OK, a gap opened up in the Sourcewall, see, and out dropped disks of the old 60's Marvel Captain America, Hulk, Thor, Iron Man and Sub-Mariner cartoon.  It's been close to forty-five since I've seen them last, and I never even knew they was Thor and Sub-Mariner ones when I was a kid. So, anyway, let's see what I see.

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That was all Kirby. He really stepped up to the plate for the Thor/Hercules slugfest.

Maybe one of these days I'll compile a list of the best Marvel Silver Age fights for everyone to rip apart and dismiss.

Luke Blanchard said:

The Thor/Hercules/Pluto storyline (from Journey into Mystery #124-Thor #130) is commonly seen as one of the feature's greatest. 

Maybe one of these days I'll compile a list of the best Marvel Silver Age fights for everyone to rip apart and dismiss.

I promise I won't.  I'd like to read that.

Now, on to "The Invincible Iron Man"!

Here's the theme.

The first episode I have is "The  Other Iron Man!", in which Tony Stark passes out right before testifying before a congressional committee.  Happy Hogan dons the armor to fool people and is kidnapped by the Mandarin!  Tony somewhat implausibly gets out of his hospital bed, builds a new suit of armor and flies to China to rescue him.  

Favorite line: "Don't bet on it, Mandy!"

I didn't look properly at the cover, so I was about halfway through this before I realized that Stark's voice was done by the great John Vernon.

... in which Tony Stark passes out right before testifying before a congressional committee.

There's more than one joke in there ...

It's well known the senate subcommittee hated Bill Gaines for his defending that severed head cover. Has anyone ever said what happened when Goodman or Lee were called in? Was this story based on those days?

Ron M. said:

It's well known the senate subcommittee hated Bill Gaines for his defending that severed head cover. Has anyone ever said what happened when Goodman or Lee were called in? 

Actually I think they loved Gaines because he played right into their hands. According to Men of Tomorrow by Gerard Jones (pages 274-277), when the Subcommittee on Juvenile Delinquency came to New York City they did not subpoena anyone from the comics companies. None of them wanted to go near the Committee. Bill Gaines wanted the others to come with him and present a united front but they wouldn't go with him. So Bill went by himself and the rest is history.

No good deed goes unpunished.

Watched a couple:

"Cliffs of Doom!" - In which Iron Man and Cap battle Kraven the Hunter and the Chameleon. Those two are way out of their league here.

"If I Die, Let It Be With Honor"  - In which the evil Colonel Doo-Dah (sp?) becomes the Titanium Man and challenges Iron Man to a duel, and Happy is hurt.  I'd forgotten how "Cold War"" the early Marvel Universe was.

"Ultimo" - In which the Mandarin (herein described as an "awesome Oriental" kidnaps Stark and unleashes a really uninspired monster.  Meanwhile, a Senator is after Stark.

"The Mandarin's Revenge!" - In which Mandy messes with Stark's missiles and actually says "Ah, so!"

Strange they changed Titanium Man's name like that. It was Boris Bullski. Trying to hide him being a Communist. He was one of those villains that seemed frightening and unbeatable in his first appearance then gradually less and less impressive every time he came back. The worst thing he did after this story was kill Janice Cord, and that was an accident.

Ultimo looked a lot better in the comics. For some reason they didn't go with his best panels.

Ron M. said:

Strange they changed Titanium Man's name like that. It was Boris Bullski. Trying to hide him being a Communist.

Most of the earlier James Bond books (In publication order, Casino Royale, Live and Let Die, Moonraker, From Russia with Love, Dr No and Goldfinger) had the USSR's organization SMERSH ("Death to Spies," and part of the NKVD/KGB according to the books) backing the villains. When they started making the movies the Soviets were off the hook and SPECTRE (which first appeared in Thunderball) backed all the bad guys. Auric Goldfinger in the movie was tied up with China, not Russia. 

There seemed to be an effort starting in the 60s movies and TV to deemphasize the evils of the USSR and instead point fingers at either China or a fictional crime organization (SPECTRE, THRUSH ). This changing of Titanium Man's identity sounds like it comes from the same point of view.

They didn't want to anger Russia but didn't care if they made China mad?

There was a weird story where Titanium Man was turned into a computer card and torn up, apparently killing him. He later returned but went crazy when he realized he was literally wasn't all there (some small pieces of the card were missing), and apparently there's some confusion on whether later versions are him or if he's still dead. I remember when he came back from being a card a letter commented about him not being the original. I'd guess they first saw the Gremlin (the Gargoyle's son) when he started calling himself Titanium Man, and assumed he was the original since they'd never seen Bullski before.

Always wondered why the Hulk cartoon decided "Gargoyle" wasn't a good name for a villain and went with "Gorgon", who was a Marvel character they didn't have the rights to.  

Watched a bunch more:

"The Mole Man Strikes" - In which Iron Man and Pepper fight the Mole Man.

"The Death of Tony Stark!" - Oh, it's the g.d. Mandarin, again, this time with a killer satellite. He tells IM his origin: "I found some magic rings in a spaceship."  OK, pal, whatever.  Meanwhile, Peppy and Happer think  that Iron Man killed Stark.

"The Dream Master" - This one's kind of a jumble.  Happy expresses job dissatisfaction by going home to Ireland.  The Dream Master torments him with visions of all the crappy villains he's fought over the years. Then, suddenly there's Count Nefaria and Stark's idiot Cousin Morgan. Also, aliens.

"My Life for Yours" - Happy is in a car accident and is kidnapped by the Black Knight. Happy is rescued, but is turned into a monster by an untested device which Stark left lying around and which someone thought it was a good idea to use, the way you would.  Also, Stark is subpoenaed by Senator Busybody. Oh, and Happy is cured in the end.

"Beauty and the Armor" - In which Countess Del'Espirosa (sp?) and the Mad Thinker go after Stark's armor, and the Awesome Android was there, and Khrushchev wearing a fake mustache, and a new Titanium Man, who gets beaten up.

"Double Disaster"  - This one goes back in time a bit, as Iron Man's armor is all gold here. Stark wrecks a race car, and meets and hires Happy Hogan.  A wind tunnel is wrecked, and Professor Shapanka (?) becomes "Jack Frost".

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