February Means Death!

While a significant fraction of the Marvel line-up is killing time with generic baddie-beating, Iron Man ups the ante by stone-cold killing folks. (The comic, that is. Iron Man himself isn’t killing people. But people are dying!) February of 1970 is a pretty quiet time for Marvel, but don’t make the mistake of thinking that there’s nothing worth reading there!

We’ll get started with the full roster of comics after the jump.

  • Iron Man #22: Janice Cord dies in the fight against the Crimson Dynamo and the Titanium Man
  • Avengers #73: Black Panther fights the very racist Sons of the Serpent
  • Incredible Hulk #124: The Leader and the Rhino invite themselves to Bruce Banner’s wedding
  • Uncanny X-Men #65: Professor X returns to fight a dumb alien invasion
  • Sub-Mariner #22: Dr. Strange’s last adventure continues with Namor
  • Daredevil #61: Daredevil fights Mr. Hyde, Cobra, the Jester, and Relationship Issues
  • Thor #173: Ulik meets the Circus of Crime
  • Amazing Spider-Man #81: Spidey fights the Kangaroo
  • Captain America #122: Cap fights the Scorpion
  • Fantastic Four #95: The FF stop the terrorist Monocle; Crystal leaves the team
  • Silver Surfer #13: The Surfer fights generic robots

Once again I’ve ordered these comics in rough, subjective order of quality. Iron Man and the Avengers are both very strong contenders, and I could honestly write a thousand words on either one – the death of Janice Cord or Marvel’s well-meaning but naive racial politics ca. 1970.

As I mentioned in the last post, the Hulk features a wedding gone very, very wrong. In the end, our Jade Giant is returned to his feral, fugitive status quo.

This month’s X-Men brings the return of Professor Xavier – not dead after all but plotting to defend the Earth from an alien invasion that ends up being rather dull.

Sub-Mariner features a crossover story that began at the end of Doctor Strange’s title – he’s warring against some Lovecraftian demons and he’ll need the help of Namor and, eventually, the Hulk to save the world. I might eventually discuss the event as a whole but this particular issue is something of a weak link. (Note that MU’s coverage of Sub-Mariner is spotty – this is the only issue available all year.)

Daredevil is slowly creeping towards quality again. His complicated relationship with Karen Page is getting interesting, but the fight against Marvel’s least-compelling villains isn’t anything to write home about.

Under that, you’ve got another range of comics that don’t push the “20 pages of punching baddies” envelope: Thor, Amazing Spider-Man, and Captain America. Sadly the Fantastic Four and the Silver Surfer are down here, too. This is the month when Crystal leaves the FF, but nothing else of real note happens in #95.

Since we’re creeping up on a fairly extensive gap in the X-Men run, let’s close out today’s post with Neal Adams’ rendition of a long-awaited reunion:

Professor X is back, baby!
Professor Xavier was gone for 23 issues. That’s an eternity in comics time.

Author: CMMIV

Reader of comic books. Semi-professional writer.