April 1970: Asgard Goes to War! Other Stuff! Things!

Loki grabs the throne.

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Loki with a big honking hat
Can’t rule Asgard without a honkin’ big hat.

The Marvel line-up picks up the pace in April of 1970. We’ve only got nine comics to look at here, and a good half of them are very rewarding reads. It’s a great month if you’re a fan of Jack Kirby’s Asgardian adventures, though maybe not so thrilling if you’re looking for some quality Fantastic Four material. Highlights include Dr. Strange’s last hurrah, a nice update on Madam Masque, and the debut of Arkon the Magnificent.

Let’s look at the full month’s roster:

  • Thor #175: Loki’s scheming pays off as he steals the throne of Asgard.
  • Incredible Hulk #126: The Hulk helps close out Dr. Strange’s epic crossover quest.
  • Iron Man #24: Tony fights a minotaur and checks up on Madam Masque.
  • Avengers #75: Wanda and Pietro return and the team meets Arkon.
  • Amazing Spider-Man #83: The Kingpin is back and the Schemer debuts.
  • Daredevil #63: Gladiator’s unsuccessful prison break and Karen Page decamps to Los Angeles.
  • Captain America #124: Cap & SHIELD versus MODOK and AIM. Sharon Carter gets benched for being a lady girl.
  • Silver Surfer #15: An issue-long misunderstanding brawl between the Surfer and Johnny Storm.
  • Fantastic Four #97: Marvel’s First Family vacations by ripping off “Creature From the Black Lagoon.”

This is a tough month to pick out a single book to focus on, as the top four books are all worth talking about. I’m strongly tempted to discuss the Dr. Strange crossover that ends in the Incredible Hulk, but ultimately I have to give the honors to Thor because Big Things are Happening there.

Iron Man and the Avengers are both fun reads that are equal parts entertaining and goofy. Madam Masque and the Minotaur is a very rewarding story, and even though the Maximoffs are only back with the Avengers so that Arkon has a lady to perv on, it’s good to see Wanda and Pietro again.

Amazing Spider-Man features the start of an ongoing Kingpin story that’s going to run for three issues – the Bullpen is getting friendlier to long stories again. The next two issues of Daredevil fit a single pattern: Daredevil fights some utterly forgettable villains while Matt Murdock is put through soap operatic torment in his relationship with Karen Page. It will be of interested to die-hard DD fans, but otherwise, it’s not that fun to read.

The Silver Surfer is slouching towards cancellation with a very skippable story that involves an endless fight with the Human Torch. Johnny doesn’t prove any more interesting in his home book, as the Fantastic Four post a strictly by-the-numbers movie ripoff this month.

My next entry will delve into Thor #175 in depth. To round out this one, let’s have a peek at where the Hulk leaves our old buddy Doctor Strange after a harrowing cross-dimensional adventure:

Dr. Strange walking away from Bruce Banner. Irony!
“Why is there sad piano music playing whenever I walk away from someone?”

Images snipped out of Marvel Unlimited by yours truly.

Author: CMMIV

Reader of comic books. Semi-professional writer.