Sunday, 28 December 2014

December 28th, 1974 - Marvel UK, 40 years ago this week.

We're in that strange limbo between Christmas and New Year - but so mighty was Marvel UK forty years ago that even a limbo couldn't prevent them from giving us a fistful of super-hero action in this week of 1974.

And here's where we find out just what it was they were giving us.

Spider-Man Comics Weekly #98, The Prowler

Much as I love the Prowler, I'm not totally sure he deserves the cover's claim that he's, "The most dangerous super-villain Spidey has ever faced!" To be honest, I think that even Nazi Bee Man, or whatever he was called, was more dangerous.
Marvel UK, The Avengers #67, Shang-Chi

Ooh! I sort of remember this one. I believe there were  crocodiles involved.

Admittedly, that's not that difficult to remember, considering they're on the cover but I do vaguely recall an inside panel of them swimming towards something or other, leaving a gentle wake behind them as they did so.
Marvel UK, Planet of the Apes #10

For some reason, I'm getting some kind of flashback that either this issue had a cut out and mount diorama on the back cover or that the front cover itself was later turned into one in a future issue.
Marvel UK, Dracula Lives #10

Hooray! I had the original American version of this tale. And I just happen to have a review of it, right here.
Mighty World of Marvel #117, the Hulk

I'm assuming this is the first part of that story where the Hulk takes on a bunch of aliens who also happen to be Egyptian gods. It was one of my favourite Hulk stories when I was a kid. To be honest, when I was a kid, anything with an Erich von Däniken vibe was guaranteed to grab me.

13 comments:

Colin Jones said...

All these issues were WEEK ENDING Dec 28th 1974 which means they went on sale on December 21st so the back of POTA was likely to have been a festive picture of Marvel characters dressed as Santa or something equally Christmassy.

Steve W. said...

I do remember the calendars that were featured on the back of them one year.

Sadly, one of them gave away the fact that Gwen Stacy died. :(

Paul McScotty -Muir said...

The back page of the MWOM edition shown here (so I assume the other weeklies also) shows a hastily pasted together (and mostly poorly drawn) picture of the Hulk, Mr Fantastic, Thing and Human Torch (think the torch one was taken from a Spidey comic cover) with the Thing and Mr Fantastic holding ballons with an Xmas wish on them. The Marvel calendar appeared in the late 74 early 75 issues.

The Hulk story was indeed the Egyptian aliens story "Godspawn" written by Len Wein art by Trimpe / Severin - this is one of my favourites as well.

Colin Jones said...

By the way, Steve - did you know that December 28th 1974 was the date of Tom Baker's first episode as Doctor Who ? I knew it was sometime in the autumn of '74 but I found the exact date by using BBC Genome.

Steve W. said...

Colin, I read about the Tom Baker thing on Twitter and considered mentioning it in the post but I couldn't find anything on Wikipedia to confirm the exact date, so I bottled it and decided not to mention it. Sadly, it didn't occur to me to check with Genome site.

Colin Jones said...

Happy New Year to you, Steve - did you see the excellent BBC 4 documentary about Kate Bush ? One thing I've always wondered is why she recorded a new version of Wuthering Heights for The Whole Story - it's not like the original needed improving.

John Pitt said...

HAPPY NEW YEAR, STEVE- to you and your family!
I'm looking forward to joining you again right through it!

Steve W. said...

Thanks, Colin and John. And a happy new year to you too - and to everyone else who visits this blog.

Colin, I have seen the BBC4 Kate Bush documentary.

My understanding has always been that she re-recorded it because she didn't like her original vocal and felt she could do better. I do prefer the newer vocal - and the newer version's drumming - but, sadly, the guitar solo at the end of the newer version lacks the elegance and charm of the original.

Colin Jones said...

Steve, just out of curiosity did you take to Kate Bush straight away ? When Wuthering Heights reached No.1 I'd just turned 12 and the song was a bit too weird for my taste - it took a while to appreciate how good Wuthering Heights is and what a great artist Kate Bush is.

Steve W. said...

I think I liked it straight away, although it was so long ago that it's hard to remember. I know I liked The Man With The Child In His Eyes straight from the moment I first heard it.

Phil said...

If Shang-Chi was in the Avengers...that would be a freaking awesome comic.
I was conflicted about him as a character. On the one hand he was a hero on the other hand he had a terrible haircut and wore pajamas and of course was a Kung Fu hero....comics alway seemed to reduce non American heroes to deriving their powers from their ethnic backgrounds. Even today you can count the number of Asian male heroes on one hand and one finger those who aren't stereotypes. Amadeus Cho. Is there another? Can someone name one? I admit I don't read new comics much so I'm out of touch.

Steve W. said...

Sadly, Phil, I must confess my knowledge of current comics is so sketchy that I don't have a clue what the current state of play is as regards Asian characters.

Paul McScotty -Muir said...

I think Shang Chi was in a the new Avengers for a while - ( I certainly have seen recent comics with him on the covers of the Avengers).

I don't think its just Asian characters that get stereotypes being Scottish I see some really weird hero ideas ditto for England and the Irish , poor ( Wales seems to do not to bad ) but there are a lot of Asian males heroes (although a lot may well sadly be stereotypes) theres a list of some of them here

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Asian_superheroes

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