Thursday, 22 June 2017

June 22nd, 1977 - Marvel UK, 40 years ago this week.

For the whole of this week, much of the UK's been baking in a heatwave beyond human imagination.

But what of this week of forty years ago? Was it also enjoying the full power of the sun?

I don't have a clue. I kind of feel like it was but have no evidence at all to back up this claim.

Still, even if the weather wasn't any good, there was no reason to care, because we had warmth in our souls that only reading the output of our favourite comics company could instill.

Marvel UK, Captain Britain #37, the Highwayman

Hooray! It's a Silver Jubilee epic, as the Highwayman makes his M1 bothering debut!

That's one hell of a bike he's riding, if it can smash a juggernaut in half. What the hell is it made of?

I do love his monocle though. It's amazing how few criminals wear monocles in real life. Clearly, they have no class at all.

But it's surprising how well I remember so many of the good Captain's foes, bearing in mind that none of them were exactly what you'd call stellar.

Meanwhile, the Fantastic Four are having trouble with Kala and the Mole Man, and Nick Fury's still mithering about who Scorpio is/was, while Spider-Man's teaming up with Captain America to tackle the Grey Gargoyle.

It has always intrigued me that Marvel has a tradition of spelling, "Grey," the British way when it comes to character names. They also spelled Jean Grey the same way. And isn't, "Grey Hulk," always spelt the British way? What can this signify? Is it some edict that was passed by Stan the Man and has been maintained ever since?

Super Spider-Man and the Titans #228, the Kingpin

Spidey's still having trouble with the Kingpin.

But what all this tells me is it's not going to be long before we start to get Spectacular Spider-Man reprints sharing the mag with the Amazing Spider-Man ones.

Marvel UK must have seen it as an absolute Godsend when that comic was launched, given the rate at which their Spidey reprints were catching up with the US originals.

Mighty World of Marvel #247, Dracula

Planet of the Apes disappears forever from the pages of Mighty World of Marvel, to be replaced by the lord of the undead himself.

This was a welcome turn for me, as I loved Dracula and had grown highly weary of the apes by this point.

Elsewhere, Jarella's taking an awful lot longer to pop her clogs than Gwen Stacy did.

Marvel UK, Fury #15

Nick Fury's still taking the fight to the Nazis.


Charlie Horse 47 said...

Anyone else read Peter Panzerfaust (I think the series just ended this past year)? If so, do you find the cover to Fury sharing artistic similarities to PP? The long stride, thin legs, awkward body positioning...

Colin Jones said...

This week's Super Spider-Man & The Titans was the final "landscape" issue. The following week it returned to the normal comic format - "Spidey's going back upright !!" was how it was advertised at the time. The landscape experiment had lasted a mere 20 months since The Titans #1 but now it was over. And in another two weeks Super Spider-Man merged with Captain Britain...the times they were a-changin'.

Anonymous said...

Charlie, I'm not really up on Peter Panzerfaust, but from what I recall of the art style - not really to my taste - the more textured approach of Carlos Ezquerra is quite different.

But I agree that Fury cover is odd. The main foreground figure looks like he's walking slow. Much too slow for someone being shot at!
And I shudder to think whats happening with that second figure's torso.

Maybe Carlos was on a tight deadline or something - his first couple of Fury covers were maybe when he was at a loose end after leaving Dredd the first time, but by the start of summer '77 he must have been busy with episodes of El Mestizo.


Steve W. said...

Sadly, my knowledge of Peter Panzerfaust is non-existent, so I can't comment on such things with any authority.

Colin, there are indeed quite a few changes coming up for Marvel UK in the next few months. Some of them exciting and some of them not so exciting.

Charlie Horse 47 said...

I don't know if you gents still read comics? Peter Panzerfaust was pretty decent! A young american fighting in France in 1940 with a group of French orphans against... (take a guess?).

It's worth a look for sure. I'm lucky here in the USA b/c I can just check out the trade paperbacks from the local library. Since I pay $350 / year in library tax, I try to get something out of that "investment" lol.

Anonymous said...

Peter Panzerfaust has more of a ring to it than Larry Lightantitankweapon.


Charlie Horse 47 said...

Right???!!! Or Bobby Bazooka? Freddy 50-cal? Harry Hand grenade?

I bet kids these days don't even know what a Panzerfaust is, much less much of the comics of our youth... :(

What's the world coming too, I ask aloud?

(In the meantime have you ever contemplated the amount of money WWII still generates in movies, books, comics, tours, air shows, etc.?)

Anonymous said...

We have libraries in the UK too, Charlie.
Crazy, eh?


Anonymous said...

We dry-fired L.A.W.s in Basic Training because they gave us no ammunition. They had ZERO confidence in us! Or maybe it was because I was there. Considering my propensity for screwing things up, it was probably for the best. Carnage may have resulted.
It was amazing how light those things were. This was thirty years ago, so I don't know what they use now.


Charlie Horse 47 said...

Sean - Not only do you have libraries in the UK but you have a very distinguished contributer to this blog who heads up like 50 of them? Anyhow, now that the house is full and I'm selling off things on ebay, the library is a great way to read various comics material without taking possession.

M.P. - they actually have LAWS that fire sabot rounds now... They'll penetrate through a Bradley. Oh bother....!

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