Thursday, 13 July 2017

July 13th, 1977 - Marvel UK, 40 years ago this week.

All I can say is that this is a very exciting day for me.

Why?

Because, as of this week in 1977, the demise of Captain Britain's mag meant Marvel UK were only publishing three titles a week, meaning I now have to do less writing than I previously had to in order to complete these posts.

Granted, some might argue that this meant Marvel UK was dicing with death at this point in its history and that that was therefore a bad thing but I am, of course, determinedly reprehensible and therefore only care about myself.

So, let's see what they had to offer us in this thrilling new era of laziness.

Super Spider-Man and Captain Britain #231

It's the team-up we've all been dreaming of, as Captain Britain's strip joins the pages of Super Spider-Man.

I have to confess it wasn't what I'd dreamed of. I was thoroughly fed up of Captain Britain by this point, with his talk of jubilees, empires and commonwealths, and his silly flying stick and his foes with monocles. To be honest, I really couldn't wait for him to go away.

I mean, if he'd been called Captain Sheffield, it would have been different. All his talk of subsidised bus fares, underpasses, dual carriageways, roundabouts, pigeons, ferrets, malfunctioning fountains, Rotherham's status as an independent town, the M1 and Synth-Pop would have been endlessly fascinating to me.

Mighty World of Marvel #250, Hulk and Dracula

I don't recall too much about this issue but I was a big Hulk fan and I loved Marvel's Dracula strip and I was a big admirer of Daredevil's underpowered but lively antics, so have no doubt at all that I enjoyed this comic very much.

Was Captain Marvel still in the book in this period?

If so, that would have made me love it even more.

Marvel UK, Fury #18

The great news for me is that there are just seven more weeks of Fury to go, which'll soon make my life on this blog even easier.

The bad news is it means there are only eight more weeks to go before Fury and his commandos join the pages of Mighty World of Marvel.

Captain Britain in Super Spider-Man? The Howling Commandos in Mighty World of Marvel? Was there to be no end to my torment in this era?

20 comments:

dangermash said...

It's only 22 weeks since it was last on the cover of Spider-Man's UK comic, but there it is again. The iconic Spider-Man shot from the cover of ASM #68.

I think the FF join Captain Britain, Spider-Man and The Avengers in Spider-Man's comic either this week or next week. I find it quite sad to think that Thor, Iron Man and Captain America are all now back in the waiting room.

Colin Jones said...

In the MWOM corner box the Hulk and Dracula share the box but Spidey hogs the SSM & Captain Britain corner box all to himself ! Pablo Marcos was certainly busy during this period drawing all those Marvel UK covers.

Steve W. said...

Colin, I think we can only assume that Marvel saw Dracula as a bigger draw than Captain Britain.

Dangermash, it's odd that I don't recall missing them at the time. Am I right in thinking that Thor and Captain America returned to the comic a few months later?

Charlie Horse 47 said...

Ahoy!

Fury takes on Japs, instead of Krauts, for a change!!! Awesome sauce!!!

Lo these many weeks, as I get my first exposures to UK Marvel Comics, I have to wonder why someone would think that Hulk and Dracula would create some type of synergy being together on the cover??? Hulk and another superhero perhaps? Dracula and a Werewolf perhaps?

If I may ask y'all, did that seem "weird" to any of you at the time? OR, did you see the comic and think "Awesome Sauce! Hulk and Dracula in the same book!"

Cheers, Curious Charlie

Anonymous said...

Who the heck is the Time Master?! And is he really strong enough to punch out the Hulk?
I'm a confirmed Marvel Maximus and a Keeper of the Flame, but I have no idea who this cat is.
I find it troubling to say the least.

M.P.

dangermash said...

Based on what little evidence there is online, Steve, I believe that Captain America will eventually replace Captain Britain and that Hor will eventually replace the FF. I do miss the days when the backup strips would get a mention onThe cover.

dangermash said...

Hor = Thor. The dog was licking my face.

Steve W. said...

MP, as far as I can make out, the, "Time Master," appears to be a man with time travel abilities who sent Bruce Banner back in time to prevent the accident that created the Hulk but the Hulk's fight with him, as depicted on the cover, was all a dream.

Charlie, at the time, it didn't seem strange that the Hulk and Dracula should be in a comic together. Remember, we'd had months of the Hulk sharing the book with The Planet of the Apes. After that, anything would seem like a comfortable fit. In retrospect, though, it does seem to be a not totally natural combination.

Dangermash, the lack of info on the covers about the back-up strips is the bane of my life.

dangermash said...

Oh, another thought while my work PC boots up.

The Spider-Man comic is the FF's fourth home so far. They draw level with The Avengers on that list. Not sure whether Doctor Strange was ever in Superheroes or Titans. If he was, then he's on three. Loads of strips on two: three Captains, POTA, Dracula, XMen, MTU,.....

Dougie said...

I think Kerwin Kronus was the name of the Time Master.

Memorably, the faceless monster in the Dracula story was plucking individual features from the faces of his killers, in a kind of Amicus or EC shocker. Marv Wolfman was obviously struck by the faceless crew-woman in Star Trek's Charlie X. In fact, the faceless Megaman in Nova has exactly the same story arc as Zefram Cochrane in "Metamorphosis". As anyone who ever read my blogs will realise, I am no fan of the histrionic Wolfman.

I think I'm alone in wanting the original Captain Britain back, monocles and all. I have no interest in the most recent, bland Miracleman/Master Man incarnation and the comedy antics of the Alan Davis version are well worn.

Colin Jones said...

At least Dracula actually appears in MWOM - when Dracula Lives merged with Planet Of The Apes the Dracula strip was dropped after five issues and Drac was totally absent from the comic's final 31 issues despite his name appearing on the cover !!

dangermash said...

Ouch! Yes, Dracula has been in DL, POTA and MWOM, he's either in third place on the or equal third on three with Doctor Strange.

Anonymous said...

Don't know about Dr. Strange, dangermash, because I only remember him from Avengers Weekly before this point. But as it happens, Captain Marvel was in Titans, POTA and MWOM which - surprising as it seems - puts him in third place.
Weren't there SHIELD stories in Titans before Captain Britain? Add Fury and there you go - Nick Fury joint third.

Dracula doesn't really um... count (sorry). Dracula Lives merged with POTA and then MWOM, so technically he was just in the one comic.

-sean

dangermash said...

The thing about Doctor Strange is that he popped up in Super Spider-Man and the Superheroes after the merger, so he may have been one of the features inSuperheroes before its demise. Just a guess on my part. Though.

With Dracula, it all depends on what rules you apply. I count the POTA/DL merger as the cancelling of DL and the renaming of POTA to POTA with DL.

With Nick Fury, I was counting Howling Commandoes and SHIELD as two strips rather than one character. I think both have been in two places so far (MWOM/Fury and Titans/CB)? In which case Nick Fury has been in four places if you count them together.

No arguments on Captain Marvel - I have him on three.

Colin Jones said...

Dracula Lives, POTA & Dracula Lives and MWOM & Dracula Lives were three different comics. The Avengers were in four different comics in 1976 alone:

The Avengers & The Savage Sword Of Conan
MWOM starring The Incredible Hulk & The Avengers
The Titans
Super Spider-Man & The Titans.

Anonymous said...

Dracula was in three different comics, but all of them just happened to have the words Dracula Lives in the title? What a coincidence.
Come of it, Colin - next you'll be saying The Titans and Super Spider-Man & the Titans are two completely different comics.
Oh look - you just did exactly that.

That would make Spiderman Comics Weekly, Super Spiderman, Super Spiderman & the Titans and now Super Spiderman & Captain Britain four different comics, right? Suddenly... Spiderman is in the lead with the FF?

-sean

Colin Jones said...

Sean, all those you mentioned WERE different comics !!! Nowadays they would each be re-launched at No.1 but back then the same numbering was continued no matter how many times a comic changed its' name or appearance. Are you seriously saying that Spider-Man Comics Weekly #157 (in portrait format) was the same comic as Super Spider-Man & The Superheroes #158 (in landscape format) ??? The comic had completely changed in both name and appearance but the numbering continued as if nothing had happened. Ridiculous !!

Anonymous said...

Colin - 158 comes after 157. How much clearer could that be?
And actually a comic doesn't become a new title just because the publisher finds it convenient for a sales spike to renumber it from 1 again - the proof is that a few years after a relaunched #1, Marvel returned to the original numbering for Captain America #600.
Thats why its called a re-launch, whereas a genuinely new comic gets a launch.
This isn't my opinion, its just basic logic.

-sean

Colin Jones said...

Sean, we'll have to agree to disagree. Yes, a comic being re-launched at #1 for no reason (which is common now) is silly but if a comic changes its' name it becomes a new comic in my opinion and should begin again at #1.

Anonymous said...

Fair enough Colin. I think its not quite as straight forward as that but its hardly worth arguing about seriously, is it?

-sean

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