Marvel by the Month

#071: September 1966 (w/Jamie Wenger) - "Overkill!" / GIANT-SIZE MBTM #2

Episode Summary

Buckle up for a 23-PART STORYLINE charting the rise and fall of the Secret Empire! Jamie Wenger joins us for Stan's most ambitious tale to date — plus Dr. Doom's theft of the Silver Surfer's power cosmic, the debut of the Super-Adaptoid, the blink-and-you'll-miss-it second appearance of Galactus, and the dawn of the Steranko Age of Comics!

Episode Notes

Are you the sort of masochist who wants to follow along with this insane thing? Be careful what you wish for! 

THEM / AIM / Secret Empire backstory:

October 1965: SHIELD seemed to have defeated Hydra in Strange Tales #140

December 1965: The shadowy organization of super-scientists known as THEM appears for the first time in Strange Tales #142. In Tales of Suspense #75, THEM hires Batroc the Leaper to help them steal Inferno-42

March 1966: In Tales of Suspense #78, Nick Fury recruits Cap to help him take down THEM.

April 1966: In Tales of Suspense #79, the Red Skull returns, having been awoken from suspended animation by THEM/AIM. In Strange Tales #146, Count Bornag Royale arrives on the SHIELD helicarrier to demonstrate AIM’s technology and encourage SHIELD to get rid of Nick Fury.

May 1966: In Strange Tales #147, AIM (still calling themselves THEM) launches an unsuccessful raid on the barbershop that serves as a front for SHIELD HQ. In Tales of Suspense #80, the Red Skull steals the Cosmic Cube from AIM.

June 1966: In Strange Tales #148, AIM blows up SHIELD’s captured prisoners and launches a raid on their Life Model Decoy lab. In Tales of Suspense #81, Captain America defeats the Red Skull, who sinks to the bottom of the ocean along with the Cosmic Cube

While all of this is going on...

April 1966: In Tales to Astonish #81, the Secret Empire reviews footage of the Hulk escaping from General Ross’s missile base.

May 1966: In Tales to Astonish #82, we see that the Secret Empire is all about assassinating your way to the top.

June 1966: In Tales to Astonish #83, Number One of the Secret Empire watches Namor and starts plotting how to use him against the Hulk. Also in Tales to Astonish #83 (Hulk story), at a secret meeting of the Secret Empire, Number Nine blows up Numbers Two, Three, Four, Six, Seven, and Eight — now the only members left are Number Nine and Number One!

And Here’s Where It All Comes Together:

July 1966: In Tales of Suspense #82, an AIM android called the Adaptoid imprisons Cap in Avengers Mansion and impersonates him. In Tales to Astonish #84, Number One brings Namor to New York City to find the Hulk, and the Hulk heads to New York City, because he remembers the Avengers and thinks they might be able to help him find Betty.

August 1966: In Strange Tales #150, Hydra returns! In Tales of Suspense #83, the Adaptoid fails to defeat a new jobber villain named the Tumbler. In Tales to Astonish #85, Number One accidentally blows himself up in his safehouse.

Comics Released This Month (ones we discuss are in bold): Amazing Spider-Man #43, Avengers #34, Daredevil #22, Fantastic Four #57, Sgt. Fury #36, Strange Tales #151, Tales of Suspense #84, Tales to Astonish #86, Thor #134, X-Men #26, ©1966 Marvel Comics. 

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