Thursday, 12 December 2019

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

Have you ever wondered what happened to bigpox?

I've no idea what happened to bigpox.

I do, however, know what happened to smallpox.

It was murdered.

It was murdered on December 9th 1979 when its eradication was officially certified, making it the first human disease ever to have been driven to extinction.

That was clearly a thing to celebrate - especially for milkmaids - and another thing to celebrate that week was British stunt rider Eddie Kidd successfully jumping 80 ft on a motorcycle. I have no more information on that feat, as the Wikipedia page I was looking at furnished no more information but it sounds like it's probably a thing worth boasting about.

Elsewhere, that week, the unrecognised state of Zimbabwe Rhodesia returned to British control and switched back to the name, "Southern Rhodesia." Lord Soames was appointed transitional governor to oversee its move to independence and inspire the last Stevie Wonder song that I actually liked.

Speaking of songs, the summit of the UK singles chart that week belonged to Pink Floyd's Another Brick in the Wall, Part 2.

Amazingly, with just thirteen days to go until Santa's birthday, there was only one Christmas song in the Top 40. That was Wonderful Christmastime by that bloke who used to be in the Beatles.

star wars weekly #94, Han Solo shoots a wookie on the back

What's this? Han Solo shooting Chewbacca, dead, in the back?

I've a suspicion that's not really Chewbacca  but some random Wookie, and that Marvel's merely playing games with us.

On the other hand, if it is Chewie, then it's one hell of a plot twist and I'd love to know how they wrote their way out of that one when he showed up, alive and well, in the next movie.

Elsewhere, the Guardians of the Galaxy are still battling the Reavers of Arcturus in a story which seems to have been going on since the dawn of time.

Deathlok's still battling War-Wolf. I suspect that battle will be shorter lived.

As will War-Wolf.

In this week's Tales of the Watcher, a Martian comes to Earth and triumphantly destroys an Earth rocket...

...only for it to turn out he's merely destroyed a toy because he's only an inch tall and doesn't realise it.

Hulk Weekly #41

The Corporation finally dealt with and his fight with Machine Man over, it's now time for the Hulk to launch into his journey to the Andes, which'll see the rejuvenation of Tyrannus - or, "Des," as we're now to call him.

Maybe it's my imagination but I'm sure this comic's already reprinted this story. I'm fairly sure it was the first Hulk tale it published when it dropped the UK originated adventures and switched back to US material.

The Wasp and Ant-Man are still trapped at insect-size and being held captive by a drunk and lonely robot who wants to gain the powers of insects.

The comic's still giving us the backstory of the Black Knight, while the Defenders are about to confront the Red Rajah, with Hellcat showing up to join in.

Doctor Who Weekly #9, the Zygons

Hooray! We get a text article on one of my favourite Doctor Who monsters, the Zygons, who looked a lot creepier in the old shows than they do in the modern ones. Adding fangs was just overkill. As was the angry facial expression.

We also get a Dave Gibbons drawn tale called City of the Damned. I don't know if it's anywhere near The City of Death.

The War of the Worlds adaptation's still going.

We also get a text piece about 1960s story The Sensorites and, also, a new picture strip called The Stolen TARDIS.

spectacular spider-man weekly #353, the kingpin

My knowledge of this issue is highly patchy but I do know the main tale sees the Kingpin out to kill Spider-Man before the clock strikes midnight, or his wife Vanessa will treat him like a pumpkin.


Killdumpster said...

I've already stated how, as I've grown older, that I get completely annoyed by Christmas music. Ok, I'm a "Scrooge", but I can suffer through.

While being a Beatles fan, and liking most of McCartney & Wings tunes, "Wonderful Christmastime" makes me think Paul actually DID die & was replaced.

Killdumpster said...

The Defenders tales during that period were a welcome change, after the goofy Headmen & the silly Nebulon/Bozo arcs.

And along those lines, didn't someone explain the killer elf thing?

I hope one of you folks can refresh my memory.

Charlie Horse 47 said...

Ahoy Mates!

Charlie is still a little cross-eyed from the big purge for the colonoscopy so his eyes ain't quite working...

In the Star Wars, where Hans is shooting WOokie in the back, is that also a WoOkie in chains in the background?

Not sure why but the "shooting in the back" scene reminds of James Bond #1 (?) on the beach where he shoots an enemy or two in the back? I guess that received negative feedback and hence forth James only shot people facing him?

James Bond has to be the second greatest UK cultural export after the Beatles?

Charlie Horse 47 said...

My daughter and I really dig Paul's "Wonderful Christmas Time."

It nice, bright, got a bit of mirth and gaiety to it! What's not to like... you Scrooges!!!

Just kidding... actually I tend to just prefer the popularized versions of those classic Xmas tunes. E.g., I love hearing Der Bingle sing White Christmas!

I mean, does anyone do "Last Christmas" better than George Michael? (I guess he would be the UK's 3rd greatest export culturally after the Beatles and James Bond?)

Steve W. said...

It is indeed a Wookie in chains.

Charlie Horse 47 said...

Steve - Wait... there were multiple Wookies in the Star Wars storyline back in the day? Or can we conclude that Chewy was last of the breed? Or do I remember an eventual introduction of more WoOkies in Star Wars 4,5,6, etc.

Guess my brain along with me eyes is still recovering from the recent hard work LOL!

Steve W. said...

Don't forget there was a whole family of Wookies in the Star Wars Holiday Special.

Charlie Horse 47 said...

Blimey! There was a Star Wars Holiday Special??? Had noooo idea!

Steve - I am going to speculate, based on your keener ability to see the Star Wars cover, that Hans is shooting a Chewbacca imposter before he does something like steal the Force from Luke or Yoda. This is based on an assumption that the Wookie in chains is the real Chewbacca!

Charlie Horse 47 said...

Sean - sounds like you (I'll help as will Charlie) need to mount an operation to rescue the Kulaks!

Anonymous said...

A bit early to be sure Charlie, but yes it does look that way.
The English, eh? Seems like they've voted to kick themselves repeatedly in the head.

Still, every cloud and all that... the tory Brexit means Irish unification in the near future. In 2024 according to Star Trek -


dangermash said...

Charlie - at tonight's end of term concert at Rainham Mark Grammar School, the guitar club did a cracking version of Last Christmas within their Christmas medley. All acoustic and very spiritual.

Anonymous said...

K.D., After Gerber split from the Defenders, David Kraft killed that dangling plot line by having the Elf run over by a moving van seconds before he was gonna shoot a paperboy.
Years later, the Elf was brought back by still another writer as an emissary for a mysterious alien cabal, who for unknown reasons were trying to bring about the end of the Defenders.
But, nothing about the whole thing made much sense. What was Gerber going for with the killer Elf? We will likely never know.
Personally, I blame weed. And lots of it.


Anonymous said...

Sean, I'm sure you hope for a day when your home country is unified, and it's government is dedicated to the betterment, rights, and welfare of all of it's citizens. When people see beyond the past and join together to plan a better future.
I sure as hell hope that day happens in my country too, at some point.


Anonymous said...

Its the Scottish you should really be sympathetic to M.P.
The English seem to have lost their senses and gone mad for Boris Johnson, and the north Irish at least have another country to rejoin. But the Scots are a bit stuck with right-wing lunatics they pretty much completely rejected last night.

Btw, on the Elf - after all, this is a comic blog - it seemed to me Gerber was going for a complete non-sequitur, so getting hit by a truck at random was fairly consistent.
I'm a bit more lukewarm to Kraft's Defenders than you - maybe I wasn't enough into Blue Oyster Cult? - but he did the right thing in avoiding any explanation for the Elf.


Anonymous said...

Scotland can always vote for independence, Sean, and if they've got any sense they'll do so - and my father was Scottish so surely that means I can claim political asylum and citizenship :)
And as a long-time supporter of Irish unification I hope Brexit will hasten that too.
But I'm looking forward to 2021 when BoJo The Clown has to explain why Brexit hasn't led us to the land of milk and honey.

Killdumpster said...

M.P., thanks for reinteration of the elf info. Though it had been in conversation before,I just couldn't remember. It's firmly in the memory banks now.

Charlie, my pal, his brother and myself hauled up a huge TV into their attic bedroom. We had just ran & hooked up the antenna wire, turned the set on, and by accident caught the Star Wars Holiday Special.

It was a good show, and I'm uncertain if it ever aired again or was released on DVD. It certainly was great doobie-toasting entertainment.

Moments I remember were Choowie giving his wife a music-box that played a "hologram" of Jefferson Starship, and a Boba Fett cartoon.

I'm uncertain if the cartoon is considered Star Wars cannon.

Steve W. said...

I do feel duty bound to point out that the entirety of the Star Wars Holiday Special can be found on YouTube, at this address:

It's certainly an experience that, once had, can never be forgot.

Charlie Horse 47 said...

Steve - Thanks for the link to Star Wars Holiday Special! It's those little nuggets that show the love you have for your adoring fan club!

Decisions, decisions... I can go for the traditional CHarlie Brown Xmas" followed by "The Little Drummer Boy" or SWHS. Me thinks the family may stick with the annual tradition, lol.

Google tells us that Star Wars Holiday Special was from 1978. Lucas is quoted as saying, “If I could I’d destroy every copy in existence.” LOL!

Anonymous said...

Sean, I think the Scots don't like decisions being made for them in London any better than the Brexit supporters like being in the EU. I think the Scots have a point.
I liked the decision Kraft made with the Elf, the absurdity of it, and I think he shoulda stayed right where he was, to wit, plastered to the bumper of a moving van.
(I think the moving van was a metaphor. Kraft didn't wanna deal with it!)

Since the subject of X-mas programs has invariably reared it's head, I would put in a vote for Year without a Santa Claus, for no other reason than the Cold Mizer and the Heat Mizer.
I have to watch that every year, and it's come to my attention that the Heat Mizer looks a lot like Trump.
Kind of acts like him too! Full of hot gasses.


Killdumpster said...

Since I had no idea who Eddie Kidd was, I Wiki'd him. What an amazing guy! Wish his motorcycle stunts were broadcast here in the States.

He beat Robbie Knievel in a stunt challenge, and jumped the Great Wall of China! That's fragging spectacular!!

Even after being paralyzed, he managed to complete a marathon! That man has intestinal fortitude by the bucket loads.

Definetly going do do some research on that guy.

Killdumpster said...

While I may be a bit on the Scroogey-side concerning holiday music, I still have fondness for holiday TV specials. Especially the stop-motion animations done by Rankin/Bass.

Rudolph will always be my fav, but Year Without Santa Claus is my 2nd. All because because of the Cold Miser/Heat Miser scenes.

When that first came out that was the most popular song to sing. It even beat out "Jingle Bells, Batman Smells" & "Rudolph the Red-Gunned Cowboy". Our elementary school music teacher dug it, too.

Maybe if Trump would sing & dance like Heat Miser, more folks would like him. Lol.

Then again, probably not...

Killdumpster said...

With all the wackiness going on in our government, I was still able to keep an eye on the events happening in yours.

While I believe most of you aren't big fans of BoJo, I have optimistic hopes for you fellows.

Anonymous said...

Personally Kd, I am optimistic - Brexit is a fantastic opportunity...
Its long been well known that Britain's difficulty is an opportunity for the Irish (;


Killdumpster said...

In what way? Economically, or to retake the North?

Anonymous said...

Both Kd. Briefly - because I'm probably trying Steve's patience with the comments as it is - we'll be the only people with free movement in the UK AND the EU; and the logic of Brexit leads to unification (already BoZo's withdrawal agreement will introduce customs checks between the north and Britain).

On Star Wars, all I have to say is that if the Ewoks and Jar Jar Binks are part of the continuity then why not the Holiday Special? Mind you, with Jefferson Starship in it you can see why George Lucas wanted to destroy every copy...


Anonymous said...

Whatsis about Jefferson Starship? They were in that? I don't remember.
They were a decent band until Paul Kantner split and they became the abomination known as Starship.
I can't get into Star Wars as an adult. It's what Mark Hamill called it, "Children's theater on a grand scale."
But I still read and argue about comics, and all sorts of goofy stuff, so who the heck am I to talk! If some people like it that's OK. I mean, I'm watching Hellboy on T.V. right now...


Charlie Horse 47 said...

Steve, et al!

I'm having a Wonderful Christmas Time! Hope you are too!

Hey - I keep getting a blurb in the upper right hand corner of SDC for a review of Marvel
Premier's #31 featuring The Man Brute called "Woodgod."

Quick questions:

Was Woodie in anyway related with Gorgon of the Inhumans, given the hooved feet?

Was the title influenced by Atlas comic's "The Brute?

I don't recall a whole lot of "brutes" in the world of comics? Or do I?

Anonymous said...

If memory serves, I think Woodgod was the result of some kinda medical experiment. He looked like Pan. That was basically his deal.
It's weird that he could stand up against the Hulk, for a few minutes anyway.
I think those writers in the '70's were throwing stuff against the wall, to see if something stuck.
But Deathlok stuck, and so did Moonknight, Ghost Rider, Luke Cage, and, whether for good or ill, Wolverine. Personally I have always found him to be obnoxious.


Anonymous said...

Wolverine's good at what he does, but what he does isn't good, M.P.
Ok, thats a fair point about him being obnoxious (all those tough heroes with stubble are a bit irritating really).