Sunday, 24 May 2015

May 24th, 1975 - Marvel UK, 40 years ago this week.

I know what you're demanding. You're demanding, "Steve, we all know that last night's Eurovision Song Contest was won by Sweden, with a song called Heroes but what won that very contest exactly forty years ago?"

That song was of course the legendary Ding-a-Dong by the Netherlands. How that track lingers on in the memory. I'm sure we're all singing it even as I type.

As for this year's contest, I don't know if there's something wrong with me but I actually quite liked most of the songs and performances.

I was particularly taken with the man who played with his piano on fire, the woman in the green lipstick, Captain Botox, the totally immobile woman in the red dress and the woman who looked like she was being inflated as her performance went along.

Admittedly, these weren't the official designations of the people concerned but I don't have a clue which countries they were representing, so that's all I know them as.

Needless to say, the UK entry carried on our grand tradition of finishing near the bottom of the pile. Over the course of the evening, Electro Velvet did indeed become Crushed Velvet. But at least we were down there with Germany and France. So, at last, after centuries of conflict, the power of music has finally united Britain, Germany and France in a common cause - abject failure.

But if there's one British institution that knows not the meaning of the word, "Failure," it's Marvel UK in the year of that great Dutch triumph.

And here's where we prove it.

Spider-Man Comics Weekly #119, Bullitt

Demonstrating that it's not just Eurovision that has dodgy electoral practices and little grasp of voting integrity, that utter bounder Bullit is out to subvert the democratic process too.

Mighty World of Marvel #138, Hulk vs Thing

Given that the cover features a clash between the Thing and the Hulk, I'm not totally sure what the story within is.

It is however clear that the back-up tale is the one where Thor, Spider-Man and Daredevil take on the FF, after the FF have been convinced that DD is the other DD - Dr Doom.

Marvel UK, The Avengers #188, The Circus of Crime

It's a wedding to remember, as the Circus of Crime show their smarts by attacking a building packed solid with people who can fight better than they can.

Marvel UK, Planet of the Apes #31

I do believe this is the one that transforms Mark Twain's Connecticut Yankee into a Planet of the Apes tale.

If I remember rightly, it was drawn by Rico Rival, of whose work I was always an admirer.

Marvel UK, Dracula Lives #31

This is exciting for me. It's an issue of Dracula Lives that I once owned but had totally forgotten I ever had. I don't have a clue what happens inside it though.

Marvel UK, Savage Sword of Conan #12, Rogues in the House

Thomas and Smith's adaptation of Rogues in the House continues with Conan stabbing up a gorilla.

Marvel UK, The Super-Heroes #12, Silver Surfer vs the Ghost

The Surfer's still having a remarkable amount of trouble dealing with  a man who only has one eye and no hands.

And is dead.


Anonymous said...

Hooray, Apeslayer was finished - I loved 'Kingdom On An Island Of The Apes' which was indeed drawn by Rico Rival and you can read all the POTA stories on the Hunter's POTA website. The first Eurovision winner I remember was Brotherhood Of Man in 1976 when I was ten which was, of course, No.1 for ages which is how I know it because we didn't watch Eurovision as my father hated it - I saw last night's winning song on YouTube and lots of comments were saying it sounds like a song by David Guetta which I've never heard so I'll have to investigate :)

Steve W. said...

I think my first memory of Eurovision was Sandie Shaw winning with Puppet on a String, when I was three.

Anonymous said...

What an interesting take on the whole England, Germany, France dynamic.......

Anonymous said...

Those two songs do sound similar - certainly as similar as other songs which have been the subject of court battles but apparently the Eurovision one was written first. Gosh, a bearded lady last year, alleged plagiarism this year - whatever happened to the innocent days of Waterloo, Boom Bang-a-Bang and Britain guaranteed to be in the top five ? And this time Australia was included (!!!) - apparently they intend to invite Mars next year :)

Steve W. said...

I just want to know why Latveria's excluded every year. When are they going to end this discrimination?

Anonymous said...

Thats a good question, Steve. Hopefully we'll get to see it one day, assuming the UK doesn't vote to leave Eurovision in the upcoming referendum.


Anonymous said...

Does anyone know which Hulk Thing battle this MWOM reprints? I can't think of any Hulk or Fantastic Four stories that would have featured around this time. Possibly it's one of Marvel's slightly misleading covers.


Steve W. said...

Daren, I don't have a clue. The story that had just been printed before this issue featured the FF vs the Hulk, where they battled him at an airport before capturing him so he could be put on trial. As the cover of the issue before this one featured the Hulk breaking free in court, I assume that battle was already done with by the time this issue came out.

Anonymous said...


A quick google makes me wonder whether it was Marvel Feature #11, which seems like a try out for Marvel Two In One. It's roughly in the right period (i.e within a year or so). I'm not very familiar with that period Hulk and haven't read that story.

I didn't notice at the time how often Marvel UK juggled the content to keep to the weekly schedule, or likely in this case wanted a "winning" cover.


Dougie said...

Marvel Feature 1 was reprinted late in The Super-Heroes run,alongside Bloodstone and Giant-Man, so it wasn't that.

For me, Rogues in the House is one of the best Howard Conan stories and one of the best Thomas/Smith Conans.

Steve W. said...

It's one of my favourite Conan tales too, Dougie.