Thursday, 14 September 2017

September 14th, 1977 - Marvel UK, 40 years ago this week.

It's September 1977 and, behind the scenes, things are stirring at our favourite comics company.

But we the innocent readers have no inkling of such a thing. To us, the only sign of Marvel UK activity is the pair of comics the imprint is unleashing upon us each week.

But soon there'll be an addition to the Marvel UK family.


Super Spider-Man and Captain Britain #240, the Vulture

Spidey's still up against the Vulture and, in the FF's strip, I suspect the Human Torch is in the process of discovering that Crystal's decided to marry Quicksilver. A development I, to this day, have trouble viewing as likely. It must all have been a plot by Skrulls. It's the only logical explanation.

Elsewhere in this issue, I believe Captain Britain and his accompanists in adventure have been shrunk down to the size of insects and imperilled by bugs that may or may not be mutants, as part of Doctor Claw's evil scheming.

Meanwhile, we get the start of a new adventure for the Avengers, as they find themselves up against Zodiac and their plot to use a giant gun to kill everyone in New York who has a certain star-sign.

No, I don't know how the gun knows people's star sign's either.

Mighty World of Marvel #259, Hulk vs the Defenders

The Hulk is still on the rampage, following the death of Jarella.

This feels like the tenth consecutive week in which I've typed those words. I can only conclude that this is an extremely dragged-out rampage.

Still, at least we have Nick Fury vs Baron Strucker to look forward to.

Isn't there a Baron Strucker story in which Fury hurts his eye, an event which leads to him eventually having to wear the eye patch? Is there a crumbling tower involved? Is this the story in question?


TC said...

IIUC, Nick Fury suffered his eye injury in WWII or Korea, when he was a buck sergeant and the Howling Commandos' squad leader. I don't know if Baron Strucker was involved.

When Fury turned up in Fantastic Four #21 (1963), he had no eye patch and did not appear to have impaired vision. I think Stan later wrote an explanation saying that the eye damage was not immediate, but that it got progressively worse until he eventually had to start wearing the patch.

AFAIR, he was wearing the eye patch by the time his "Agent of S.H.I.E.L.D." strip began in Strange Tales.

Steve W. said...

Yeah, he was definitely wearing it in his first SHIELD appearance. I remember the explanation the same way that you do, that he suffered a temporary injury to his eye, years before he started wearing the patch and it led to him having to wear one by the mid 1960s.

Anonymous said...

That's another great Spidey cover. The Vulture and the girl are very ditkoesque, even if Spidey himself is not particulary. I hadn't realised Fury had turned up in an early FF sans eyepatch. What was Stan thinking? It's like he was just making it up as he went along.


Charlie Horse 47 said...

1) Great Spidey cover!

2) Hey UK Gents - here in the USA for the price of $1, something from Marvel called "True Believers #1" are for sale. So for $1, you are getting a reprint of a classic issue which featured Kirby's art. E.g., I just bought a TB#1 for Nick Fury Agent of Shield which is Strange Tales #135, Devil Dinosaurs #1, Tales of Suspense #40 and #41 (just the Iron Man)... All to celebrate Jack Kirby's 100th Birthday!

It's pretty cool. Feel like a kid again. What's also cool is that since these are from a more-innocent time, I can pass them of to the young kids down the street with no worries of some weird shtuff freakin out the parents!

3) Last question: A new 8-part series on the Vietnam War starts this Sunday on PBS. During that time and into the 1970s, in the USA, the DC war mags ended with a slogan "Don't Forget, Hire the Vet" to help out war veterans. Just wondered if that slogan was in the UK DC war mags?

Steve W. said...

DW, from what I can remember, I think Fury showed up to ask the FF to help him invade a Latin American country. I think Nazis might have been involved.

Charlie, I don't recall ever seeing that slogan on any DC comics but I suspect that's because I didn't read many war comics. As far as I'm aware, the DC comics that showed up over here were identical to the ones that were sold in America.

TC said...

Nick Fury,who was now a colonel and a CIA agent, asked the FF to help deal with the Hate Monger, who was stirring up riots in a Latin American country. At the end, the HM was unmasked and turned out to be either Hitler or a Hitler clone.

During the Avengers' Kooky Quartet era, Cap mentioned that Fury was leaving the CIA and had been appointed to head a new counter-espionage/counter-terrorism agency. Then the SHIELD feature began in Strange Tales soon afterward.

I don't recall the "hire a vet" slogan offhand. I seem to remember DC war comics in the 1970's having a "Make War No More" slogan.

Steve W. said...

Thanks, TC, I had a suspicion that Hitler/the Hatemonger was involved but wasn't sure if I was mixing it up with another story.

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