Thursday, 22 March 2018

March 22nd, 1978 - Marvel UK, 40 years ago this week.

Being the great art lover that I am, I remember once asking Pablo Picasso, "Pabs, how do you do so many paintings?"

And he replied, "Easelly."

All of which reminds me that, on this night in 1978, the bizarre mishmash of national politics, tittle tattle and skateboarding ducks that was Nationwide was telling us the story of Luiz Antonio Gasparetto, a youthful South American who couldn't paint - except when he was possessed by the spirits of dead artists. Once under the mental control of such deceased luminaries as Renoir, van Gogh, Leonardo da Vinci and others, he would then bang out twenty paintings an hour, in their style.

I don't know if he was really possessed by the spirits of the great masters but, if he was banging out twenty paintings an hour, it sounds like Marvel should have hired him. They could have doubled their output overnight.

Speaking of Marvel...

Star Wars Weekly #7

It's issue #7 and, already, our heroes are stuck in the legendary waste disposal unit of doom.

Thinking about it, this was probably my favourite scene in the whole film. I'm not sure what that says about me. Probably it says that I'm a horror fan.

Thinking about it, that's probably why Star Wars didn't grab me as much as it did other people. There just wasn't enough horror in it for my liking. If only there'd been a man in it,  killing people with a chainsaw, it would have been much better.

Regardless, probably even more worrying for our heroes than those tentacles is that werewolf that's sneaking up behind them. Now they're in trouble.

Rampage #23, Defenders vs the Sons of the Serpent

Can the Hulk, Power Man, Son of Satan and Daredevil possibly defeat the Sons of the Serpent?

Of course they can. They're the Hulk, Power Man, Son of Satan and Daredevil. They could beat just about anyone.

What's going on with this story? We've now got Dr Strange, Valkyrie, Yellowjacket, Nighthawk, the Hulk, Power Man, Son of Satan and Daredevil up against a handful of delusional morons. How can they be making such a meal of beating them?

Complete Fantastic Four #26, Xemu

The FF are still up against Xemu and his evil plan to make Black Bolt talk.

I am at a loss why whoever was in charge of cover choices at Marvel UK decided to dump Rich Buckler's perfectly good original cover to this tale and replace it with something that looks like Ron Wilson had challenged himself to draw a picture with his feet.

Mighty World of Marvel #286, Hulk vs Bi-Beast

No such problems with this comic. We get the proper, original cover - and the Hulk is still tangling with the Bi-Beast.

I seem to recall that, in this battle, two of the Helicarrier's rotor blades are destroyed and, despite weighing a zillion tons, it still stays up in the air. They knew how to build helicarriers, in those days.

I think that both the monsters may end up dumped into the sea, at the end of the tale. What happens to the Bi-Beast after that, I have no idea. I like to think he returned to cause more mischief in the years ahead.

Super Spider-Man #267, Medusa

I do believe that Spidey and Medusa both need some sort of medicine, in order to deal with an emergency.

Needless to say, like adults, they work together to make sure it's administered in double-quick time and no lives are lost.

Oh, no, that's right, they don't. Instead, they have a fight over it, endangering the people they're supposed to be saving. Those Marvel heroes, they really do know how to turn any crisis into a catastrophe.

Having said that, Medusa was always one of my favourite heroines, so it's nice to see her getting screen time.

14 comments:

Charlie Horse 47 said...

How can you know that's Medusa? You can't see her face???

Steve W. said...

They've disguised her identity brilliantly but I have picked up on tiny clues.

Timothy Field said...

I quite enjoy the Star Wars covers that show the now universally known characters when they were clearly drawn from a third-hand description of some blurry early character sketches.

Killdumpster said...

I agree with you Steve. Science fiction is more captivating with horror elements involved. Stars Wars is a space adventure blended with old western & movie serial archetypes.

Steve W. said...

Timothy, I wonder which comic book version of a movie character looks least like the original actor? I do remember George Tuska's depiction of Taylor in Marvel's Planet of the Apes looking so unlike Charlton Heston that you'd never guess they were meant to be the same character if no one told you.

Killdumpster, thinking about it, I think that all my favourite sci-fi movies have some element of horror about them.

Timothy Field said...

I think a lot of comic book adaptions suffered from problems with image rights for the actors. Not sure that can really apply to Chewbacca and Darth Vader though.

Charlie Horse 47 said...

Am I the only one who found it weird to see an attempt to draw an accurate face while the rest of the panel was less detailed? I mean it kind of reminded me of Mad Magazine.

Charlie Horse 47 said...

I mean One of my pet peeve's with modern Comics is that I cannot distinguish the characters because there is insufficient detail. But with Comics like Star Wars and mad magazine where they drew a highly detailed faces I was creeped out.

Anonymous said...

Steve, the only artist to have appeared on Nationwide in the 70s that I recall was Jim Steranko; given the extent of his output for Marvel, I can only assume he wasn't possessed by the spirit of dead artists.

Pretty sure that I read somewhere that Marvel had the licence to adapt the POTA film, but not the right to Heston's likeness.

I suppose after Star Wars merchandising became more of an industrial process and that stuff got standardized in big budget film contracts - like, Al Williamson's artwork for Empire Strikes Back and Bladerunner really looks like the films, whereas previous adaptations like Logan's Run, 2001 and even Star Wars have more of a Marvel comic feel.

-sean



Killdumpster said...

Remember when the PHANTOM movie with Billy Zane came out? The eyes one the action figures looked like mogoliods. No one bought them, especially since it wasn't a giant hit. Someone told me they're collectable now.

Anonymous said...

Of course the best science fiction movies are also horror movies. The Thing (1980's version), Invasion of the Body Snatchers ('70's version) Alien, and that Hannah Montana movie. All of these show us a horrible possible future devoid of hope.

M.P.

Anonymous said...

Like Sean, I've read that Marvel weren't allowed to reproduce Charlton Heston's likeness...

...so they used Brian Blessed's likeness instead :D

Charlie Horse 47 said...

Killdumpster - you get the NO PRIZE from CH-47, LOL! You are first person, besides me, in this millennium I've heard use the word "mongoloid." I used it a few years ago, to describe someone's appearance, and boy oh boy... daggers! If looks could kill... I'd have been flayed alive and then probably filleted!

Steve W. said...

I too have read that Charlton Heston's face was off-limits to George Tuska. There's a line I never expected to ever have to type, before I had a blog.

Sadly, I have never seen any of the Phantom movie merchandising. Then again, I don't think I've ever seen more than a few minutes of the film either.

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