Thursday, 27 April 2017

April 27th, 1977 - Marvel UK, 40 years ago this week.

It's not been a cheering week for lovers of British comics, with the news that artist Leo Baxendale has died, aged 86.

Baxendale was the industry colossus who created the Beano characters Little Plum, Minnie the Minx, the Bash Street Kids and The Three Bears before going on to create Clever Dick, Sweeny Toddler and Willy the Kid for other publications, not to mention I Love You Baby Basil! for The Guardian.

Baxendale must surely be the most celebrated British comics creator of them all, his style being the one you instantly imagine when you think of British comics and there's no doubt that, with his death, the art form has lost one of its greats.

But that's the present. What was happening way back, in another, very different, branch of the UK comics industry, exactly forty years ago?

Marvel UK, Captain Britain #29, Lord Hawk

Lord Hawk is causing trouble with his robotic raptor.

I don't recall much about Lord Hawk, other than that I didn't like him. For some reason, even though the whole mag was in black and white, he seemed greyer than everything else in it.

I believe the back-up strips are still giving us the same stories as they were last issue. Upon occasions, time really does seem to crawl with this comic.

Super Spider-Man and the Titans #220

I don't care what anyone says. I always liked the Spider-Mobile. I'd definitely have one if I was a super-hero.

Given his fugitive status, I wonder where Spidey used to buy petrol for it?

Come to think of it, I assume he was driving it illegally. It didn't seem to have a number plate. I would suspect he also didn't have the American equivalent of an MOT, insurance or a tax disc. I bet he didn't even have a log book. The man was clearly not fit to be let loose on the roads.

Mighty World of Marvel #239, Hulk and Planet of the Apes

Is this the one where the Hulk comes up against that Conan-style barbarian whose name I can't remember? The one with the big axe, who keeps declaring himself to be invincible?

Speaking of not being able to remember, I have no recall at all of viking apes. When this post is done, I shall have to investigate the matter further, via the internet.

Marvel UK, Fury #7

I wonder what the combat radios were like?

Not that I care. If it's called a combat radio, I want it. Given my two-fisted lifestyle, I never know when I might need one.

14 comments:

Dougie said...

I think it was Kronak the Barbarian. I had forgotten Viking apes but it sounds better than it probably was.

TC said...

The Spider-Mobile and Superman's Supermobile were both presumably created for the toy companies' tie-ins.

I suppose Peter Parker and Bruce Wayne had valid driver's licenses in their civilian identities, but I don't see how they could register or insure their superhero vehicles. Filling out the
forms as "Batman" or "Spider-Man" would require giving false information on official documents, and using their real names would reveal their secret identities.

Steve W. said...

TC, it'd be great if Batman got done for not having a driver's license. Or if he got stopped for speeding and had to go on a driving refresher course. I can just see him, sat there, arms folded, watching videos about the dangers of not obeying the speed limit.

Dougie, it's all very strange. As far as I can make out, from Googling it, he seems to be called Kronak but uses the pseudonym, "Kronan." Why a barbarian would uses a pseudonym that's virtually identical to his own name, I have no idea. He was clearly a very confused individual.

Anonymous said...

Farewell then Leo Baxendale. He got a pretty good write up at the Grauniad if anyones interested -
www.theguardian.com/books/2017/apr/27/beano-legend-leo-baxendale-dies-aged-86

Re Captain Brexit - didn't Brian Braddock build that robot bird thing in his spare time, as you do, and give it to Lord Hawk to look after without realising he was a loony? Or something like that?
Seems a bit of a careless thing to do if you ask me.

-sean

Steve W. said...

Sean, that does ring a bell. I do seem to remember Cap fiddling about with a screwdriver and the bird's innards at some point.

Anonymous said...

PS Kronan the barbarian?! Really?

pete doree said...

Ah geez, Baxendale died? That is the official end of your childhood.

Colin Jones said...

Oh no, Sean - surely you're not one of those tiresome people who says Grauniad :D

Viking apes and all the POTA strips can be found at the Hunter's Planet Of The Apes website.

Anonymous said...

This was the Captain Britain issue that featured the FF story where Richard Nixon was redrawn as Jimmy Carter. The story has been reprinted in the previous year's Marvel Annual, with the original Nixon image, and I do recall noticing the edit at the time. I just looked at the issue online and the as for next week's CB story was "Panic in Piccadilly!" Sounds like the title of a Morrissey song.

DW

Anonymous said...

This was the Captain Britain issue that featured the FF story where Richard Nixon was redrawn as Jimmy Carter. The story has been reprinted in the previous year's Marvel Annual, with the original Nixon image, and I do recall noticing the edit at the time. I just looked at the issue online and the ad for next week's CB story was "Panic in Piccadilly!" Sounds like the title of a Morrissey song.

DW

Anonymous said...

Sorry, double post when I fixed a typo.

DW

Anonymous said...

Colin, I am tiresome enough to read the Grauniad.

-sean

Anonymous said...

Viking apes.
Why didn't I think of that?
It seems so obvious now.

M.P.

Charlie Horse 47 said...

Gosh, I have to break the news of Leo's passing to my kids. They'll be bumming for sure. Me too.

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