Thursday, 5 September 2019

September 5th, 1979 - Marvel UK, 40 years ago this week.

There wasn't much of interest happening in this week of forty years ago, At least, not in the real world, where it matters.

There was, however, big news from the world of Marvel UK.

What was it and is it going to be revealed in the paragraphs below?

Stay tuned to find out.

I do note that Britain's Number One LP that week was In Through the Out Door by Led Zeppelin which was their last studio album. Interesting that, despite their huge album successes, the Zep didn't have a single make the UK charts until 1997 when Whole Lotta Love reached the dizzying heights of Number 21, making them, possibly, the most celebrated one-hit wonders of all time.

Hulk Comic #27

The Hulk gets relegated to a supporting role on his own cover, as Merlin seeks to bring Captain Britain back from the dead. He's been seeking to do this for weeks. I'd give up on it if I were him.

The Hulk, meanwhile, is on the vessel of those Ditkoesque aliens I mentioned last week, and causing nothing but chaos there.

Ant-Man and the Wasp find themselves having to deal with the worst kind of menace known to mankind - a jazz trumpeter.

The Eternals are going on and on and on about the Uni-Mind.

In the second Hulk strip of the issue, Bruce Banner and the Falcon have been kidnapped by the Corporation and it's up to Captain America to rescue them both.

Marvel Super-Heroes #353

And this is the big news I mentioned earlier because it's the launch of a brand new monthly, as Marvel Superheroes hits the stands!

Admittedly, It's not that new, because it continues the numbering of the recently departed Marvel Comic which was once known as Mighty World of Marvel.

I can't recall if I had this particular issue and can't remember what tales are in it but I do remember reading the Neal Adams X-Men stories in this mag, at some point.

It is possible the Avengers are fighting Graviton in this issue. If so, I did have it.

Spectacular Spider-Man Weekly #339, Rocket Racer and the Big Wheel

Can a comic get any more exciting?

Not only do we get the Rocket Racer in this issue but we get the Big Wheel as well! All Marvel needs do is fling Paste-Pot Pete into the mix and it'll have  a masterpiece on its hands!

Other than that, I don't have a clue what goes on inside this book.

Savage Sword of Conan #23, Red Sonja

I'm doing very badly this week, because this is yet another comic whose contents I barely have a clue about.

However, it looks like Red Sonja's guest-starring in Conan's strip, which is always an exciting thing.

But, "Conan's Ladies," Portfolio, what a rare and exotic treat that sounds like being.

I'm guessing that Red Sonja, Valeria and BĂȘlit are featured in it.

But will there be anybody else? Will we get Tascela? Will we get... ...erm... I must confess I've now run out of Conan related females whose names I can recall.

Starburst magazine #13, Buck Rogers

Hooray! Buck Rogers is on its way! Who can forget the adventures of the disco dancing adventurer from the present, trapped in the future, with just a woman called Wilma and a robot for company?

Rampage Magazine #15, the Hulk

Don't ask me what's happening in the main strip because I don't have a clue.

From its title, I'm assuming the X-Men tale's the one in which Havok and Polaris attack an airport - because it's written by Chris Claremont - and the X-Men have to stop them.

But how has Eric the Red returned? And what can he be up to?

Dr Strange's battle with Xander seems to have been going on for even longer than Merlin's been trying to resurrect Captain Britain.

Star Wars Weekly #80

It's yet another comic whose contents I know nothing of.

However, I assume the Guardians of the Galaxy are still having trouble with the Topographic Man.


Killdumpster said...

The Buck Rogers show never grabbed me. I don't know if it was because of having a job after school, never being home, or just how goofy it seemed. Guess I was just getting "old".

Did The Hulk book feature reprints of America's b&w Rampaging Hulk magazine? Was guessing since I noticed "rampage" on the cover twice.

Steve W. said...

Rampage did indeed feature reprints from Rampaging Hulk.

Simayl said...

One reason Led Zeppelin didn't have a hit single until the 90s was because they didn't release any!

The Avengers do look as if they are fighting Graviton on that cover, if so that was a great story.

I never got into Buck Rogers either, mind you I've only seen the first Star Wars film all the way through and I fell asleep watching The Phantom Menace.

Timothy Field said...

Oddly the cover I remember most here is Starburst, probably because of Buck Rogers and the idea of a science fiction TV show with a budget higher than £2.50 was insanely exciting to someone who grew up on Dr Who.

Anonymous said...

It was a peculiar aspect of rock music in the 70s that the biggest bands, like Led Zeppelin and Pink Floyd, didn't release singles - at least not in the UK - so had virtually no public profile in the mainstream media.
These days of course you can't escape all that stuff!

Not sure which X-Men stories Marvel Superheroes started with Steve, although I'm pretty sure I remember seeing an early issue with Blastarr.
But I got it for the Neal Adams reprints, at which point the mag also included the Korvac-era Avengers, and the Champions.
Remember the Champions? You'd think a series with the Black Widow and Ghost Rider would be one of Marvel's best. But they also included the two most boring X-Men.


Charlie Horse 47 said...

Led Zepp, Pink, most of the Stones after the 60s, got little if any "Top 45" play time. It was FM music, after all, and not tailored to the AM. I mean. we could list band after band that was an FM hit an didn't really hit the big time on AM. But then it was all sort of moot by 1980 anyhow when AM became Talk Radio?

Ummm... the Buck ROgers... was that reprints from the 1930s? OR new stuff? If new stuff did he have a fin on his head, or some other apparatus? I always thought Buster Crabbe was a chump for not wearing some gadget on his head when he played Buck. Maybe he did, but not in the one I saw. I mean, he was topless a plenty in Flash "he'll save everyone of us" Gordon.

Killdumpster said...

Sean, I guess they had to find something for Angel & Iceman to do. On the plus side for Angel, he was able to pay for their HQ. The "fire & ice" aspect of Bobby & Johnny had it's moments. I always thought Ghost Rider wasn't a good team guy, though. Even moreso when the Zarathos/identity crisis storyline kicked in in his own book.

Zepplelin's "In-Through-The-Out-Door" album didn't take the public by storm, at least in the record shop chain I worked in. I don't know if it was the brown paper bag over-cover, or just the non-existant radio play. Their "Presence" album suffered a similar fate.

I had tickets for Zep's "In" tour, but Bonham died.

At my shop we had a wall displaying Billboard's top 50 albums. When Floyd's "The Wall" came out, "Dark Side Of The Moon" also entered the charts.

As far as Buck Rogers go, is it just me, or did Tweeky look like a penis-head?

Anonymous said...

Charlie, the Buck Rogers coming up here is the terrible end of the '70s tv show, cover featured on that issue of Starburst.
I didn't much care for the old Buster Crabbe serial either, or what I've seen of the old comic strip (at least Flash Gordon had Alex Raymond). But I did enjoy the recent(ish) comic book revival by the mighty Howard Chaykin. No fin on Buck's head but he did have goggles.


Anonymous said...

That was very thoughtless of Bonham leaving you in the lurch like that Kd. Rock stars eh?


Anonymous said...

That Presence album was for SERIOUS Zep-heads. You don't wanna start a beginner out on that stuff.
I'm getting the sense that albums are becoming a thing of the past. Remember the old days, when buying an album was a big deal? You'd study the album sleeve, and listen to it end to end for a month, figuring out which tracks you like? Sometimes your favorite track wasn't the single, if there was one, but some obscure little number buried on side 2. We listened hard to them records.
It was a big deal! I dunno how it works now.


Anonymous said...

I had Marvel Superheroes No.1 (or whatever number it was pretending to be). I remember that it was advertised as due to come out on August 23rd but actually didn't appear until September 3rd which was the final day of the school summer holidays (and the 40th anniversary of Neville Chamberlain declaring war on Germany). Ms. Marvel also featured in Marvel Superheroes but she's not mentioned on the cover.

Most Conan stories included a scantily-clad wench - the names of most of them escape me but I do recall Olivia from "Iron Shadows In The Moon" because that's my favourite of the original REH Conan stories :)
Conan's recent return to Marvel has included a Belit mini-series (5 issues) and currently a Valeria mini-series featuring Valeria's origin. I don't understand why Marvel created the new character of Red Sonja when Robert E. Howard had already created Valeria who was Red Sonja in all but name!

Anonymous said...

So they didn't have to pay royalties, probably.
But yeah, it was the same character.

...Except the chain-mail bra. I don't remember THAT in Red Nails.


dangermash aka The Artistic Actuary said...

MP - the other thing about albums in those days was the length. 45 minutes was the right length for an album. Short enough that only anything really good from the recording session made it and short enough to not get boring. Who was it that decided albums needed to be, what 110? 120? minutes long because that was how much could fit on a CD? Probably Dez. That's when albums became collections of songs rather than individual artworks.

dangermash said...

Damn! He sneaked in again!

Anonymous said...

110 minute CDs? Sounds like you might be showing your age there, sneaky Artistic Actuary - don't people just download the "best" bits these days? Mind you, I still listen to vinyl records, so what do I know? If you can't see it revolving on a turntable while listening its all a mystery to me.

Anyhow, while digital recording does seem to encourage the overproduction of filler, I think to say "only anything really good from the recording session" made it onto an album back in the olden days is a bit of an exaggeration.
Plus, some really good ones - Electric Ladyland, Trout Mask Replica - were long enough that they had to be doubles.


dangermash said...

OK - maybe I should have said "only the best stuff from the recording sessions". Making Movies b6 Dire Straits, for example, has
six really good tracks plus Les Boys. Which are probably the best seven tracks from the recording sessions. Makes me glad the album wasn’t recorded 30 years later - god knows wha5 awful crap they'd have padded the disc out with.

And, yes, there are some great double albums out there (I'd add Layla and The Wall to the list) But if an artist had 1.5 discs of decent material available, I reckon they eased a normal album and saved up the extra tracks for later albums rather than padding it out with filler and releasing a double album.

Charlie Horse 47 said...

I've always had the general impression that bands' /earlier albums are often their best b/c the songs are battle-tested after touring on the road as paupers. They see first hand what their audience likes.

After that, with contracts... 1-2 hits and then filler, to meet their obligations. That's back when there were recording contracts with the major firms... no idea if such things really exist now since I understand the revenues are from touring and the songs are basically given away?

Anonymous said...

I always thought In Through the Out Door had a kind of gloomy majesty to it. What Robert Plant would later call "ominous melancholy." Some of it really gets me, like "All My Love."
But that damn Mellotron. They shoulda got a real orchestra, the cheapskates.
Still, there's a certain cheesy charm to it, I suppose.
As far as double albums go, there often seems to be a lotta filler in there.


Charlie Horse 47 said...

M.P. The only exception to filler on a double album is Beatles White Album. Each song was pure genius musically or artistically!

Number 9, number 9, number 9, number 9...

And even forking backwards it was brilliant!

Charlie Horse 47 said...

I've gone spastic a few times and listened to "In the Evening" from "Through the Out Door"
for like an hour straight driving home.

Especially dig the part where Page does a riff that sounds like a machine gun (to me, sort of) around half way through!

Anyhow, it's hard to believe that the month the Beatles announce it's all over Led Zepp releases their first album. Is that a coincidence or what?

(M.P. and KD - please don't tell me "a coincidence is when you pull a hair out of your ass and your eyes water at the same time." Please don't...)

And let's be grateful they called in "In through the Out Door" and not "In through the Back Door" after the last words in "Whole Lotta Love"... "Shake for me girl. I want to be your back door man! Hey! Ho! Hey! Ho!"

Gee - I wonder if that verse inspired Zappa on Dinah Mo Hum???

Anonymous said...

Yeah, "In the Evening" still makes my hairs stand up. It's...Wagnerian almost. Twilight of the Gods, man.


Anonymous said...

Doubt Zappa needed much inspiration from anyone else on that score Charlie, but he'd have got it from Howlin' Wolf anyway. Which is where I expect Led Zep got it from (didn't they nick most of that one from Willie Dixon?)

Not into the Beatles, so I won't argue about the White album, but just off the top of my head Beefheart's Trout Mask Replica doesn't have any filler.
Theres a lot of rubbish on double live albums, but back when studio recording was more expensive artists had to really push labels to put out doubles of new stuff, so they had to have enough decent material to justify it.
So generally I would say they were more consistent than single lps.


Charlie Horse 47 said...

Sean - Charlie must defer to your knowledge of the musical movement known as "rock n roll!"

Truly I know only topical subjects other than an abiding interest in the Beatles and those things connected to it. I.e., I know zip about Led Zep's back story, inspirations, etc.

Killdumpster said...

There are amazing double-live albums, and there are a lot of artists that that put out single live albums when they could've done a good double easy.

When Frank Zappa wanted to get out of his contract with Warner Brothers, they told him he needed 3 more albums. Having a fully equipped studio in his basement, Zappa blasted out a triple album.

The album was called "Lather". He marched into the office and said "Here you go". The big-wigs were infuriated. "You can't do that!" they screamed.

After some negotiation, Warner excepted it, but released it as 3 separate albums. I love Zappa, but in my opinion there was a bit of filler in those.

Killdumpster said...

The vanguard of double-live rock albums is probably "Frampton Comes Alive". Every other teenage girl in my high school had that bastard tucked under their arm to play on the turntables.

The guy didn't have much back-catalog. Hell, it was just a couple years since he quit his short stint with Humble Pie. The music industry loves pretty boys. That album REALLY had overextended songs.

His later studio stuff fell flat.

Cheap Trick's Live At Budakan is a truly worthy double-live. Those guys just rock.

Ted Nugent could've waited a few years before doing "Double Live Gonzo".

Alice Cooper released the Alice Cooper Show as a single when he had enough material to do a double easy. Would've been great to have the original band.

BOC's "On Your Feet, Or On Your Knees", is excellent.

UFO's "Strangers In The Night" is great. I love every song.

Judas Priest's Unleashed In The East could've been a double. The remastered version features more songs. My favorite live album EVER.

So sad Iron Maiden's Paul DiAnno era was punctuated with a live EP, Maiden In Japan. Saw the guy during the "Killers" tour, and the guy had the pipes.

Bruce Dickinson ruined that band for me.

Killdumpster said...

Charlie, oh my brother-

I don't know if I missed a pop culture reference concerning my anal cavity maintenance, but occasionally there are follicles appearing on my washcloth.

Gotta keep away them dingleberries!

UK brothers, is "dingleberry" a slang term used in England? I'm half expecting you folks call them "butt-biscuits".

Anonymous said...

A pedant writes -
Actually Kd, Lather was supposed to be four lps. By the time it was eventually released in its planned form it was on three cds.
Zappa was prolific generally, and didn't need contractual disputes to put out triple albums - he made several. I suppose how much of them you think is filler depends on your tolerance for Zappa.


Killdumpster said...

Well, Sean, oh my brother-

I was just disapating what I knew, thanks for a reiteration on my basic knowledge. I still believe, though, it was released by Warner Brothers as 3 vinyl l.p.s.

Maybe they edited them, much like they edited Zappa's "Live In New York", when first released.

As far as Zappa filler goes, "Let Me Take You To the Beach" & "Wind-Up Working At A Gas Station" were pretty weak, as far as Frank-level goes.

Too be honest, since it was part of my partying years, I mostly remember "The Adventures of Gregory Peckory". My pals & I quoted that song for years.

"Acid burnt-out eyeballs" & "Who are making those new brown clouds?" The last one was utilized when we partied while driving, when one of us farted.

So glad I saw him live. Joe's Garage tour. Incredible..

Charlie Horse 47 said...

KD - Thanks for opining on Frampton. TO THIS DAY, I still don't know how that dude came out of nowhere (I mean NOWHERE as far as pop music was concerned) and scored with that double album. I mean, talk about "one and done!" Two hits on one double album... that was it. And then, god knows why, he gets picked up for Sgt. Peppers? W.t.h... Was he like ultra famous in the UK and we just did not know much about him in the USA?

Anyone help fill in my profound lack of "figuring out Frampton?"

Anonymous said...

K.D., you forgot Queen Live Killers!
It was Freddie Mercury at his most bombastic. In "Now I'm Here" he's got everybody in the joint singing along with him. Y'know, the old back-and-forth where he sings a line and then they repeat it.
And Roger Taylor's "I'm in Love With My Car" crushes the studio version like a grape.
You can probably hear some of that stuff on the U-Tubes.
On another note, yeah, Zappa certainly did have a flair for hilarious lyrics.
"I am the Slime." (snort!)
His daughter was unbelievably hot.