Thursday, 11 January 2018

January 11th, 1978 - Marvel UK, 40 years ago this week.

Nothing too exciting seemed to be happening in the world, in this week of forty years ago. I shall, therefore, get stuck straight into looking at the activities of the comics that were about to be removed from the newsagents just as that week was departing.

Mighty World of Marvel #276, Hulk vs Quintronic Man

The Hulk is still battling against the nightmarish horror of the Quintronic Man. A fight that, in all honesty, should have lasted barely more than two panels.

Then again, it'd help if the Hulk ever learnt to hold his breath.

It did always seem strange that he could speak underwater and survive happily in the vacuum of space but he was always clobbered by gas.

Elsewhere, despite the claims on the cover, I have reason to believe that Daredevil isn't up against a villain called the Night-Stalker but is, instead, battling the Blue Talon and is in danger of having his secret identity revealed by an intrepid reporter.

I detect that we're about to get one of those stories where he gets the Black Panther to stand in for him, so that Matt Murdock and Daredevil can be seen in the same place at the same time.

Captain Marvel, meanwhile, attempts to free Rick Jones from the Zone of Negativity. I suspect the Fantastic Four's Baxter Building portal may provide the answer to the problem.

Not satisfied with that, Marv also has to tangle with the Sentry who, if memory serves me well, is causing trouble in Mexico, after having been possessed by the mind of someone who's either a rebel, a farmer or a dictator. Possibly, he's all three. I forget.

Isn't it around this time that Doctor Minerva first shows up?

Rampage #13, Defenders vs Nebulon

It's the Sub-Mariner's last issue in the strip, as Nebulon reveals his true form.

Didn't he turn out to be some sort of giant space mollusc? I must confess I prefer him in his usual guise.

Complete Fantastic Four #16, the Frightful Four return

From what I can make out, it would seem the cunning plan to reunite Reed and Sue by getting the Sub-Mariner involved has backfired spectacularly and that she and he are now preparing to launch his annual war on humanity.

And they thought they had it bad with the Frightful Four showing up.

Super Spider-Man #257, the Empathoid

Not content with taking over Morbius, in order to force him to fight Spider-Man, now the emphatic Empathoid is taking over Spider-Man to make him battle Morbius.

In my experience, you don't really need to force either of them to fight the other, which makes me wonder just why the Empathoid is going to all that trouble.

Come to think of it, you don't really need to do anything to make Spider-Man fight anyone. He'll happily launch into a punch-up with anybody he meets.

12 comments:

Colin Jones said...

Nothing exciting happening in the world ?? Only the senses-stunning second episode of Blake's 7 - introducing The Liberator, the coolest spaceship in the universe (or was that the 3rd episode?).

There's a small change to the cover of MWOM - now it's "Sgt Fury" instead of just "Fury".

Steve W. said...

I still live in hope that, one day, Blake's 7 will return and be just as nihilistic as it was then.

Paul Mcscotty said...

Spot on Steve Nebulon's true form was indeed that of a giant space slug type character - incidentally didn't the Sex Pistol play their last concert in this week (until they reunited in the 90s) I think that was accompanied by Mr Rotten's famous "Ever get the feeling you've been cheated?" quote

Anonymous said...

Was that the Englehart/Milgrom run on Captain Marvel in MWOM, Steve?
Read some of it in the US monthly Mar-Vell, and recall being confused by a subplot in one about Rick Jones, his music biz people and a... um, "vitamin C" pill.
The Negative Zone was the best place for him really.

I was reminded of Blake's 7 for the first time in ages recently when the Grauniad (sorry Colin:) ran a piece about the fortieth anniversary of the first episode.
Can't say I had much of a high opinion of the programme but I did enjoy the Ian Kennedy artwork in Marvel UK's inevitable Blake's 7 Monthly (poor old Blake - always second fiddle to Dr Who).

-sean

Steve W. said...

Paul, it would indeed appear that the Sex Pistols played their last concert on January 14th, 1978.

Sean, the story was drawn by Al Milgrom but was written by Gerry Conway and Bill Mantlo. It looks like Steve Engelhart's run on the strip ended with the tale before this one. I too strongly recall the Vitamin C episode. It's a miracle it didn't put me off oranges for life.

Charlie Horse 47 said...

I still Marvel at some of the violence you guys were treated to!

Sandman crushing Thing's face/skull like that truly strikes me as something you would never have seen in the USA. There was another cover, a few months ago, I remarked about with someone getting their head jacked up.

Well, anyhow, that's my recollection from those bygone days of Silver and Bronze Age comics.

P.S. Me and Paste Pot Pete are from the same town of Gary, IN. I've been really psyched all week, having just learned that! I mean, I feel like instead of "6 degrees of separation" I am but 1 - 2 degrees of separation from Medusa! :)

Anonymous said...

Charlie

That FF cover is a reprint of the US FF #148. It is easy to lose track (despite virtually everything being available online) as my comment last week about preferring the UK FF cover to the US #149 were also wrong. Last week's Uk cover was #147 and presumably next week's UK FF will reprint #149.

Sorry, I'm even boring myself with this...

DW

Lew Stringer said...

Charlie, it's not the Thing's skull being crushed. The debris is sand from the impact of the Sandman's blow.

What I really like about these covers is how action packed they are, and so clearly illustrated. Far more compelling than some of the quieter covers of modern Marvels. It's a shame Disney don't allow Panini UK to commission new cover art these days. Sadly they're only allowed to use existing American covers now.

Charlie Horse 47 said...

Hi Lew, My mistake. I was viewing this on my little phone. By the way, I really enjoy your blog!

Anonymous said...

No need to apologize DW, I even looked it up to confirm that - spoiler alert! - next weeks Complete FF does indeed reprint the cover of #149, that's how much more I can bore myself.

-sean

Anonymous said...

Nebulon turned out to be a Lovecrafian monster from the nethers of space.
So horrible, he caused the Squadron Sinister to gasp in horror at his true visage.
His evil plot? To melt the polar ice cap and submerge the Earth in water, thus making it more habitable for his aquatic, alien race.
Somebody shoulda told him to just be patient for a hundred years or so. We're getting there on our own without any help from supervillains.

M.P.

Timothy Field said...

Nebulon's true form looked an awful lot like the squid monster in the opening scene of GOTG2.

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