Thursday, 19 September 2019

September 19th, 1979 - Marvel UK, 40 years ago this week.

Do you like synthesizers?

Do you like motor vehicles?

Do you like the charts?

If so, you were in luck on all three fronts, in this week of 1979 because it was slap-bang when the top spot on the UK singles chart was claimed by Gary Numan's Cars. It did so by dethroning Cliff Richard's We Don't Talk Anymore.

Cliff Richard's real name is Harry Webb. Gary Numan's real name is Gary Webb. From this, we could only conclude that the following week's singles chart was to be topped by a man called Barry Webb.

But it wasn't and, to this day, Barry Webb has still never had a British Number One.

Star Wars Weekly #82

To the astonishment of all, I know nothing of what unfolds in the main Star Wars tale.

I do know the Guardians of the Galaxy adventure is the one in which some weird religious cult wants to set fire to Nikki, or disintegrate her, or something.

The Star-Lord tale is a Gene Colan drawn story called World in a Bottle which features the first ever appearance of Aletha.

I don't have a clue who Aletha is.

But I do have a clue how the issue ends.

And that's with a Tale of the Watcher in which a man who collects butterflies travels into space - only to find himself trapped on a planet where butterflies collect men!

Hulk Comic #29, Ant-Man vs the Porcupine

The Hulk and Captain America are still making a meal of dealing with the Corporation and their huge-headed hench-cave-person Animus.

The Deviants have decided to launch a manned missile at the Celestials' starship. I'm not totally sure why it has to be manned.

For the eighty seven millionth issue running, Merlin's still trying to bring Captain Britain back from the dead.

For the eighty seven millionth issue running, I've no idea what Nick Fury's up to.

But none of that matters because what really matters is Ant-Man's up against his deadliest foe yet - the Porcupine who decides to rob a bank that's declared itself to be robbery proof. As he wisely reasons, no one could stop a man who's dressed up as a porcupine.

Spectacular Spider-Man Weekly #341, Peter Parker graduates

Hooray! Peter Parker finally graduates from ESU!

I say hooray but it was at the moment he graduated that I lost all interest in the strip.

As well has having to contend with my apathy, Spidey has to deal with the menace of the White Dragon and his flaming vat of death.

The rest of this issue's contents are the usual mystery to me.


Anonymous said...

I looked up Barry Webb on wikipedia Steve. Seems he's a theologian with a Phd from Sheffield university, so perhaps its not surprising he hasn't had a number one hit.

That Star-Lord story originally appeared in Marvel Super Special with expansive, painted colour artwork which looked great, but I shudder to think how it came across in short b&w segments in Star Wars Weekly.
Especially as it was a dull read, even in one go.


Anonymous said...

PS Sorry, nearly forgot - seeing as you bought her up, Aletha was an alien woman on a giant space ark.
Although I suppose you weren't actually asking...


Steve W. said...

My first thought was that Aletha was the woman who Starhawk kept randomly turning into but it struck me that that'd be too confusing, having her in both Star-Lord and Starhawk based stories.

dangermash said...

ASM #181-188 is a really awful run and must have been a dropping off point for so many Spider-Man fans, not just Steve and me.

ASM #181, #187 and #188 all seemed to be deadline doom filler issues. #182-183 featured Rocket Racer and Big Wheel. #184-185 featured White Dragon and are to extreme Ross Andruness what ASM #103 was to extreme Gil Kaneness. And #186 was the worst of the lot with that horrible Chameleon story.

Conicidentally, my best mate Dez came in to Marvel UK after they'd reprinted as far as ASM #179 and kicked off the new era by reprinting ASM #186 out of order. Whatever else I say about him, I've got to applaud his timing.

Redartz said...

Have to agree with dangermash; Amazing Spiderman in the 180s was the nadir of the series . Obsessive collector I was at the time, I held on and enjoyed the upswing in quality in the 190s.

The Big Wheel? Rocket Racer? White Dragon? Really? Unnnnnh....not exactly a challenge for a guy who'd faced the Kingpin, Doc Ock and the Green Goblin.

Loved "Cars" by Gary Numan. It held the promise of more refreshing new sounds to come, reinvigorating the torpid American Billboard chart...

Killdumpster said...

I agree with DM & Redartz about that horrid Spidey run. Storylines aside, a book is only as good as the villains in it. Spidey has some of the most iconic bad guys in comics history. You'd think that the writers/artists would try to step-up when creating someone new.

Suprised they didn't create "the Sinister SLINKY!" or "The Lethal LITE-BRITE!" Hmmm... but then again....

The Porcupine could have been more formidable if written right. Was so sad when he died in, I believe, in an issue of Captain America. Then again, I love the old silver-age villains like Plant Man, the Eel, etc.

Motor vehicles? Heck yeah I like'em!! Where I come from there was a saying, "There's no lower life form than the male pedestrian". Course that was back-in-the-day, before all the available public tranportation options available. It's probably still the same in the "sticks", though.

Killdumpster said...

Hey fellows, just in case you missed it, go to Steve's Sunday 15th post (the Werewolf By Night #20 review) for details on how to get your...

FREE Bernie Wrightson FRANKENSTEIN Hologram promo-card!!

I spent 2 hours in my storage unit digging for them, and no takers yet.

Free to EVERYONE! "While supplies last!"

Killdumpster said...

As far as synthesizers go, I have mixed feelings. A lot of grade-z horror movies from the 80's would have been better if the soundtrack wasn't done by somebody that got a Casio keyboard for Christmas.

Usually European soundtracks music by Goblin are excellent.

Gary Numan was rockin'. I'm also a big fan of Nine Inch Nails & Ministry.

Decades ago I saw an interview with the lead singer of Human League. He said synthesizers will make guitars non-existent. I wonder where he is now.

dangermash said...

KD - I think it was X-Men #22-23 where Count Nefaria brought your three favourites Porcupine, Plant Man and Eel together Into the same team. I think Scarecrow and Unicorn the other two in a team of five? Anyway, I think he missed a trick by not bringing in Stiltman. He'd have been a great fit, as they say in the world of recruitment.

Charlie Horse 47 said...

Well… if we are chatting music…

KD – Regarding the Human League’s Oakey Interview I think you are referring to the BBC Special called Synth Brittania available on youtube (Thanks Sean) and well worth the watch! Human League started in 1977 in some place called Sheffield England. The Special chases that with some interviews from some group called Cabaret Voltaire from Sheffield. The Special tells us that Sheffield is a special city, “torn between the past and the future.”

And the Special still has another hour to go after all that!

Charlie Horse 47 said...

Who remembers Kraftwerk saying that they would not even need the synths by 1977... the "controls" would simply be embedded in their lapels?

I don't. But there is this special from the BBC, on Youtube, called Synth Brittania and they say it there!!!

Anonymous said...

Porcupine, Scarecrow, Plantman, the Eel and his brother, ex-advertising guy-turned supervillain the Viper, showed up in Captain America in the '70's during Englehart's run. No Unicorn. I think he was insane at the time, from the Mandarin's mind control. The Viper got assassinated by Hydra's Madame Viper, for copyright reasons.
In the pages of the Defenders, Porky and the Eel fell prey to another kind of mind control, this time at the hands of Nebulon and his EST chapter.
Plantman thought they were both nuts, and being perfectly rational, went on a crime spree in the middle of NYC, which has about eighty superheroes.
The guys needed a vacation after that. Thank goodness the Wrecking Crew and the Masters of Evil were around to pick up some of the slack.


Anonymous said...

Kraftwerk? Pfft.
Devo are the original spudboys.


Charlie Horse 47 said...

Kraftwerk was to music what de 'Toqueville was to US Studies.

Everyone's heard of it.

The "chattering class" will refer to it, to make some point.

But in the end very few have actually bothered to hear / read it.

I mean, why would I listed to Kraftwerk "Down the Autobahn" when I can listen to Gary Neuman's "Cars?"

Why would I read de Touqueville when I can read Captain America? That's all the forking Constitutional studies I need about the US of A!!!

Killdumpster said...

Charlie, the Human League interview I saw was on MTV. That was the early years when they only had a few dozen videos, and the League got alot of play. Thanks for that special info. I will check that out.

I had those X-Men issues, and loved that team. I agree that Stiltman would have been a great addition, but it seems at that time he was primarily a DD villain.

I had the complete run of the Defenders' Nebulon/Bozo issues. If I recall correctly, Plantman gave our heroes a good showing for at least a bit.

In the Capt America books, I thought her name was Madame "Hydra". She killed the Viper (the Eel's brother) to assume his name and con the Serpent Society into helping her and Krang with the Serpent Crown.

Last time I saw the Eel was in GHOST RIDER, where he was killed by the Gladiator. Can't remember why, which is strange. It featured my boy Gil Kane's art & I know I read it numerous times. I blame that on "grass". I can't even remember if there was a nostril scene, but it's better than even-money that there was.

Anonymous said...

Charlies, you'd listen to Autobahn - which came out in 1974(!) - rather than Cars because its much, much better.
Kraftwerk were brilliant, and plenty of people listened to them.
Plus, who wants to listen to a record by someone who used to talk up Margaret Thatcher? (I know it shouldn't make any difference to appreciating Numan's records, but it is off putting)

Despite being a metropolitan elitist shill, I am more familiar with Captain Make America Great Again than de Tocqueville though.


Killdumpster said...

That was a good one, Sean.

Charlie Horse 47 said...

Sean - Charlie and I were only 13 years old in 1974 and really only had access to AM radio in Chicago. Never heard of synthesizers or Kraftwerk at that tender age.

So, by the time Charlie and I got FM, and stereos, etc. Kraftwerk had faded away if it ever existed here.

I started to read de Toqueville, so that I could truthfully say, "Yes indeed I have read [only a very little bit] of 'Democracy in America.'" This allows me to be truthful, though admittedly not forthcoming.

I tend to go through life like that, honing my political skills for the big day when I get to Make America Greater Again. Kind of like Modok made AIM greater.

Anonymous said...

Kind of like Richard III made England great again.


Anonymous said...

Or how Cabaret Voltaire made Sheffield great again.


Charlie Horse 47 said...

Sean - thanks a heap for recommending Synth Britannia! It's worth a look for anyone interested in the "new wave" and it's on Youtube.

One can't help but come away with the notion that Sheffield became great again... "torn between the past and the future!" as it were.

I really have to wonder who came up with that line, lol, for that program?

I mean, aren't we all sitting between the past and the future in something called "the present" or does Sheffield reside in a different definition of time and space?

Killdumpster said...

I'm still waiting for the A Flock Of Seagulls box-set, lol.

Anonymous said...

Completely agree on the present being between the past and future, Charlies. It sounds profound but its such an obvious statement of fact it doesn't really mean anything.
Still, I liked the doc too. When it was first on tv I was pleasantly surprised how much time they gave over to the Cabs and Throbbing Gristle - who I expected would be a footnote (if that) - as well as the hitmakers.
No ClockDVA unfortunately, but you can't have everything.

Flock of Seagulls seem to have done well in the US. Its amazing how far a haircut can get you.


Charlie Horse 47 said...

The world got its revenge on Flock of Seagulls in La La Land!

I mean... not only did she knock him down to about 2" high, that she did it by having him play "I Ran" was just as funny! (I'm sure he was thinking something like "What a revoltin development this is!")