Sunday, 6 March 2016

March 6th, 1976 - Marvel UK, 40 years ago this week.

As I write this post, I'm listening to Radio 1. Forty years ago, I would probably have been listening to Radio 2. From this, I conclude that I'm now younger than I was forty years ago.

But what of the output of Marvel UK in this week of that year? Has it weathered the passage of time as magnificently as I have?

There's only one way to find out.

And that's to climb into the Steve Does Comics Patented Time Reverser and slam our collective foot down on the accelerator until we crash, face first, into 1976.

Marvel UK, Dracula Lives #72

A cover that, tragically, tells us nothing of what treats lie within, other than that Dracula, Man-Thing and Werewolf By Night are awaiting us.

Marvel UK, Avengers #129, Zodiac

I only had three issues of The Avengers between now and the time it merged with The Mighty World of Marvel.

And this was one of them.

I remember being highly impressed by Tom Palmer's inking of John Buscema. I remember being highly impressed by John Buscema's rendition of Matt Murdock. I remember being highly impressed by John Byrne's depiction of Iron Man in the Iron Fist story.

Mighty World of marvel #179, Hulk, Rhino, Abomination

The Rhino and Abomination are still causing no end of trouble for our hero.

Marvel UK, Planet of the Apes #72, Conquest

For some reason, when I look at this cover, I immediately think of the Black Panther's battle with the dinosaurs in Wakanda.

Whether that means he actually had his fight with the dinosaurs in this issue or not, I cannot say; the human memory being as unreliable as it is.

In other news, the fact that I had this week's Avengers, Mighty World of Marvel and Planet of the Apes means I had three Marvel UK mags in one week, for the first time in many months.

Super Spider-Man with the Super-Heroes #160

According to the Bank of England's inflation calculator, that 75p Sea Monkeys bill works out at £4.87 in modern money.

This compares to their current price of £9.99 on Argos.

I have, therefore, no doubt that this means that those Sea Monkeys have proven to be a better investment than gold.

It also tells me that this comic's 9p cover price would nowadays be 58p and the portrait format comics' 8p would be 52p.

Marvel UK, the Titans #20, X-Men vs Juggernaut

Juggernaut was always my favourite Original X-Men villain, even though I've never read any story that features him fighting the Original X-Men.

Truly the human mind is a strange thing.

14 comments:

dangermash said...

That Spider-Man cover is pig ugly with all those rectangles of wasted space. It's like a rectangular cake where people keep pinching a rectangle off the end hoping nobody will notice. Or pinching one off the side when the cake starts to look too square. Before long, the cake is a quarter of the size it was when your mum left it there in the kitchen. Even the generic picture in the middle is horrible, looking like it's the only pic they could find that was small enough to fit in. And the buildings in the picture are more stolen cake slices.

Steve W. said...

Dangermash, now you've made me wish I had a cake.

Anonymous said...

If you'd bought some sea monkeys in 1976 they would surely not have survived til now, so not actually a better investment than gold.

I believe you're correct about the human mind though.

-sean

Ant Master said...

Using the inflation calculator that means a 9p comic would cost 58p now. How much are current marvels?

Colin Jones said...

Steve, the Black Panther's run in POTA continued until No.84 and didn't he fight the dinosaurs right at the end of the Killmonger saga ? That means about #82 (because #83 and 84 were after Killmonger had been defeated) - so another ten issues to go yet.

Steve W. said...

Sean, according to their Argos ads, the Sea Monkeys exist in a state of suspended animation until they're added to water. How long that suspended animation can last for, I have no idea.

Ant Master, I think current UK Marvel mags are somewhere around the £3.75 range. In fairness to them, they're in full colour and have more pages than the old ones.

Colin, did the Panther have two run-ins with dinosaurs? Once when he went off into the wilds of Wakanda and then later when Killmonger's men used them to attack the capital with?

dangermash said...

The panther has a run in with dinosaurs in MTU #20, teaming up with Spider-Man against Stegron and an army of dinosaurs flown in from the Savage Land. Not sure whether this is one of the two you're thinking about, Steve, or if it's a third. Panthers seem to attract dinosaurs as much as they attract....ooo......creatures made of sound.

paul Mcscotty said...

The Black Panther tales here , I think, took place originally in the US "Jungle Action" comic as part of the "Panthers Rage" series which ended around issue 17 of that series in the US. As Colin says BP fought a dinosaur at the end of that series with the (apparent) death of Killmonger, but I also seem to recall some dinosaurs appearing before that in issue 15 (which I think I still have somewhere) where he fought a pterodactyl (is that a dinosaur? I should have paid more attention to the Jurassic Park films)

Anonymous said...

To be honest, Steve, I'm not really sure what a sea monkey is exactly, and had no idea cryogenics was that advanced in the 70s. All the same though, contemplating the imminent global economic collapse, I'm more likely to put my money into gold than sea monkeys.

If only they still made Marvel value stamps...

-sean

Anonymous said...

I think sea monkeys are brine shrimp, but that is of absolutely no use because I have no idea what the hell brine shrimp are.
The idea of ruling a small undersea kingdom of humanoid creatures who would be eternally grateful to us and regard us as God was certainly tempting.
Vincent Stegron (love the name) experimented on himself and turned himself into a human dinosaur. Nothing good on T.V. that day, I guess.
M.P.

Anonymous said...

Yeah MP, it was a funny coincidence that a guy who became a human dinosaur had the name Stegron. I remember him from a couple of old Marvel Team-Ups - you'd think Ka-Zar, Black Panther, dinosaurs and Gil Kane would add up to some essential reading, but somehow it didn't.
Probably because he was really just a second-rate Sauron who - being half pterodactyl - was much cooler. But still a bit dumb all the same.
Judge Dredd did the whole half man/half dinosaur thing better with that bloke who drank the blood of Satannus.

Anyway... did Stegron have anything to do with sea monkeys? I looked up brine shrimp on the wiki and I'm still none the wiser, but apparently they've been around since the Triassic.
I imagine they were even cheaper then.

-sean

TC said...

Well, a guy named Stegron becoming a dinosaur was no worse than some of Batman's villains over at DC. The Riddler's real name was E. Nigma, and there was a werewolf named Anthony Lupus.

Anonymous said...

Then there's Otto Octavius! He just had to go and build himself some artificial arms with a name like that!
M.P.

Anonymous said...

I wouldn't have thought a name like Victor von Doom would do much for career prospects either.

-sean

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