Thursday, 11 May 2017

May 11th, 1977 - Marvel UK, 40 years ago this week.

It's been an exciting week for all lovers of gun-toting anti-heroes, with the news that there's going to be a Judge Dredd TV show. With this mad rush to get every available super-doer on screen, surely this means it can only be a question of time before we get a show dedicated to that other British crime-busting icon Captain Britain.

And that can only mean one thing.

That I'm going to use this paragraph to clumsily lead me into a look at what the good Captain and his contemporaries were up to forty years ago when, lumbered with just three channels, we could never have dreamt that such things were possible.

Marvel UK, Captain Britain #31

If he does ever get his own TV show, he's going to have to buck his ideas up a bit. I'm not saying he's a rubbish super-hero but he's been trying to overcome that stupid bird for three issues now and still hasn't got anywhere with it. You have a stick, man. Hit the bird with it. How hard can it be to figure out?

Elsewhere in the comic, it would appear that Nick Fury is trying to get to the heart of the mystery of who Scorpio is, while the FF are still up against the Creature That's Not From The Black Lagoon, and Spider-Man is teaming up with the Inhumans to fight some menace or other.

Super Spider-Man and the Titans #222, Nightcrawler

I'm still convinced I first read this story on my summer holiday, even though it was published in May. This is a perplexing mystery to me that may never be solved.

Other than that, I can offer no thoughts on this issue, as the cover gives no clues as to what occurs in the various back-up strips. I have a suspicion that, in it, Thor is drawn by John Buscema and inked by Vince Colletta. It's not much of a summary and may be completely wrong but, in the absence of either knowledge or wisdom, it's all I currently have.

MIghty World of Marvel #241, Hulk and Planet of the Apes

The Hulk appears to still be in that story where he takes on a fake Conan. Not that that creature on the cover is a fake Conan. It's the kind of creature a fake Conan would fight. The fake Conan isn't fighting it. That's how you know he's a fake Conan.

I assume we're also still being given Viking apes. Judging by that cover, they would appear to have turned blue. In fairness, it is a bit cold in Viking climes.

Marvel UK, Fury #9

It is a strange thing how Germans in war comics oscillate between English and German when they're speaking. If I ever go to Germany and that's not how real Germans speak, I shall be very disappointed in them.

25 comments:

Aggy said...

My suggestion for the Spider-man conundrum is that Seaside newsagent comic racks were often a bit random.

That's how I would later read the Battlestar Galactica Digest series in the order 4,2,3. I was understandably confused.

Steve W. said...

The trouble is the randomness only really applied to American comics. UK comics tended to be fine. I'm starting to wonder if we had our summer holiday in May, which seems unlikely but not impossible.

Charlie Horse 47 said...

Can you imagine the German soldier screaming "Gummi Poopen! Gummi Poopen!" like in the movie the Longest Day, instead of "Commando Attack!" Doesn't have the same sense of urgency does it...

Colin Jones said...

France's new president is only 39 so he wasn't born when these comics came out. Now we are officially old.

Anonymous said...

I think it was Kurt Vonnegut who once said that the ultimate nightmare is realizing your high school class is now running the world.

M.P.

Charlie Horse 47 said...

Colin - Maybe France's new president wasn't but his wife was... :)

Anonymous said...

Maybe we should pool our resources and send Macron some vintage Marvel comics, to educate his world view and broaden his horizons.
I've read Obama is an old Marvel Comics guy. He's partial to Spider-man and Conan.
Great minds think alike!
I'm worried this new guy might be functionally illiterate...

M.P.

Steve W. said...

All I'm concerned about this morning is that there's been a new Loch Ness Monster sighting, quelling increasing rumours that Nessie has died.

pete doree said...

Is that Wonder Girl on the MWOM cover? Pablo Marcos on the Titans would've been interesting.
Me, I always liked it when your 'ethnic' characters like Nightcrawler or The White Tiger spoke in their own language, then helpfully translated for you in the same sentence, just like people with english as a second language always do. Looking at you, Chris Claremont.

Anonymous said...

Lenin's ghost! Claremont perfected the Marvel approach to characterisation through national and ethnic stereotypes.
Too many mittel-European villagers in lederhosen with burning torches and black dudes sayin' things like "Sweet Christmas!"

-sean

Charlie Horse 47 said...

Steve - This is all quite simple… once you swallow Satan, you really probably never die. Probably Nessie just had a bad case of indigestion and has been chilling on the bottom of the Loch for the last 45 years.

Hey - Do any of you know if The Broons or Oor Wullie ever had a run in with Nessie? Oor Wullie, Your Wullie, A’body’s Wullie!!!

No way in Hell Wullie would ever swallow Satan! Jings!

Steve W. said...

Charlie, I've no idea if the Broons or Oor Wullie ever encountered Nessie. I have some vague memory of it turning up in the "Beano" but I don't remember when or in what strip. I remember there being a strip set in the Scottish Highlands, so I assume it must have been that one.

Charlie Horse 47 said...

Steve, et al. When you doing part 2 of British comics for BitBA???!!!

Steve W. said...

I get the feeling that none of us know enough about non-Marvel British comics to be able to write such a thing.

Dougie said...

I agree with Aggy; in the 70s, seaside comics distribution was very different. I was thrilled to get 1976 Marvels in Morecambe in 1978. And time passes very slowly when you're in your teens.

Anonymous said...

Ahoy Charlies! Here you go -
www.greatnewsforallreaders.com

-sean

Charlie Horse 47 said...

Ahoy Sean - THanks for that!

WOW! I just checked out the line it's 8:49 in CHicago Saturday morning and along with a cup of hot black coffee I'm going to enjoy this!

Quick question for my UK buddies! SO basically the weekly and annual comics were published by IPC/Fleetway and D.C. Thomson? I guess IPC/Fleetway's history is rather long / complicated but basically those were the only two players?

And did any of you gents ever read Oor Wullie or Broons? It's real favorite here in our household and obviously different than D.C.T.'s Dandy, Beano, Beezer, etc.

OK - time to grab the coffee and reviw this before the "honey do" list kicks in, LOL!

Steve W. said...

Dougie, I bought a 1968 X-Men comic in Blackpool in 1972. At the time, those four years seemed like an eternity to me.

Charlie, there were other comics companies but don't ask me to name too many of them. There was Odhams but they were taken over by IPC, some time in the late 1960s. There was also Alan Class who were a purely reprint company, repackaging old American strips, for decades on end. There were possibly others but I don't know about them.

I think that "Oor Wullie" and "The Broons" might only have been published in Scotland but I could be wrong.

Anonymous said...

Charlie - Yeah, I'm pretty sure its safe to say that IPC and DC Thompson were the two players in the 70s when it comes to original conten.
There were other publishers, but they were limited to either licenced material, like Polystyle putting out TV Action/Countdown, Target etc, or reprints like Marvel UK and Top Sellers.

I suppose its worth mentioning there were also general publications that included comic strips, although I'm only really thinking of Look & Learn because it included the Trigan Empire.
(Don Lawrence of course also drew Carrie, which reminds me that some er... publications for gentlemen might also fit this category, but that's getting a bit away from what you're asking about really)

-sean

John Pitt said...

Steve, the REAL Chermans speak like ziss : - "Coll-o-nell, vill not ze Geshtarpo be ferry cross, ven zay hear zat ve haff been helping ze pezzants?"
I KNOW! - I have seen it on the telly and learnt how to speak it myself!

Steve W. said...

Jawohl.

Steve W. said...

For some reason, if you write, "Jawohl," without any context, it just looks like some kind of insult. I sort of regret posting it now.

John Pitt said...

Maybe, should have added "mein Herr" afterwards?

Charlie Horse 47 said...

Jawohl certainly is not an insult. Alles klar... Herr Kommissar?

John Pitt said...

Vooops! Steve, - votever you do, DON'T mention zer vorr!

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