Thursday, 19 March 2020

March 19th, 1980 - Marvel UK, 40 years ago this week.

Are there times when it seems to you like popular music has hit the rocks?

Well, on this night in 1980, it literally did when the MV Mi Amigo ran aground and sank in the Thames Estuary.

That mattered to music fans because it was the ship from which legendary pirate station Radio Caroline operated and the calamity forced the station to cease broadcasting. It would be another three years before transmissions would resume.

But, if a famous radio station was no longer broadcasting, the UK charts survived unassailed and, that very week, the Jam entered the UK singles chart at Number One, with Going Underground, giving them the first of their four Number Ones.

The Jam were a famously angry-sounding band. In fact, Paul Weller's ability to be grumpy about every single thing he ever encountered during that phase of his career is a thing of wonder to me, even now.

Over on the British album chart, things were a little more relaxing, with Johnny Mathis suddenly ruling supreme, thanks to his LP Tears and Laughter which succeeded in holding off Marti Webb's Tell Me On A Sunday.
Incredible Hulk Weekly #55, Sasquatch

Sasquatch decides to dangle Bruce Banner off a cliff, to make him turn into the Hulk, so he can discover which of them is the stronger.

I think we can guess what the answer to that one's going to be.

The Black Knight and Merlin have seen off the would-be invaders of their castle - but, now, that castle's in danger of plunging into an abyss, thanks to the damage done in the fighting!

The Fantastic Four are still having their first encounter with the Hulk. Will they ever discover the truth about Karl Kort?

Starting to shake of his amnesia, the Beast has begun to recognise the truth about his new allies the Brotherhood of Evil Mutants.

The Silver Surfer's travelled into the far future, to escape Galactus' Space Barrier but has found nothing save a universe in ruins.

And, for the nine millionth week running, the Defenders are still battling to rescue Jack Norriss from Scorpio.

Spectacular Spider-Man Weekly #367, Dr Octopus

I do believe that cover's adapted from a panel that originally featured in the tale which brought us the death of George Stacy.

Speaking of deaths, inside the comic, Peter Parker's worrying about arranging Aunt May's funeral, even though the book's already printed the story in which he discovers she's still alive.

If that was confusing to readers at the time, they could, no doubt, take reassurance from the fact that the Fantastic Four, Iron Man, Thor and Daredevil were still present in the comic.

Star Wars Weekly #108

The contents of this one are mostly a mystery to me but the cover boasts of it containing four great strips.

I know one of them's a Star Wars tale and I also know the book is still giving us the origin of Star-Lord.

I would assume the other two strips feature Deathlok and a tale of the Watcher but I cannot guarantee that.

Doctor Who Weekly #23, Cybermen

I can, though, guarantee The Star-Beast storyline's still going. As predicted by Sean, in the comments section, the other day, the strip is yet to shake off this mortal coil.

We also get a text history of UNIT.

We get a quick report about former companion Victoria Waterfield.

We get more of Marvel's adaptation of First Men in the Moon.

We get more of the text adaptation of The Time Meddler.

And we finish off with a Steve Moore/Steve Dillion strip called Ship of Fools which seems to involve a spacecraft named after The Flying Dutchman.

I predict stormy seas ahead.


dangermash said...

Yes, the Spider-Man pose on the cover is from t(e splash page in ASM #90. Spotter's badge, Steve.

As for the references to Aunt May's funeral, I think this Doc Ock story is from an annual, so easy to reprint out if continuity order. Especially as all those late #190s issues with Mysterio, the Burglar and Kingpin all run into each other. The annual probably takes place between two panels in one issue than Between issues.

But whichever artist it was that added only two arms to the cover with no central harness, a white background and one set of pincers hidden the other side of the White was one lazy bugger.

Charlie Horse 47 said...

You know.,.. that Star Wars cover really suggests it had potential to be a great cover.

Not sure if any of you are familiar with the comic book Wings, published by Fiction House starting in 1940 or so. They had the wildest doggone “air warfare” covers America’d ever seen!

Anyhow, this makes me wonder why Star Wars didn’t do more covers in that style. Really they are worth a look! Like # 19, 36, 87. (I only list 87 for reasons of nostalgia!)

And what’s odd is supposedly the battle scenes with the various fighters in Star Wars 1 movie were literally modeled after live war footage from American bombers being attacked by Germans / Japanese fighters during WW 2. How the world turns!

Charlie Horse 47 said...

That Spidey cover may take first place for the oddest dabgum cover I’ve seen.

That reminds me of the Addams Family and their pet hand, “Thing.”

Reminds me of the Bible, Chapter 5, Book of Daniel about "the bloody hand" and "the writing on the wall." (Though I would be more concerned about a bloody hand crawling along, all on its own, that what it wrote on the forking wall?)

Steve W. said...

Dangermash, thanks for the Spidey/Aunt May info.

Charlie, it's disastrous news. The World Snooker Championship has been cancelled. To compensate you, here's Ronnie O'Sullivan achieving the fastest-ever maximum break, way back in 1997:

Charlie Horse 47 said...

Steve... I guess it was inevitable that snookers would be called off. But, I admit to fantasizing about how it could have been done... just with TV cameras, separate rooms, and the challengers are by themselves (social distancing) as they take a shot... no spectators.

I think it would have been on every sports channel world wide since it would have been the only sport going on. Talk Sport would have been giving updates with each shot... oh my oh my...

Well, thank you for that link and I will indeed watch O'Sullivan! (I still must go to work, as I am considered "indispensable." Though, most would say I fall more into "indefensible."

Just curious... is Sheffield contemplating free bus fares again, as we get by this? Could it mean a resurgence of Brit Synth? Could the we be on the brink of a 3rd British Invasion?

Steve W. said...

The only thing I know, Charlie, is that, thanks to Covid-19, old people in Sheffield are now allowed to use their free bus passes before 9:30 in the morning. Quite why that move has been brought in, I'm not totally sure.

I am sure, though, that, thanks to this, in eighteen months' time, the charts will be filled with octogenarian synth-bands.

Charlie Horse 47 said...

Steve! I love the way you think and your confidence! Driving home from work at the never-before-seen speed of 90 mph, on a Chicago highway, I was jamming to an 80s channel. They played Pet Shop Boys "Love Comes Quickly" chased by "Safety Dance" by Men w/out Hats!

I hadn't her the PSB song in 25 years? And who can forget doing the Safety Dance in 1983? Loved every minute of it!

Anyhow, point being that if the free bus fares usher in a new British Synth invasion, I am 100% for it! Nay! 110% for it!

Charlie Horse 47 said...

B.t.w, let's assume Charlie is on a fixed budget. Who does he see this summer in Chicago: Pet Shop Boys or Heaven 17? They are both inbound!

I was thinking of selling one of my kidneys or bladders to see both! British Synth all the way baby!

Steve W. said...

I suspect Heaven 17 would be a bit livelier in concert than the Pet Shop Boys but I could be wrong. Maybe Neil Tennant will intersperse the songs with anecdotes about his time as Marvel UK's editor.

Charlie Horse 47 said...

If I do make to Pet Shop Boys you UK chaps want me to try and get you Neil Tennant's autograph?

Anonymous said...

I actually bought that Men Without Hats album. I must've been around 14, maybe 15.
Wasn't a whole lot on there, except that one song.
I was buyin' records in them days, with the money I got from washing dishes in a road side diner. Queen, the Stones, all kinda stuff.
It wasn't a bad gig. All the fried chicken I could eat.


Steve W. said...

It's a generous offer, Charlie but I feel I can live without Neil's autograph. However, do send him all our best wishes if you do get to speak to him.

MP, I always get Men Without Hats mixed up with Men At Work. They should definitely have united to create Men At Work Without Hats.

Charlie Horse 47 said...

Steve, I can not be generous enough given all the mirth and mayhem this site has brought me over the past 2 years!

If you are stuck inside, and short of reading material, I'm always ready to set you up with Steranko's History of Comics!

I think you are right b.t.w. Though Heaven 17 must be really obscure here in the USA, as compared to Pet Shop Boys, I imagine their show will be a bit livelier.

"Crushed by the Wheels of Industry" vs. "Rent"
"Fascist Groove Thing" vs. "Always on my Mind"

Hell... I might just decide to become an Anarchist after the show!!!

Anonymous said...

I don't remember hearing anything from Heaven 17, but I did have a buddy in high school who turned me on to Love and Rockets. He had me listen to "Kundalini Express" and it knocked my socks off. I bought several of their albums, though I found them to be pretty uneven.
He just called me a couple days ago, oddly enough. Drunk off his ass apparently.
Still a nut after all these years. He used to listen to Black Flag and he had this piranha he would feed goldfish to.


Charlie Horse 47 said...

MP - I doubt barely anyone in the US is familiar with Heaven 17. Many more are likely familiar with the title "We don't need no Fascist Groove Thing" b/c it got referenced now and then in places like Rolling Stone, Illinois Entertainer, Chicago Reader, Gary Goose Droppings..

I only know it b/c I walked into the record store at Purdue Univ, one Saturday afternoon and the dudes were ripping it big time over the speakers. Check out "Crushed by the Wheels of Industry." It's "bombastic" and, when you have a few pops in you, you feel quite compelled to take it back to the frat house and "party on."