Sunday, 5 June 2016

June 5th, 1976 - Marvel UK, 40 years ago this week.

In this week in 1976, the Wurzels were at Number Two on the UK singles chart and all set to claim the Number One spot, with their song Combine Harvester. Oo-arr.

Clearly, under such circumstances, I would have needed to flee my radio. But where could I ever have hoped to gain refuge from such agricultural horror?

I know! In the pages of Marvel UK!

Marvel UK, Avengers #142, the Sentry

Unless I miss my guess, this issue features the story where our heroes battle the Sentry in the Antarctic as Ronan sets out to devolve us all to  the status of amoebae.

In fairness, it'd still be better than listening to the Wurzels.

Mighty World of Marvel #192, the first death of Adam Warlock

Warlock's busy returning from the dead.

But of what import is that compared to the news that we can win a Spider-Man Web Spinner which I suspect might be what the outside world knows as a Frisbee?

I have no memory at all of the Web Spinner offer. This surprises me, as I must have read this issue on many an occasion and a Spider-Man Frisbee seems like a thing that would lodge in the 1970s mind almost as strongly as a Hulk skateboard would.

Marvel UK, Planet of the Apes #85

It's like a living miracle! We can get a Web Spinner in this mag as well! Is there no end to Marvel UK's generosity?

This cover gives me vague memories of the issue's contents but not enough to actually be able to say what they are. I suspect that Tom Sutton may have been involved again.

Marvel UK, Dracula Lives #85, Son of Satan

My favourite ever Marvel Horror hero makes the cover.

Does this mean Ghost Rider's finally been dropped and left to appear exclusively in The Titans? It makes you wonder why they didn't just put Son of Satan in The Titans and leave Ghost Rider in Dracula Lives.

Super Spider-Man with the Super-Heroes #173, Man-Wolf

That Web Spinner gets everywhere!

You have to hand it to John Jameson. There aren't many werewolves who could pull off yellow but, somehow, he could.

I loved this tale. It made me almost want to be a werewolf.

I believe it was also Gil Kane's last story on the strip before Ross Andru took over.

Marvel UK, The Titans #33, the Skrulls

It's that tale that's almost certainly based on that Star Trek episode where they end up on that planet that's like Ancient Rome, and also that episode set on that planet that's like 1930s Prohibition era America.

I think we can guess what Jack Kirby was watching on TV when he was drawing this story. We can only be grateful he wasn't watching Spock's Brain. A remote control Reed Richards, and Sue Storm trying to do a brain transplant doesn't bear thinking about.


dangermash said...

Ah, Spock's Brain! There's a cracking four minute condensed version of the episode on YouTube. Very funny and well worth watching.

Steve W. said...

Thanks for the link, dangermash. It proves that all TV shows should be only four minutes long.

Dougie said...

John Byrne did Spock's Brain in FF with Reed around 83 and he blended it with the Krotons from Dr Who.

pete doree said...

Those are some surprisingly good anonymous UK Marvel artists on those covers there for once, though the anatomy on Daimon's legs are a bit wonky methinks.
' Beast On The Planet Of The Apes '? There's an X-Men / Apes team-up I missed. Plus it looks more like Banshee...

Anonymous said...

Regarding John Jameson, there was some truth in that, because many of our astronauts came back as werewolves.
Man was not meant to walk on the moon. The breaking point came when Buzz Aldrin was found in New York's Central Park eating a police horse.
It put a crimp in our space program, to say the least. We've found that it's okay to send people into space, but it's best not to bring them back.

Anonymous said...

I think this week's POTA was the continuation of Kingdom on the Planet of the Apes. I remember buying that issue and initially thinking the web spinner would be a web shooter. It quickly dawned that it would more likely be a red Frisbee with a spider sticker.


Steve W. said...

Just imagine if John Jameson had returned to Earth, only to find he'd landed in a future where the world was ruled by talking apes. A werewolf vs the Planet of the Apes would have been the greatest comic ever.

Colin Jones said...

As DW rightly said, the POTA story is a sequel to "Kingdom On An Island Of The Apes" (from POTA #31-34) and it's drawn by Herb Trimpe. This was the second and final appearance by Derek Zane, 20th century inventor and time traveler. Apparently Doug Moench had planned more Derek Zane adventures but the U.S. POTA magazine was abruptly cancelled. Amazingly, this story was reprinted in POTA & Dracula Lives #99-101 just 14 weeks later - perhaps Marvel UK had briefly run out of new material again but didn't want any more Apeslayer so they reprinted this story and hoped we wouldn't notice. I didn't "Spin Into Summer" with the web spinner either - little did we know that we were entering the historic Summer of 1976 and The Drought (capital letters intentional) - I well remember the water shortages but I don't remember the heat, perhaps I didn't notice the heat when I was ten - I'd certainly notice it now. And these are the final Marvel UK weeklies to carry a Saturday date - next week's issues are dated June 9th 1976 which was a Wednesday.

Steve W. said...

Thanks for the POTA info, Colin. I must admit I can't remember 1976 being particularly hot either. I do though remember 1975 as being scorching.

Bearing in mind the date changes on the comics, it looks like I'm going to have to start doing this feature on Thursdays from now instead of Sundays.

Colin Jones said...

By the way, Steve - have you ever heard the Wurzels' version of Pulp's "Common People" ? I only heard it once a few years ago but, as far as I remember, it was meant to be totally serious not a spoof or a jokey version.

dangermash said...

Don't know whether I'm allowed to post two Star Trek related videos in one week, but there's really only one definitive version of Common People...

Steve W. said...

Colin, I must confess I was totally unaware of that Wurzels track. Thanks for alerting me to its existence.

dangermash, as soon as I saw Colin's comment, I was reminded of that Shatner masterpiece. I can only conclude that it's a matter of urgency that Shatner and the Wurzels make a record together, as they're clearly like minds.

dangermash said...

Oh man. I have Shatner and Peter Frampton, Shatner and Warren Haynes but Shatner and The Wurzels, that would trump everything!

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