Sunday, 12 July 2015

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

July 12th was an exciting Friday for all fans of Marvel UK.


Because it was the week The Savage Sword of Conan disappeared completely from the newsagents of Britain.

Admittedly, that in itself wasn't particularly exciting - especially if you happened to be from Cimmeria and had been rooting for your local hero.

However, it did mean Conan suddenly moved into the Avengers' mag.

As I read The Avengers every week and had never even seen an issue of Savage Sword of Conan, this was very exciting for me - especially as it featured tales from Barry Smith's peak period on the strip.

It was, however, the first time Marvel UK had suffered the indignity of having to merge two comics due to poor sales. But, if we'd momentarily feared that it signalled the start of a bleaker new era for the company, we could always rely on their remaining mags to divert our thoughts from such musings.

Spider-Man Comics Weekly #126, the Beetle

Help! Help! They're kidnapping Marisa Tomei!

Meanwhile, Lee and Kirby's attempt to make sense of Thor's origin continues apace.

Marvel UK, The Avengers and Conan #95

This is it! We suddenly have a comic that features the Avengers, Conan, Dr Strange and Shang-Chi. There may be no common thread linking those four strips but what kind of lunatic wouldn't want a combination like that?

What with the Avengers' Adamantium Ultron storyline and the Dr Strange Shuma-Gorath tale, I'm trying to work out if this meant there were any issues in this period when The Avengers, Conan and Dr Strange strips were all simultaneously drawn by Barry Smith.

Mighty World of Marvel #145, The Hulk

"Don't count on it, baldy!"? Are they sure he now has the mind of Bruce Banner? I don't recall Bruce Banner ever talking like that.

I do, however, believe this signals that the Hulk is back in the land of Jarella.

The bad news is that the Jester's back in the land of Daredevil.

Marvel UK, Dracula Lives #38, Dracula vs Werewolf by Night

I had the original US version of this tale, which was nicely pleasing for me.

Sadly, I can't remember anything at all that happens in it.

Marvel UK, Planet of the Apes #38

Yeah! That's right! I'm going to strangle you into taking me to Ape City, whether you like it or not! Even though you were almost certainly going there anyway, what with it being the only inhabited place on Earth known to the simian denizens of the Planet of the Apes movies!

Meanwhile, Marvel's adaptation of The Golden Voyage of Sinbad continues. A tale I aim to be reviewing in the not-too-distant future, provided I can find my copy.

Marvel UK, The Super-Heroes #19, the Silver Surfer

I'd love to know what the story is behind this cover. It's always struck me as being very un-Marvel-like. It does have a relaxing elegance to it though.


Anonymous said...

That could be a title to a song-"Take Me to Ape City."
"Start spreading the news...I'm leavin' today..."

Anonymous said...

Banner's dialog was often inconsistent. Sometimes he talked like a nerdy scientist, and sometimes he talked like a swinging teenager. It seemed to get worse whenever it was a story with Banner's mind in the Hulk's body.

Colin Jones said...

Whoever wrote the words for that POTA cover hadn't watched the film - Brent was trying to get AWAY from ape city. 'The Avengers & The Savage Sword Of Conan' - oh no, the dreaded mergers start here :(

Paul McScotty -Muir said...

That issue of the "Super-Heroes" had a really nicely illustrated John Buscema Surfer tale where the Surfer really is giving it "laldie" and the moaning front (yes, even more so than normal). Basically he decides that he can escape his "Earth prison" by travelling around the earth and the speed of light several times and when he slows down he is in fact able to escape the barrier set up by Galactus. However he finds Earth and his home planet Zenn-La (and others) are all in ruins (he has travelled in time). He continues to travels about planets bleating on and on when he arrives on one planet with primitive life, where he is eventually attacked by a space army who take the Surfer to the "Overlord" (the baddie) at this point the story ends and is continued "next week" (40 years ago). The X-Men tale is "Where walks the Juggernaut" with Roth/Kirby art. Not a classic issue of the Super-Heroes apart fropm the cover and very nice Buscema art.

Re Avengers/Conan 95- I think the Dr Strange tale with Barry Smith art actually ended just a few weeks before the merger where the Frank Brunner art on Dr Strange began - I'm not 100% but I have issue 92 of the "Avengers" and the Dr Strange story drawn by Barry Smith looks like it is very near its end.

Steve W. said...

Thanks for the info, Paul. :)

20 cent aka Mike in Jersey said...
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