Saturday, 20 December 2014

December 21st, 1974 - Marvel UK, 40 years ago this week.

This week forty years ago, Mud were at Number One on the UK singles chart, with Lonely This Christmas.

Those of us of a British bent will never forget the nightmare sight of Mud singer Les Gray performing the song on Top of the Pops, with the aid of a ventriloquist's dummy. Truly those were days of fear and terror in Blighty.

But were the heroes of Marvel UK's merry mags free of such concerns? Or were they having to endure nightmares of their own?

Spider-Man Comics Weekly #97, the Prowler

Spidey continues his somewhat one-sided battle with the Prowler but I'm more intrigued by the Iron Man story labelled, "When Titans Clash!"

Just which story could it be? Is it the one where he fought Captain America? Is it the one where he fought the Sub-Mariner? I'm trying to think of any other early fights he had that'd warrant such a billing.

Then again, could it be the Titanium Man?
Marvel UK, Avengers #66, Dr Strange v Dormammu

I do wonder why an all-powerful being like Dormammu would bother using minions, especially against a foe who's supposed to be helpless. Sometimes, these super-villains could do with a few lessons in tactics.

Meanwhile, Shang-Chi takes on the murderous Sci-Fi Fan. Take my word for it, you don't want to anger a Sci-Fi fan. I'm still in hiding after once referring to The Doctor as, "Doctor Who."
Marvel UK, Dracula Lives #9

I do wonder where people in Dracula stories get their flaming torches from. I've never seen a shop that sells them.

Just off the Moor shopping precinct in Sheffield, there used to be a shop that sold swords, battle axes and vacuum cleaners - which always seemed an odd combination of items to sell - but even they never sold flaming torches.
Mighty World of Marvel #116, Hulk v Dr Doom

The Hulk's still battling Dr Doom.

But who cares about that when the real news is that Daredevil's taking on the Stiltman?
Marvel UK, Planet of the Apes #9

Nine issues in and still Marvel's adaptation of the original movie rumbles on.


Colin Jones said...

And isn't Lonely This Christmas one of the worst ever Xmas songs. In that issue of POTA there's a scene where Zira tells Taylor that Nova is pregnant or rather she did in the original U.S. magazine - in the British POTA weekly the speech bubbles were changed so now Zira is telling Taylor that Nova is sick and must rest or she'll die !! Obviously Marvel UK preferred us to think that Nova was at death's door rather than us knowing Taylor and Nova had been doing naughty things. But when this adaptation was reprinted in POTA & Dracula Lives No.93-111 the original speech bubbles about the pregnancy were back in place.

Anonymous said...

I thought "When Titans Clash" might be that Tales of Suspense/Tales to Astonish crossover where Iron Man fought Sub-Mariner. But it might be that story from Suspense #65 where a burglar stole Iron Man's modern red-and-yellow armor. Tony Stark wore his older all-yellow armor and fought the thief. So it was Iron Man vs. Iron Man. Sort of.

pete doree said...

Is there some weird crossover between Les Gray on TOTP and that old Anthony Hopkins movie 'Magic'. Both are scary as f**k. Just sayin'...

John Pitt said...

Steve, just wanted to say thanks for entertaining me again for another year and wish you and your family a very Merry Christmas. Best wishes.

Steve W. said...

Thanks John. Thanks to you too and to all my other readers for visiting, and a Merry Christmas to you all as well.

B Smith said...

That Spider-Man cover's a bit odd - in the original US edition (and in the story inside) it's Peter Parker that's going falling out the window...perhaps the UK Powers -That-Be thought the average comic buyer wouldn't get excited enough to buy it if Spider-Man wasn't on the cover.

And a Wombling Merry Christmas to you and yours.

Anonymous said...

"Where Prowls the Prowler!"
Seriously, Steve, if your a major super-villain like Dormammu, you gotta have minions. You oughta know that. Even if it's only to bring in the mail and take the trash out, you gotta have them. That way, when your master plan goes awry, you have somebody to disintegrate out of frustration.
It takes the edge off. Just ask the Red Skull.
Great post! And a very Merry Christmas to you Steve, and my fellow Marvel Maniacs across the pond! mp

The Prowler said...

I remember in one of the Iron Man stories, an old LMD that was in storage at one of Stark's facilities is hit by lightning which causes it to reanimate. Since it is programmed to be Tony Stark, it not only becomes Stark, but Iron Man as well. The original Stark has to don his old armor, and despite his power being at its lowest ebb, Stark defeats non-Stark. That's the IM v IM I remember.

Another, P question. I noticed that some of the covers have the price at 7 and some at 8P. Why the difference?

(Last Christmas, I gave you my heart, the very next day, you gave it away).

Steve W. said...

Prowler, I've also been wondering why the comics have different prices. I've assumed it's that Marvel UK were considering putting all their prices up to 8p and were experimenting with doing it for their newer mags to see what the response was.

I do though have no evidence to back this theory up.

Anonymous said...

Steve, I'd have thought Marvel would try to avoid any price rises for as long as possible, seeing as other British comics were cheaper back then - I think Battle was 6p in 74 and the early issues of 2000AD were still only 7p as late as 77. So maybe it was the extra start up costs of a new title that made POTA and Dracula more expensive? I'm curious now to see how long it took til the other Marvels went up to 8p...

Anyway, good post as always, and hope you enjoy the festive season.


Paul McScotty -Muir said...

Sean: Spider-Man Comics Weekly and Mighty World of Marvel both went to 8p 9 issues later with SMCW issue 106 (dated 22 Dec 1974) and MWOM issue 125 (dated 1 Jan 1975) I would assume the other titles did likewise (Avengers etc)

I didn't realise that the e Spider-man cover of SMCW was a (poorly) redrawn version of the original (Amazing Spider-Man issue 79) cover - I suppose the UK weekly felt it had to show Spidey and not Peter Parker - have a great Christmas Steve I look forward to more entertaining blogs

Colin Jones said...

Paul, your dating is a bit out there - SMCW 106 and MWOM 125 were both dated February 22nd 1975. SMCW No.103 was my first Spidey comic and I didn't realise it was a penny less than POTA which I was also reading - of course in those days a penny was a big deal, we used to buy "1p mix-ups" of sweets in the shop near my primary school, it's amazing to think that anything cost only 1p. Anyway Merry Christmas to you and to Steve and everybody else :)

Paul McScotty -Muir said...

H Colin, your right sorry about that I took the date of MWOM issue 125 (to lazy to go get it from my loft) from Comic Vine where it was noted as 1st January 1975 in eror (as was issue 124)and SMCW from my own collection 9I should have noticed that) - Have great Christmas and Hogmanay as well.

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