Saturday, 10 October 2009

70 Years of Marvel - 1978

What do you do when you have a pair of second-string super-heroes, neither of whom is able to support their own book? Why, you combine them into one of the finest books of the late 70s, that's what! Despite having little in common (Iron Fist is a martial artist from the fabled city of Shangri La K'un Lun, and has a habit of fighting dragons, whilst Power Man is a troubled kid from Harlem with a habit of beating up drug dealers), the two found common ground as Heroes For Hire, where in theory, they rented out their services for cash. In practice, they still spent more time fighting bad guys for good reason, rather than for money. Although their partnership was dissolved (under rather contentious circumstances) in 1986, both heroes are still big players in the Marvel U, with Luke Cage part of the Avengers, and Iron Fist's latest title limping towards cancelation. Ah well, some things never change.

In other comics news, Devil Dinosaur made his debut, courtesy of King Kirby, whilst Canadian superhero, Guardian, made his first appearance, using his original Weapon Alpha codename. In the pages of Captain America, there was a new Marvel Boy out (one patterned after the Golden Age hero), who would subsequently be known as Quasar, Protector of the Universe. Other than that, it was a pretty quiet year.

Outwith comics, Pope John Paul I became, in quick succession, head of the Catholic Church, dead, and subject to numerous conspiracy theories. In America, the Unabomber began making a name for himself. And in London, spies were killing each other with poisoned umbrellas. Whatever next.

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