Sunday, 5 July 2015

July 5th, 1975 - Marvel UK, 40 years ago this week.

This week in 1975, 10cc were Number One on the UK singles chart, with I'm Not In Love.

I suppose it's a classic of sorts but I'm not sure I'm a fan of it. To be honest, I always found that woman on it a bit creepy.

Who was she even supposed to be? Was she his girlfriend? His mother?

For some reason, I've always had it in my head that she was his kinky cyber-nurse from a future too weird to imagine.

Reader, that future is here

But the kinky cyber-nurse isn't.

Therefore, I'll occupy myself by looking back at what Marvel UK were flinging at us in the week when we were being so strongly reminded that big boys don't cry.

Spider-Man Comics Weekly #125

I'm assuming this is that Beetle tale where John Romita gets to re-tell Spidey's origin.

But, let's face it, that pales into insignificance before the consciousness-expanding greatness that is Thor's true origin, where they finally try to make sense of the whole Don Blake/Thor situation - and actually succeed!

Marvel UK, Avengers #94

It's the story where we finally notice that, despite him having been around for years, we've never previously found out what Hawkeye's real name is.

Marvel UK, Dracula Lives #37

I've never read this one but I like to think it's a tribute to the legendary movie Horror Express.

I have no reason for thinking it might be. I just like the thought that it could be.

Marvel UK, Planet of the Apes #37

It's all getting macho on the Planet of the Apes.

Macho on the Planet of the Apes would have been a great title for one of those, "movies," that were cobbled together from episodes of the TV series.

Granted, it's possible that the world may not agree with that sentiment.

Marvel UK, Savage Sword of Conan #18

That's no thing in a temple. That's the dread Cancellation Monster that's closing in on our hero. I could be wrong but I think this may be the last ever issue of Marvel UK's Savage Sword of Conan.

Mighty World of Marvel #144, Hulk vs Captain Axis

It's the news we've all been praying for. It's the death of Mike Murdock. I remain amazed that fireworks weren't set off around the nation when it happened.

Marvel UK, The Super-Heroes, Silver Surfer vs the Stranger

The Stranger's back, and causing no end of trouble for our pewter powerhouse.


Anonymous said...

"I keep your picture upon the wall
It hides a nasty stain that's lyin' there"

Erm... are you sure its the woman whose a bit creepy on the 10cc song?

And we are fast approaching the Dez Skin era of Marvel UK so yes you are probably right that this is the last issue of Conan.

Aggy said...

Oops forgot to sign above comment!

Anonymous said...

I wasn't that keen on Horror Express, Steve, so would prefer to think of that cover as a tribute to Dr Terror's House of Horrors, a much better film (despite the misleading title - surely Dr Terror's Train of Horrors would be better?)

Dez Skinn? He's still few years away, isn't he? Those comics where he chopped the artwork up to get more panels on each page were really annoying.
Mind you, he commissioned new stuff too, so.... swings and roundabouts, I guess.


Anonymous said...

The Dracula cover reminded me of "Tales From the Crypt." The episode with Joan Collins, and a serial killer dressed as Santa Claus.

Anonymous said...

That Cancelation Monster is one ugly hombre, and that's just from the back. Lord knows what his face likes like. Maybe he just looks like an accountant with glasses from the front.
I enjoyed Horror Express just for Telly Savalas' over-the-top performance as a Cossack Russian Army officer on the hunt for rebels who terrorizes everybody on board.

Steve W. said...

Aggy, you make it sound like it's an odd thing for a man to make love to his walls. I can tell you there are some very sexy walls out there.

Sean, I love Horror Express. It's my favourite ever fake Hammer film. And it's in the public domain, so anyone can rip it off. That's my kind of movie.

Anon, is Tales From the Crypt the one where Alan Freeman is menaced by a plant?

m.p, Telly Savalas is indeed great in Horror Express.

Dougie said...

Alan Freeman meets the Creeping Vine in Dr. Terror's House of Horrors.

That is indeed the last issue of the weekly SSOC before it merged with the Avengers. I love the Sixties trio of Colan issues; that line -up ( Hank, Jan, Clint, T'Challa & Vizh) is one of my favourites, since it mimics the original five, sans Hulk but makes them cooler. I wish those three stories had formed the basis of a second Avengers treasury.

Steve W. said...

Thanks for the Alan Freeman info, Dougie. I must confess that all the Amicus portmanteau movies tend to blur into one for me and I can never remember which is which.

I loved that Colan run too. It was strange because, before it, it had never occurred to me how little we actually knew about Hawkeye.

cerebus660 said...

Hey Stevey-baby! Whaddayou think you're doin', puttin' down swingin' Mike Murdock? You're strictly from squaresville! He's one hep cat and don't you fergit it!

Paul McScotty -Muir said...

Issue 18 was indeed the last issue of "The Savage Sword of Conan" weekly - I think Dez Skinn took over the revamp of Marvel UK around November 1978, so there were a few years of left till then.

Joe S. Walker said...

Always thought Clint Barton (as they called Hawkeye) was a thoroughly duff character name. I suspect Roy Thomas only called him Clint because it looked like "Cunt" in comic lettering.

Colin Jones said...

The first Dez Skinn weeklies (the dreaded Marvel Comic and Spider-Man Comic) appeared in January 1979 only a few weeks before my 13th birthday. Hey, no need for tears over the demise of 'Savage Sword Of Conan' - the following week it merged with The Avengers "because you demanded it" which was great news for me as I'd been bombarding Marvel UK with letters for weeks beforehand demanding the merger of Conan and The Avengers, they were such an obvious fit after all. 'Horror Express' is fantastic and 'I'm Not In Love' is over-rated tripe - "big boys don't cry, big boys don't cry..." oh, go away you silly woman.

Anonymous said...

We have to pass through the landscape era before the joys of Dez. I'm also surprised that they merged Conan with the Avengers given that Planet of the Apes would surely have been a more obvious fit (in that they could have kept the non-superhero stories together). Then again, why Master of Kung -Fu in Avengers and Captain Marvel (and Warlock) in Planet of the Apes? Why didn't they run Captain America in the Avengers.

With the gift of hindsight:

MWOM: Hulk, Fantastic Four, X-men
Spiderman: Spidey, Dr Strange, Daredevil
Avengers: Avengers, Captain America, Iron Man/Thor
Superheroes: Silver Surfer, Captain Marvel, Warlock (cosmic-tastic?)
Planet of the Apes: POTA, Conan, Master of Kung Fu
Dracula: Dracula, any other filler.

The Super-heroes would have been cancelled first, followed by Dracula.

Being fair, at the time, I was only really interested in the free gifts...


Paul McScotty -Muir said...

Dez Skinn came over to Marvel UK in Nov 78 bringing his "Starburst" mag into the MARVEL fold, he didnt really make an impact until 79 with Marvel Wekly etc.

I think "Shang Chi: Master of Kung-Fu" was added due the popularity of the Kung Fu craze in the 70s , the Avengers was used to house this strip as perhaps it was the poorest seller of the top 3 titles (I think it was) at the time and this was to give it a shot in the arm. Yeah adding Conan to the Avengers seemed strange (but to be honest I liked it as Conan was my favourite Marvel character at this time) - POTA was a big seller in the UK so that wasn't up for merger at this time and I think it only merged due to lack of original material from the US rather than poor sales (although by this time that may have been the reason as well)

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