Sunday, 21 August 2016

Sheffield's Most Wanted. Part 18: Close Encounters of the 3rd Kind. Marvel Super Special #3.

Marvel Super Special, Close Encounters of the 3rd Kind, movie adaptation It's back! That legendary feature where I talk about comics I never had as a youth but always wanted.

And that means it's time to get cinematical!

How well I recall the adverts for Marvel Super Special #3. Then again, it's hard to forget them, as they seemed to be a regular feature on the backs of Marvel UK's mags for months - if not years - on end.

But, even without that, how could anyone have forgotten them, seeing as the book featured a movie close to the hearts of all of us who love to make mountains from mashed potatoes?

In retrospect, exactly why I wanted this adaptation, I'm not sure, bearing in mind that I'd already seen the film and it was therefore hardly likely to contain any surprises for me.

I suspect my interest was almost entirely down to Bob Larkin's thrillingly dramatic cover and the never-ending appeal of flying saucers and little grey men. Not to mention the flat-topped mountain whose shape so reminded me of the slag heaps of South Yorkshire and the North Midlands that I was so familiar with in my youth. You see? If Steven Spielberg had grown up where I did, that film would have had a whole lot less mystery and glamour.

Then again, if he'd grown up where I did, E.T. would have been called Ee! Tea! and been a much different experience.

All that aside, my critical faculties tell me there's an obvious problem with doing a comic book adaptation of Close Encounters of the Third Kind.

And that's that the whole movie hinges on a piece of music.

Bearing in mind that the one thing that comics can't do is music, how could it possibly be viable to do a comic book adaptation of it?

I have no idea.

Given that I've still never seen a copy of the thing, I fear the matter will have to remain as great a mystery to me as the true motives of the alien visitors who kidnap me from my bed every night and subject me to their nightmarish experiments.

I wouldn't mind but they're experiments in comedy improv.

Reader, words cannot express the dread horror of it all.


Anonymous said...

I see what you mean about film adaptations, Steve, but I reckon plot doesn't matter as much as style and visual flair; personally, I'll always prefer Jack Kirby to Stanley Kubrick.
Although Close Encounters doesn't really back me up on that, as you'd expect something better from Archie Goodwin and Walt Simonson. Still, if you want to finally see it for yourself...


Steve W. said...

Thanks for the link, Sean. I shall give it a good read.

Anonymous said...

Ee! Tea! Marvellous. xx

pete doree said...

Yeah, Archie and Walt do a great job, especially considering Walt was restricted to doing a couple of sketches on restaurant napkins based on grainy photos he was vaguely shown. Me and my gang all bought this at the time ( as the only Marvel Super Special's that ever came into our newsagents were just of films the shop had heard of, so no Kiss but plenty of this and Battlestar Galactica )and loved it, even if for some reason, the armadillos at Marvel hadn't used the stapler properly and everybody's copy fell apart on first reading. Alien intervention? Who knows...

Anonymous said...

I agree with Sean, Jack Kirby's adaption of 2001: Space Odyssey was absolutely fantastic. Wow, crazy imagery. Best adaption I've seen. I still have the old, mangled, beat-up copy my mother bought for me in the mid-seventies.
I think Kirby hit it out of the park there. The subsequent regular comic series wasn't great, but it did give us Machine Man, the walking Swiss Army knife.

Anonymous said...

Much as I hate to disagree with anyone agreeing with me, MP - I loved Kirby's regular 2001 monthly. Especially issues 5 and 6, the ones with the alien that looked like Tana Nile.
Less Kubrick, and Mike Royer on inks! Probably would have been better at Treasury size though!

Pete - Yeah, Close Encounters and Battlestar Galactica were on sale everywhere round my way too, but try and find the Buscema/Alcala full colour Conan issue...?Forget it!
Although to be fair, I don't recall seeing the Xanadu adaptation - Rich Buckler and Sienkiewicz draw Olivia Newton-John! - in the shops either...
You win some , you lose some.