Sunday 8 February 2015

February 8th, 1975 - Marvel UK, 40 years ago this week.

Tragically, this blog's eponymous hero is currently laid low by a common cold that fair threatens to tear his sanity apart. But were our favourite UK Marvel mags having a happier time of it exactly forty years ago this week?

There's only one way to find out.

Spider-Man Comics Weekly #104, the Schemer

Spider-Man comes up against the Schemer's legendary Light-Fitting of Death.

I'd love to have a light-fitting that can crush my foes to smithereens.

I'm not sure what this says about me.

I've checked the Argos catalogue but they don't seem to stock any.

Life can be very disappointing when you're a grown-up.
Mighty World of Marvel #123, Psyklop

Hooray! It's one of my favourite Hulk stories, as Psyklop makes his first appearance and it all goes a bit Lovecraft.

I think this may have been the first time I ever read a story drawn by Sal Buscema.
Marvel UK, the Avengers #73, Spider-Man and Iron Fist

Is this the one where Spidey and Iron Fist come up against a man who's living his life backwards and therefore getting younger with the passage of time?

Coming only a few weeks after Marvel UK published the Silvermane storyline, Spidey must've been feeling a certain sense of déjà vu.
Marvel UK, Planet of the Apes #16

I remember once redrawing this cover, when I was a boy, having decided that I could improve upon it.
Marvel UK, Dracula Lives #16, Frankenstein

This is one of only two issues of Dracula Lives that I ever owned.

Sadly, I can't recall what actually happened in it.

Was a cave involved?


Anonymous said...

That Dracula comic was published as THE FRANKENTEIN MONSTER over here. Or was it called THE MONSTER OF FRANKENSTEIN? Not sure. Drac and Frankie duke it out. And yes, the was a cave. Pretty cool comic, actually. M.P.

Unknown said...

That was indeed the story Steve where Spidey and Iron Fist meet Drom, the Backwards Man (originally from "Marvel Team up" issue 31) who ages backwards and was trying to use the heroes to reverse this - sadly for ole Drom it didn't work and he ended up disappearing into "non age" - the heroes are also affected by this effect and end up forgetting the adventure happened as Drom never existed (or something like that).

Anon is correct that story in Dracula Lives first appeared in issue 8 of "The Frankenstein Monster " ( it was called the "Monster of Frankenstein " for the first 4 or 5 issues )

johnlindwall said...


First things first - your blog is a blast and I get giddy every time I get a new post in my in-box! Thank you so much for your hard work. You crack me up.

Second: What is a "Light-Fitting"? Sorry if I am being dumb. Is this a US vs UK English terminology thing? Like "Spanner" or "Lift", etc?

Steve W. said...

Paul and MP, thanks for the info.

John, Thanks for the praise. It always amazes me that anyone wants to read my ramblings. A light-fitting is (I think) just a generic term for a lamp. I could be wrong about that and may have inadvertently made the phrase up.

Steve W. said...

Oooh. I've just checked with Wikipedia and, it seems, I was right about what a light-fitting is. According to Wikipedia, in America, they're known as light fixtures.

Kid said...

Got a cold, Steve? You obviously went outside without your furry hat on. You'll know better next time, eh? I still have my original copy of that ish of MWOM, so send me a Blue Peter badge post haste.

John Pitt said...

Steve, you've passed it on to me now through your YouTube debut!
( A-choo! )
( sniff, sniff! )

Steve W. said...

Sorry, John. I can't believe they don't shut the internet down when they know there's a bug going round. Don't they know the world wide web is the most devastating spreader of disease known to man?

Kid, I was just about to send you your Blue Peter badge when John Noakes ate it.

Anonymous said...

Steve - it wouldn't surprise me in the least if when you were a kid you were indeed able to improve on that POTA cover. I don't know anything about your drawing skills, but that cover is not good.

This tends to back up my recent comment - the one about that Ron Wilson Thor - that covers produced specially for the UK weeklies were terrible. POTA seems to have been the main offender - this 40 years on series has surprised me so far with how poor they actually were. Not how I remember the comic at all. Oh well - at least it had artists like Mike Ploog and Gil Kane inside...


Anonymous said...

"The Summons of Psyklop" was the first half of a two-part crossover that began in Avengers #88 and continued in Hulk #140. It was based on a script by Harlan Ellison, and the titles of some of his stories appear as Easter eggs in the captions and dialog.

Steve W. said...

This is true. I was reading the first part of the tale earlier this evening and spotted an, "I have no mouth and I must scream," reference.

For some reason, there's also a reference to the original Captain Marvel. I'm not totally sure why.

Anonymous said...

Well, I believe Ellison was/is a big fan of the original Captain Marvel.

Dougie said...

I still remember being irritated that Goliath was redrawn with Hank Pym's mask in that Psyklop story. Was that the first UK appearance of the Falcon, too?

Steve W. said...

Dougie, it may well be the Falcon's first UK appearance. I can't remember any earlier ones.

I do remember reading the story and being confused by the fact that Goliath wasn't speaking like I was used to him speaking.