Non-Sequitur #40: All That Pressure Got You Down

Happy Veteran Day's weekend. WW2 Marvel heroes by Alan Davis

Strange week. Sorta.

The Penn State thing is just so sad and tragic and infuriating.

Someone at Occupy Oakland got shot.

Heavy D passed away. Wow, it’s not that no one makes fun rap anymore, lots of folks do…it’s just that if an artist does a pop or dance hip-hop song these days, he gets called soft or a “sell-out”. Anyway, here’s to a time when folks were a little more open to what they would accept from hip-hop groups. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NNEgUPKxk7A&ob=av3e

Random Internet Frustration: Ok, so sometimes I go to bed listening to BBC radio. A couple of nights ago I woke up in the middle of the night to go to the bathroom, and I half  heard them tease an upcoming interview with legendary music producer Niles Rodgers.  They used an audio clip of Niles talking about how he used to read  Freak Brothers Comix   to  Michael Jackson.  I’ve been going crazy because I can’t find that audio.

Random Cool Website: I did  stumble on a fun comic book blog. Ms Snarky’s Awesometastic Comic Book Blog.  Basically humorous looks at old school comics. Check it out. http://mssnarky.wordpress.com/

Random Music Thing: You know…maybe I’ve got strange tastes, but… in theory… I  thought a collaboration between Lou Reed and  Metallica   could be awesome. The guy who wrote the first two Velvet Underground  albums and the guys who helped invent  thrash metal, should have been crazy awesome cool, but I’ve heard a few songs and um…they’re very NOT crazy awesome cool.

I’m behind on comics…

Frankenstein Agent of Shade #1:  I know some people have accused this title of being a watered down  Hellboy  comic and I don’t think they are far off. However, I kinda feel about this the same way I feel about rock bands like say, Oasis.  When I listen to Oasis’s music I hear the Beatles, The Who and the Kinks, but that doesn’t lessen my enjoyment of  the song Champagne Supernova.     It’s derivative, but derivative in a good way. It’s a fun comic. I might get the more recent issues.

Stormwatch #3: I’m still enjoying the story. I just wish I liked the art more.

Animal Man #3: Still digging both the art and the story. Continues to be the surprise hit of the season for me.

Speaking of Niles, there’s a a kinda funny story about how they originally wrote this song after being denied access at Studio 54. The original chant was F*ck Off.

Non-Sequitur #31: Born And Raised On Promises

Get Down, America! Howard the Duck and Beverly by Frank Cho

I bought a wallet. It was black. Pretty cheap. $2.99

I was in the in the Oak Park Post Office recently, they were playing music over the PA. It’s usually middle of the road pop hits, but this time it was Ten Years Gone”  by Led Zeppelin. I’m not the biggest Zep fan, but that’s my favorite song by the band.

I saw the “Old Navy Guy”. The “Old Navy Guy”  is a self appointed preacher who’s been around  for years. He stands in front of The Old Navy  Store on State St in downtown Chicago telling people they are going to Hell. His favorite line is some thing like ” How you goin’ to go to Heaven smokin’ cigarettes?! How you goin’ to go to Heaven bein’ a homosexual?!” There’s been times in the past when people have shouted angry words at the man, but this day things where calm as I far as I could see.

On the way home, I ran into my ex-girlfriend. We lived together for a little over five years. I thought maybe I might have some intellectual  observation on lost love to share. Instead, I have this…

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3RfdYHvonGE&feature=fvst

Random Ex-Girlfriend Story:   She and I lived together for a while. We had our wild days, but it couldn’t continue. I was the one who ended it. We stayed friends for awhile, but gradually we  drifted apart. I’d heard a couple stories about her, but I hadn’t seen her face to face in over two years.

Using the title of an old Tom Waits  song for my own purposes (Downtown Train)

I was getting off one subway train and she was waiting for another going in the opposite direction. I was heading toward the stairs when I heard someone call out my name. Before I could wonder if maybe someone was calling for another person named Edward, I turned and saw her looking at me. I gave her my number and told her to call me anytime on the weekend.

I have to admit that I had been thinking about her recently and kinda missing her a little. I remember that for all our problems together, she was a person that never judged me and completely accepted me with all of my faults (and I had many faults). That’s actually kinda rare in today’s world to find a person that’s forgiving and non-judgemental in general. And its especially rare to have that  in a person  you are involved  in a romantic relationship with. I’ve been a failure in the  romance department in the recent past, so this subject had been on my mind.

Now I remember why we broke up

I got a phone call around 4:00 am in the morning. It was from an unknown number, so at first I thought it may be a wrong number. I mean, this couldn’t be a call from her could it? You know where this is going…of course it was her. She’s like, “I didn’t know when was a good time to call you.” Wha…? When has 4:00 am been a good time to call ANYONE, like EVER??  I’m like, I’m sleep, call me in a few hours. Ok, so at a more reasonable hour, I talk to her again and she asks me to meet her downtown. At first I agree, then I phone immediately back and say that I actually have errands to run and to let’s meet later. She then informs me that she’s almost at the meeting place and why can’t I just meet her now? Because I have things I told you I have to do and I certainly didn’t tell you to leave the house yet. I told her that I’d call her back in a few hours. I went to run my errands and purposely left my phone at home.

Ed is a jerk

When I got back I saw a message on my phone. Something to the effect of, “If you want to meet me, fine. If you don’t that’s fine too.”  Hell, at this point I almost didn’t want to meet her.  Like I said, I missed her kindness, her forgiveness, and her compassionate  spirit. I DIDN’T miss her daytime drunkeness… her half truths, her talking over people, or constant repeating herself. From our last phone conversation I could tell that she might not have been drunk at that moment, but she had been at some point in the last twelve hours. I say this without judgement. Lord knows I still like to drink, but I like to think the worst I’ve done in recent years is post incoherent internet comments. I certainly haven’t appeared to someone face to face to pontificate about everything under the sun  and how everyone we know and everything have done is wrong.

We’ll always have Huron St.

Anyway I did meet her downtown and it wasn’t such a bad reunion. I admit that I kinda made an ass of myself because I kept stating at her trying to determine what state of mind she was in. Just like I can read her, she can read me and I’m sure she noticed this. That’s why she probably felt the the door was open to bring up why our relationship didn’t work in general and imply what was wrong with me in particular. I wasn’t  mad because most of what she said was stuff that I’d thought of myself.  While I know I did the right thing when I broke up with her, sometimes I wonder…I believe that if we’d stayed together and  if somehow we ended up in the gutter somewhere, I think she still wouldn’t have left me. I believe it’s not easy to find that level of devotion in other people. People talk about soul mates, what if your soul mate was another “damaged person” and the only way for either of  you to get your act half way straight was to  split up? I’m being a little overly dramatic. I don’t consider either of us “damaged goods”. After a while, it was time for us to part company. I know she wanted to hang out a little longer and subtlely implied going to her house, but I kinda wanted to go home. Yeah, I know it doesn’t sound macho or suave, but screw it… I was ready to retire.

I kissed her a few times on the cheak and lips. One kiss was particularly passionate.  It was bittersweet in the both the literal and metaphorical since. It was in the 90’s temperture  wise and she had been sweating all day. When I kissed her, I could taste both the salt in the sweat that dripped from her brow and  the sweetness that’s only present on the lips of someone you once loved. As I walked away I told her to call me next weekend. She said that Thursday was her next day off. Then she said, ” I’ll call you six years from next Thursday.”

When I was on the El, I thought that if this was a romantic movie, that would’ve been a cool line to end the film on.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mLRAbEyvyuU

I had another thing about an old guy on the El, but maybe I’ll save that for another column…

Avengers, Children’s Crusade #6: Great comic book.  Heinberg and Cheung have been doing good for a while now. Great dialogue, great characterizations, great art. Easily the best Avengers title out right now. But I think now we might be sliding into weird conituity area. Hank McCoy shows up and he seems to be on the Avengers team, but if this story takes place in the recent past  (after House of M  and right before Civil War) he should actually be on the X-men.

Butcher Baker the Righteous Maker #2: I wanna know Joe’s  influences for this comic. Some folks have brought up  the Comedian from Watchmen and Marshall Law. I bet there’s some  Wonder Warthog and Cheech and Chong in there as well. Joe is my guy. Cool art from Mike Huddleston.

George Clinton for president. Peace!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pNoj-PZbcO8

Non-Sequitur #30: Not That There’s Anything Wrong With It

Dracula vs Dr. Strange by the great Gene Colan

So, finally I get a weekend where I’m not busy with important stuff or hung over or both. I think to myself, “Hey, maybe I should finally drag my lazy ass over to the theatre and check out that X-Men:First Class movie, it’s gotten some decent reviews!” I pick up the newspaper and look through the movie section and of course it’s no longer playing. Guess it my own fault for procrastinating.

I could have gone to Taste of Chicago which is an annual festival of food and music in town. A great variety of restaurants have booths and it’s possible to sample all kinds of tasty delights the city has to offer. Thing is, it’s always crowded and the food is expensive. I’ve gone in the past just to experience the music. In the recent years, I’ve seen folks from Stevie Wonder to Cheap Trick  to Macy Gray perform, but this year’s list seems kinda “meh”. Then I thought, “I should go anyway and take pictures for the blog!”  Then I remembered my camera is not working properly ( which is why I couldn’t share the C2E2 pictures I took). So, yeah…

I didn’t want to sit in the house, so…I went to Target and bought some pants.

On the way home, I saw a statuesque beauty trying to hail a cab. At least six feet tall and with her fancy hair do she might have been 6′ 4”. Tight jeans, black top, reddish brown hair…she could have been an Amazonian palace guard.

Then I walked past her and realized that “she” was a man. Oh, well…I guess she was still a pretty man.

I got about a block and a half away and looked back and saw that she was still trying to hail a cab. I found this usual because in that particular area, it’s not hard at all to get a cab in the middle of the day. I saw cabbies out. Were they all otherwise engaged or did they notice what I noticed? Did the cabs not want to pick up my new friend because she may have been “trans” or was I inventing things in my head be

The Legend Gene Colan

cause I remember what it was like to be followed around in department stores when I was younger because I was African American?

When I got back home I saw someone had put a rainbow flag in the window of the building management’s office. That’s when I realized it’s Pride Day or something. To tell you the truth, I was a little surprised by the flag in the office window. Yeah, I know there’s a couple of gay people in the building, but there’s also some pretty conservative folks as well. I was just surprised that management was willing to make such an obvious political statement.That’s all.

Anyway, the sun was still shining and it was still much too nice a day to stay inside. I could have gone to the beach and read one of the many books that folks have given me over the the last couple of years that I still  haven’t found time to read ( I got a couple of Dean Koontz, a Katherine Neville, an Ed McBain, and a bunch more). Then I thought about how I’m getting more and more out of shape and how I need to be more active. I decided to take a walk and stretch my legs and just take in the beautiful day.

I made it all the way to Clark and Addison and was a little hungry, so I decided to reward myself with some Taco Bell. Yes, yes…I know. One step forward and two steps back. I fully expect to go to hell for some of the health choices I’ve been making over  the last year or so. I haven’t been to this particular Taco Bell in a few months. I think the last time was when I saw the movie Girl Who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest. I actually recognized the woman  who took my order. She had a  tattoo and an odd gap between her teeth ( like myself). Maybe about 35-ish? But a hard 35. She was enthusiastic and friendly and seemed serious about her job even though it’s a fast food joint. I totally want to marry her.  In my mind though I imagine she’s already got a man. He’s twice my size and can kick my ass without breaking a sweat. Anyway…

After I left Taco Bell, I realized that I hadn’t bought new comics in a couple of weeks and I wasn’t that far from a store called Chicago Comics. So, I decided to walk a little further. I don’t get to go to Chicago Comics that often, but when I do it’s always fun to just look around. Of course, they’ve got the latest mainstream titles, but they’ve also got an interesting section of alternative and indie titles as well as DIY comics by local artists. Plus they’ve got an interesting selection books and magazines. For what it’s worth, I bought a copy of Fritz the Cat on VHS from this store back in the mid-90’s. I only bought a few comics though, because over the last couple of days I ordered a bunch of stuff online and really couldn’t afford to spend too much. Around this time, I felt my stomach turning over from the Taco Bell food I ate and knew maybe I should head home.

It's summer! I don't care what you say, pretty girls in flip flops are sexy!

Ok, by this time I’m by Clark and Belmont right where the Dunkin Donuts is. Back in my day this specific Dunkin Donuts was nick-named “Punkin Donuts”  because of all the punk rock and alternative type folks who used to hang out there. On this particular day, there was a DJ playing some dance music. The street was blocked off and completely packed. I don’t know if Belmont was the official starting place for the parade or whatever, but it definitely felt like it was. No cars and tons of men, women, young folks and families filling the streets. There was no way I was going to make it back to my place on foot, so I was trying to reach the El Train.

I made it to the platform. The train going my direction came and it was filled to capacity with young people getting off at Belmont. Most of them got off  so I was able to easily find a seat. Directly in front of me was a woman who had her head down with her fingers on the bridge of her nose, like she was stressed out. I almost said something to her, but I thought maybe I should mind my own business. She probably was just a little overwhelmed from being squished with all those other passengers. At least I hope that’s what it was.

So, I made it back to my neighborhood and went to a mom and pop store and bought some alcohol..er, no! I mean, uh… this day taught me about uh, the beauty of summer! I had had an epiphany about the brotherhood of man and the glory of civil rights! Um, youth and justice prevails over all and uh…the moral is ah…hell! What really happened was I took a nice long walk, enjoyed the sunshine, saw some nice people and came home.

Then I fought with my cassette player. It’ll play may Scotch mix tapes form ’88  fine, but I have to fight with it over my HR mix tapes from ’90. Whatever…

This is a very interesting analysis of Frank Miller and Bill Sienkiewicz’s Electra:Assassin. http://www.english.ufl.edu/imagetext/archives/v3_1/tobe/  

Hey, here’s a fun comic book website I stumbled on. Mars Will Send No More! http://marswillsendnomore.wordpress.com/

Also, check out this young lady’s You Tube channel. It’s classical piano covers of rock songs and many of them are hard rock/metal songs. In my fantasies when I direct my horror/action movie, this version of Metallica’s song will be the theme. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aWW38l0RhFI

I guess I read a comic book when I came home…

Alpha Flight #1: Story by Greg Pak and Fred Van Lente and the art is by Dale Eaglesham and Andrew Hennessy. Um, you know what?  This isn’t terribly different than the way I’ll write this comic if Marvel called me up and offered it to me. The only thing is, I’d include more characters from the You Gotta Be Kiddin’ Me arc from the early 2000’s. The original team reforms and fights Attuma. Canada declares martial law and there’s a twist/cliffhanger. I’m interested enough to want to get the next issue.

Secret Avengers #14: It’s a Fear Itself  tie-in, but so what. It’s very good issue by Nick Spencer and Scot Eaton. It basically concerns normal soldiers fighting Sin’s ( the Red Skull’s daughter) mechs as they attack New York and the parallels between Valkyrie and  the soldier’s battles and heartbreaks. Nice art and Nick is able to do what some writers seem to neglect, that is  tell a story that works as a one and done yet at the same time ties in to a larger arc or cross-over.

Also, Patti LaBelle. I don’t have anything deep to say here, just Patti LaBelle…  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GRDTBNVWKOw

 

 

 

Non-Sequitur #28: Revolution Is Not an AOL Keyword

One of my dumb fantasies is to see a comic book adaptation of this movie drawn by Frank Cho

To paraphrase the Clash, I been drinking brew for breakfast…

The Nice Ladies at My Job Are Nicer Than the Nice Ladies at Your Job: So, my birthday was last weekend. A couple weeks ago, a co-worker suggested doing something for it and even though I told her not to, she made it clear that she’d plan something anyway. She kept asking me what kind of cake I liked. I half jokingly told her I didn’t want any cake, I’d prefer pasta! Sure enuff, this Wednesday she brought sandwiches and pasta for everyone. This is the same woman who made me pork chops last year and who periodically brings spinach dip for the office. The running joke in the office is that if she ever dumps her husband, she’s going to marry me. Another woman brought me a black birthday balloon. All we needed was either a circus motif or a bit more existentialism and it could’ve been a Fellini film…

Dreaming Is Free: So, I know I’m feeling better about things because I’m starting to have weird dreams again. When I’m depressed, I either don’t dream or I don’t remember my dreams. When I’m in a good mood, I remember the goofiest details of my dreams. Hence, Jennifer Aniston invading my sub consciousness. In the dream it’s the middle of the night and I’m trying to catch the El in Chicago. The El looks like it’s from the 40’s and in dis-repair. It’s literally about to fall apart.  Some guys I kinda half know come along and we decide to go to their apartment and chill. Jennifer is there and we all watch TV and hang out. One by one the other guys gradually leave the room and me and Jennifer get “romantic”. When they come back I think, “Hmm…these are Jen’s guy friend, I wonder if she had them set this up?” Please understand that while I think Jennifer is an attractive woman, I’m not a super-fan or anything. I don’t go to see her movies and I haven’t watched Friends in years.  Yet here she is getting her buddies to set me up with her…

AGGHH! FUGGIN’ COMPUTERS!! IT SAVED HALF MY DRAFT AND THE REST WAS EATEN UP BY CYBER SPACE! Anyway…

This was a pretty interesting story regarding ageism in advertising  http://www.cbc.ca/ageofpersuasion/episode/season-5/2011/05/28/season-five-ageism-in-advertising-1/

Secret Avengers #12.1: I know, I know…the ” Point 1″ initiative is Marvel’s marketing dept bending over the fans. But at least Nick Spencer’s a gentle lover and he brought some stimulating lube ( er, I know…disturbing metaphor, let’s move on).  I really like the cover by Mike Deodato. I kinda think it’s funny that Hank McCoy’s face is the only one that’s detailed, but I guess if it weren’t, he’d be a shadow under Steve Roger’s armpit. Readers might wonder who’s legs are behind Steve. Comics Alliance ( I think) did a snarky review calling it Capt America vs Wicki-Links, but that’s not far off. A person dressed in the old US Agent’s costume leaks government secrets in the name of justice, but the information will put the lives of many  govt double agents at risk, so Steve and the gang have to bring him down. The story does work as a stand alone issue and manages to touch on currents events in the news that I don’t think will be too dated a few years from now.

Secret Avengers #13: Wow, I’m going to miss Nick Spencer when he leaves this book. This is a very well crafted story that ties into Fear Itself . The Beast tries to save an old friend who’s holed up at the Senate while Washington DC is under attack. This story is able to combine current Marvel continuity, civil rights, superhero action, AND still work as an entertaining  stand alone story. Nice art from Scot Eaton too ( although he draws cat-Beast). Boy, do I wish more superhero comics were this good.

Batman Inc #6: I’m still having fun with this title. In this issue we get a further explanation of Bruce’s idea for the Batman Inc concept that almost makes sense. We also learn a little more about the threat that Bruce is assembling his Bat-Army to fight. Complex, yet breezy and fun,,,this title makes me wish I could be a comic book writer.

Astonishing X-Men #37: A straight forward tale about the X-men fighting a giant monster in Tokyo while Armor attends a family funeral. I mostly bought it for the Jason Pearson and Sara Pichelli art. Heavy, detailed, cartoony, and energetic all at the same time…I really enjoyed the visuals. I might hunt down the previous issues. The thing I didn’t like…this issue ends on a cliff hanger, yet the next issue starts a new story with other members of the cast and a different creative team! Wha?

A Political Song For Michael Jackson to Sing: I was listening to a radio interview with Mike Watt, bassist of the legendary punk band the Minute Men. The part that stuck in my mind was when the guys ask Mike about the jazz influence in the band’s sound. Mike says something like, “We never knew about jazz when we were kids, so when we heard it, at first we thought they were like punk guys who were old. We didn’t realize that Coltrane had died years ago and that this music was done in the 50’s.”  Check it out if yer so inclined here, I think…http://www.soundopinions.org/

Gil Scott Heron passed away. Sometimes I wonder if the revolution WAS televised, but we were all too busy to realize that it got co-opted.

Non-Sequitur #21: C’mon Out And Dance

This picture of Death is related to St Patrick's Day because,uh...it was drawn by Steve Rude and uh, there's lots of Irish people named Steve? Uh...ok,fine! I just like the way it looks.

Random People Dressed For St Paddy’s Day: A white guy and his black girlfriend. A Hispanic couple. An African-American mother and her son at the comic book store. A guy on the subway who looked middle-eastern. Another guy on the same train telling his friends that he got his green tuxedo t-shirt in Boystown ( an upscale gay neighborhood in Chicago). He said this without any hint of self consciousness, cuz he obviously had no problem being a straight guy buying clothes in a gay environment. Days like this make me think, “Wow, I live in one of the most diverse cities in the country. Things don’t have to be so tense all the time.”  Of course I know we’re also one of the most segregated cities in America. And I know eventually something will happen to make me think, “Gawd! What  A-Holes some people are!” But this morning, the world was chill.

Our Muzak Is Cooler Than Your Muzak: Ok, so at my job recently they started playing music over the PA in the halls between the offices. I’m pretty sure this is the music you’d hear if you called  my job and asked to speak to the owner and got put on hold. Most of it is what you probably expect, lite-rock  music. Elton John, Lionel Richie, John Mayer,  soft rock hits from the 70’s-80’s etc. What’s interesting is the ample seasoning of AOR (that’s album oriented rock to you kids) that made it into the programming. I was pleasantly surprised to hear David Bowie’s “Suffragette City” on a trip to the bathroom one day. The other day I heard Lynyrd Skynyrd (!) “That Smell” and later a track from the Who’s Quadrophenia album. I don’t have a problem with any of this music, it’s just that I never thought I’d be working at a desk job where the safe for work “muzak” would include hard rock classics. If on the way to look for paper for the copy machine I hear Ted Nugent or Black Sabbath next, I think my head will explode.

So how did I celebrate St Paddy’s Day weekend? Um, I wore my winter coat which is army green? No? I went to Oak Park which is a suburb of Chicago. I took the Green-line train? Eh? I bought a double cheese burger and some fries. I paid cash, that’s green money? Huh? Good enuff, no? FINE, here’s some friggin’ comics…

Power Girl #4: This comic came out in 2009, but I’m just now getting around to it. It’s a fun one and done story written by Justin gray and Jimmy Palmiotti with art by Amanda Conner.Peej and Terra go out to the movies and have to stop a witch who wants monsters to destroy the city in order to save the environment. The story is mostly humorous with just enough action to remind you that you’re reading a superhero comic and just enough sub-plot to get you curious about further issues. The thing that makes this comic work however is Conner’s art. The way she depicts facial expressions really carry a lot of the humor. Also, I really appreciate the way Conner draws Power Girl. Kara is  busty, but she’s athletic looking as well. She looks like a woman who could give you a hard time in a fight as opposed to a girl with a boob-job. One drawback, I don’t think the new Terra’s name is actually mentioned in this issue.

Godland #34: I guess we’re coming to the end of the series. The story is by Joe Casey and the art is from Tom Scioli and a bunch of way out cosmic stuff happens that I don’t think I can begin to explain. The sun has been replaced by god knows what. The hero is on the other side of the galaxy and has to get back home. Bad guys are turning on each other while mice dressed like Superman and Clark Kent are under foot. There’s enormous space stations and viking space giants floating around and cosmic beings just…being cosmic. The series has mostly been a tribute to bronze age science fiction-y comics in general and Jack Kirby in particular, but with enough of Casey’s personality  and other underground sensibilities that it doesn’t come off as a just an imitation of “the king’s” work.

Batman Inc #3: Cool. A Batman comic where he doesn’t act like a control freak jerk. Bats goes to Argentina to recruit El Gaucho to join his group of international Batmen and gets involved in a plot concerning arms dealers and missing children. Story by Grant Morrison. Pencils by Yanick Paquette. Inks mostly by Michel Lacombe. This comic is breezy and action packed. Very nice detailed art from Paquette. He shows a real knowledge of bodies, form, composition, and storytelling.

Van Morrison is Irish http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zjs1mm5vngc

So’s John Lydon http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ylOCIP54PIQ

Oh…before I sat down to write this column, I went to the liquor store to get some beer. On the way, I walked past a few drunk muscle bound frat-boy type guys. One of them said to me, “You going the wrong way, old man?” I said, “I’m going the right way,”  and kept walking. In the distance, I heard something like “come back and I’ll show you something.” I couldn’t make it a whole 24 hours without some jerk bursting my  St Paddy’s Day brotherhood of man bubble.

Random Comics Review: Marvel’s Greatest Comics #71, 1977

Ok, this is a comic from 1977. It’s a re-print of Fantastic Four #89 from 1969. It appears to be the second part of a story where Reed  looks for a new house to live in and the team is ambushed by the Mole Man. Story and art are by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby respectively.

There’s not much of a plot. The team here is Reed, Ben, Johnny, Sue and Crystal who was Sue’s replacement for a moment. They are blinded by the Mole Man as soon as they enter the house and the rest of the issue is  a fight between the villain and the sightless heroes. The Mole man has some vague plan about using a machine to blind all the surface people on Earth and take over or something. Reed injures himself while destroying the Mole Man’s power staff and the rest of the team finishes of Mole Man. There’s a two page interlude that sets up  the action for next issue.

That’s pretty much it. Some cool aspects  include the fact that most of the members get a chance to do something interesting, if not actually shine. My favorite part is where it’s Sue who actually knocks the Mole Man to the ground and forces off his special glasses. Other neat moments include where a pissed off Johnny gives the Mole Man a lecture about self- pity and the Thing  giving Reed artificial respiration ( just cuz I’m not sure if he was squeezing Reed’s ribs or just moving the body).

The art is by “King” Kirby with inks by Joe Sinnott. Action packed and bombastic. Like I said, this issue is basically a fight in a fancy house, but Jack makes it feel like  it could have been D-Day. The sub-plot has a splash  page that seems to be a collage. Marvel artists at the time (late sixties) seemed to be willing to let themselves be influenced by pop art trends that where popular then. They didn’t use the phrase decades ago, but Jack was the embodiment of  “go big or go home.”

Interesting ads include  a how-to book for making money from customizing vans, a body building device called the Power-X  (which seemed to be a heavy rubber thing the user is supposed to stretch), and of course, no mid-70’s Marvel Comic would be complete without an advertisement for Hostess treats. In this one a villain called Madam Web frames Spiderman in an attempt to get him to run way with her. Spidey gets Madam Web to turn herself in by promising her Twinkies.