Thursday 30 March 2023

March 31st, 1973 - Marvel UK, 50 years ago this week.

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

I'm not going to make you an offer you can't refuse.

But I know a man who is.

That man's the Godfather and, this week in 1973, he was feeling mighty proud of himself, as the movie named after him collected the Best Picture Oscar at the 45th Academy Awards.

Others who were celebrating, that week, were women.

That's because they were admitted into the London Stock Exchange for the first time.

I can't help suspecting women had been allowed in before, in order to clean the place but it seems those women didn't count.

But you know what did count? Red Rum. He could count to three. That's the number of times the horse won the Grand National - and the first time he did so was during this week in 1973. He also finished second on two other occasions, making him the most successful horse in the event's history.

On the UK singles chart, we had a brand new Number One, thanks to The Twelfth of Never by Donny Osmond - a track I must confess to having no memory of.

On the associated album chart, 20 Flashback Greats of the Sixties by those ever-popular Various Artists smashed straight in at Number One.

The Mighty World of Marvel #26, the Mad Ghost

The Hulk finally loses the bullet that's been lodged in his brain, thanks to the Leader zapping it with a laser beam.

Indebted to the villain, the Hulk agrees to visit the Watcher's planet, in order to steal the Ultimate Machine.

But, to do so, he must first defeat the, "Most powerful creature in the galaxy!"

On a slightly lower power level, Daredevil finds himself confronting the mauve menace of the Purple Man.

Meanwhile, the Fantastic Four must stop the Mad Ghost and his super-apes.

The keen-eyed reader will have noticed Marvel UK's changed the name of the Red Ghost in its latest bid to expunge evil commies from Marvel history.

But doesn't this tale also feature the Watcher?

If so, UK readers are being introduced to the Watcher in both the Hulk and Fantastic Four strips at the same time.

Spider-Man Comics Weekly #7, Kraven the Hunter

It's bad news for Spider-Man when the Chameleon hires his old friend Kraven to hunt our hero down.

Elsewhere, a seriously wounded gangster has his men kidnap Don Blake to make him operate.

Needless to say, things don't go the gangster's way, thanks to Blake turning himself into Thor and then bringing the baddie to justice.

And, as with the Mighty World of Marvel, we can win a free Spider-Man LP!

Tuesday 28 March 2023

Speak Your Brain! Part 50. Familiarity breeds contempt?

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

The Steve Does Comics Megaphone
Image by Tumisu
from Pixabay
Holy smokes! The internet's greatest feature has somehow managed to hit its senses-shattering 50th-anniversary issue!

It seems like mere weeks since I launched it into space and those dread cosmic rays transformed it into the most hyper-powered feature on the internet! Truly this is the Steve Does Comics Age of letting the people speak.

And speak you must. For, that's the only way in which the discussion can begin. By you - or someone very like you - suggesting today's topic, in the comments section below.

So, tiger, get that keyboard rattling and unleash a veritable smorgasbord of chat upon the World Wide Web, you World Wide Web-Spinner, you.

Sunday 26 March 2023

March 1983 - Marvel UK monthlies, 40 years ago this month.

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

We all know there's no technology more state-of-the-art and of-the-now than a 3D printer.

Except it turns out there is because that particular device was invented a whopping 40 years ago this month, by someone called Chuck Hull, a man who sounds like the offshoot of a nightmare union between Chuck Norris and Rod Hull.

But that wasn't the only technology of the future to hit us that month because it was also then that the compact disc first went on sale in the UK. Truly, we were living in a veritable sci-fi wonderland.

The UK singles chart was, no doubt, filled with artists who couldn't wait to take advantage of the new recording format. And, at the top of it, March launched with Bonnie Tyler reigning supreme, thanks to her power ballad Total Eclipse of The Heart. However, even Wales' gravelliest tonsils couldn't forever hold off the challenge of Duran Duran who, in the month's second half, dethroned her with their noticeably less grandiose single Is There Something I Should Know?

Meanwhile, things were highly lively on the British album chart, with U2's War winning the month's first week. The second week was won by Michael Jackson's, Thriller. The third was won by Tears For Fears' The Hurting. And the month's final week was won by Pink Floyd's The Final Cut.

Captain Britain gets a call from his sister Betsy. It seems she's been working for the British version of SHIELD but agents of the Vixen have taken over the organisation and are in the process of killing all her friends.

And she's not even had the chance to turn into a Japanese psychic ninja-mutant yet!

In New York, Ben Urich continues to dig into Matt Murdock's past while Daredevil takes on Bullseye and friends, in order to rescue the Black Widow.

And your friendly neighbourhood web-slinger finds himself up against Doc Ock in a reprint of Amazing Spider-Man #53.

Doctor Who Magazine #74

Great news, fashion fans, because the magazine dedicated to the show that refuses to die gives us a look at the cast's thrilling new costumes!

There's also a look back at the 2nd Doctor's Cyberman-packed thrill-ride The Wheel in Space.

And, for those less nostalgically inclined, there's a look forward to what the brand-new season will offer.

Hooray! Marvel Super-Heroes celebrates its 200th issue!

At least, you could be forgiven for thinking so, thanks to the cover image.

In fact, this is issue #395 which is an impressive feat for a book that's only been running for 42 issues.

Inside, during Jean Grey's funeral, Cyclops gives a potted history of the X-Men. He then quits the band, only to be replaced by Kitty Pryde.

Meanwhile, at the Avengers Mansion, Ms Marvel gives birth to the son of Immortus...

Blakes 7 #18

The mag obsessed with the universe's ruthlessest heroes is still with us and giving us a cover confrontation between Del Tarrant and arch-villain Servalan.

The Savage Sword of Conan #65

I know little of this issue's contents but I can say it contains the eye of Erlic and the fangs of the serpent.

And the body and mind of Conan, I have no doubt.

Star Wars Monthly #167

Star Wars Monthly's back!

And we can tell that because Indiana Jones is on the front cover!

What nightmare shenanigans are these?

Elsewhere, R2-D2 meets The Darker. Whoever he/she or it might be.

Starburst Magazine #55

The nation's top sci-fi mag scrutinises the new, Muppet-related, blockbuster
 The Dark Crystal.

While we look forward to that, there's also a chance to vote in the Starburst Fantasy Awards.

And see these eyes so blue? The mag anticipates the arrival of the movie the world can only know as Cat People.

Thursday 23 March 2023

March 24th, 1973 - Marvel UK, 50 years ago this week.

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

We all know there's only one album to play if you want to watch the first half of Wizard of Oz with the sound turned down.

And that album is Pink Floyd's The Dark Side of the Moon.

Sadly, for many decades, that wasn't possible, as the album didn't yet exist.

However, this week in 1973, Judy Garland fans' suffering was finally brought to an end and that seminal album was released in the UK.

The Dark Side of the Moon may have been highly soothing but rather more raucous fare held sway on that week's UK singles chart, as Slade's Cum on Feel the Noize clung tightly onto the top spot.

While, over on the associated album chart, Alice Cooper's  Billion Dollar Babies smashed straight in at Number One.

The Mighty World of Marvel #25, Daredevil vs the Owl

The Hulk's still a guest of the Leader and still trying not to turn back into Puny Banner, what with him having a bullet in his head, which would be more than enough to kill his scientist alter-ego.

Back in New York, a wealthy and ruthless financier begins his reign of terror as the Owl. 

And then hires Matt Murdock to represent him.

Clearly, this can only lead to a clash between the villain and Daredevil.

Meanwhile, the Fantastic Four attend a military briefing in New Mexico, aimed at working out how to tackle the Hulk.

Fortunately, while there, they meet Bruce Banner and his assistant Karl Kort. Both of whom will, no doubt, prove invaluable in stopping the gamma-spawned monster.

Spider-Man Comics Weekly #6, the Green Goblin

Interesting to see both Marvel UK mags sporting very similar covers, this week. And, as is the norm, both laid out by Judo Jim.

Inside, a brand new villain hits our eyeballs, as the Green Goblin hires the Enforcers to help him defeat Spider-Man. He then sets out to make a movie of the scrap.

Unfortunately, for all concerned, that's when the Hulk shows up.

Elsewhere, Loki discovers Thor’s secret identity and separates him from his hammer, trapping him in human form. Now, the powerless Don Blake can only watch, as the god of mischief torments humanity, right in front of him.

Tuesday 21 March 2023

Speak Your Brain! Part 49. Favourite Sandwiches - and Comics Are For Kids?

Thanks to Charlie Horse 47 and Killdumpster for their sponsorship of this post, via the magic of Patreon
The Steve Does Comics Megaphone
Image by Tumisu
from Pixabay

Speak Your Brain. Can nothing stop it?

Not a single thing.

Such is the scale of its vastness.

But what is its vastness to encapsulate, this time?

That, I cannot know. Nor can any man - nor woman - until it happens.

It could encapsulate arts, carts, cards, cars, marts, Mars, bars, darts, smarts, parts, films, flans, plans, books, bagels, cooks, nooks, crooks, ducks, drakes, pixies, rocks, socks, blocks, music, mucous, fairy tales, fairy lights, Fairy Liquid, fairy cakes, Eccles cakes, myth, moths, maths, magic, tragedy, comedy, dromedaries, murder, larders, Ladas, mystery, mayhem, molluscs, Moorcock, May Day, mangoes, bongos, drongoes, bingo, Ringo, Pingu, Ringu, Christmas Day, New Year's Day, Doris Day, Marvin Gaye, Marvin the paranoid android, Brookside Close, Ramsay Street, Coronation Street, Albert Square, Scarlet Street, Dead End Street, chickenpox, the Equinox, parallelograms, rhomboids, androids, asteroids, The Good Life, the Next Life, pomegranates, raisins, grapes, currants, blackcurrants, figs, waves, granite, marble, marbles, maples, staples, fables, stables, sofas, eggs, pegs, legs, dregs, moons and supermoons, Supertramp, Supertrams, streetcars, desires, sodas, sausages, eggs, whisky, broth, Bath, baths, Garth Marenghi, Garth Brooks, Garth Crooks, Bruno Brookes, Bruno Mars, Mars Bars, wine bars, flip-flops, flim-flam, flapjacks, backpacks, see-saws, jigsaws, dominoes, draft excluders, blockheads, blackheads, dunderheads, deadheads, webheads, flowerpots, flour bags, shower bags, shower heads, mop heads, Deadheads, Bill and Ben, Ben and Jerry, Margo and Jerry, Tom and Jerry, flour pots, bread bins, bin bags, body bags, body horror, shoddy horror, dodgy watches, doggy bags, bean bags, handbags, glad rags, silk, milk, mink, coal sacks, cola, cocoa, dodos, Dido, Soho, Solo, silos, windows, day-glo, Hey ho, sago, winnebago, bagels, eagles, beagles, seagulls, glue, Gloy, Oi, Joy, Bostik, pancakes, Eccles cakes, Bakewell Tarts, Fabulous Wealthy Tarts, Mr Kipling, Rudyard Kipling, pizzas, pastas, pastors, baking soda, sci-fi, Wi-Fi, Hi-Fi, sewage, saunas, suet, Tomorrow People, yesterday's men, Forever People, Party People, purple people-eaters, Blobs, Globs, slobs, snobs, Sheila Steafel, steeples, Silurians, Sontarans, Sea Devils, spin doctors, saw doctors, dockers, miners, social workers, sins, suns, sans, sense, sludge, slumps, sumps, pumps, sunshine, slime, soup, sandwiches, servants, Sultanas, Santana, Satana, sultans, grapes, grappling hooks, grippling and sandcastles.

But it might encapsulate none of them.

Only you can decide.

And you only can decide in the comments section below.

Sunday 19 March 2023

2000 AD - February 1985.

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

Things suddenly turned a whole lot friendlier on the Iberian Peninsula in February of 1985, thanks to the reopening of the border between Gibraltar and Spain which had been closed in 1969 by Franco. In fairness, it seems surprising, given his track record, that it took the general so long to get around to closing it in the first place.

No doubt, there were plenty of people on hand to photograph the historic event and they could do so secure in the knowledge that every single shot they took would be in perfect focus, thanks to Minolta's release of the Maxxum 7000, the world's first autofocus single-lens reflex camera. This was not just good news for them but was, no doubt, a godsend for Peter Parker. 

Meanwhile, our cinemas were being treated to the release of The Breakfast Club, that tale of young people doing something or other. I must confess that, despite its fame, I've never seen it. I also get it mixed up with St Elmo's Fire, another film I've never seen.

Over on the UK singles chart, it was good news for ABBA. Or at least for two of them, as I Know Him So Well by Elaine Paige and Barbara Dickson spent the whole month at Number One. That song was, of course, written by Bjorn and Benny from the aforementioned Swedish supergroup, for the phenomenon that was the musical Chess.

Things were, however, far more volatile on the British album chart, with each week in February seeing a different LP snatch the top spot.

The first of them was Foreigner's Agent Provocateur. The second was Bruce Springsteen's Born in the USA. The third was The Smiths' Meat Is Murder and the fourth was Phil Collins' No Jacket Required. To be honest, the Springsteen LP is the only one I'd have any vague interest in hearing.

But that brings us to whatever it was the galaxy's greatest comic was up to.

It was mostly up to familiar things, delivering the latest installments of Rogue Trooper, Judge Dredd, Nemesis the Warlock, Tharg's Future-Shocks, The Hell Trekkers and The Stainless Steel Rat - although the last of those strips quickly departed to make way for a returning Ballad of Halo Jones.

2000 AD #403, Judge Dredd

2000 AD #404,. Nemesis the Warlock

2000 AD #405, Judge Dredd

2000 AD #406, Halo Jones

Thursday 16 March 2023

March 17th, 1973 - Marvel UK, 50 years ago this week.

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

London Bridge may be falling down but no one had told the people of London that, this week in 1973. The previous bridge having been sold to America's Robert P McCulloch in 1968, the British capital's populace was treated to the spectacle of Queen Elizabeth II opening a brand-new incarnation of it before their very eyes.

And, Reader, despite its reputation, fifty years later, that bridge is still standing.

The Mighty World of Marvel #24

Who's the stronger, the Hulk or Thing?

There was a time when one could ask that question and not know the answer. 

And that time was the week before this one because, thanks to The Mighty World of Marvel, we're about to learn the truth!

Sort of.

By crikey, here's where we get the first-ever encounter between the Fantastic Four and Bruce Banner's ever-grumpy alter-ego.

That's in the FF's strip but, in his own, Bruce Banner's about to be offered a way out of the problem of having a bullet lodged in his brain.

An offer that comes from none other than the Leader!

Daredevil, meanwhile, must tackle the awe-inspiring power of Marvel's deadliest villain yet - the Owl!

A man with the powers...

...of an owl!

Spider-Man Comics Weekly #5, Mysterio

A brand-new evil-doer's inflicted upon the world, as Mysterio makes his senses-befuddling debut!

Elsewhere, Thor's up against yet more of those communists he can't help encountering in his early days.

This time, In order to locate the whereabouts of a rash of disappearing American scientists, Don Blake uses himself as bait and is promptly abducted!

Tuesday 14 March 2023

The Marvel Lucky Bag - March 1983.

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

Come hither. Let us discover what some of Marvel's less high-profile comics were doing whilst bearing this month in 1983 as their cover date.

Doctor Strange/Silver Dagger #1

It's issue #1 of a comic that will never produce a second issue, as Marvel gives us another chance to read Steve Englehart and Frank Brunner's classic tale of the clash between Dr Strange and the Silver Dagger.

All of it packed into 76 pages and wrapped in what is, arguably, not Bernie Wrightson's greatest cover.

Kull the Conqueror #2

For his second issue, Kull gets a John Bolton frontage. One that guest-stars a hatful of werewolves.

Sadly, I can offer no information about the interior of this comic but I do know this will prove to be the final issue in this particular series.

Moon Knight #29

Speaking of werewolves, Bill Sienkiewicz gives us his own take on the concept, as Moon Knight rushes to rescue Werewolf By Night from a bunch of Satanists.

I do have to congratulate Sienkiewicz on being, possibly, the first artist ever to try and make Jack Russell's alter-ego look formidable.

Marvel Fanfare #7

In our main tale, the Hulk goes to the circus.

And, surprisingly, doesn't encounter the Circus of Crime.

He does, however, encounter Unus and the Blob.

How can even he hope to triumph against such invulnerable foes?

Elsewhere, we get a tale in which Daredevil tries to tackle cruelty towards animals.

Marvel Graphic Novel #5 - X-Men: God Loves, Man Kills

The X-Men get their own graphic novel when they and Magneto must battle a preacher whose message of hatred toward mutants has to be stopped before it's too late.

The Incredible Hulk versus Quasimodo #1

It's the fight no one ever demanded, as the Hulk takes on Quasimodo, in another book destined to never see a second issue.

I can shed no light upon whether this is the actual hunchback of Notre Dame or if it's Marvel's long-standing computerised villain who's adopted human form.

The New Mutants #1

The X-Men get a spin-off, as The New Mutants hits us in the eyeballs.

I've never read this tale but, apparently, the team get acclimatised to their new home, talents, friends, and teachers. All the time unaware they're being watched.

Meanwhile, Moira McTaggart discovers Professor X has a son - and Psyche's attacked in the Danger Room!

Sunday 12 March 2023

Forty years ago today - March 1983.

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

Snow! Snow! Wherever I look, there's nothing but snow!

Which is kind of worrying, as I'm looking at my living room.

There's only one thing I can do.

And that's to take refuge in the past, that magical land where the sun always shone and there was always something in a brand-new comic to make us feel warm inside.

Captain America #279, Primus

What's this? Captain America? Fighting Steve Rogers? In a restaurant? In front of his/their girlfriend?

How can such a thing be possible?

Because one of them's a phony. That's how.

Cupid, put down that bow because someone called Primus has decided to wreck Cap's love life by impersonating him and being a rubbish boyfriend.

Can the foul fiend succeed?

And is he all that fiendish, anyway?

It's the clash that had to happen, as Iron Man meets Machine Man!

And Machine Man wins, even though he's not even looking for a fight and only showed up at Tony Stark's factory in a bid to make friends with Shellhead.

Both the fight and the defeat are down to the fact our hero's decided to hit the bottle again and is in no fit state to be either fighting or befriending.

It seems like just another day for Spider-Man when he takes on a gang of small-time crooks. 

But little does he suspect the incident will lead to a discovery beneath the streets of New York.

One that will see an all-new, all-bothersome version of the Green Goblin come into being.

And this one's orange!

Yes! In this very issue, the menace the world knows as the Orange Goblin is born!

After the recent battle on Earth, between the Norse Gods and a bunch of giants, one of the giants has been left behind. So, he goes off in search of Thor, in order to ask the thunder god to return him to Asgard.

However, the giant's been injured and the delirium from his wounds causes him to lash out at his planned saviour.

Fortunately, the medical skills of Don Blake are enough to fix the situation and, as you'd hope, everyone ends up as friends.

Except for Sif who's definitely not feeling like a friend of Midgard and is refusing to change her ways in order to fit in.

It's bad news for Daredevil Spider-Man, as his law-breaking girlfriend Elektra the Black Cat is killed by his arch-enemy Bullseye Dr Octopus!

Or is she? It seems our hero has got her to hospital just in the nick of time.

So, at least he's not going to have to rely on The Hand to bring her back.

Speaking of people dying...

Just when you thought life couldn't get any more complicated for the X-Men, their professor's possessed by a Brood embryo and sets out to kill his students.

Rather inconveniently, this means he suffers what must be his 37th death, so far.

But help is at hand, as Lilandra and her space-friends manage to knock together a cloned body and then transplant his mind into it, meaning he's not only alive again but can walk, as well!

Blimey! Talk about a result!

Conan the Barbarian #144

Conan finds himself up against the dragon he was supposed to be sacrificed to, last issue.

However, I have no doubts the barbarian will win out in the end.

Hold on a second! It's a comic book cover that's drawn on its side!

Does this mean this issue's interior's also presented on its side in the style of Marvel UK's old Titans comic?

I can't remember.

But I do recall that the first family of super-heroing are still in the Negative Zone.

And that Alicia's still back home and still being menaced by Annihilus.

It's good news, at last, for Hank Pym as, after agreeing to join Egghead and his New Masters of Evil, the cybernetic scientist only goes ahead and defeats them all, singlehanded, thanks to his superior intellect.

Meanwhile, the rest of the Avengers are hanging around in their luxury mansion, being a proper bunch of sad sacks.

If I remember right, that reporter friend of Daredevil is about to get himself dangerously indebted to the Kingpin, when he sets out to raise the financing for a house.

Fortunately, the man without fear is on hand to make him see sense.

Still in his Hulk form, Bruce Banner sets out to rescue Bereet and Rick Jones from the Leader's space-happy lair but, lacking the Hulk's brainlessness proves an insuperable handicap against such a foe and, confronted by massive odds, Bruce can only encounter feeble defeat.

Thursday 9 March 2023

March 10th, 1973 - Marvel UK, 50 years ago this week.

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

There was no change at the summit of the UK singles chart, this week in 1973, with Slade's Cum On Feel the Noize still ruling the roost.

And there was an equal lack of change on the album chart, as Elton John's Don't Shoot Me, I'm Only the Piano Player continued to reign supreme.

Cum On Feel the Noize is, of course, a rip-roaring classic but these are the other tracks I approved of on that week's chart:

Cindy Incidentally - the Faces

Blockbuster - the Sweet

Whiskey in the Jar - Thin Lizzy

Superstition - Stevie Wonder

Daniel - Elton John

You're So Vain - Carly Simon


Crazy Horses - the Osmonds.

Should you wish to peruse the matter further, that week's UK singles chart may be found here.

While the corresponding album chart dwells right here.

The Mighty World of Marvel #23, Daredevil vs Electro

It's bad news for all fans of Gamma scientists because Bruce Banner still has a bullet lodged in his brain!

Still, not to worry. As long as he remains in the form of the Hulk, he'll be fine...

Daredevil's still battling it out with Electro - and doing such a good job of it that he makes this week's front cover.

However, judging by that cover, it appears to be too late for the Fantastic Four who've been shrunk to doll size and are being zapped to death by the voltacular villain.

Meanwhile, inside the book, the quartet have their work cut out, trying to confound the Impossible Man.

I know the cover's much-vaunted mini-poster features the Human Torch but I don't know what it depicts him doing.

Whatever it is, I'm going to hazard a guess that he's flamed-on in order to do it.

Spider-Man Comics Weekly #4, Dr Octopus

Suffering cephalopods! Doc Ock's abducted Betty Brant, in the hope of luring Spider-Man into battle!

And the villain actually beats the flu-stricken hero and then unmasks him!

Can this be the end of Spidey's secret identity?

No, it can't, because everyone thinks it's just Peter Parker trying to be brave by impersonating the wall-crawler.

In Thor's latest smash, Zarrko - AKA, the Man Who Would Be Kang - goes back in time and steals a cobalt bomb from 1962. However, the thunder god chases him into the future and defeats him.

And, just to give us even more value for money, Thor tells us all about our free gift.

Not that I have a clue what that free gift is.

Tuesday 7 March 2023

The Marvel Lucky Bag - March 1973.

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

It's time for us to face up to the most important question of them all.

If you walked into a cinema in March 1973, which of the following films would you opt to see? Godzilla vs MegalonLost HorizonGodspell, The Vault of Horror or The Long Goodbye

That's the choice of new releases you were faced with, that month.

Personally, I'd go for The Vault of Horror because it has the word "Horror" in its title and Tom Baker's in it. And, as we all know, it's impossible for any film to be bad if Tom Baker's in it.

Bottom of my selections would have to be Lost Horizon, even if it did teach me the world is a circle without a beginning and nobody knows where it ends. However, I have a suspicion that it, technically, starts and ends in Greenwich, thus invalidating the movie's entire thesis.

Creatures on the Loose #22, Thongor

Move over, Conan, because a brand new battler of occult forces is in town, with the arrival of Thongor!

Who is he? What is he? Why is he?

Frankly, I don't know. As a kid, I always assumed he was something to do with the Gor novels but, in retrospect, I suspect he isn't.

Thus, I must confess I don't have a clue what happens in this month's main tale but I do know there's also a back-up strip that stars someone called Gundar, thanks to a Lee/Ditko masterpiece reprinted from the issue of Tales of Suspense that first launched Iron Man onto the world.

Frankenstein #2

Frankenstein gets sexy when the monster insists his creator also knocks together a mate for him.

Knowing the track record of such projects, I suspect it won't end happily for anyone involved.

Beware #1

What's this? The Beast has a new solo series?

And has turned brown?

No. It's just the launch of yet another Marvel horror reprint title, as Beware hits a shop near you.

Four yarns of dread greet us.

In the first, an English hunter journeys to Austria, with the intention of hunting werewolves - but the hunt doesn't turn out as expected.

In the second, a factory worker resents his employment conditions, not realising they're like that because he's actually a robot.

In the third, a witch is fearful of being pursued by a witch-hunter, but her worries prove groundless, due to him also being a witch.

And, in the final tale, a rich man builds a viewing device so powerful it can even show death itself approaching him!

Captain Marvel #25

Now it's bad news for everybody's favourite Kree rebel, as the Super-Skrull and Skragg attack Mar-Vell by adopting the forms of his deadliest enemies.

Sub-Mariner #59, Thor

Thor tangles with Subby when the Avenging Son tries to rescue Tamara from the clutches of the United Nations.

However, each combatant quickly comes to the conclusion that he can't defeat his foe in his foe's natural element.

Where Monsters Dwell #20

That's a very atypical cover for Where Monsters Dwell.

What isn't atypical is that it's filled with reprints.

In the first, an alien becomes so upset, upon discovering humanity still wages war, that he declares war upon humanity.

In the second, the statue of a Dutch boy uses its finger to plug a hole in a dike.

And in the third, an inventor's boss steals his time machine but ends up in prehistoric times where the electricity to power the machine is nowhere to be found.

Interestingly, the second tale's drawn by Kurt Schaffenberger. Up until now, I'd been totally unaware the Superman-family stalwart had ever worked for Marvel.