Thursday, 8 September 2016

September 8th, 1976 - Marvel UK, 40 years ago this week.

September the 8th, 1976, was a night to remember for all comedy fans, with BBC1 showing both Carry On Up The Khyber and the first ever episode of The Fall and Rise of Reginald Perrin.

Well, I'm sure it was great and I'm sure it was super but I didn't get where I am today by allowing TV to distract me from my comics reading. So, just what was our favourite comics company up to on that fateful date?

Marvel UK, the Titans #47, Fantastic Four vs Magneto

It's a matter of some vexation to me that I remember almost nothing of the Ghost Rider tales that were reprinted in The Titans each week.

I remember them being drawn by Mike Ploog. I remember there being a woman in them called Roxanne. I remember there being a story involving someone armed with rattlesnakes. And that's about it.

It's a shame as, ever since I first encountered Dormammu, I've wanted to have the ability to stand around boasting while my head's on fire. And Ghost Rider should therefore have been a major role model for me.

Still, at least I have my memories of the Nicolas Cage movies to keep me going.

Mighty World of Marvel #206, Conan the Barbarian

It's the story that had to happen! Conan goes to war with vegetation!

Marvel UK, Planet of the Apes #99

I wonder what the thing on Midnight Island was? And which feature did it relate to?

Was it in the Planet of the Apes story? Was it in that week's Ka-Zar story? Was it in another strip altogether?

I'm also intrigued by the promise, "Special bonus! At last: the enemy uncaged!"

Had there been much demand for the enemy to be uncaged?

And if so, by whom?

And just who was this enemy they all wanted uncaged?

Super Spider-Man with the Super-Heroes #187, Mind-Worm

Hooray! It's the Mindworm!

Everyone else hates the Mindworm!

I love the Mindworm!

I demand to know why I never got to see anything of him again after this issue!

Not only that but, in this tale, we get to see Peter Parker and Flash Thompson share a flat!

What more could you want from a Spider-Man tale?


Colin Jones said...

I don't know what The Thing On Midnight Island was but it didn't appear in this week's apes story which was part 1 of a reprint of the story from POTA #85-86, just three months earlier !! Perhaps Marvel UK had briefly run out of new material again and they didn't want another Apeslayer controversy so they just reprinted a story from three months previously and hoped nobody would notice ?

Anonymous said...

Weren't they also reprinting the first film adaptation again at this point in POTA? At a guess, maybe the "enemy uncaged" is Taylor running around ape city getting ready to start talking or something like that.
Although that midnight island stuff doesn't sound very much like Ka-Zar... are you sure Ka-Zar was in this one, Steve?
I don't know, my memory is a bit hazy - I was convinced Starlin's Mar-Vell was in the later issues of POTA, til someone here informed me that wasn't until the merger with MWOM (I'm sure that's correct whoever it was, but it still feels wrong to me).

I'm equally clueless as you on Ghost Rider. Despite being a favourite Marvel at the time, I can never remember anything about it at all. Which I suspect is not entirely unconnected to it being rubbish (if the issues I've seen more recently are anything to go by).

Mind you, I do remember Carry on Up the Khyber even though that was rubbish too.


Anonymous said...


I remember the reprints of the first movie story, around this time, but failed to notice them reprinting stories from only a few months prior. Assuming it was a lack of available material, I'd have been happy with more Apeslayer (albeit oblivious, at the time, of the Killraven connection).

I also had that week's Titans and particularly enjoyed the Romita FF art. I actually prefer the rejigged landscape covers to the originals.


Colin Jones said...

The first film adaptation was reprinted in POTA #93-111 and then "Beneath" was reprinted in #112-123 (which was the final issue before the merger with MWOM). Sean, Captain Marvel was definitely in POTA #86, if that's what you mean by "the later issues of POTA", because his name appears on the cover (I checked on the Hunter's POTA website). And Ka-Zar was in every issue of POTA from about #58 till the final issue so he was in this week's too. But how can you say Carry On Up The Khyber is rubbish - it's a classic :D

Anonymous said...

Thanks Colin - I was sure I read POTA regularly again for a while after picking up an issue which reprinted the first bit of Captain Marvel 29. In my memory, it was around the time Mike Ploog was drawing giant brains in fishbowls inside Mt Rushmore in the lead feature, so 86 sounds about right... but I was assured by someone (mentioning no names, Steve) that I was suffering from false memory syndrome and must have thinking of the later merged MWOM.

Not that its that big a deal, but its nice to know my brain isn't quite as addled as I thought.
Apologies for any insensitivity to cultural differences if I have offended any Brits with my comment about Carry On Up the Khyber.
But it is rubbish.


Anonymous said...

I love that phrase--"The Thing on Midnight Island."
My theory is, in Earth's future, the now-civilized apes would discover an island ruled by the descendants of Gilligan and the Minnow's crew, who have now descended into savagery, cannibalism, inbreeding and worship of Cthulhu.
On another note, it's refreshing to see Conan take up gardening as a hobby. It has a calming and relaxing effect for people who are high-strung.

Dougie said...

I think that Thing might have been a lava monster from a pre-FF Kirby or Ditko monster mag.
I love the Mindworm and the flat share too!

Colin Jones said...

Sean, on closer inspection Captain Marvel's name also appears on the cover of POTA #89 but never again so he must have been dropped soon after. He then re-appears on the cover of the first merged MWOM & POTA.

Anonymous said...

Yeah, that sounds about right, Colin. The British Marvels were a bit all over the place. Its why I didn't get any regularly at this point - earlier you could follow continuity with reprints of extended runs, but when it got haphazard with the later POTA and Titans, you might as well go for the US monthlies instead and try your luck with the distribution.
Things improved a bit around the time of the Rampage and FF weeklies, with the best of both worlds - continued storylines and full feature length. Although obviously reprinting monthly comics at a weekly rate was never going to work out long term.

(Erm... apologies to everyone for droning on a bit there)

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