Thursday, 16 February 2017

February 16th, 1977 - Marvel UK, 40 years ago this week.

On this evening in 1977, BBC One was showing Forbidden Planet as part of a very short sci-fi season that consisted of just three films. What the other two films were should become clearer when this feature returns next week and then the week after.

This wasn't the first time I'd ever seen the movie but I have no doubt it had as big an impact on me then as it had the first time I'd clapped eyes on Robby the Robot, the Krell city and the Monster from the Id.

Were the Krell partial inspiration for Marvel's Kree? In the film, Morbius does claim they visited the Earth in the past and implies they played a part in mankind's development, just as Marvel's Kree had.

Clearly, sitting through that film again would have been a mind-blowing experience for me - but was there anything equally mind-blowing in the Marvel UK mags that had been filling up my life for the previous seven days?

There's only one way to find out.

Marvel UK, Captain Britain #19, Red Skull

The Red Skull story that ultimately ran for longer than World War Two itself rumbles on, with what seems to be bad news for our heroes - and we still haven't even reached the issue where I reacquainted myself with the good Captain and his adventures.

Interesting that the Skull's henchmen aren't doing the usual straight-fingered Nazi salute but are providing us with a clenched fist variation of it. This seems odd. I wonder if it was against the rules to depict Nazi salutes on the covers of comics?

Marvel UK, Planet of the Apes #122

Only one more issue to go before the Apes' comic finally kicks the bucket.

Mighty World of Marvel #229, Hulk vs Abomination

My razor-sharp senses tell me this is the tale where the Abomination is planning to do something with a rocket or something.

Come to think of it, what was he planning to do with that rocket? Although I remember the story, I have no recollection at all of what his plan actually was.

Thinking back on it, it seems to me that it was quite unusual for the Abomination to even have a plan. Wasn't his plan usually just to be pointlessly unpleasant to everyone?
Super Spider-Man and the Titans #210

Hooray! Baron Blood is in the Invaders!

I must confess that Baron Blood was the only thing that came out of the Invaders that ever interested me.

As for the cover, did we ever see the bloke with the metal hands again? Knowing how Marvel worked in the 1970s, I would suspect he was a shoo-in to appear in the pages of Luke Cage at some point.


TC said...

Robby the Robot seemed ubiquitous on American TV in the sixties and seventies, appearing in sci-fi shows and even in a toilet paper commercial. IIRC, I first saw him/it in an episode of Lost In Space, then in a couple of old Twilight Zone reruns, before I saw Forbidden Planet.

Dougie said...

Brother Blood,Union Jack and Spitfire were probably my favourite characters in the Invaders- with the Liberty Legion and the Mighty Destroyer.
On some level,I would've liked a 70s Union Jack instead of Captain Britain but there might've been trademark issues with Union Jack Jackson.

pete doree said...

Who is the Luke Cage villain with the bionic claw? Don't remember him at all - was he like a blaxploitation answer to our very own Steel Claw? 'Brother Fist' something like that?

Steve W. said...

The man in the Spider-Man tale is Leroy Tallon, a former safe-cracker who was so good at his job that he accidentally blew his own hands off. His doctor rather unwisely gave him bionic hands which he then used for nefarious purposes.

A quick Google tells me he was never seen again after this tale, which is something of a surprise, given Marvel's love of reusing villains in times of low inspiration.

pete doree said...

Yeah, with their record, he could've taken on The Champions at the very least. Cheers Steve.

Mike Davies said...

Hi Steve, bit off-topic sorry, but have you ever considered doung a podcast? I'd love to listed to reminisces about UK Marvel. huge part of my child hood/youth that yiou take me back to through these posts.

Love the site Steve. Excelsior!!

Steve W. said...

Hi, Mike, I have toyed with the idea of doing podcasts but, knowing my fickle nature, I've always suspected I'd quickly lose interest in doing it. The same thing happened when I dabbled in posting video reviews on YouTube. After about five videos, I felt like I never wanted to make another one for as long as I lived. Therefore, it's not something I could rule out but it's not something I could rule in either.

Mike Davies said...

Thanks Steve. I, for one, would subscribe if you change your mind. Perhaps a one off with some of your regular contributors? Memories of, and views on, Marevel Uk from 1972 (and perhaps before -POW/Smash?Terrific) until they dropped off a cliff!

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