I think most people are by now familiar with the tragic circumstances that mean I'm currently trapped on Earth and cannot soar through the spaceways as is my birthright.
That being the case, I was always going to be fascinated by the Silver Surfer.
When I say, "fascinated," I of course mean bored senseless. Has there ever been a bigger Moping Minnie than Norrin Radd? Always standing around on that board, grizzling about something or other? If it wasn't the plight of the Yetis he was whining about, it was Mephisto trying to steal his soul, or not being able to get his leg-over with that clingy wet blanket Shalla-Bal.
Fortunately, when I was a child, I wasn't familiar enough with his adventures to be aware of that. Nor was I perhaps a sophisticated enough reader to spot this failing anyway.
All I knew was the Silver Surfer flew around a lot, had turned up in The Fantastic Four and The Incredible Hulk and he seemed a lively piece of work. And so, when I saw it advertised, I quite fancied getting my hands on Marvel UK's Super-Heroes #1.
Reader, I never did - though I did get my hands on two later issues; the one where the Flying Dutchman shows up and the one where the Surfer meets some descendant or other of Baron Frankenstein. Somehow, when I read these tales as a kid, I was too snow-blinded by John Buscema's impossibly elegant artwork to notice what a pain the Surfer himself actually was, and I loved them.
As for the tale printed in issue #1, I'm assuming that was his origin tale and, fortunately, my suffering didn't turn out to be to prolonged, as I was later exposed to that very adventure in Sons of Origins of Marvel Comics. Thanks to its guest appearance by Galactus, I enjoyed it immensely.
As for the X-Men story featured in issue #1, I still to this day have no idea what it was.
Then again, the original X-Men have always grabbed me even less than the Surfer, so perhaps it was for the best that I never had the issue after all.
Top of the Pops: 15th December, 1977.
5 months ago