My Marvelous Year: 1964

Below you’ll find our reading selections for the year of 1964, and at the end of our reading, you’ll find my thoughts on the year and our winners for hero and villain of the year.

Feel free to discuss the comics and any related thoughts below in the comments!

Vote Here For Your Hero & Villain Of The Year! Voting closes on Thursday at 6 p.m. every week. New list and year every Friday throughout 2016!

Enjoy Comic Book Herald’s 1964 Spotify playlist while you read!

1964 Comic Reading List (Click For Full List With Links!)

1964 Comic Book Title Issues
1 Tales of Suspense #50, #54 to #55, #57
2 Avengers #4
3 Uncanny X-Men #4, #7
4 Journey Into Mystery #108
5 Daredevil #1, #4
6 Fantastic Four \ Fantastic Four Annual #25 to #26 \ #2
7 Strange Tales #126, #127
8 Amazing Spider-Man #11,#14
9 Avengers #8
10 Amazing Spider-Man Annual / AMS #1 / #18

Marvel Year Three – 1964

5 Takeaways on Marvel Year Three

1) 1964’s “Don Draper Presents… Sexism!” Anti-Award

I think our clear winner for 1964’s “Don Draper presents… Sexism!” anti-award goes to the below panel from Avengers #8. The Avengers confront Kang the Conqueror for the first time, and the Wasp’s contribution to the fight is to assert that Kang is probably a nice hunk of man under that perfect Jack Kirby costume design.

Wasp flirts with Kang
Jan, What are you even basing that off?!

Ignoring for a moment that she’s right (of COURSE Kang is a studly mcyumburger), I do kind of love how the Wasp flirts with anything that will move, presumably to get under Hank’s skin. Hank is literally a giant stiff throughout Tales to Astonish and Avengers, so Janet poking fun at his expense is A OK in my book.

That said, we’re a long ways off from The Wasp being more than the tiny, token female member of The Avengers. It’s going to happen, I swear.

2) Lawrence of Arabia, British Beatlemania

Of all Stan Lee’s early Marvel pop culture injections, this Beatles reference has to be the most easily recognizable. It’s a clear window into the influence of pop culture on these Marvel books, as Beatlemania swept America by storm throughout 1963 and 1964.

Avengers and the Beatles
Giant Man’s such a Ringo

Nothing quite tops Ben Grimm wearing a Beatles moptop wig on the cover of Strange Tales #130, but the Beatles certainly had the attention of the Marvel bullpen.

3) Jagger’s Got Those Moves Like Doc Ock

I read this panel and immediately brought a baking sheet of danishes and tea to the closest night club (end result: My wife told me to bring back the danishes she made and I spoke to no none).

Doctor Octopus flirts with Aunt May
Helloooooo Ladies!

Doctor Octopus kidnapping Peter Parker’s Aunt by coincidence, and immediately pulling out his suave Don Juan moves, is one of my favorite aspects of Amazing Spider-Man Annual #1. Of course, even that can’t compare to Aunt May’s enthusiasm for the lunatic known criminal. Get some Aunt May!

4) Bob Banner

If you needed any reminder that this is still very early Marvel, there’s Stan Lee calling the Hulk’s alter ego Bob Banner. While most of you will know him as Bruce, this little snaffu would actually go on to redefine the character as Robert Bruce Banner, and at least partially inform the 70’s TV show starring Bill Bixby and Lou Ferigno.

It also develops the curious Marvel habit of explaining continuity mixups with even more complex plots and Marvel U factoids.

Bob Banner in the Hulk
Hulk Bob

Speaking of Hulk, no Marvel hero has a more fascinating early yers progression than good ol’ Bobby. For all intents and purposes, by the time we see him in 1965, Hulk is a failed hero turned villain. Fantastic Four #25 and #26 are basically World War Hulk, 40 years before that 2000’s Marvel Event, with Hulk simply angry at the Avengers and taking it out on Earth. There is nothing heroic about the Hulk in these issues of Fantastic Four. Reed Richards asserts that the jade giant is “misunderstood” but there’s no soft side in these issues. Hulk is more of a threat to New York City than the Masters of Evil!

5) Funny Credits!

Artie Simek and Sam Rosen might get my vote for 1964’s Marvel hero of the year. The laconic letterers begin my favorite ongoing Marvel gag, with a neverending, ever-changing series of humorous, boisterous introductions for the creative team.

The Voting – 1964

The Marvel Hero of the Year – 1964

1964 is easily the toughest year of voting to date, with strong full years from Avengers, Amazing Spider-Man, and Fantastic Four.

Daredevil’s entrance into the Marvel U was a fan favorite this week, with a strong run at second place and over 20% of the Hero of the Year vote. In my book, Daredevil won’t be a serious title contender for several years, but I certainly agree that these early issues are both fun and fully formed. Much like so many of the other Marvel heroes we’ve seen introduced in the early 60’s, Daredevil is almost entirely put together from issue #1, albeit yellow.

Personally, I think the vote comes down to the FF and Spider-Man. Both have strong 1964s, with the Fantastic Four basically taking a tour of the Marvel Universe (Avengers, Doctor Strange, X-men), Spider-Man tackling new villains like Mysterio, Kraven, and the Green Goblin, and both series featuring outstanding annual issues.

Here’s the winning factor: The Fantastic Four’s Annual #2 is ultimately more about Doctor Doom, than it is our fearless imaginauts. Yes, the opening page of Reed caught thinking about sexy Sue is hilarious given Reed’s stodgy, brainy personality, but otherwise this is Doom’s show, the FF just live in it.

Amazing Spider-Man Annual #1 is also villain-centric, with the formation of the Sinister Six, but it’s ultimately about Spidey’s ability to overcome his six greatest villains (minus the Green Goblin) all at once (even if Doc Ock’s strategy is to actually avoid ever attacking all at once). It’s an amazing issue, and much has been made in our discussion (appropriately) of Steve Ditko’s art and splash pages for each villain.

End of the day, you need to be reading every Fantastic Four and Amazing Spider-Man issue you can get your hands on, but Spidey again narrowly edges out the win for 1964. The voters agree, as you all placed Spider-Man #1 with over 30% of the vote.

Winner: Spider-Man

The Marvel Villain of the Year – 1964

Much like 1963, 1964’s villain of the year ballot is nearly too close to call. The Marvel expanded rogues gallery is sinister, evil, and timey-wimey at this point, and you could make a valid case for any number of characters.

In a particularly weird twist, 1964 gives us a realistic case for three future Marvel heroes, with Black Widow, Hawkeye, and the Hulk receiving votes for villain of the year! In my book, Hulk is the most villainous of the three, wreaking some serious destruction on New York City and Big Ben Grimm before the Fantastic Four and Avengers essentially luck out with his transformation.

The introduction of The Purple Man (no doubt fueled by David Tennant’s remarkable performance in Jessica Jones), Sinister Six, Green Goblin and Mandarin also saw plenty of votes. The Mandarin in particular made a late run at over 15% of the vote.

Nonetheless, our winner is a familiar face (who would never actually, under any circumstances, show us his face): Doctor Doom.

1964 is a crucial year for Victor Von Doom, as we get his detailed origin in Fantastic Four Annual #2. Doom’s entire foundation is solidified here, with his gypsy origins, cruelly taken parents, scientific acumen, and collegiate interactions with none other than… Richards! in a brilliant twist, Stan Lee and Jack Kirby also develop Latveria, as Doom’s fictional territory and perpetual diplomatic immunity.

We also get the introduction of the Doom / Rama Tut time travel / continuity quagmire. If it seemed more confusing than necessary, don’t worry, we won’t really get a proper cleanup until 2001’s Avengers Forever.

Getting passed all that, the only non-action that could excite me more than a Riddler v. Batman riddle off, is a Doom v. Richards brain fight! It’s a fun riff on what is becoming a familiar showdown, as Kirby’s imagination machine (true story: he actually had a functioning one of these) tricks Doom into yet another defeat.

Winner: Doctor Doom

The Marvel Comic Issue of the Year – 1964

While Daredevil #4 and Fantastic Four Annual #2 received some love, Spidey issues cleaned up in the 1964 voting. The trick for everyone was figuring out which Spidey issue was most deserving of the title. Amazing Spider-Man #18 and Amazing Spider-Man Annual #1 actually almost split the vote, giving me more power than any one man should have yet again in determining a victor.

I’ve mentioned some of it already, but there is just too much I love about Amazing Spider-Man Annual #1. Spidey takes on the Sinister Six, the SS have a terrible strategy that makes for amazing Steve Ditko art, and Doc Ock charms the pastries off Aunt May. Oh, and Doctor Octopus takes his name absurdly literally and decides he’ll fight Spider-Man in a tank of water, shortly after he puts his new scuba liscense into action.

It’s not an easy choice, but the consistency of quality for an extended Annual issue does provide an edge, as does the humorous (and perhaps, soon, telling) behind the scenes gag strip from Stanly the Manly and Ditko. Our winner…

Winner: Amazing Spider-Man Annual #1

Next: Marvel 1965

26 Replies to “My Marvelous Year: 1964”

  1. In reading all these early Marvel books there is something I note: how haphazard a lot of the storytelling is. It’s just all over the place. Especially the Kirby drawn stuff. The Ditko stuff moves so much better panel to panel than the Kirby stuff. Also, how text heavy all the books are. I can read modern comics in minutes, but these old chestnuts last much longer.

    I have a theory that may inflame the Kirby fans. I think at this point in his career he just wasn’t all that good at plotting out a story. He drew these amazingly creative stories, but often it seems his plotting was all over the place. And this led to Stan having to try and fix things with excessively verbose dialogue.

    If I ever have a decent amount of time I think it would be worth looking at the different panel-to-panel transitions in Kirby vs Ditko. I wonder at the amount of non-sequitur pane to panel transitions.

    1. Kirby’s non-sequitur panel count at this point is through the roof. That’s a great insight. Typically I love it because his creativity is exploding off the page. Look at an action sequence from, say, good ol’ Larry Lieber drawing Tales to Astonish, and then look at King Kirby’s fights. Giant Man beating up the Black Knight may be more directly sequential, but he sure didn’t invent new ways of fighting every panel. That’s why I love Kirby so much at this point. There are like 5 minutes of action that must occur in the gutters, and then he tries something new.

      You’re right, this could use way more detail, but just in my latest read (Journey Into Mystery #103) the following happens.

      The Executioner’s battle-ax summons frost from the arctic to freeze Thor
      Thor just hero poses and shatters the ice
      Thor throws his hammer directly through Executioner’s gripped hand, sending his battle-ax into the atmosphere (hilarious, and a new Thor trick)
      Thor and Executioner engage in hand to hand combat as Thor’s hammer returns from space.

      That’s 5 panels, and it’s far from the craziest sequence that month. It’s also completely great.

      Worth keeping an eye on as we progress!

      1. I’m playing catch up this week (moved from Tues-Friday, so life is disorganized) so just getting through the 1964 books now…and have to note how well laid out the Bill Everett Daredevil was. Of all the pencilers we have seen these past few weeks, his style is most reminiscent of ’40s style art. But the way the pages progress and how well the story flows is great. It’s too bad he wasn’t able to continue. Hope to see more of his later work as the years progress.

  2. So, I’ll try this again. Third time’s the charm and all that.

    I wouldn’t mind trying to go “off the menu” and checking other books of the year. (Not that I mistrust your judgment or anything.) But I just don’t know how I’d line all of them up to take a glance.

    And what time zone are you in? I would like to know exactly when the voting deadline is.

    1. Hey Mark,

      Good question, voting deadline is 6 p.m. CST. Basically if you have them in before the good people of Chicago are enjoying dinner, you’re good.

      Off the menu is a great idea, and while I’m slowly working on publishing some of that, the easiest thing you can do in the mean time is go to Marvel Unlimited –> Browse — > Publication Date (It’s the secondary navigation option after ‘Comic Events’) –> Filter by Year. This should get you all the available comics for a year.

      They’ve cleaned up the early 60’s fairly nicely, so the books are (mostly) in order as well.

      Enjoy the comics!

      1. Dave, I can’t find the Publication Date option, under Browse on the Marvel Unlimited page at all. Can you help me with that?

        1. Sorting by publication date is much harder on than it is in the MU app. That said, go to Comics–> On-Sale, and then you’ll be able to sort comics by week or month published.

  3. These first Green Goblin stories are comic gold. I love how they can have Spider-Man fighting a visually appealing and powerful villain without identifying who is behind the mask right away, making the eventual reveal that much more impactful.

    The Sinister Six story may not be the most tactically sound on the part of the villains, but just look at that art. Seriously, even if you have no desire to read the story, at least look at those amazing six splash pages of the villain fights. They hold up among comic art from all time periods.

    The Johnny Storm stories are a little better this time around, but Doctor Strange and Dormammu steal the show. This is a high point of the early Strange stories.

    Recommended further reading:

    Journey into Mystery #103: “The Enchantress and the Executioner!”
    Journey into Mystery #104: “Giants Walk the Earth”
    Tales to Astonish #59: “Enter the Hulk”
    Amazing Spider-Man #18: “The End of Spider-Man!”
    Fantastic Four #32: “Death of a Hero!”

    1. There’s an imaginary room in my dream house that features those Sinister Six splash pages on every wall. Ditko crushes that whole issue.

      I’m always impressed that the Goblin’s first appearance completely mimics a Namor/FF plot, but the villain still feels partially realized.

      Awesome bonus list!

  4. A great batch of stories. Beginning to feel the character work deepening and also feels like Stan is feeling confident Marvel can start to stretch out the storytelling.
    I voted for Ben for Hero because of FF 25-26. His actions and refusal to give up were magnificent in this story. A great read all the way around.
    Doom’s origin story in FF Annual 2 sealed it for me as Villain of the Year. With all the trauma is his past, it’s no surprise he is a walking ball of rage.
    Overall, I had to go with Spidey Annual 1 as my issue of the year, if only for the art alone. As mentioned above, each splash panel for each battle was poster-worthy. And, even though the strategy of fighting Spider-Man one after another is highly suspect, at least that concern is addressed by the characters. But, really, what Marvel hero has a rogue’s gallery like Spider-Man? And, all in one story?! Also, reading Spider-Man during this time period is actually kind of stressful. Peter’s anxiety over finances and Aunt May’s health still really resonate with me.
    One note: are these selections in a reading order? I have been approaching them that way. But, Spider-Man Annual #1 takes place before Spider-Man #18.

    1. Great picks. The more FF I read, the more foolish i feel for not including bashful benjamin as his own candidate. The Thing is the best!

      In regards to a reading order, I do attempt a general chronology, with issues bundled together as needed. I will update the AMS annual placement for posterity.

  5. Reading Stan Lee is like learning to play a game from someone who only tells you a rule when it’s about to help them win a point you thought was going your way. “aha, lucking Thor’s hammer can sense this atomic radiation only gods give off, what a lucky break”.

    I’m enjoying it, but a lot is said of today’s “decompressed” stories, where (apparently) less happens per issue when today there is a lot less (and more subtle) usage of dues ex machinas in order to move the story along. Lee co-crafted these amazingly detailed characters, and it’s truly amazing to see how many are fully formed at the outset, but he also over- and under-powers them whenever he feels like.

    I’m rereading quite a number of these issues and I’m enjoying the Uncanny X-Men issues a lot more the second time.

    Villian of the Year: Magneto

  6. I didn’t realize all those heroes made their first appearance so early and all together… I like the stories, they are very different from the modern ones…
    The thing I don’t like is… the role of the women!
    Wasp that does “what every female does in a moment of crisis…. powders her nose”
    Karen page that claims to be “just a silly female”
    And also Sue, that in several occasions since the birth of FF plays the damsel in distress…
    I understand that there was a propagandist need to show commies as “bad people”, but why mocking girls like that? The only ones that seems to be able to stand on their own are the “bad girls”, Scarlet witch (though she is still very under her brother and especially Magneto’s influence and Black Widow (that has my vote as villain of the year for this reason, even if she is not the evilest or most dangerous villain)
    Hope that things get better soon!

    1. I agree with you here. But if you look at the comics from the point of 1964, that’s the way it is. Look at the world now. Just recently are we getting more females in movies which is great! I am a HUGE Star Wars fan and I never noticed there wasn’t that many females until somebody brought it up. I believe the reason for that is because Carrie fisher crushed it In 77. And now with the new movie, daisy Ridley is amazing as Rey!! And yet still people are complaining there isn’t enough. I think they should be like you and it should be the character of the women and not the quantity. I agree that hopefully it gets better. Females do take up 50% of comic readers and they should have strong willed character leads.

  7. Only made my way through half but didn’t want to miss voting. I absolutely loved daredevil 4!! After just watching kill grave I. Jessica jones I was really intrigued by him and this issue really pulled it off!!

  8. Whoo, got that last Spider-Man issue in on the trainride this morning so I have time to write my thoughts and pick my choices. This was a pretty solid year, so it’s harder for issues/villains/heroes to distinguish themselves, but there were some surprising dark horses that popped up.

    Tales of Suspense #50: My only experience with the The Mandarin before this was Iron Man 3, which was a depiction I really enjoyed. Reading this I can see why some people were annoyed by that depiction, because the Mandarin is really compelling. Fun reading.

    Tales of Suspense #54: The Mandarin returns for a surprisingly gripping issue with a fun cliff hanger. I liked all of the focus on the military industrial complex aspect of Tony Stark.

    Tales of Suspense #55: A satisfying conclusion to this arc. I did find some of the stuff back home rather ridiculous, like a chauffeur being granted authority over and then being listened to by the weapons development department. I don’t think this love triangle really holds up, especially when compared to Spider-man’s romantic troubles or the chemistry between Richards and Sue.

    Tales of Suspense #57: As fun as the Mandarin stories were, this is the Iron Man issue I enjoyed the most. I’ve been reading the modern run of Hawkeye as well as Avengers Academy and there’s been oblique references to a shady past but I didn’t know that a) Black Widow was a villain and b) that she was the one that made him a villain. These two might actually be two of the most successful villains of the year given their scope, results, and escape ability. Good stuff.

    Avengers #4: Captain America is my favorite hero in the MCU, and it was good to see him here. I enjoyed his backstory, and Namor’s interference but did not care for the whole alien plot. I think this is a trend for me of just raining my eyebrows when an alien shows up. It’s odd, because I’m rather used to seeing them run around in future Marvel stories I just have trouble with it in these issues. Promising start to Caps modern career though.

    X-Men #4: Magento’s return with the Brotherhood Evil Mutants! This was great. The villains were all very fully fleshed out, with differing motivations, and I like their plan to conquer a small nation. Very Doctor Doom of Magneto. Good story, definitely an improvement over the, allegedly, best issue of 1963.

    X-Men #7: I liked everything about the graduation and Scott’s promotion. I also liked the downtime with the Brotherhood of Evil Mutants. I think this time period I’m enjoying more of the interpersonal moments over the actual fighting. As such, I found the actual battle fine. I am intrigued by Xavier’s morally dubious wiping of The Blob’s memories in a previous issue.

    Journey into Mystery #108: It’s good to see that Odin’s modern iteration as a jerk to Lady Thor is consistent with his characterization in the 60’s. I’d enjoy all of the cameos because it makes the world feel bigger which is always fun. The actual plot itself was fine.

    Daredevil #1: I was mostly surprised that I didn’t find the blind super-hero shtick silly in this issue. I had assumed that Daredevil would just become easier to take seriously over time, but no right off the bat he’s a real contender with the rest of the group. Just a solid origin story and could have been a real contender for best hero of the year.

    Daredevil #2: Go figure, the Purple Man is still unsettling even in the kinder and gentler 60’s. Killgrave just waltzes in, causes a bunch of damage, and leaves quite the impression. If I didn’t find the resolution so ridiculous Purple Man might have made it all the way to the end as my villain of the year.

    Fantastic Four #25-26: I’m going to talk about these two together because they are so intertwined. The Thing really distinguishes himself as the star of the group standing alone as Reed stupidly infects himself with a virus and Sue and Johnny get trounced. The fact that it took the combined resources of the Fantastic Four and the Avengers to take down the Hulk, I have been very tempted to name him villain of 1964. I’m still pondering that as I write.

    Fantastic Four Annual 2: Not going to lie, I found Doom and Rama-Tut (really? ok) pontificating on whether they are the same person rather confusing and nonsensical. Wouldn’t one of them know? Doom’s backstory is a fantastic story while I found his actual plot enjoyable, but the conclusion rather weak. Despite voting for Doom last year, I’m having trouble that Doom is all flash and melodrama, but when it comes to actual results he has no follow through. I am amused by his, unexplained, conquest of Latveria. I did like the second half of this issue better after reading Avengers 8, which is a sign of how strong the interconnected world is at this time.

    Strange Tales 126: How do you make Johnny Storm less of an annoying brat? Stick him with the best member of the team, The Thing. A little deus ex machina for my tastes, but this wouldn’t be the first time. The Strange story was neat, with amazing art. I really couldn’t wait

    Strange Tales 127: The Mystery Villain was pretty obvious, but I still really enjoyed this. I was kind of charmed by Reed being so petty that he’d single handedly take down two members of his team to make a point. Strange’s art continues to be amazing and weird. The resolution was pretty cool suggesting the need for good and evil to team up against a worse fate. This is a theme comics will keep delving into forever.

    Amazing Spider-Man #11: It’s really not fair to the other heroes. They may have more heroic moments, but they just don’t compare to the drama that comes with Peter Parker. Dr. Octopus is fun, and I can see why he won last year and made me kind of regret voting for Doom. But really, what makes this work is the conflict between Peter and Betty over the specter of his alter-ego. That’s why these comics are great. It was also nice to see my home town, Philadelphia, represented even if you saw nothing of import.

    Amazing Spider-Man #14: Well, I suppose if you’re going to recycle a Fantastic four plot the least you can do is improve upon it. The Green Goblin is instantly charismatic and his plan, while overcomplicated, was a good one. Hulk kind of steals the comic out from under him though, and I’m hovering over the write in option for villain.

    Avengers #8: Despite having read Infinity Gauntlet and I didn’t remember the Kang/Rama-Tut connection, mostly because the latter is very silly. I liked the the reaction of the world to Kang, which fair. The average citizen must be incredibly on edge with all of these invasion. I think this is where I started to notice how everyone narrates what’s happening to them, which is hilarious. A nice read, but I’m still not feeling the Avengers magic.

    Amazing Spider-Man Annual #1: This is a great issue and jumped to the front of the pack as soon as I started reading it. The combined weight of his villains are just about the only group that can make me not vote for Hulk. Their plan is suspect, but in execution you can see why they though the serial approach was the best way to go as they’d probably get in each other’s ways. It was unfortunate how a few of them ended up beating themselves. Once again, I love all of the cameos from other people. Aunt May is hilariously oblivious. I mostly skimmed the back half of the comic, but enjoyed the Stan and Ditko stuff at the end. This could very well be the best issue of the year…

    Amazing Spider-Man #18: …oh, what’s this? One more issue to read? And it’s all about how difficult it is to be a hero, and how quickly the world can turn on you? Huh. This is really compelling stuff and you can feel the anxiety coming off the page. And as the world turns more and more against Spider-Man it’s only Flash Thompson who stands up for his hero. And then he puts on the costume to try and remind people of how much of a hero Spider-Man is. I found this moment rather touching, and it might be Flash who was the hero of 1964. This was my favorite issue of the year. The others might have had more action or melodrama, but this one…this one was something else.

  9. I ended up reading every Spidey and FF issue in addition to all the other ones, so I’m both exhausted and very happy, because both series (especially Spidey) are really, really good! I agree with the comments above though about Kirby being all over the place at times; while there’s endless imagination in his art, the pacing and plotting can pretty easily drag you out of the story and had me skimming more than once. Ditko on the other hand is consistently great, and occasionally phenomenal, especially with the Sinister Six splash pages. Highlights for me this year:

    – Spidey having an entire issue where he doesn’t fight anyone was great. Reminded me a lot of (and was probably a major influence on) maybe my single favorite Marvel comic, the Frank Miller one where Daredevil is a total wreck for an entire issue and doesn’t accomplish anything.

    – The Purple Man was incredibly freaky and shows just how well Jessica Jones portrayed him (and reinforced how good David Tennant was).

    – For some reason I loved Dormammu even though a lot of that was vague and kind of nonsensical. It was just surreal and freaky in a way no other Marvel comic has been up to this point.

    – The splash pages in the Sinister Six issues were tremendous, but my favorite panel of the year, by far, has to be that full page panel when the FF are going into the deep sea to help the Sub-Mariner fight his challenger to the throne. What an extraordinary, beautiful piece of art.

  10. 3 weeks in and I’m already struggling to keep up lol. I had to read 10 tonight to get them read in time to vote. Been really busy with work and stuff, 20 comics is alot for me to manage in a week I think it is inevitable that I’m not gonna make it one week, will still keep reading at my own pace and when I have time.

  11. Got to echo Gary above, except a) the work part, although I have a lotta stuff and b) the inevitable happened. I missed the vote this week. (OK, technically I missed it last week too as I voted at 5:30PM Thursday. PST.) But I made notes which I have included below. I’ve read all the other comments to date and so I might be repeating some. Live with it. 🙂

    Tales of Suspense: #50: The Mandarin, a character woefully misused in the MCU. #54-55: Interesting that Manderin could tell that IM was smiling – and that Bullethead actually used this as a plan. That’s some flexible iron! Also odd how some of the books in MU include all the stories while others just have the main. #57: Didn’t realize Hawkeye met Natasha in his debut.

    Avengers #4: Cap comes back with so many plot holes, you could stick an iceberg through them. But Namor becomes more of an all-purpose villain. #8: Eh. Kang was never my favorite heel. Which means he won’t get my vote for villain of the year. But it’s nice to see the Teen Brigade, especially Rick Jones, get more face time since he’ll become more and more important to the universe.

    The X-Men #4, 7: And both the issues in between! Magneto & friends continue with a bang! Including Sub Mariner & the Blob! With 4 issues in a row, Magneto/the Brotherhood have to be my villains of the year.

    JIM #108: Kind of an average Thor story. But I loved the “Tales of Asgard” series!

    Daredevil: #1: Yep, the origin. #4: Killgrave was never a favorite. I liked Electro better. #2 has him as well as cameos by the FF, although the ending is a bit over the top.

    FF: #25, 26: Glad that the Avengers and FF finally meet. Well, other than the Hulk, anyway. So many good issues this year. I think I mighta gone with #32. Such unreal Kirby space art in that one. Annual #2: Are you sure this wasn’t a Dr Doom Annual? And this book had an overload of Male Chauvanism in it.

    ST #126, 127: Not sure what the UU connection was, maybe because I’m not that familiar with it. But yeah, the “mystery villain” was pretty obvious. Love the Ditko rendering of the Dark Dimension and especially Dormammu.

    ASM: Yeah, haven’t gotten to Spidey yet. See ya in a while!

  12. I went back and read the Torch/Thing portions of Strange Tales 126-127. I didn’t see the Ultimate Universe connection at all. Was I looking too hard? Not hard enough? This time last year I started with Ultimate Spider-man #1 and didn’t stop until I read everything in the UU. What did I miss? Is it just that Reed wears that weird helmet as the mysterious villain?

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