Thursday, 28 September 2017

September 28th, 1977 - Marvel UK, 40 years ago this week.

As sensationally reported the other day, this was the week when the Marvel UK fightback began.

But even that wouldn't be enough for our eager little minds. What other mind-blowing excitement was the company flinging at us in their three-pronged attack on the British comics market?

Marvel UK, Complete Fantastic Four #1

As far as I can make out, this issue must have reprinted Fantastic Four #132, which featured Omega, who I seem to remember having something to do with an uprising by the Alpha Primitives in the Inhumans' Hidden Land or Great Refuge or whatever it was they were calling it at the time.

More importantly, the mag was giving away a free model Boeing 747.

This was clearly totally logical. After all, who doesn't associate the FF with Boeing 747s? I know I do.

But what an odd coincidence that forty years to the month after this comic would have given me such a gift had I ever had this comic, Boeing have started work on building a factory in my dear home city. If they don't give me a plastic replica of any of their planes, to celebrate, I shall be very unhappy with them.

Super Spider-Man and Captain Britain #242, the Hitman and the Vulture

At last, it's the dramatic Dave Cockrum cover I've been blathering about for weeks, even if, in the days before I had the internet to inform me, I always assumed it was by Sal Buscema.

Inside, Captain Britain is still having trouble with Doctor Claw, the Avengers are still having problems with Zodiac, and the Fantastic Four are still...

...hold on a moment. The Fantastic Four are in this issue as well as having their own comic?

Not only that but the Grand Comics Database tells me the instalment in question reprints the first eight pages of Fantastic Four #132.

But isn't that the tale that's being reprinted, in its entirety, in The Complete Fantastic Four #1? What is this strange and confusing madness?

Mighty Wold of Marvel #261, the Hulk

The Hulk's still on the rampage.

Please tell me he's not still in a rage over the death of Jarella. This is getting ridiculous.


Dougie said...

I remember Complete FF featuring a Ramona Fradon story about Thundra.The Omega story was much later.

Timothy Field said...

Did the FF continue any further in Spider-Man after this week? Ahh Marvel UK and their adorably shambolic editorial process.

The Artistic Actuary said...

I believe FF will be replaced sometime soon by Thor in the pages of Spider-Man.

Anonymous said...

The FF story was called "Thundra At Dawn".

The free gifts were getting worse and worse - the crappy cardboard mask in Captain Britain No.1 was bad enough but now we got a plastic plane from a Christmas cracker.

Timothy Field said...

Think someone at Marvel must have got a job lot of crappy model planes, a number of issues around this time had them as free gifts.

Steve W. said...

Having now done massive amounts of research, it seems that, despite the title, the comic didn't always reprint a complete FF tale in each issue. Thus, it seems that issue #1 reprinted the Fradon Thundra tale from FF #133, while issue #134 was split into two parts and reprinted in The Complete FF issues #2 & 3.

Not only that but the Omega story from issue #132 was split into three parts and reprinted in Super Spider-Man, meaning the FF featured in that comic for three weeks after the launch of The Complete FF, which seems a very strange policy.

Charlie Horse 47 said...

Hulk Smash Puny Human! (Just had to say it.)

Anonymous said...

The Complete FF never split the main feature, Steve - the Dragon Man story was a two parter in the original US monthlies. The source of your error appears to be the use of the cover from #134 on issue 3 which reprinted #135 inside.

Presumably the FF run in Super-Spider-Man continued a little longer because the Thundra story was thought to make for a better first issue, less confusing for any new readers. Seems like fairly sound reasoning to me.
Not sure why Dougie thinks the Omega story appeared much later - maybe he's thinking of the Crystal/Quicksilver wedding?


Anonymous said...

Rampage weekly was soon to print complete Defenders issues and so, presumably, that must have been the marketing team's big idea for 1977. Given the number of stories they were trying to continue in the post-landscape era, I suppose it makes sense as a change of direction. Giant-sized FF stories crossed over with the regular title, during the period reprinted in Complete FF. Did they include these? Maybe some of these (Giant Sized issues) were split across two UK issues. I can feel a Giant Sized Man-Thing joke coming on.


Anonymous said...

Theres never a bad time for Giant Size Man-Thing jokes.


Steve W. said...

Thanks for the FF clarification, Sean. Marvel UK were clearly doing their best to confuse me.

DW, I look forward to a whole new era of confusion once Rampage appears.