Thursday, 23 February 2017

February 23rd, 1977 - Marvel UK, 40 years ago this week.

Have you ever been grabbed by the Morlocks?

I have.

It was on this very night in 1977.


Because, as part of its ultra-short sci-fi season, BBC One was showing the legendary movie The Time Machine with Rod Taylor.

I love that film. It's one of those I can never tire of no matter how many times I've seen it. I especially like the ease with which Taylor beats up the evil troglodytes whenever they appear. Any other film would have made them super-strong and nigh-on invincible. This one had the sense to make sure they can't stand up to a good old-fashioned punch in the face, giving the film a pleasing action-adventure element that one might not have predicted.

But, of course, Rod Taylor isn't the only one in possession of a time machine. I have one. And I can use it to transport myself back forty years and see what our favourite comics company was offering us in the publications that led up to that very night.

Marvel UK, Captain Britain #20, Captain America

A trip back in time of forty years? It feels more like a trip back in time of seventy five, as the two captains battle the never-ending Nazi threat to our sceptred isle.

Mighty World of Marvel #230, incredible Hulk

I remember this one. If I recall right, the Collector decides to capture the Hulk, the Glob and the Man-Thing.

While it's a perfectly pleasing tale, I was somewhat perplexed that the Glob who features in this tale is not the Glob we know and love from earlier Hulk appearances. How could such an outrage against continuity have been allowed?

Super Spider-Man and the Titans #211

Ned Leeds and Betty Brant get married.

Or they will if that pesky plunderer The Mirage doesn't mess it all up for them.

I seem to recall that this tale makes reference to The Day of the Locust, proving yet again that comics are nothing if not promoters of classic literature.

A great big Steve Does Comics No-Prize goes to the first person who can tell me which unlikely cartoon character appears as a major character in The Day of the Locust.

Marvel UK, Planet of the Apes #123

It's a disastrous week for lovers of all things simian, as we get the last ever issue of Marvel UK's Planet of the Apes comic. Next week, we'll have to get our weekly dose of apes in the pages of Mighty World of Marvel, a home that seems an uncomfortable fit indeed for such a strip.


dangermash said...

Would that character in Day Of The Locust be Homer Simpson, Steve?

And if I win a no prize, does that make me Dangermash TTB?

Steve W. said...

It was indeed Homer Simpson and you are indeed a TTB. Congratulations, Dangermash, such honours are more sought after than gold itself.

Colin Jones said...

My first ever Marvel comic was Planet Of The Apes No.5 and now here was the final issue, sob. Actually, I'd stopped reading POTA several weeks previously and the final issue seems a lot more poignant now than it did back then - and the POTA weekly seemed to have lasted for years when, in fact, it was a mere 28 months which feels like five minutes nowadays. Steve, have you seen the 2002 remake of The Time Machine ? It was excellent in my opinion.

Anonymous said...

Maybe Captain Britain could come over here and help us with our current Nazi problem...

So, how did the Ape/Mutant War turn out, anyway? Was Apeslayer involved?
You can't just leave us hanging...


Colin Jones said...

MP, the apes won - it was an adaptation of the film "Battle For The Planet Of The Apes". Surely you've seen it ? And Apeslayer's help wasn't needed :)

Steve W. said...

Colin, I have seen the, "Time Machine," remake but I can't remember whether I liked it or not. I think I'm going to need to see it again at some point.

John Pitt said...

I'm with Colin, it is indeed a sad week for Marvel UK, but worse was to come! I collected all the MWOM's with POTA in and the first one with Drac, but that's as far as I got. I wanted adaptations of the 14 TV Apes episodes, but it wasn't to be. Another new film series would be the next big Marvel draw!
I liked the original Time Machine film too, Steve! Aren't the Eloi just like the Thals?!
Don't think I've seen the remake either, Col. - Will keep an eye out for it!

Steve W. said...

There are indeed noticeable parallels between the Thals and the Eloi and also between the Daleks and the Morlocks. There are also parallels between the Daleks and the Martians from, "War of the Worlds," both being physically degenerate tentacled monsters that travel around in machines.

Come to think of it, "The Dalek Invasion of Earth," bears similarities to, "War of the Worlds," and, later on, Davros bears similarities to Dr Moreau. It would seem that Terry Nation was a big HG Wells fan.

Colin Jones said...

John, it's strange there was never a comic strip version of the apes TV show in the POTA weekly. I started reading POTA because the TV show was being broadcast at the time and I assumed the comic was about the TV show. I'd never seen (or even heard of) any of the apes films so at first I was really confused by the POTA comic but I was hooked anyway.

John Pitt said...

And I guess I am too, his Sci-Fi stories anyway.
Wasn't keen on Mr. Polly at school!

John Pitt said...

There's a potential new series of Apes comics, just waiting to be drawn there, Col!

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