Sunday, 28 June 2015

June 28th, 1975 - Marvel UK, 40 years ago this week.

Granny, get your wellies on! It's Glastonbury Weekend!

And that can only mean one thing.

That I've been wading knee-deep in mud and enduring foul and unsanitary conditions at every turn.

Which is a bit worrying, as I've been watching it on TV, in my living room.

To be honest. I can't say Glasto has set my candle alight this year. I did my best to give Florence and the Machine a go - as I do every year, feeling the woman must be doing something right or she wouldn't keep getting invited back - but, just like every year, the secret of her popularity eluded me. Paloma Faith had bags of enthusiasm but possibly not bags of good songs. Burt Bacharach has plenty of good songs but I'd rather see other people perform them. The sight of Kanye West all alone on stage, seemingly performing to himself and himself alone, possessed an air of almost tragi-comic futility that suggests that, if the performance hadn't existed, Samuel Beckett would have had to invent it.

Still, there's all tonight's action to look forward to and if the current weekend does let me down I've always got a different weekend to fall back on.

That's the weekend of exactly forty years ago, way back when Kanye West was only boasting of being the greatest living sperm on Earth.

Spider-Man Comics Weekly #124, the Prowler

The Prowler's STILL stopping Spidey from getting to that airport.

Marvel UK, The Avengers #93,  Dr Strange

Thanks to the magic pencil of Lord Barrington Windsington Smithington, Dr Strange is still up against Nightmare.

Marvel UK, Dracula Lives #36

I generally try to avoid making definitive statements on the internet, as they're always instantly proven wrong by people who know more than I do but that genuinely has to be the worst-drawn cover I've ever seen on a professionally produced comic.

Marvel UK, Planet of the Apes #36

Those naughty apes are still causing trouble for fun-loving astronauts everywhere.

Marvel UK, Savage Sword of Conan #17

Conan battles dutifully on but cancellation is now only weeks away.

Mighty World of Marvel #143, the Hulk

Unless I miss my ever-loving guess, this is the start of the Captain Axis/Shaper of Worlds tale.

Long-standing readers will be amazed to hear me declare this to be one of my favourite Hulk tales. Something I so rarely do.

Marvel UK, The Super-Heroes #17, Silver Surfer vs the Fantastic Four

I genuinely have no knowledge of this story at all.


Anonymous said...

I've sounded off here once or twice in the past about how bad some of those British only Marvel covers were, Steve, but I can't believe that Dracula Lives. Note how the ever-incompetent Marvel UK colourist has accentuated it - atmosphere, horror, a spooky castle interior... yeah, that definitely calls for lots of bright orange and yellow.
Its a fairly safe bet you will be proved correct on this occasion.

I can only assume a nostalgic fondness for that rarity a favourite Hulk tale has blinded you to the possibility that that MWOM is a strong contender for second worst cover ever. Do you think they may be by the same artist? There does seem to be a similarity of style (for want of a better word)

Loved that Dr Strange Nightmare story - a Baz classic - but I wonder... how many times did the master of the mystic arts have to deal with a World Gone Mad. You think he'd be used to it.


Steve W. said...

Sean, I can forgive any cover that features the Hulk carrying a tank around.

Anonymous said...

I bet you'd forgive it even more if it had a speech balloon, Steve. Something like "Hulk smash puny tank!":)


Anonymous said...

I reckon the Super-Heroes cover story is Silver Surfer #5. Presumably they ran it out of order, to let the Stranger first appear in the X-men story, and thus avoid a continuity catastrophe.

When I first saw the Planet of the Apes cover, I genuinely thought there was a single good human, but he'd died. As with most of these things, I can laugh about it now...


Jason Schachter said...

That Dracula Lives cover does stand out as pretty bad. And surprising, since it is signed by Ed Hannigan, who would go on to do many many covers and layouts (and interiors) for Marvel & DC in the 70s and 80s.

Steve W. said...

I think we can only assume he must have been working to a very tight deadline on that cover.

Anonymous said...

It looks like Blade is being attacked by Adam Sandler.
...which is probably less horrible than having to watch one of his movies.

I always liked the Prowler, cool costume, but it never made a lotta sense that he would cause Spiderman very much trouble. But then, Spiderman wasn't written as being all that powerful back then, and even guys without superpowers like the Kingpin could give him a run for his money.

Paul McScotty -Muir said...

I hadn't seen that "Dracula Lives" cover before but despite being drawn by a good artist (if it was indeed by Ed Hannigan as Jason says) it has to be one of the worst Marvel UK covers ever along with MWOM issue 119

PC Plod said...

Hello Anon. You're nicked.

Dougie said...

The Conan weekly reprints the very first Conan story I ever read. One of my work colleagues retired this week and we habd our first and only conversation about the merits of Gil Kane.

I think the MWOM FF story was possibly the Him sequence, which is one of my favourites. It does everything Kirby would go on to do in Jimmy Olsen- but better and more succinctly.

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