Daredevil #14, Mar. 1966

dd014Daredevil #14, Mar. 1966

Story… Stan Lee
Pencilling… John Romita
Inking… Frankie Ray
Lettering… Artie Simek

one-star

Ugh, I had forgotten just how bad Daredevil was over the last year when I hadn’t been reading comics. I mean, when your guest star is Ka-Zar and he completely overshadows your main character despite not actually doing anything all issue, you’ve got something really bad going on.

So Ka-Zar and the Plunderer are long lost brothers, and they each have half of a medallion which will unlock great power etc etc. The Plunderer immediately gets the other half of his medallion (and disposes of his backstabbing butler Feepers), then cracks open his prize, a much larger version of the same stone which can vibrate and destroy weapons. Since he’s the Plunderer, he calls it the “plunder stone” and makes it into a disintegration ray. Also he makes a really dumb costume for himself.

The Plunderer takes his pirate crew to a missile base where he easily takes over because only they have guns that work, and are about to shoot missiles off into everywhere when Daredevil FINALLY decides to do something productive and stops him. With his super-hearing he can tell that the guns the Plunderer’s flunkies use are made out of plastic, and tells the army that his ray doesn’t work on plastic stuff. It’s a good thing this is still the 60′s, and not everything everywhere is made out of plastic yet. With this revelation, Daredevil handily defeats the ridiculous villain, and convinces him to tell the cops that Ka-Zar isn’t guilty of murder after all. Foggy and Karen came all the way to England to defend the brute in court, but it turns out it was all for nothing, and basically it was just a way for Matt Murdoch to get a ride home. Lazy superhero.

I have it on pretty good authority that guns made entirely of plastic wouldn’t work, but I’m more concerned with this vibrating stone that only destroys weapons. What the fuck is that thing, and if its been trapped in a concrete dome that can only be cracked by a smaller part of itself, why did it not crack the thing open simply by the virtue of it being itself? That doesn’t make any fucking sense, c’mon Stan.

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The X-Men #18, Mar. 1966

xmen018The X-Men #18, Mar. 1966

A fair story by: Stan Lee
Adequate art by: Jay Gavin
Tolerable inking by: Dick Ayers
The world’s greatest lettering by: Artie Simek (Marvel’s birthday boy of the month!)

three-stars

It’s cute that they reversed the credits for Artie Simek because it’s his birthday, instead of ragging on the letterer all the time. I like these little credits things they do, it’s just a little peek into the interoffice politics in Marvel, or at least those which they’re willing to be transparent about.

So last issue, Magneto put all the X-Men except for Iceman into a lead balloon shooting upwards into space. Iceman, if you’ll recall, was still in the hospital. Having full reign over the X-Mansion, Magneto hypnotizes Angel’s visiting parents and constructs a machine that will use their DNA to create an army of mutants at his command (since they had a mutant kid, this apparently means he can do that). Iceman wakes up and stalls Magneto long enough for the rest of the X-Men to get down. They finally beat him when Professor X talks to the Stranger, the stupidly powerful alien being who took Magneto from Earth in the first place, and they both run away together. It’s so sweet.

Magneto has some pretty stupid powers in this issue. He hypnotizes Angel’s parents using “magnetic attraction”, which is just a terrible, terrible thing. He also uses his magnetism as just a sort of all-purpose ray that can seal up an igloo and make people freeze in place and all sorts of other convenient things that aren’t even all that necessary for the plot. It’s kinda dumb that they have to bring back the Stranger again for the cop out ending, especially since the X-Men never really had all that much trouble defeating Magneto on the other dozen occasions they fought him. Still, he makes for an entertaining villain for these guys.

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The Avengers #26, Mar. 1966

aven026The Avengers #26, Mar. 1966

Incredible script by: Stan Lee
Inconceivable art by: Don Heck
Indescribable inking by: Frank Ray
Indelible lettering by: Artie Simek

one-star

Wow, way to follow up a fight with Dr. Doom, you bring back Attuma, idiot of the deep, and the Wasp to boot. I think this is the story that eventually leads to Wasp and Giant Man rejoining the Avengers, and that fuckin’ sucks. I hate them so much, and they’re part of the reason I hate Attuma so much. The dude was once beaten by Giant Man just because all he did was change size in front of the underwater overlord and it freaked him out. Attuma is the worst.

The Wasp is on her way to warn the Avengers about the run-in she and Hank had with Namor inĀ Tales to Astonish #77, but during one of her rests on the ocean she’s captured by a big dumb machine operated by the big dumb Attuma. He thinks she must be a spy, there to sabotage his machine that is slowly raising the tides of all the oceans in the world. She escapes and warns the Avengers, and they all head down there to help her, except for Hawkeye, who’s too busy showing off his Avengers ring to a bunch of girls in a bar. Oh Hawkeye, you scamp.

The Avengers are quickly beaten by Attuma because the atmosphere in his underwater ship is hard for them to breathe. Apparently Attuma’s men think it wasn’t fair, so he releases them, gives them air helmets, then fights them again. Basically the same thing happens again, except this time they let water into the room and obviously the Atlantean has no problem fighting while underwater.

So, at one point Attuma says that the Wasp is there to sabotage his water-making machine, then later when Quicksilver tries to find it to blow it up, he claims that it’s nowhere near where they are now. SO WHY DID YOU THINK SHE WAS THERE TO SABOTAGE YOU, YOU FUCK?! Also, why do Attuma’s men complain about him beating them in humid, hard-to-breathe air, but not about them being clearly much more hindered while fighting underwater? This whole thing is a bunch of crap if you ask me.

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Sgt. Fury and His Howling Commandos #28, Mar. 1966

sgt028Sgt. Fury and His Howling Commandos #28, Mar. 1966

Story by: Stan Lee
Art by: Dick Ayers
Inking by: John Tartaglione
Lettering by: Sam Rosen

two-stars

I think I’m going to stop caring so much about how much I write about each issue, or at the very least these stupid WWII comics. They really aren’t superhero comics, they just happen to have Nick Fury in them. There is some crossover between these characters and the rest of the superhero stuff, and that’s the only reason I’m doing it in the first place.

The Howling Commandos are off to a city in France recently occupied by the Nazis to help the local resistance make trouble for ze Germans. Their old nemesis, Baron Strucker, is running the city now, and he’s just as useless as he is every time they go up against him. The Howlers blow up a million trains and four million bridges, which ticks Hitler off to no end. He orders Strucker to blow up the entire town instead of just shipping off the citizens to concentration camps as he had been doing. In retaliation, Fury sets Strucker’s base to explode, and the issue ends with a stalemate: who will blow up whom?!

Hitler gets a lot of facetime in this issue, which is funny because he’s shown as a raving psychopath, constantly yelling insanity at everyone. The weird thing about this is not that Adolph Hitler is shown in a negative light in a WWII comic written by a former army propaganda man, but that Baron Strucker is constantly disagreeing with Hitler’s orders, thinking of him as a madman. So wait, are we supposed to sympathize with the monocle-wearing Nazi officer now? What’s that all about?

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Tales of Suspense #75, Mar. 1966

tos075Tales of Suspense #75, Mar. 1966

Titanically written by: Stan Lee
Tremendously drawn by: Adam Austin
Tumultuously inked by: Gary Michaels
Timorously lettered by: Sam Rosen

Stan Lee, script
Jack Kirby, layout
Dick Ayers, pencil
J. Tartaglione, inks
Artie Simek, lettering
Irving Forbush, cheer leader

two-stars

Last time, on Tales of Suspense! Tony Stark’s chauffeur/bodyguard Happy Hogan saved Iron Man from being killed by Titanium Man, and was almost killed himself in the process. To cure him, some quack of a doctor used some random ray he had no idea what function it had and accidentally brought Happy back as a giant bald monster with no brain! Comic books.

Now, Iron Man has to stop the monster Happy’s become without accidentally killing him, and, as always, the charge in his armor is almost down to nothing. His armor has worse battery life than an iPhone!! Thank you, thank you. It turns out that the new monster Hogan is stronger than ol’ shellhead, so he leads him back to his lab so he can shoot him with another ray to turn him back to normal. This ray might kill Stark in the meanwhile, but gosh darnit, he owes Happy his life!

Captain America, on the other hand, just got home from defeating the ridiculous Sleeper robots the Red Skull set up, and finds himself in a scuttle on the street between a lady agent of SHIELD and Batroc the Leaper, French mercenary skilled in the art of “la savatte”. Cap beats the shit out of him, but in the scuffle a package of highly dangerous “Inferno 42″ starts to leak, which will destroy the city in 30 minutes unless Cap and the Frenchman team up to find the agent!

Savate, the actual name of the French martial arts style Batroc is supposed to be a master of, is something like kickboxing, only… Frenchier. Look, I didn’t actually read the Wikipedia article about it, except for the part where it mentions BatrocĀ twice. Clearly, Batroc the Leaper is the most famous savateur ever, and he’s this awful stereotype in a ridiculous purple spandex outfit who says “honh honh honh” as he kicks people in the face. France should be so proud.

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