Thursday 31 August 2023

September 1st, 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
***

It seems there was no stopping Donny Osmond, this week in 1973, as he retained the UK Number One spot he'd claimed the week before, thanks to his resolutely unthreatening single Young Love.

Equally unstoppable but, doubtless, more potent was Rod Stewart who that week, claimed the pinnacle of the British album chart, with his latest platter that mattered, the album the world knew only as Sing It Again, Rod.

To be honest, that's not an LP I could claim to have ever heard of but it was clearly making its mark at the time.

The Mighty World of Marvel #48, Hulk vs Thor

Once more, despite the cover's boast that the comic stars the Incredible Hulk, the Avengers are granted the lead strip in Marvel UK's flagship.

It seems the team feel responsible for whatever peril the Hulk may pose since he left their ranks and, so, they go in search of him.

But, when they find him, it causes the Hulkster to join forces with the equally anti-social Sub-Mariner, and a punch-up can only be mere moments away.

In the back-up strip, the Fantastic Four are still battling the Mole Man after his subterfuge led them to inadvertently seek out his island, in an attempt to escape their annoyed neighbours.

But we've got far bigger problems than even the FF have. The disastrous news is it looks like this is our last chance to win that one year's pocket money of which we've all been dreaming!

Spider-Man Comics Weekly #29, the Molten Man

And it's bad news for Spidey too when the Molten Man's released from jail!

The vulcanised villain swears he's going to be smarter when committing his future crimes but that doesn't prevent our hero from quickly putting an end to his schemes.

And it's a rare case of joined-up thinking by Marvel UK's editorial staff, as our Thor tale ties directly in with the events of this week's Mighty World of Marvel. The thunder god bores a bunch of kids to death by telling them all about the fight between him and the Hulk that's briefly alluded to in that very mag. This is in response to their question about which of the pair is strongest.

As far as I can recall, we never get an actual answer to that question.

Which suggests to me that it's the Hulk because, if it was Thor, there'd be no reason for him to be coy about it.

But here comes a Steve Does Comics public service announcement. I should give a quick plug to Mark A Wilson's The Power of the BeeSting site which also covers what each Marvel UK weekly was up to fifty years ago but does so with far more detail and knowledge than I can ever manage to muster. It is definitely worth a look.

Tuesday 29 August 2023

Speak Your Brain! Part 61. Your favourite villains - and memories of 1979.

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
And, so, another month approaches its doom.

But there is one thing that never dies.

Like Boris Karloff wrapped in bandages in an Egyptian tomb, it always returns from the far banks of the Styx to wreak more havoc in a strangely shuffling manner.

That thing is the feature the world knows as Speak Your Brain, a dread experience in which the first person to comment gets to set the topic of the day.

But what shall be that topic of the day?

That, I cannot say.

It is known only to the gods - and to you.

Sunday 27 August 2023

August 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
***

I'll have a, "P," please, Bob.

It's true. Those legendary words were first uttered (possibly) exactly forty years ago, as August 1983 saw the launch of ITV's legendary quiz show Blockbusters, hosted by none other than Bob Holness.

Holness, of course, had two previous and unlikely claims to celebrity. One was that he was the first person in Britain to ever play James Bond. And the other was that he played sax on Gerry Rafferty's classic Baker Street.

Of course, as all true music lovers know, that second claim is a popular urban myth and has no truth to it at all.

It was, in fact, Hazel O'Connor's Will You? that he played sax on.

And Foreigner's Urgent.

And The Logical Song.

Sadly, Blockbusting Bob was nowhere to be seen on that month's UK singles chart, where the top spot was initially held by KC and the Sunshine Band's Give It Up before that was supplanted by UB40's cover of Neil Diamond's Red Red Wine

Bob Holness had, of course, previously played sax on UB40's breakthrough hit Food for Thought.

And Dexys Midnight Runners' Geno.

Over on the accompanying album chart, August kicked off with The Very Best of The Beach Boys at Number One before that was dethroned by Michael Jackson and the Jackson Five's 18 Greatest Hits.

The Daredevils #8, Captain Britain

The observant reader will, no doubt, spot that Star Wars Monthly is no more.

Fear not. It has not suffered a shock demise at the peak of Return of the Jedi Fever. It's merely reverted to its original weekly format. A fact that means it now falls outside the purview of this feature, what with it no longer being a monthly.

However, The Daredevils is still going strong and, in Captain Britain's strip, the Fury's made it to our Earth and has already started killing people.

Elsewhere, Night-Raven finds himself involved in an adventure called The Snow-Queen.

And Daredevil tries to figure out why the Mauler's out to bump off his old boss. I assume that's the Mauler's old boss. Not Daredevil's old boss.

Doctor Who Magazine #79, William Hartnell

My knowledge of this one's limited but, from the cover, it's clear it's a convention special and reports on said convention's guests, monsters, motor cars and panels.

The Mighty World of Marvel #3, the Grim Reaper

In our main story, on the X-Men's night off, Kitty Pryde's left home alone on Christmas Eve, only to find herself having to single-handedly battle a N'garai demon that's showed up uninvited.

Elsewhere, the Vision and Scarlet Witch are having trouble with the Grim Reaper.

But what's this madness? Just why is Wanda blonde on that cover when, in the original comic, she appears to possess her normal hair colour?

Blakes 7 #23

Tragedy hits the nation, as the mag dedicated to the world's favourite space outlaws hits its last ever issue, cunningly labelled a, "Collector's edition."

I can't find a single copy of it on eBay. So, I'm going to suspect that not that many people actually collected it.

Sadly, I can't say anything much about the contents, other than that it contains a five-page picture strip called The Omen.

The Savage Sword of Conan #70

Blake's 7 may have shuffled off this mortal coil but Marvel UK's oldest monthly's still going strong - now reaching its 70th issue.

And it does so with a tale featuring Andrax the Last.

Presumably, not to be confused with Andrex the Cylindrical.

Starburst Magazine #60

Britain's favourite sci-fi mag gives us its own special take on the Oscars.

But it also interviews director Richard Lester about the Superman movies.

We have the chance to win a book about the life and times of Steven Spielberg.

And there's a celebration of Doctor Who.

Thursday 24 August 2023

August 25, 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
***

For once, my awesome memory fails me, as, this week in 1973, there sat atop the UK singles chart, a track I have no recollection of ever having existed.

And that track was Young Love by Donny Osmond. To satiate my curiosity, I must hasten to the jam-packed pages of YouTube to discover just what this monster smash sounded like.

But, before I do, I must note herewithin that I do believe that man also had a hit with a tune called Puppy Love. If so, I'm starting to spot a formula at work when it comes to his song titles.

Over on the British album chart, the top spot was gripped, as it had been the week before, by Peters and Lee's We Can Make It. Just what unthreatening delights did that LP contain and just what was it they could make? I suspect we'd have to buy the album to find out.

The Mighty World of Marvel #47, Avengers vs the Space Phantom

The Space Phantom visits our dear old homeworld, in a bid to overcome the Avengers. After all, If he can destroy them, then nothing can prevent his people from invading!

It's weird how I must have read this tale at the time but have no recollection of ever having done so.

Also getting too big for his boots is the Mole Man who causes the Fantastic Four's neighbours to complain about their activities, so the team'll be keen on relocating to an island he's put up for sale.

Needless to say, when the quartet visit the island, the villain and his stick are there, waiting for them.

I do recall a later Fantastic Four tale in which the team inadvertently move into a house owned by the same miscreant. The lesson is clearly that you should never let the FF recommend a property to you.

But, even more importantly, this is the tale in which the Invisible Girl first develops the power to create force fields! Look out, villains, your days of kidnapping her are over!

And, more importantly than even that, we can still win £1 per week pocket money for a whole year!

Spider-Man Comics Weekly #28, Kraven returns

It's nothing but high drama when Kraven dresses up as Spider-Man, in order to lure our hero into emerging for a rematch.

Needless to say, the rematch goes as well as the first match and Spidey promptly clobbers the wildlife-bothering fool.

Thor, meanwhile, is tackling Mr Hyde and the Cobra who've appeared, menacingly, at Jane Foster's bedside.

And, this time, their powers have been boosted by Loki!

Even more meanwhile, this issue's back page offers us the chance to buy three transfers featuring Thor, Spider-Man and the Hulk.

Tuesday 22 August 2023

Speak Your Brain! Part 60. Consolation comics - the dregs.

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
Bitter is the disappointment that has greeted me in the Women's World Cup but, like a trooper, I must put that behind me, as I fling myself, face first, into the World Athletics Championships. Good God above, with all this sport going on, it's a miracle I'm not exhausted.

Still, I can take refuge within the latest installment of the feature the whole world is speaking of.

And that feature is this one. The one in which the first person to comment gets to decide the topic of the day!

But what shall that topic be? Shall it be about those aforementioned global sporting events?

Or do other incidents intrigue, bemuse, enthrall, banjax and entickle our readership more?

I cannot say.

You can say.

And you can say so below.

Sunday 20 August 2023

2000 AD - July 1985.

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

July 1985 gave us a choice that could test the wisdom of Solomon himself. We could spend our money going to the cinema or we could spend it going to Live Aid.

But which should we choose?

Well, let's see. The picture houses of the world were currently showing Back to the Future, Red Sonja, Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome, Silverado, Day of the Dead, Kiss of the Spider Woman and National Lampoon's European Vacation.

They were also showing a thing called Dr Otto and the Riddle of the Gloom Beam. I don't have a clue what the hell that was but, from that title, it sounds like a thing best watched with the assistance of vast quantities of mind-bending substances.

Live Aid, on the other hand, was offering us access to the world's greatest music stars and Nik Kershaw.

But Wembley and Philadelphia weren't the only places we could find music. After all, we could also find it on the pop charts.

The UK singles chart, that month, kicked off with Sister Sledge's Frankie at Number One. That was soon deposed by the Eurythmics' There Must be an Angel (Playing With My Heart) which was then overthrown by Madonna's Into the Groove.

Over on the British album chart, July arrived with Bruce Springsteen's Born in the USA ruling the roost for three-quarters of the month before it was replaced by Dire Straits' Brothers in Arms.

But what of the galaxy's greatest comic while this smorgasbord of song was being unleashed?

As so often, it was offering us a diet of Strontium Dog, Judge Dredd, Sláine, Ace Trucking Co and Rogue Trooper, while Judge Anderson was still battling the Dark Judges. Judging by the covers below, the comic seemed to have developed a strange fixation with surfing but I don't know in which strips that fixation was manifesting itself.

2000 AD Prog 425

2000 AD Prog 426

2000 AD Prog 427, Judge Anderson

2000 AD Prog 428

Thursday 17 August 2023

August 18th, 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
***

This week in 1973 saw no sign of change at the top of the singles chart, with Gary Glitter's I'm the Leader of the Gang (I Am) retaining the Number One spot it had already held for some time.

However, there was certainly change at the pinnacle of the corresponding album chart, with Peters and Lee's We Can Make It doing precisely that and making it all the way to Number One.

Not only that but, in doing so, the tuneful twosome were fending off the challenge of not one but two David Bowie albums because Aladdin Sane and Hunky Dory were at Number Two and Three respectively. In fact, Bowie, that week, had five albums in the Top 30.

The Mighty World of Marvel #46, The Hulk

It's an epoch-shattering day for Marvel UK, as the Avengers make their blockbusting debut in its pages. That devilish fiend Loki has come up with a plan that involves something or other which, thanks to a misdirected radio signal, leads to five of the company's greatest heroes uniting to lock him in a lead chamber.

I can't help feeling that wasn't the best plan he ever had.

Regardless, a brand new super-team is born and it can only lead to an exciting development for British comics fans, in the not-too-distant future.

Meanwhile, in their strip, the Fantastic Four are still battling the malevolent menace of the Hate-Monger.

Spider-Man Comics Weekly #27

It looks like we've reached that legendary tale in which, trapped beneath a pile of machinery in Doc Ock's soon-to-be-flooded base, Spidey has to use all his might to break free, in order to deliver a life-saving serum to his Aunt May's sick bed.

Perhaps not so legendarily, in Thor's strip, Loki - showing no signs of being locked in a lead chamber - sends the Cobra and Mr Hyde to kidnap Jane Foster!

As a result of it all, we get to discover that Thor has the power to make time stand still. A power I can't remember ever being used again.

Then again, he once defeated the Absorbing Man by using his power to transmute elements. Another power I don't remember him ever using again.

But forget all that. All that really matters is that, once more, we have a chance to win £1 per week for a year!

Tuesday 15 August 2023

Speak Your Brain! Part 59. If you could be a super-hero, who would it be?

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
It's coming! It's in the trees!

That's right! It's the return of the feature you can only find on sites that, in lieu of a proper intro, like to quote lines from movies that have been recycled for use in popular hit singles!

A feature so awesome that I can't stop using exclamation marks!

That feature is, of course, the one in which the first person to comment, below, gets to decide the topic of the day!

That day is today!

The place is here!

The hour is now!

Sunday 13 August 2023

The Marvel Lucky Bag - August 1983.

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

No one's going to claim this month in 1983 was a great one for movies but it did give us such cinematic gems as Cujo, Curse of the Pink Panther, Smokey and the Bandit Part 3, Prisoners of the Lost Universe and Hercules.

Like I said, no one's going to claim it was a great month.

But was it a better month for a randomly selected bunch of Marvel comics?

The Incredible Hulk Annual #12

The Hulk gets his twelfth annual and celebrates by sporting the dullest cover in his entire history.

Inside, I've no doubt that far more excitement unfolds - but I don't know what, other than that it involves a character called K'Rel.

From that name, I'm going to assume he/she or it is a space alien.

However, what does give us grounds for optimism is that not only does the tale have 39 pages, it's drawn by the returning Hulk legend that is Happy Herb Trimpe.

What If? #40

The book that won't stop asking me questions I don't know the answer to demands enlightenment upon what would have happened had Dr Strange not become master of the mystic arts.

It seems Barron Mordo would have become master of the mystic arts.

And I suspect that can only be bad news for everyone except Dormammu.

The Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe #8

The Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe reaches the letters N and P, beginning with Namorita and climaxing with Pyro.

Marvel Graphic Novel #8 - Super Boxers

Here's a thing I know nothing of, as Marvel's latest graphic novel gives us Ron Wilson's Super Boxers.  

However, it's not Rocking Ron who paints the cover. That's provided by Big Bill Sienkiewicz who gives us a thing that obfuscates more than it enlightens.

Ka-Zar the Savage #27

Ka-Zar gets himself a wraparound cover thanks to Armando Gil, while, inside, the jungle lord has an adventure the world knows as Twisted Corridors. Although it may not be a very active adventure, as the tale finds him in a coma.

G.I. Joe, A Real American Hero #14

I don't tend to give GI Joe's book much, if any, attention in this feature but here it is, with a mysterious figure dominating its frontispiece.

Inside, it would appear the Joes figure out that Springfield is a Cobra base!

Bad news indeed for Homer Simpson.

However, our heroes attack in force.

Only to be repelled by Destro.

Meanwhile, Snake-eyes and Venom escape a watery trap.

Only to be captured by agents of Cobra!

Red Sonja #1

Red Sonja gets the first issue in the latest of her seemingly endless string of short-lived books.

I can shed no light upon the story within, other than to say it bears the deathless title While Lovers Embrace--Demons Feed.

Doctor Strange #60

Unless I miss my magical guess, Dracula's reappeared in the world of Dr Strange.

And it would seem the search for the Book of the Darkhold has begun.

Marvel Age #5, Daredevil

My knowledge of this one is pitiful.

However, I do note the cover declares there's a new look for Marvel comics.

What will this new look be?

And will we like it?

Thursday 10 August 2023

August 11th, 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
***

Change was notable by its absence at the summit of the UK hit parades, this week in 1973. Gary Glitter was still bossing things on the singles chart, thanks to I'm the Leader of The Gang (I Am!) while Various Artists' That'll Be the Day remained top of the heap on the LP listings.

Clearly, subsequent events mean I can't approve of that Number One single but tracks I do approve of on that chart are:

Life On Mars - David Bowie

Saturday Night's Alright for Fighting - Elton John

Skweeze Me Pleeze Me - Slade

Live and Let Die - Paul McCartney and Wings

Albatross {1973} - Fleetwood Mac

Rubber Bullets - 10CC.

Can the Can - Suzi Quatro

and

See My Baby Jive - Wizzard.

Interesting to see ex-ELO founder Roy Wood on that chart twice, both as himself and as frontman of Wizzard. For that matter, Suzi Quatro too had more than one 45 on it.

 Also interesting to see Mungo Jerry at Number Three, with a song that isn't that song.

Not that I know what this song is, as I don't recall ever having heard it in my entire life. Wikipedia tells me the band had two UK Number Ones - and two other singles that made the Top 5; which is a shock, as I think I've only ever heard one Mungo Jerry track, ever, anywhere.

Should you wish to study matters further, that week's singles chart can be found here.

While its parallel album chart resides right here.

The Mighty World of Marvel #45

Unless I miss my ever-loving guess, the Hulk's still in Asgard and still at war with its many and myriad warriors.

We kick off with Bruce Banner plunging into a bottomless pit and climax with the Hulk foiling the Enchantress' plans by helping win a battle with trolls. Odin, meanwhile, acts like the dolt we all know him to be.

And knock me down with a feather if it's not the first appearance of Marvel's latest sensational new villain Adolf Hitler the Hate-Monger.

I do believe this story may also contain the first appearance of Nick Fury in the "modern" world, as the sergeant-turned-CIA-colonel recruits the Fantastic Four to visit some country or other and thwart the schemes of the rabble-rousing rascal before he can spread his mischief to the United States.

Spider-Man Comics Weekly #26

It's bad news all around, with Aunt May on the brink of death, thanks to radioactivity in her system. While, wouldn't you know it, Dr Octopus has stolen the isotope needed to create the serum that will save her life.

I do believe the radioactivity got there due to a blood transfusion from Peter.

I suppose it does pose the obvious question of why she doesn't now have spider-powers too.

Elsewhere, Thor's still battling the Grey Gargoyle and his touch of stone.

But that's not all. If the cover's to be believed, Marvel's gone mad - with yet another great competition inside!

Tuesday 8 August 2023

Forty years ago today - August 1983.

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

Look out, Past! Here we come!


This month's exciting developments are that, despite - or possibly because of - his recent heart attack, Dum Dum Dugan is appointed deputy director of SHIELD, and Cap has to deal with an escalating domestic abuse situation that involves a gun-toting drunkard.

The Spectacular Spider-Man #81, Cloak and Dagger

Cloak and Dagger are back!

And so is the Punisher who uses the Boomerang's talents to escape the prison he's been held in.

I have a strong suspicion that, with all these vigilantes on the roam, It can only be a matter of time before the four of them come to blows.

Thor #334

When Jane Foster's former boyfriend starts publicly accusing Don Blake of having murdered her, Thor feels he has no choice but to visit the man and take him and Sif to the homeworld of Kamo Tharnn in search of the Runestaff which might restore the late nurse to life.

But is there any trace of her left to resurrect?

Fantastic Four #257

Things enter High-Drama Mode when Galactus decides it's about time he stopped dieting and ate the Skrull homeworld.

But, back on Earth, the Richardses only concern is finding a new house to live in.

And, also, Sue's just revealed she's once again pregnant.

I remember this tale containing a strange sequence in which Galactus has a conversation with Death who's portrayed as being his sister or somesuch. Is this an element that's new or have I just not been paying enough attention previously?

Conan the Barbarian #149

I can shed no light upon what transpires within the pages of this epic, other than to say it features the villains Bolar and Pendak and that they both die - as all who cross Conan tend to.

Iron Man #173

It's Crisis Time because Tony Stark's losing battle with the bottle has seen him lose control of his company to arch-nemesis Obadiah Stane.

Meanwhile, the triumphant Stane sends Rhodey on a wild goose chase to liberate a woman called Indries Moomji from people who call themselves the Sisterhood of Ishtar. He succeeds in that but is everything as it seems to be?

The Amazing Spider-Man #243, the return of Mary Jane Watson

It's a big day for us all, as Mary Jane returns from wherever it is she's been!

And walks straight in on Peter canoodling with another man's woman.

Is MJ upset about this?

Of course she's not. She's MJ.

But just why is she back and how does it relate to the rest of this issue?

That, I can't answer because I don't recall anything of the rest of this issue. Clearly, whoever is its villain is seriously unmemorable.

The Uncanny X-Men #172

The X-Men arrive in Japan, for Wolverine's wedding but the groom's not happy to see Rogue among them.

And that's the least of his problems because world-class party pooper Viper shows up and poisons the whole lot of them!

There's only one thing for it. Wolvie will have to go after her lackey the Silver Samurai - with Rogue in tow.

The Avengers #234, Seasons of the Witch

It looks like we're about to get yet another stab at telling the definitive origin of the Scarlet Witch and Quicksilver, as Wanda spends the whole issue chatting about it with She-Hulk or Captain Marvel or someone.

I have to say that cover wouldn't exactly get me desperate to buy this comic.

Daredevil #197, Bullseye in Japan

The man without fear travels all the way to Japan where he allies himself with Dark Wind's daughter in a bid to prevent the crippled Bullseye from being repaired with a metal skeleton, Wolverine style.

But, hold on. The X-Men are in Japan? Daredevil's in Japan? There's a bid to turn Bullseye into Wolverine Mark II? Do I detect an impending crossover?

The Incredible Hulk #286, Kang

It's an odd one when the Hulk travels to a future in which the Earth's remaining populace are kept in a permanent state of warfare, thanks to them being constantly brainwashed by a giant statue of the long-dead Kang.

Can the emerald scientist bring an end to the nightmare?

And can Marvel avoid being sued by Harlan Ellison over the yarn's resemblance to his tale Soldier?

Sunday 6 August 2023

The Marvel Lucky Bag - August 1973.

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

August 1973 saw no shortage of famous films in the cinemas of mankind. It was a month, after all, which saw the unveiling of such works as American Graffiti, Jesus Christ Superstar, Westworld, Electra Glide in Blue, The Naked Ape, Enter the Dragon and High Plains Drifter.

It also saw the release of the, possibly, less celebrated Blackenstein, and something called The Boy Who Cried Werewolf which starred Kerwin Mathews of 7th Voyage of Sinbad and Jack the Giant Killer fame. Frankly, they both sound like the kind of film I have to see.

Doc Savage #6

Judging by that cover, Doc and the gang find themselves up against a bullet-proof giant!

That, and that alone, is all the light I can shed upon the interiors of this tale.

Marvel Spectacular #1, Thor and Hercules

A brand new title hits the shelves!

And does so by reprinting that epic tale of how Hercules almost became a Hollywood star but became, instead, trapped within the dismal realm of Hades!

There's also a Tales of Asgard reprint in which Loki convinces King Hymir to put Thor to a deadly test. A test the thunder god must win - or become a slave of that evil monarch!

Marvel Team-Up #12, Spider-Man and Werewolf by Night.

As if Spider-Man didn't have enough to worry about with one early 1970s lycanthrope in his life, he now has to put up with another, as he and the Werewolf by Night must scupper Moondark's plot to take over San Francisco.

Shanna, the She-Devil #5, Nekra

It's a hard life in the jungle and, after just five issues, Shanna's mag hits the buffers. However, with its demise, it introduces Nekra to the Marvel universe.

Sub-Mariner #64, Virago

I have a feeling this is the one which gives us the weird retelling of Yellow Submarine, as a quartet of strangers arrive in their golden submersible to request Namor's help in overthrowing the tyrant who's taken over their undersea paradise of Zephyrland.

Supernatural Thrillers #5, the Living Mummy

The living Mummy makes his bandage-bothering debut and immediately goes looking for the descendant of the man who cursed him, fully 3,000 years ago.

Vampire Tales #1

And another new mag makes its entrance. This time, sporting a cover by Esteban Maroto.

Upon its myriad pages, we get an adventure for Morbius the living vampire, a 1950s Bill Everett werewolf tale, a photo-heavy vampire retrospective by Chris Claremont, an adaptation of John Polidori's The Vampyre, something called Satan Can Wait and Mark Evanier's look at the worst vampire films ever made.

Warlock #7, the Brute and Dr Doom

What's this? Warlock discovers that Counter-Earth's Doc Doom is a good guy and it's Reed Richards who's a villain?

Not only that but the latter scientist is also the unstoppable powerhouse known as The Brute?

Astonishing Tales #19, Ka-Zar vs the Super-Soldier

It's non-stop drama when the man called Victorius kidnaps Bobbi Morse and takes her to his AIM fortress.

Nick Fury gives Ka-Zar the super-soldier serum and sends him after them - but, when he gets there, the jungle lord throws away the serum before going in to confront the wrongdoer.

Tactics are clearly not our hero's strong point.