Thursday 28 September 2023

September 29th, 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's not often an instrumental hits the summit of the UK singles chart but it happened this week in 1973, as the Simon Park Orchestra achieved triumph with Eye Level which I do believe to have been the theme tune to the Amsterdam-based detective series Van der Valk.

I also believe that some Freeview channel or other is currently re-showing that series.

On the British album chart, there was no change from last week, with the Rolling Stones' Goat's Head Soup still reigning supreme.

The Avengers #2, the Lava Men

Things heat up dramatically, as the Avengers find themselves confronted by the volcanic violence of the vexatious Lava Men!

I would tell you exactly what happens in the tale but I can't recall anything about it. Is this another one where the bad guys can adopt the appearance of other people?

Doctor Strange's adventure, on the other hand, is a whole other kettle of fish. I remember this one completely. Mostly because it was in Origins of Marvel Comics.

It's the one in which a man plagued by bad dreams calls in the Sorcerer Supreme, only for it to turn out the notorious nocturnal ne'er-do-well Nightmare's behind it all. And that Strange's client is a murderer!

I do believe this was the first Dr Strange tale ever to be created but Marvel UK's clearly decided it makes sense to reprint it after the good doctor's origin story which was reproduced last week.

But what's this? There's a free gift, this issue? And it's an, "Avengers' Wonder Weapon?" Is it a hammer? Is it a shield? Is it a repulsor ray generator? Or even a wasp stinger?

McScotty's That Was Then and Mark A Wilson's Power of the BeeSting both inform me it was a cardboard gun powered by rubber bands.

I suspect Tony Stark wasn't involved in its design.

Spider-Man Comics Weekly #33, the Green Goblin

John Romita's pencil arrives with a bang, as Spider-Man has a fateful battle with the Green Goblin. One that will see him, at last, discover the true identity of a foe who, up until now, has been more minor annoyance than arch-enemy.

Meanwhile, in Thor's strip, Loki's sorcery transforms habitual jailbird Crusher Creel into the Absorbing Man!

However, the thunder god's battle with the copycat crook is cut short, as our hero must rush to Asgard to rescue Jane Foster who's been abducted by the dastardly Loki.

And, finally, we get a Tale of Asgard in which the youthful Thor must fend off the enemies of Asgard until help arrives.

The Mighty World of Marvel #52, Hulk vs the Rhino

Marvel UK continuity breaks down badly, as the Rhino makes his Hulk debut before he's made his Spider-Man debut. 

Regardless, now out of prison, the thick-headed and thick-skinned villain is contacted by the men who first gave him his costume and they offer to up his power level.

Now, it seems, nothing can stop him! Nothing!

Apart from the Hulk who totally flattens him at the airport and then leaves him for dead.

Elsewhere, the Fantastic Four are still struggling to overcome three minor crooks that Doctor Doom has imbued with strange powers.

Tuesday 26 September 2023

Speak Your Brain! Part 63. Artificial Intelligence and items of interest.

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
Plunge with me, once more, into a world of mystery, intrigue and suspense, as the internet's most talked about feature returns.

It's the one where I have even less idea what's going on than normal, as it is you The Reader and not I The Writer who gets to decide just what's about to be discussed.

And, of course, you can decide that simply by posting a topic in the comments section below.

So, if you have something you've always wanted to ask or something you've always wanted to say or something you've always wanted to ask someone else to want to say or ask them to want to want to say that, then get typing and take that opportunity, right now, on the site that produces sentences that no other site would dare produce.

Sunday 24 September 2023

September 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
***

September 1983 was the month you almost died.

Granted, it was also the month I almost died, which is even worse.

That's because it produced the most alarming incident in human history, as the Soviet Union's defenses detected a whole bucketload of American nuclear missiles headed straight for it.

Fortunately, military officer Stanislav Petrov averted a worldwide catastrophe by recognising it as a false alarm and not pressing the button that was, no doubt, labelled, "Retaliate."

Thanks to that man, we could still continue to enjoy the latest platters that mattered. And that was good news for UB40, as they kicked off the month atop the UK singles chart, thanks to their cover of Red Red Wine. However, that was soon deposed by Culture Club's Karma Chameleon.

I have heard a theory that the latter single reaching the peak of the charts was a watershed moment in music history, as it was, allegedly, the last time the UK had a Number One that everyone in the family, from the youngest toddler to the oldest granny, could enjoy.

Whether that claim is true or not, I couldn't say. Mostly because, to confirm or deny it, I'd have to listen to every UK Number One that's existed since then, and that's taking in-depth research a bit too far.

Over on the British album chart, the roost, that September, was initially ruled by The Very Best of the Beach Boys before Paul Young's No Parlez took over. That was then supplanted by UB40's Labour of Love, making it a good month for Birmingham's Snooze Reggae specialists.

Starburst #61, Revenge of the Jedi

Ooh! I had this issue! I remember the printing not being lined up properly on several pages.

That aside, it supplies interviews with Carrie Fisher, Stephen King, Dario Argento and Lou Ferrigno.

And, because we demand even more than that from our magazines, this issue takes a look at the making of the helicopter thrill-fest that is Blue Thunder.

The Savage Sword of Conan #71

I don't know anything about the contents of this issue, other than it features tales of savagery from the Hyborean Age, and sword and sorcery at its greatest. I know that because the cover tells me so.

I do know that's a strangely relaxed-looking fight Conan's having with that snake.

The Mighty World of Marvel #4, Magneto

Mighty World of Marvel is practically an X-Men enclave, these days. This issue's lead tale features the main team when D'Spayre starts to mess about with Cyclops' mind.

While, in the backup strip, the Vision and Scarlet Witch are visiting the Inhumans, in order to meet Pietro's new daughter. And who should show up?

Only Magneto!

And he's claiming to be Wanda and Pietro's father!

Doctor Who Magazine #80, Tom Baker

It's exciting news for us all, as the mag dedicated to the universe's most popular Time Lord previews The Five Doctors, the movie-length masterpiece constructed to celebrate his show's upcoming 20th anniversary. We can console ourselves that, while that special may not turn out to be perfect, at least it's not a crossover with Eastenders.

The Daredevils #9, the Kingpin

It may be called The Daredevis but the comic leads off with Captain Britain, as Merlyn and Roma watch with concern while Jim Jaspers begins his campaign to eradicate all superheroes.

Meanwhile, our protagonist tries to convince Captain UK to resume the super-doing duties she's currently too scared to undertake.

And that's when the Fury shows up.

Elsewhere, Pete Scott discusses the pulp roots of Night Raven, Frank Plowright produces an article on Knockabout Comics's legal problems, and Alan Moore reviews the fanzines Energy #1 and Cygnus Alpha #8.

Back in the hot world of crime fighting, Night Raven finds himself in Episode 3 of an adventure called The Snow Queen.

And we complete the issue with Matt Murdock about to encounter a woman called Elektra.

Thursday 21 September 2023

September 22nd, 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
***

Roy Wood's Wizzard are, perhaps, best remembered for two songs; See My Baby Jive and perennial Yuletide favourite I Wish It Could Be Christmas Every Day.

It is, therefore, easy to forget they had other major hits as well.

And one of the biggest was a thing called Angel Fingers which proved just how big it was by hitting the Number One spot on the UK singles chart, this week in 1973. It has to be said it was noticeably similar to all their other hits.

The British album chart, meanwhile, was seeing an assault from an act of a whole other style, with the Rolling Stones' Goat's Head Soup smashing straight in at Number One. Who would have thought, back then, that fifty years later to the week, they'd still be around and still bothering the chart compilers?

The Avengers #1

Wait! What's this? A brand new mag's hit our newsagents? And it stars the team who've recently been dominating The Mighty World of Marvel at the Hulk's expense?

It's true. A brand new era starts for the UK imprint. One which even goes so far as to bring us the magic of glossy covers. Truly, things will never be the same again.

Well, not until 1979 when Dez Skinn will consign glossy covers for weeklies to the dustbin of history, sensing that what British readers want most from their comics is a drastic reduction in quality.

And I must declare that this issue arrives with more cover blurbs and fonts than I've ever before seen on the front of a comic.

But what actually happens inside the thing?

Plenty happens.

For one thing, we get the return of Captain America after the Sub-Mariner throws a mysterious block of ice into the sea and it turns out to contain the hero, trapped in suspended animation since World War II.

Retrieved and thawed out by the Avengers, Cap helps the gang tackle a space alien who's blundering around New York, turning people to stone.

As if that's not enough melodrama for any human being to withstand, we also get the origin of Dr Strange when top surgeon Stephen Strange damages his hands in an accident and seeks the Tibetan-style help of a mysterious and aged mystic....

Spider-Man Comics Weekly #32


No signs, though, of glossy covers for Spidey. His mag is still as matt as matt can be.

He's also lumbered with a rubbish villain when failed fighter Joe Smith tries his hand at acting, dresses up as a robotic monster and is zapped by enough electro-chemical mayhem to send him on an orgy of destruction.

Elsewhere, Thor's about to encounter a villain of far more staying power than that, thanks to the arrival of the maddening menace of the Absorbing Man.

And our tale of Asgard, this week, involves Thor and Loki, as boys, invading the castle of a bunch of storm giants, in order to steal stuff from them.

The Mighty World of Marvel #51, the Space Parasite

Now that the Avengers have gone, Hulkie-Baby can return to bossing Marvel UK's flagship title.

And he immediately finds himself up against the Space Parasite who, after watching a TV show about our hero, visits Earth to steal the jade giant's power, so he can use it to further his plans for interplanetary conquest.

Sadly, for the villain, representatives of his home planet take against him and decide to blow up his spaceship.

Meanwhile, the Fantastic Four must fight three criminals who've been recruited by Dr Doom to help him destroy the team.

Tuesday 19 September 2023

Speak Your Brain! Part 62. Internet rabbit holes.

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
Can it really be that time of month again?

The one where I totally run out of things to talk about and have to ask you The Reader to come up with a suitable topic?

Yes.

It can.

Therefore, feel free to make your suggestion below - and we'll see just what kind of mayhemic maelstrom of marauding chit-chat is generated.

Sunday 17 September 2023

2000 AD - August 1985.

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

August 1985 was a mixed month, to say the least, for aviation.

On the plus side, it saw the selection of Takao Doi, Mamoru Mohri and Chiaki Mukai to be Japan's first astronauts.

On the downside, there were not one but three airplane disasters.

The first was the crash of Japan Airlines Flight 123 which killed 520 people including Japanese singer Kyu Sakamoto, making it the worst single-aircraft disaster in history.

Days later, at Manchester Airport, the left engine of British Airtours Flight 28M caught fire while on its takeoff roll, causing 55 people to die while trying to evacuate the vehicle.

And, just days after that, Bar Harbor Airlines Flight 1808 crashed in the United States, killing all eight on board, including thirteen-year-old American celebrity schoolgirl Samantha Smith.

Meanwhile, the cinemas of the world were being introduced to a whole slew of new movies. Among the most well-known of which were Fright Night, Weird Science, Pee-Wee's Big Adventure, Return of the Living Dead and Teen Wolf.

Of those, I believe I've seen Fright Night, Weird Science and Return of the Living Dead. The latter of which being the one I recall enjoying most.

When it came to music, August kicked off with Madonna ruling the UK singles chart, thanks to her dancerrific Into the Groove. But, before the month was out, it had been deposed by the rather more sedate I Got You, Babe from UB40 and Chrissie Hynde.

On the British album chart, the month began with Dire Straits' Brothers in Arms on top before that was forced to make way for Now That's What I Call Music 5, back in the days when NOW albums were allowed on the official chart.

"That's all well and good," I hear you cry, "but what of the galaxy's greatest comic?"

It has to be said there wasn't a lot new on offer from it, with the book containing the usual fare of Strontium Dog, Tharg's Future-Shocks, Judge Dredd, Ace Trucking Co, Rogue Trooper and Sláine - although Prog 430 did feature a brief six-page return for Nemesis before that particular space warlock disappeared again, the following week.

2000 AD Prog 429, Rogue Trooper

2000 AD Prog 430

2000 AD Prog 431, Roger Trooper

2000 AD Prog 432, Judge Dredd

2000 AD Prog 433, Judge Dredd

Thursday 14 September 2023

September 15th, 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've no vital information from the worlds of sport, music, TV, film or politics to impart at the beginning of this post. Therefore, let us launch straight into comic book action of a kind that only Marvel UK could provide.

The Mighty World of Marvel #50

The Avengers and Fantastic Four are still falling over each other in their feeble attempts to stop the Hulk, AKA Bob, from running amok on the streets of New York.

With Reed Richards hospitalised, the Thing starting to feel like a punch bag, the Human Torch injured and Sue Storm being Sue Storm, how can the two teams possibly hope to put an end to the menace that only Bob can pose?

Meanwhile, in their temporary strip, the X-Men are still having their first-ever adventure and still trying to stop Magneto from gaining control of all those nuclear weapons at that military base he's trying to take over.

I'm assuming the mighty mutants have been given their own brief slot in the book because they'll soon be turning up as guest stars in the Fantastic Four's strip, and someone at Marvel UK wants the readers to know who they are when that occurs,

But what's this? I see that, on that cover, the team are billed as the world's strangest teenagers. Let's face it, they have plenty of competition for that title.

Spider-Man Comics Weekly #31

I do believe this is the tale in which, fresh out of jail, the embittered Professor Stromm decides to claim revenge upon Norman Osborn for having previously double-crossed him.

It's a move that leads to the unleashing of Stromm's menacing robots - and to him being shot by a sniper, through a window that only someone who can fly could possibly access. But who could that be? And just who is this man they call Norman Osborn?

And why does he have the same weird hair as his son?

After several weeks of battling, Thor finally defeats the Grey Gargoyle. I think he does it by, somehow, rendering him immobile.

Even more importantly, our hero gets his powers back, after they were severely curtailed by Odin in one of his huffs. 

I note that this tale's inked by Chic Stone which, given the villain involved, seems very apt.

But there's more entertainment than even all that because we also get another Tale of Asgard. And, in this timeless classic, Odin discovers the trolls have teamed up with Surtur in a bid to rebel against Asgard.

Needless to say, this can only mean one thing. That Odin gets all disputing factions together, around a table, to discuss just how the realm can be run in a way that's fair and equitable to all and that doesn't leave anyone feeling aggrieved.

Oh. No, he doesn't. Instead, he decides it's time to kick troll butt!

Tuesday 12 September 2023

The Marvel Lucky Bag - September 1983.

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

How many films came out in September 1983?

Plenty.

Among the most well-known were Escape from the Bronx, Merry Christmas, Mr. Lawrence, Heat and Dust and Strange Invaders.

I was going to say that, of those, the only one I've ever seen is Strange Invaders. However, having just watched the trailer for it, on YouTube, I've come to the conclusion that I've never seen it in my entire life and was, clearly, thinking of a totally different film. One that involved a couple of children finding themselves on board an alien spaceship.

The Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe #9

It's good news for all fans of Quicksilver, Sunfire and Ronan the Accuser because the Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe gives us brief profiles of the Marvel characters whose initials run from Q-S.

The Kree-Skrull War Starring the Avengers #1

For anyone who missed the Kree/Skrull War the first time around, rejoice - because your suffering's finally over.

It's true. This very month, a brand new book's launched which reprints the whole thing, over the course of a two-issue mini-series.

Having said that, I notice it doesn't seem to include the Sal Buscema drawn, Antarctic-based, tale in which the war actually starts.

Hawkeye #1

Hooray! Everyone's favourite bow-slinger's awarded his own limited series!

I must confess to having almost no knowledge of what happens in this one but it seems it involves Bobbi Morse of Ka-Zar and Man-Thing fame. And we get a reminder of Hawkeye's origin.

Dazzler #28

Bill Sienkiewicz's covers continue their brave battle to convince us the stories within this book are going to be better than they actually are.

However, I can offer no insight into the contents of this one, as I've not read it. But I can confirm it's brought to us by the team of Frank Springer and Vince Colletta.

It's also brought to us by co-writer C. Tomlinson L.T. U.S.A.F. (Ret.) which is not the sort of co-writing credit you see every day in a super-hero comic.

The Thing #3

It looks like the Thing's in a spot of bother.

It also looks like the Inhumans might be to blame.

For, it seems that Benjy helps Crystal prevent her human daughter from being exposed to the notorious Terragen Mist that grants the Inhumans their powers.

Marvel Age #6, Cloak and Dagger

All I know about this one is it gives relatively brief coverage to Cloak and Dagger and to Illyana and Storm. What exactly it says about them, I cannot say.

Sunday 10 September 2023

Forty years ago today - September 1983.

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

September is once more upon us. So, let us see what transpired in our favourite Marvel comics that featured the month on their covers, all of forty years ago.

Captain America #285, the Porcupine

It's a sad day for Cap, as he has to pay a deathbed visit to his old World War 2 colleague the Patriot who's about to pop his clogs, thanks to not being one of those heroes who's popular enough to never be allowed to age.

Of course, in order to do that, our hero has to actually get there. And, in order to do that, he has to defeat the prickly plotting of the pesky Porcupine.

The Incredible Hulk #287, Bereet

From what I can remember of this one, Bruce Banner, now working with Stark Industries and SHIELD, gets a brand new lab assistant who seems to have the hots for him.

Unfortunately, the robot, that Bruce has created to keep him company at work, seems to be the jealous type.

I do believe the Abomination is about to make a return, as well.

The Amazing Spider-Man #244, the Hobgoblin

I don't recall too much about this one but I suspect the Hobgoblin may be back.

The Spectacular Spider-Man #82, Cloak and Dagger and the Kingpin

This one's far more memorable. Cloak and Dagger, in their crusade against crime, decide they're going to take down the Kingpin. The problem is that the far less ruthless Spidey keeps trying to talk them out of it.

Also, the Punisher's out to take down Kingie as well.

It never rains but it pours.

Thor #335, Jane Foster returns

Thor and Sif make a right old Horlicks of trying to find Jane Foster's spirit inside the runestaff of Kamo Tharnn but, finally, they succeed in locating her - and a zillion and one other beings - trapped inside Kamo Tharnn himself.

That gives us a chance to finally discover the origin of the intermittent villain.

Fantastic Four #258, Dr Doom is back

It's an eye-catching cover, as Marvel's top troublemaker returns to cause more mischief.

This time, the tin-plated tyrant decides it'd be a grand wheeze to revive Terrax and restore his cosmic powers.

I can't help feeling that definitely isn't a good idea.

Daredevil #198

Daredevil's in Japan and managing to make enemies wherever he goes.

Speaking of which, the villain the world calls Dark Wind has decided the time is right to give the crippled Bullseye an adamantium skeleton.

Iron Man #174

Obadiah Stane still has control of Stark Industries and, as a result, Rhodey decides to break into the room that holds all the Iron Man armours, so that Stane can't get his hands on them.

Meanwhile, Nick Fury and SHIELD have exactly the same idea.

The Avengers #235, the Wizard

The not-so-wondrous Wizard is back and, clearly having decided he's the Arcade of the anti-grav set, has created a trap for each of the Avengers. A trap that even they can never hope to escape.

Needless to say, every single one of them does escape. Even the ones who aren't too bright.

The Uncanny X-Men #173

Daredevil's not the only Marvel hero in Japan, this month - because Wolverine and Rogue are in sensational joint action and aiming to stop the Silver Samurai and Viper who've poisoned the rest of the team.

Meanwhile, Storm's suddenly decided to adopt a punk look, which makes sense, as it's 1983 which, as we all know, is the height of the punk era. You can't accuse Chris Claremont of not keeping up with the times.

Next issue, Rogue becomes a flapper girl and Cyclops becomes a mod.

Thursday 7 September 2023

September 8th, 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
***

No change could be detected atop the UK music charts, this week in 1973. Sitting proud above the milling throng on the singles list was Donny Osmond's Young Love, while ruling the LP roost was the world's most English Scotsman Rod Stewart with his compilation Sing It Again, Rod.

I must shock the world and confess the Donny Osmond single isn't one of my favourite tracks of all time - but songs I did approve of on that week's chart included:

Rock On - David Essex

Angie - Rolling Stones

Life on Mars - David Bowie

and

Nutbush City Limits - Ike and Tina Turner

Should you wish to explore the subject further, that week's UK singles chart can be found here.

While the corresponding album chart resides here.

The Mighty World of Marvel #49, Hulk vs Thing

There's no shortage of super-team action in this week's Mighty World of Marvel
when the Avengers and the Fantastic Four both land themselves in crossover action, due to a desire to find and stop the incredible Hulk.

Needless to say, this leads to a near endless battle, on the streets of New York, between the green one and the orange one.

Even more memorably, I do believe this is the tale in which Stan Lee keeps referring to Bruce Banner as Bob.

And that's not the only super-team action we get, because a brand new gang makes its Marvel UK entrance, as we join the X-Men for their first-ever adventure, thanks to the arrival of Jean Grey and a dastardly plot - by a man called Magneto - to take over an Air Force base that's packed solid with nuclear missiles.

Spider-Man Comics Weekly #30, the Looter

Meanwhile, a deadly new opponent enters the life of Spider-Man too, as we're introduced to Norton Fester who gains incredible strength and agility when exposed to a meteor.

Obviously, with him having gained his powers in such a fashion, he becomes the menace the world knows as Meteor Man!

Well, no. In fact, he chooses to call himself the Looter. Clearly, this man doesn't have a clue how these things are done.

A man who does know how these things are done is the Grey Gargoyle who's still having his first-ever tussle with the mighty Thor.

But even that punch-up may not be enough to satisfy fans of Norse fisticuffs. And, so, we also get a Tale of Asgard in which Odin launches into sensational solo action and battles Ymir and his giant ice buddies.

Tuesday 5 September 2023

The Marvel Lucky Bag - September 1973.

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

September 1973 holds the distinction of being the only month I've ever covered in this feature where I've never heard of a single movie released in it

Thus it is that we got movies bearing such deathless names as From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs Basil E FrankweilerI Escaped from Devil's IslandThe PyxThe Spook Who Sat by the Door and Harry in Your Pocket.

Classics all, I'm sure.

Conan Annual #1

Conan gets his first-ever annual.

And does so in style, with a dramatic cover by Barry Smith.

Not so stylishly, the insides are made up of nothing but reprints. In this case, Bazzer's versions of Lair of the Beast-Men and The Tower of the Elephant.

Fantastic Four Annual #10

Meanwhile, the Fantastic Four get their tenth annual.

Sadly, it too is composed of reprints.

In the first tale, as the cover makes clear, we're re-exposed to the wedding of Reed and Sue.

And, in the second, we're given the return of the original Human Torch, as the Mad Thinker restores the android to life, purely for the purpose of attacking the modern Human Torch.

Jungle Action #6, Black Panther vs Killmonger

No reprints in this one, just legendary fare unfolding before our eyeballs, as we get the start of Panther's Rage and the introduction of a brand new villain when T'Challa returns to Wakanda, only to discover his people have started to resent his lengthy absences.

Having said there are no reprints, it turns out this issue's back-up tale is a 1950s reprint starring Lorna the Jungle Girl.

Marvel Feature #11, Thing vs Hulk

Marvel Feature gives us the prototype for Marvel Two-in-One, as Kurrgo and the Leader unite to pit the Thing against the Hulk, in an attempt to discover which of them's the better fighter.

I've a feeling it all involves an attempt by the Leader to regain the use of his paralysed body. And, of course, at least one of the villains is cheating.

The Amazing Spider-Man Annual #9, the Green Goblin

Not to be left behind, Spider-Man gets his own annual as well.

And I think we've all guessed that it reprints Spectacular Spider-Man #2 in which Norman Osborn regains his memory and sets out to destroy his old foe, with the aid of hallucinogenic pumpkins.

Needless to say, he fails in his aims, and another dose of amnesia arrives just in time to save our hero from an embarrassing predicament.

Strange Tales #169, Brother Voodoo

Brother Voodoo makes his death-defying debut, as Jericho Drumm returns to Haiti to find his brother dying from the Curse of Damballah.

Worlds Unknown #3, The Day the Earth Stood Still

Worlds Unknown presents its version of Farewell to the Master, otherwise known as, "That story that inspired The Day the Earth Stood Still."

But who can guess the startling secret of Klaatu?

And I don't mean that he recorded the original version of Calling Occupants of Interplanetary Craft.

Ghost Rider #1

Marvel's most uncanny stuntman gets his own mag, as the Ghost Rider's needed to evict a demon from Linda Littletree's body.

But will he get the chance, with Johnny Blaze critically injured while trying to smash through a police roadblock?

It would appear this tale also features the first-ever appearance of Daimon Hellstrom, AKA the Son of Satan. A man who would never be critically injured by trying to smash through a police roadblock.

Sub-Mariner #65

In yet more Yellow Submarine inspired shenanigans, our hero tries to liberate Zephyrland from its music-banned torment, by fighting its evil tyrant Virago.

Except she kicks his butt.

So much for that plan.