Thursday, 12 September 2019

September 12th, 1979 - Marvel UK, 40 years ago this week.

On this night in 1979, BBC Two was showing a thing called The Hellstrom Chronicle, described as an Oscar winning science fact-fiction film which posits that all species are in decline except humans and insects. Thus, the fictional Dr Hellstrom suggests the possible outcome of man's competition with those creatures.

That all sounds genuinely odd and I'm not totally sure whether I saw it or not but, of course, its main source of interest to me is its protagonist shares a surname with the Son of Satan. Was this pure coincidence or was the writer a fan of the hell-spawned hero?

If he was, he would no doubt have been excited to find out what was occurring in the pages of Marvel UK's finest publications in the week his show aired.

Star Wars Weekly #81

For about the eight millionth issue running, Luke Skywalker finds himself up against the menace of Baron Tagge.

This time, they're in a lightsabre battle, with Tagge viewing it as a practise bout before taking on Darth Vader himself.

Of the rest of this issue's contents, I know little but I do know the back cover features a chance to win a trip to the 1980 Moscow Olympics.

All I can say is it's a good job it was a UK Marvel comic that offered the prize, and not a US one, or there would have been a very disappointed winner a few months later.

Hulk Comic #28, Captain America

The Hulk's still on that alien spaceship and still trashing it, to such a degree they decide to dump him back on Earth to get rid of him.

Ant-Man and the Wasp are still battling with an evil jazz trumpeter.

After what feels like decades of faffing about, the Eternals have finally got round to merging themselves to create the Uni-Mind.

Merlin and the Black Knight are still battling to retrieve Captain Britain from the land of the dead.

In the second of the book's two Hulk tales, the green grappler and Captain America find themselves up against the Corporation and the genuinely baffling threat of Animus.

And, as always, I don't have a clue what Nick Fury's up to.

Spectacular Spider-Man Weekly #340

I can confidently announce Spidey's up against the White Dragon in this issue.

Beyond that, I can say nothing.


dangermash said...

Is it me, or does the U.K. Spider-Man comic seem to be getting through one US monthly ever week? I thought Dez was supposed to be stringing things out more to let the US comics open up a lead over the UK but he seems determined to catch them up as quickly as possible.

Maybe Dez with his huge scissors is leaving out huge chunks of the stories. And, if he has it in his head that these comics are for 8-10 year olds, I'm guessing that he's leaving out the Betty Brant storyline from this week's comic. She's doing everything she can to get laid and, even a ten-year-old, I think I'd have been able to tell.

Anonymous said...

The Hellstrom Chronicle is on Youtube in its entirety if you're interested in watching it Steve, although theres not a lot of point (unless you want to check out the Lalo Schifrin soundtrack, which is a nice bit of abstract modernism).
It is of course ridiculous that the film won an oscar as a documentary; some might argue that anything which increases interest in ecology is worthwhile, but that only makes serious documentaries - like, say, Alternative 3 - less credible.

Like yourself, I have a fondness for the use of word balloons on covers but the Hulk and Spidey comics here don't make a very good argument for publishers bringing the practice back.


Steve W. said...

Dangermash, Spidey does indeed seem to be getting through a story per issue which is odd, as there can't be more than 5 or 6 pages available to him.

Sean, I agree. Those balloons are definitely not needed. Then again, I could do with one on the cover of that Star Wars issue.

Alternative 3. It should be compulsory viewing for everyone.

Charlie Horse 47 said...

Gents -

Charlie's therapist told him to watch a film called "Control" which apparently is based on Joy Division? Neither Charlie or I have heard of it but we see it is on Youtube and runs about 90 minutes.

Is it worth a look?

Charlie does not want to upset his therapist but I don't want to waste my time?


Anonymous said...

Charlie, I bet you dollars to donuts my new therapist is prettier than yours. Good lord. I'm feeling better already.
That movie Control is good. It's pretty dark, but those songs really stayed in my head. I wasn't familiar with their music before.
Uh, that movie's no cure for depression, by the way.
I suggest The Adventures of Baron Munchausen. Always picks me up.


Anonymous said...

Do you mean the Joy Division documentary Charlie, or the Corbijn film about Ian Curtis?
I tried watching the latter on Youtube recently but it has somebody talking over the dialogue, translating it into an east European language. Which does rather spoil it.

The doc is ok if you like Joy Division, but does depend on your tolerance for pretentious commentary taking it all too seriously.
(Btw, Synth Britannia - BBC doc about the Human League and all that dawn of the 80s electronic stuff - was on Youtube last I looked...)


Anonymous said...

M.P.'s therapist - thats gotta be some job...


Charlie Horse 47 said...

Sean, MP - Thanks! Yes Charlie meant the Joy Division one.

Charlie just found "Synth Brittania" on Youtube and can only say "Yowza!!!" He's shaking with anticipation!!! Though the bit on Keith Emerson is WoW!

Charlie's therapist (today's) was going on about a place called Hacienda in Manchester? He went a few times and said it was "the" place to be in the UK at that time?

MP - Charlie has numerous doctors and therapists. He goes for the intellectual types b/c he prefers being healed over a cheap thrill, usually, except on weekends or when drinking.

Anonymous said...

I have confidence in her, Sean.
Perhaps now I can finally understand the rich tapestry that is M.P.


Anonymous said...

I'm currently reading the latest issue of SFX magazine and one of the letters claims that the Millennium Falcon got its' name from the Eagle spaceships in SPACE: 1999 (1999 Eagle = Millennium Falcon...d'ya see?)
Apparently this has been confirmed by people who worked on Star Wars - so now you know how the Millennium Falcon is so called!

Killdumpster said...

Joy Division is an entertaining listen. I prefer them to the Smiths, as far as "mope-rock" goes.

Never could get into SPACE 1999. Much preferred UFO, which they ditched to produce that show.

Anonymous said...

I don't remember this "White Dragon", but apparently we all were supposed to beware of him or die.
Maybe it's better nobody told me. I would've been worried.