Sunday, 25 October 2015

October 25th, 1975 - Marvel UK, 40 years ago this week.

Holy temporal regressions, Batman! It's been an exciting day for us here in Blighty, having to put the clocks back, ready for winter, so that Santa won't turn up at the wrong time.

That is why we do it.

Isn't it?

But Steve Does Comics never does anything by halves. That means I'm turning my clock back way further than sanity itself can withstand.

I'm turning it back forty years, to discover what our favourite comic company was up to in this week of 1975.

It was the week The Pyramids of Mars made its debut in Doctor Who and a very special comic made its debut upon our living room carpets.

Marvel UK, the Titans #1

And it's here - the mag we've been waiting all our lives for, as The Titans hits both the newsagents' shelves and our eyeballs.

I mean, seriously, who wouldn't want to own a comic that has a cover like that? It's practically ordering us to buy it.

Marvel UK, Avengers #110, Sons of the Serpent

I do love how every Shang-Chi tale seems to be billed as, "The Wildest/Greatest/Deadliest Shang-Chi Tale Yet!" And the weird thing was the claims were actually justified.

On other matters, is this Panther tale the first of the John Buscema/Tom Palmer Avengers collaborations?

Come to think of it, in the American originals, weren't there a whole bunch of other stories between the end of the Grandmaster epic and the Sons of the Serpent's return? Does this mean Marvel UK were reprinting things out of sequence again, or am I just misremembering?

Marvel UK, Planet of the Apes #53

Is the chimp getting shot on this cover the same one who was getting strangled by a gorilla last week?

If so, he doesn't have a lot of luck, does he?

Marvel UK, Dracula Lives #53

If the blurb's to be believed, it would seem that Dracula's causing terror over the towers of London. That's the last time I ever go anywhere near the Gherkin.

Mighty World of Marvel #160, Jim Starlin cover

Now I'm confused. That cover screams, "Jim Starlin," at me but the signature beneath Daredevil's leg doesn't seem to say, "Jim Starlin." In fact, I can't work out what it says.

Does it say, "Camini/75"?  If so, why have I never heard of a comic book artist called Camini? And why does he draw like Jim Starlin?

Spider-Man Comics Weekly #141

Now I'm even more confusederer. That cover screams, "Jim Starlin," at me but the signature says it's by Keith Pollard and Duffy Vohland.

I'm proud to announce that I have heard of Keith Pollard and Duffy Vohland.

It still looks like Jim Starlin though.

Marvel UK, the Super-Heroes #34, Giant Man vs the Human Top

Now I'm even more confusederer.

Oh, OK, I admit it, I'm not. There's nothing confusing about this cover (apart from the perspective).

It is good to see, though, that it features my favourite Giant-Man tale, the one where he repeatedly makes a fool of himself whilst trying to fight the Human Top.

In retrospect, it was quite cute of them to pit the Cat against the Owl as her first super-villain, as a tribute to The Owl and the Pussycat.

Sadly, from what I can recall of the story, neither of them go to sea. Nor do they have a beautiful pea-green boat.


paul said...

According to Wikipedia, the signature on the MWOM cover is 'Gemini' which was is Jim Starlin and Al Milnrow (Jim and I/Gemini)

Dougie said...

I love the Human Top. The Conan story is, I believe, an adaptation of a Turlogh O' Brien story by Howard. Hence the sidekick ' s name - Turgohl - is an anagram.

Steve W. said...

Thanks for the info, Paul. It's nice to know I'm not going mad.

Dougie, it's nice to know I'm not the only one who appreciated the Human Top.

Anonymous said...

I see what you mean about that Spiderman cover, Steve - its something to do with the way the characters are standing with their legs apart... although on closer inspection, that Thor figure looks more like a swipe from John Buscema.

There are some shocking covers here, Starlin notwithstanding. And its not like that MWOM is one of Cosmic Jim's best.
I seem to recall the cover of Captain Marvel 29 was signed Gemini. Funny how these things stick in your mind.


Anonymous said...

Nobody said you weren't going mad, Steve.

On another note, I can't really get my head around those sideways covers. Granted, the wider frame makes for some great artwork, but doggone it, it's just too much for a crotchety middle-aged fart like me to handle. I'm too set in my ways.
Besides, I get dizzy easily, and I don't have time to rotate a comic 90 degrees. Or is it 45? See, I'm already having trouble.
Down with change!

cerebus660 said...

I think Paul may have had a bad case of typist's finger in the comment above ( you can get a cream for that, you know ) - the "Al Milnrow" of Gemini fame is actually Al Milgrom, veteran artist / inker / writer / editor etc.

Klobberin' Keith Pollard was a journeyman artist in the Rich Buckler vein who drew very generic Marvel and DC stuff - although he did produce FF #200, one of my fave Marvel comics of the mid'70s.

The late Duffy Vohland was a Marvel staffer in the early '70s who worked on FOOM and inked some of John Byrne's early stuff.

Anonymous said...

I personally found The Titans to be a mass of contradictions. The sideways art shouldn't have worked but did. It only lasted a year but is remembered fondly by many readers. I always enjoyed the issues I read but never bothered to buy it regularly. Marvel were already running out of available material but chose to double the rate at which they used up the new pages.

That first issue was great, however.


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