Saturday, 22 August 2015

August 23rd, 1975 - Marvel UK, 40 years ago this week.

On August 23rd, 1975, history was made as BBC 2 showed a double bill of Barbarella and This Island Earth.

It was the first time I'd seen either film and, at the time, they both seemed like masterpieces.

Sadly, these days, only This Island Earth still appeals to me, as Barbarella now feels like a joke that only the director got.

This Island Earth, on the other hand, features a mutant with its brain on the outside. That's my kind of mutant.

No doubt, me having read the comics below on such an auspicious weekend means I shall therefore remember them with greater than normal clarity.

Spider-Man Comics Weekly #132, the Green Goblin

Too right I do!


Because Spider-Man's still battling the Green Goblin, and Iron Man's getting a good thrashing from the Maggia's Whiplash.

I wonder what the Thor story was. Was he still tangling with Galactus or had he moved on to fighting Warlock yet?

Marvel UK, Avengers #101, Ultron

The Avengers continue their battle with Adamantium Ultron.

Mighty World of Marvel #151, the Defenders

The early days of the Defenders continue.

I seem to remember this involving a giant Dormammu. Was it set in that place in Vermont that was always turning up in Marvel comics?

Marvel UK, Planet of the Apes #44

Marvel's adaptation of Beneath the Planet of the Apes is going down a bomb.

Marvel UK, Dracula Lives #44

It has just struck me that I don't think I've ever read a story containing The Living Mummy.

Come to think of it, isn't a living mummy just a normal man wrapped in bandages? I think they should rename the strip The Normal Man Wrapped In Bandages. There is such a thing as The Trades Description Act, after all.
Marvel UK, the Super-Heroes #25, Silver Surfer and Doc Savage

Hooray! It's a reprint of the first Silver Surfer tale I ever read.

In my case, I first read it in the pages of TV21, which means it may have been the first story featuring a Marvel character that I ever read.

I do quite like the way the Abomination's drawn on this cover. He doesn't look anything like we expect him to but he really does look quite nightmarish.


Dougie said...

Slow to realise that this might be the week I started secondary school. By the way, Rutland VT appeared in Batman & JLA stories too, in the early 70s.

Steve W. said...

I think I started secondary school two weeks later. Autumn term usually started sometime around September 8th for us, if I remember right.

pete doree said...

Must I read 'My Friend - My Enemy'? Must I? Really?

Steve W. said...

You must, Pete! You Must!

Colin Jones said...

Good grief, Steve, what a coincidence - I watched 'This Island Earth' only last night on YouTube and 'The Thing From Another World' and 'When Worlds Collide' on Friday night. I'd agree that 'This Island Earth' is a classic but I did chuckle at some of the terrible science - the planet Metaluna turning into a sun at the end..??? But the "brainy" mutant is one of sci-fi's most classic monsters. I still like Barbarella though :)

TC said...

The "Bald Mountain" story was the second appearance of the Defenders, IIRC. Rutland, VT, with its annual Halloween party, also turned up in Batman #237 (1971), Justice League #145 (1977), and Avengers #83 and #119.

"This Island Earth" is a classic. By today's standards, the special effects may seem cheesy, but it really does have a plot, instead of just a series of fights and chases. And it is a real science fiction story, not just a WWII story or a Western or a swashbuckler transposed to a sci-fi setting.

"Barbarella" was a product of its time, like the Batman TV show and the movie versions of Matt Helm and Modesty Blaise. By the time the movie came out, though, the camp fad was passing.

John Pitt said...

Does the early days of the Defenders signal the coming of another weekly ( Rampage )?

Steve W. said...

It sort of does, John, but Rampage didn't appear on the shelves until over two years later. What took them so long to get round to it after introducing them, I don't know.

Dougie said...

It's amazing that after all these decades, I can still recognise the covers - to the extent that I realised my weekly order was missing that Spidey comic.

Scottish schools end their summer terms in late June/early July and start again in late August.

Steve W. said...

If my memory serves me properly, summer term round here ends midway through July.

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