Thursday, 27 December 2018

December 27th, 1978 - Marvel UK, 40 years ago this week.

You The People have spoken and at last it can be announced. Just what does the human race make of Rick Jones?

Personally, I have a soft spot for him but I'm aware that not everyone agrees with me and, last week, the entire internet was given its chance to cast its verdict on the man who thinks a harmonica is all the protection you need in a nuclear test site.

This is how the voting went:

  • For Rick Jones: 2 votes.
  • Against Rick Jones: 5 votes.
  • Sort of vague and not clear if they're for or against Rick Jones: 3 votes.

I therefore declare Rick Jones to be officially unpopular.

That done, I can look at just what excitement the world was inflicting upon us on this day of exactly forty years ago.

This day in 1978 was a great one for all lovers of TV sci-fi. That morning, BBC One was showing the original Larry (Buster) Crabbe version of Buck Rogers and also The Fantastic Journey, that short-lived series about a group of people trapped in the Bermuda Triangle and having a string of adventures together, starring Roddy McDowall and Jared Martin as a man with a magic tuning fork.

Not only that but, that afternoon, the same channel was giving us a dose of Blake's 7, as the intrepid troublemakers get their hands on Orac for the first time.

Ultimately, none of this matters.

What matters in life is comics.

These are they:

Star Wars Weekly #47

I genuinely have not one clue what happens in this issue, other than that it contains a Star Wars story and, presumably, more action from the life of Adam Warlock.

Mighty World of Marvel #326, Hulk vs Doc Samson and Moonstone

The Hulk's still up against Moonstone, and the FF are still in Agatha Harkness' hometown, in the process of busting out of jail and about to get into a scrap with Salem's Seven.

Daredevil, meanwhile, is in the Florida swamps and on the trail of the Gladiator who's kidnapped Candice Nelson.

And, where the Florida swamps are, can the Man-Thing be far behind?

This issue also features the second part of the Marvel Mastermind 1978 contest. The title of this feature rings a bell but I've no recollection of what was actually involved.

There's also a one-panel ad which features the Human Torch boasting that, "1979 is the year of the Marvel Revolution!" Have any words ever been more designed to strike terror into the hearts of grown men?

Super Spider-Man #307, Lightmaster

Now Spidey's in trouble because Lightmaster is...

...well, I'm not really sure what Lightmaster's doing. By the looks of it, he seems to be physically separating Peter Parker from his Spider-Man alter-ego and shrinking him down to the size of a Labrador but I suspect that's merely artistic license and isn't what he's doing at all.

My knowledge of the rest of this issue is sketchy but I do know the world is waiting, with bated breath, for news from the Avengers Mansion where the team is discussing its future. Thor's already announced he's leaving and, to the Wasp's annoyance, Yellowjacket is in the process of doing likewise.

Dez Skinn Marvel UK Revolution house ad featuring the Human Torch running towards us

Special Bonus Steve Does Comics Postscript:

For all those who demanded it, here's the Human Torch's Marvel UK house ad which announced the impending arrival of Dez Skinn's Marvel Revolution.

How did this site ever survive without its power and majesty?

36 comments:

Timothy Field said...

I remember The Fantastic Journey vividly, despite it only being on TV the once. Orac was less than impressive though. I can't remember if I was excited at the prospect of the Marvel Revolution, looking at the ads it did seem to be promising a lot more than could have been reasonably delivered.

Steve W. said...

Fantastic Journey was strangely memorable. As for Orac, I did always find him somewhat irritating.

Anonymous said...

I too recall The Fantastic Journey pretty well; I've no idea why, because it was complete rubbish.
You have to wonder what Roddy McDowall made of the 70s - he was in big time films with Elizabeth Taylor and Charlton Heston in the 60s, yet spent a lot of the next decade in ape make-up and terrible tv shows. Funny how things work out sometimes.
At least he didn't end up in Blake's 7.

Were the Micronauts not in Star Wars yet Steve?
Was Leila still fighting the power and giving the Falcon a hard time for hanging around with Captain Whitey in Super Spider-Man?
I can at least confirm that the Man-Thing was in that Daredevil story, along with the Gladiator.

-sean

Charlie Horse 47 said...

Hold On Steve!!! C'mon Brother!!!

That's twice in the last few weeks you've told us about key items of interest but NOT provided the visuals!

This really hurts! First it was telling us about Football facts on the back of Potato Chip packages (Smith's Crisps) and now that the Human Torch is in an ad fore shadowing the Marvel Revolution in UK Comics!

I wanna see too!!!

(Why would the Torch be used and not a major player like Hulk - who had the world's then most popular TV show in the Anglo_Saxon world is beyond me. Thoughts?)

Charlie Horse 47 said...

Man - I am soooo excited to see this Revolution that has you guys so "excited!"

Anonymous said...

You so obviously haven't read any of the British Marvel comics in question Charlie.

-sean

Anonymous said...

I thought you guys were talking about Fantastic Voyage, with Raquel Welch and Donald Pleasence, who gets eaten by an antibody or white blood cell or something. Yikes.
And, also, Raquel Welch.
She was in that too, I noticed.

M.P.

Charlie Horse 47 said...

M.P. - I thought same thing, LOL! Journey or Voyage... what's the diff?

Sean - What could go wrong in the world of Marvel? Have Fr@nk R@bbins or D@n H@ck do the Invaders or Daredevil or Captain America or...? I suffered mightily on my favorite books in the 1970s! I am looking forward to some Shaden Freude!!! I've earned it Bucko!!!

FYI - According to Smith's Crisps the longest FA Cup tie was in 1955! Yowza!

Anonymous said...

As far as Roddy McDowall goes, he did have a pretty good career post-sixties. Yes, it's something of a step down from playing the young Caesar Augustus to being a talking ape, but he also did a great job as a world-weary horror show host in Fright Night and the voice of the Mad Hatter in the Batman animated series.
Both roles are difficult. Sean, since when have you seen anybody else do a good acting job in a vampire movie? Keanu Reeves? Nobody gets an Academy Award from one of those deals.

M.P.

Steve W. said...

Charlie, I shall see if I can add that Human Torch ad at some point later today.

MP & Charlie, I always get Fantastic Voyage, Fantastic Journey and Incredible Journey mixed up with each other.

Sean, I have no doubt that Leila was still arguing with everyone she encountered. The Micronauts may or may not have started this week. They definitely start sometime around now.

Killdumpster said...

Think I'll view a Rachel Welch marathon this New Year's Eve.

While wearing my Chameleon-level Rick Jones mask.

Killdumpster said...

Then New Year's Day, if I'm not too hung-over, put the mask on and go cave exploring.

Killdumpster said...

Totally recommend Roddy McDowall's film "IT!". He was excellent as a psychotic museum curator that has control over the Golem, sending it on a rampage.

Colin Jones said...

In the Rick Jones poll I said he had a cool surname so I don't know if that puts me in the "for" camp or the "sort of vague and not clear" camp :)

I loved Fantastic Journey but it only lasted about 9 episodes. It was first broadcast on the BBC in early 1977 then repeated over Christmas 1978. My favourite character was that woman and her telepathic cat but they weren't in the final couple of episodes because the actress was ill or something. Charlie and MP, Fantastic Journey was an American show in case you don't know.

The Marvel Revolution sounded quite exciting...until we saw it.

Orac was great but Zen was best...CONFIRMED.

I just can't accept Buster Crabbe as Buck Rogers even though he was the original. No, Buster Crabbe is Flash Gordon and Gil Gerard is Buck Rogers!!

Charlie Horse 47 said...

KD - I always figured you for a spelunker! Please, leave the doggone bracelets alone this time!

CJ - yet another tease about this crazy upcoming revolution! You guys better deliver the goods in a few weeks, LOL!!!

Charlie Horse 47 said...

ANyone - if the Lightmaster were to hit Rick Jones (as in the Spider Man cove above) to reveal his alter ego, what would be get??? Yet another Rick Jones or something far more exotic or sinister or.....?

Dougie said...

That Blake's Seven repeat - to prepare us for series two- was the highlight of the in-between days as 1978 came to an end. Likewise the Fantastic Journey.

Killdumpster said...

Always felt Buster's Buck Rogers was inferior to his Flash Gordon. His Tarzan wasn't bad, though no Weismuller.

McDowall took a very small role in "Dirty Mary, Crazy Larry" as a favor for someone. I wonder if that had an effect on his career.

Steve W. said...

Charlie, I have now added the Human Torch Marvel Revolution ad to the bottom of the post. To be honest, I'm not sure it was worth the effort. I don't think it was in any danger of winning any awards.

Colin, I too cannot accept Buster Crabbe as Buck Rogers. I do feel a man can either be Flash Gordon or Buck Rogers in this life. He cannot be both.

KD, I haven't seen It! since the early 1970s when it was shown on my local TV channel's Appointment With Fear slot, one Friday night.

Dougie, I do still live in hope that, one day, Blake's 7 will be revived and be as nihilistic as ever.

Charlie Horse 47 said...

Steve, Thank you for posting that!

I notice that the Torch, instead of being a flaming flyer, is a non-flaming runner. Weird. What's the point of using the Torch?

Hulk runs. Hulk runs real good. He would have been a natural herald in the ad for the upcoming revolution?

You think Buckler drew the Torch?

Anonymous said...

I kinda liked Dirty Mary, Crazy Larry, although that movie didn't seem to have a single thought in it's head.
What was the message--stop at all railroad tracks? I dunno.
I liked the theme song; "Dirty Mary...Crazy Larry!!!" That says it all. Right to the point.
They should make a movie about Cross-Eyed Mary.

M.P.

Anonymous said...

M.P., I didn't suggest that McDowall wasn't any good in all those crappy 70s flicks, just that if the highlight of an actor's decade after being in big budget epics like Cleopatra was an episode of Columbo he might consider his career had taken an odd turn.
Almost certainly when he put an appearance in Buck Rogers in the 25th Century.

Kd, my advice is don't bother with Fantastic Voyage, start your Raquel marathon with 1,000,000 Years BC instead.

-sean

Killdumpster said...

And people accuse ME of trolling, Charlie.

You, brought up Buckler, which will lead into whether it's his original artwork, or he swiped it etc, etc, etc...

When I put on my Rick Jones mask and go spelunking, I'm not looking for Nega-Bands.

I'll be looking for... POSITIVE-BANDS! Clanging them together might have all the world put aside differences, look at each other's side of things, and come to a general consensus.

That might be asking too much from the human race, but more plausible than complete "peace on earth".

Going to be incommunicado this weekend, with scoping out caves, and such. Lol.

Heh, no. Have to deal with matters in "hillbilly heaven" through New Year's, with no signal whatsoever. They all have red neck internet (CB radios) lol.

Just want to take this opportunity while I'm in a civilized area to wish all you folks as Happy New Year.

Everything will work if you let it!! That's my moto to for 2019!!

(Please no "Deliverance" jokes. As I drive into those hills, I hear banjos. All the people I have to deal with are family, ex-girlfriends, or guys that I kicked their asses in high school.)

Can't wait to tie one on with family I DO LIKE this weekend.

Hope everyone and your friends/family are well, and continue to be in the coming year.

FORGE FORWARD & PERSIVIER! We will OWN 2019!!

Cheers, oh my brothers.

Killdumpster said...

MP-
Thanks for the advice on Rachel, but I have virtually everything she's ever done in my DVD library, including "Mother, Jugs & Speed" lol!

Killdumpster said...

As far as "Dirty Mary, Crazy Larry" goes, in my opinion, there is no such thing as an unwatchable Susan George movie. Wow. Such a tasty treat.

Killdumpster said...

Sorry, Sean.

Addressed my response to MP. Got distracted by a pretty , good-smelling girl. She just asked me who I'm talking to.

I'm outta here! Wish me luck!

Anonymous said...

Yeah, that's true, Sean. If you were portraying a Columbo villain your stock had probably gone down somewhat, and if you were on Buck Rogers, it probably meant you were really strapped for cash.
Boy that show was a turkey, but us kids would watch anything set in outer space.
M.P.

Anonymous said...

Oh, and good luck, K.D.
You do know they sometimes eat people out there, don't you?
It's happened. Just keep your head on a swivel, is all I'm saying.
Beware the Yellow King.

M.P.

Killdumpster said...

Brother, you're not telling me anything about potential that is there that I don't already know.

Everything, except the cannibalism (as far as I know of), is out there.

Moonshine stills, illegal chicken-fights, revenge barn burnings, missing people (lotta swamp bogs, great way to get rid of bodies),the KKK, any stereotypes for backwoods folk you can think of, is there.

When I left to go to school in Pittsburgh, outside of the small-town girls & cheap home-grown, I was more than happy to bid that section of the planet "adieu".

How can thinking humans be satisfied with themselves when they can only sign their name with an "x"?

When the only sentences they learned to read are "See Spot run" & "& "Jane plays plays plays"

I HAD TO GET THE BLOODY €×(£ OUTTA THERE!!

Now I gotta go back there. Not exactly thrilled about it.I'm packing (legally). Just in case. Lol!

Anonymous said...

In some small towns in Iowa, they still secretly worship He Who Walks Behind the Rows.
Seriously, when I lived back there I never really believed I was going to be sacrificed to the Corn God, but some of those little dying and forgotten towns can be pretty spooky. You stop for gas and then get back on the main road quick. Nothing good is gonna happen there.

M.P.

Colin Jones said...
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Colin Jones said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Charlie Horse 47 said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Steve W. said...

Charlie, I have no doubt whatsoever that that Human Torch drawing was by Rich Buckler.

Charlie Horse 47 said...

KD - are you sure you are not talking about Indiana???

Our "Steve" Stephenson, headed up the KKK for Indiana and would likely have become President, had he not bit a girl to death (I won't go into the rest as this is a family blog).

But then, we did have Michael Jackson, on the positive side of the ledger!!!

Now I ask you, is there anything in Pennsylvania that can Trump that???

Anonymous said...

There are pockets of weirdness and diabolism all over this land. Lovecraft was mostly writing about New England, but every state has a few cases of Innsmouth Horror.
Europe too. I saw some very strange stuff in a...a building, I guess, in Nuremberg.
I don't really know what that was about, but I got out intact, anyway. A gentleman always knows when to leave the party.

M.P.

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