Thursday, 1 December 2016

December 1st, 1976 - Marvel UK, 40 years ago this week.

On the first of December, 1976, two events occurred that rocked Britain to its very foundations.

The first was that the Sex Pistols (and Siouxsie Sioux) achieved TV immortality when they said naughty words on Bill Grundy's early evening TV show.

The other was that Kevin Keegan fell off his bike in Superstars.

Talking-Head nostalgia shows would have us believe that the former of those events had the greatest impact on the British public at the time but my memory is that, the next day, everyone was talking about the Keegan incident and no one at all was talking about the Sex Pistols one.

This is hardly surprising, as one was transmitted at peak viewing time on national TV and the other was only on local television and therefore couldn't have been seen by around ninety percent of the people who claim to have watched it at the time. Presumably they're also the five million people who were at the Sex Pistols' first gig despite it having been in a venue that only held one man and his dog.

Either way, with such trauma in the air, we clearly had no choice but to seek respite in the world of super-heroes.

Marvel UK, Captain Britain #8, Hovercraft driving up the wall of a building in Regent Street, London

What's this?

Hovercraft can drive up walls?

Now that I know this, it makes me wonder why they've never caught on with the public. I'm going out to get one, right now. Come to think of it, I have a hover mower. I'm going to see if I can use it to mow my ceiling.

Marvel UK, Planet of the Apes #111, Battle for the Planet of the Apes

They're still battling for The Planet of the Apes.

It looks like someone's going to have to tell that chimp that at least one human's already reached the guns and he seems to have nabbed virtually all of them already. Those sneaky humans.

Super-Spider-Man and the Titans #199, the Vulture kicks Spider-Man in mid-air, above New York

It's an epoch-making moment in human history, as Super-Spider-Man with the Super-Heroes merges with The Titans to give us what promises to be the greatest comic in the Universe.

I believe this is the issue in which Peter Parker sets out to discover if he's a clone or not.

Fortunately for us all, he soon realises he's not, and that's the end of the matter and it's never mentioned again.

Mighty World of Marvel #218, the Hulk vs the Toad Men

The Hulk's still sorting out the Toad-Men.

I have no memory of Diamondback at all, though the name rings a bell.


Aggy said...

If you have watched (or read about) the Luke Cage Netflix series Diamondback is the villian in the second half of the series. Also the dullest villian in any of the Netflix Marvel villian.

Steve W. said...

I've not seen the Luke Cage series. Is it as violent and unpleasant as everyone tells me the Daredevil series is?

Aggy said...

Well yes. It's a series based on a comic in a real life setting so...

But it does manage to squeeze in a Fan 5 Freddy cameo.

Aggy said...

Fab 5 Freddy ��

The Artistic Actuary said...

With this week's merger, a few strips will be hitting the cutting room floor. Spider-Man Teamup and Thing Teamup make way for Cap and the Avengers, but what Titans strips were dropped? Sub Mariner? Hercules? Ghost Rider? Captain Marvel? Black Widow? This stuff happened only 40 years ago and the memories have all faded.

Steve W. said...

Hercules was definitely dropped from The Titans, because he was in the previous week's issue. The Sub-Mariner was definitely in it just two or three weeks previously, so it seems he was another of the dropped characters (unless he'd already been dropped to make way for Hercules). Nick Fury had been in the comic in September. Whether he was still there the week before the merger, I don't know. Ghost Rider had also been in the comic in September.

From all this, I conclude that I'm now deeply confused.

The Artistic Actuary said...

Nick Fury, being a hipster strip, had already been moved out to Caprtain Britain, Steve. Maybe to be replaced by that Hercules strip we both saw mentioned on the Titans cover last week.

Steve W. said...

You're right. I'd totally forgotten about Nick Fury being in Captain Britain. Reading Marvel UK really was like watching a game of Musical Chairs back then.

Joe S. Walker said...

Re the Sex Pistols, being in Liverpool I never saw the Bill Grundy TV spot till many years later but it was very big news at the time. I remember being in the newsagents next day and seeing them on the front page of the Daily Mirror. It was a total surprise - that week's NME was out the same day and its cover featured turgid pub-rockers the Kursaal Flyers, and was completely put in the shade. Seems extraordinary now that people got so worked up at someone saying "You dirty bastard" and "You dirty fucker" - nowadays there wouldn't be so much fuss if the Queen said that in her Christmas message.

Anonymous said...

The only thing keeping guns out of the hands of apes and monkeys here in the U.S. was National Rifle Association president Charlton Heston, and now that he's dead they'll probably have access to all the firearms they want, thus paving the way for an ape takeover, which I think maybe has already begun.