Sunday, 9 August 2015

August 9th, 1975 - Marvel UK, 40 years ago this week.

It's August 1975! I'm on holiday - in Blackpool! Quatermass and Tarzan are on TV! Comics by a brand new publisher called Atlas are everywhere you look! Ray Stevens' cover of Misty is on the sound system in the big Woolworths by the Tower! Spaceships of Ezekiel by Josef F Blumrich is for sale in the smaller Woolworths not by the Tower, and proving that it is possible to write a boring book about ancient astronauts! In the window of Ripleys' Believe It Or Not, a giant tap floats in mid air, as an endless stream of water flows from it. Those are delights enough for any man. What can even Marvel UK possibly hope to add to them?

Here's where we find out.

Spider-Man Comics Weekly #130

Spider-Man's campaign against drug abuse continues.

Marvel UK, The Avengers #99

I know the Avengers' tale is the Adamantium Ultron story and the Conan tale is the one with the big dog in the tunnel but I wonder what the Shang-Chi story is?

Mighty World of Marvel #149, The Defenders

I do remember being very disappointed by the Psycho-Man tale but not by the Defenders or Daredevil stories.

And you can read my review of that Psycho-Man tale, right here.

And you can read my review of that Daredevil tale, right here.

You can't read my review of that Defenders tale, as I've not read that Defenders tale in decades. I shall therefore see if I can track down a copy of it.
Marvel UK, Planet of the Apes #42

I was going to be clever and mention that I have a voice in my head telling me this is the issue where Captain Marvel makes his Marvel UK debut.

Then I noticed that it mentions him on the cover, so my feat of memory's proven somewhat redundant.

I will, however, add that I first read this issue on a bench somewhere near Lewis's department store. As a child, I thought Lewis's department stores were owned by Jerry Lewis. Reader, it turns out I was wrong.

Marvel UK, Dracula Lives #42

A brain in a fish tank is causing far more trouble for our fangy felon than you would ever have thought likely.

Marvel UK, The Super-Heroes #23

Doc Savage makes his UK debut.

Despite having seen the Ron Ely movie on more than one occasion and having read that story where Spider-Man, "teams up," with the good Doctor, I must confess my knowledge of the Man of Bronze is fairly limited. I don't even know if he was literally supposed to have been made of bronze.


Anonymous said...

Regarding Dr. Sun, if we've learned anything from science fiction movies, and I think we've learned a whole lot, it's that living brains in fish tanks spell trouble for everybody. They have eerie powers.
But how can you not dig Psycho-man, Steve? The main attribute one needs to be a good comic book villain is weirdness, and Psycho-man had weirdness in spades. He was weird all day long, as we say over here in the colonies. I have no idea what he was actually trying to do, but whatever it was, he was doing it with style.
Sincerely, M.P., Acting Co-chair, Psycho-Man Anti-Defamation Society.

Steve W. said...

MP, I love Psycho-Man. It's just the story he was in that I didn't like. The FF were barely in it. It was overcrowded, with the Inhumans and the Black Panther showing up. Psycho-Man had a bunch of irrelevant sidekicks, including a cowboy. It did all feel somewhat improvisational and really didn't make an awful lot of sense.

Anonymous said...

Okay, fair point. I'll grant you that. I don't know what that cowboy was doing in there either. Psycho-Man apparently just hired the Village People as henchmen in his bid for world domination.
There were a few holes in that plot.

Dougie said...

The Conam story is part one of "The Monster of the Monoliths", IIRC: Thomas, Barry Smith, Mayerik, Craig Ruseell, Dan Adkins and a loose adaptation of 1968's "The Curse of the Monolith" by De Camp & Carter, which was printed in the Sphere Conan the Cimmerian paperback. There, the monster is a big blob of jelly, rather than a giant frog. Carter often liked to have gelid monsters for his heroes to fight.

Doc Savage is "bronzed", I suppose, and so is his female cousin Pat. They are physically perfect superhumans and Doc (Clark Savage, Jr) is on a mission to end crime and rehabilitate criminals by, er, brain surgery. He also has an Arctic Fortress of Solitude and five quirky sidekicks, so he is homaged by both Superman and the FF.

I posted previously about my holiday in Rothesay in August 1975: I think it was actually either this week or the week after. Those covers seem remarkably memorable. We'll see next weekend.

Steve W. said...

Thanks for the info, Dougie. I'm pretty sure I read The Curse of the Monolith in a paperback collection of Conan stories I bought in 1991. Sadly, I no longer have the book. It managed to vanish somewhere at some point.

Anonymous said...

I appreciate that the movie had recently been released but what was the thought process at Marvel HQ that resulted in Doc Savage being added to The Superheroes? Captain Marvel in POTA and Doc Savage in The Superheroes?

I'm pretty sure that I was on holiday in Cornwall this week, and the local ITV franchise was broadcasting (or possibly repeating) old Six Million Dollar Man episodes. I remember seeing the episode that introduced the bionic woman, albeit on a black and white portable with a dodgy caravan aerial.


Steve W. said...

My assumption would be that because Warlock was already being reprinted in POTA, they thought Captain Marvel would be a good fit alongside him.

I suspect that Doc Savage in The Super-Heroes was just a case of sticking him where there was room for him. There had only been two strips in the comic up until that point, so they probably thought they could get away with adding another one.

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