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.


Anonymous said...

I don’t believe I bought a single one of these comics. Some comics that I did buy that same month and can recommend:

SUPERMAN ANUAL #9 with quirky art by Alex Toth and Terry Austin, RONIN #2 by Frank Miller, and probably my favorite, ALIEN WORLDS #4, featuring a lovely cover and even better interior art by Dave Stevens, inking over pencils by Bruce Jones (tho it looks practically like 100% Dave to my eyes).

Also, there were some very nice covers on otherwise crap comics, by Mike Golden (CRYSTAR #3, US-1 #5) and Bill Sienkewicz (DAZZLER #28). I still have the covers; the comics they adorned are long gone.


Anonymous said...

I take it back. I did buy X-MEN #173 because of Paul Smith’s art.

Steve, your commentary on Storm’s bizarre fashion make-over cracked me up. Didn’t Kitty have a wildly over-wrought reaction to Storm’s new look, along the lines of “HOW COULD YOU??!!!” Or maybe I just dreamt that…


Anonymous said...

In X-Men # 141 ("Days of Future Past"), in the future, Wolverine slew a bunch of Mohawk-haired punks. So, obviously, to Chris Claremont's mind, the Mohican was hair to stay!


Anonymous said...

To be fair to Chris Claremont (just this once) Steve, mohawks/mohicans weren't really a thing in the original '76/'77 punk era - Travis Bickle notwithstanding - and were actually very early-to-mid 80s.

Fwiw I thought Storm's new look was an improvement, but didn't make a whole lot of sense in story terms. Mind you, it was the X-Men, so theres no reason it necessarily should.
Even more absurd than the reaction - b.t., you're right about Kitty - I seem to recall a house ad at the time promoting Storm's makeover as some sort of 'Dark Phoenix'-type moment.


Anonymous said...

b.t., I agree on the other (non-Marvel) comics this month, except Bruce Jones' EC fetish never did much for me. I suppose with Alien Worlds #4 you at least get closer to the real thing with a bit of Al Williamson artwork, but still...
Better to have gone for three DCs imo, and included Sword of the Atom #1.

Sure it was always going to be a bit hard to take the Atom seriously as a sword & sorcery character (especially when there was no sorcery in the series), but - Gil Kane!


Anonymous said...

Sean : yeah, I liked SWORD OF THE ATOM too.


Anonymous said...

As for Bruce Jones’ “EC fetish” — I quite liked his rather f***ed up take on the EC formula, on the whole. And the art in his books was usually “Good” to “Excellent”.

But here’s the “shock twist”: the gap between EC’s heyday and Jones’ homages was 30 years — TEN YEARS LESS than the distance between Jones’ heyday and Now.

Gasp! Choke!


Anonymous said...

Agreed, oh my brother

Colin Jones said...

That's Bereet on the cover of The Incredible Hulk. I remember her from the early issues of Rampage magazine in 1978 (otherwise known as Rampaging Hulk in the USA).

None of this month's covers feature speech bubbles so I assume they'd gone out of fashion by 1983?

Anonymous said...

Spa fon, b.t! Back in the early 80s, if you read anything about American comics by fans a lot of it went on about how great the ECs were but when I finally got to read some reprints tbh I was a bit underwhelmed (I wonder if the kids of the early 21st century felt the same way about 70s Marvels...)
I like some of the EC artists, especially Al Williamson and Wally Wood, but otherwise the comics don't do that much for me.

So in my case the appeal of Alien Worlds and Twisted Tales was always going to be limited. Even when the artists were good - which wasn't always the case - it seemed a shame they were limited by an old fashioned format (just an opinion, not knocking anyone else's).


Anonymous said...

Am I the only one who thinks Rogue looks like an amputee missing her lower right leg on that X-Men cover? And I'm not entirely sure about Wolverine either.


Anonymous said...

My girls a total amputee…
She’s a total amputee…
And I would do anything…
To keep her alive!

Your turn MP or any other GIs!!!

Charlie Horse 47 said...

EC comics…

None of us read them contemporaneously when they were originally released. IMO it’s hard to gauge the impact of the comic environment’s context at that time, on EC's appreciation by those born in the 30s and 40s.

I became aware of the EC hype via incessant rave articles and references in “The Buyers Guide for Comic Fandom” a bi-weekly newspaper on comics and pop stuff I read starting in the early 1970s.

Eventually Russ Cochran (born 1937) published the entire library of ECs in the 1970s and still releases them in various formats and that’s how I got my exposure in the mid 70s.

I was thoroughly “wowed.” I’ll never forget the closing line to the first story I read, “Hey Mister! You forgot your club!” Holy sh!te!

I’m inclined to think that being a young teen in the 1970s was not soooo different that a teen in the 1950s EC experiences were equal-ish? Hence why I think they were, and probably still are, superior.

And not just their horror and sci fi but their war tales were superior. FWIW my now-adult son only likes two comics: Archies and EC War comics. As a teen he was blown away at how EC war tales were in a different league and reality as compared to DC’s where every month another Tiger Tank or ME 109 was brought down by a GI with a pistol.

Charlie Horse

Charlie Horse 47 said...

Colin - Yep! No word balloons! Not sure why it took me 40 years, lol.

Anonymous said...

Word balloons, hell — most of those covers don’t have any kind of text at all below the logo. Which was quite a change from Marvel’s previous bombastic ballyhoo approach.

Honestly, most of the covers look fine without blurbs or word balloons — the X-MEN, AMAZING SPIDER-MAN and DAZZLER covers and the two Goldens are very attention-grabbing sans text. On the other hand, I can totally see why they added wordage to some of the others — I’m not sure the imagery on that AVENGERS cover would make much sense without the text to explain what’s happening.

Took another quick look at Mike’s Amazing World — and DC was still using blurbs and word balloons at the time on most of their covers. First Comics was too. But interestingly, some of the DCs were placing the blurbs ABOVE the logo , leaving the rest of the real estate for visuals only. Changes were definitely afoot.


Colin Jones said...

Storm was worshipped as a goddess before joining the X-Men and she looked the part too until that daft mohican came along - imagine Artemis or Aphrodite with a mohican!

Anonymous said...

Though I wasnt reading a whole lot of xmen or anything else. At this time, I found Storm’s hair to be bizarre and make her more regal versus sexy in nappearance.

And at the end of the day, you probably want your subjects, thinking about other things, than boning you if you are the queen.

Anonymous said...

Dunno about that - it might well be an advantage. I recall reading that among British men sexual fantasies about the late queen were relatively er... common, so to speak.

Hey, don't ask me to explain it, I'm a Republican (not in the current American sense, obviously).


Anonymous said...

The predictable X-men and Daredevil for me again. Now you mention it Steve, I'd have bought a 4 issue miniseries featuring Cyclops on an X-vespa. A take on quadrophenia with the brotherhood of evil mutants as the rockers. Dave Gibbon on art.