Sunday, 22 March 2015

March 22nd, 1975 - Marvel UK, 40 years ago this week.

Galloping galaxies! What an astronomical week we've had in Blighty. Within mere days of each other, the Northern Lights, a supermoon and a solar eclipse have all occurred above the city in which I live.

Needless to say, I missed all of them, thanks to it being cloudy.

Still, at least I can find comfort in looking back, through my Telescope of Time, at what our favourite Marvel UK mags were up to in this week of exactly forty years ago.

Spider-Man Comics Weekly #110, Black Widow

The Black Widow's still tangling with Spider-Man.

And you can read my review of this tale, right here.
Marvel UK, Avengers #79, Dr Strange

It's the cover that infamously redraws the Vision as Thor because no stories featuring the Vision had yet been reprinted in the UK.

You can read my review of this story right here.

Meanwhile, it's exciting for me to see that, in this issue, we also get the only Sons of the Tiger tale I've ever read.

Mighty World of Marvel #129, Hulk vs the Inheritor

Hold on a minute. Didn't the Hulk vs Inheritor story get reprinted just a few weeks ago, in the issue before he met Jarella?

You do have to congratulate whoever it was who noticed that, "Inheritor," is a very similar word to, "Inhumans," and that, therefore, minimal changes would need to be made to Jim Steranko's original artwork if it were to be re-used for this tale.
Marvel UK, Dracula Lives #22

Call me a Luddite but I'm not at all sure that Dracula and motor bikes will ever belong on the same cover as each other.
Marvel UK, The Super-Heroes #3, Silver Surfer vs the Badoon

I never had this issue but I have read this tale reprinted in an issue of Guardians of the Galaxy. Presumably, the dreaded deadline doom must have stricken them.
Marvel UK, Savage Sword of Conan #3, the grim grey god

Conan about to go on a chopping expedition.
Marvel UK, Planet of the Apes #22, Evolution's Nightmare

Covers commissioned especially for Marvel UK tended to be less than memorable but I have always liked this one. It has a level of drama to it that appeals to me.


Anonymous said...

Good to see that Marvel UK used Steranko's original unpublished Hulk picture rather than Marie Severin's redrawn version which was used for the cover of the first Hulk annual in 1968 - Al

pete doree said...

Definition of living in the UK: Watching the eclipse on the BBC while various passers by strolled past my living room window, looking up at the sky and going 'I can't see a bloody thing!'

Steve W. said...

Al, I wonder if it means UK readers got to see Steranko's original before readers in America did.

Pete, what struck me was how many people seem to have been stood outside watching it on their phones because, thanks to the weather, it was the only way they could see it.

Colin Jones said...

That must have been rather confusing for readers when the Vision popped up out of nowhere in that issue. I remember first seeing that amazing cover of MWOM and thinking WOW - a few months later Marvel UK were selling that cover as a little patch that you could sew onto a rucksack or whatever. That's a great Conan story - two rival kings who end up killing each other, and the Grim Grey God is Crom.

Anonymous said...

Robert E. Howard's original story, "The Grey God Passes," took place in 1014 A.D., and featured Turlogh O'Brien instead of Conan. The grey god was Odin, and the Battle of Clontarf triggered Ragnarok. That is, the Norse gods perished when their Viking worshipers were defeated.

Of course, Marvel made changes to fit it into the Hyborean Age setting. Also, they probably had to change Odin to Crom to avoid contradicting the Thor comics.

Anonymous said...

Being very old, I do remember being puzzled when the Hulk special came out as it was advertised in some other comics with a picture of Steranko's original cover art. I wonder if Marie Severin's alteration was just a temporary patch that could be peeled off afterwards or if she whited out the original head and drew over it. I do hope it was the former and that someone, somewhere owns the untouched original - Al

Kid said...

As well as the ad with Steranko's Hulk head, I think his version appeared in FOOM #2, which pre-dates the MWOM cover.

Colin Jones said...

If I remember correctly one of the two kings in "The Twilight Of The Grim Grey God" (that Conan story) is called Brian - which is a great name for a king :)

Dougie said...

I longed to read "Grim Grey God" since I'd seen it as a tiny blue image in a Foom Magazine t-shirt ad. Of course, that issue of SSOC didn't arrive at our local shop. It was nearly thirty years later in 2003 when I finally got to read it, in the Dark Horse reprint collection. It's interesting that Conan is really a bystander in a classical tragedy.

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