Sunday, 18 September 2016

2000 AD - August 1978.

The internet tells me that not one interesting thing happened in all the world in the whole of August, 1978.

Fortunately for all thrill-seekers, something interesting was definitely happening in the pages of 2000 AD - because Prog 76 saw Sam Slade make his debut in what was surely the world's first ever attempt to mix Humphrey Bogart and robots.

To be honest, I still have trouble remembering what the difference is between Sam Spade and Philip Marlowe.

Then again, I have trouble remembering what the difference is between Philip Marlowe and Christopher Marlowe.

Then again, I have trouble remembering what the difference is between Christopher Marlowe and William Shakespeare.

Literature can be a confusing thing.

In other developments, Prog 80 saw the finale of Judge Dredd's Cursed Earth storyline. A storyline so legendary that even I can remember it.

Of course, magnificent as all this might be, the real interest in this month's offerings is Prog 77's chance to win a UFO Interceptor.

Inevitably, like any good 1970s child, I already had a UFO Interceptor long before reading that issue. But I also realised that, if one is to protect the Earth from pesky aliens, one needs three of them, as UFO Interceptors only have one missile each, and aliens always send three spaceships to attack the Earth with.

If it had only occurred to them to send four spaceships, we'd have been doomed!

2000 AD Prog 76, first appearance of Robo-Hunter

2000 AD Prog 77, Judge Dredd vs the Jolly Green Giant

2000 AD Prog 78, Ant Wars

2000 AD Prog 79, Judge Dredd in Las Vegas


TC said...

Well, Raymond Chandler said that his hero had to go down the mean streets even though he himself was not mean. Hammett's Sam Spade was pretty mean at times, and some critics have said that was the difference between Spade and Philip Marlowe.

Marlowe may have been named after Marlowe House at Dulwich College, of which Chandler was an alumnus. Marlowe House, in turn, was named after Christopher Marlowe.

Bogart played both detectives in movies, and Ed ("UFO") Bishop played Phil Marlowe on a BBC radio series. Small world.

Eagle Comics' Judge Dredd comic book reprinted the Cursed Earth serial (but, because of the trademark dispute, without the Green Giant/McDonald's/Burger King episode) in the US sometime around 1983-84. They also published five issues of a Robo Hunter comic, reprinting "Verdus" from 2000 A.D. prog #76-84. That story was also collected in a trade paperback or graphic novel, as was "Day of the Droids," in 2004.

Quality Comics published Judge Dredd, Strontium Dog, and Sam Slade, Robo Hunter comic book series between 1986 and '89, although I don't recall offhand which specific 2000 A.D. stories they reprinted, and I'm too lazy to look it up.

Steve W. said...

Thanks for all the info, TC. I feel suitably enlightened now. :)

Joe S. Walker said...

Somewhat surprised that they were offering UFO stuff as prizes in 1978. The show had been off TV for years, hadn't it?

Colin Jones said...

Steve, the internet has failed you - August 1978 saw the death of Pope Paul VI and "Three Times A Lady" reaching No.1 in the UK :D

Anonymous said...

Joe's right about UFO having been off air for years by '78 - and before the advent of home video that really did make it ancient history - so I'm not convinced those "inteceptors" are anything to do with the show.
Probably its just a coincidence, with the term UFO more likely referring or tying in to the then new Close Encounters flick.


Steve W. said...

I do know that Dinky's UFO Interceptors were still being made and sold in the late 1970s because I got one in 1977, from a shop in Blackpool. I also remember watching the show on Granada TV in the summer of either 1976 or 1977, so the show still had a presence even though it was long after it had been made.

Steve W. said...

Colin, how could I have failed to have been excited by Three Times A Lady? I must have been a fool to overlook it.

TC said...

Dinky toys of UFO interceptors, and other spacecraft and vehicles from Gerry Anderson series (Thunderbirds, Space:1999), were on sale in department stores in the US in 1979-80. Maybe the shows were still popular in syndicated reruns.

Anonymous said...

Ok, fair enough Steve, it probably was an actual UFO interceptor. Which surprises me because I got 2000AD every week at this point, and I'd have thought an anachronism like that - no ITV repeats round my way - would have stuck in my mind.
Perhaps Tharg got a good deal on dated warehouse surplus, the cheapskate.


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