Thursday, 9 March 2017

March 9th, 1977 - Marvel UK, 40 years ago this week.

Marvel UK, Fury #1
This week of forty years ago was a pivotal moment in the history of Western civilisation, as, at the insistence of nifty Neil Tennant, Marvel UK launched its first ever war comic.

That's right. It was in this week that the legendary publication Fury hit the newsstands.

A British-style war comic filled with reprints of American-style war stories, competing with the output of UK publishers who had decades of experience in producing the form, and featuring one of the most offensively stereotyped British characters of all time? How could it possibly fail?

Well, next week, we'll possibly find out how it could fail but, in the meantime, let's take a look at the comics that were reaching their sell-by date just as that comic was about to hit the shelves like a badly aimed howitzer.

Marvel UK, Captain Britain #22, Captain America and the Red Skull

You can't accuse the Red Skull of not knowing how to put together a devilish master plan.

Why, just look at it. In this tale, his master plan seems to be to drop our heroes into a big bucket of water. How could they ever hope to survive such a trap? The crimson craniumed catastrophe causer!

Mighty World of Marvel #232

The dreaded split covers that'll mar the comic for what seems like an eternity make their debut.

Meanwhile, the apes may have found themselves a new home but it would appear there's still no end in sight to the adaptation of Battle. I wouldn't be surprised if it's still running even now. Probably, if I pick up this month's issue of Mighty World of Marvel, it'll still be in it and still nowhere near a conclusion.

Super Spider-Man and the Titans #213, Dr Octopus

It's the start of the story arc we've all been waiting for, as Doc Ock rekindles his love affair with Aunt May, and Ghost Hammerhead shows up to give everyone the willies. This is a very silly storyline but I always liked it, when I was younger.


Anonymous said...

Hey, its the first issue of Fury. Oh dear.
Something of an irony that it has what must be the best cover artwork specially commissioned for a Marvel UK mag up to this point. Dave Gibbons, no less.
Bet Fury 1 comes a fair bit lower down on his CV than Watchmen.


Aggy said...

Yeah pretty sure you are right Anonymous. Although I did once get Dave to sign a copy of Powerman 1 a 1975 British produced for distribution in Nigeria comic. I can guarantee that is hidden on his CV lower than Fury!

Anonymous said...

I recall the free model plane, in Fury, being a bit of a let down, although the gift in issue two was quite good, from memory. I guess we'll find out in two weeks time. I'd previously read the ghost of hammerhead story in the original US issue, which was brought into school by a visiting student from Canada. It was this week's Spiderman, therefore, which revealed the terrible truth that the under-sized Marvel All-colour comics weren't reprints after all!


Colin Jones said...

I've read that Neil Tennant wanted a proper British war comic with home-grown strips about British soldiers but he had to settle for Sgt. Fury reprints. I bought one issue of 'Fury' out of curiosity but I don't remember what else was in it besides the Fury strip. Let's not forget that 'Fury' lasted for about 25 issues which was longer than the Savage Sword Of Conan weekly !!

Anonymous said...

Not so sure about Powerman being that hidden away in Dave - and Brian Bolland's - past, Aggy; once they'd made an impression on the other side of the Atlantic, Eclipse repackaged the original Nigerian strips for a US reprint.
You have to wonder what American punters made of it, especially as it followed soon after the first issue of the same publishers repackaged Miracleman...


Steve W. said...

I remember being very prejudiced against, "Fury." I did genuinely feel quite annoyed every time I saw an advert for it, like I felt it had no right to exist in any world that I inhabited. In my defence, I would point out that I was a teenager, and teenagers are strange creatures.

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