Watching the Eurovision Song Contest at the weekend reminded us all that "abroad" is a whole other world. How we thrilled to Romanian falsetto vampires, Greeks demanding free booze, a man singing a love song to his shoes, and, erm, Bonnie Tyler.
But there are other worlds; worlds even stranger than those that lie within the boundaries of the European Broadcasting Union.
And so it was that, in the 1970s, Marvel Comics gave us Worlds Unknown.
Anyone who read Marvel UK's Planet of the Apes mag will remember Worlds Unknown with fondness - or at least the tales it contained...
The cover story might be about the coming of the Martians but we all know the true stand-out of this issue is Gil Kane's He That Hath Wings, in which a youth discovers that being born with feathers might not be the blessing one might expect it to be.
It's A Gun For Dinosaur.
It's so long since I read his that I can't remember the ending. I'm sort of assuming it's one of those going-back-in-time-and-killing-your-grandfather-type twists.
That reminds me. I must go back in time and kill my grandfather before he fulfills his pledge to travel forward in time and kill me.
That'll teach him.
It's Farewell to the Master.
Roy Thomas and Ross Andru's adaptation might be more faithful to the original but I still prefer The Day the Earth Stood Still.
Ah, all those memories of William Shatner ripping his shirt off and building a cannon from a big stick of bamboo come flooding back as we get Marvel's adaptation of Fredric Brown's Arena.
I always loved this one, as an alien big cat climbs aboard a spaceship and, one by one, polishes off the crew until it has an unhappy ending.
I can't help feeling that having the homicidal bulldozer ranting like Dr Doom on the cover probably doesn't add a lot of dignity to proceedings.
The Golden Voyage of Sinbad was one of my favourite childhood films. It had Sinbad! It had a six-armed sword fight! It had Tom Baker! Verily, the late Ray Harryhausen didst know how to keep a child happy.
Sadly, I don't remember being so taken with George Tuska and Vince Colletta's adaptation.
The Golden Voyage of Sinbad comes to an end, as we get that sword fight.
And Worlds Unknown also comes to an end.
Its run may have been short but it was certainly sweet - and where would Planet of the Apes readers have been without the tales the UK mag so happily reprinted from it?
Top of the Pops: 15th December, 1977.
4 months ago