Tuesday, 6 December 2022

The Marvel Lucky Bag - December 1972.

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

Do you like riding on public transport?

You wouldn't have done after December 1972.

That's because the month saw the release of two films guaranteed to make you want to drive everywhere, from now on.

The first was perennial Christmas favourite The Poseidon Adventure, while the second was perennial Steve of Steve Does Comics favourite Horror Express which shows just what can happen when you let Peter Cushing, Christopher Lee and Telly Savalas get on a train together.

Elsewhere, our cinemas also saw the release of Bruce Lee's Way of the Dragon.

But perhaps the most intriguing title for a film released that month was The Effect of Gamma Rays on Man-in-the-Moon Marigolds. Despite having heard that title many times before, I don't have a clue what the film itself's about. And reading Wikipedia's plot summary leaves me none the wiser.

Hero for Hire #4

Because you The Reader demanded it, here's Hero for Hire #4, in which someone poses as a phantom.

Exactly why he does that, I can't claim to recall. I've a feeling it's all to do with cinemas and theatres but I can say little beyond that.

Astonishing Tales #15, Ka-Zar

I remember this tale from when it was reprinted in Marvel UK's Planet of the Apes comic.

His adventure with the Man-Thing concluded, Ka-Zar finds himself in the concrete jungle of New York and caught up in a turf war. Needless to say, no mere street thugs can stop the man who eats live mastodons for breakfast.

Adventure into Fear #11, Man-Thing

Neal Adams provides the cover, as the Man-Thing encounters two kids who manage to summon Thog the demon and, thus, endanger the world itself.

Journey into Mystery #2

Wait. Is that The Shadow I see on yon cover?

No, it's not. It's Jack the Ripper who, our first yarn reveals, has survived into the present day, thanks to performing human sacrifices.

In our second tale, the best athletes of Westfield Heights High School are struck down by an unknown illness.

And, in our third, a scientist manages to reanimate his dead lover who promptly kills herself. Some people have no gratitude.

Shanna, the She-Devil #1

A sensational new heroine smashes her way through a jungle near you, as Shanna the She-Devil swings in to tackle all enemies of wildlife.

Having said that, I'm struggling to remember anything that happens in it, though I do remember that she, at times, comes across as being totally unhinged.

Supernatural Thrillers #1

Not content with already having given us Man-Thing and the Glob, Marvel gives us another murk monster, as Theodore Sturgeon's It stalks the swamps.

What it does while it's stalking, I can't say, as I've never read this one. I have seen the film adaption, starring Roddy McDowall but, as that features a golem and no swamps, I suspect it bears no resemblance at all to Sturgeon's story.

Warlock #3

On a world very similar to our own, Warlock finds himself battling the New-Man known as Apollo and his tentacular submarine of terror.

Monsters on the Prowl #20, Oog

I must confess I've only picked this one because the cover tells me Oog lives again!

Not that I know who Oog is but I do feel that any monster with a name like that deserves acknowledgement.

As well as that masterpiece, we get a tale in which a man finds a doll and gives it to his daughter. What he doesn't know is the doll's an alien child waiting for its parents to come and take it home.

There's also a tale in which an inventor makes time stand still for everybody else. He then takes the opportunity to rob the populace before restarting time but it turns out they could all see what he did and he's promptly arrested.

And we bow out with a yarn in which a mine foreman, concerned a robot might take his job, scrambles its wires, which turns out to have been a mistake when he's caught in a cave-in and the damaged robot's not able to rescue him.

Sub-Mariner #56

Is this the one in which a bunch of homeless, red skinned aliens arrive on Earth, and Namor promises them they can live in Atlantis but the Atlantean guards take one look at them, decide they're up to no good and shoot them dead?

If so, it's that one. If not, I don't know which one it is.


Anonymous said...

Where’s Power Man? Sniff sniff.

Anonymous said...

Dry your eyes mate, at least Jaunty Jim Steranko is here.

A pair of Steranko covers seems like something that might have been worth mentioning, Steve. Except... they're not as striking as the ones he did in the late 60s. Not that that makes them bad or anything, but you can see why there aren't loads of later comics with 'homages' to those Shanna and Supernatural Tales covers like there are with, say, SHIELD #4.

Fear #11 was the first Man-Thing story by new writer Steve Gerber. Its a bit basic, but he gradually builds up - well, more improvises - his own distinctive direction for the series over the next few issues, and it gets better. One of those two kids summoning the demon is Jennifer Kale in her first appearance.

Gerber also worked on Shanna #1 in his first month at Marvel. I thought Shanna had a certain charm (whats the matter Steve - don't you want to save the animals?) but her comic was let down by the artwork.
You really need a stylish artist for that kind of series imo - just have a look at Nestor Redondo's brilliant work on DC's Rima the Jungle Girl - rather than George Tuska.


Steve W. said...

Hero for Hire #4 has now been added to the post.

Sean, thanks for the Man-Thing/Shanna info.

Steve W. said...

Action Comics #419 and Justice League #103 have now been added to Sunday's 50-year post.

I've not added Adventure Comics #425 because it has a January cover date.

Anonymous said...

Hey Steve — since you added the JUSTICE LEAGUE 103 cover to your previous post, and mentioned its Tom Fagan / Rutland / Halloween shenanigans, it’s probably worth pointing out that it kinda/sorta crosses over with THOR 207 (not 206, as you supposed), and that the Comics Pro Guest Stars are Len and Glynis Wein, Gerry Conway and Steve Englehart. Also, it’s actually a TRILOGY : Len, Glynis, Gerry and Steve all show up in AMAZING ADVENTURES 16 too.


Steve W. said...

Thanks, Bt, I've never read that Amazing Adventures story. I wonder what dread fate awaits, Gerry, Steve, Len and Glynis in that one?

Redartz said...

I never noticed it before, but those two kids scribing taboo imagery on the Man-Thing cover sure look like the kids seen frequently over at DC on Adams' "House of Mystery / Secrets" covers. I'm certain it's a coincidence, and not evidence of a cross-company conspiracy of pre-teen spiritualists...

Charlie Horse 47 said...

WONDER WOMAN - featuring bound and gagged... been that way since day 1 with her. Well at least the ladies weren't getting spanked anymore?

SPIDER MAN - may sound strange but I was unable to find this issue on the news stand. Despite access to the infinite internet and having all 4 volumes of Gerbers Comic Book Covers from 1938 to 1980 (?) I've never seen the cover until now (I think?)

LUKE CAGE - Nothing screams HERO FOR HIRE like Billy Graham? Best Luke Cage artist ever? Just loved this series until he became POWER MAN.

GIL KANE on how many covers now? KANE fatigue was setting in on Charlie's skinny white ass by this time.

STERANKO - so why the decidedly pedestrian covers now? Wasn't he concurrently putting out some top-drawer covers to Doc Savage and the Shadow (?) paper backs at this time? No time for comics? Then again... why'd Marvel assign him such lower-tier comics? I can easily envision an out of this world cover with 2 Caps fighting, far more sensational than Sal's cover.

Anonymous said...

Gentlemen! It’s time we start thinking about what kind of world we are going to leave behind for Keith Richards.

Anonymous said...

Charlie, from a publisher's point of view lower-tier comics - ie ones that don't sell so well - are precisely the titles that need an extra push.

Plus, I assume Steranko wanted to do that kind of thing anyway. As part of his original run at Marvel, besides SHIELD and Cap he purposefully did a couple of horror and romance shorts - 'At the Stroke of Midnight' and 'My Heart Broke in Hollywood' - so it makes sense he'd want to do more of the 'other genres'. The flipside of Steranko's modernism is an interest in retro - film noir, pulps, 'golden age' comics, making America great again - and the early 70s covers fit right in to that too (Shanna, Doc Savage, the Invisible Man).