Thursday, 23 November 2017

November 23rd, 1977 - Marvel UK, 40 years ago this week.

In this week of 1977, ABBA were at Number One on the UK singles chart with Name of the Game.

But, elsewhere on that chart, Punk and New Wave were starting to make their presence felt, with Elvis Costello's Watching the Detectives, Tom Robinson's 2-4-6-8 Motorway, the Boomtown Rats' Mary of the Fourth Form, The Jam's Modern World and the Sex Pistols' Holiday in the Sun all featuring.

Then again, upon that chart, we could also find the Carpenters, Crystal Gayle and The Brighouse and Rastrick Brass Band, while the determinedly alarming Ram Jam Band were battling it out with The Dooleys, and Kenny Everett was going head to head with Nazareth. Truly the singles chart of 1977 was a schizophrenic place indeed.

Speaking of which...

Super Spider-Man and Captain Britain #250, Dr Faustus

He might be a master of psychology but that doesn't mean Dr Faustus can't get physical.

If I remember right, the sinister psychiatrist's plan is to convince Spider-Man that he's his ally, so he'll help him commit a robbery. I remember Doctor Octopus having also used this self-same tactic many moons earlier.

Needless to say, just as Octopus failed in his bid, the Freudian felon also comes a cropper, as our hero quickly regains his senses and lets his fists give Faustus and his men the aversion therapy they've been asking for.

Rampage #6, the Defenders

My first assumption was that the large character on this cover is the Living Colossus but, as far as I'm aware, Livvie is a good guy who even once tackled  the might of Fin Fang Foom for the good of humanity, while the individual on this cover appears to have nothing in his heart but ill will.

On other matters, I espy the Valkyrie making her first appearance on the title's cover and clearly setting out to emulate more established heroines like Sue Storm by finding herself in the grip of a giant hand on her debut frontispiece.

The Complete Fantastic Four #9

Speaking of Sue Storm, this is it. As predicted by Colin Jones last week, this is the issue in which Reed Richards zaps his own son in order to stop him doing something or other.

To be honest, I'm not sure what it is he's zapping him to prevent but it's clearly something potentially hazardous.

Maybe he was about to explode or something. I hate it when people do that.

I do believe this issue's back-up strip reprints the Silver Age revival of the Sub-Mariner, caused, of course, by the Human Torch dropping him into some water and restoring the trunks-wearing warmonger's memory.

Mighty World of Marvel #269, Daredevil vs Kilgrave and Electro

How on Earth is Daredevil still alive? He's just been simultaneously shot by two people (one of whom seems to be aiming for his genitals) and electrocuted by a third.

And still Killgrave and Electro are trying to get him to surrender. I would have thought that, after a triple whammy like that, surrendering wouldn't even be an option.

Still, it's good to see Daredevil get a cover in a comic that's normally dominated by the Hulk.


Timothy Field said...

I recall the giant villain in the Defenders story, he was some kind of doomsday computer. This is either his first appearance where he is eventually put into stasis by Dr Strange at the end stopping his countdown or these are later events where his needlessly dramatic timer had been restarted by events a few issues previous. Apart from being a world ending bomb he also turned into the bizarre legless torso featured on the cover.

Anonymous said...

Is "debut frontispiece" some sort of northern euphemism those of us from elsewhere might not be aware of, Steve? Because that does sound like it might possibly be some sort of double entendre about the Valkyrie.
That doomsday computer thing in the Defenders was the Omegatron.


Steve W. said...

Sean, I can assure you my Valkyrian phraseology was purely innocent.

Sean and Timothy, thanks for the Omegatron info.

Anonymous said...

I like the fact that Sue Storm, with no concern about any post-baby timber, is confident enough to wear a mini dress and stilettos on the cover.


Charlie Horse 47 said...

Ahh yes... that Daredevil with Electro and the Purple Man Killgrave issue is when I jumped on board more/less with buying comics as a full time occupation in 1972, around the age of 11. It's DD #89. DD is in San Francisco. Black Widow joins him. The Gene Colan art was out of this world for the next 10 issues! As good as his green Captain Marvel!

And then, just after issue 100 they brought Don Heck on board and that was that... I quite buying DD more/less. Charlie is still upset about that. It was as dramatic as replacing Kaluta with Frank Robbins on The Shadow.

I think I will drink a dozen Pims and listen to Crazy Horses a few dozen times to get out of this funk!

Steve W. said...

I must confess that I was highly disappointed when Don Heck started drawing Daredevil. I think I've said before that I really liked his early Iron Man and Avengers work but, by the 1970s his work had become problematical for me when it came to enjoying a story.

DW, I seem to remember Ms Marvel giving birth in the Avengers and being instantly back to normal, physically. I think super-heroines must be made of the same unstable molecules that Reed Richards made the FF's costumes from.

Charlie Horse 47 said...

Sometimes I think Don's early Avengers work was OK b/c relative to everyone else it was not so bad, perhaps. But once Kirby, Buscema, Romita, and Colan were rollin... he looked quite inferior.

Anonymous said...

That sounds right to me Charlie.
Don Heck's approach was very old school, which didn't seem like too bad a fit with Marvel in 1963 - if you think about it, even Kirby's work wasn't too different from the Atlas era at that point - but by the end of the decade he hadn't really adapted to the new look.

It probably wouldn't have been so much of a problem if Captain Savage had sold better, and he could have stuck with that.


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