Sunday, 12 April 2015

April 12th, 1975 - Marvel UK, 40 years ago this week.

Hooray! Thunderbirds has returned to our TV screens!

Happily, it's a lot faster-moving than the original show, which, much as I have warm and fuzzy feelings for it, I find almost impossible to watch these days, due to its glacial pacing.

But how different things were in 1975 when the knowledge that Thunderbirds would be on when I got home was often the only thing that got me through French lessons with sanity intact.

"What's that?" I hear you cry. "1975? Isn't that the subject of this post?"

Why, yes it is. So let's take a look and see if any of Marvel UK's stars were in need of the services of International Rescue in this week of that year.

Spider-Man Comics Weekly #113, Dr Octopus

There you go. The old shows could have easily got forty five minutes out of Thunderbird 2 trying to keep that water tower upright.

Do New York skyscrapers still have those water towers on top of them? They always seemed an incongruous but charming thing to have in such an otherwise modern landscape. They should definitely stick one on top of the Shard.

Mighty World of Marvel #132, Hulk vs Havok

The Hulk's still gearing up for his cliff-lifting antics.

Marvel UK, Avengers #82, Behold the Vision

Hooray! The Vision makes his cloudy debut and at last Marvel UK will no longer have to redraw him as Thor in their mags.

I remember copying this cover when I was a child, with my trusty pencil and cartridge paper pad. It was definitely the clouds I was most proud of having got right.
Marvel UK, Dracula Lives #25

Somehow that cover looks oddly out of place on a UK Dracula mag.
Marvel UK, Planet of the Apes #25, Apeslayer

Apeslayer's still slapping those monkeys around.

A few days ago, I saw an episode of the old Planet of the Apes TV show, for the first time since the early 1990s. Much as I enjoyed it, I can't help feeling it would've benefited greatly from having Apeslayer burst in on it, declaring, "Back, you simian fools!"

Marvel UK, Conan the Barbarian #6, Devil Wings Over Shadizar

I always used to get Thulsa Doom mixed up with Thoth-Amon.

Did Thulsa Doom ever appear in any Conan tales or was he just limited to Kull stories?

Marvel UK, The Super-Heroes #6, Silver Surfer vs Mephisto

That's a rather unhappy looking monster the Surfer's tangling with there.


Anonymous said...

I was in New York, once, and I didn't see any water towers on top of roofs. I'm not saying they don't have 'em.
In fact, I've never seen one of those. I've read that they do still have 'em in Mexico, where they have been used on occasion by criminals as corpse-disposal units.
People found out when the water started tasting funny.

Anonymous said...

IIRC, Thulsa Doom was strictly in the Kull stories, but the 1982 Conan movie confused things by using Doom as the villain.

I've never seen a water tower on top of a building in any city. They always seem to be stand-alone structures.

In Fantastic Four #73 (1968), they mistook Daredevil for Doctor Doom (long story). As I recall, they fired a cannon at him (in the middle of New York City), missed, and blew up a water tower.

There is also a (probably apocryphal) story about an incident during the panic over the "invasion from Mars" radio broadcast in 1938. Supposedly, some New Jersey National Guard troops shot at a water tower, because, in the dark, they mistook it for a Martian war machine.

Anonymous said...

The original "Thunderbirds" would have to get forty-five minutes out of Virgil trying to prop up the tower, since the episodes were originally planned to run half an hour, and then had to be padded to fill a full hour time slot.

Anonymous said...

But Steve, can you think of ANY tv show that wouldn't be improved by having Apeslayer burst in declaring "Back, you simian fools!"?


Anonymous said...

A few years ago the artist Dave Gibbons said in an interview that when he first visited New York he was delighted to see the water towers just like in the Spider-Man comics. Only two issues of Dracula Lives had painted covers - not long to wait for the other one as it was #27. This week's Dracula Lives was also when I started reading it every week and did so till the final issue, #87. Apeslayer should burst in on the PG Tips chimps and say "Back, you simian fools - everyone knows Tetley is the best !!" (assuming the PG Tips chimps are still around - I never watch TV any more).

Anonymous said...

I was in New York last Summer and there were definitely still water towers on top of some buildings. I was delighted to see them. - Al

Anonymous said...

The painted Dracula lives cover is from an issue of the u.s magazine of the same name.
The story's in the magazine format were not covered by the comics code, so I don't know if some of this content was used unknownly in the u.k format weekly.

Steve W. said...

Thanks for all your comments, especially as regards Dracula and water towers. They're much appreciated. :)