Thursday, 18 April 2019

April 18th, 1979 - Marvel UK, 40 years ago this week.

I shall start this post by giving a quick plug for Back in the Bronze Age, after they were kind enough to do the same for this blog. Over there, right now, you can discuss songs that bring a lump to your throat and whether super-heroes can get too powerful.

But some people can never get too powerful.

And that's politicians.

And so it was that, on this night of exactly forty years ago, BBC One and BBC Two were giving us hefty coverage of the then-current election campaign, with Margaret Thatcher, James Callaghan and David Steel battling it out to see who was going to be next Prime Minister.

I will make the daring prediction that it will be Margaret Thatcher.

Star Wars #60

It's one of those rare occasions when I actually know what happens in an issue of Star Wars Weekly.

Luke rescues Leia from someone or other and then destroys someone's base or other, by some means or other. I do feel that's as fine a summary of a story as the world has ever seen.

Meanwhile, the Micronauts are still in our world and on the search for missing colleagues.

Then we have a Tales of the Watcher story in which the protagonist tells his psychiatrist he is haunted by a recurring dream in which he keeps meeting an alien.

Needless to say, the sensible shrink pooh-poohs the significance of his dream. After all, as he says, there's no way such a creature as a, "Human," could ever exist.

Elsewhere, Thanos has joined Warlock's battle with the Magus.

Hulk Comic #7

The UK-produced Hulk tales disappear without trace and we get a Sal Buscema offering in which our hero meets some bloke, via a bar fight, and decides to go and live with him - until the man's girlfriend alerts the authorities.

The Black Knight and Captain Britain meet The Walker and get more info on just what's going on.

Ant-Man defeats the commie agent who's out to discover his secret and produce an army of tiny communists - and discovers he was, in fact, a woman in disguise!

At the tale's end, Ant-Man rides off, slowly, on an ant, as agents of the law watch, speaking about him, with awe. It's one of the stupidest comic book panels I've ever seen and serves to highlight just how duff the whole concept of Ant-Man is.

I think SHIELD have finally succeeded in restoring dictatorship to a South American country.

The Eternals are still preparing for the arrival of the Celestials.

And Night-Raven has a contract taken out on him. That'll teach him to not annoy the wrong kind of people.

Marvel Comic #338, Godzilla

This is where our luck runs out, in terms of me having any idea what's going on, because all I can say about this issue is that Godzilla would appear to be eating a train.

So much for all those claims that railway food is no good.

Spider-Man Comic #319, the Cyclone and Moon Knight

And all I know about this issue is that Spidey and Moon Knight are still fighting the Maggia and the Cyclone.


dangermash said...

With a cover like that, that Hulk comic would be going straight the bin.

And I learned on Richard Osman's House Of Games tonight that Greene King beer is brewed in Bury St Edmunds in Suffolk. And there was I thinking that all they made in BStE was sugar.

Anonymous said...

Dangermash really is down on the SezDez-era(:
Hulk Comic was actually the best of the new look weeklies, what with original material like Night Raven and the Black Knight. But he's right about that cover - you couldn't really criticize someone for taking one look and chucking it away.

Margaret Thatcher did indeed become PM in '79 - that was a sharp prediction. Do you have any thoughts on who will be next in the job now, in the event of another resignation and succession before the next election?


Killdumpster said...

If I would have seen the Hulk Comic on the rack, I wouldn't have even picked it up. I've seen coloring books with better covers. The Marvel Comic cover was horrid as well. Another example of Marvel not getting Godzilla right.

Traffic seems pretty light on the site, Steve. Do you think it's because of the holiday?

Here in the States, Easter has become another gift-giving holiday like Christmas. When I was a kid it was just about coloring eggs, getting a small basket of candy, & going to church in the morning in brand new clothes.

I don't know if it has blown up like that across the pond, but I guess anything to keep economies pumping. Some people over here spend big cash, though.

A fellow I know is giving his 16 yr old daughter a brand new Mustang on Sunday. I told him he should have bought a coffin too. She's a really bad driver.

Anonymous said...

That image of the Hulk there is a classic one, though. You know, where he's got one big green foot sticking out and a big green hand there reaching out to put the grab on some unfortunate soul.
And the purple pants, of course.
I had a 3-D poster of that when I was little. It came outta some kids magazine from school, I think. It looked like that big ol' mitt was reaching out for my head! Yeeoow!
I didn't really know much about the Hulk at that point, I was so young, but I knew he meant trouble from that poster. I wish I still had it.


Killdumpster said...

The poster was from Dynamite magazine, that we bought from the book flyers from school.

I had it too, oh my brother.


Man, that was a great magazine for us kids. Short stories, sports legends, stickers, a poster, pop culture icon interviews,and most importantly...

I couldn't wait for the school's book order came in. My mom thought it was purely "scholastic", so she'd pay for it! Lol.

Anonymous said...

Yeah, K.D., I'm sure that was it!
Dynamite magazine was the best! We got 'em the same way.
I would go absolutely NUTS when they they had those origins or other hero features!
They had one which featured Thor's rogues gallery, and another time reprinted one of his battles with Ego. There was one which reprinted a few pages explaining how Lex Luthor got bald and evil (lab accident).
All kindsa stuff. Remember Count Morbida? My sister loved those. You had to solve these puzzles or else the monsters would get you.
Smash magazine was great too!


Killdumpster said...

Yeah, oh my brother.Dynamite was the "cat's meow" for us kids back-in-the-day. I might've been a little older when Smash Came out. Never saw one.

I'd draw my own posters, highlighting them with blue & red markers and get the 3-D effect with the glasses.

One fav Dynamite issue was with a Christopher Lee interview.

Marvel tried to compete with a kid's book called Pizzaz, but I was too old for that. Never read one.

Killdumpster said...

The first Hulk versus Superman debates I was entered into was in 3rd grade. Virtually caused by Dynamite magazine. Lol!!

Killdumpster said...

It's kinda funny to think about it. Nowadays school's couldn't make books like Dynamite available for kids. Muhammad Ali, Bruce Lee, Dracula, and superheroes would be too violent for children's tender souls today. They'd come up with "Fuzzy Warmy" magazine, which the kids wouldn't buy because...

They're racing home after school to bump-up their body-count bloodbath on a video game!! Lol!

Anonymous said...

I remember my sister had the 3-D King Kong poster from Dynamite Magazine on on her wall. Y'know, the image from the classic '30's where he's got a airplane in one hand and holding on to the Empire State Building with the other.
That kinda freaked me out as a little kid. That and the idea of Dracula. But it was the early-mid'70's, we were very young and easily impressed. I thought there were ghosts around every corner.
I wish I had that capacity for wonder now. Now, it would take a real-life dragon, a alien spaceship or a flaming sword or something to jar me out of my apathy.


Tim ''Not a Robot' Field said...

These covers really do highlight the skills of whoever handled the cover design prior to the Marvel UK Revolution.

Steve W. said...

Dangermash, Tim, KD and Sean, I do try to be fair to Dez in these posts but even I can offer no defence for that Hulk cover.

Sean, I remain confident in my prediction that Chris Eubank will be the next Prime Minister.

KD, I'm not aware of Easter having become a gift-giving festival in this country but I could just be out of touch. Personally, I don't even view Christmas as being a gift-giving festival, I'm so tight-fisted.

As for reduced comment activity, I am aware - via secret sources - that Charlie is currently in a location where the internet is unavailable.

Anonymous said...

Easter is the name of the Germanic goddess of spring and rebirth, predating Christianity itself.
I'm sure your pal Charlie, like leaf and flower, will soon reappear.


Killdumpster said...

I'm aware of the pagan origins of Easter, and how it and other holidays were reconfigured into Christian ones.

I'm thinking Charlie may be an agent of S.H.I.E.L.D., but then again it's impolite to start rumors.

Colin Jones said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Killdumpster said...

Yes. I admit that boredom & a few beers have a tendency to unleash my relentless stream of consciousness.

I'll try to rein it in.

Steve W. said...

Happy Easter to you too, Colin. And to all who frequent this site.

Charlie Horse 47 said...

I have escaped my robot captors! They were holding me captive in one of Greene Kings 2000 pubs in the UK and making me drink IPAs!

Charlie Horse 47 said...

Charlie says "Love my Good n Plenty" LOL...

Actually, just FWIW...

It is only the word "Easter" that has a very, very, very remote possibility of being NAMED after a pagan goddess of spring.

Easter occurs during the Jewish Passover which John tells us is when Jesus was executed. It occurs in March / April on the Sunday after the first full moon of the vernal equinox or something equally complicated. So this year Easter is 4/21 and Passover 4/27. It has nothing to do with Pagan festivals or Spring time.

E.g., in France the word for Easter is Pach which in Latin means Passover.

Interestingly, the German word for Easter is Oster (also East = Ost in German). So it's highly likely that that one English monk (and onlye one) who, 1,200 years ago, wrote that word Easter is referring to a pagan Goddess got that story from his Germanic Angels or Saxons conquerors b/c the Germans have the same origin for the word Oster. IMHO

Charlie Horse 47 said...

Happy Easter everyone! It's great to be free! Show someone the love this Easter! Regrettably I will be sequestered away again...

Charlie Horse 47 said...

Why is it Greene Kings and not Green Kings? And who was the Greene King anyhow? And you UK gents drink Green Kings' brews???

Charlie Horse 47 said...

It's possible that Xmas occurs when it does to offset the time of a Pagan Festival. However, there is something about Xmas being 9 months (pregnancy) from Easter too, in Church history.

The Church readily admits they don't know when Jesus was born but they had some symbolic rationale of it being in December due to a 9-month pregnancy.

More interesting to me is the Church celebrating New Year when they do b/c Jesus would have been circumcised like within a week of birth (as a Jew) and January 1 is a week (+/-) of Christmas.

Can you imagine if all us circumcised dudes celebrated our circumcisions? DO they circumcise in the UK? I think it's just a USA white-dude thing?

dangermash said...

Apparently Greene King was formed by the amalgamation of two breweries run by Benjamin Greene and Frederick King. I didn't know that until five minutes ago. I was expecting to find that it was named after some old English king who looked gardening. Adding an extra e to green would be quite a normal thing to do with all of our olde pubs offering traditional fayre.

I don't often get the chance to drink Greene King IPA as whenever I'm in East Anglia I'm normally driving. If I'm not driving, though, and Greene King is on tap, I'm definitely having one. You never forget the beer you grew up with.

Charlie Horse 47 said...

Dangermash... I hate to say this but I have no idea where East Anglia is! (I will look it up!)

That being said, if we US guys reference Milwaukee, Wisconsin or Evansville, Indiana, do you know where they are, automatically or no?

Anonymous said...

Charlie comes back and the first thing he does is question my historical knowledge,(!) and start insulting monks.
Well, sir, you may write what you like about me, but I will not linger to read your scurrilous comments questioning the competence of the Dark Age monk community! For are you not questioning the very foundations of Western civilization and all we hold dear?
I say good day, sir!

M.P. (sternly marching out, chin jutting forward, as the battle Hymn of the Republic is hummed in the background)

Charlie Horse 47 said...

Look, one (and the ONLYE one!) scurrilous English monk, who probably spent half his day brewing and drinking Stout, may in fact be correct on the entomology of Easter. I am simply surmising that he learned of this story from his German conquerors given the relationship between East and Ost.

I mean, the French didn't conquer England until like 1066 or so? And that's why like 40% of English is based on French words to this very day.

Speaking of which, do you UK dudes know of any Engels and Saxons to this day in the UK claiming that heritage? I mean, outside of DeGaulle calling us english-speaking dudes of the world as Anglo-saxons, I never heard of it.

Anyhow, I am more curious about the rites of circumcision between here and there (Easter led me to Xmas led me to New Years and the circumcision of Jesus). For my part, it is supposedly quite painful though I don't recall it... But it is nice to "go #1" with no hands, no?

Anonymous said...

M.P., while its true that Eostre was only mentioned by Bede back in the day, there weren't a lot of books around in western Europe back then - thats why its called the dark ages - and theres some debate about whether he was correct or not. So Charlie is presenting conjecture as fact.

Easter is linked to the Jewish passover, but as that too is held in spring it doesn't follow that the former isn't also held in place of a former pagan festival.
Unless Charlie can show where the gospel of John mentions the easter bunny, I don't think he can really dismiss pre-Christian influence.

And I've no idea what that nine months to Christmas stuff was about. Nine months before Xmas is March 25th - thats the feast of the Annunciation, not Easter (not often I get to use a Catholic education these days).


Anonymous said...

Charlie, theres no shortage of people here at the moment insisting on being ethnically English ie Angles.


Charlie Horse 47 said...

Sean - the Israelites lived in Egypt during the Passover. They don't have spring down there. It's always hot. So no way the Passover was tied to Spring.

Dost thou really think Moses had nothing better to do than have a bunch of Jewish slaves invent a holiday to supplant a pagan Eqyptian one? Like what... the Egyptians will suddenly become Jewish b/c they can celebrate the deaths of their first born as death passed over the jewish homes? A cursory viewing of The 10 Commandments with Charleston Heston will teach you that!

Or are you one of those bourgeoisie types who watches Ben Hur at Easter Time instead?

Anyhow, only fools believe in the Easter Bunny. Santa Claus... that's a different matter.

And thanks for clearing up the 9-month thing. I really was never good at religious class though I did do Catholic School a few years.

Charlie Horse 47 said...

Sean- anyone hanging in England claiming to be descended from one of those Engles or Saxons? That's what I want to know! Like a duke of Saxon or duchess of Engle or...?

Anonymous said...

They all are, unless they emigrated recently. No such royal titles, because they were conquered by the Normans.
After 900 years everybody gets mixed together.
Who really knows what's in their woodpile, anymore. It's all good!
Interesting subject from a historical standpoint, though.


Anonymous said...

Charlie, it is hot in the middle east, but they still have agriculture. In this case, the barley for unleavened bread is ready by the month of Abib which is the time appointed for Passover in Exodus, and happens to be around the around the same time as the northern spring equinox.
Not saying it supplanted an Egyptian festival. Actually, I wasn't saying anything - just pointing out it was all debatable - but if I was I'd be saying Easter supplanted pagan festivals in Europe.

Most of the leading English families were wiped out in 1066 or its aftermath. There was no Brexit from Norman rule, so if any dukes or whatever trace their family line any further back it would be to France. Zut alors!


Anonymous said...

Heck, the British Royal Family is probably mostly Kraut (one of my father's favorite terms), at this point. Same thing with the Romanovs.
Me, only a quarter. That's why I'm so easy going!


Charlie Horse 47 said...

You guys are pretty funny!

I do confess I really don't know much at all (actually anything) about Pagan festivals. All I can confirm is that in England they still move the stones at Stonehenge to account for the Equinoxes.

Whether any Monks helped with that, back in the day, who's to know?

That's about it...

Colin Jones said...

Charlie, apparently about 60% of American men are circumcised. It was those fundamentalist Puritans who started the practice in America because they hoped circumcision would discourage masturbation - the religious fundamentalists in your country are utterly insane. Here in the UK only Jews and Muslims are circumcised - I'm certainly not circumcised and I'm horrified at the very thought of it.

There is NOT A SHRED OF EVIDENCE that the Jewish exodus from Egypt ever happened OR THAT THE HEBREWS EVEN LIVED IN EGYPT AT ALL. And the Hebrews DID NOT BUILD THE PYRAMIDS. Moses and the exodus are just Jewish folklore.

The famous Scottish king Robert The Bruce was descended from a French family called Bruix,

Killdumpster, please don't think I was criticising your comments - I love reading your comments so please keep making as many as you want!!!

Charlie Horse 47 said...

Moses is interesting...

He is mentioned many times in the Bible and Koran. And apparently there are Roman and Egyptian writings referencing a Moses leading a rebellion of lepers against the Egyptian King. And a bunch of other stuff about a "priest" taking a monotheistic view opposing the Egyptians who could have been the Moses. It's quite fascinating reading...

I'm inclined to think an Exodus could have happened in some way... perhaps through the thousands of years it's been reinterpreted by the Jews for their needs. Or perhaps it basically happened that way but as part of a context more/different than just what the Bible states. But who is to know.

But Biblical Archaeology is an interesting subject too... And they keep digging away finding things so...

Anonymous said...

Religious texts are a form of evidence Charlie, but not necessarily accurate in a strictly historical sense -


Charlie Horse 47 said...

Colin - Well, I can confirm that I have been circumcised since Day 1 of my existence. And, as far as the rationale... it didn't work, lol. Not even close.

Here is a bit you might find interesting... Circumcision started falling out of favor in the 1990s here. So here comes my son and what do we do? Fortunately, my very wise father-in-law, from France where they do not circumcise (he was a Doctor and Director of Internal Medicine for a large hospital) said, "The son needs to look like the father. End of story."

Now, my good friend Bill married the daughter of a former WW2 Nazi SS trooper, while we were stationed in Germany. When he announced his first born was getting circumcised, his father in law told him "Only Jews are circumcised. If you do that I will kill you." (This is 1985.) Now Bill could very easily beat the crap out of any 99 of 100 guys, but he did not circumcise his first born. Hard to go against the demands of a former killer, I guess...

Killdumpster said...

I've heard that Rabbis don't charge a fee for circumcisions.

They only take tips!!!

(Place drum rimshot here.)

F.B. said...

I heard the rabbis save all the circumcised foreskins and send them to Russia where they plant them and grow little dictators.

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