Sunday, 17 May 2015

May 17th, 1975 - Marvel UK, 40 years ago this week.

In this very week of forty years ago, Tammy Wynette was at Number One on the UK singles chart, with Stand By Your Man.

By a coincidence capable of shaking the gods themselves, Tammy Jones was simultaneously at Number Five with Let Me Try Again. Surely this can be the only time in British history when two women called Tammy have been in the Top Five at the same time.

Needless to say, this should lead me to do a post about what was happening in the pages of legendary Fleetway girls' comic Tammy in this week of 1975.

Sadly, I don't have a clue what was happening in the pages of Tammy in this week of 1975 - though I suspect it may have involved impoverished orphan girls being bullied by step-sisters, step-mothers, piano teachers and evil butlers, as that's what seemed to be happening every week in the pages of Tammy.

Therefore I'll look at what Marvel UK were up to instead.

Spider-Man Comics Weekly #118

Spider-Man demonstrates why you should avoid him like the plague if your name ends with the word, "Stacy."

Mighty World of Marvel #137, Incredible Hulk

The Hulk is still socking it to the American legal system.

I'm assuming the Daredevil story is still the one where he's trapped in Dr Doom's body.

Marvel UK, The Super-Heroes #11, The Silver Surfer

This is one of only two issues of The Super-Heroes I ever owned. I got it from WH Smiths. I remember being very taken with John Buscema's artwork and with The Ghost.

I seem to remember the X-Men strip as featuring a sequence where, for some reason, The Toad pretends to be an Olympic long jumper.

Then again, as the cover claims it's about the X-Men battling the Sub-Mariner, I could be remembering wrongly.

Marvel UK, The Avengers #87, Dr Strange and the Sub-Mariner

Yet another moody cover for the story that couldn't make up its mind if it was a Dr Strange, Sub-Mariner or Hulk tale. As Barbara Norris was in it, I like to think it was a Valkyrie story.

Marvel UK, Planet of the Apes #30, Apeslayer

I think this issue may be the last the world has ever seen of Apeslayer. But I like to think he's still out there, battling those mendacious monkeys to the bitter end.

Marvel UK, Dracula Lives #30

Looking at this cover, I've got a weird feeling I may have owned this one - but I couldn't swear to it.

Marvel UK, Savage Sword of Conan #11

It's one of my favourite Barry Smith Conan tales as he and Roy Thomas give us their adaptation of Rogues in the House, so often misprinted as Rouges in the House.

I seem to recall that, in it, the priest Nabonidus has a system of mirrors via which he can see any part of his house from any other part of his house. Inspired by this, I've always wanted an identical set-up in my own home, even though I can think of no good reason at all for having it.


Anonymous said...

"Cry Apeslayer!"
I think I'll holler that out my window, just to keep my neighbors on their toes.
If I don't comment again here for a while, it will mean I'm being taken away for a long rest.

Steve W. said...

I'm thinking of adopting that judge's call of, "No! No! Stay back!" as my catchphrase. I feel it'll come in handy in all situations.

Anonymous said...

That Avengers cover with Namor and Dr. Strange looks like it was reprinted from Sub-Mariner #22, which was sort of a precursor to The Defenders.

Tammy Wynette's two biggest hits were probably "Stand By Your Man" and "D-I-V-O-R-C-E." Mixed messages. IIRC, the same songwriters also wrote "He Stopped Loving Her," which was sung by George Jones, Tammy's third ex-husband.

I'm pretty sure that "The Living Prison" was, in fact, the second part of the Daredevil-in-Doctor-Doom's-body story.

Anonymous said...

That Planet of the Apes cover was a favourite of mine. I also obtained a copy of the original Amazing Adventures #21, but was still in my "the-colour-issues-are-reprints-of-the-black-and-white-originals" phase and so it didn't occur that Apeslayer's story may have continued (albeit with the apes redrawn as Martians).

I can laugh about it now but at the time...


Anonymous said...

So farewell then, Apeslayer...
...and hello Adam Warlock.

Unless I'm remembering it wrong - which, lets face it, wouldn't be the first time on this blog - that issue of POTA marked the arrival of Warlock. Although I agree with some of the criticism you've made of the heavy handed allegory, Steve, that opening story with the High Evolutionary and the sabotage of counter-Earth is still one of my favourite Marvels. Gil Kane at his best.

I thought the Silver Surfer couldn't get any more tedious after that Frankenstein story, but this one - the one with the Flying Dutchman, isn't it? - managed it somehow. Although John Buscema's artwork was always highly competent.


Anonymous said...

Tammy Wynette must have been baffled as to why 'Stand By Your Man' was a UK #1 hit seven years after its' original U.S. release. Captain Stacy's death was the first time I experienced the death of a major character in comics - and he knew Peter Parker was Spider-Man...and he actually stayed dead !!! 'Rogues In The House' was reprinted in the 1975 Conan Treasury Edition which I bought in August 1977 while on holiday at the seaside - yes, dated 1975 but still on sale in 1977. I bought the 1974 Thor Treasury Edition at the same time - by coincidence it was the week that Elvis died.

Anonymous said...

The British seaside was always a rich source of vintage comics. Did these people not understand the value of the treasures they had? I remember a paper shop in Cornwall that had virtually complete runs of Marvel, Planet of the Apes and Dracula lives for 2p each. They had multiples of some issues and so I doubt it was merely the owner's kids liquidating their collection.


Steve W. said...

It was the same in Blackpool, where we used to go, Daren. It seemed like every shop you went into had huge piles of comics, often from five or six years earlier.

Sean, I agree. His art on the early days of Warlock has always been my favourite Gil Kane work.

Colin, I too was on holiday at the seaside when Presley died.

I also first read Rogues in the House in that Treasury edition.

Paul McScotty -Muir said...

The Avengers cover is indeed from the US "Sub Mariner" issue 22 but that wasn't the precursor to the Defenders - that came in issues 34 and 35 featuring Dr Strange, Silver Surfer and Hulk with Subby in a story called "Titans Three" (issue 35 featured the Avengers also).

Yes the DD strip in MWOM issue 137 was the one where he is trapped in Dr Dooms body as it featured (brIefly) the FF they didn't have their own strip that week (and Matt Murdoch was even in the lead Hulk strip as the Hulks lawyer - the busy guy).

You can read "Titans Three" here:

Dougie said...

As I've often posted, I was on a caravan holiday at a very remote spot in the Rhins of Galloway when Elvis died.

You are right about the Toad's sporting prowess - but I think that's the Angel kidnap/Asteroid M story

Russ said...

The Sub-Mariner story helped conclude the Dr. Strange story that was incomplete when Strange's book was cancelled. The story continued a couple of months later in Hulk 126, which ended with Dr. Strange stuck in another dimension, where he stayed until "The Return" which appeared as a back-up to the first Defenders story in Marvel Feature, a year and a half later. So it was sort of a lead-in to the Defenders, and sort of not.

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