Saturday, 29 September 2012

What was your favourite Marvel UK comic?

Marvel UK, The Avengers #88, The Wondrous Wasp is attacked by a giant python at her wedding to Yellowjacket
As mentioned the other day, forty years ago this week, Marvel UK was foisted upon a breathless world.

And that  seems as good a time as any to ask our British readers, just what was your favourite weekly Marvel UK reprint mag of the 1970s?

Mighty World of Marvel was the original but it was quickly followed by Spider-Man Comics Weekly.

And soon the shelves were heaving with the likes of Planet of the Apes, Star Wars, the Super-Heroes, Dracula Lives, Rampage and many many more, as Marvel UK threatened to take over the UK's comics market.

Sadly, it was not to last and, as time went by, comics began to merge... ...and then merge again with other titles that had already merged with others, until we had The Mighty World of Marvel Incorporating The Avengers Incorporating Conan the Barbarian And Incorporating Planet of the Apes Incorporating Dracula Lives And Also Incorporating Fury. I always had great fun asking at the local newsagents for that one.

But, while Marvel UK's weekly heyday may have been short-lived, it was nonetheless glorious.

From such splendour, it is of course impossible to choose a favourite - but that won't stop me trying. And so, if forced to, I'd probably plump for The Avengers.

The Avengers gave us its titular titans plus Dr Strange, before adding Shang-Chi and Conan to the mix. John Buscema's Avengers? Paul Gulacy's Shang-Chi? Barry Smith's Conan? Gene Colan's Dr Strange? What kind of raving lunatic could not love a comic that gave them all that?

Those are my thoughts on the matter but you may have ones of your own that you wish to share with the world.

11 comments:

Kid said...

My favourite was The Mighty World of Marvel for about the first year or so. MWOM and Spider-Man Comics Weekly originally had the benefit of spot and full-colour pages, but when that was eventually replaced by Letratone (which came out black instead of gray in a lot of places), they went downhill pretty quickly. Avengers (the weekly) was really to blame because it set the pattern which the other two came to follow. Some of those early Avengers comics are pretty bad, as far as being able to appreciate the art, as it was practically obliterated in places.

My other favourites were The Super-Heroes and then The Complete Fantastic Four, but they were relatively short-lived.

Anonymous said...

Tough one. What immediately springs to mind is anything with the Hulk or The Thing. Avengers reprints seemed too confusing for some reason. Spider-man quality could be variable but some classics in there of course.

In the late 70s, I used to get loads of sequential MWOMs from the early 70s second hand and dirt cheap. The Hulk plus a backup Daredevil story mostly. Both seem to suit B&W (of course I will gladly admire Gene Colan's work in colour too!) Sometimes Captain Marvel was in there too. At the time, I didn't like the apes.

Got the Star Wars ones of course and was unconviced, much preferring my Topps cards!

Absolutely loved the Rampage mags, The Defenders (best non-team ever!) deserve a huge mention. Have been re-reading these in Marvel Essential format lately.

Also followed these and the Fantastic Four from the #1 issue. The FF reprints had a late 60s story (absolute classic Kirby) and also started reprints from #1.

Didn't get into Conan until early 80s and that was courtesy of Savage Sword (still the gold standard for me).

HannibalCat said...

There were so many and they all merged sooner or later, as was UK comics' wont. I loved the Avengers because it reprinted Dr Strange, Star Wars Weekly because it reprinted Starlin's Warlock, but my fave was Captain Britain, because it had new stories actually set in Britain - although not altogether recognisable as my own country - and it reprinted Steranko's SHIELD stories. In full color! Always worth trekking down to Abbeydale Road for.

Terence Stewart said...

Difficult! MWOM purely for nostalgia, The Avengers, well it's the Avengers 'nuff said, Dracula Lives (glorious Colan art in black and white), The Complete Fantastic Four for the combination of 70s and 60s FF....but I'm really going to go for Captain Britain's second series. Can;t go wrong with Delano and Davis.

Gey Blabby said...

To be honest I can hardly remember which comic featured which character. Up until then the only comics from America that I had read were all DC, so I just lapped up anything and everything that appeared in the reprints. Highlights for me were the early Spidey stories by Ditko and Romita, Barry Smith's Conan, and anything drawn by John Buscema and Gene Colan.
A few years later I found a shop in a nearby town that sold all the up-to-date DC and Marvel comics from the States, and I soon decided that I preferred to spend my pocket money on them (and bus fare) every Saturday.

MikeD said...

I bought them all but apart from a sneaky love for the Superheroes, it was always the Avengers. Although I liked all the back up strips, I was always very frustrated when others stole the cover!

Ed Note said...

For nostalgia reasons - Mighty World of Marvel. It was very exciting when it was announced they were issuing a sister mag - Spider-Man Comics Weekly - however. Double your reading fun.

Anonymous said...

For me it has to be Mighty World of Marvel, the first 18 months of issues were amazing (sadly the last 2 years of the weekly MWOM were for me among the worst of the UK Marvel line with Fury and to many other characters merging)Loved Spider-man Comics Weekly ,and Avengers - I also really liked the pocket books and the Conan Monthly. McScotty

Richard Williams said...

For me it was always MWOM while my brother followed Spidey. Then Avengers came along and then the Apes & Dracula and so on...Me & my brother tried them all until the early 80s when we could get our hands on the American versions a lot more easily in the shops - fond times, just wish we'd kept the damn things!

Steve W said...

For me, I remember the launch of Fantastic and Terrific! They contained Marvel reprints, mostly the X-Men, Dr Strange and Thor. They came out in 1968, following in the footsteps of Wham and Smash, which printed some Marvel reprints but also printed some DC stuff like Batman. Unfortunately I don't remember the year to which you refer (1972) as I'd already grown out of comics by then and was into more serious stuff, like girls! PS - I still own Fantastic #1!!

Timothy Field said...

The Titans for me always has a special place in my heart, only had a couple of issues at the time (didn't have pocket money, just what I could raise from returning deposit bottles) but I have recently managed to assemble a near complete run. Loved the mental quirkiness of the landscape format.

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