Thursday, 9 November 2017

November 9th, 1977 - Marvel UK, 40 years ago this week.

The last few weeks have been exciting ones for all fans of Marvel UK, with the launch of not one, not two but three thrilling new titles. Would it happen again this week? Were we to get yet another new publication to even further empty our wallets?

No, we weren't. But we did at least get four already existing titles to spend our money on.

And these were those.

Mighty World of Marvel #267, the Hulk

I really don't have the foggiest what's going on in the Hulk story. That man on the motorbike looks like someone who would have turned up in a Captain Britain tale. How Dr Druid ties into it all, I have no idea. And who the Maha Yogi is, I have even less idea.

Otherwise, I am fully clued up about the tale.

Meanwhile, it's always nice to see Daredevil tangle with Electro, what with the voltage-happy villain having been the first super-criminal he ever met.

Admittedly, it does make Electro look a bit rubbish if  even Daredevil can keep beating him.

As for the Nick Fury story, didn't one of the Howling Commandos get killed at some point?

I hope it was the English one. He used to get on my nerves, with his stupid umbrella.

Super Spider-Man and Captain Britain #248

I don't really know what happens in the main Spider-Man tale but it doesn't matter anyway - because it seems that this issue features his legendary Claremont/Byrne team-up with Captain Britain, which was easily the good Captain's best adventure up to this point.

I do fear though that it may have served to fool American readers into thinking the UK clobberer was a lot more impressive than he really was.

Rampage #4, the Defenders

As far as I can make out, in this issue, the Defenders travel into the realm of the Undying Ones and finally get round to rescuing Barbara Norris from her captivity there.

It's an action that I'm certain will have no long-term consequences at all for the non-team.

Complete Fantastic Four #7, the Miracle man

I didn't have this issue - but I did have the US original of it and loved it deeply.

In the middle of nowhere, the Miracle Man creates a city for himself, populated by silent but obedient servants, and the FF get to fall down a huge hole and have a ride on a raft, while the absent Mr Fantastic does things with the Negative Zone, and Sue has a fright from a mysterious visitor for Franklin. On top of that, it's drawn by John Buscema and features the return of Wyatt Wingfoot. What more could one want from a Fantastic Four tale?

OK, I admit it. One could want the return of Tomazooma - but one would have to be mad to want that.


Timothy Field said...

Something that's been bugging me, what day did the UK weeklies hit the newsagents? I seem to recall it being on Thursdays but also remember often going in the day before because they sometimes went out early. That said, about this period of the 70s I was probably having to check every day due to what seemed like endless industrial-action by the ports, distributors or National Union of Grumpy Newsagent Ladies.

TC said...

The first (maybe only) Howling Commando to be KIA was Private "Junior" Juniper, the youngest soldier in the squad, in Sgt. Fury #4 (November 1963). In fact, that may have been the first continuing character in a Silver Age comic series to be killed off.

The first couple of issues of Sgt. Fury had treated WWII like a romp, with the Howlers acting more like superheroes than soldiers. The deaths of Junior, and of Fury's love interest Pamela Hawley in issue #18, were obviously intended to inject some realism into the series.

Their company commander, Captain Sam Sawyer, was killed in a 1980's issue of Captain America, in a story set in the present time.

Dougie said...

The Maha Yogi was the mutant known previously as The Warlock and Merlin in a couple of X-Men and Thor stories. I would have liked him to be Captain Britain's arch enemy.

Anonymous said...

I recall getting one of the issues of MTU with the Captain Britain crossover at a newsagent earlyish in '78. Given the time lag in sale dates of US monthlies, publication in Super Spider-Man must have been more or less simultaneous.
Wonder if there were any other examples of that with Marvel UK. Not counting film adaptations, of course.


Steve W. said...

Timothy, apart from in the early days, they either came out on Wednesday or Thursday. I'm not totally sure which it was. Their cover date was the following Wednesday but whether that meant they were replaced on the shelves at the start of Wednesday or at the end of it, I don't know.

TC, thanks for the Howling Commandos info.

Dougie, thanks for the Maha Yogi info.

Sean, I know that some of the Planet of the Apes stories were, "reprinted," in Britain before they were published in America. I'd also assume that, by the time of the Dez Skinn revolution, a number of strips (like Spider-Man and the Hulk) must have pretty much caught up with the originals.

Timothy Field said...

I do hope I'm not the only one to notice this but doesn't that insanely muscular Spider-Man cover kinda draw your eye to and highlight his 'Ken-doll area'?

dangermash said...

Thanks Tim. Now I've seen that I can't unsee it.

As for the Spider-Man story, it's the second half of ASM #169. In the first half, he had the scene with JJJ and the clone photos. In the second half he's swinging around town and finds the bunch of bank robbers that you see on the cover. In the last panel they're revealed to be working for this huge guy with a cigarette holder, who can only be...

Steve W. said...

Thanks for the Spidey info, dangermash. I do remember that cliffhanger very clearly, and Spidey's bewilderment when it wasn't who he'd thought it was.

dangermash said...

That's the one Steve, with the big reveal on the last page of the comic.

But as we're in the world of Steve Does Comics and only looking at the covers I thought I''d better keep schtum for another week.

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