Sunday 20 April 2014

The most forgettable comics I have ever owned. Part 12: Marvel Preview #13, The UFO Connection.

Marvel Preview #13, the UFO Connection
A long long time ago, I did a post in which I revealed the covers of all the Black and White Marvel magazines I ever owned.

That post was full of such obvious contenders as Savage Sword of Conan and The Rampaging Hulk.

What it lacked was Marvel Preview #13, The UFO Connection.

Why did it lack it?

Because I'd totally forgotten I'd ever had it.

In retrospect, this seems astonishing, bearing in mind it was about aliens - and we all know there's no subject in the world more memorable than aliens.

Not only that but it contained an article that revealed that John Lennon and Jimmy Carter had both reported having seen UFOs.

Sadly, I haven't seen a copy of the mag since the early 1980s but, celebrity UFO eyewitnesses aside, what I do recall of it is its main story involved a man who was being hounded by space aliens and decided to build a pyramid to keep them at bay.

Why a pyramid would keep aliens at bay, I'm not sure.

But I can't help feeling the mag was a veritable time capsule for the age in which it was published. It was an era when Close Encounters was huge, when Erich Von Daniken was still big and anyone with any sense knew full well that pyramids had mystical. powers.

Was the mag any good?

I don't know. I recall so little of it.

But I do recall feeling a certain frisson when I read it at the time, so it must have been doing something right.

And if I forgot all about it, surely that can only be down to one thing.

The handiwork of the Men in Black themselves.


Anonymous said...

My uncle said he saw a UFO once, but we put it down to his home wine-making operation.

Unknown said...

Wasn't really a great book (imho) I picked it up first time as it was at the height of the UFO craze and anything UFO was of interest and of course it was a Marvel B&W but recall the story being a bit long and didn't have Herb Trimpes best art. Saying that Marvel Preview was a good book I think Starlord was the next issue

John Pitt said...

Why do we never seem to hear anything about UFO's and aliens any more?

Steve W. said...

I suspect it's because of the internet. There are now so many UFO videos and reports out there that it's impossible to separate the wheat from the chaff and therefore the vast bulk of it tends to get ignored.

Unknown said...

John, you should watch the History channel on cable TV if it’s not about UFOs its Hitler or dinosaurs - ideally about Hitler building UFOs to visit the past in order to get dinosaurs in order to win WW2 (and that’s not 100% off one particular programme) :)

Anonymous said...

...and the Spear of Destiny. Hitler always wanted the Spear of Destiny.

The Prowler (saw something once but still can't explain it).

B Smith said...

Everyone knows that pyramids can sharpen razor blades - what more reason to get into them (so to speak)?

Steve W. said...

B, that reminds me. Around the same time that I got the above comic, me and my sister tried sharpening a blunt razor blade with a paper pyramid.

The strange thing is it seemed to work.

Admittedly, I can't be certain our dad didn't secretly swap a sharp blade for the blunt one while we were sleeping - but still....

Anonymous said...

Americans had already stopped listening to Jimmy Carter's promises about reducing inflation, reducing the unemployment rate, simplifying the tax codes, and balancing the budget, so we didn't pay much attention to his UFO claims, either. :)

SoupyB said...

I remember having that comic. It began with - as I remember - some alien gizmo hiding in a bin and shooting people. It was a little-bit Close Encounters but much, much more sinister.

So right about the "time capsule" aspect. That was actually quite a brief period of obsession with that topic. The seventies seemed full of crazes like that - Kung Fu, streaking, sharks, disco. Ufos were just another one.

Somehow, in my mind, this period is also associated with those lovely adaptations of Killdozer, War Toy, Black Destroyer etc. that appeared in the back of Planet of the Apes. Maybe they're contemporaneous.

Great blog btw.

Steve W. said...

Thanks, Soupy. :)

Anonymous said...

I still have this issue, and still think it is very good, though Trimpe's art in definitely better in the first part when inked by Janson, as the second part was inked by Marcos, which was ok, but Janson was better.

Steve W. said...

I do remember it as being the only comic that ever scared me, as I was still going through life thinking it was possible I might be kidnapped by aliens. Thankfully, that conviction has since receded considerably.

Matt said...

I read this aged 7 when it was printed in the back pages of Star Wars weekly UK in 1978, and it scared me a lot.

There are alien killing machines all over the place, relentlessly chasing this little girl and her father, after first slicing her mother in two in front of her. They get hunted all round the world, and it turn out the aliens are abducting humans to drain them of psychic energy because the alien children can't survive without it. At the end the father is killed, and the final panel is the girl waiting in a pyramid surrounded by aliens knowing that soon a big psychic explosion will be set off which will kill the aliens and her.

A bundle of laughs it isn't!

Steve W. said...

Matt, you're right! I'd totally forgotten that it was reprinted in Star Wars. Thanks for jogging my memory. :)

Steve W. said...

It was indeed a quite chilling read.