Thursday, 13 October 2016

October 13th, 1976 - Marvel UK, 40 years ago this week.

I must announce I've scoured the internet, with a fine-toothed comb and can find no signs of anything interesting having happened anywhere in the world on October 13th, 1976.

Fortunately, we didn't need anything to happen in the real world.

That's because we were still reeling from the events that had unfolded in the world of Marvel UK in the preceding few days.

Marvel UK, Captain Britain #1

And this is why! It's the comic that's going to change all our lives forever!

Britain's first and greatest super-hero - if you ignore all those earlier ones like The Spider and The Steel Claw - makes his pole-swinging debut!

He also gives us a free gift while he's at it!

Tragically, I never had that free gift because I never had issue #1 but the strip was written by Chris Claremont and drawn by Herb Trimpe, so, even with my absence, how could it not be a success that was guaranteed to run and run?

Marvel UK, Planet of the Apes #104

Will man and ape ever learn to live together in peace and harmony?

Judging by the cover, I'm beginning to suspect they may not.

I am always impressed by how easy characters in these comics find it to beat up gorillas. I'd like to see the writers and artists of the strips try to beat up a gorilla and see just how far they get with it.

Mighty World of Marvel #211, the Hulk vs the Gremlin

The Gremlin's up to no good at all.

I believe this is the tale where various members of the Hulkbusters team decide to invade the Gremlin's castle.

Is it to rescue Glenn Talbot from the Russians?

Does it turn out he's lost his memory?

Doesn't the Hulk then have to enter his brain and sort him out with a peculiarly muscular brand of psychiatry?

Super Spider-Man with the Super-Heroes #192, Cyclone

Forget Captain Britain. Not to be outdone by its troublesome neighbour to the north, France gets its very own nationalistic super-doer as the Cyclone makes his first appearance. Tragically, he didn't hang around for as long as the good Captain did.

 Marvel UK, The Titans #52, Annihilus vs the Fantastic Four

But forget Britain and France's super-doers. We don't need them for excitement - because we've got the Negative Zone's battlingest battler, as Annihilus returns and we soon get things heading towards that planet again. The one that destroys everything that enters its atmosphere.

Given that the Negative Zone appears to be a whole universe in its own right, you'd think it'd be fairly easy to stay away from that planet but, somehow, no FF visit to the Negative Zone ever seemed to happen without it looming into view.


dangermash said...

Looks like Marvel UK have messed up their timing again, with the FF appearing in two comics at once, just like they did for Ghst Rider not long ago. The same may be true for SHIELD. I guess the big switch around must be next week with Avengers moving from MWOM into Titans to replace the FF. And I think I've guessed what the other big change to MWOM is going to be.

Joe S. Walker said...

Those landscape covers were distinctly wordier than the original US portrait ones. And as the word balloons on Marvel covers tended to amount to "Urgh! I'm being defeated in this incredibly tough fight!" and "Ha! My villainy is triumphant!" they end up looking kind of silly.

Colin Jones said...

Yes, two helpings of the FF this week - in Captain Britain #1 and their final appearance in The Titans. The Avengers move to The Titans next week and six weeks later The Titans merges with Super Spider Man - the mergers musical chairs was now in full swing with plenty more to come. Captain Britain #1 was the first #1 issue of a Marvel comic I ever had, I'd always somehow missed previous #1s and their free gifts. But they could keep the crappy free "gift" in CB #1 - that stupid cardboard mask was an insult and mine went straight in the bin.

Anonymous said...

I recall the 13th as it was my 9th birthday. I'm pretty sure I had POTA this week, as well as Captain Britain, but the cover doesn't seem remotely familiar. Two helpings of FF wasn't a bad thing. I thought the post Kirby issues, up until the send big Galactus story were pretty good.


Anonymous said...

"second" big Galactus story.


Anonymous said...

No one will ever know or understand why Reed Richards kept the Negative Zone portal up and operational, even after encountering a giant, armored, genocidal humanoid grasshopper. Science must march on, I suppose.

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