Sunday, 10 April 2016

April 10th, 1976 - Marvel UK, 40 years ago this week.

I'm pretty sure that, earlier this week, I read that they've finally discovered Mondas the mystery ninth planet that keeps sending comets at us.

My memory might be playing tricks on me but I'm fairly sure they seem to have been discovering it every two years for as long as I've been alive. Either that or there are even more ninth planets than there were Fifth Beatles.

Of course, there was a time when we didn't have to look for a ninth planet, because the solar system already had nine planets.

That time was The Past.

And that's where we're about to visit as I take a look at what Marvel UK were giving us in an era when Pluto was more than just that bloke who liked to have fights with Thor.

Marvel UK, Avengers #134

Despite what it says on the cover, the Squadron Supreme make their debut.

I must admit I always preferred the Squadron Sinister but that's probably just me being perverse.

Marvel UK, Planet of the Apes #77

I do believe this was the issue when I went off the adventures of Jason and Alexander, as giant brains in goldfish bowls seemed far too sci-fi and fantastical for a Planet of the Apes story.

Also, the mutants in it kept saying, "Zee," instead of, "Zed," which seemed very un-British.

Marvel UK, Dracula Lives #77

Maybe I'm just imagining things but I've always assumed this cover's meant as a homage to that of The Incredible Hulk #3.

It seems a strange thing to pay homage to in a Dracula comic but such is life, or, in the case of Dracula, undeadness.

I hope this doesn't mean he's now under the mental control of Rick Jones.

And fighting the Circus of Crime.

And being chased around by Thunderbolt Ross.

And wearing purple trousers.

Mighty World of Marvel #184, Hulk vs Cobalt Man

The Cobalt Man's still causing trouble, possibly above Sydney.

I do wonder who the madman is in the Fantastic Four story? Could it be Maximus?

Super Spider-Man with the Super-Heroes #165, the Smasher

Hooray! After months of there being no Spider-Man in my life, at last the comic returned to the shelves of my local newsagent!

What a shock it was for me to discover that our hero was now horizontal and wearing a polythene mask with eye holes in it.

I wonder what the pin-up was of?

Marvel UK, The Titans #25, the X-Men

I never had this issue but I did have a US copy of the X-Men story in question. I must confess that, apart from X-Men #1, it was the only Original X-Men story I ever liked. A lot of this, I suspect, was down to the artwork of Ross Andru.


Anonymous said...

As far as rogue planets go, I seem to remember reading only a couple of months ago of evidence of a large planet way out past Pluto that would technically be a part of our outer solar system.
It's only a matter of time, I suspect, till this rogue planet breaks free from it's orbit and crashes into us, crushing Earth like a grape.
In light of that, I have decided not to pay my cable bill this month.

dangermash said...

At some point in the 1971-72 school year, someone discovered (what was in those days) a tenth planet. I remember this because I cut the story out of the newspaper and stuck it in my school space project. Of course, the great thing about Pluto being reclassified is that the word pluton has termed the English vocabulary. I would imagine that Doctor Doom uses this word on a daily basis when referring to his inferiors.

This week's Spider-Man story has a history behind it too. It originally appeared as a black and white story in Spectacular Spider-Man Magazine #2, which would have been out around the time of ASM #70. It was reprinted in ASM #118-120 with the pictures all coloured in, Captain Stacy replaced by Joe Robertson all over the place and some extra pages added to explain how Spider-Man gets his proper mask back. There were probably other changes made too. Astute readers in the US would probably have been puzzled by how close Harry and Mary Jane were in this issue after she dumped him during the non-CCA-approved drugs story a couple of years earlier.

dangermash said...

Sorry. For ASM 118-120, read ASM 116-118. I was counting back from ASM #121 and forgot about the two part story in Canada in ASM #119-120. No spoilers!

Anonymous said...

Dangermash, nobody calls me a pluton and gets away with it!
Except Dr. Doom, of course. If he called me that I would meekly accept it and say, "Yes, Excellency."

Anonymous said...

They discover new trans-Neptunian oBjects (I believe thats the correct term) regularly these days, but so far as I know that new ninth planet is still just theoretical.
Maybe they'd have more luck finding an actual new planet if they searched a bit nearer and checked out the other side of the sun for a duplicate earth.

Got to disagree with you about the merits of giant brains in goldfish bowls, Steve, as that was my favourite POTA storyline. Ok, partly that was down to Mike Ploog, but also I just like stuff like giant disembodied mutant brains..
Not sure why you'd worry about them being too sci-fi if you're already reading a comic about talking apes in the future.


Anonymous said...

We can rely on Apeslayer and Charlton Heston to save us from an ape-controlled future, Sean, as well as the laws of mathematical probability to spare Earth from a MELANCHOLIA-type cosmic event.
For the latter, we can thank the planet Jupiter, which serves as an enormous gravity sink, which deflects a lotta debris away from this part of the solar system.
Just a week or so ago something HUGE hit Jupiter, and it wasn't Donald Trump, (unfortunately) but it made a big explosion. Probably an asteroid. I'ts on the U-tubes, I would guess.
How Counter-Earth fits into all this, I have no idea.

Colin Jones said...

Steve, those giant brains in goldfish bowls (officially known as The Inheritors) first appeared in POTA no.16 or thereabouts so I don't know why you waited till now to go off the Jason & Alexander arc - like Sean, I enjoyed the storyline but it did indeed get more and more wacky and sci-fi as time went on. I'm not absolutely sure but I think that issue of Dracula Lives was when Drac first re-located to America (Boston, I think).

Steve W. said...

If issue #16 was the one where the Inheritors first showed up, that'll be the one where I went off the strip. There's something about giant brains in goldfish bowls that I can never take seriously.

Colin Jones said...

Drat, I should have looked at that Dracula Lives cover more closely - the blurb clearly says this is indeed the issue when he arrives in America ! Those giant brains had different personalities - one of them was clearly in charge, one of them spoke only in rhyme, one of them spoke like Ben Grimm...

Anonymous said...

You can't take that kind of thing seriously, Steve?
And yet, when theres some geezer who can shoot webs and climb walls because he was bitten by a radioactive spider... thats completely plausible?


Steve W. said...

But I was under the impression that there are lots of people with spider-powers. Do you mean Stan Lee was lying to me?

Anonymous said...

Far be it from me to suggest Stsn Lee might ever have been economical with the truth.
Mind you, Sheffield is a peculiar place...


Dougie said...

I didn't get that issue of the Titans either and I was desperate to find out more about the Mutant-Master and the Changeling- and why they had coordinated their work wear. The Titans must have been the most irregular subscription I ever had.

This is the first time in weeks I've been able to work out which FF story was being reprinted. I reckon it is Maximus, in the first part of the two-part sequel to the first Inhumans story. I first "met" Max in a US Hulk comic which, in turn, is the sequel to this FF tale.

Steve W. said...

I think the Hulk's strip might have been the first place I encountered Maximus as well. It was the Marie Severin drawn one that originally had the legendary Steranko cover.

Steve W. said...

Good grief! I've just realised that Maximus the Mad is Mad Max!

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