Sunday, 20 March 2016

March 20th, 1976 - Marvel UK, 40 years ago this week.

It's been a terrible week for those of us with aspirations to rule the world, what with it having contained the Ides of March. I had to go into hiding, in case my horde of deadly enemies decided to descend on me, en masse, and use me as a human pin cushion.

Fortunately, I was not alone in my hiding place.

I was accompanied by The Past.

The Past, the only thing guaranteed never to try and kill me.

But what of that Past? What of Marvel UK forty years ago this very week?

Marvel UK, Avengers #131, Lady Liberators

The Lady Liberators are still tangling with the forces of evil.

I wonder what the answers were to the Marvel Mastermind quiz?

Then again, I wonder what the questions were.



Marvel UK, Planet of the Apes #74

It's one of my favourite UK Planet of the Apes covers, as apes prove they can't tell the difference between toads and slugs.

Still, he knows to always shoot things in the nostrils, and that's what matters.
Marvel UK, Dracula Lives #74

I am intrigued by just who it is Drac's ordering the Werewolf and Man-Thing to strike.

As, apart from him, they're the only two people in the room, the only people they can strike are each other.

I'm no military expert but getting your allies to kill each other seems a somewhat self-defeating tactic to me. Oh well, at least now we know why he always loses.

Then again, it was the 1970s. Maybe he wanted them to go on strike. I hear those monsters can be quite low-paid and have unsociable working hours.

In other news, I really do like the way the cover's drawn. Unusually for a Marvel UK frontage, it has a certain style about it.

Super Spider-Man with the Super-Heroes #162, Dr Octopus

If I remember rightly, this is the epic in which Spider-Man loses his mask and has to wear a polythene one bought from a fancy dress shop, which he can't breathe through.

I think he also gets an ulcer while he's at it.

And then Hammerhead shows up.

Poor old Spidey. He never does things the easy way.

Marvel UK, The Titans #22, Captain America

It's not only Dracula who's finding himself with an unusually stylish cover this week, as someone who seems to be a bit of a Steranko fan has a go at creating one for The Titans.

Mighty World of marvel #181, The Hulk

Now I'm confused. I assume the Psycho-Man story is the one where the Silver Surfer finds himself in the Microverse and the FF have to go looking for him in order to appease Galactus. But I thought MWOM had already reprinted that tale several months earlier.

As for other matters, I always had a liking for Mr Fear. He was one of the few early DD villains who had any actual potential. Did he turn into the Death-Stalker later on, or was that someone else?

5 comments:

Dougie said...

Maybe you're thinking of the first Psycho Man story with the Inhumans and Black Panther. Think that might've been around the time of the first Defenders reprint. Death stalker was the Exterminator, one time partner of The Organiser's trio ( subsequently the Ani-Men).

TC said...

Don't know if Death-Stalker was ever Mr. Fear, but both had so many incarnations it's hard to keep them straight.

The Exterminator first appeared in Daredevil #39 in 1968, and returned as Death-Stalker in DD #113 in 1974. Judging by his costume, I suspect that he thought he was the Shadow, the Spider, or Darkwing Duck.

The original Mr. Fear was a mad scientist type named Zoltan Drago in DD #6 (1965). The second version was in DD #54 and #55. He was Starr Saxon, who had murdered Drago and assumed his identity. Saxon fell off of his flying saucer thingie while fighting Daredevil and was apparently killed.

In Captain America #249 (1980), Cap fought robot minions of the villain Machinesmith, who turned out to be Saxon. Cap smashed the computer that controlled the robots. It turned out that Saxon's robots had found his badly injured body, and had transferred his consciousness into the computer.

Machinesmith had appeared in Marvel Two-In-One #47 in 1979, but I don't know if the Mr. Fear/Star Saxon connection was mentioned there.

Steve W. said...

TC and Dougie, thanks for the information. You definitely deserve some sort of Steve Does Comics award. Sadly, there are no Steve Does Comics awards but, if there were, you'd definitely deserve them.

Anonymous said...

To my knowledge, Drac never encountered the Macabre Man-thing, although he did tussle with the Werewolf by Night in an epic two-parter.
One of those covers that shows something that doesn't actually happen, I'd wager, but it would have been cool to see it. I don't know who would have won that fight. Dracula can't hurt Man-thing by biting him because he's made out of swamp matter, and the shambling Man-thing can't burn a being who knows no fear ("whatever knows fear burns at the Man-thing's touch")
And yeah, Mr. Fear was kinda cool. He had a purple costume with a hood and fright mask, and a gun or something that would shoot fear-gas at you. He was always a lot of fun at parties!
M.P.

Colin Jones said...
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