Thursday, 20 April 2017

April 20th, 1977 - Marvel UK, 40 years ago this week.

As mentioned previously on this very site, in this week of 1977, the World Snooker Championship moved to the Crucible Theatre in Sheffield, creating something of a television, social and sporting phenomenon. Who could forget Hurricane Higgins, Whirlwind White, Steve (Interesting) Davis, Steady Eddie Charlton, Boozy Bill Werbeniuk, Cyclone Sanders, Tornado Thompson, Breezy Bob Blenkinsop, Dust Devil Darren, Gusty Gordon, Pyroclastic Density Current Palmer, Gentle Zephyr Jensen, Mid-Atlantic Depression Morgan, El Nino Ellinson and all those other people whose names I can't be bothered to make up?

I don't have a lot more to say than that on the subject, as I've already pretty much shot my bolt on the matter in the earlier comments sections. All I'll say is, "Happy fortieth birthday, Crucible World Snooker Championships and long may your cue stay chalked."

The other big event that week was the BBC's Sky at Night celebrated its 20th birthday. Who would have thought it'd still be going all these years later? The Radio Times summary for the event was as follows:

 In April 1957, The Sky at Night began. It could not have started at a better time. Within months the Space Age opened, with the launch of Sputnik 1 and, over the next few years, astronomy saw some of the most spectacular advances of all time. Today, 20 years later, men have visited the moon. Rockets have flown past the planets and even landed on some of them.

Reading that really does bring home the astonishingly accelerated nature of the Space Race - the fact that just twelve years separate the first man-made object to enter orbit, and men walking on the moon. Also that, just twenty years after Sputnik, moon landings were already a thing of the past.

"Gadzooks!" I hear you cry. "That's incredible but is there anything in existence that could possibly tie snooker, astronomy and Marvel Comics together in a way that brilliantly allows you to lead into a look at what Marvel UK was up to in the week that bears today's cover date?

No there isn't.

Therefore I'm not going to bother looking at them this week.

Oh, alright then, I am.

Marvel UK, Captain Britain #28

It looks like Captain Britain's decided to tackle common street thugs - the kind who go out armed with a gun and a stick.

However, I do believe the dastardly Lord Hawk and his robot bird are already starting to rear their ugly head inside the comic.

I also believe the FF are busy fighting Galactus, and Nick Fury is still up against that Hellhound.

I think Spider-Man and the Torch are also teaming up to fight someone but don't ask me who.

Marvel UK, Fury #6

Fury is still doing everything it can to keep its titular hero off the front cover. It's almost like they thought he'd put people off buying the comic.

Mighty World of Marvel #238, Hulk, Planet of the Apes

I think the Hulk is still inside Glenn Talbot's brain.

I don't have a clue what's going on in the ape tale but it would appear there's a serious level of mutant-bashing going on.

It seems rather hard on mutants. Have they ever tried to just sit down and negotiate with them?

Super Spider-Man and the Titans #219
For a moment there, I did think the phrase,"Spidey Strikes!" was contained in a speech balloon emanating from our hero. I did like the idea that Spider-Man would shout, "Spidey strikes!" as he kicks people. It's the sort of thing I'd do if I had spider powers.

As for the comic, I believe this is the start of the tale that sees the webbed wallcrawler battling his own car, at the behest of the Tinkerer.

While I was glad to see the return of the villain after all those years, I wasn't glad they'd retconned him to claim he wasn't really an alien and had only been pretending to be one in his previous appearance.

I don't like it when aliens turn out to not be aliens. It makes the world seem that little bit more mundane.


Anonymous said...

Those are all generic, lacklustre covers. None have much (anything) to do with that week's stories, which wasn't the case only a few months earlier. You can see that Marvel US didn't really know what to do with the UK arm, or were close to given up. I guess we're not too far away from the Des Skin 'revolution' era.


Anonymous said...

Maybe I'll start shouting "M.P. strikes!" as I slowly join the queue at the grocery store.
It might be good for my morale.


Anonymous said...

Dez Skinn


Anonymous said...

Maybe I'll start shouting "Look out! Britain's onto us!" next time I'm down the pub, although I'm not sure what that will do for morale.


Anonymous said...

PS Sorry to be a bit picky Steve as I enjoyed the post, but I'm pretty sure in that CB Nick Fury had moved on from the hellhound to "Who Is Scorpio?".

Anonymous said...

PPS Er, that was me again


Anonymous said...

I'm still kind of laughing about Cerebus660's comment the other day about how Marvel should have named the Recorder in the Thor comic as "Nigel from Rigel." I wish I had thought of that.
Here's hoping Nigel the Recorder from Rigel shows up in a future Thor or GotG movie.


Steve W. said...

Sean, you're right. My vast team of researchers tell me that this week features the start of the Scorpio storyline and that the Hellhound one ended last week. Of course, that doesn't change the fact that they failed me when I was writing the post and that they'll now have to face The Ultimate Punishment. I can hear them right now, screaming, "No, Master! Not the Ultimate Punishment!"

Colin Jones said...

Sean, - the EU leaders are saying "Look out! Britain's on to us!" - they are all quaking in fear at Mighty May and her army of Brexit pensioners. Steve, how do you know what the Radio Times of 40 years ago was saying about The Sky At Night ? Did you save that week's issue because of the world snooker championship moving to Sheffield ? I'm very interested in space-related things and I quite liked Patrick Moore (he was really right-wing but I'll forgive him) - of course, the latest space news is that one of Saturn's moons, Enceladus, has all the right conditions for life in the ocean beneath its' frozen surface. I just hope those aliens don't come here - we don't want no space-aliens comin' 'ere and stealin' our jobs !

Charlie Horse 47 said...

Gents - I just read two pages of "Leopard of Lime Street" from Buster weekly Sept 1977. That's almost 40 years ago. I surely think that, in terms of "40 years ago" memories, this ranks as #2 behind Snooker?

My question is how does one get a run of an entire story of Leopard of Lime Street? It's definitely readable and collectible.

Also, how 'bout Roy of the Rovers? Is that compiled? I was just reading where he defused UXBs under the soccer pitch next to the sea side. He had to scale some cliffs and what not. Quite a courageous man he was!

Steve W. said...

Colin, I was quoting the description from Genome, which seems to be from the original, "Radio Times," listing.

Charlie, I don't have a clue how one gets an entire run of the Leopard of Lime Street, other than by buying all the comics he ever appeared in.

It would seem, from my Googlings, that the US, "branch," of Amazon has a number of Roy of the Rovers compilations. They seem quite expensive but it may be possible to find cheaper copies elsewhere.

Colin Bray said...

Charlie, according to this story, volume 1 of the collected 'Leopard of Lime Street' is due for publication in July this year:

Quite how and where it will be available in the US I don't know but it will be distributed by Simon and Schuster which is a reasonable indication it will be available somehow.

Charlie Horse 47 said...

Hi Colin, Thanks for the tip! Amazon says it will be out in July. But no advanced orders available. I'll keep my eye out! Leopard of Lime Street shall live on in glory!

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