Wednesday, 26 October 2016

October 27th, 1976 - Marvel UK, 40 years ago this week.

Hooray! I'm posting this a day early - because, thanks to that impertinent interloper the world knows as, "Real Life," I may not be available to post it tomorrow, and the automatic post scheduler on this site never seems to do what it's told to.

Still, that means we get a mighty handful of Marvel awesomeness even earlier than expected, and who could complain about that?

The enemies of our favourite Marvel heroes could. That's who.

That's because it means they're going to get punched in the face even sooner than they could ever have dreamt possible.

Marvel UK, Captain Britain #3

It's the first issue of Captain Britain that I ever read!

As I've said elsewhere, I wasn't overly impressed by the star of the show but I did at least like the way he smelled.

I have always wondered though just why Captain Britain's staff had the French Tricolour on it. Clearly he was a very confused nationalist.

I'm assuming the Fantastic Four tale is the one where the Thing turns bad, yet again, and has a punch-up with the Hulk. It's odd but I have no memory at all of ever having read that tale at the time. Given its epoch-making nature, it does seem odd that I'd totally forget ever having encountered it.

Marvel UK, Planet of the Apes #106

It's a miracle! I think I know what the Ka-Zar story is and even believe I have a copy of it lying around somewhere!

I'll have to make the effort to review it in the not-too-distant future, as, if it's the one I think it is, it has some nice artwork, and people who have stripes like those of  zebras.

Mighty World of Marvel #213, Hulk vs Gremlin

I detect the arrival of the world's greatest poetry-spouting triceratops. And it's not every issue you can say that about.

Super Spider-Man with the Super-Heroes #194, the Scorpion

The Scorpion returns for the first time since the days of Ditko.

Considering how epic his first appearance was, it seems strange that he was used so sparingly in the strip from that point on.

Isn't this the one where the prison guards let him have his costume back, in an attempt to cheer him up? What a fantastic prison. With penal staff of that quality, it's hard to see why 1970s New York had such a crime problem.

Marvel UK, The Titans #54, Avengers vs Ares

I love this story. That naughty rapscallion Ares tries to stir up a war on Earth, we get the return of Hercules, the return of Hawkeye and the chance to see just how much Barry Smith's style has changed since his previous stint on the strip way back in Adamantium's origin tale.

I am alarmed by the title of that Captain America tale though. Does it mean he's going to be going on about Bucky again?


dangermash said...

I detect a homage. The pose that ape is in on the cover of POTA reminds me of the cover to ASM #35 (the molten man regrets).

dangermash said...

And I just found the scorpion's friendly prison guards. They were in ASM #29 - his second Ditko appearance. Their kindnesses isn't seen but is mentioned in speech bubbles as scorpion escapes the slammer. Although you may be thinking of a story I don't have to hand (maybe in an early Spectaculat Spider-Man?).

After ASM #20 and #29, no appearances in ASM until this one but he may have popped up in Daredevil and/or Captain America in between...? I agree with you, though, that he was away from ASM for far too long.

Steve W. said...

I think you might be right about it being the second Ditko story in which the prison guards give him his costume back. I assume it's the same prison in which the Shocker was given the tools with which to build his vibrating technology and the Vulture was given the tools to create a new set of wings and the Tarantula was given the tools to build a new set of pointy shoes. How that prison wasn't shut down by the authorities is beyond me.

TC said...

There was also a story in Marvel Team-Up in the early 1980's. The Scorpion was in a psychiatric hospital, and the shrink thought it would be therapeutic for him to wear his costume. With the usual results.

There was a Daredevil story in 1966 or '67 where the Leap Frog was on trial, and the prosecutor gave him his Leap Frog shoes and had him put them put them on to prove that they fit him. And he leaped out the courtroom window.

Meanwhile, over at DC, the prison authorities would always let mad scientist Lex Luthor work in the prison workshop, where he would always build a time machine or an armored vehicle, and promptly escape.

dangermash said...

Sounds like the MTU one was what Steve was thinking of then, TC. Scorpion must throw some pretty big tantrums to keep getting what he wants.

TC said...

The Scorpion appeared at least once in a Captain America comic (#122, Feb. 1970).

The first two Scorpion appearances were reprinted in Marvel Tales #158 and #168 in 1983 and '84.

Steve W. said...

Didn't the Captain America one feature the Scorpion trying to mug Steve Rogers, not realising who he really was, and trying to steal the briefcase he was keeping his shield in?

TC said...

As I recall, yes. The Scorpion said something like, "This unsuspecting fool will be the perfect test!" Which didn't really make sense, since, obviously, beating an ordinary civilian would not prove whether the Scorpion could beat Cap or Spidey.

Anonymous said...

It was remarkable how much Barry Smith's style changed in his early days at Marvel. I happen to have some fondness for his earliest Kirby influenced stuff (with some Steranko in there), which was cool in a trippy, late-sixties way. But he eventually found his own style in CONAN, which was gorgeous to look at and looked like it came from another guy. Great artist.

James said...

I'm confused. This reads like you're not sure of the contents, and yet you've scanned the covers. Why not take a peek inside to satisfy your curiosity?

Steve W. said...

James, I must confess that I mostly get the cover scans from The Grand Comics Database who I occasionally credit when I remember to. It's a very excellent site and can be found at this address:

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