Thursday, 26 January 2017

January 26th, 1977 - Marvel UK, 40 years ago this week.

It's time to turn our record players up to full blast because, on January 26th, 1977, David Soul reigned supreme at Number One on the UK singles chart, with Don't Give Up On Us. Needless to say, I always preferred Silver Lady, finding it to be a song with greater dramatic tension.

What does this have to do with what Marvel UK was up to forty years ago?

Nothing.

But the following has everything to do with it.

Marvel UK, Captain Britain #1, Captain America

It's the clash we've all been demanding, as the heroes of two great nations combine to have insane amounts of difficulty defeating a pensioner in a rubber skull mask.

Still, the tale does mean we get to see a rare guest appearance by James Callaghan who thus guarantees himself immortality in a way that so few Prime Ministers ever have.

Mighty World of Marvel #226, Daredevil

Daredevil gets yet another front cover, which must be something like his second in around five weeks. No doubt he celebrates this rare honour with a classic tale that other people can remember even if I can't.

I've been scouring the dark recesses of my mind and I have a vague feeling the figures in the cut-out model are the Hulk and the Cobalt Man who's busy firing one of his awesome hand blasts.

While it clearly made sense for the Hulk to be one of the figures, the Cobalt Man seems a fairly random choice, given that he wasn't exactly what you could call a regular character in the pages of Marvel's mags.

Then again, I could be wrong and it might have been a totally different pair of characters who featured as cut-outs.

Marvel UK, Planet of the Apes #119, Battle

Battle and Beneath drag on and on and on.

As always, I have no clue what events the Conan, Ka-Zar and Man-Thing strips feature. Needless to say, this causes me grave frustration and an endless sense of failure from which I can never hope to recover.

Super Spider-Man and the Super-Heroes #207, Sandman

Sal Buscema takes over from Ross Andru who's busy drawing the Superman vs Spider-Man encounter that only a madman wouldn't want to read.

What's concerning is the UK mag is now only about five months behind its American parent series, compared to the ten year gap that existed when Marvel UK was first launched.

Surely such a rapid rate of catch-up can only mean a looming crisis for our favourite comics company.

5 comments:

Anonymous said...

Only a year and a half or so after the first referendum on Europe, and already Captain Britain was having to fight an invasion by the Fourth Reich...
Say what you like about Marvel US creators not being able to draw rozzers properly, Steve, but I reckon that shows they did at least understand the basics of the culture they were writing for.

Mind you, it didn't really matter what tedious nonsense Captain Brexit got up to, as that issue reprinted the fantastic SHIELD aerial assault on the Yellow Claw's Sky Dragon by the mighty Jim Steranko. Who could resist seeing what happened next after that?

-sean

Colin Jones said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Steve W. said...

I do feel that David Soul had the best singing career of any American TV cop.

Admittedly, it was between him and Telly Savalas, so it wasn't a difficult victory to achieve but, still....

Anonymous said...

Yeah, Colin, I'm not much into that original version of CB; alas, I was into the FF and Steranko's SHIELD, so had to put up with him.

Probably shouldn't have made the Europe comment though, as this isn't really the place for it. Apologies, Steve... in my defence, the perspective on recent history (for want of a better word!) is the only point of interest in those stories. At least I resisted drawing a parallel between CB bending over for Captain America and SHIELD, and a certain visit currently in the news...

-sean

Anonymous said...

Jack Webb of Dragnet fame put out a couple of records of "romantic reflections."
When I think of romance and crooning cops, I think of Jack Webb!
"Just the facts, ma'am."

M.P.
(hang in there, Sean. They can kill us but they can't eat us)

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