Thursday, 8 December 2016

December 8th, 1976 - Marvel UK, 40 years ago this week.

On December 8th, 1976, BBC Two was showing its awesome gift for showmanship by broadcasting Simple Science, in which Pat O'Sullivan was reportedly showing us all how to use basic ideas to get rid of the, "Zones of Discomfort," in our living rooms.

No doubt this was the BBC's biggest ratings blockbuster since the Sunday morning thrill-fest that was Trade Union Studies.

Well, I'm no expert but I'd suspect the best way to get rid of zones of discomfort in our living rooms is to make sure there are no super-villains lurking in them.

And, fortunately, forty years ago, in the UK, we had a whole slew of super-heroes looking to do just that.

Marvel UK, Captain Britain #9, Dr Synne

Captain Britain certainly looks to be in a zone of discomfort - and it'll clearly take more than even the powers of Pat O'Sullivan to get him out of it.

I know nothing of the Demon-Creatures of Dr Synne but I do know the one on the right's a dead ringer for one of the monsters Dr Strange came up against in that prolonged Shuma-Gorath epic whose beginnings I reviewed over two years ago.

I seem to remember it lurking in the sea, off the English coast and having had a doorknocker made in its image.

You know you've arrived as an occult menace when you have a doorknocker made in your image.

Marvel UK, Planet of the Apes #112, Battle for the Planet of the Apes

Speaking of Zones of Discomfort...

I'm not sure if the cover's a reference to the Beneath the Planet of the Apes adaptation which the comic relaunches this week, or Battle For The Planet of the Apes which it's also running at the same time. By a disturbing coincidence, both strips feature a trip to that very area in this issue.

Super Spider-Man and the Titans #200, Spider-Slayer

Can this be true? Can Super Spider-Man really now be Britain's Number One comics weekly? Has it officially surpassed the Mighty World of Marvel comic that spawned it?

Mighty World of Marvel #219, Toad Men

At last, Luke Cage faces a menace that I can remember.

I seem to recall Mace being what John Lennon would no doubt have labelled, "A bullet-headed, Saxon mother's son," armed with a great big William the Conqueror style mace where his hand should have been.

From what else I can recall, such an implement turned out to be not much use for swimming, especially if your helicopter's just crashed into a river.


pete doree said...

Zones Of Discomfort were a great band. Only the first album though, never the same after the original singer died in a bizarre gardening accident.

Steve W. said...

Didn't the drummer go on to form The Corridor of Uncertainty?

Colin Jones said...

The cover of POTA & Dracula Lives is definitely referring to "Battle" - the reprints of "Planet" and "Beneath" weren't even mentioned on the covers, being just filler. I can certainly believe that Spidey was Marvel UK's #1 comic by this time - a Marvel UK Spidey comic of some kind survived long after the demise of MWOM and even nowadays Panini's Astonishing Spider-Man is the only Panini Marvel comic published every two weeks compared to every four weeks for all the others (including the modern version of MWOM) so Spidey is obviously the most popular !

Anonymous said...

And later he went on to play for The Alleyway of Discombobulation, and The Parking Lot of Mild Concern.

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