Tuesday 14 May 2024

The Marvel Lucky Bag - May 1984.

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

There was a time when every single one of the world's biggest grossing movies was made by either George Lucas or Steven Spielberg.

Except for one.

Which was made by both of them.

That film was Raiders of the Lost Ark and, given its success, it could only be a question of time before it got a sequel.

And, in May 1984, a sequel is what it got when Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom whipped its way into our cinemas.

Except, Wikipedia informs me that it's actually a prequel.

Off the top of my head, I'm struggling to remember much of what happened in it but I'm going to assume it's the one with the big rolling ball, the roller coaster ride in a cave and the annoying child.

Also, every time I see the title Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom, the Sisters of Mercy song Temple of Love starts playing in my head.

And I declare that to be a good thing.

The A-Team #3

It's tragedy for all lovers of great art, as the A-Team's comic reaches its demise after just three issues. Was it always intended to last for just three outings or had it suffered from disappointing sales?

That I cannot know and I pity the fool who would dare to even speculate upon such a subject.

 However, what I do know is that stuff happens in this comic.

And I also know that I don't know what that stuff is.

I'm sure, though, that much unlikely derring-doing is bound to be involved.

The Defenders #131

Can that cover be true? Can Marvel's greatest comic devoted to a non-team now be little more than an X-Men spin-off?

It would appear not to be, as the internet informs me that, in addition to the Angel, Iceman and Beast, the comic does still feature the Valkyrie.

It also features a character called the Walrus - as well as Leap-Frog and Frogman for any who've ever wondered if those two amphibious villains have ever been seen together at the same time.

Tragically, I can unleash no information upon just what the plot entails.

Fantastic Four Special Edition #1, the Sub-Mariner

It may be 1984 but some of us can't get enough of that Lee/Kirby magic.

And so it is that a brand new set of reprints enters our lives, with its one and only issue.

In it, we get a 41-page epic, thanks to the Sub-Mariner acting totally out of character, losing his rag and declaring war upon the human race.

This tale was, of course, first presented to us in the pages of Fantastic Four Annual #1, way back in 1963.

But that's not all. We also get a bunch of Fantastic Four pin-ups drawn by none other than John Byrne.

The Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe #15

Prepare to mourn because it turns out the A-Team's book isn't the only publication hitting its doom this month.

The Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe also bows out. 

In this case, it does so with a look at the weapons, gadgets and hardware used by our favourite characters, including such treats as Ant-Man's helmet, Hawkeye's Skymobile and the Book of the Vishanti!

Marvel Super-Heroes Secret Wars #1

But who cares about any of that?

There's only one thing matters, right now!

And this is it, as Marvel's biggest event to date enters our lives and boggles our brains!

It all kicks off when the company's greatest heroes and heels find themselves abducted, in order that they can fight each other on behalf of a character called The Beyonder.

Will any of our best-loved characters survive the encounter?

Too right, they will.

We know that because each and every one of them returns from it, in the pages of their own mags, this very month.

Marvel Team-Up #141, Spider-Man and Daredevil

It's a long time since I looked at Marvel Team-Up in this slot but how could I continue to ignore it when its cover gives us such a good view of Spidey's brand new suit?

Inside, Daredevil and the Black Widow seek to gather the evidence needed to clear a boy wrongly accused of murder.

Spider-Man joins in the fun but ends up at odds with Hornhead who's had to make a deal with the Kingpin in order to solve the crime.

The Thing #11

And here's another title I've tended to overlook.

But that cover asks so many questions that I can no longer neglect it.

Tragically, for humanity, I can shed no light upon what happens in this one but, given the Thing's disappearance from the pages of The Fantastic Four, I can only conclude that its circumstances tie in with the events of The Secret Wars.


Darren Clayton said...

Point of order: I think Ben Grimm / The Thing did not immediately return from the Secret Wars, as hinted at on the cover of his own mag. It’s been a long, long time since I read these but wasn’t this what led to She-Hulk joining the FF for a while too?

Steve W. said...

Darren, that is indeed the reason She-Hulk joined the FF.

Matthew McKinnon said...

I think I had that Marvel Team-Up, but no idea why. I guess I was just desperate for comics.

All the rest are drawing a blank.

I remember Secret Wars only because the handful of comics I was reading at the time had to shoehorn the departure and returnl of their characters in awkwardly. Oh yeah, and DD getting his sight back for a bit.

I loved and still love Indiana Jones & The Temple of Doom. It was one of the best times I ever had in the cinema.

Anonymous said...

I suppose it was inevitable in the 80s that existing suoer-teams would become more like the X-Men, Steve. Although you could say the New Defenders were more like a new Champions...
Btw, as well Val the team also included Gargoyle and Moondragon. And yes, I realize knowing that makes me sound like a bit of a saddo, but then I am keen to see Spurs win today so obviously I'm past caring about anything like that.


Anonymous said...

Apologies for the typo


Anonymous said...

Every issue is drawing a blank! Perhaps because i never read them?

Culture question: Here in the USA, when there is an opportunity for a commercial during an English Premier league soccer game, you can be guaranteed that one of those commercials is a promo to join the US military. Does your military run commercials during your soccer games as well?


Anonymous said...

Good heavens. Charlie did take a look at Mike’s amazing world of comics to see what was on offer 40 years ago. And Charles was quite quite surprised to see zero Harvey Comics. No sad sack! No Richie Rich! When in the hell did Harvey go out of business?

Anonymous said...

There had been a ton of pre-publication hype for SECRET WARS, so even though it gave off a distinctly pungent ‘Toy Tie-in’ odor, I gave it a try. I thought the artwork was okay (I was never a big Zeck fan) but I was frankly surprised at how off-model and out-of-character the various heroes’ speech patterns and personalities were. Wolverine especially sounded nothing like his usual self. I have no idea if I’d have the same reaction today, but at the time it seemed incredibly obvious, and was very off-putting. And didn’t Jim Shooter himself write this? You’d think Marvel’s Editor in Chief would know better than to have all the heroes sound exactly alike.

The story felt exactly like something a kid would come up with — nothing more than a basic framework for all the Good Guy toys to have a bash-up with all the Bad Guy toys. I think I flipped through issue #2 at my LCS, put it back on the rack and walked away.

Having been reminded just now of how utterly stale and generic Marvel’s ‘Huge Event’ was, it’s making the Over-people and their House Above The World look a bit more appealing….b.t.

Anonymous said...

Steve, it’s been awhile since I’ve seen TEMPLE OF DOOM, but I don’t think it has a big rolling ball in it — you’re probably thinking of the one in RAIDERS OF THE LOST ARK. TEMPLE OF DOOM does indeed feature the (rather good) roller coaster ride in a cave and the (really REALLY annoying) annoying child, as well as Kate Capshaw hilariously doing a double-take when she’s served a decapitated monkey’s head for dessert.


Steve W. said...

Bt, thanks for the big rolling ball clarification.

The thing that's odd for me about the characterisation in Secret Wars is how hostile the other heroes are to the X-Men and vice-versa. Bearing in mind all these people have known each other for years - and various mutants and X-Men have been members of the Avengers - it all seems odd that we get, "I'm not going to work with them. They're a bunch of mutants," and, "We can't work with them. They're not mutants like us."

Charlie, the military may run adverts during Premier League games in Britain but I don't tend to pay any attention to adverts. So, I can neither confirm nor deny it.

Sean, thanks for the Defenders clarification. I would make a joke about Spurs having needed more defenders but that would be cruel.

Matthew, I was impressed by the deviousness of the Secret Wars project which saw major changes happening in the regular books of our favourite heroes (new costumes, new members, new powers) but you had to read the mini-series to find out what had caused them.

Anonymous said...

I stopped buying comics long before this point. However, a Secret Wars omnibus fell into my lap, in the 90s (?) The story doesn't register in my memory, at all(& thus failed), apart from one great scene, depicting Spidey vs Titania (& some other goons?) In that scene, Spidey laid out exactly what makes him so formidable (when written correctly). Namely, Spidey can defeat stronger opponents, because his spider-strength allows him to hit them hard, whereas they can't lay a glove on him, because of his speed & agility. Classic Jim Shooter, at his best, refining exactly what makes a particular character successful, then clearly & succinctly putting it into words (Shooter's done that with Iron Man, too.) That's real the Spider-man we know from his Stan Lee days, not the silly Spidey who's level-pegging with the Punisher. Apart from that scene, my memory's drawing a blank...


Anonymous said...

'the real', not 'real the' !

Backwards Phillip

Anonymous said...

Spurs bottled it yet again. Why? Tell me why? I have a right to know.

Anonymous said...

Because they're Spurs.


Steve, be as cruel about them as you like. I hope they lose at Sheffield this weekend.
Belated commiserations on relegation btw. Unless you're a Wednesday man, or don't care either way.


Anonymous said...

Sheffield v Tottenham Sunday! Pick your bottle!