Thursday, 23 June 2016

June 23rd, 1976 - Marvel UK, 40 years ago this week.

It's a sensational day for democracy, as you The Reader have voted on the only issue that matters in the world right now.

And that's the question of how much barbarism you can believe in.

As you can imagine, it was a close contest, with tensions running high but these are the results of the poll:

  • "Loads." - 12 votes.
  • "Hardly Any." - 0 votes.

So, there you have it, the hardest readers of the hardest blog on the internet can believe in levels of barbarism almost beyond human imagining.

Meanwhile, in this week of 1976, something strange was occurring.

For some reason, Super Spider-Man with the Super-Heroes switched back to a weekend publication date before switching back to a midweek date a few days later. Whether this was a strange and baffling marketing ploy or just a mistake, I cannot say.

But, while we wait for that delayed comic to hit the racks, it's time to see what Marvel UK's other comics were doing on this day of forty years ago.

Marvel UK, Avengers #145, The Sentry

Quicksilver's awesome tactic of defeating giant robots by bouncing off them and then landing on his backside proves somewhat futile, as the early stages of the Kree/Skrull War rumble on.

He should try that tactic he used against the Sentinels. The one that involved him running face-first into a wall and nearly killing himself in the process. Granted, it wasn't the most oft-repeatable of tactics but it did actually work.

And he found a wife because of it. Someone needs to tell him he'll never find a wife by bouncing off things and landing on his backside.

Marvel UK, The Titans #36, Fantastic Four

The Thing's still fighting Torgo.

Marvel UK, Planet of the Apes #88, Dracula Lives

It's the, "Long-awaited merger of Marvel's mightiest mags!"

But long-awaited by whom? I can't remember ever thinking, "I wish they'd get on with it and merge Dracula Lives and Planet of the Apes." In fact, it was a thought that had never occurred to me.

But then again, what if it's true? What if the Marvel UK offices really had been bombarded for years with letters demanding the two mags merge? Just who were the people who sent those letters and, having got what they'd wanted, did they ever regret it?

I wonder if, even as they got their hands on this week's mag, they were composing letters to Marvel UK, demanding that they merge it with Mighty World of Marvel as well?

Mighty World of Marvel #195, Hulk vs Missing Link

That's a much better drawn cover than we're used to from Mighty World of Marvel. Apparently, it's by Keith Pollard which may well explain it.

I suspect the Daredevil tale may have been Nighthawk's second appearance but I could be totally wrong.

Given his resemblance to Batman, and Daredevil's resemblance to Batman I can see why it would have struck Marvel to have the two meet.


Anonymous said...

Just like in Earth's distant past and it's not too distant future, barbarism reigns on this blog.
Was this the U.K.'s introduction to the Macabre Man-Thing? As you know we've had problems with swamp monsters over here for years, (Solomon Grundy, Swamp Thing, the Glob, the Heap, and I think there was one called the Lump) but the cool thing about the Man-Thing was is that he was the Guardian of the Nexus of All Realities. Not too shabby.
Also, he could burn your face off if you showed any fear in his presence.

Anonymous said...

This was the only time that Dracula featured so prominently on the cover of POTA & Dracula Lives - and he disappeared completely from the comic after just five issues which meant that the final 31 issues of POTA & Dracula Lives contained no Dracula at all. I'm baffled how Marvel UK got away with that as surely it was illegal under the Trades Descriptions Act 1968 which states that no product should deliberately mislead the public - I'd say a comic that features the word "Dracula" very prominently on the cover without any trace of Dracula inside was certainly misleading the public !

Anonymous said...

Colin, maybe they should have called those issues "Dracula Doesn't Live Here Anymore" for the sake of truth in advertising.
Or maybe, "Dracula Lives But Not Here."

Steve W. said...

M.P, Swampie had previously appeared in the pages of Dracula Lives. He'd also appeared as a guest star in Ka-Zar's strip in Planet of the Apes. On top of that, his meeting with Shang-Chi had been reprinted in Marvel UK's Avengers mag, so he was pretty well known to UK readers by this time.