Thursday, 3 August 2017

August 3rd, 1977 - Marvel UK, 40 years ago this week.

On this night in 1977, BBC Two was broadcasting a repeat of Nigel Kneale's legendary 1954 adaptation of Orwell's Ninety Eighty-Four. The one which famously starred Peter Cushing and a box full of rats. Given the BBC's history of destroying its archives, it comes as something of a shock to discover the recording still exists.

Sitting here in 2017, the year 1984 is a long-distant memory but it's sobering to think there was a time when it was still seven years in the future.

And that time was 1977.

And that time is where we're about to go, in the happy days before Britain was called Airstrip One and Oceania had always been at war with Eastasia.

Super Spider-Man and Captain Britain #234, Light-Master

Light-Master is still causing trouble for our hero.

Even more bizarrely, the Mole Man is STILL causing trouble for the Fantastic Four. Seriously, this story's been dragging on for months now. Were they reprinting it one page at a time?

Elsewhere, the Avengers and Defenders have teamed up and have now entered Dormammu's Dread Dimension, in an attempt to prevent him doing whatever it is he's planning to do with the Evil Eye.

Come to think of it, what was he planning to do with the Evil Eye? Was his actual purpose in purloining it ever revealed?

Meanwhile, Captain Britain's still battling Nessie.

As someone forced by Marvel UK to read Captain Britain every week, I was, by this point, mostly still battling apathy.

Mighty World of Marvel #25, Hulk and Dracula

Jarella's dead and the Hulk is out for vengeance.

I don't remember the Dracula tale at all. I'm assuming, from the presence of old time pirates, that the story contains a flashback sequence, possibly to the early days of Drac's vampirehood. I do remember that, in his mag, he liked to spend plenty of time in agonised reflection upon the events that made him what he is today.

Ooh. Hold on. Maybe the ship is the ship that first brought him to England? Maybe he's on his way to Whitby. Whitby is nice. He'll like it there.
Marvel UK, Fury #21, out of ammo

Just four issues to go before someone will be telling this comic, "For you, Fury, the war is over."

20 comments:

Dougie said...

A Song For Marianne is a Dracula story about a suicidal vampire who was a pirate's daughter.
The Evil Eye caused Dormammu's Dark Dimension to engulf the Marvel Universe. It meant that Dormy wouldn't break his vow to Doc Strange about invading via a technicality.

Anonymous said...

The original of the BBC's 1984 was actually lost, Steve - the version which survives is a later restaging for a second broadcast.
Erm... a bit of useless info for you there.

It does remind me though that of all the original Marvel UK characters over the years, Captain Airstrip One was surely the most underused. Even more than Apeslayer.

-sean

Joe S. Walker said...

That version of 1984 was supposed to be coming out on DVD several years ago but it's never happened. I have read that the Orwell estate made some problem over the rights, and that the DVD people decided to leave it till the novel enters the public domain - so maybe it'll turn up after 2019. The BBC made another version in 1965 which was thought lost, then found in the Library of Congress. You can actually see clips from that at the BFI website, if you're a member!

P.S. I'd be surprised if a Marvel version of Dracula HADN'T spent plenty of time in agonised reflection upon something or other.

Steve W. said...

Thanks for the Dracula info, Dougie. Now you mention it, I do recall Dormammu's plan. I have memories of the likes of Dracula and Dr Doom fighting people who'd been turned into monsters by Dormammu's scheme.

Thanks for the 1984 info, Sean and Joe. :)

Anonymous said...

Alternately Joe, non-members of the BFI can watch all of the surviving 50s version of 1984 at www.youtube.com/watch?v=0TxFaZ0K754

-sean

Anonymous said...

I remember that page from the Defenders/Avengers War, Steve.
Future pals, then enemies, then pals again, then enemies again Adam Warlock and Thanos were also depicted fighting demons on Counter Earth and Titan, respectively.
By the way, the way, I'm starting to believe we currently live on a Counter-Earth, instead of the real one. A Bizarro world!
It would explain a lot.

M.P.

Charlie Horse 47 said...

I will continue with my observation of Fury fighting a war with his fists and how much money he saved the Allies! "Out of ammo..." Whatever we saved was surely spent rescuing Private Ryan.

The Bitba gang insisted I read the Defenders - Avengers Evil-eye Cross Over (Like Avengers 118)and I finally did a few months ago.

One would think I would recall the story line since I read it 2 months ago, not 45 years ago but I guess it just didn't stick with me. The issues were divided up with Defenders fighting Avengers to secure pieces of the evil eye. I think Avengers were tricked by Loki into thinking Defenders were evil so as to prevent Defenders from securing the Evil Eye components and thus indirectly undoing Dormammu's plan. Well, what the hell... it's a mess in my mind now.

Anonymous said...

It's a mess in anybody's mind!
(By the way, I typed "the way" twice by accident. I'm not completely dodgy)
Oh, and Charlie, I was in the Air Cav not in Germany but in the National Guard in Iowa.
I was a gas-pumper. Fuel-handler. At the end of a two-week training exercise in Minnesota the pilots offered us free rides. I said, "No way, man." Then they called me rude names and bullied me into getting on one of those horrible things.
There was no door on that helicopter! You could look out and see the curve of the Earth. I mean, we were strapped in, but...still.
I am no Human Fly. Heights scare me.

M.P.

Charlie Horse 47 said...

I used to love to tell the airborne troops that the Army pays more if you stay inside the helicopter than jump out, lol. Iowa still? You get to Chicago?

TC said...

Only two things fall out of the sky on purpose.

Charlie Horse 47 said...

Bad boy!!! Lol!!!

Anonymous said...

Rain and bird poop?

M.P.

TC said...

"Bird poop and fools."

Charlie Horse 47 said...

Bird sh!t and idiots! There! Lol!

Big D said...

I don't remember ever reading a single issue of Fury. Weird, back in the 1970s I'd read any comic that had WW2 heroics on the cover.

Steve W. said...

Big D, I don't remember ever even having seen a copy of Fury. I don't know if it was poorly distributed or if I just always failed to notice it amidst all the other comics on the shelves.

Charlie Horse 47 said...

Given Fury seems to need no weapons they should have cashed in on marital art fad and called it "Fists of Fury!"

Charlie Horse 47 said...

Or "Fist of Fire!"

Charlie Horse 47 said...

Or "Furious Firey Fist of Fury!"

Charlie Horse 47 said...

If only Fury had punched Hitler in the nose around 1937... No WW2!

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