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.


Anonymous said...

Some other burning questions that I’ve often wondered about:


…Wolverine called someone “Bub”?

… Aunt May had a medical emergency?

… Odin was a total jerk?

… Captain America threw his mighty shield?


Anonymous said...

As for those movies — when it comes to Sci-fi/Fantasy Movie Blockbusters, The Summer of ‘84 was no Summer of ‘82.

I liked GHOSTBUSTERS a lot back in the day, but when I revisited it a few years ago I was startled to find that the dreaded Suck Fairy had gotten to it. Not nearly as funny as I remembered, the Special Effects not that Special anymore.

There are worse Sword and Sorcery movies than CONAN THE DESTROYER, and I honestly can’t think of any that are a whole lot better. Does that mean I think it’s actually ‘good’? Oh, hell no.

I saw GREMLINS just once, in the theatre, when it was first released, and didn’t much care for it. Maybe I’d like it better now (kinda like a ‘Reverse Suck Fairy’ effect). After all, I do like SEARCH FOR SPOCK a bit more now than I did in ‘84.

Honestly can’t remember if I saw ONCE UPON A TIME IN AMERICA, or if I just remember the critics ragging on it and all the stories about how it had been butchered by the American distributors. I do know I’ve never bothered to watch Leone’s restored ‘European Cut’.

I do know for a fact that I’ve never seen THE KARATE KID or CANNONBALL RUN 2.

Hey, you know what other movie was released that month that I know I HAVE seen? Walter Hill’s nutty rock and roll adventure STREETS OF FIRE. In fact I think I’ve seen it at least three times, maybe four. I guess I’d have to call it a Guilty Pleasure — I find it weirdly enjoyable while at the same time acknowledging that it’s objectively not a good movie.


Colin Jones said...

This might be controversial but I prefer Conan The Destroyer to Conan The Barbarian.

Colin Jones said...

On the subject of WHAT IF - last week on BBC Radio 4-Extra there was a programme called "What If D-Day Had Failed?" which concluded that Stalin and the Russians would have defeated Hitler anyway and the Soviet Union would have controlled the whole of post-war Europe, not just the eastern half.

Colin Jones said...

To be more precise, post-war Europe from Russia to France.

Matthew McKinnon said...

I haven’t read (or even seen) any of those comics but I like the BS covers a lot. Aren’t we now just a couple of months away from him taking over New Mutants?

So those movies…

I haven’t seen that Conan. I only fairly recently saw the first one and it was pretty poor.

Nor Cannonball Run II (I’m a bit startled those Burt Reynolds vehicular comedies stretched that far into the 80s - was there still an audience? I guess so, I vaguely remember my best friend and his brother going to see it).

My fondness for Star Trek III is well-documented. I’m even going to see it at the cinema again on Saturday. It is not a great movie but I like it.

You know how everyone absolutely raves about Star Trek II? I think that one is a really really good movie but I feel it’s just a shade over-rated. So conversely I think STIII is not a really good movie but it’s still not that bad and is underrated by comparison.

That was a lot of words.

I loved Ghostbusters back in the day, but I’m also not that keen now. I think I’m pretty much over Bill Murray and his schtick, and it’s hard to like a movie where the EPA guy is clearly right but characterised as a dick because he might stop them making money.

I’ve only seen Gremlins once, back in Christmas 1984. I was bored. I don’t actually like Joe Dante movies that much. For every subversive moment or theme, there’s great swathes of blandness. I just don’t get him. I can see the joke but it’s not funny.

The European cut of Once Upon A Time In America is as toweringly brilliant as everyone says. It’s easily the best film in this batch and possibly the whole decade. We’ll never see anything like it again. The last truly epic epic.

So there.

Anonymous said...

Completely agree about Once Upon A Time In America, Matthew.
Obviously, as Steve says in the post, other opinions are available. But that doesn't change the fact that we're right and he's wrong about which is the best of the films mentioned here.

A bit surprised to find out Gremlins came out in June. I didn't see it til some years later when it was shown on tv, and always assumed it must have been released in the run up to Christmas. What an odd film for the summer.

Not read any of the comics here, apart from Dazzler #32 (don't ask why).
Steve, Dazz is no longer a queen of the discos at this point - disillusioned by the music biz, she has given up on her quest for stardom as a singer/dancer and is instead settling into life as an ordinary, everyday aerobics instructor.
It may not surprise you to learn that the Sienkiewicz cover is quite a bit better than the actual contents of the comic. And not just because he hasn't included the legwarmers Dazzler wears, which really don't go with those red boots (or anything else for that matter).


Anonymous said...

That dude on the DREADSTAR cover has been giving me the creeps and I’ve finally figured out why — he somewhat reminds me of those scary Angels in the END OF EVANGELION movie.

Colin : I think CONAN THE BARBARIAN and CONAN THE DESTROYER are both pretty bad, but in different ways. BARBARIAN is dumb but seriously pretentious (Milius said he wanted to make a Kurosawa movie). It bastardizes and mashes up bits and pieces from various REH stories in a way that does none of them justice. DESTROYER is dumb and doesn’t pretend otherwise. It also has more magic and monsters. The scores by Basil Poledouris are both excellent. Arnold comes across as a muscle-brained goon in both movies.

The answer to ‘What If D-day had failed?’ is truly unsettling to think about. ‘What If the Human Torch burst into flames?’ is more my speed.

Matthew and Sean: looks like I’ll have to watch the European cut of Leone’s gangster opus one of these days.