Thursday, 30 June 2016

June 30th, 1976 - Marvel UK, 40 years ago this week.

June 30th, 1976, was a very special day.


Because, according to Wikipedia, on that day, nothing whatsoever happened anywhere in the whole world.

It shows how little they know.

Because, even at that very moment, the heroes of Marvel UK were battling evil, left, right and often centre.

How did they do it?

Here's where we find out.

Marvel UK, Avengers #146, Neal Adams

Neal Adams arrives on the Avengers, even as their comic approaches its twilight days. It seems that even the power of Adams couldn't save them.

It's just struck me that the Vision's far too big on this cover. He appears to be no closer to us than Quicksilver and the Scarlet Witch but he absolutely towers over them. Has he been swallowing Hank Pym's growth serum?

Marvel UK, Planet of the Apes #89

That's a very dramatic cover and I remember having liked it so much when I was a youth that I whipped out my pencil and my sketchpad and copied it.

I still have no memory at all of Captain Marvel's second run in the comic. What kind of fool am I? How could I have forgotten about it?

Super Spider-Man with the Super-Heroes #177

The fake Vulture's still causing trouble and we get Thor's battle with a giant hand in space. How could anyone not love it?

Mighty World of Marvel #196, Hulk vs Wendigo

The Hulk's still messing around in Canada.

I do remember virtually praying for the X-Men to disappear from the pages of Mighty World of Marvel.

Tragically, they hung around for a fair while. At the time, I wondered if my misery would never end.

Marvel UK, The Titans #37, Fantastic Four vs Frightful Four

Hooray! The Frightful Four are back and Agatha Harkness makes her debut.

I loved this tale as a kid, with its Gothic crepuscularity and melodramatic haunted housedness.

On top of that, we get the origin of Tiger Shark, a tale I found to be particularly stylishly drawn.

And even more on top of that; for some reason, I had two copies of this issue, which meant I could colour it in with my trusty coloured pencils and still retain a clear conscience.


Unknown said...

Steve, that would have been a very fitting final issue cover for the Avengers. They should have made your wish come true about the X-Men and merged the title straight into MWOM there and then.

Steve W. said...

It does have a very final look to it, doesn't it?

The Artistic Actuary said...

With Kazar and Captain Marvel featuring in POTA with DL, does that mean there was no Dracula strip?

And I've never liked the captions on that Spider-Man cover. He didn't meet the vulture minutes ago he last met him years ago. And he didn't put him behind bars. He crushed the vulture's power pack and the vulture flew off with his tail between his legs while Spidey passed out in the street. In the American numbering, I reckon this would have been around ASM #64?

Anonymous said...

Dangermash, Dracula WAS in that issue of POTA & Dracula Lives but only for another three weeks then he disappeared from the comic for good. Steve, I totally agree with you about the original X-Men (but Kid Robson liked them - well, somebody had to, eh Kid ?). And let's celebrate the downfall of Boris f****** Johnson, hooray !!!!

Anonymous said...

Was that F.F. story featuring Agatha Harkness the one where she sics that creepy, diabolical cat-shaped familiar of hers on the Frightful Four? Those guys bolted out of there faster than Scooby Doo and Shaggy whenever confronted by a guy in a rubber mask.
All cats have eerie powers, but familiars who take the form of a cat have SUPER-eerie powers, and should be avoided.

Steve W. said...

M.P. It was indeed the story where the Frightful Four were defeated by Agatha Harkness's cat.

Dougie said...

Steve, I think we got the first installments of the Starlin/Englehart Thanos story in POTA and then it continued in the merger with MWOM. I was crazy about it, anyway.

Also, the Conan story in the final Avengers issues is "The Last Ballad of Laza-Lanti". It's a prequel in a sense because the eponymous doomed minstrel is the twin brother of Tsotha-Lanti. He, in turn, is an evil wizard-cum-experimenter who imprisons the Cimmerian in "The Scarlet Citadel" ( a King Conan story by REH). "Ballad" is a bit Lovercraftian and Neal Adams and Dick Giordano supply inks.

Steve W. said...

Thanks for the info, Dougie.