Thursday 15 June 2017

June 15th, 1977 - Marvel UK, 40 years ago this week.

On this night in 1977, BBC One was showing Carry On Screaming, which I'm fairly certain was the first time I ever saw that film. How I reeled at the sight of Oddbod's rampages and Harry H Corbett turning into a cross between a werewolf and Mr Hyde.

I do regard Screaming as being part of the series' golden quartet of movies, along with Cleo, Cowboy and Up The Khyber. Interesting that they were all made within four years of each other and that that period also included Spying and Follow That Camel. Truly 1964 to '68 was the golden age of the Carry On movie.

So, Carry On Screaming was all very comical.

But you know what wasn't comical?


Despite their name, comics were serious business in the hands of Marvel UK.

And that sounds like a cue for me to investigate just what titles I might have been reading in the week which led up to that watershed evening.

Marvel UK, Captain Britain #36

My razor-sharp intellect tells me this may be the issue in which our hero gets his Star Sceptre, which means he can now fly everywhere, instead of having to pole vault.

Despite this improvement in his crime-fighting abilities, I can't say it made him any more interesting to me.

In fact, upon consideration, I think it actually made him less interesting to me, as it made him even harder to relate to than before. First he owned a manor house,  then he had super-powers, now he had a sceptre. It wasn't exactly establishing him as a man of the people.

Mighty World of Marvel #246, The Hulk and Planet of the Apes

The Hulk is still having trouble with Psyklop - and the people of the Planet of the Apes are suddenly having trouble with the Terror Toads. I don't know what a Terror Toad is but it has to be even more nightmarish than a Frightening Frog.

Marvel UK, Fury #14

It says it all about me that when I first clapped eyes on this cover while preparing to compose this post, it immediately made me think, not of Nick Fury, but of that 1980s episode of Doctor Who where we see a Dalek fly up a flight of steps for the first time.

How dramatic that scene seemed at the time and how it convinced me that the show was finally back on the right track after what felt like years of self-inflicted awfulness.

Super Spider-Man and the Titans #227, the Kingpin

The Kingpin's devious plan to steal Spider-Man's life force and pump it into his own son continues apace.


Anonymous said...

Steve, didn't you mention that you remember watching 'Carry On Screaming' one Guy Fawkes Night - I also recall doing the same and a quick check reveals it was November 5th 1975 so maybe that's when you first saw 'Carry On Screaming' ? And how could you forget 'Carry On Camping' - Barbra Windsor's bra flying into Kenneth Williams's face is one of the classic Carry On moments.
"Oooohh, Matron - take them away !"

Finally we reach the end of the Planet Of The Apes stories which began way back in October '74 in POTA #1 - I say "way back" but it was only the same distance as from today back to October 2014 which seems like 5 minutes but in those days it seemed a lot longer. My first ever Marvel comic was POTA #5 so the end of the apes run is rather poignant for me.

This is nothing to do with anything but tomorrow (June 16th) is exactly 30 years since the brilliant "Star Trekkin" by The Firm reached #1 in the UK singles chart, woo hoo !

Steve W. said...

I think that must have been another blogger, Colin. I'm afraid I have no memory of watching Screaming on a Guy Fawkes Night.

Sadly, Camping's never grabbed me. It's a little too tied to the real world for me. I tend to prefer the more surreal Carry Ons.

Anonymous said...

Steve, now I'm trying to think who that other blogger was !

Charlie Horse 47 said...

Steve, your Chicago Chapter wants to know what Guy Fawkes night is??? I think I heard he was the one who tried to blow up the UK parliament a few centuries ago?

Sean thanks for the reference on Dogs Bullocks. I would say its actually the same as the Cat's Meow i.e., a superlative, lol!

Now, do you guys also say its the Mutt's Nuts?

(Hey - I'm really learning a lot about the UK. Ff you ever have any questions on the USA just let me know! I promise to provide the whole story as far as I know it!)

pete doree said...

Yeh, Captain Britain living in a manor house was always bound to wind us working class kids up. I wonder if they thought they were painting him as a millionaire Bruce Wayne figure? The rich guy who takes to crimefighting was a trope as far back as the Golden Age, after all.
Them pesky yanks could'nt've realised most of their brit readers were off council estates and didn't have a pot to piss in.

Steve W. said...

Charlie, Guy Fawkes was indeed one of a number of conspirators who tried to blow up parliament, several hundred years ago. The plot failed and the government ordered everyone to burn an effigy of Fawkes every year on the anniversary of the plot. This was supposed to remind everyone of the foolishness of trying to defy the government and to mark Fawkes out as a no-good traitor, except it had the opposite effect and Guy Fawkes Night ended up being seen by the public as a celebration of Fawkes and his anarchic work.

Basically, on Guy Fawkes Night, we light bonfires and set off fireworks. In some towns, people march through the streets with burning torches, much to consternation of the local authorities. Often, instead of an effigy of Fawkes, some much-loathed figure from the present day is burned in effigy instead.

"Mutt's Nuts," is indeed used in Britain.

Steve W. said...

Pete, I think it's what happens when one tries to write about a culture one only knows from reading tourist guides. It's like if someone from Britain tried to write a super-hero strip set in France without ever having been there. We'd get a crime-fighter who eats nothing but baguettes, lives in a chateau, has a secret base in the Eiffel Tower, drinks nothing but wine and drives a flying Citroen. The writer would be congratulating himself for his grasp of French culture while every single French reader would want to strangle him for it.

Anonymous said...

Are you trying out for a job writing the X-Men there, Steve?

Was Brian Braddock just a rich kid, or was he your actual aristocracy? I don't recall.

Some years ago, I was staying for a few days near Brighton in November and went to Lewes for bonfire night.
They dress up and have a parade with burning crosses there - it was something of a relief not to see a wicker man - and still burn effigies of the pope as well as Guy Fawkes. Along with topical "enemies of the people".


Steve W. said...

According to Wikipedia, Brian Braddock was of the aristocracy but his family had fallen on hard times, which gave him an unhappy childhood, as other aristocrats didn't want to know him and he couldn't bring himself to mix with poor people. He sounds a right charmer.

Anonymous said...

Steve, you also forgot to mention 'Don't Lose Your Head' with Sid James as Sir Sidney Effing aka The Black Fingernail. Obviously they were trying to ditch the Carry On label as Follow That Camel and Don't Lose Your Head were Carry On films in all but name.

Charlie, the actual date of the gunpowder plot involving Guy Fawkes was November 5th 1605. Guy (or Guido) Fawkes was a Catholic and he was especially trying to kill the Protestant King James I who had been King of Scotland since 1567 and inherited the English throne in 1603 after the death of Elizabeth I. Fawkes said he wanted to "blow the Scottish king and his court back to Scotland". Guy Fawkes was hung, drawn and quartered and his head stuck on a pole.
Remember, remember the fifth of November...

dangermash aka The Artistic Actuary said...

I lived in Lewes for a few years. On November 5th each year it was like living in Latveria.

Charlie Horse 47 said...

Wow, beheading, and drawn and quartered, after death by hanging? Was there a logic to that? I mean, once you are dead, you are dead, No?

I bet they didn't let him give a last confession to Priest, either?!

Hey - I read the 80th Dandy Annual is coming out! Korky the Cat still lives!!!

Steve W. said...

I think the beheading, drawing and quartering was for the entertainment of the public to demonstrate to them just what happened to those who defied the state. I think the head was generally impaled on a spike in a public place and then left there until it disintegrated from rotting.

I'm sure that Korky the Cat will never die.

Dangermash, if Lewes is like Latveria, I definitely want to go there.

Anonymous said...

What was the deal with the Terror Toads, anyway?
It seems like everybody's avoiding the subject. How did they fit into the Apeverse?


Charlie Horse 47 said...

Well, the wife and I are going to watch something UK on the Netflix... Father Brown or Murder on BroadCHurch or Midsommer Murders or Murder in Paradise...

I will say this, UK TV is the mutt's nuts when it comes to murder mysteries that don't offend ones sensibilities!

I just wanted to practice use of mutt's nutz. How'd I do? I appreciate your feedback!

Steve W. said...

You used it very well, Charlie. Well done.

Dougie said...

I still quote some of the later, seedier Carry Ons:
"I was once a weak man/ Once a week's enough for any man"
and our own Jimmy Logan as Cecil Gaybody in Carry On Girls " I'm in Womenths Thingth in the afternoon"

My Spider-sense is buzzing at that landscape Super Spider-Man. Was that the issue with the tiny illustration of Freedom's Five, I wonder?

Steve W. said...

Sadly, Dougie, I can neither confirm nor deny the presence of Freedom's Five.

Anonymous said...

Charlie, do you not like the edgier US crime shows, like Murder She Wrote?


Charlie Horse 47 said...

Sean that is a profound question! I would never have been caught dead watching that show as a younger man! But now that I am 55, and based on your question, ahhh w.t.f.... I can't believe I am considering this! LOL!!! How about Poirot? Is it good???

Anonymous said...

Sorry Charlie, can't really help you there as I haven't seen it.

That was a bit of an unfair comparison actually, as I'd guess part of the appeal of Midsomer outside the UK - and maybe old DC Thompson comics :) - is the exoticism of the other.
Not that its anything Europeans are in any position to make smartarsed comments about...


Steve W. said...

There seems to be some show on the BBC these days that's about people being murdered by the side of Loch. I have no idea if it's any good or not.

Steve W. said...

I've just checked. Apparently, it's on ITV and, according to a review I've found, it, "Lacks dimension or intrigue," which could be taken as a positive review for those who hate dimension and intrigue.

Anonymous said...

It isn't about the Loch Ness monster, Steve?
"Lacks dimension and intrigue" fits just about every British crime show I've ever seen. And pretty much every US one.
Theres just too many cops on tv (Which is a bit real life, now I come to think about it)

Hey Charlie, I saw some nonsense the other day called Chicago PD.
Exotic isn't really the right word (!) but it did all seem pretty farfetched, but maybe to you its like a walk down to the corner shop. Or bodega.



Anonymous said...

PS I don't know why my name appeared twice there, Steve.
If I could edit that, I would. Apologies


Charlie Horse 47 said...

You guys are cracking me up!!!

Sean, to be sure Americans automatically figure Brits are smarter.

Steve, I don't watch TV accept for live sports and Netflix. I've heard of the Chicago Police and Chicago Fire TV shows but never seen them. All the Brit shows I watch are on Netflix!

Do you guys think that there is a Loch Ness monster or...? I don't believe it swallowed Satan, though, lol!

Anonymous said...

Funnily enough Charlie, most Brits think they're smarter than Americans too. Personally I'm not convinced - the Americans I've met don't conform to the stereotype you usually get in Europe at all.
Mind you, admitting you pay money to watch British tv shows isn't doing you any favours!

To clarify things for you -


Steve W. said...

Charlie, the Scottish Tourist Board would kill me if I was ever mad enough to claim the Loch Ness Monster doesn't exist.

Charlie Horse 47 said...

You two could do stand up comedy! Charlie is lmao-ing in Chicago!!!