Thursday, 16 June 2016

June 16th, 1976 - Marvel UK, 40 years ago this week.

Before I plunge into today's pulse-pounding post, I have to thank Dalek Zantax for giving my blogs a plug on the Dalek Planet forum, the brand new site for all lovers of Dr Who and his cheeky Daleks.

I also have to announce the results of our poll to find out how many super-heroes we can all shake a fist at. Needless to say, it was a close poll with many swings and wobbles along the way but the results are in and they're as follows:

  • 10 or fewer - three votes.
  • 11-20 - one vote.
  • 21-30 - one vote.
  • 31-40 - one vote.
  • 41-50 - two votes.
  • 100+ - four votes.

I think we can all agree that the results have been something of a revelation and leave us in no doubts that Steve Does Comics readers are all as hard as nails.

Those issues dealt with, we can turn our attention to even greater issues - the issues produced by Marvel UK in this week of exactly forty years ago!

Marvel UK, Avengers #144, Conan and Red Sonja

"Barbarism beyond belief!" claims the cover. Don't forget to vote in our, "How much barbarism can YOU believe in?" poll. Remember, it's what Robert E Howard would have wanted of you.

It's the last issue of Marvel UK's Avengers that I ever owned - and not too far off being the last issue ever published, as Conan and The Sonj find themselves up against pervy sorcerers, the Avengers find themselves up against Ronan, and Shang-Chi finds himself up against nocturnal Ninjas.

I must confess that, of those three tales, I have no memory at all of the Shang-Chi one, which saddens me greatly, as he's always been a role model of mine.

Marvel UK, Planet of the Apes #87

That cover looks familiar. I can't remember what happens inside it though.

Marvel UK, Dracula Lives #87

It's a sad day for all British horror fans, as Dracula Lives hits its last ever issue before it merges with The Planet of the Apes.

The good news is it means that those of us who read Planet of the Apes every week will get to read the adventures of Mike Ploog era Man-Thing which is an era of strangeness and charisma.

Super Spider-Man with the Super-Heroes #175, the Kangaroo is back

Hooray! The Kangaroo is back and all set to use his awesome power of jumping around a bit, against Spider-Man.

I always had a soft spot for the Kangaroo. Whatever his failings, he was nothing if not an optimist.

Mighty World of Marvel #194, Hulk vs the Missing Link

Hooray! The Missing Link is back!

I've always had a soft spot for the Missing Link, mostly because he's easy to draw but also because I can recognise a kindred spirit when I see one.

I know this means I must now be viewed as a cross between the Missing Link and Shang-Chi, master of Kung Fu but I like to feel it's an image that does me justice.

Marvel UK, The Titans #35, Thing vs Torgo

Hooray! Torgo makes his debut!

I've always had a soft spot for Torgo.

Oh, let's be honest, I have a soft spot for everyone. That's the kind of man I am.


Anonymous said...

With hindsight, one wonders whether the girl on the cover of POTA could have made a speedy getaway had she not been riding side saddle. Looking at the Titans cover reminds me that Franklin Richards had, by then, been introduced to the storyline. However his introductory story wouldn't see print until the 1977 Titans annual was published later in the year. I remember the annual because it also introduced Annihilus, a personal favourite, and one of the characters who's name I miss-pronounced for years.


Anonymous said...

Annihilus is tricky to pronounce, and I'm hoping he shows up in a movie so we can finally get the right pronunciation.
When I was a kid I thought Sub-mariner was pronounced Sub-muREENer.
When I discovered I had been pronouncing it wrong for years, in my head at least, I was filled with shame.

Anonymous said...

I'm also filled with shame because it was actually the 1978 Titans annual that reprinted the birth of Franklin story. What an amateur. To me he was called Ann-hill-ius but I was set straight by one of the Stan Lee narrated Fantastic Four cartoons (probably from the 1990s). While Namor may officially be the Sub Mariner, I'll always prefer Submareener. Surely every sensible person does?


Colin Jones said...

I always pronounced it Ann-ill-i-us...and yes, Sub Mareener - my father told me I was wrong but I ignored him. Sob, the final issues of POTA and Dracula Lives before the merger - it was never the same again but I loyally continued reading till just a few weeks before the comic was cancelled in the following February. I remember buying The Titans when I and my sister and the boy and girl next door all went to the nearby town on a day when the rain was absolutely teeming down - of course, this was the famous scorching summer of '76 but according to Wikipedia the hot weather didn't begin till June 23rd.

Colin Jones said...

I forgot to mention that both POTA and The Titans have covers featuring events that happen in NEXT WEEK'S issues, d'oh !!

Anonymous said...

You guys did start getting the Macabre Man-Thing though, huh?
Well, that's some consolation, I guess.
Granted, the Man-Thing was no Dracula, but whatever knew fear did burn at his touch.

pete doree said...

How much barbarism can I believe in? WHAT BUSINESS IS IT OF YOURS, YOU STYGIAN DOG?!!

Steve W. said...

A Stygian dog? I'll have you know I'm a Brythunian pig, and have a certificate to prove it.

Colin Jones said...

Steve, you were curious about the POTA cover - it was back to Jason & Alexander again. The story inside was part 1 of "The Magick Man's Last Gasp Purple Light Show" - at the end of POTA #80 Jason stormed off and now Alex and Malaguena have set off to find him but they get captured by cannibals (that's the scene on the cover which doesn't actually happen till next week) but they are rescued by Jason and his new friend, Lightsmith (the Magick Man). I'd love to claim I remembered all this after 40 years but actually I read the strips on the Hunter's POTA website :D

pete doree said...

How embarrassing, I take it all back. It was the pointy beard that confused me.

Steve W. said...

Colin, I did have a suspicion that it was for that POTA story but I couldn't sum up the willpower to try and type out the title.

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