Order Of Battle: The Official Marvel Index Comic Books

 

Due to the increasing size of my comic book collection, I have found it necessary to not only break them up by title, but for some of the larger series, by groups. This will be an ongoing post of my Marvel published The Official Marvel Index Titles, as I obtain them. All photos are actual scans.

The Official Marvel Index To Marvel Team-Up Issue 1

The Official Marvel Index To Marvel Team-Up Issue 2

The Official Marvel Index To Marvel Team-Up Issue 3

The Official Marvel Index To Marvel Team-Up Issue 4

The Official Marvel Index To Marvel Team-Up Issue 5

The Official Marvel Index To Marvel Team-Up Issue 6

For more Order of Battle posts related to my comic book collection, which includes additional Spider-Man related titles, click "HERE". 

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Pre-Order Breaker Now!

 

It's finally available!


Head to ebay to pre-order yours today!

 

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Retro Spins: Johnny Cougar - Chestnut Street Incident

 

Johnny Cougar, John Cougar, John Cougar Mellencamp or John Mellencamp. Whatever you call him, the man had a rocky start in the music industry with his debut album selling only twelve thousand copies upon its initial release. It was so bad that not only did his record label drop him, but they refused to release his already completed second album, The Kid Inside (which would ultimately end up being released as his sixth studio album).

Leading up to his debut, Mellencamp signed with then David Bowie manager, Tony DeFries. However, DeFries was adamant that nobody would buy a record for a man named John Mellencamp, and without the singer's knowledge, changed his name to Johnny Cougar. Mellencamp would not find out about this until he saw the final product of his debut album. The irony ending up being that people apparently wouldn't buy an album for someone named Johnny Cougar either.

Despite this setback, Mellencamp was able to secure a new record deal, and released his second album, which was actually recorded third, A Biography. This would be the last album credited to Johnny Cougar, which was shortened to John Cougar for his self titled album in 1979. This would lead to Mellencamp's first top forty hit. Though he would go on to release Nothin' Matters And What If It Did in 1980, the singer's breakthrough wouldn't come until hit 1982 album American Fool.

Today, I'm going back to 1976 to check out that debut record featuring Johnny Cougar singing about the Chestnut Street Incident. As I fired it up, I was greeted by a younger sounding musician, who despite this being his first record sounded powerful and passionate about what he was singing. While the majority of what played on were covers, it was when the title track of the album kicked in that I found myself saying, "Yes. This is John Mellencamp."

Chestnut Street, the song, feels very much like what drew fans to his music in the 80's. A well crafted story, from a personal perspective of Mellencamp. This is not only a great song, but the turning point in the album where I felt like it had any meaning to the singer. However, this got buried quickly under a pile of generic tracks written by Mellencamp, and more covers. This wasn't helped by a revisited rendition of Chestnut Street, aptly titled, Chestnut Street Revisited. It only stood to prove what I felt that this particular track was the best that was to be had on this album.

I won't go so far as to call the who experience, "bad". Truthfully, his cover versions of songs such as Oh, Pretty Woman, Jailhouse Rock, and Twentieth Century Fox aren't terrible. It's difficult to record a cover that is worth listening to over the original, and Mellencamp pulls this off. They're not superior versions, but they're okay.

Truth be told, I was a little surprised to read that his label dropped him after this album was released, because it actually got me interested in hearing more from him from this era. I therefore can't help but wonder if perhaps the failure of this album wasn't more so the result of a lack of good marketing, because the album itself is good.

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Disclaimer: They Toy Box does not endorse or contribute to piracy. Retro Spins posts are intended for educational and entertainment purposes only. None of the music discussed here is available for sale, downloading or distribution.

Retro Spins: The 2 Live Crew - As Nasty As They Wanna Be



There was a charm to The 2 Live Crew back in 1989. When you're a young teen, songs with curse words can tend to make you giggle, and that's exactly what this album did. Granted, I was also very naive to the actual content of the record. I'm not sure where my brother got his original cassette from back in the day, but I can tell you it never got played at any volume that would allow anyone outside of our huddled circle in his bedroom to hear.

As Nasty As They Wanna Be has been on my "want list" for quite some time, yet at the same time, I didn't really know why. When I really sit back and think about it, I think the draw was more so one of nostalgia. I couldn't remember any songs off of the album, with exception to one. Even then, it's not like it was a fantastic one. Regardless, the day came when it eventually ended up in my collection.

To be honest, I didn't make it far in my listening session.

The album is vulgar, vile and disgusting with no content beyond shock value. For someone with even the smallest amount of moral values, this record would and should be offensive. In hindsight, I regret getting it, and it could become the first album in my collection I actually get rid of. Mind you, I'll probably just throw it away because I don't see the point in passing this type of trash on to someone else.

To be fair, the collector and researcher side of me is intrigued by the history of the album. It was ruled legally obscene on June 9th, 1990 by Judge Jose Gonzalez, and even became illegal to buy in certain areas. While this ruling would eventually be overturned, it wasn't before the "group" would release As Clean As They Wanna Be. While this version of the album didn't necessarily contain no explicit lyrics, it did include tracks not available on the "nasty" cut.

Naturally, being the clean version, As Clean As They Wanna Be didn't sell as well as the original release. This makes the CD released clean cut rather rare in the wild. However, at the same time, when you do find one, it's relatively cheap. My collector side is kind of tugging at me to track this version down. Yet at the same time, I don't honestly want it. It's one of those get it because it's hard to find struggles we collector's go through.

With that said, I've spent very little time talking about this actual album, and the reason for that goes back to what I already said above. I didn't make it far into it, and overall, it's not something I feel any person with any sense of moral compass should subject themselves to. It truly is garbage in every sense of the word, and the "group" should be ashamed of themselves for even recording it.

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Flubber (Hassenfeld Brothers)


Flubber
Hassenfeld Brothers
1963

Classic family friendly film turned family horror nightmare. Flubber was the substance seen in Disney's 1961 movie, The Absent Minded Professor and again in the 1963 sequel, Son Of Flubber. Capitalizing on the popularity of the first film and the hype of the upcoming sequel, Hassenfeld Brothers, who would later become Hasbro, produced their own concoction of the green bouncy goo.

Unfortunately, soon after its release, several complaints started to flood their mailbox. Letters claiming their children had developed rashes after playing with Flubber caused concern for the company, prompting them to look into the mater further. It was discovered that the substance used for the toy was causing Folliculitis, a relatively common skin condition where hair follicles on your body become inflamed.

This led to several lawsuits, as well as, an FDA inquiry, resulting in Hassenfeld to recall and remove the product from the markets. However, the nightmare didn't stop there.

In an attempt to destroy the product, the company found the substance to be indestructible. Attempts at incinerating it only resulted in thick black smoke, which led to more complaints from the community their factor resided in. A second attempt to dispose of the materials by taking it to city dumps only yielded youngsters showing up to take it.

Hassenfeld then got permission to sink the substance in the ocean. This attempt failed also, as it turned out the substance floated. As a last resort, the company buried it underneath the ground the Hasbro's warehouse would eventually be built on. Even then, reports have surfaced from ex-Hasbro employees who claimed the substance would bubble up through the cracks in the ground on particularly hot days.

Boy, Professor Ned Brainard really came up with something indestructible when he invented Flubber.

While few and far between, unopened packages of Flubber can be found on secondary markets. However, you're going to pay a lot of money for one. The cheapest I've seen one was $600.00. Not only is this ridiculously expensive, but the substance inside in all likelihood has turned into a solid / hard substance. Not only that, but the green has faded considerably to an almost clear transparency -  Such as seen in the photos in this post.

Still, if you're looking for something rare and toy related, this could be exactly what you're next hunt should include.

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Retro Spins: Gary Numan - The Pleasure Principle

 

By the time Gary Numan went solo in 1979, he had already released two albums with his band, Tubeway Army, which featured Numan on Vocals, Paul Gardiner on bass and Jess Llydard on drums. Though Gardiner would stay with Numan's solo iteration, Llydard would be replaced by Cedric Sharpley. Additionally, Chris Payne would join to fill the role of keyboardist.

Numan is of course known for his most popular song to date, Cars, a new wave synthpop treat. Because the time of it reaching the charts, number eighty-nine in February of 1980, Cars is often times mistakenly categorized as an 80's song, despite being released on Numan's 1979 solo debut, The Pleasure Principal. Cars would eventually crack the top ten, but not go any further than number nine.

Unlike many Retro Spins artists that I review, Numan is one of the few who remains active to this day, with his latest album, Intruder, slated for a 2021 release. Though personally, I've not heard anything from him, with exception of the above noted song.

And, it's because of said song that I'm here today listening to the album it's from, which just so happens to be Numan's first solo debut...which I think I said already.

Here's the thing. If you love synthpop, you will probably really like (or love) this album. It's new wave before new wave was really a thing. While I heard some tracks that intrigued me, nothing really stuck for me, with exception of the song I bought the album for, which again, was cars.

Numan has somewhat of a whiny voice, and it can actually grate on your nerves if you dwell on it too much. His music is by no means any form of masterpiece, heck, even cars is a pretty generic song, but it's catchy. I think this is what perhaps he thrives at as an artist. Simple songs that have catchy hooks.

I went ahead and read a listing of Numan's, "greatest hits", to see if there were songs I perhaps knew of, but had forgotten. I didn't recognize any of them. Suffice to say, I'm content with the song I bought this album for, and don't see myself branching off any further in his music.

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Disclaimer: They Toy Box does not endorse or contribute to piracy. Retro Spins posts are intended for educational and entertainment purposes only. None of the music discussed here is available for sale, downloading or distribution.

 

Retro Spins: Big Country - The Crossing



It was the early New Millennium when I was first introduced to Big Country via a compilation album, which for the life of me I can't remember the title for, nor find an image of which puts the puzzle piece in place as to which one it was. However, through it I was introduced to so many great tracks that the band quickly became a favorite of mine. Favorite in a sense that I liked their music, but not necessarily followed them in any big way.

As the years rolled by, and the CD collection began to grow, Big Country remained on my radar as a band who I needed to track down the studio albums for which featured my favorite songs from the compilation album I had owned. Unfortunately, I found myself having quite a bit of issues with this. It was through doing a lot of research on their albums that I found the original studio pressings didn't necessarily contain all the tracks I was looking for as some were B-sides, or previously unreleased songs which were added to re-issue releases.

The end result was, while I eventually tracked down the albums I was looking for to get all the songs I wanted, they are all over the map in terms of when they were released. I don't own any of the original pressings, nor do I honestly want them since they're lacking songs which I would have wanted anyway.

Today, I'm taking a listen to the bands 1983 debut album, The Crossing, which for the purposes of this write up, is coming from the 2002 re-issue. I'll break this down into two different sections. The first will be discussing the original ten tracks from the album. The second part will discuss the five remaining tracks which come from the 2002 released, and also known as, Wonderland Mini LP.

One of the biggest draws to this album is its unique sound compared to a lot of music of the era. The almost bagpipe style of guitarist Bruce Watson, the masterful drumming of Mark Brzezicki, solid bass riffs of Tony Butler and haunter vocals from Stuart Adamson combine to draw you in for a session of fantastic and deep songs.

While it was the track In A Big Country (also included on the album) which drew me first to the band, I have since found several, far superior songs, many of which are included on The Crossing; Chance, The Storm, Harvest Home, Lost Patrol, Close Action, Fields of Fire, and Porrohman.

Enjoying nine out of ten tracks definitely makes this a great album in my book. It also leaves me wanting to hear more from the band. So let me do just that.

As mentioned above, this particular version of the alum is the 2002 re-issue which includes the Wonderland Mini LP. The song, Wonderland, is also the reason I wanted this particular version.

With a run time of twenty-five minutes, the mini LP, in my book, is only about one song shy of being, in and of itself, a full album. It starts up with the track, Wonderland, and from there leads into a decent, but not necessarily the best, remix of Giant in the form of All Fall Together. The song Giant, which isn't on The Crossing, is actually a bonus track itself from the re-issue of the band's 1986 album, The Seer.

I didn't find myself enjoying the follow-up tracks, Angle Park and The Crossing. Nor did I particularly get excited for the "single version" of Chance. While I like this song, getting an extra twelve seconds isn't enough to really notice a difference, nor blow me away. I also much prefer the original without the unnecessary intro.

With all that said, overall, I enjoyed my listening session of the 2002 re-issue of The Crossing. It's hard to be sad about getting ten good songs out of fifteen. I'll definitely be listening to more Big Country in the near future. You should too.

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Super Heroes Cookies (Nabisco)



Super Heroes Cookies
Nabisco
1982 - 1984

Remember back in the day when cookies were super creative, but yet oddly tasted the exact same? A generic, crumbly, dry, cardboard / vanilla flavor. They were awesome! Though I haven't talked about too many of them here, one in specific which immediately comes to mind were Pepperidge Farm's Star Wars cookies from 1983.

Much like the aforementioned Star Wars cookies, Nabisco's Super Heroes featured various character shapes, featuring DC's classic heroes and villeins. To make them all the more enjoyable, Nabisco released a whopping ten different box variations, each one featuring its own character art.






The boxes are actually quite comical in that they include a blurb on the side panel promoting fruit. "Food Facts - Over 7,500 varieties of apples are grown in the world today." Cause that's what people are thinking about when they grab a box of cookies.

Nah, when they were grabbing one of these boxes they were think of edible Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, Robin, Batgirl, Shazam, Riddler, Penguin and Joker shaped cookies.






In 1984, Nabisco started the final campaign of cookies which consisted of all new Supergirl shaped cookies and boxes. What made these particular snacks collectible were the various super sized trading cards located on the back of each box. In total, there were fifteen different images to cut out and collect.

Of the various cards, some are definitely much more difficult to track down than others. However, there doesn't seem to be any real rhyme or reason as to why.
















While I stated 1982 - 1984 above as the period these cookies were on store shelves, I actually cannot confirm if 1984 was indeed the year these were discontinued. There doesn't seem to be much information out there regarding these snacks in general. As such, the reason I landed on that year was because that was when the Supergirl movie came out.

Regardless of when they ended, I'm sure many a child was distraught the first day mom didn't come home with a box because they were no longer on store shelves. Fortunately, I'm sure there was something else on the market that was equally as exciting for kids. Oreo Big Stuf did come out in 1984 after all. But that's a post for another time.

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Comics Corner: The Amazing Spider-Man 108

     

Title: The Amazing Spider-Man
Issue Number: 108
Release Date: May 1972 

Highlights

  • The action is full on with this story that finally sheds light into Flash Thompson's Vietnam days
  • First appearance of Sha Shan, AKA Sister Sun
  • A delicious cliff hanger leaving Peter Parker with two options - Stay quite at Gwen's side, or admit he's Spider-Man and go after the kidnapped Flash
  • Action packed from the first to the last page
Low Points
  • Not what I expected would be the reason Flash was so torn up from Nam. A bit silly
Oddities
  • None
Rating (based on a 1 through 5 Stans grading system)
 


 

 

 

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Comics Corner: The Amazing Spider-Man 107

     

Title: The Amazing Spider-Man
Issue Number: 107
Release Date: April 1972

Highlights

  • Recap and reference panels to The Amazing Spider-Man 25 and 58
  • A mysterious car takes Flash Thompson away, with a tease of the story unfolding in the next issue - Can't wait!
Low Points
  • Why is this spider slayer spread across three issues? It's boring, but at least over...for now
Oddities
  • As action unfolds from one panel to the next, Spider-Man references a phone call he apparently made in the blink of an eye to the cops
Rating (based on a 1 through 5 Stans grading system) 
 

 
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Comics Corner: The Amazing Spider-Man 106

     

Title: The Amazing Spider-Man
Issue Number: 106
Release Date: March 1972

Highlights

  • Brief appearance by Doctor Curtis Connor
  • Harry Osborn continues to recover from his drug abuse
  • Gwen and Peter visit Flash, who is not the same since returning from Vietnam
Low Points
  • Spencer Smythe is at it again. Very boring and one dimensional character
  • Another spider slayer story...great
  • The story would have been more interesting if it focused on what happened to Flash in Vietnam, vs. wasted space on a cliffhanger spider slayer story. Hopefully this thread is revisited in later issues
Oddities
  • Spider-Man uses Doctor Connor's lab to make a mask of Peter Parker's face - Huh? Why would a scientist have this kind of material, and where did Peter Parker learn to sculpt a perfect likeness of himself?
  • Spider-Man just happens to know when Smythe will be viewing his cameras to hold up the fake mask of his face?
Rating (based on a 1 through 5 Stans grading system)


 

 

 

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Need Another Roadblock?

 

Hasbro Pulse announced today that Major Bludd would be released as part of the Cobra Island Target exclusive waves, and offered a few up for sale on their website that sold out immediately. Nobody was surprised about anything in that sentence.


They followed this up with an announcement for an all new Heavy Artillery Roadblock, making this the THIRD time this figure has been released since the line started. This time around, it's an Amazon exclusive (available here...for now), and limited quantities were made available on Pulse, which sold out immediately. Again, no surprise.


***UPDATE***Roadblock appears to be sold out. Much like the prior Arctic Mission Storm Shadow, Amazon most likely will not get any additional figures in stock.

Additionally, Hasbro announced two deluxe packages. The first featuring a "Commando" style Snake Eyes, which comes packed with Timber, and Breaker, which comes packed in with a RAM motorcycle.


Unfortunately, Breaker will be part of the Cobra Island series, making him a Target exclusive.


Lastly, Hasbro announced Barbecue...Another Target exclusive.


To all of you ready for the hunt, good luck. As for me, I'm officially done with Classified. More Target exclusives, and too many re-occurring releases has burned me out. I'm out on this series.

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