Sunday 30 June 2024

Amicus! The house that dripped Doug.

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

And Now the Screaming Starts movie poster, Amicus productions
eople are often puzzled as to what I do when I'm not writing fatuous summaries of things that occurred in the comics of several decades ago. 
In fact, I have a hobby which fills my hours and visits gratification upon my heart as it's warmed by the knowledge that, unlike so many in this world, I am doing something worthwhile.

Every Sunday, I like to climb on board a train, take a seat, whip out a pack of Tarot cards and tell a random group of passengers their fortunes. Each of those fortunes contains a horrific and gruesome climax.

And then, when I'm done, I tell them they're all dead and are now arriving in Hell as the train pulls into Doncaster.

You may have guessed from this that I'm a bit of a fan of Amicus movies.

Amicus was, of course, a studio set up in 1962 to ride on the coat tails of Hammer's success. Its founders were Milton Subotsky and Max Rosenberg and rumour has it the company was launched after Subotsky was turned down for a job by Hammer, even though he was the one who'd suggested it make an updated version of either Dracula or Frankenstein. Clearly, Subotsky took the view that if you can't join them, beat them and, thus, was a legend born.

Fair play to them, Amicus didn't just make films that aped those of Hammer. They did, after all, launch their filmography with the distinctly unthreatening musical vehicle It's Trad, Dad! 

But they soon developed a niche of their own.

And that niche was portmanteau movies, usually involving a clutch of strangers being informed of their fate by a mysterious stranger. Fortunes which were always guest-star packed and always involved them suffering a fate worse than death, except when the fate was death.

Thus it was we gleefully received such treats as Dr Terror's House of HorrorsTorture GardenThe House That Dripped BloodTales from the CryptAsylumThe Vault of Horror and From Beyond the Grave. Who could forget Tom Baker killing people through the power of Voodoo paintings? Alan Fluff Freeman being menaced by a giant weed? Or Barbara Ewing being murdered by a piano? And only a lunatic would forget the sight of Joan Collins being massacred by Santa Claus.

But Amicus were not stuck in a rut. Just like Hammer, they ventured into other fields. In the 1960s, they gave us the two Peter Cushing Doctor Who movies and then, in the 1970s, they found their other great niche.

Doug McClure.

You may remember Doug McClure from such films as The Land That Time Forgot, The People That Time Forgot and At the Earth's Core. If so, it was because of Amicus, the powerhouse behind those classics. Astonishingly, despite starring Doug and a plethora of unconvincing monsters, Warlords of Atlantis wasn't an Amicus movie. That one was made by EMI, after Amicus' demise.

And there was even more. Having said it didn't just copy Hammer, it did give us such full-length horror as The Skull, Madhouse, And Now the Screaming StartsThe Beast Must Die and I Monster. 

It also dipped its toes into the waters of science fiction, unleashing They Came from Beyond Space and the never-to-be-forgotten Terrornauts. The former being an unlikely adaptation of the Joseph Millard novel The Gods Hate Kansas, and the latter being, surely, the only sci-fi film ever to star Charles Hawtrey and Patricia Hayes.

Nature became the enemy in The Deadly Bees and weird composite people became the enemy in Scream and Scream Again.

Sadly - despite the thrills, spills and kills the company bestowed upon us - like Hammer, the brand didn't survive into the 1980s, finally shutting up shop in 1977.

However, it wasn't the end for Subotsky who, after the company's termination, went on to produce such fare as The Uncanny, The Martian Chronicles TV mini-series, The Monster Club and The Lawnmower Man.

As for Amicus, it appears it isn't only the house that dripped blood. It's also the house that will not die, because, in 2023, it was announced the company is to return to life with a film called In the Grip of Terror. One's mind can only curdle at the thought of what dread nightmares that creation might contain.

This is, of course, the moment in which I have to declare what my favourite Amicus movie is.

And I'm going to admit it's not a portmanteau movie, mostly because they all blur into one for me.

For my Amicus favourite, I must go for 1966's Daleks' Invasion Earth 2150 AD, with the completely bonkers Scream and Scream Again as a close runner-up.

If you have any thoughts upon the subject, you are, of course, free to express them in the comments section below.

To help in that quest, a list of the films which bear the Amicus stamp may be found by clicking on this very link.

Thursday 27 June 2024

June 29th 1974 - 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

Don't cry for me, Argentina?

It seems that, this week in 1974, they weren't, because it was the week in which Isabel Perón was sworn in as the first female president of that country, replacing her ailing husband Juan Perón who opted to die just two days later.

On the UK singles chart, even as that was happening, another woman was making an impact

That woman was the one the world knew only as She.

However, she was not the She of the, "Must be obeyed," variety. She was She of the, "Being sung about by Charles Aznavour," variety. And, at that very moment, she was the She of, "Being at Number One on the UK singles chart," variety.

There was, however, no change atop the accompanying LP chart, with David Bowie's Diamond Dogs retaining the top slot it had grabbed several weeks earlier.

The Mighty World of Marvel #91, the Hulk

It's another timeless classic, as Bruce Banner reunites with an old classmate and the pair create a machine designed to rid Bruce - and the world - of the menace of the Hulk forever.

At least that's what they think but all it succeeds in doing is splitting Bruce and Hulkie-Baby into two totally separate characters.

And one of those is a mindless beast who wants nothing but the total destruction of the other!

I do believe this issue concludes the Daredevil/Ka-Zar storyline. And, if I remember correctly, that means the jungle hero gets put on trial in merry olde Englande, for some crime or other, while DD must stop the larcenous lordship that is the Plunderer.

But how easy can that be when the man's toting his plastic, melty, bendy gun?

I also believe this'll be the last time we see the man without fear for some while, as he appears to disappear from the book from next week onwards.

Still very much present - though not totally correct - are the Fantastic Four. But not to despair, as this is the issue in which they finally manage to get the Thing to stop wanting to kill them and get him to concentrate on the job at hand, which is beating up the Frightful Four.

The Avengers #41, Shang-Chi

I suspect it may be another case of Shang-Chi going for a stroll and promptly being attacked by an assassin.

This time, the assassin's a samurai called Korain, hired by a minor hood who's out to collect the bounty on our hero's head. 

But what's this, the wannabe killer has to keep drinking a potion to prevent himself from ageing to death?

I can't see this ending well for the man.

Elsewhere, the Avengers finally manage to overcome the deadly interstellar menace of the Ultroids, even after those villains have set their giant robot on the gang.

But perhaps the greatest drama of the tale is that the abducted local burgomeister only goes and turns out to have been the leader of the Ultroids all along!

I think Doccy Strange is still battling Umar but I can relate few details of just what occurs in the scrap.

Spider-Man Comics Weekly #72, the Green Goblin is back

John Romita's classic cover heralds the arrival of a never-to-be-forgotten epic, as Norman Osborn regains his memories of being the Green Goblin and sets out to avenge himself upon his hated rival. All true believers will know this is reprinted from the pages of 1968's mammoth publication Spectacular Spider-Man #2.

But what new and endless madness assails me? As far as I can determine, there's no sign of Iron Man to be found in this entire issue!

Thor, meanwhile, returns to Earth following his encounter with Ego and the Colonizers, only to discover Jane Foster's still missing.

Thus, he sets out to find her, little suspecting the nurse has landed a job teaching the High Evolutionary's New Men in the mysterious and hidden kingdom of Wundagore.

Tuesday 25 June 2024

Speak Your Brain! Part 81. The final five comics you got as a child.

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

A wise woman from Liverpool once sang, "Surprise surprise. The unexpected hits you between the eyes."

However, she was wrong. It's this feature that hits you between the eyes.

And there's nothing unexpected about it.

Or, at least, there's nothing unexpected about its arrival. This is, after all, the 81st occasion upon which it's done so.

However, what's less predictable is its subject matter because even I, with my omniscient omnipotence, cannot know what that is. Only the first person to comment below can do that.

Therefore, make sure to post the topic you wish us to debate, and pray to God that, in the process, none of us gets smacked between the eyes.

Sunday 23 June 2024

June 1984 - 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

Even as I type this deathless prose, the European Football Championships are going on, with England and Scotland crushing all before them, like vast rolling pins of awesomeness. However, history is doomed to repeat itself and, exactly forty years ago, the continent was witnessing Euro 84. That tournament was won by France when they bested Spain 2-0 in the final.

Not doing quite so well as the French and Spanish national football teams was the British economy. In fact, it was doing so badly that UK unemployment hit a record high of 3.26 million people.

However, even at the worst of times, some people have reason to celebrate and, amongst them, that June, were Wham! whose Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go began the month by sitting pretty atop the British singles chart.

Even more however, it then found itself confronted by an absolute behemoth of a record, as Frankie Goes to Hollywood's Two Tribes swept it aside to claim the top spot and grant the Merseysiders their second British Number One - and their first to enter the charts in the top spot.

Over on the accompanying album listings, only one LP ruled the roost, that June. And that LP was Legend by Bob Marley and the Wailers

Doctor Who Magazine #89, Colin Baker

Brand new Doctor Colin Baker makes the cover, with his convincingly American companion Peri but, inside, we're treated to Part Two of the comic strip the whole wide world knows as The Shape Shifter.

When it comes to articles, there's a retrospective upon the 1970s villain Morbius - a foe who definitely would not be caught declaring, "It's Morbin' Time!" - and an interview with Lis Sladen, plus critiques of Frontios, The Awakening and Resurrection of the Daleks.

The Savage Sword of Conan #80

I must confess to knowing nothing of this month's contents.

I do believe, though, that that striking and memorable cover is by none other than Joe Jusko.

The Mighty World of Marvel #13, Captain Britain

As the Alan Moore era winds down - following the death of Mad Jim Jaspers - Brian, Linda and Opal are brought to Otherworld to stand around, attending the funeral of Merlyn.

Following that, we're gifted a four-page Showcase tale called Right Foot Backwards: Looking For Osker as created by Mike Collins and Chris Buckle.

Next, Night-Raven finds himself confronting The Bells of Hell.

And, then, there's a three-page Showcase called Dragon, brought to us by Kevin Hopgood.

But what's this? The X-Men replace Cloak and Dagger in the book, when they encounter the Micronauts and must thwart the menace of Baron Karza and an evil Professor X?

Starburst, The Dead Zone

It's good news for all lovers of Canadian horror because the nation's favourite sci-fi mag interviews David Cronenburg about his brand new film The Dead Zone.

Meanwhile, Joe Dante's interviewed about various of his movies, there's a preview of the film Sword of the Valiant which I've never heard of, and a look at Doctor Who.

As if that wasn't enough for us, there's an overview of dinosaur movies - and a chat with John Sayles, the man who wrote the cinematic masterpiece that is Battle Beyond the Stars.

Thursday 20 June 2024

June 22nd 1974 - 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

The power of Glam once more conquered the UK singles chart, this week in 1974, as Gary Glitter seized the summit, with his track Always Yours, making it his third and final UK Number One. I must declare I have no memory of it. Nor do I recall ever having heard it on the radio - not even before certain things came to light about its singer.

There was, however, no change at the pinnacle of the UK album chart, with David Bowie's Diamond Dogs retaining the top spot it already held.

The Avengers #40, Shang-Chi, master of kung fu

My recollections of this one are intensely vague. However, I am aware Shang-Chi's cheerfully visiting a beach when a bunch of assassins show up and try to kill him. It does seem like every story in this era is simply our hero going somewhere random and promptly being attacked by assassins.

Elsewhere, the Avengers are still making a meal of defeating the alien Ultroids. And now things are serious because the extraterrestrial nogoodniks have kidnapped a burgomeister!

Dr Strange, meanwhile, is in a Dimension of Death and having to survive various traps created by Umar the Unstoppable.

The Mighty World of Marvel #90, Hulk vs the Glob

The Leader's latest scheme kicks up a gear, as the Hulk and Glob clash once more. This time, in the streets of a city.

But how can even the Hulk hope to defeat a lump of sludge?

Thinking about it, I can't remember how he does it but I do recall it all ends with the muck monster reduced to a load of slugs that, in the final panel, begin to make their way back towards each other.

Thinking about it even more, doesn't the Glob fall into an electrical substation and get blown to pieces? Possibly, from the very crane that is pictured on the front cover?

When it comes to Daredevil, I think this is the one in which the Plunderer gets his hands on the other half of the medallion that was given to him and Ka-Zar when they were boys, and that enables him to create a gun which makes things melt or disintegrate or just go bendy in people's hands.

And, finally, the Fantastic Three are still trying to stop the Frightful Four and their deadly new ally the Thing.

Spider-Man Comics Weekly #71, the giant hands of Mysterio

Spider-Man remains convinced he's been reduced to the size of an insect and trapped in a model amusement park.

However, it's not long before he realises he's actually normal sized and in a real amusement park.

But that can only be bad news for Mysterio and the control tower he occupies at its centre.

The Black Widow and Boris are still in America and still trying to kill the Crimson Dynamo.

But they won't succeed if Iron Man has his way.

Nor if the Crimson Dynamo has his.

Sadly, I suspect that neither of those two will have his way.

Next, we get a single-page retelling of Spider-Man's origin, brought to us by Stan Lee and John Romita and reprinted from 1968's Spectacular Spider-Man #2 .

Thor, meanwhile, is successfully defeating Ego the living planet and gaining the cooperation of the Rigel Colonizers while, on Earth, Jane Foster's offered a new job - as a school teacher for the High Evolutionary's New Men.

And, finally, we get a two-page look at Peter Parker's pad, as drawn by Larry Lieber.

Tuesday 18 June 2024

Speak Your Brain! Part 80. Of purple prose and cool collectables.

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

Whisper it loudly, brave ones, for yet another landmark moment has been reached in the history of mankind, as the world's most talked-about event is back.

Yes, it's the 80th edition of the feature in which the first person to comment in the box below gets to decide just what is or isn't the site's latest hot talking-point.

That talking-point could be just about anything under the sun. Or over it, next to it or, even, round the back of it.

Therefore, be sure to make your mark in eternity and choose just what that topic shall be,

And may Fate bless each and every one of us.

Sunday 16 June 2024

2000 AD - May 1986.

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

It can sometimes seem like the human race expends most of its time, energy and enthusiasm on trying to make the world a worse place but it can, sometimes, actually try to make it a better one.

May 1986 saw one such occasion, as it witnessed an event called Hands Across America in which over five million people formed a human chain which stretched from New York City to Long Beach, California, in order to to raise money for the fight against hunger and homelessness.

For those who preferred to do their hand-holding in the cinema, there was not a bucketful of great films to be found. However, May did at least see the release of Short Circuit, Top Gun and Poltergeist II. None of which I would regard as classics but they were generally memorable.

Over on the UK singles chart, the month kicked off with Falco's Rock Me, Amadeus sitting pretty at the summit before it suffered the indignity of being dethroned by Spitting Image's The Chicken Song, a deliberately annoying spoof of a deliberately annoying comedy song the world had known as Agadoo.

When it came to the album chart, that listing too was dominated by just two records, with the month beginning with Bryan Ferry and Roxy Music's Street Life - 20 Great Hits on top before that was replaced by Peter Gabriel's So.

But what of the galaxy's greatest comic?

As always, it was giving us Tharg's Future Shocks, Judge Dredd, Strontium Dog and Ace Trucking Co. And, as sometimes, it was giving us plenty of Judge Anderson: PSI Division.

But what's this? It was also providing us with what appear to be two brand new strips: Bad City Blue by Alan Grant and Robin Smith; and Sooner or Later, the handiwork of Peter Milligan and Brendan McCarthy.

Sadly, I've never read either of those strips and, so, can shed no light upon their natures or merits. However, after what feels like a lengthy period of stagnation for the book, it's good to see it, once more, dipping its toes into the water of innovation.

2000 AD Prog 468, Judge Anderson

2000 AD Prog 469, Strontium Dog

2000 AD Prog 470

2000 AD Prog 471, the Exploding Man

2000 AD Prog 472, Judge Anderson

Thursday 13 June 2024

June 15th 1974 - 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

If there was anything we all loved to do in the 1970s, it was take off all our clothes and run around naked at sporting events. Therefore, inevitably, it was only a matter of time before a record celebrating the act would top the UK charts.

And top it it did, this week in 1974 when the pinnacle of the British Hit Parade was only went and claimed by Ray Stevens and his single The Streak.

While that was going on, the summit of the accompanying LP chart was showing no signs of change, with David Bowie's Diamond Dogs retaining the pole position it had seized the week before. 

The Avengers #39, Shang-Chi, master of kung fu

The trend I highlighted, recently, of me only seeming to get every other issue of The Avengers, during this period, continues with another issue I missed out on at the time.

But what happens in it?

Shang-Chi is still in Miami and looking for a place to live. I can shed no light upon his activities after that but, given how things always go for him, I'm assuming it somehow manages to lead to a fight with deadly assassins.

In their strip, the Avengers have been captured by the Ultroids!

But not to worry. The Black Widow, of all people, has showed up to rescue them!

I know little of what Dr Strange is up to but am aware it involves Umar and have no doubt it shall be something that the fate of the universe depends upon.

And the back cover gives us the chance to buy some patches which feature our favourite super-heroes on them.

And they'll only cost us 40 pence!

The Mighty World of Marvel #89, the Hulk, the Leader and the Glob

But what's this? It's not just the Avengers I missed out on, this week, because it's an issue of Mighty World of Marvel I didn't own at the time.

Looking for yet another opportunity to lose to the Hulk, the Leader reverts himself to his pre-Gamma Ray appearance  and befriends Bruce Banner, that he might learn of previous Hulk foes who might be able to stop the woodland-hued wonder.

Thanks to that, he decides the Glob is just the monster he needs and sets off to recruit him.

Far, far away from that, Daredevil's in a savage land at the bottom of the world and discovering the shocking origin of Ka-Zar.

Spoiler alert! It bears a remarkable resemblance to the shocking origin of Tarzan.

The Fantastic Three, meanwhile, are still trying to find a way to overcome the Frightful Four, now that those villains have the Thing on their side.

Spider-Man Comics Weekly #70

It's starting to look hopeless for our hero, with Mysterio having shrunk him to the size of an insect and trapped in him a perfect scale-model of a funfair.

Or has he?

Meanwhile, things get confusing for all British readers, as Iron Man's strip introduces us to a brand new super-villain.

The Black Widow!

The one who's currently rescuing the Avengers in their comic.

Oh the joys of Marvel UK continuity incongruities.

Anyway, the Widow and Boris are sent to America to kill the Crimson Dynamo for defecting to the land of the free.

And, while they're at it, they're also going to kill Iron Man and Tony Stark!

But that's nothing because, in a galaxy far far away, Thor's battling Ego the Living Planet.

What he doesn't know is that, back on Earth, the hapless Jane Foster, fresh from acquiring a flatmate from outer space, goes on a flight and instantly bumps into two men who possess strangely animal-like qualities...

And we finish off with a Not Brand Echh reprint titled The Auntie Goose Rhymes Dept, created by Roy Thomas and John Verpoorten and narrated by Aunt May in the career-defining role of Auntie Goose.

Tuesday 11 June 2024

The Marvel Lucky Bag - June 1984.

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

There was plenty of 1980s goodness in store for you if you ventured into a cinema in June 1984. It was, after all, a month which saw the unleashing of such thrills as Once Upon a Time in America, The Search for Spock, Ghostbusters, Gremlins, The Karate Kid, Cannonball Run II and Conan the Destroyer.

I am confident in declaring Gremlins to be the best of that bunch.

Other opinions are available.

Alien Legion #2

I know nothing of the contents of this one, other than that the main tale's called Blind Trust and is brought to us by Alan Zelenetz and Frank Cirocco.

The backup strip, on the other hand, is called Bitter Memory and is the handiwork of Zelenetz and Terry Shoemaker.

With a name like Shoemaker, I just hope his work doesn't turn out to be total cobblers.

Dreadstar #11

The eleventh issue of Dreadstar brings us a Jim Starlin cover we'll never forget and a story in which, as the Instrumentality begins its Holy Cleansing, the High Lord Papal recalls his childhood.

Not only that but Infra Red and Ultra Violet are also introduced to us.

I got that summary from the Grand Comics Database. I don't have a clue what any of it means.

Hercules #4

Hercules' latest mini-series comes to a conclusion, as something or other happens.

All I can say about this one is it features a character called Skyppi who I'm going to assume is not related to the bush kangaroo we all know and love.

Power Man and Iron Fist #106, the Whirlwind

Iron Fist and Luke Cage find themselves in combat with the spinning menace of the Whirlwind, a foe I can't see either of them being much use against.

Marvel Super-Heroes Secret Wars #2, Magneto

This month brings us Episode 2 of the limited series they're all talking about.

At least, they would be if it wasn't a secret.

In this one, the heroes and villains engage in their first battle - with the heroes winning, and taking captives.

Dr Doom, meanwhile, uses the distraction to invade the villains' base and revive Ultron.

Elsewhere, Magneto abducts the Wasp and, in an unrelated incident, the Thing reverts back to being just plain old Ben Grimm.

What If? #45, the Hulk goes berserk

The book that can't stop asking me questions I can't stop not being able to know the answer to demands I tell it what would happen if the Hulk went berserk, although I'm fairly certain it's not the first time the world's had to deal with that problem.

Tragically, I can't tell you what happens on this occasion but I do know its cover's brought to us by Bill Sienkiewicz, while its insides are the product Peter Gillis and Ron Wilson.

Dazzler #32

And there's more cover action from Bill Sienkiewicz when the queen of the discos meets the Inhumans, a group of people I suspect have never been in a disco in their entire lives.

Regardless, despite their lack of glitter ball credentials, she travels to the moon to aid them against a mysterious blackness threatening the very existence of Attilan.

Sunday 9 June 2024

Forty years ago today - June 1984.

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

The British election campaign's hotting up.

But there are even greater conflicts going on in this world.

And they're occurring in the comics below!

The Amazing Spider-Man #253, the Rose

I'm struggling to remember just what transpires in this one but I do believe it involves a brand new villain called the Rose who's responsible for fixing American football games via the bribing or blackmailing of a quarterback.

Clearly, only your friendly neighbourhood Spider-Man has the chops to deal with that sort of thing.

Also, Robbie Robertson's acting a bit grumpy.

The Spectacular Spider-Man #91, the Blob

Speaking of Spider-Man, he and his girlfriend find themselves confronting a Blob on the rampage through the streets of New York, thanks to the villain's grief over the death of his friend Unus the Untouchable.

I seem to recall the Black Cat's power of bad luck being noticeably more useful against their opponent than Spidey's more physical powers are.

Fantastic Four #267, Dr Octopus

It's one of those stories that questions whether it's Dr Octopus who controls his arms or whether they control him, when Reed Richards must enlist the villain's aid in the emergency treatment of Sue who's on her radiation-inflicted death bed.

He manages to get Ock to agree to help - but the cephalopodic scientist's mechanical limbs aren't necessarily as accommodating.

Daredevil #207

What's this? Hydra kidnap the Black Widow, in order to lure the man without fear into a deadly trap?

Needless to say, he walks straight into that deadly trap.

Also needless to say, his super-senses get him - and her - straight out of that deadly trap.

Thor #344, Balder

We take a mighty diversion, as the now-pacifist Balder is sent to deliver a message to Loki, on behalf of Odin.

Loki, however, has allied himself with the malevolent Malekith and doesn't want to hear about it.

Inevitably, it all leads to a fight.

One in which, Balder redefines the word "pacifist" by chopping off Loki's head.

The Avengers #244, Dire Wraiths

The Avengers have to thwart the Dire Wraiths who've infiltrated the staff at the Kennedy Space Centre for, doubtless, nefarious purposes.

Tragically, I can remember nothing beyond that.

I am, however, confident the world's mightiest super-team triumph.

Conan the Barbarian #159

Conan bumps into yet another damsel in distress and rescues her - only for it to turn out she's evil and drugs the men she encounters, turning them into her helpless slaves until she gets bored with them and transforms them into statues.

Can our hero regain his senses before he too becomes part of the decor?

The Uncanny X-Men #182, Rogue

Things start to get weird when Rogue starts to think she's Carol Danvers and sets out to rescue one of Carol's old boyfriends from the clutches of SHIELD.

This necessitates her having to launch a single-handed assault on the organisation's helicarrier.

One that succeeds.

This, though, leads to Nick Fury declaring war on the X-Woman.

The Incredible Hulk #296, Rom

With Bruce Banner going increasingly out of control, Rom steps in to try and sort out the mess. He manages to de-radiate the victims of Bruce's latest device but finds that even he can't de-radiate the Hulk enough to cure him.

Captain America #294

I remember little of this one but do know the Red Skull's daughter and Baron Zemo have turned Cap's old friend Dave Cox into a ruthless killing machine intent upon slaughtering the hero and his sidekick Nomad.

Can the star-spangled Avenger talk some sense into the man?

Or is it too late for that?

Iron Man #183, Taurus

Now there's trouble. The new, robotic Taurus is out to kill the original Taurus - and only Iron Man can stop him!

The problem is Shellhead's going to have to do it without his repulsor rays because the gauntlets he acquired in the Secret War have been messing up the functioning of the rest of his armour and he's had to ditch them!