Thursday, 3 November 2016

November 3rd, 1976 - Marvel UK, 40 years ago this week.

Stone, Stephen Walker
It's an exciting time for anyone who's got ears, because my legendary audio-drama Stone is now recorded, uploaded and available to you for free, simply by clicking on this link here, thanks to the tireless hordes at Cornucopia Radio.

Gasp with awe as the modern world meets the world of myth and legend, and everything gets resolved in just forty one minutes.

"Well, Steve, that is insanely exciting," I hear you cry, "but surely nothing can be as exciting as what Marvel UK was giving us forty years ago this very week."

And, you know what?

You'd be totally right.

Marvel UK, Captain Britain #4, the Hurricane

Only two weeks after we saw Spidey fight that French felon the Cyclone, we get to see our very own hero tackling the Hurricane. Clearly, super-villains were very windy back then.

I seem to remember the Nick Fury story being about the 1965 New York power blackout that has lived on in infamy ever since. From what I recall, it turned out that Hydra or some other similar organisation was behind it all.

The last time we had a power blackout round my way, it turned out it was down to a squirrel attacking the local sub-station. I'd like to have seen Nick Fury show up to try and tackle that nightmare.

Marvel UK, Planet of the Apes #107

Was Ka-Zar's, "Metal Madness," caused by the local vibranium sending people a bit homicidal?

I suspect the apes story is still the one that was set in an era between Conquest and Battle.

Mighty World of Marvel #214, Hulk vs Mole Man

It's that one where the Hulk takes on the Mole Man and his hordes, in an attempt to restore sight to a blind girl. I suspect it was the first Hulk story to be narrated in the first person.

I wonder what the, "Life on the line," is in the Daredevil tale?

I suspect it reflects badly on me that, when I first saw that blurb, the first thought that popped into my head was the phrase, "Washing line." Oh I know how to inject drama into any situation.

Super Spider-Man with the Super-Heroes #195, the Scorpion

I remember the Puppet Master story!

Didn't he have an alien that he'd taken over?

Or was it a robot?

Or was it an alien robot?

Wasn't it psychically linked with the Vision in some way?

Didn't this make him feel unwell in some way?

Marvel UK, the Titans #55, Avengers and Hercules

I have no memory at all of that Sub-Mariner tale. Which is odd, as you'd have thought such a clash would have stuck in the mind.

I've plenty of memories of the Avengers tale though. It was full of Barry Smith goodness and featured a chat between the Vision and Jarvis during sandwich preparation.

It's true; I remember the Vision and Jarvis making sandwiches but not the Sub-Mariner and Original Human Torch fighting each other. I truly am a disgrace to the profession of Comic Book Blogging.


The Artistic Actuary said...

I think you're right about the Spider-Man/Vision Teamup story Steve.

And Subby and the original Torch. I'm wondering whether this could be a reprint of the first Marvel crossover back in the 1940s. Who knows, maybe that might have been reprinted in Subby's 1960s strip, hence the appearance in Titans. This is all just guesswork though.

Dougie said...


It's a Roy Thomas sort -of -sequel to the Lee -Kirby Torch/Quasimodo FF annual. Subby fights an amnesiac adult Toro who is impersonating the android Torch. Toro sacrifices himself at the end.
John Byrne had plans to introduce Toro's daughter in Avengers West Coast, in the late 80s. It didn't happen, to my knowledge.

Steve W. said...

Thanks for the info, Dougie. It's strange that I have no memory of it at all but such are the vagaries of memory.

The Artistic Actuary said...

Yeah - Dougie's story sounds vaguely familiar. Might be something thatI I've seen mentioned in that 10 volume directory of the marvel universe from the late 80s? I'm sure you know the one I mean.

Anonymous said...

I'd completely forgotten about that Nick Fury New York blackout story. Back in the '70s power cuts would last for hours but we had a coal fire so we could make toast on the fire and boil water for tea. At the time those frequent power cuts were a real nuisance but nowadays I have rather fond memories of huddling around the fire in the darkness eating toast or reading comics by candlelight :)

TC said...

I vaguely remember the Sub-Mariner fighting an amnesiac Toro in the late 1960's, and Toro sacrificing himself to stop the Puppet Master or the Thinker at the end, but I had completely forgotten about him impersonating the "real" original Torch.

The 1940 Sub-Mariner vs. Torch story was reprinted in 1966 and '67. Part of it in the one-shot Marvel Super-Heroes Special #1, then the rest in Fantasy Masterpieces #7 and #8. That's in the US, of course. Don't know if it was ever reprinted in MWOM or The Titans.

Daredevil and the Panther met in Daredevil #52, but I have no idea whose life was "on the line." They teamed up again in Avengers #82, fighting the Zodiac villains.

Steve W. said...

Colin, I used to love it when we got the old coal fire going. We did, however, discover why it's not a good idea to throw old batteries on a fire. It's a miracle we all came out of it unscathed.

TC, I don't think Marvel UK ever reprinted any Golden Age material. For them, Marvel definitely started in the early 1960s and anything before that was uncharted territory.

Paul R said...

How things have changed, last time we had an electrical cut, we all huddled around the laptop and watched a film until the power came back on a few hours later.
Still loving the blog.

Steve W. said...

Thanks, Paul. :)

Anonymous said...

IRL, the blackout was caused by an inaccurately calibrated circuit breaker. But in the comics, it had to be A.I.M. or Hydra. Not much excitement if Colonel Fury could fix everything just by turning a switch off and then back on.

There were reports of a baby boom in New York nine months later, although that was probably just an urban legend.