Sunday, 19 April 2015

April 19th, 1975 - Marvel UK, 40 years ago this week.

Hooray! The World Snooker Championship has just begun in Sheffield!

Back in 1975, we had no such thing. The only snooker we ever got on TV was Pot Black.

Being a tight-fisted family, we used to watch it in black and white.

Contrary to popular mythology, you can watch snooker in black and white.

You can also read American comics in black and white.

And we did, in the pages of Marvel UK's brightest mags.

And here's where we find out what monochrome magnificence those mags were offering in this very week of 1975.

Spider-Man Comics Weekly #114, Dr Octopus

Snooker players might often need a long rest but I suspect Spidey'll soon be needing an even longer one because he's up against Doc Ock again.

Perhaps even more excitingly, the Titanium Man is back, prompting me to burst into a certain Wings' song.

That's right; Mull of Kintyre.

Marvel UK, The Avengers #83, Dr Strange vs the Juggernaut

I never had this issue at the time and, so, until I got my hands on the Avengers Treasury Edition that reprinted it, I never found out how the Vision's debut story concluded.

For the same reason, until after I got the internet, I never knew that Dr Strange had fought the Juggernaut.

Mighty World of Marvel #133, The Hulk

Is this the one where the Hulk gets captured and put on trial?

If so, that was one of my favourite Hulk tales from this era.

Then again, it might be the one where that senator goes all Quatermass Xperiment on everyone.

That too was one of my favourite Hulk tales of this era.

Marvel UK, Savage Sword of Conan #7

My Holmesian intellect tells me this may be an adaptation of REH's The God In the Bowl. In which case, I've read the original version of this tale and pronounce it to be interesting.

Until now I was totally oblivious to the fact that Ka-Zar had had a strip in Conan's mag. I wonder what the Ka-Zar story was.

Marvel UK, Dracula Lives #26

The standard Dracula Lives cover there, with our fledermausian felon heading straight for some woman while issuing melodramatic threats along the way.

Marvel UK, Planet of the Apes #26, Killraven

I saw another episode of the old Planet of the Apes TV show the other day. It was the one with the blood transfusion.

While I found it surprisingly enjoyable, for such an unregarded series, I was still disappointed by the lack of Apeslayer.

Why is there not an Apeslayer TV show? I demand one now.

Marvel UK, The Super-Heroes #7, Silver Surfer vs Loki

From the subtle clues on the cover, I'm assuming this is the one where the Surfer meets up with Thor for the first time.


John Pitt said...

Steve, that introduction was very clever.
We didn't get colour TV until 1985, USA for Africa, Live Aid, - magnificent!

Anonymous said...

I thought that the original story, "The God in the Bowl," was better than the adaptation, because the solution was not revealed until the very end, although you may have figured it out from the clues.

Mickey Spillane said that the nearer the end the solution is revealed, the better. He said that "Vengeance Is Mine" was his only story where he managed to wrap it up with the very last word. Howard managed it with "God in the Bowl."

Comics, though, are action-oriented, as well as a visual medium, so concealing the solution to a mystery is often impractical.

Anonymous said...

I always thought "God in the Bowl" was an amazing detective story, and also a shreekingly nightmarish horror story, one of Robert E. Howard's best.
You just know something truly awful and horrible is going to appear or happen, at the end.
Which is exactly what happens.
On a different note, I don't know why the Juggernaut was fighting Dr. Strange. They gave him mystical powers and the ability to shoot eldritch bolts of magical energy out of his hands.
I dunno. Eventually he ended up being another super-strong goon.
I know his powers were mystically-based, but I don't think Juggy could spell "mystically.'
Lucky for me I have spell-check.

Anonymous said...

I remember counting the pages of this issue of Planet of the Apes and being slightly miffed that they included the exterior and interior covers within the 36.

That just didn't seem proper.


Ant Master said...

Didn't most of these British marvels have excellent posters on the back page. I remember cutting them up and papering my room with quite a few.

Anonymous said...

Steve, when you say the POTA TV show is "unregarded" do you mean in its' day or it still is today ? To me it's a bona fide classic - I was bitterly disappointed when it was cancelled but nowadays a mere 14 episodes seems the perfect number, every one a little gem. And it was the TV show that led directly to me discovering Marvel comics (the POTA weekly obviously) so I owe the series a great deal :)

Anonymous said...

An Apeslayer tv show? I'm totally with you on that demand, Steve.

Or maybe the time is right for a big screen Apeslayer. That would be - dare I say it? - senses shattering.
Actually, with Marvel stuff like the Avengers being big, and the recent return of POTA flicks, I'm surprised it isn't at least in development yet. Maybe theres a problem with the rights or something - any idea?


Steve W. said...

John, thanks for the praise.

Anon and MP, sadly, Marvel's adaptation completely gives away the ending by having the perpetrator on the front cover. Clearly they'd never read Mickey Spillane's advice.

DW, the foul tricks those marketing people get up to.

Ant Master, I do remember there being a fair number of pin-ups/posters on the back pages of Marvel mags. I recall a B/W Gil Kane Iron Fist/Shang-Chi pin-up in The Avengers, that I had hours of fun colouring in with felt tips pens.

Colin, I primarily meant in its day. The fact that it was short-lived suggests it didn't exactly float people's boats. But I always enjoyed it and it seems to me that it holds up pretty well today - even if the repeated appearances of Urko and Zaius do start to get somewhat repetitive.

Sean, I assume there are massive problems with the rights. He's basically Killraven, so the rights should belong to Marvel but Marvel no longer own the rights to the Planet of the Apes stories, so I would assume that leaves Apeslayer in something of a limbo as to who owns and can use him.