Thursday, 28 November 2019

November 28th, 1979 - Marvel UK, 40 years ago this week.

Do you know how much of any interest happened in the world in this week of 1979?

Zero much of interest. There wasn't even any change at the top of the UK singles and album charts for us all to get excited about. Therefore, I shall demonstrate my legendary imagination by flinging myself straight into my look at what our favourite UK Marvel mags were up to in this week of that year.

Star Wars Weekly #92, Darth Vader vs Baron Tagge

I know little of this comic.

In fact, when I say, "little," I mean nothing.

The Guardians of the Galaxy are probably still having trouble with the Reavers of Arcturus, Deathlok's probably still having trouble with his creators, and the Watcher's probably providing us with another morality tale designed to give us pause about the way in which we conduct our lives.

It also looks like Baron Tagge's having problems with icicles.

Hulk Comic #39, the Silver Surfer

After all these issues, the Hulk's still fighting Machine Man.

You can't help feeling a fight between the two really shouldn't be lasting this long. In fact, I wouldn't have expected it to last for more than two panels - and one of those would involve Machine Man's body parts flying in various directions, while partially obscured by the word, "SMASH!!!"

Ant-Man and the Wasp are still trapped at insect size and still having trouble with the Whirlwind.

We're still working our way through the origins of the Black Knight and the Silver Surfer, while the Defenders are about to meet the Red Rajah who so isn't Dr Strange in disguise and no one could possibly ever suspect that he is.

Doctor Who Weekly #7, Tom Baker and Lis Sladen

The Iron Legion are still causing trouble for the universe and the Doctor.

We get a text piece about the ancient Doctor Who story The Keys of Marinus.

There's yet more of Marvel's adaptation of War of the Worlds. I can only hope it's being better received than the BBC's adaptation will be, exactly forty years later.

And that Cyberman's still investigating human emotion.

But, thrilling as that all is, it literally pales into insignificance beside the chance to win two portable televisions - even if they do look to be black and white.

But what's this? Someone's misspelt, "Delgado," on the cover? That's the sort of thing that can get you killed by a homicidal inflatable chair.

And, for that matter, for just how long has The Keys of Marinus been all one word?

Spectacular Spider-Mn Weekly #351, the Black Cat

Spidey's out to thwart the Black Cat who's determined to rescue her ailing dad from prison.

Is the Black Cat's dad the cat burglar who turned up in the strip, way back in Steve Ditko's day, just as the Master Planner storyline was about to break out?

Daredevil's fighting voodoo in Central Park, in the form of a man dressed as a skeleton who does things to chickens.

I think Godzilla's just polished off Red Ronin and has now found his true calling in life - terrorising cowboys.

The FF are in the Andromeda galaxy, trying to help the locals stave off the Skrulls in the Nova crossover we've recently been experiencing in the FF's American mag.

And Iron Man's still fighting the Super-Adaptoid at the Avengers Mansion. Needless to say, the villain they don't call, "Supie," is confident of victory.


dangermash said...

The Spider-Man cover isn’t from the original ASM #195. My guess at the reason for this is that My best mate Dez has been butchering the original comics to fit into the limited page count of his by leaving out all the Peter/Betty/Ned triangle backstory. The same way that the X-Factor and Strictly butcher great songs to fit into 90 minute slots. The original cover to ASM #195 is one of those with multiple pictures in it, one of which has Betty slapping Peter round the face. A cover that wouldn't make sense if I'm right about Dez.

Anonymous said...

Are you suggesting the cover blurb isn't correct and that one doesn't have it all, dangermash? I'm shocked.

It does have what looks to my eye like another terrible Paul Neary cover, Steve. I don't recall his work being as poor as its been coming across in these posts, but thats history for you.
Maybe thats why he's better known as an inker these days...


Anonymous said...

So no-one else likes the new War of the Worlds much either?
I suppose in the twenty-first century the chances of a good adaptation coming from the BBC are a million to one.
Either go for the spirit of the original with an update, or - if you're going to do a period piece - stick to the book. At the very least, design some decent tripods!


Anonymous said...

Ah, the fabled Star of Capistan.
Even the vaunted Master of the Mystic Arts of this particular reality found himself caught unawares and possessed by the malevolent entity that lurked within this crimson jewel.
Pretty sloppy, but when you're on top you gotta keep your head on a swivel.
It was a great storyline in what was then a very cool comic, to wit, Defenders as written by Dave Kraft and illustrated by Keith Giffen with inks by Klaus Janson.
I don't recall exactly how this thing got resolved, but it did end after a battle royal in Central Park between the possessed members of the Defenders, Nighthawk, Luke Cage and the Hulk, and the un-possessed distaff Defenders Valkrie, Hellcat, and the new, female Red Guardian.
I think there was some implied comment here about the battle of the sexes.
It's amazing how much stuff has happened in Central Park.
It was pretty quiet when I was there, (there was this little memorial to Lennon) but that was during daylight hours. But it's pretty big, so maybe there was a superhero battle going on in there on the other side of it.


Steve W. said...

Sean, Beeb's War of the Worlds has certainly been getting a lot of hammering on Twitter.

Personally, I don't mind the show too much but they clearly don't have the budget to deliver as much tripod action as they need to and have decided to fill the gap by devoting as much time as possible to the human interest side instead.

The flash-forward element really isn't working at all. I assume they've done it because the, "They all die from the common cold," resolution is, dramatically, extremely weak, even if it contains a message. Therefore, they've tried to depict it as not being the story's end but only the end of its beginning, with the story continuing for years afterwards, as demonstrated by the presence of the segments set in the, "future." That's my guess, anyway.

Who knows, perhaps Killraven'll show up.

MP, I do remember reviewing the issue where Valkyrie, the Red Guardian and Hellcat all first team-up, and me mentioning that it's the only instance I can think of of Marvel heroes meeting each other and not immediately launching into a fight with each other. Instead, they all get on like actual adults.

Dangermash, I wish I could remember just how much Dez was cutting out of those stories but the memory of it has long since faded from my mind.

Killdumpster said...

That was my favorite Defenders era.

If I had a time-machine, I'd try to talk Kirby out of Machine Man. Also Devil Dinosaur.

Speaking of dinosaurs, Godzilla vs cowboys was downright ridiculous. Someone at Marvel must have been a big fan of VALLEY OF GWANGI

Dark Horse comics totally blew Marvel out of the water concerning 'Zilla. Those were great books.

I've already stated that the Ant-Man and Iron Man stories were excellent. I would love to read'em again.

Anonymous said...

It was a great era, K.D.
The Scorpio arc was brilliant. Jake Fury and his L.M.D. Zodiac were so compelling that I almost found myself rooting for them.
The title kinda petered out after that. Though Blue Oyster Cult did make a cameo! I
But losing Giffen and Janson was a big loss. The art was a mess after that.


Killdumpster said...

Damn straight, MP.
With those guys I could almost handle any kind of story they wanted to tell.

Especially after suffering through the Nebulon/Bozo/Elf arc, with Sal Buscema art to boot.

I was actually excited about the book again.

Anonymous said...

Steve, I wasn't really expecting state of the art tripod action and dazzling fx from the BBC's War of the Worlds and don't have a problem with them doing more of the human interest stuff instead, they just didn't do it well.
The drama could have been used to explore Wells' themes - the British social order of the time and its break down, the critique of imperialism, and so on - rather than the boring stuff they came up with.

And don't get me started on those flash-forwards.
Thats a fair point about the resolution being fairly weak, but... well, thats WotW. Its hard to see a way round it for any adaptation. (Although League of Extraordinary Gentlemen vol 2 - which in its way is faithful to the book - had an ingenious twist on the common cold thing. But then, it had a good writer)


Killdumpster said...

Sean, is this BBC version of War Of The Worlds NEW?

I'm ashamed I never read the original Wells story.

I love the George Pal film, expierenced the Orson Welles radio broadcast, and own them both.

There was a made-for-tv film that portrayed what happened when that radio show aired. Folks actually thought it was real! Pretty interesting movie.

All the direct-to-video movies I've seen are unwatchable, and I've never seen the big budget film from a few years ago. I totally refuse to see anything starring Tom Cruise.

Killdumpster said...

Too bad the League Of Extraordinary Gentlemen film was a bomb. The comic featuring the War/Worlds theme was great. It would've made a good sequel.

Killdumpster said...

Sorry, for not catching your opinion on of BBC's War/Worlds. I guess from what you & Sean state, H.G.'s concept still hasn't been able to get a decent portrayal, even after all these years.

Next time I'm at a book shop, I'm going to pick it up.

When I was a kid, I'd get AMAZING ADVENTURES occasionally, during the Inhumans & Black Widow stint. When it featured the Beast, it was a "first-grab".

Though bummed about Hank McCoy no longer in the book, I still would pick it up (usually because that was all that was left at the newsstand of interest).

For my taste, being a Hulk fan, having Trimpe art in the Killraven issues didn't hurt.

Steve W. said...

KD, the BBC version is indeed new.

As for the Tom Cruise version, it's a brilliantly directed film but all the brilliant direction's wasted on a bunch of characters no one seems to care about.

Steve W. said...

I've just discovered that another TV adaptation of War of the Worlds aired on French TV just last month. You wait all these years for a TV adaptation and two come along at once.

Anonymous said...

There was (sort of) a version on the History channel not so long ago Steve, The Great Martian War.

The Tom Cruise film is there for anyone who wants to see the tripods realized with fantastic fx, and shows that a version which has to put more emphasis on the characters and human drama because of budget constraints isn't necessarily at a disadvantage. Unless its being made by the BBC of course.

Just watched a clip of the French one, and like the Americans they've gone for a modern setting. Perhaps the BBC WotW - with its confused look to the past - is basically about Brexit?


Anonymous said...

Would a walking tripod actually work? I'm not much of a physics guy but it seems unstable. You don't see it occur by itself in nature, except as an accident or a fight or a birth defect.
Of course, who am I to argue with the Leader, master of the Murder Module?
They sure look cool, though.


Anonymous said...

I believe that was the whole point M.P. - tripods don't occur in nature so they look alien.
Would they really be more unstable than two legs? We seem to manage alright (er, well... I can't speak for anyone else, but I manage to stay upright most of the time).


Anonymous said...

That's pretty good for an Irishman, Sean.


Anonymous said...

Well played M.P.
If perhaps a touch racist. Tsk tsk.


Anonymous said...

I'm sorry, Sean, I just couldn't help myself!
I'm gonna hate myself in the morning...


Anonymous said...

No worries M.P. - so long as you're not from anywhere with a history of trying to colonize us (ie you're not British) its ok (;


Charlie Horse 47 said...

Hello Folks, If I may have a moment of self indulgence...

This summer, in a sleepy valley in southern Germany (between Schwabisch Hall and Gaildorf, fwiw) I was hanging with my homeys from the 1980s.

Though not noticeable during the day at all, during the quiet of the night, with a bit of east wind, you would hear the woosh, woosh, woosh of the wind mills creating electricity and would look up and just see the tips of the 3-bladed buggers whirling around.

Around 2 AM, after a few german lagers and intimate conversation, I started walking "home" down this dead end street... It was darkish, little moon speak of. Then suddenly came the woosh... woosh... woosh...

I looked up and could just see the blade tips going round and round...

I promise you the first thing that entered my mind was "War of the Worlds" and imagined the tripods were descending into the valley! It really unnerved me because, compared to the size of the 3-bladed windmill I was clearly out matched, out gunned, out of luck were it a martian tripod.

Still have vivid recollection of that...

KD - if you want I think I have the "Classics Illustrated" War of the Worlds (Or is it Well's "Journey to the Moon?" Interested?)