Thursday, 19 July 2018

July 19th, 1978 - Marvel UK, 40 years ago this week.

This week of 1978 doesn't appear to have been the most thrilling of weeks in which to have been alive - and this day wasn't the most thrilling of days.

In fact, the nearest thing I can find to an event of interest from it is that, on this evening of that day, BBC One's Wednesday Film was Tarzan the Apeman starring Denny Miller.

I must confess to being totally unfamiliar with the life and work of Denny Miller but he appears to have turned up in a whole slew of genre TV faves over the years, including The Six Million Dollar Man, V, Battlestar Galactica and Buck Rogers.

Clearly, in the face of that level of mightiness, that week's Marvel UK mags were going to have to work hard to compete.

Super Spider-Man #284, the Green Goblin

Bart Hamilton's fake Green Goblin makes his pumpkin-smashing debut.

From what I can make out, the Avengers tale in this issue is the one in which the Beast joins the team and the Stranger does all kinds of things with exploding balls in a baseball park before turning out to be the Toad in disguise.

The Captain America tale seems to be the one in which he and that scientist with the gorilla's body find themselves in the subterranean lair of the Mole Man.

I have mentioned, ad nauseum, over the years, that this was the first Captain America story I ever read, way back in the scorching hot summer of 1972.

Mighty World of Marvel #303, the Hulk and Dr Strange

The Hulk and Doctor Strange are having all kinds of problems with Paragon and the Beehive scientists. Every time I type that phrase, I have an unstoppable urge to declare, "No. Beehive!" in the voice of Kenneth Williams. You can't accuse this site of not being sophisticated.

As for the rest of the contents, all I can say is that the Invaders tale features the nightmarish menace of Warrior Woman, awesome product of the Axis attempt to create a super-soldier.

As if that wasn't enough, they're also up against Master Man, the other awesome product of the Axis attempt to create a super-soldier.

Needless to say, the presence of these baddies somewhat gets in the way of our heroes' latest attempt to abduct Adolf Hitler.

Star Wars Weekly #24

I really can't say anything about this week's contents. I know that Star-Lord is one of the back-up strips and that the Tale of the Watcher is a story entitled Run, Roco, Run. What that's about and how much resemblance it bears to Run, Lola, Run, I have no idea.

But who cares about that?

Not me!

Surely the real thrillingness of this issue is reserved for the back cover, upon which we get a full-page feature dedicated to the Green Cross Code Man telling us how to cross the road safely.

Clearly, that message stood me in good stead, as, to this day, I have still managed to not get run over.

Upon reflection, I suppose it is appropriate that we should get a Green Cross Code Man feature in this book, bearing in mind that both he and Darth Vader were, famously, played by the same man.


Anonymous said...

Those guys at the Beehive had the worst luck with creating super-beings.


TC said...

Tarzan the Apeman was one of the biggest bombs of 1959. And that was the year that gave us Plan 9 From Outer Space.

It was a cheap remake of the 1932 Johnny Weissmuller classic. Most of the action scenes were stock footage from the original. Since the remake was in color and the original was in B&W, the scenes had to be tinted, making them even more unconvincing than they already were.

Denny Miller (1934-2014) played basketball at UCLA before being discovered by a talent scout.

He appeared in two episodes of Gilligan's Island. Which, amazingly, may have been a step up from the Tarzan movie.

He may be best known as a co-star (with John McIntyre and Robert Fuller) on Wagon Train in the 1960s.

And, once again, I'm terrified by the realization that I actually know this stuff.

Timothy Field said...

Oddly I didn't remember any of last week's issues despite buying them all, yet I have clear memories of this week's. The human brain works in mysterious ways sometimes.

Steve W. said...

MP, they did have a remarkable ability to never learn from their mistakes, that's for sure.

TC, thanks for the Denny Miller info.

Timothy, I remember this week's MWOM and Spider-Man issues. The Star Wars cover rings no bells for me.

Colin Jones said...

In this week of 1978 I'd reached the end of my first year in secondary school, yay!

It was thanks to Marvel that I discovered the word "paragon" - who says comics aren't educational?

Steve, are you aware that music history is being made this very day??
The 100th "NOW That's What I Call Music" is released TODAY. I bought NOW 1 back in 1983 but my most recent NOW album was in 1998 or thereabouts. Apparently half the British population has bought at least one NOW album in the last 35 years!

Steve W. said...

Colin, I didn't know that. It's news that fills my heart with dread terror.

Anonymous said...

They were selling those NOW tapes over here too, and I vaguely remembering buying one a long time ago, one from the '80's, because for some reason I no longer comprehend I wanted to hear A Flock of Seagulls so I could sing along with it in my car. I'm not proud of that.
Clearly, I was part of the problem.


The Artistic Actuary said...

I kept getting Super Spider-Man all the way up to the advent of Des Whatsisname but I don't remember this Goblin story and I don’t remember the Beast joining the Avengers. Very odd.

Dougie said...

I just read that very Spider-Man weekly about four days ago. Really enjoyed the Colan Cap/ Falc art; the story not so much.