Sunday, 20 September 2015

September 20th, 1975 - Marvel UK, 40 years ago this week.

Taking advantage of the late sunny weather, I've been murdering my privet today. It was an epic battle described by one eyewitness as shear lunacy.

But what of our favourite comic company?

Were its heroes, on this day of forty years ago, battling evil on a similarly epic scale?

Were they too vetting their hedges?

Or were they merely hedging their bets?

Spider-Man Comics Weekly #136

For some reason, this cover holds a special significance for me.

What that significance is, I have no idea but, every time I see it, it resonates with me as though it should stir a fondly-held memory of whatever it was that was happening at the time.

Marvel UK, Avengers #105, the Grandmaster

The Grandmaster's still up to no good and proving he's no mate of the Avengers.

Mighty World of Marvel #155, Rhino vs the Hulk

The Hulk gets to go to Counter-Earth.

I don't have a clue which tale the Fantastic Four story is. For the dedicated nostalgist, it is always frustrating that the cover blurbs so often give little idea as to what the back-up strips are about.

Marvel UK, Dracula Lives #48, Lilith

Lilith make her first appearance on the cover and it would seem that Tigra makes her first appearance within the covers.

I won't make the obvious point about the phrase, "Were-Woman," meaning, "Man-Woman," as I believe that millions of others have also raised that issue over the years. Somehow, it never seemed to matter how many people pointed that out to Marvel, via their letters pages, the company still carried on using the phrase.

Marvel UK, Planet of the Apes #48

Forget snakes on planes, Tom Sutton's tale of apes on ships continues apace.

I wonder if the Warlock tale is one of those inked by Sutton as well? If so, Planet of the Apes was quite the Sutton fest at the time.

That reminds me, I have to do a post about Tom Sutton's Charlton covers, at some point, as they were rather fabby and proved he was one of the great cover artists of his era.

Marvel UK, The Super-Heroes #29, the Silver Surfer

Galactus is looking somewhat worried there. To be honest, although I've never read the tale, I suspect that the prospect of the Surfer going on the rampage doesn't worry him quite as much as the cover suggests.


John Jenkins said...

This was just under a year after I'd started buying Marvel comics and I was already thinking about little else.

cerebus660 said...

I don't know about the Marvel super heroes and their hedges, but this must have been a bad week for the 8-year old me - I didn't get my regular copies of SMCW, Avengers or The Super Heroes for some reason. In fact, I've never even seen those covers before. No wonder I've been such a bitter and twisted outcast of society ever since...

Steve W. said...

John, all these years later, I still think about little else.

Cerebus, just a few weeks after this, most of Marvel UK's output disappeared from my local newsagents for several months. I wonder if they were having some sort of distribution problem nationally?

Anonymous said...

In regards to your comic book supply problems, I would accuse German U-boats of sinking comic book supply ships, but your navy kind of took care of that problem some time before that, didn't they? It could've been the Dutch.
I always liked the Squadron Sinister. An evil Justice League. At one point, they sold the Earth to an alien from an aquatic planet, so they planned to use a laser to melt the icecaps to put everything underwater.
Man, those guys were evil.

Steve W. said...

I blame those 1970s Icelandic trawlermen. First they tried to take our cod and then they tried to take our comics, the naughty rapscallions.

Dougie said...

I had never seen that MWOM cover and POTA doesn't ring any bells so the distribution problems affected my part of South Lanarkshire too!

Anonymous said...

German U-boats? Icelandic trawlers?
Surely, Steve, it was the unions. That's who Brits usually prefer to blame for any problems in the 70s, isn't it? (and then can't understand why wages are so low today, the eejits)

Actually, theres some stuff on Dez Skinn's website about how strikes played havoc with distribution during his relaunch of Marvel UK a few years later, so maybe something similar happened in 75...?
On the other hand, comic distribution wasn't exactly a model of efficiency at the best of times, what with them being low cost items, so maybe there was no particular reason at all.


Colin Jones said...

Ha - well said about the unions, Sean. But I didn't really suffer any distribution problems - for example I had every issue of Planet Of The Apes from No.5 to No.116 except for No.8 and 62 which didn't come in those weeks. Missing 2 issues out of 112 wasn't too bad.

John Pitt said...

I was never too keen on the Apes "Pirate" story. I remember my mind wandering whilst reading it. Nice art, though.

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