July 12th was an exciting Friday for all fans of Marvel UK.
Because it was the week The Savage Sword of Conan disappeared completely from the newsagents of Britain.
Admittedly, that in itself wasn't particularly exciting - especially if you happened to be from Cimmeria and had been rooting for your local hero.
However, it did mean Conan suddenly moved into the Avengers' mag.
As I read The Avengers every week and had never even seen an issue of Savage Sword of Conan, this was very exciting for me - especially as it featured tales from Barry Smith's peak period on the strip.
It was, however, the first time Marvel UK had suffered the indignity of having to merge two comics due to poor sales. But, if we'd momentarily feared that it signalled the start of a bleaker new era for the company, we could always rely on their remaining mags to divert our thoughts from such musings.
Help! Help! They're kidnapping Marisa Tomei!
Meanwhile, Lee and Kirby's attempt to make sense of Thor's origin continues apace.
This is it! We suddenly have a comic that features the Avengers, Conan, Dr Strange and Shang-Chi. There may be no common thread linking those four strips but what kind of lunatic wouldn't want a combination like that?
What with the Avengers' Adamantium Ultron storyline and the Dr Strange Shuma-Gorath tale, I'm trying to work out if this meant there were any issues in this period when The Avengers, Conan and Dr Strange strips were all simultaneously drawn by Barry Smith.
"Don't count on it, baldy!"? Are they sure he now has the mind of Bruce Banner? I don't recall Bruce Banner ever talking like that.
I do, however, believe this signals that the Hulk is back in the land of Jarella.
The bad news is that the Jester's back in the land of Daredevil.
I had the original US version of this tale, which was nicely pleasing for me.
Sadly, I can't remember anything at all that happens in it.
Yeah! That's right! I'm going to strangle you into taking me to Ape City, whether you like it or not! Even though you were almost certainly going there anyway, what with it being the only inhabited place on Earth known to the simian denizens of the Planet of the Apes movies!
Meanwhile, Marvel's adaptation of The Golden Voyage of Sinbad continues. A tale I aim to be reviewing in the not-too-distant future, provided I can find my copy.
I'd love to know what the story is behind this cover. It's always struck me as being very un-Marvel-like. It does have a relaxing elegance to it though.
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