Thursday, 14 July 2016

July 14th, 1976 - Marvel UK, 40 years ago this week.

This week in 1976 was a bad week for Marvel UK, as, following in the footsteps of Savage Sword of Conan and Dracula Lives, yet another of its comics saw its last ever issue. Suddenly, the company would be giving us just four comics a week, compared to its earlier peak of seven.

But does that mean we had reason to be downhearted?

Of course it did.

Not that I knew it. At the time, I was somehow oblivious to this gradual whittling away of the company and still saw Marvel UK as an unstoppable behemoth with an endless and glorious future ahead of it.

Mighty World of Marvel #198, Hulk vs Wolverine

A certain future X-Man makes his full debut.

I remember having earlier read Iceman's origin in an Alan Class comic.

Admittedly, when I say, "Remember," all I can actually remember is him confronting some angry people outside his parents' house.

Or perhaps that was Cyclops' origin. Or the Angel's. Or possibly Marvel Girl's. Or maybe Professor X's.
Marvel UK, Avengers #148, Fantastic Four

The last ever issue of The Avengers sees our heroes bow out in style, with Neal Adams wielding the pencils.

Next week, they'll be in The Mighty World of Marvel instead. Or, as it became known later, The Mighty World of Marvel with the Avengers and the Savage Sword of Conan incorporating Fury and Planet of the Apes with Dracula Lives.

How I recall walking into my local newsagent's and asking for a copy of that comic. In fact, the title was so long that I still haven't managed to finish asking for it yet. I think the newsagent's getting a bit bored of waiting for me to finish. Not to mention the queue that's built up behind me over the last forty years.

Marvel UK, Planet of the Apes #91, Mount Rushmore

Every work of fiction I've ever encountered that features Mount Rushmore has involved there being a secret base hidden in the caves behind the eyeballs.

Sadly, Googling it has revealed to me that there are no caves hidden behind the eyeballs. Why can real life never be as exciting as fiction?

Super Spider-Man with the Super-Heroes #179, Hammerhead

Hooray! It's the Spider-Mobile!

I don't care if its existence made no sense - given that Spidey could get around New York faster without it and all it did was make it easier for the police to find him  - I always had a soft spot for it.

Marvel UK, The Titanss #39, The Mad Thinker

Yet another of the Mad Thinker's infallible schemes that's guaranteed to fail.

What I never understood about the Mad Thinker was that even he called himself mad. If he knew he was mad, why did he have so much faith in his own judgement?


Colin Jones said...

Steve, you forgot The Complete Fantastic Four in that long MWOM title. This week's issue of POTA & Dracula Lives returned to the original POTA masthead for the final time, sob. The cover of MWOM describes Wolverine as "The First And Greatest Canadian Super-Hero"...the greatest in a field of one lol.

Steve W. said...

I can only offer my sincere apologies to the Fantastic Four for failing to include their comic. Now I'm going to have to go into my newsagent's and ask for it all over again.

Anonymous said...

I've seen Mt. Rushmore, and I'm disappointed to say I didn't see spies shooting at each other or superheros fighting on top of it. Same with the Statue of Liberty. Needless to say, the Empire State Building was ape-free.
Then again, I've been to Stonehenge and I didn't see one Druid.
...unless they were in disguise...

Dougie said...

Ironically, the strips reprinted in the Avengers were all of some quality- even the Kothar story adapted by Thomas for Conan. Also, almost everything in POTA/DL was pretty classy:Gerber's Man-Thing; Moench's Apes satire- if Ka-zar was still running, it was a bit feeble, I suppose.

The Thinker! That was his second-last appearance in the Kirby era. Compared to the Wizard, he was a tedious villain: plump, long-haired, dressed in a coverall- even his android gimmick was more stylish and horrible when utilised by the Leader. I wonder what Stan and Jack saw in him?

Dougie said...

Just looking at BBC Genome ; if I read those comics on Saturday 17th July, then the telly looked like this: the Royal Tournament, Seaside Special ( Rolf and DLT...oh dear) Olympic Grandstand, Starsky and Hutch.
No horror double bill until August.

Anonymous said...

Boy, you gotta love that dude being reverse-snorted out of the Presidential Nostril on a plume of cocaine....

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