Tuesday, 14 May 2019

Marvel Years 08.07 - July 1968

Spectacular Spider-Man #1

After introducing seven new comics in three months, does Stan Lee want to slow down? Not at all! He's only just getting started. This month he introduces a new type of comic. It's another Spider-Man comic, but in a different format. It's larger than usual comics, it's printed on better quality paper, and it's in black and white. It has more pages with hardly any advertisements. Instead of the usual 12 cents, it costs 35 cents. That was a lot of money for comic book fans to pay in 1968, especially now that more comics are being released every month.

Interestingly, the stamp saying that the comic is approved by the Comics Book Authority is missing from the cover. It's possible that Stan intended future issues to contain more adult topics, but it's more likely that he only wanted to say "This isn't a comic, it's a magazine".

This is an obvious attempt by Stan Lee to elevate his comics to the level of serious magazines. It's an interesting experiment, but it failed. The magazines were announced as bi-monthly, but the second magazine didn't appear until four months later and there was no third magazine. It might sound like a cliche, but the magazine was ahead of its time.

Title: Lo, the Monster!

Writer: Stan Lee
Artist: John Romita

Villain: Richard Raleigh, Man-Monster

Regulars: Aunt May, Anna Watson, Mary Jane Watson, Captain Stacy, Gwen Stacy, Harry Osborn, J. Jonah Jameson, Joe Robertson, Betty Brant

This is a 52-page story, the longest story published by Marvel so far, breaking the previous record set by Avengers Annual #1 (49 pages). For a story that's so long, it has a very simple plot. A politician called Richard Raleigh is campaigning to become the Mayor of New York. He promises to clean up the city. (Don't they all say that?) There are repeated attacks against his offices and billboards, by mobsters and a 10-foot monster. This proves to the public that he's an enemy of organised crime. The only ones who doubt his integrity are Peter Parker and Captain Stacy.

They're correct. Richard Raleigh has been paying the gangsters to threaten him. He's also hired a scientist to create the big monster for him. It's only a first step. After becoming mayor he wants an army of monsters, so he can conquer the world.

Nobody cares what a teenager thinks about him, but Richard Raleigh is angry when a respected police captain like George Stacy speaks out about him. He sends the monster to kill him.

The monster returns to the laboratory, where he runs out of control. Richard Raleigh is killed, and the obituaries call him a hero.

Title: In the Beginning!

Writer: Stan Lee
Artist: Larry Lieber

Regulars: Aunt May, Uncle Ben

This 10-page story is a retelling of Spider-Man's origin from Amazing Fantasy #15. It adds a few details, such as Peter Parker getting into a fight on the way home after being bitten by the radioactive spider, but it doesn't contradict the original story in any way. Stan Lee is careful not to contradict the canon.

Daredevil #42

Title: Nobody laughs at the Jester!

Writer: Stan Lee
Artist: Gene Colan

Villain: Jester, Richard Raleigh

Regulars: Foggy Nelson, Karen Page, Debbie Harris

This comic is skilfully entwined with Spectacular Spider-Man #1. It takes place at the same time, and it ends between pages 51 and 52 of Spectacular Spider-Man #1.

Mike Murdock's death was staged last issue. Now Matt Murdock is considering giving up his identity as Daredevil. This would give him time to pursue a relationship with his secretary Karen Page, who he's secretly loved for years.

A new villain is in town, who calls himself the Jester. He used to be a stage actor, but the audiences laughed at his poor performances. Now he's using comedy to mock those who used to laugh at him. He uses toys and similar props in his crimes.

The mayor candidate Richard Raleigh is worried that Foggy Nelson is too honest to be his district attorney. He decides to get help from the Jester. He offers him $10,000 if he can persuade Foggy to give up his attempt to become district attorney.

Foggy and Matt go on a double date with Debbie and Karen. The Jester attacks them and takes Matt hostage, threatening to kill him if Foggy doesn't give up his bid to become district attorney. Fortunately Matt still isn't sure whether he wants to give up being Daredevil. He's taken his costume with him on his date. When the Jester leaves the room he changes clothes. Daredevil fights with the Jester and pretends to lose. He feigns unconsciousness so he can follow the Jester.

The Jester visits Richard Raleigh's secret house to extort him for even more money. He finds Raleigh dead in his laboratory, just after he was killed by the so-called Man-Monster. Daredevil challenges him, but he flees.

Nick Fury, Agent of SHIELD #2

In the second issue of "Nick Fury, Agent of Shield" there are the first open problems with Jim Steranko's art. One page had to be censored, because it violated the Comics Code. Several panels on page 5 were redrawn by John Romita before they were coloured. So who said they violated the Comics Code? I doubt they sent investigators to the Marvel offices every week. My guess is that Stan Lee was keeping a close eye on Jim Steranko, carefully checking his artwork. When Stan saw this issue he yelled "We can't do that! We'll be closed down!" I suspect that this was the breaking point in the relationship between Stan and Jim. I'll let you see the offensive artwork below.

Title: So shall ye read death?

Writer: Jim Steranko
Artist: Jim Steranko

Villain: Centurius (Dr. Noah Black)

Regulars: Dum Dum Dugan, Clay Quartermain, Countess Valentina, Johnny Woo

Johnny Woo has accepted Nick Fury's invitation to join SHIELD. He's put through various tests, all of which he passes with flying colours.

A few days later Nick Fury and Johnny Woo are flying back to the SHIELD helicarrier. They're knocked off course by a beam being directed from space to a small island. They crash land on the island. They meet the owner of a scientific facility, the famous Dr. Noah Black, who now calls himself Centurius. He's withdrawn from civilisation because he's disgusted with all the greed and violence in the world. He has spent the last 30 years in isolation, researching evolution so he can save the world. He has created new, highly evolved beings which are being stored in an orbiting satellite. He intends to wipe out all life on Earth with radioactive rain. Then he'll wait 100 years before transferring his creatures from the satellite to Earth.

Nick and Johnny fight against Centurius, which is difficult because their weapons were removed on arrival. Complicating matters is a film crew on the island, which is making a monster movie called "Kong". First they get in the way, then they help.

Now for the censored artwork. It concerns a love scene between Nick Fury and Countess Valentina.

This Is Jim Steranko's original artwork.

This is the censored version.

In the first panel, John Romita removed Valentina's cleavage.

In the fifth panel the shading of her cleavage is also removed.

In the ninth panel the phone is put back on the hook.

In the eleventh panel the embrace is removed.

Wow! Was the Comics Code Authority really so prude in the 1960's? Was it offensive to show a phone off the hook, because it suggested something? I just have to shake my head when I see things like this. Not even a hint of cleavage was allowed. This is all so wrong.

Doctor Strange #170

Title: To dream, perchance to die!

Writer: Roy Thomas
Artist: Dan Adkins

Villain: Nightmare

Regulars: Ancient One

At the end of the last issue Doctor Strange was enjoying a cigarette in the Ancient One's Himalayan temple, when he was disturbed by the Ancient One screaming. Don't you believe me? Here are the last two panels of Doctor Strange #169.

I'm not surprised the Ancient One was shouting. I would have been shouting as well. "Stephen! How many times have I told you to go outside to smoke? You're making the temple smell bad!"

Doctor Strange finds the Ancient One in a deep sleep, and it's impossible to wake him by slapping his face or chanting mystic spells. He should have tried blowing smoke in his face. That would have woken him immediately.

Doctor Strange enters the Ancient One's mind and finds himself trapped in the dream world of his old foe Nightmare, who we last saw in Strange Tales #122. The Ancient One is just bait. He wants revenge for his previous defeats at the hands of Doctor Strange.

Doctor Strange defeats Nightmare with the help of the Eye of Agamotto, a powerful weapon, even though it isn't an Infinity Stone. He should have used another tactic. "Nightmare, if you don't release the Ancient One immediately I'll keep smoking until the whole of your dream world stinks!"

Take a peak at the Crazy Credits. They say that if you see a shimmering shadow you shouldn't worry, because it's only Irving Watanabe out for a moonlight stroll. No, that's not another pseudonym of Irving Forbush. It's a British letterer who worked on a few Marvel comics in the 1960's, then frequently in the 1970's. He probably goes out at night because his wife doesn't allow him to smoke indoors. Thank you, Mrs. Watanabe.

Iron Man #3

Title: My Friend, my Foe, the Freak!

Writer: Archie Goodwin
Artist: Johnny Craig

Villain: Freak (Happy Hogan), Whitney Frost

Regulars: Happy Hogan, Pepper Hogan

Guests: Jasper Sitwell, Janice Cord

Iron Man has to rescue his workers from a collapsing rocket. His transistor power is already low, so he can hardly manage it. He staggers away, barely conscious.

Jasper Sitwell introduces his new girlfriend, Whitney Frost. Stan Lee can't remember when she previously met Iron Man. It's understandable that Stan is confused. To be accurate, they never really met. She stood over him while he was unconscious on a table in Tales Of Suspense #99.

Whitney Frost is being modest if she thinks she can use Jasper Sitwell because he's naive about women. Just look at her. She's beautiful and busty. She's wearing a short skirt, thigh high boots and fishnet stockings. She's stroking his face while pressing her leg against his crotch. Be honest. Any man, naive or not, would be breaking into a hard sweat.

Back in his laboratory, Tony Stark realises that his armour is no longer powerful enough to keep his heart beating normally. He needs new armour, but he's too weak to build it. He asks Happy Hogan to help him, as his only friend who knows his secret identity. The work on the armour succeeds, but there's an explosion that turns Happy into the Freak, with a capital F, who we saw in Tales Of Suspense #74 to #76.

Iron Man manages to knock him out with gas, but Happy doesn't revert to his normal self. He's transported back to Tony Stark's factory.

Sub-Mariner #3

Title: On a clear day you can see the Leviathan!

Writer: Roy Thomas
Artist: John Buscema

Villain: Plant Man, Destiny (vision)

Regulars: Dorma, Vashti, Warlord Seth

Guests: Triton

The attack on London has begun. The Plant Man wants revenge on the city, because it's the place where he grew up in poverty.

What's that? You didn't know the Plant Man is British? That's because Stan Lee forgot to tell us in Strange Tales #113. The poor man can't think of everything.

Prince Namor and Triton, still bound together by a band of sentient energy, battle against the giant plants attacking London. The largest is a plant that the Plant Man calls the Leviathan. After the battle Namor and Triton separate as friends. Namor continues his search for Destiny.

Captain Marvel #3

Title: From the Ashes of Defeat!

Writer: Roy Thomas
Artist: Gene Colan

Villain: Super-Skrull

Regulars: Yon-Rogg, Una, Carol Danvers, Sentry 459 (flashback)

The Super-Skrull carries the almost unconscious Captain Marvel into his spaceship, where he uses a mind probe to find the reason for his mission on Earth. This is an excuse for a three-page recap for readers new to the series. Mar-Vell escapes and flies back to the orbiting Kree spaceship.

Mar-Vell wants to return to Earth to retrieve his cylinder before it self-destructs with a nuclear detonation that will kill thousands. This is forbidden. However, the Super-Skrull has returned to Earth and Mar-Vell is ordered to pursue him. The Super-Skrull has returned to Earth to examine the cylinder for clues, so this is a useful order.

On Earth Captain Marvel defeats the Super-Skrull by using a mirror to turn his power of super-hypnosis against him. After this he deactivates the cylinders auto-destruct sequence.

The Super-Skrull had almost forgotten his power of super-hypnosis. I'd forgotten it as well. I'm glad Stan reminded me.

Yes, there it is in Fantastic Four #18. It isn't a power common to all Skrulls, like their ability to change shape. It's a power given uniquely to the Super-Skrull in addition to the powers of the Fantastic Four.

The Incredible Hulk #105

Title: This Monster Unleashed!

Writer: Bill Everett, Roy Thomas
Artist: Marie Severin

Villain: Missing Link

Regulars: General Ross, Major Talbot, Rick Jones, Betty Ross

Guests: Reed Richards

This issue contains more great artwork by Marie Severin.

The Hulk is running away with Betty Ross in his arms. When she expresses her love for him he changes back into Bruce Banner. At this moment he's shot in the leg. It's only a flesh wound, but still very painful. Betty helps him to escape.

The Chinese have discovered a monster which emits radiation. They call it the Missing Link – strange name – and release it in New York, hoping that it will cause destruction.

We're lucky that Stan Lee can translate the Missing Link dialect. What a genius!

It's now common knowledge that Bruce Banner is the Hulk, so the police are pursuing him. In the excitement of the chase he turns back into the Hulk. The bullet wound slows him down.

The weakened Hulk fights with the Missing Link. Its radiation has an effect on him. It turns him back into Bruce Banner, but with the Hulk's intellect.

The Missing Link leaves him alone. When he walks away the effects of the radiation wear off, and Bruce Banner turns back into the Hulk.

Reed Richards has invented a weapon for the army, based on notes written by Bruce Banner. It fires gamma rays that should be enough to stop the Hulk. Major Talbot fires it at the Hulk, turning him back into Bruce Banner. At this moment the Missing Link arrives.

The Crazy Credits say that Irving Forbush supplies the scorecards. What are they for? Are they to count how many times the Hulk changes into Bruce Banner and back in this issue? Were you counting? There are five changes!

Captain America #103

Title: The Sleeper Strikes!

Writer: Stan Lee
Artist: Jack Kirby

Villain: Red Skull, Exiles

Regulars: Agent 13 (Sharon Carter)

Guests: Nick Fury

Steve Rogers takes Agent 13 on their second date. The first date was in Tales Of Suspense #95. He wanted to propose to her, but she refused because of her obligations to SHIELD. Things have moved on since then. She even reveals her real name to him: Sharon Carter. However, he's taking it slow now. No proposals yet.

Agents of the Red Skull burst into the restaurant and kidnap Sharon. They release gas which knocks everyone out. They leave Steve Rogers behind because they don't recognise him.

Captain America travels to the island where the Red Skull is living with his elite forces, the Exiles. He's captured and imprisoned with Agent 13. Together they stage an escape, not knowing it's what the Red Skull wants. While he was unconscious the Red Skull put a strip of nuclear tape (TM) on the back of his neck. The Red Skull has a detonator that can destroy him anywhere in the world.

I always thought that Captain America never used a gun. I was wrong. I only knew Captain America from Tales Of Suspense and the Avengers, because his solo comics weren't available in England in the 1960's and 1970's. The Marvel distributors must have thought there was no market for a comic with this name.

The Crazy Credits say the food was supplied by Forbush Fancy Foods. I thought the restaurant looked classier than that.

Fantastic Four #76

Title: Stranded in Sub-Atomica!

Writer: Stan Lee
Artist: Jack Kirby

Villain: Galactus, Psycho-Man

Regulars: Crystal

Guests: Silver Surfer

The Fantastic Four travel into the sub atomic worlds to find the Silver Surfer. Luckily Reed Richards has already built a shrinking craft for this purpose.

Here's some dubious science. According to Reed Richards, the craft is propelled by the speed of its own shrinkage, just as a balloon moves quickly when the air is expelled. That's wrong. It isn't the shrinking that makes a balloon move, it's the air being released that projects it. Is my explanation good enough to win me a Nobel Prize? I'll settle for a No-Prize if I have to.

The Silver Surfer avoids the Fantastic Four, because he doesn't want to return to the world above. The Psycho-Man, who we last saw in Fantastic Four Annual #5, sees the Silver Surfer and sends an android to capture him. The android sees the Fantastic Four's craft and mistakes it for his prey. After a short battle the Silver Surfer intervenes and destroys the android. He says that he will present himself to Galactus to save the human race. Reed Richards says the Fantastic Four will remain in the micro-world to end the menace of the Psycho-Man once and for all.

The Crazy Credits say that Irving Forbush provides the micro-world road maps. He's out of business now. Everyone uses Google Maps.

Amazing Spider-Man #62

I remember when I first bought this comic as a horny teenager. I thought the cover was the sexiest picture I'd ever seen. As a result of this one picture I had a crush on Medusa for years. I still think it looks sexy. Thank you, John Romita.

Title: Make way for Medusa!

Writer: Stan Lee
Artist: John Romita

Villain: Medusa

Regulars: Mary Jane Watson, Captain Stacy, Gwen Stacy, Harry Osborn, J. Jonah Jameson, Norman Osborn

Spider-Man is swinging around town when his web is cut by Medusa's mono-cruiser (TM). I never knew she had one of those. Spider-Man's spider sense should have warned him. Or maybe it's turned off when sexy women are nearby?

Medusa says that she's come to New York to see if the human race is ready to accept the Inhumans. She lands in the street and is immediately surrounded by a crowd of onlookers. I would have been in the front row. A representative of a hairspray company asks her to model for their new product, Heavenly Hair Spray. She agrees, but after a few photos she gets bored and storms out. The boss of the company sees Spider-Man swing by and claims that Medusa attacked him. Spider-Man attacks Medusa, or at least he attempts to.

Spider-Man says he's never fought a female before. That's true. In Amazing Spider-Man #22 he had to fight Princess Python. When she got close and flirty with him he just stood where he was and let her jab him with her electro prod. He didn't stand a chance.

And he doesn't stand a chance against Medusa. He just stands in front of her and struggles with her hair whenever she grabs him. The almost-fight lasts until they realise that they were set up by the hairspray boss.

Gwen Stacy is still angry with Peter Parker for the way he treated her father while he was hypnotised. She breaks up with him. Now Mary Jane Watson thinks she has a chance with him.

Norman Osborn is getting closer to remembering that he was the Green Goblin.

The Crazy Credits tell us that Sam Rosen's lettering is lonesome. I don't blame him. He needs a quiet room to work in if he doesn't want to make any mistakes.

Thor #154

Title: To wake the Mangog!

Writer: Stan Lee
Artist: Jack Kirby

Villain: Mangog, Loki, Norn Queen, Ulik, Hela, Harokin

Regulars: Odin, Sif, Balder

A lot happens in the 20 pages of this story. In comics drawn by Jack Kirby there are usually large panels, which reduces the story. Not this time. Stan must have given Jack an enormous plot and told him to keep his drawing compact.

At the end of the last issue Odin ordered Thor and Loki to stop fighting. They obey, but Loki is still sneaking around, waiting for another chance to attack.

Thor returns to the hospital to check on Sif. While he's there Hela, the Goddess of Death, returns to him. She came to claim him in Thor #150, but allowed him to carry on living. She's not allowed to claim him again unless he's mortally wounded, but she tries to persuade him to give himself to her voluntarily. She shows him his reward in Valhalla, that he will be able to fight battles forever. That's not the sort of reward I want when I die. I want to be surrounded by beautiful women.

Karnilla the Norn Queen is still trying to persuade Balder to remain with her as her lover. She grows angry when he spurns her yet again. Come on, Balder, she's not that bad.

Thor lets Sif sleep and goes round town doing good deeds. He captures some muggers for the police. Then he confronts a group of hippies who have dropped out. He tells them that instead of dropping out they should live life to the full. I know that Stan Lee is taking a stand against long-haired hippies here, but he doesn't get it. Dropping out doesn't mean dropping out of life, it means dropping out of society and its evils. The main incentive for dropping out in the 1960's was to avoid getting involved in the Vietnam War. But we all know that Stan supported the war, so maybe that's what he was complaining about, through the words spoken by Thor.

Ulik the Troll has entered a cave halfway down the bottomless pit. He sees a sealed door with a warning written by Odin never to open it. Ulik tears the door down and finds a being called the Mangog, still furious because Odin trapped him. Ulik offers that they team up against Odin, but the Mangog says he will destroy everything that lives, starting with Odin.

Loki returns to Asgard and finds the city preparing for war. They know the Mangog has been freed. Odin cannot lead them because he's fallen into the Odin-Sleep. This usually lasts one day, sometimes longer, but if he's woken too soon he loses his powers. Loki takes his place on the throne.

This is a horrible contortion of the English language. Stan Lee is just joking, so I'll let him off just this once. If he does it again I'll be-eth very angry with him. Nuff-eth said!

X-Men #46

Title: The End of the X-Men!

Writer: Gary Friedrich
Artist: Werner Roth

X-Men: Cyclops, Angel, Beast, Iceman, Marvel Girl

Villain: Juggernaut

Regulars: Agent Duncan

Guests: Foggy Nelson

The X-Men are taking time to grieve at Professor X's grave. They're interrupted by the FBI agent Amos Duncan, who we last saw in the origin story in X-Men #39. He's the only non-mutant that Professor X has confided in until now. But why is he called Amos Duncan? His name in X-Men #39 was Fred Duncan. I think Gary Friedrich slipped up.

Agent Duncan waits while Foggy Nelson reads the Will. As we all know, Nelson and Murdock is the only law firm in New York. Professor X has left all his belongings to his five students. Scott Summers is to take over the running of the school.

Foggy leaves, and Agent Duncan is about to give instructions to the X-Men when the Juggernaut breaks out of the cellar. He's been in the Crimson Cosmos since X-Men #33, but Professor X has built a machine that will bring him back at a specified time. The Juggernaut wants to take revenge on Professor X, and he doesn't believe the X-Men when they say he's dead.

Marvel Girl can attack the Juggernaut with psychic attacks, even though we read in X-Men #13 that his helmet protects him. This is another mistake by Gary Friedrich. He should take time to read the old comics. Even this doesn't help the X-Men defeat him. Then the Juggernaut suddenly fades away. The X-Men don't know what's happened, but they assume that Professor X set a timer on the machine to trap the Juggernaut again if he didn't intervene in time.

Agent Duncan finally addresses the X-Men. He tells them that they have to disband and go to different parts of the country. He says that they'll be targets if they stay together. That doesn't make sense. Won't they still be targets if they separate? Apart from this, his orders seem to be contradicting the wishes in the Professor's Will.

Yet again, Don Heck does the layouts for Werner Roth. What's going on?

Title: And then there were two

Writer: Gary Friedrich
Artist: George Tuska

X-Men: Professor X, Cyclops, Iceman

Iceman and Cyclops are captured by the lynch mob, despite the protests of the sheriff. They call the sheriff a mutant lover and prepare to hang the two. The delay gives them time for their powers to recover, and they go on the run again. Professor X arrives and erases the memories of the mob about the incident. Together they go to Bobby Drake's home, and he arranges for Bobby to become a student in his school.

The Avengers #54

Title: And deliver us from the Masters of Evil!

Writer: Roy Thomas
Artist: John Buscema

Avengers: Hawkeye, Goliath, Wasp, Black Panther

Villain: Masters of Evil (Crimson Cowl, Klaw, Whirlwind, Melter, Radioactive Man)

Regulars: Jarvis, Bill Foster

Guests: Black Knight

The Avengers have installed new electronic security systems. They explain everything to Tony Stark's butler Jarvis, so that he doesn't accidentally get caught in the traps. Jarvis leaves on his afternoon off, but instead of visiting his mother he goes to a building where super-villains are waiting for him. They call themselves the New Masters of Evil. The Masters of Evil were a group headed by Baron Zemo, whose members varied. The last line-up was Baron Zemo, the Enchantress, the Executioner, Black Knight and the Melter. The new members are Klaw, Whirlwind, the Melter, Radioactive Man and the Black Knight, and their new leader calls himself the Crimson Cowl.

Klaw was last seen in Fantastic Four #56.

Whirlwind was last seen in Avengers #46. He's secretly working as Janet Van Dyne's chauffeur, so we saw him briefly in Avengers #47.

The Melter was last seen in Tales Of Suspense #90.

Radioactive Man was last seen way back in Avengers #6.

The Black Knight was last seen in Avengers #48, but isn't he a good guy? Yes, he is. His late uncle was sent an invitation to join the New Masters of Evil, so Dane Whitman joined the group hoping to find out their plans. Unluckily the Crimson Cowl soon discovers his plan.

They invade Avengers Mansion. The Melter defeats Hawkeye. Whirlwind defeats the Black Panther. Klaw defeats the Wasp. The Radioactive Man defeats Goliath. The Crimson Cowl is unmasked, and he's only a robot. Then the true Crimson Cowl arrives and unmasks himself, revealing that he's Jarvis.

The Crazy Credits say that Artie Simek has a pandemoniac pen. That's not true at all. His pen is always a thing of order and beauty.

Marvel Super-Heroes #15

This issue of Marvel Super-Heroes features Medusa. That means she appears in two comics this month.

Title: Let the silence shatter!

Writer: Archie Goodwin
Artist: Gene Colan

Villain: Wizard, Sandman, Trapster, Mamimus (flashback)

Regulars: Black Bolt

This comic takes place after Amazing Spider-Man #62. Medusa has had time to design herself a new costume.

Medusa watches her beloved Black Bolt get frustrated when he can't build a device to control his destructive voice. She decides to visit the human world to look for help.

Meanwhile, the Wizard is attempting to bring the Frightful Four back together. He already has Sandman and the Trapster by his side. He only needs to recruit Medusa.

The Wizard was last seen in Spider-Man Annual #4.

The Sandman was last seen in Fantastic Four #63.

The Trapster was last seen in Daredevil #36.

The Wizard needs a power source for his new ID Machine (TM), which he used to change the Thing's personality in Fantastic Four #41. He needs a sample of the rare material Quadranium 99, which is being stored at a NATO base in France. He tells Medusa that this material can be used to build a machine to control Black Bolt's voice.

Medusa steals the material from NATO, but then finds out that the Wizard was lying. She fights her former teammates in the Wizard's anti-gravity ship rather than hand over the contained with the Quadranium 99. The Wizard throws an anti-gravity disc at the container to rip it from her hands, but this was a mistake. She throws the container out of the ship and it floats into space. She also jumps from the ship, and she's saved by Black Bolt, who has been searching for her.

Other comics published this month:

Millie the Model #160 (Stan Lee, Stan Goldberg)
Sgt. Fury and his Howling Commandos #56 (Gary Friedrich, Dick Ayers)
Captain Savage and his Leatherneck Raiders #4 (Gary Friedrich, Dick Ayers)

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