from wine-soft shadows; one, the hunter - - the other, the hunted - -”

Is anything more quintessentially Conway's Daredevil? You've got the emphasis on shadows – for atmosphere – and the hunter becoming the hunted motif, both within the same sentence!

“Daredevil” jumps out of a tree (no vibrating flagpoles, this month!), onto Yamura/Blue Talon, who starts karate-chopping him, with his obtuse triangled (?) hand blades.

Anonymous said...

The fight between “Daredevil” & the Blue Talon's drawn a television news crew, and the San Francisco police. A superhero-hating police commissioner named O'Hara (inside reference to Adam West's Batman?) declares he thought Murdock more sensible than to be involved in something like this, even if he's a New Yorker (internal U.S. city prejudice? )

Suddenly, Matt arrives in a taxi, leaving O'Hara dumbstruck.

Seconds later, Blue Talon karate chops a gas main which explodes, killing him. The gas oven in Natasha's mansion won't be cooking tonight!

Murdock explains he's not Daredevil, who was actually Matt's brother Mike. Mike, however, died over a year ago, and has been replaced as Daredevil by another guy, whose identity Matt can't reveal.

But how could “Mike” have been Daredevil ? “Mike” was so big, in stature, people mistook him for Thor, whilst wearing shades!

News-junkie Damon Dran, after witnessing Blue Talon's destruction on the boob tube / idiot box, rants and raves at Danny French.

The reporters & cops gone, “Daredevil” removes his mask & costume, to reveal...the Black Panther ! So, that's how Matt fooled the cops & reporters, with Matt Murdock & “Daredevil” appearing simultaneously!

Anonymous said...

And, the Black Panther's not wearing Daredevil's ordinary mask, either – it's a special mask with Matt Murdock's lower face on it! Where the Hell would Matt acquire a mask like that, at short notice? ( Probably the same place Matt, despite not being a scientist, got the “gaseous antidote” to Mr. Fear's “fear pellets”, last issue!)

In the Avengers, the Black Panther speaks with formal diction; yet here, T'Challa's speech is colloquial, using lots of contractions. The Black Panther's trying to mimic Daredevil's speech, perhaps – or that of super hip schoolmaster, Luke Charles. Right on, Brother!

As a little kid, comparing “on a par” superheroes – like Daredevil & the Black Panther - was great fun ( Marvel Universe didn't exist, then). In fact, any story with “on a par” superheroes in the same comic - either battling each other, or fighting the same villain - got my vote. In Daredevil Annual
# 4 (UK's 1979 Mighty World of Marvel Annual) the Black Panther & Daredevil also teamed up, but against 'Mindmaster' (Chris Claremont, obviously!) However, as a little kid, I never realized the outcomes between “on a par” superheroes were always “fudged” (with some exceptions!), as I felt the stories were “real” !

More cynically, with such team-ups, a superhero comic selling less issues' sales might increase, if that character appeared in a comic of greater popularity.

At this time, however, the Black Panther's own comic wasn't on sale, so Marvel couldn't “hook” Daredevil's readers (unless for the Avengers). And, only Daredevil readers could be “hooked”, because the team-up isn't plugged on DD # 92's cover! But...I digress.

Anyway – the final scene. The story closes with T'Challa's departure, as his jet aircraft arcs over – wait for it...San Francisco's Golden Gate bridge! Well, it had to be, hadn't it?

The Black Panther's sense of honour is his dominant character trait ( for example, in Avengers # 177, T'Challa wouldn't use a hostage, even for the greater good. ) T'Challa's sense of honour is very evident here, too - risking his life for a friend ( Matt), at short notice:

Anonymous said...

“Odd, as king of an African state, I've performed many -- and sometimes unpleasant duties--yet none asked more of me than this -- and none more freely acted.”

The Black Panther continues “Though only I among the costumed fighters of this world know the face behind the scarlet mask...” ( Was Mr. Fear a “costumed fighter”? ) This secret understanding's fitting, somehow, as Daredevil & the Black Panther were more “on a par” than other superheroes (except for outright copies) – albeit it's not unique. For Iron Man & Thor, such a bond exists, too - after Thor got separated from Mjolnir, in the Avengers Zodiac story, if memory serves.

Daredevil & the Black Panther share another bond, according to ' Marvel Super Adventure' # 12
( see SDC's ' Forty years ago today July 22nd, 1981' ).

Namely, being Marvel's “moodiest” solo stars!

Perhaps “moodiness” explains Matt throwing that Buddha figurine at Natasha's portrait !?
Nor is the Black Panther the sole costumed fighter knowing Daredevil's secret identity - as the Black Widow knows it, too! The Black Panther and Black Widow have common ground, then, apart from 'Black', pre-modifying their names! Also, both tried teaching, as Luke Charles & Nancy Rushman, respectively!

In my DD # 90 review, for story structure, examining alternatives (what if Daredevil's panic attack had flared up before the Black Widow's, rather than vice-versa) helped understand the writer's intentions.

Anonymous said...

Examining alternatives is equally useful here, in DD # 92 !

If Damon Dran knows Daredevil's real identity is Matt Murdock, why didn't Gerry Conway have the Blue Talon attack Murdock (on Dran's behalf ), whilst gloating he knows Matt's Daredevil ? This would force Matt to either reveal fighting skills a blind man couldn't possess, or take a beating.

With Spider-man, it was considered a stroke of genius, when Carrion attacked Peter Parker, knowing he was Spider-man, and thus adding to the general horror of Carrion, himself (Bill Mantlo, take a bow!)

So why, for Daredevil # 92, isn't this chilling alternative considered?

The reason's simple. This instalment's a sticking plaster (band-aid ), whose sole purpose is correcting the ridiculous plot point of Matt & Natasha (a well-known figure) moving to San Francisco, and nobody, except Larry Cranston, realizing Daredevil is Matt !

It's as if Gerry Conway, suddenly realized he'd erred, and rushed off this story, to paint himself out of a corner. Is Conway so panicked, slow pacing's abandoned, with the ending spilling out, in a rush?

To one Amazon reviewer, Blue Talon's brief existence was pointless, him achieving nothing – not even highlighting Daredevil's fighting prowess. Not so. Blue Talon's existence had a very definite point – to battle the Black Panther (disguised as DD), thus convincing everyone Matt isn't Daredevil ! In story-writing terms, Blue Talon's a “Forlorn Hope”.

Anonymous said...


But why, last month, didn't Mr. Fear (also knowing DD's secret identity) attack Murdock, proclaiming him Daredevil? Mr. Fear wasn't a mere plot device, like Blue Talon. Well, last month's “twist in the tale” was Daredevil unmasking Mr. Fear as Larry Cranston, rather than Jason Sloan, the red herring. You can't have hero and villain both revealing each other's secret identities in the same story, can you? Anyone who remembers such a dual revelation happening simultaneously, in the same story, wins a “No Prize” !

Next issue's a mind control story. But didn't mind control happen with Killgrave, only a couple of issues ago? Gerry Conway anticipated Chris Claremont, in so many ways. Villains have goons, personalised with names & identities. Stories start in the middle of the action (in 'media res'), sometimes. An intrusive narrator sometimes puts his spoke in. And, of course, Mind Control! How many can you spot, in this Daredevil run? That's a parlour-game nobody can be bothered playing!

Phillip

Anonymous said...

Its Steve Does Comics. Its Sunday. And theres Supergirl - yay!

Yeah, I know - its a bit feeble coming after Phillip, but anyway...

Adventure #424 is actually one of the better Maid of Might stories, Steve. Sure, the basic idea of hiding bodies in space is a bit much, but as long as you can allow for that kind of thing - and if you can't, why would you be reading a super-hero comic? - its pretty good.
Great Tony deZuniga/Bob Oksner artwork, and a surprisingly dark tone by the end, as Linda Danvers goes undercover, and by the end has to accept that she's responsible for a witness getting whacked.

Wonder Woman #202 is not all what you'd expect from Samuel Delany - I mean, he was probably at work on 'Dhalgren' at the time! - but he was just wrapping things up from the previous issue, before the new direction he had planned started in #203.
And anyway, whats not to like about a comic featuring Wonder Woman, Catwoman, and Fafrhd & the Grey Mouser, drawn by Dick Giordano?

-sean

Anonymous said...

Denmark joined the European Community at the same time as the Brits and the Irish at the start of January '73, Steve, after signing the 'Treaty concerning the accession of the Kingdom of Denmark, the Republic of Ireland, the Kingdom of Norway, and the Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland [sic] to the European Economic Community and to the European Atomic Energy Community' a year earlier.

How embarrassing for the Irish to be associated with a group of monarchies (its surprising how backward a lot of north-western Europe still is even now, in the twenty-first century).

Norway of course didn't actually become members, after the 'no' vote in their referendum that year. Much smarter to hold one BEFORE joining, if you ask me...

-sean

Unknown said...

Charlie recalls this time period well:

He was just turning 11. It was summer time. It was still an age of innocence, like when finding car batteries and old tires in your favorite swamp was way cool!

What was way cool about the Spidey and FF tales was that traditional villains... the ones that were frequently enough referenced in Stan's flashbacks or perhaps in the big reprint titles or the cartoons, were in print again! Doc Ock! The Mole Man! Charlie had the sweats b/c he was finally old enough to buy a comic featuring the best of the best villains!

Honestly, I think Marvel should have done like Disney. Whereas Disney re-released its classics in the movie theatres like every 7(?) years, Marvel could have had their big-gun villains re-appear on a regular cycle as well.

Charlie Horse 47 said...

Also, one cannot over estimate the power of that JLA cover. IIRC, it was the conclusion of the 3-parter featuring damn near every character DC had created or acquired in its early existence (not the Quality and Fawcett characters during the 1950s) when DC, National, and All-American comics merged into one big monkey known as DC.

The 7 Soldiers of Victory, having featured in Leading Comics thru the mid-1940s, were front and center and one of them was dead.

It was a big deal to this 11 year old.

Not as big a deal as someone else's death in about a year but it was a big deal. It seemed far more somber than the carnage of death that had spewed forth in Subby a year earlier.

Charlie Horse 47 said...

PHILLIP - GREAT REVIEW! I have to ask how long it takes you to prepare that?!

SEAN - I had sent you an email... probably in your junk, lol.

Charlie Horse 47 said...

Wonder Woman wins this blogs award for most-distorted female anatomy???

Anonymous said...

Sean - Much appreciated! Nice you filling in about some of the DC titles.

Charlie - Thanks! About 3 weeks reading/jotting down ideas. About 5 days (spread out)writing up/checking!

Phillip

Redartz said...

Just a few cover thoughts today!
Steve- you mentioned the coloring on that Conan cover. It is indeed striking. Per the Grand Comics Database, Barry colored it himself. I so suspected; he has a great sense for color. His recoloring in the Conan Treasury, and the new color on "Red Nails" in the same book, also evidence his skill.

That Romita cover on Amazing Spider-Man is also a winner. And it never hurts that it features a classic for, as Charlie noted...

As for DC- I like that "Unexpected " cover! Particularly the subtle coloring on the emanations from that ....energy creature, or whatever it is...

Steve W. said...

Red, this month's DC covers definitely appeal to me more than the Marvel covers. Then again, they usually did.

Phillip, thanks for the epic summary.

Sean and Charlie, thanks for your comments too.

Anonymous said...

Boy, this sure was a weird month for comics.
But then, this was October. I've read that issue of Iron Man and I still don't get how you start with the Super-Adaptiod and end up with the Cyborg Sinister.
It was one of those Bronze Age comics that didn't make a lotta sense. But I suppose that's part of their goofy charm.
That "Merlin" was later explained as being some mutant immortal caveman who started calling himself Maha Yogi for some reason.
He would later make a baffling attempt at world domination, only to be foiled by the bizarre team-up of the Hulk and Dr. Druid.
I always liked Dr. Druid, but I have no idea why.

M.P.

Anonymous said...

M.P. - Thanks for pitching in, about Iron Man. The more titles covered, the better! That Dr.Druid & Hulk story, you referenced, is a favourite of mine, too!



I've been glancing through the FF, for this period. Although the stories aren't all substantive enough for an incredibly "deep dive", some are still excellent - and this FF run needs discussing more - at least in general terms.

What struck me, first of all, is the Thing gets knocked unconscious, over & over again. This underlines the difference between the Thing & the Hulk, which the Thing himself points
out, during their battle. Namely, the Hulk's far more invulnerable.

Secondly, often these FF stories, seem much longer than their page count. It's as if you're reading a story three times as long. Maybe, it's because they're so "lean", with no "filler", and packed with incident. Yet, I've said they're not all "substantive". That seems like a contradiction. I'll have to think about that!

Social values have clearly changed. Reed & Sue farming Franklin out to Agatha Harkness, at Whisper Hill, for months on end, would have them prosecuted for neglect, nowadays!

Some incidents, during this FF run, seem to have possibly inspired later writers. Crystal's
powers aren't that different from Storm's - and Crystal being worshiped as a goddess is similar to what happened to Ororo.

Klaw's sonic horn (not just a prosthetic, as people assume) being crushed, by the Thing, reminded me of the later incident in which Ben Grimm crushed Deathlok's forearm (?) - MTIO ?

Gabriel's "Cape of Destiny", constricting the Silver Surfer (before he destroyed it - and Gabriel), reminded me, very slightly, of the "Coats of Hercules", used by the Collector, in Englehart's Avengers.

The Mole-man getting the FF to see the Thing as a monster, and start attacking him, also seems to have inspired later writers. Didn't something like this happen in the X-Men - or something (I forget).

Oh, and the Black Panther story "Three Stood Together" - and the eternal triangle between Crystal, Johnny & Pietro - should have been in trios, troikas & triumvirates!

Phillip




Anonymous said...

So Phillip, how is the Black Widow's 'capitalist mansion' ironic? Maybe I'm missing something, but she isn't exactly the Red Guardian.
A mansion is just what I'd expect from someone with a name like Romanov...

-sean

Anonymous said...

Sean - But is "Romanoff" an alias? To some KGB spymaster, it would be ironic giving his greatest commie agent, a Russian dynastic name (& a mansion)! Natasha may not be the Red Guardian, but she was married (or engaged?) to him. Also, she trained in "The Red Room" (what could be more commie?) So, as with the name "Romanoff", a laughing Russian spymaster could have set the Black Widow - his greatest commie agent - up in a lavish mansion, right under the noses of those capitalist fools, with their decadent ways!

Phillip

Anonymous said...

I suppose it must be an alias Phillip, or her name would be Romanovna (a KGB spymaster would know that too).
Btw, I was thinking of the Red Guardian who was in the Defenders. Now there was a superhero who could sort out the kulaks.

-sean

Anonymous said...

MP- if I remember correctly, Gary Conway said that Stan was not happy with the super adaptoid storyline and quite literally told him to just cut it off in midstream. I remember as a kid reading these issues and being totally perplexed. And why not, I was only 11 years old? But a few years ago I read an interview with Conway and he discussed these very Iron Man issues and said Stan Lee told him to just terminate it because he didn’t like the super adaptoid storyline