Monday, September 29, 2014

October 1965

(Continued from September 1965)

FANTASTIC FOUR 43  /
cover by Jack Kirby & Vince Colletta
"LO! THERE SHALL BE AN ENDING!"
Reed finally turns the tables on The Wizard and his murderous crew. Part 3 of 3 (also, Part 6 of 6). JACK KIRBY supplies story & art, ye "editor" does dialogue, and Vince Colletta murders again.
     (2-28-2014)


FANTASTIC FOUR ANNUAL 3  /
cover by Jack Kirby & Mike Esposito
"BEDLAM AT THE BAXTER BUILDING!"
This story serves as the "big climax" and "celebration" for just about everything in the Marvel Universe since FF #1. REED & SUE get married! Dr. Doom, whose hands are still hurting after what Ben did to them (a detail the "editor" somehow COMPLETELY missed when he wrote the dialogue), uses a machine to influence the minds of villains from all over the place to gather and ATTACK the Baxter Building ALL AT ONCE!! It's the company-wide crossover to beat all company-wide crossovers, the blueprint for countless such stories done since, NONE of which, somehow, has EVER managed to be as FUN or as EXCITING as this one!!! I've read it and re-read it countless times, and it never gets old!!

My favorite moment in the entire story remains when DAREDEVIL-- one of the "weakest" of the heroes-- manages to single-handedly save New York City from not only a bomb explosion, BUT, an INVASION by Attuma and his undersea barbarian legions-- the latter, without even realizing it. HILARIOUS!

JACK KIRBY supplies story & art, ye "editor" makes with the words, and for once Vince Colletta DOESN'T murder the inks on this series.

My intro to the FF was the 1967 Hanna-Barbera cartoon show, in which Reed & Sue were already married. THIS was my very 1st Marvel Comic-- what a place to come in!!!-- and I somehow got ahold of it a couple months after the show debuted. It introduced me to countless characters, many of whom it took me years and years to find out who the heck they were.

It also has reprints in the back from FF #6 and 11. FF #6 was my intro to Prince Namor, The Sub-Mariner, and to this day, I consider it the single best story to feature him in all of the 60's. You just don't know what to make of him in this one, as he's calmed down from his return, but he's still on the devious side. And yet, HE's the one who saves the day at the end. Hard to hate a guy like that.
     (2-28-2014)


STRANGE TALES 137  /
cover by JOHN SEVERIN (and STEVE DITKO)
"THE PRIZE IS...  EARTH!"
NICK FURY, AGENT OF SHIELD continues to battle Hydra, who plan to blackmail the entire planet into submission with an orbitting bomb. JACK KIRBY supplies story & layouts for this TENSE THRILLER, while ye "editor" does dialogue, and JOHN SEVERAL continues on pencils & inks. Part 3 of 7! (My best friend once complained you never got a complete story when you bought a Marvel Comic-- you can see that trend right here.)
     (2-28-2014)

Synopsis:
Fury looks over the captured HYDRA saucer, pondering how no one has a clue who their top men are. With a million dollar price on his head, MP's keep a sharp eye on Fury's welfare. In Weapons Design, Fury's given a gadget-laden outfit, which includes a periscope hat, a self-destructing radio tie, a high-explosive shirt, and a bullet-proof suit made of flexible steel! Meanwhile, SHIELD agents race to get an important microfilm to HQ. The chase leads from a train station to a moving train to a speeding car which turns into a submarine, but in the end, the agents self-destruct to prevent falling into HYDRA hands. HYDRA has a gigantic "Betratron Bomb", with which they can hold the entire world to ransom, and the microfilm would have told SHIELD the location of its launch-site. Meanwhile, dictatorial Leslie Farrington accepts the chairmanship of Imperial Industries International, and tells his secretary Brown he wants info on every other board member. But someone on the board is in fact Imperial Hydra! Below the boardroom, in their secret chambers, their leader is approached by "Agent G", his daughter. She begs him to give up his mad plan, while he tries to explain that he wants only to give her "the world". The bomb launches without a hitch... 

Indexer notes:
Part 3 of 7. 1st appearance of the SHIELD Communication Center. The chase sequence, from train to car-turned-submarine vs. frogmen is strikingly similar to the one in the film THE SPY WHO LOVED ME (1977). 1st modern appearance of Dum Dum & Gabe (regular cast members in SGT. FURY AND HIS HOLWING COMMANDOS). The relationship between Imperial Hydra & Agent G pays tribute to that of Doctor Fu Manchu & Fah Lo Suee, or The Yellow Claw and his niece, Suwan.


TALES TO ASTONISH 72  /
cover by Gene Colan & Vince Colletta (and Jack Kirby & Mike Esposito)
"A PRINCE THERE WAS"
Part 3 of 7 of SUB-MARINER's quest for the trident of Neptune. GENE COLAN supplies story & art, ye "editor" does dialogue, and Vince Colletta makes with the lines.

"WITHIN THE MONSTER DWELLS A MAN"
HULK's battle with The Leader continues on and on. JACK KIRBY supplies story & layouts, MIKE ESPOSITO does pencils and inks, and ye "editor" does dialogue.
     (2-28-2014)


AMAZING SPIDER-MAN 29  /
cover by STEVE DITKO
Review  (coming soon)


TALES OF SUSPENSE 70  /
cover by Jack Kirby & Mike Esposito
"FIGHT ON!  FOR A WORLD IS WATCHING!"
IRON MAN's battle against the Titanium Man kicks into high gear. During a break between rounds, Tony finds Countess Stephanie (an old flame he never liked that much) has stolen the one gadget he needs to beat the Commie badguy, and Happy retrieves it. But the next round starts before he can deliver it, so he puts his life at risk to run onto the battlefield. Before it's done, it looks like Happy's a goner... but not before he reveals that he KNOWS Shellhead is really his boss. OHHHH boy. DON HECK supplies story & art, ye "editor" does dialogue, and Mike Esposito continues moonlighting from DC. (Part 2 of 3!!!)

"IF THIS BE TREASON!"
CAP & BUCKY take on Nazis in a castle in Part 2 of this 3-parter. JACK KIRBY supplies story & layouts, ye "editor" does dialogue & GEORGE TUSKA steps in to do pencils & inks!
     (2-28-2014)


JOURNEY INTO MYSTERY 121  /
cover by Jack Kirby & Vince Colletta
"THE POWER! THE PASSION! THE PRIDE!"
No GCD sypnopsis again. In Part 8 of 11, Crusher Creel, The Absorbing Man, comes back for more. Tsk!

JACK KIRBY supplies story & art, ye "editor" does dialogue, and Vince "I'm on my coffee break" Colletta does inks.

"MAELSTROM!"
from the GCD: "Indexer Notes: Odinsword Quest Part 4." Geez, aren't there ANY Thor fans at that site?

JACK KIRBY supplies story & art on this latest installment of "Tales Of Asgard", ye "editor" does dialogue & Vince "Has the hooker shown up yet?" Colletta does inks.
     (2-28-2014)


THE AVENGERS 21  /
cover by Jack Kirby & Wally Wood
"THE BITTER TASTE OF DEFEAT"
Jack Kirby introduces another long-running baddie, in the form of POWER MAN, who, like WONDER MAN, is a normal guy bestowed with super-strength via outside means. He's recruited by The Enchantress to ruin the team's rep, and by the end, CAP quits and hits the road. Good grief! DON HECK supplies story & art, ye "editor" does dialogue, and WALLY WOOD does inks. Not too shabby.  Part 1 of 2.
     (2-28-2014)


SGT. FURY & HIS HOWLING G.I.'s 23  /
cover by DICK AYERS
"THE MAN WHO FAILED!"
DICK AYERS supplies story & art, ye "editor" does dialogue, and Frank Giacoia does inks.
     (2-28-2014)


DAREDEVIL 10  /
cover by Larry Ivie & Wally Wood
"WHILE THE CITY SLEEPS"
The first 2-parter in the book's run. WALLY WOOD supplies story, layouts, inks AND DIALOGUE, while BOB POWELL is edged in between doing pencils, because ye "editor" was trying to find him some work (or so he claims). He also gets VERY snide, sarcastic & insulting about Wood's writing skills, acting as if he was doing the guy a favor to "let" him write this one, while continuing to ignore the fact that Wood WROTE every episode of this book he worked on!!! Anyone really paying attention can tell, as the story style & structure in these is completely different from anything else being done at Marvel at the time. Wood introduces the "Ani-Men", a gang of crooks with specialties who all dress up in animal costumes-- Bird-Man, Ape-Man, Frog-Man & Cat-Man, along with "The Organizer", the mysterious brains of the outfit whose identity is a mystery for the entire issue.

As much as I enjoy seeing Wood inks just about anything, I wish he'd done full art on all of these, as, while it seems to me he'd dragging Powell UP, Powell is simultaneously dragging Wood DOWN. Truthfully, from what I've seen of Bob Powell's art, he would have been much better-served if he could have done FULL ART (pencils & inks)... but that would have required a "real" writer to supply scripts, and Marvel just didn't have any of those around this time!
     (2-28-2014)


(Continued in November 1965)

All Text (C) Henry R. Kujawa
Artwork (C) Marvel Comics
Restorations by Henry R. Kujawa

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