Saturday, 26 September 2009

70 Years of Marvel - 1965

By 1965, Stan Lee and Steve Ditko were collaborating (the depth of that collaboaration depends on whom you believe) on what is arguably the strongest run anyone's ever managed on any Marvel book. The issue above is one of many high points, with the Green Goblin (before he become obsessed with destroying Spider-Man, dead, reborn, or head of Homeland Security) falling out with the Crime-Master over who will rule New York's criminal gangs.

1965 saw the first appearance of Tarzan-knock-off, Ka-Zar, and the Swordsman, who, like Namor and the Hulk, would spend most of his career chopping and changing between heroism and villainy. Hercules would make his debut, taking on Thor, not for the last time. The Inhumans would make their entrance into the pages of Fantastic Four, another title which was setting a standard which later writers would struggle to even approach. Romance fans might like to note that this year also saw the introduction of Gwen Stacy, who would play something of an important part in the next few decades of Spider-Man.

Elsewhere in 1965, the Civil Rights movement was in full swing in America, with the events of Bloody Sunday heightening tension somewhat. In Britain, the Moors Murderers were arrested, and England's finest, Winston Churchill, was dead.

At the movies, the hills were alive with The Sound of Music. Omar Shariff was portraying Dr Zhivago, while Christopher Lee was camping it up in The Face of Fu Manchu. On the tv, Dr Smith was also camping it up in Lost In Space, while Larry Hagman was becoming a star in I Dream of Jeannie. Meanwhile, bookish types could thrill to the first of many Dune novels.

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