Thursday, 20 October 2016

October 20th, 1976 - Marvel UK, 40 years ago this week.

It would appear, from scouring the pages of Twitter, that the headliners for next year's Glastonbury Festival have just been announced.

As a clapped-out old has-been, I would of course declare them to be nothing compared to the headliners of the 1976 festival - except there wasn't a 1976 Glastonbury Festival.

Clearly, there was presumed to be no demand for it, as all true culture lovers were too busy reading the output of our favourite comic company.

Marvel UK, Captain Britain #2

Britain's greatest ever super-hero gets his second ever outing.

Not that the creative team in America are going for every British cliché available but, after encountering Merlin and Stonehenge in his first appearance, he now comes up against a knight in shining armour. Next he'll be driving to fights, in a double decker bus and setting up base in a red phone box.

Marvel UK, Planet of the Apes #105

After just over two years, I've finally developed the wisdom to take Colin Jones' advice and remembered to look at Hunter's Planet of the Apes Archive before doing one of these posts.

I can thus tell you that this issue centres on a story that allegedly bridges the gap between Conquest and Battle. It all seems to be highly violent and a warning to us all of the dangers of inter-species intolerance.

Mighty World of Marvel #212, The Hulk vs the Gremlin

Sweet Christmas! It's a ground-breaking day for Marvel UK, as Luke Cage gets his own strip in their flagship title!

The only time I remember him appearing in Marvel UK before this was when he tackled Spider-Man, straight after the death of Gwen Stacy.

As for his own strip, I didn't mind it but it never particularly gripped me. I suspect that his foes were generally not of a standard to fully satisfy me.

Super Spider-Man with the Super-Heroes #193, the Cyclone

Speaking of foes who aren't of a standard to fully satisfy me, Spidey's still in France and still battling the mind-boggling power of the Cyclone, possibly the only super-villain ever to have been defeated by a fan.

I take it this issue features the Silver Surfer vs Durok the Demolisher. I do believe I've previously mentioned my appreciation of Durok. You can't help but admire a villain who prefers to do his fighting in silence.

Marvel UK, The Titans #53 the Kree/Skrull War

From out of the blue, Golden Age heroes burst out of the dimmest recesses of Rick Jones' psyche.

And, from out of the blue, the Avengers appear in the pages of The Titans, after several months in Mighty World of Marvel. They just don't seem to be able to make up their minds as to which comic they should be appearing in.

I do remember being highly disappointed at the time that Neal Adams didn't get to finish the story he'd done so much to define, even if we did get to see more old-time heroes than you could shake a stick at.

I am interested in Captain America being in deadly battle with himself. I'm trying to recall just which tale that could have been.


Anonymous said...

No Glastonbury but there was a Stonehenge festival in '76, Steve; the last before fences started to be put up around the stones, I believe.
I wonder if Captain Britain really did meet Merlin, or maybe just had a particularly,, vivid festival...


dangermash said...

Taken by surprise there Steve. I wasn't expecting Luke Cage replacing Avengers in MWOM. I was expecting instead to see a merger with a certain doomed comic.

As for Silver Surfer, I don't remember him in Spider-Man's comic. I'm guessing he comes up against Durok in Thor's strip. As far as I can tell, Spider-Man currently features Spider-Man, Thor, Iron Man, Thing Teamup, Spider-Man Teamup and Invaders.

Aggy said...

Power Man and Iron Fist are the Booster Gold and Blue Bettle of the MCU. A bit M'eh on their own but brilliant when together.

No idea what the story is featuring The Invaders in Titans, but it's a pretty safe bet Roy Thomas is involved in it somehow.

dangermash said...

That's not the Invaders in the Titans, Aggy. That,s The Avengers. Last part of the Kree-Skrull War.

Colin Jones said...

Yes, that POTA story is set just before "Battle Of The Planet Of The Apes" but like you, Steve, I only knew that by looking at the Hunter's website. POTA had once been my favourite Marvel comic but all that changed after the merger with Dracula Lives and by the time of this week's issue I'd almost completely lost interest, I'm baffled why I was still reading it. The knight in armour on the cover of Captain Britain was The Reaver and he'd been in CB #1 as well. I really don't remember the cardboard boomerang free gift at all - aren't boomerangs supposed to be curved rather than an X shape. And what the heck did a boomerang have to do with Captain Britain anyway.

TC said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
TC said...

Re: Captain America "in deadly battle with himself," my guess would be (and, as usual, I could be wrong) that it's a reprint of Captain America #156 from the early 1970's. The "real" (liberal, politically correct) Cap fought the right-wing, anti-communist substitute who had posed as him during the 1950's.

Dangermash and Aggy are both right. The Kree-Skrull War was in The Avengers, and the last chapter was a deus ex machina where Rick Jones somehow gained the power to materialize some WWII-era superheroes. And those characters (including Golden Age Human Torch, Captain America, and Sub-Mariner) later appeared in The Invaders. And, of course, the Kree-Skrull saga and The Invaders were both written by Roy Thomas.

dangermash said...

Captain America’s probably up against The Adaptoid. We're still in Tales of Suspense era and, looking back at previous Titans issues with mentions of Sleepers/Batroc/Red Skull along the top of the cover, I reckon we're somewhere around ToS #82. The return of the 1950s Cap is a long way off.

Anonymous said...

Dunno dangermash... I never got Titans regularly, so maybe I'm going to look like a right eejit here (not that I've ever let that get in my way before) but I definitely recall reading a Gene Colan era Captain America reprint in it; the Red Skull using the Cosmic Cube to swap bodies with Cap as it happens, which I guess could be the story in question here, although I don't recognize the cover.

Seems they must have moved past Tales of Suspense by this point though, what with there only being a few issues of Titans left to go...
Not that that changes anything about 50s Cap being a way off.


Steve W. said...

Thanks for all your comments so far. I'm afraid I was tangled up by dull but vital real-life events for most of the day and have thus not been able to reply until tonight.

I do remember the Gene Colan Red Skull/Cosmic Cube tale being reprinted by Marvel UK but can't remember if it was in The Titans or in the portrait-format Spider-Man comic some time later.

I like to think the boomerang in Captain Britain was a piece of self-subversive irony, as, whenever US Marvel featured a British character, he always spoke like Crocodile Dundee.

Dangermash, I'm afraid I'm totally at a loss as to just which strips were in Super Spider-Man by this point.

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