Thursday, 15 December 2016

December 15th, 1976 - Marvel UK, 40 years ago this week.

Never mind all the fallout from the US election result. There's an even more important result in.

And that's the final standings for this site's legendary, "How do you pronounce, 'Maggia?'" poll.

These are those results:
  • Mag-ear. 9 votes (29%).
  • Ma-gear. 1 vote (3%).
  • Madge-ear. 1 vote (3%).
  • Ma-jeer. 2 votes (6%).
  • Some other way altogether. 11 votes (35%).
  • I don't pronounce it any way. To speak of the Maggia is to die. 7 votes (22%).
So, there you have it. It's official. "Maggia," is pronounced some other way altogether. At last, decades of confusion are finally dispelled.

In retrospect, I can't help feeling I dropped a bit of a clanger when I composed the poll without taking into account the fact that many people on the internet are rhotic and therefore don't pronounce the word, "Ear," the way that most people in England do, thus causing no end of confusion and torment for the vote. Anyway, if you have further thoughts on how the word is pronounced, you're welcome to share them in the comments box below.

In the meantime, what were our favourite Marvel UK mags up to in an era when people were more concerned about the threat of Maggie than the Maggia?

Marvel UK, Captain Britain #10

Betsy Braddock there, in the days when she was a posh, white Englishwoman and not an Asian ninja mutant psychic armed with mind-daggers.

People might knock the literary value of comics but, surely, only a comic could give you that kind of a character development.

Marvel UK, Planet of the Apes #113, Battle

A cover that's a strange mash-up of both Battle and Beneath the Planet of the Apes.

I'm not totally sure who the red-haired, blue individual is on the left of the cover.

Judging by that blurb, it would seem that Conan's been shunted out of Mighty World of Marvel.

But why?

What dread turmoil could possibly have driven such a sturdy character from his normal home?

Mighty World of Marvel #220, Nick Fury

Here's our answer to that previous question!

The entire nation celebrates as Nick Fury and his Howling Commandos invade The Mighty World of Marvel!

Or possibly not.

To be honest, I can't help feeling I'd have been a lot happier if such a move had never happened. At the time, I viewed it as a catastrophic development for Marvel UK's flagship title - and I still do. Leaving aside the fact that I hated the strip, it didn't tie in at all with the feel of the rest of the comic.

Super Spider-Man and the Titans #201, Peter Parker is dead

At last, the Clone Saga is laid to rest and we never need worry about it ever again, as our hero dumps his replica in an incinerator and destroys him to pieces.

Blimey, that's a bit dark.

I take it the Captain America tale's the one in which the sentinel of liberty appoints Rick Jones as his sidekick.

You can read a review of that very tale by clicking on this very link.

And don't forget to vote in our Rick Jones poll at the top of this page. A feature unique and exclusive to this ground-breaking blog.


Anonymous said...

Now that reality is proving that polls are completely useless, it seems you have decided to hold them regularly, Steve. Still, at least you don't have to worry about all the rhotic types out there this time round, with the Rick Jones poll.

Having given up on X-Men comics around the time John Byrne stopped drawing them, I've always been a bit unclear on how exactly Brian Braddock's sister became a deadly Asian mutant ninja assassin, so I looked it up.
I suppose that's greater realism in comics for you...


Steve W. said...

It has to be said that, reading that biography, she's had an eventful life.

Anonymous said...

I voted for Mag-ear because it sounded closest to Maggie-ah which is how I've always pronounced it. Looking back on Captain Britain it seems absurd now that Brian Braddock was presented as an everyman Peter Parker-type when he actually lived in Braddock manor and so was obviously posh and privileged. On the other hand we are living in a time when Donald Trump, Nigel Farage and Boris Johnson are "anti-establishment"...the American establishment must be terrified of those big tax cuts coming their way. I completely agree about Sgt. Fury but he soon left MWOM to star in his own comic, "Fury", which flopped so he went back to MWOM...why didn't Marvel UK just drop Sgt. Fury altogether after the failure of "Fury"...bah. And I wish they had dumped the bloody Invaders too as I couldn't stand them either.

Anonymous said...

If somebody made a clone of me, I wouldn't kill him, I'd put the handsome S.O.B. to work, doing the laundry and cleaning around here and impersonating me at family functions.


dangermash aka The Artistic Actuary said...

MWOM is fast becoming the new Titans. Picking up the dross that nobody else wants.

Anonymous said...

I recall reading that when Neil Tennant was the editor of the Marvel UK line, war comics were very popular (presumably Battle, Warlord etc). Someone obviously thought Sgt Fury would grab piece of the action, but Kirby's wartime tales were mile apart from Charlie's war and its like.


Anonymous said...

And I've read that Neil Tennant wanted a Marvel war weekly which featured home-grown strips about British soldiers not Sgt. Fury...

Anonymous said...

Either way, Marvel UK were a little late trying to crash the war comic market - by '76 both DC Thompson and IPC had moved on from Warlord and Battle to Bullet and Action respectively. And the first issue of 2000AD wasn't far off by this point...

Mind you, even if they'd been more on the ball seems unlikely kids into Major Eazy or Darkie's Mob would have taken to old Howling Commando reprints, so Tennant wanting to do new stuff makes sense.
I suppose the company would have assumed it was a waste of money to commission original work when they already had a licence to use old stuff for free... I recall reading that Dez Skinn wanted to do Warrior through Marvel UK, but couldn't justify initial costs to the suits.
Seems shortsighted in retrospect.(Easy to say after the event, of course)