Wednesday, November 3, 2010

History of the Marvel Universe: October 1965, part 3


Namor, still on his quest to find Neptune’s trident, manages to defeat the seaweed monster long enough to find the next clue—it turns out he must now travel to the Diamonds of Doom.

Meanwhile, Lady Dorma refuses to marry Krang and gets exiled to the realm of the Faceless Ones. What this means we aren’t yet told, but we are not given the impression that it’s a good thing.

Namor finds out about this--via fish telepathy—a power more commonly associated with Namor’s DC parallel Aquaman. Even though he’d been around for a few years now, Namor’s powers were still in flux. Stan Lee never seemed to remember what Namor could or could not do. Sometimes he could do fish telepathy, sometimes he couldn’t. In later years, he pretty much seemed not to have this power, though he could always summon up a few undersea monsters whenever the plot demanded it of him.

Anyways, Namor can’t take time to save Dorma because Krang will start a world-encompassing war unless he’s defeated. So it’s off to the Diamonds of Doom. The Doom part, he discovers, comes from their ability to suck out the life force of any living thing that comes close to them. Namor realizes this a little too late, giving us this issue’s cliffhanger.

Meanwhile, the Hulk has been teleported by the Leader to the villain’s secret base. Soon after, the army blows up Banner’s mountain lab (thinking the Hulk is still inside), destroying the equipment Banner needs to keep himself from turning human again. (Remember, the bullet in his skull kills him if he turns back into Banner.)

The Leader wants Hulk to work for him, but the two really can’t manage to play nice. To make matters worse, Hulk begins to slowly turn back into Banner while fighting the Leader’s Humanoids. Weakened by this, he falls to a barrage of energy weapons. If the weapons don’t kill him, turning human will.


A mercenary who worked for the late Baron Zemo is still hanging around Zemo’s lab in South America. The Enchantress shows up and uses the same machine that turned Simon Williams into Wonder Man (back in issue #9) to turn the merc into Power Man.

Then she and her new ally begin using magically created illusions and a series of dirty tricks to make it look like the Avengers are destroying property and breaking laws. Eventually, the government issues a court order, forcing them to disband.

The idea of discrediting the Avengers is an old one. Count Neferia tried it just a few issues back. But Enchantress’ plan is a pretty clever one and the circumstances are used to highlight some of the strained relations within the Avengers (most notably between Cap and Hawkeye). That will really come to a head next issue.


A criminal known as the Organizer, um, organizes a cadre of criminals respectively known as Cat Man, Frog Man, Bird Man and Ape Man. All have costumes and talents that mimic the animals they dress up as.

They are, to be frank, a pretty silly looking bunch. Only Wally Wood’s effective layouts save the story, in which the bad guys steal from or otherwise attack the political Reform Party (which has recruited Foggy Nelson as their candidate for D.A.). As the issue ends Cat Man has been captured, but the others are still loose and Daredevil has to rescue a kidnap victim who doesn’t really seem to be all that much of a victim. That the villain is secretly making the Reform Party look good to the public is obvious from the start and no surprise when this is revealed in the next issue.

That’s it for October. Before moving on to November, we’ll take a week next time to look at the 1965 annuals. Reed and Sue are goin’ to the chapel and gonna get married; Spider Man has a strange encounter with Dr. Strange; and Thor meets the official Marvel Universe version of Hercules.

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