Thursday, 21 May 2020

May 21st, 1980 - Marvel UK, 40 years ago this week.

Thanks to Charlie Horse 47 and Killdumpster for their sponsorship of this post, via the magic of Patreon.
***

Big lumps of rock.

Have you ever found yourself looking at one and wondering what primal urges led someone to put it there?

If so, you aren't alone and, on this night in 1980, BBC Two's Chronicle took a look at the subject, concentrating on a stone circle newly-found in Aberdeenshire, comparing and contrasting it with the better-known circle at Avebury.

BBC One, meanwhile, was looking at a somewhat less mysterious British icon, as The Risk Business asked whether there was a future for the double-decker bus.

It is, of course, to George Lucas' eternal shame that neither stone circles nor double-decker buses featured in The Empire Strikes Back which was released that very week.

No doubt, we were all going to see it...

...provided we could actually afford to. This was, after all, the week in which UK inflation rose to a positively vertiginous 21.8%.

In the United States, Mount St. Helens erupted in Washington State, killing 57 people and causing $3 billion worth of damage.

Back in Britain, that week, Joy Division's singer Ian Curtis was found hanged, having killed himself.

Star Wars Weekly #117

As far as I can make out, in a Michael Golden drawn tale, Leia and Luke find themselves trapped inside a living spaceship that's out to obliterate them.

Back in the Marvel Universe, Man-Wolf's also on a spaceship, and also in a fight for survival, although he's now back in his guise of John Jameson.

John Jameson is, as we know, an astronaut. So, presumably, he'll feel far more at home on there than his shaggy alter-ego did.

In this week's Tales of the Watcher, an unpleasant man travels to an alien planet, in search of its legendary treasure but discovers the treasure's actually a fountain of youth whose waters he's unknowingly imbibed, causing him to quickly revert to infanthood.

Doctor Who Weekly #32

This week, the Doctor visits an alien zoo, which is nice for him.

I don't know whether that ties in to the main story which is still The Dogs of Doom.

We get a text article about the notorious Horns of Nimon.

And there's an adventure reprinted from Tales to Astonish #33 in which a scientist builds a time machine to escape the perils of the modern world - only to discover that every era has its perils.

It sounds to me like he'd have been better off investing in a history book, rather than a time machine.

We also get an article about The Master, a text story involving K-9, and a strip about a Yeti.

Spider-Man and Hulk Weekly #376

Because you the reader demanded it, Marvel's top two super-hero weeklies have failed and now merge to produce a comic which reunites the original stars of Mighty World of Marvel, as well as introducing Spider-Woman and the savage She-Hulk!

How can we resist so much spidery-hulky goodness?

We can't!

At least, that's the hope of Marvel UK.

Forces in Combat #2

Hooray! We can win two Raleigh bicycles!

They'd better be Choppers or I'll feel highly disappointed when mine arrives.

All I know of this week's contents is the Howling Commandos have organised an escape from a prisoner of war camp - an escape which keeps being jeopardised by the fact that one of the people they're trying to rescue is a trigger-happy maniac who just can't resist shooting at Germans when he's supposed to be hiding.

52 comments:

Anonymous said...

Newly-found stone circle...? That sounds sooo BBC, Steve - I'd have thought locals in Aberdeenshire would have known it was there for a long time.
Mind you, to be fair to the Beeb, there are a LOT of megaliths in that part of Scotland, more than anywhere else I believe, so maybe it would be quite easy to forget the odd circle.

It was always annoying the way comic mergers were presented to readers as good news. With the exception of 2000AD after combining with Starlord it never seemed to work out well for either title, even the better selling one.

-sean

Killdumpster said...

Well Steve, I do believe you wanted to "open a can of worms" by teasing the similarity of the rocks to Stonehenge ( a favorite topic on this site), as well as Spider-Woman.

I met a guy that was trapped by Mt. Saint Helen. Can't remember his name.

Him & his buddies and some girls were in a cabin, and were planning to be there for a week.

It was almost 3 weeks till they got out. He told me the amount of food, booze, weed & LSD got them through it.

I asked him if there was alot of sex during that time. He said not much, as the woman kept freaking out the whole time.

Killdumpster said...

He may have wrote a story for High Times.

Anonymous said...

I think a lot of publishers missed the fact that most readers had a finite interest in comics (probably two to three years) and so often presented with an exit point (the merge) they simply stopped buying. The trick was to gain more readers than you lose. The problem, I think, with this era of Marvel UK was that other than the licensed titles, the material was a bit duff. Given how popular the X-men were in the US, why not feature them front and centre in a UK weekly, rather than bury them at the back of Rampage monthly? Instead they laugh another war comic with, literally, nothing appealing about the content.

Obviously with the gift of hindsight and all that.

DW

Steve W. said...

Sean, upon further investigation, it turns out the stone circle in Aberdeenshire was no longer present and the experts were excavating the site where it had once stood.

As for mergers, nothing will ever beat The Mighty World Of Marvel And The Avengers And Planet Of The Apes And Dracula Lives And Fury.

KD, my favourite claim about the Mount St Helens eruption is that it killed the local Bigfoots and the American government has been covering it up ever since.

DW, I suspect Marvel UK saw the monthlies as more viable than the weeklies, given the higher cover price and, therefore, wanted to save the best stuff for those.

Ted Ignacio said...

Never knew much about the Marvel UK books. Very informative.

Killdumpster said...

Man, Bigfoot! Another aspect of '70's fun/speculation.

I think I own every film, documentary or drama, made in the '70's about Bigfoot. Saw alot of them previously on TV, or the Drive-inn.

An esteemed university here in the 'Burgh, Carnegie-Mellon, offered a night class on Sasquach. A co-worker and I were gonna take it, but he backed out.

Anonymous said...

Ah, someone took the stone circle did they, Steve?
They're hard things to move. If I were Scots I'd look for it south of the border, as its the kind of thing the English do - its a well known fact they nicked Stonehenge from the Irish.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mount_Killaraus

-sean

Charlie Horse 47 said...

Sean - I may have asked this before, but my brother roomed with some Irish guys in London for a year and they swore they would pee on the Blarney Stone at night anticipating Brits and Americans coming and giving it a kiss. You think that's plausible?

Big Foot are just neanderthals who survived the mini Ice Age like 20,000 years ago. They weren't all pushed back into the south of France and Israel. Some sailed to Polynesia and then the American west coast. Donovan sang about this in the late 60s. It's true.

Charlie Horse 47 said...

OK - many ain't fans of Star Wars II because it was inconclusive and we had to wait years for Star Wars 3. We get it.

But for me and Charlie the fight scene on the frozen plains of Hoth is the best of all 9 (?)Star Wars movies. (Some of you may refer to this as the Fight for Echo Base.)

(We are not robots! Why are we clicking this again?)

Charlie Horse 47 said...

Steve - It seems Charlie snuck on the PC again and used your Amazon Link to buy "manscaping" tools.


So if you get a comish for the "Bush Beater Turbo Max" it wasn't me buying it!

Just FWIW...

Anonymous said...

I just saw a rerun of Starsky and Hutch (which I watch occasionally for some reason) where, in a lighter moment, they're arguing about Bigfoot. That's what a craze it was back then.
All I can tell ya, is, as I kid I moved my bed as far away from the widow as possible. I envisioned a huge hairy claw crashing through the glass and grabbing me in my sleep.
Remember the poster for The Legend of Boggy Creek? That scared the bejeezus outta me.

M.P.

Killdumpster said...

Manscaping...ugh...

I remember When one of the joys of being a guy was that we could be low maintenance.

Not dating anymore, so I'm more than happy to keep my George "The Animal" Steel theme going on.

Killdumpster said...

The Legend of Boggy Creek is a fun film, the sequel not so much.

Charlie Horse 47 said...

KD - Low maintenance ain't good enough no more. One must also be "user friendly." We ain't talking Spanky and Our Gang...

Anonymous said...

Sounds like your brother's mates were winding him up Charlie - I'd have thought it would be difficult to get into the castle at night.
Still, when are we talking about? Society was less security-crazy back before the right-wing loonies took over during the 80s...

-sean

Charlie Horse 47 said...

Hi Sean, well my brother was in London in 87. So... assume they were peeing on the blarney in the early 80s?

Anonymous said...

K.D., I saw the movie as an adult and it was a low-budget cheese sandwich. I can't picture anyone watching it without chemical assistance.
It's the poster that scared the crap outta me as a little kid. Google it! Yikes!
Like most little kids, I guess, I had my radar up for anything spooky and macabre.
The 70's the not disappoint.

Charlie, you mentioned Donovan. Was there a connection between Bigfoot and Atlantis?
Are Bigfeet the descendants of ancient Atlanteans?
Plato didn't go into much detail...

M.P.

Anonymous said...

Donovan's account of Atlantis wasn't very historically rigorous either M.P.
I guess it depends on whether you think "all legends from all lands were from fair Atlantis" includes Bigfoots (Bigfeet?)

Charlie, it probably would have been easier forty years ago, but it still sounds like the sort of thing people say they'll do rather than actually do.

-sean

Anonymous said...

Steve

Fair enough, but they still hid those stories at the back. Having said that, The Daredevils specifically featured Frank Miller's well regarded run, as well as Moore/David Captain Britain, and no one bought that either.

DW

Charlie Horse 47 said...

Sean - Donovan was the man! Atlantis was the source of everything but Namor.

I think you are correct. I can't imagine a bunch of drunks running around to pee on the Blarney Stone.

But, now that I think about my stupid behavior while drunk, I'm having second thoughts. I never did the stupid stuff on my own. It always took a bunch of us to collectively decide that drunk and stupid was a decent way to spend the next few hours.

Thank God for marijuana b/c high and lazy (and hungry) is a lot safer for the general public than drunk and stupid (and having to pee).

Anonymous said...

Some think that Plato, when he wrote of the sinking of Atlantis, was referring to the volcanic eruption on the island of Thera, now known as Santorini, some 3600 years ago, which brought about the end of the Minoan civilization and, by removing a competitor, allowed a new Greek classical period, which came to a height after the defeat of the Persians, reached it's apotheosis under Alexander and remained as the cultural standard many centuries afterwards.

M.P.

Anonymous said...

I apologize. I majored in history, okay?
It was the only thing in college I could sit through.

M.P.

Steve W. said...

Thanks, Ted. :)

Charlie, make sure to thank Charlie, on my behalf, for the manscaping purchase.

But, Sean, that page says the Irish stole it from Africa...

MP and KD,I too feared Bigfoot attacks. And I was in England!

MP, I think the current fashionable theory (amongst non-scientists) is that Atlantis was built on the Richat Structure in Mauritania, on the grounds that its shape, layout, dimensions and surrounding topography are an exact match for Plato's description and that it's in the spot where Herodotus placed "Atlantes" on his map of the world. Admittedly, it's also about 1200 ft above see level which is a bit of a hurdle for a sea port.

Anonymous said...

Steve, I think Herodotus may have been mistaken. For Atlantis to have been there and for it to sunken under the ocean, a big chunk of northwest Africa would have to have sunk beneath the waves. I don't see that. That woulda been a world-wide calamity.
Now, there's plenty of volcanic activity in the Mediterranean to make one imagine Bronze-Age civilizations rising and falling there from just that.
A volcano going off is a relatively local calamity. (Depending how much stuff gets thrown into the air) But enough to knock the Minoan civilization outta the box.

M.P.

Steve W. said...

I think the theory is that a large boy of water swept across it from the east and then poured down into the Atlantic, so it would either have been a lake or inland sea in what's now the Sahara desert that did the damage.

Looking at satellite images of it, it does look like there's been a massive land slide between the structure and the Atlantic at some point. Whether that's the case and when it happened, if it did happen, is anyone's guess.

Colin Jones said...

Steve, I'd say it was the Hulk weekly that failed rather than both the Hulk and Spidey weeklies. Spidey gets top billing in the new merger and the Spider-Man weekly continued (under various names) until 1985.

Nobody has mentioned Bigfoot's appearance on The Six Million Dollar Man.

The stone megaliths which form Stonehenge were actually transported from South Wales (with great difficulty I assume).

There's a theory that all the great stories of flooding (Atlantis, Noah's flood, Gilgamesh and the flood etc) are actually derived from ancient folk memories of the massive floods caused by melting glaciers at the end of the last ice age.

Charlie Horse 47 said...

I say we should go back to "the man" himself and and ask him! Donovan! He's still alive!

Otherwise we are just chasing rainbows regarding Atlantis!

Colin - ewe may have seen the same "History Channel" show as me about many cultures referencing a big flood in humanity's origins. But I have learned to take History Channel shows with a grain of salt. Google!

Ummm... just as an aside, how would Plato have known about "Mauritania?" That would be a requirement to say Plato was talking about the Richat Structure, no? Or Herodotus? Not saying they didn't know someone who knew someone who knew someone... It just seems they would be writing about the world nearer them like the Med and Middle East?

YOu know, Emperor Haile Sailassie was descended from King David... maybe he / his kin have some insight?

Colin Jones said...

Charlie, I've never watched The History Channel - in fact I rarely watch TV at all. I don't remember where I heard that theory about floods.

Charlie Horse 47 said...

Colin - History channel is full of history and speculative history like "Did Hitler escape to Argentina?"

But wait -

Surely you've watched Eurovision sing contest each year? Doesn't that go on for weeks and weeks to get to the winner, on TV?

And the annual Sheffield Snookers World Championships on TV?

And, of course, the international Conkers Championships?

I mean, if I lived in the UK, I would be watching on the telly!

Simayl said...

From what I remember about visiting Blarney you have climb up a large number of uneven medieval stone steps and the stone is only kissable if you lean over the battlements. I imagine it would be possible to urinate on it but the ascent and descent of the steps would be almost impossible if inebriated.

Anonymous said...

Steve, the giants bought the stones with them from Africa, and built the circle in Co. Kildare - no-one nicked it back then.
The story that the stones came from Wales is just modern British propaganda (probably a subconscious reflection of guilt, Merlin being Welsh).

-sean


Killdumpster said...

Charlie, I don't think I'd take Donavan's view on anything, including Atlantis, seriously. He probably did too many "mellow yellows".

I'm uncertain if I imbided in any of those, but I'm thinking they were similar to quaaludes. I know those don't make you an expert on anything. Lol.

Colin-
Yes! The appearance of Bigfoot in 6M$ Man was the talk-of-the-town! All us kids were juiced! The realization of Bigfoot being a alien android prompted a theory that aliens had Bigfoot robots
here on earth to toy with us "natives".

One of the most absolutely insane Bigfoot movie I've ever seen from the 70s is Night Of The Demon.

In a flashback after being maimed, a professor tells of of taking students into the woods where there have been multiple murderers by Bigfoot.

Most of the action happens in flashback (within his flashback. What?) And are so bloody it's a comedy.

Bigfoot kills kids "parking", a couple really bad girl scouts, a guy in a sleeping bag is mushed, tears a biker's penis off, and rapes/impregnates a religious zelot's daughter.

Bigfoot slaughters the students in the end. When we get a look at his face, he looks like Neanderthal Mick Jagger!!!

Must be seen to believed! I'm so happy people made garbage like that.

Anonymous said...

"Electrical banana is gonna be a sudden craze..."
Donovan has said in interviews that Mellow Yellow was about a vibrator.

Personally, I would remember if I'd imbibed one (sorry Kd, couldn't resist).

-sean

Charlie Horse 47 said...

Chaps - I had always heard mellow yellow referred to the notion that somehow one could dry and smoke banana peels. (Also they was allegedly injecting peanut butter at that time to get high. Makes no sense to me.)

Anonymous said...

Well Charlie, I hear that injecting bleach might cure coronavirus, so who knows...?

-sean

Charlie Horse 47 said...

Sean that's fake news! You're supposed to swallow it. NO wonder the UK is having troubles if y'all been injecting it.

Also if you stick a UV light up your back side and turn it on full power, that helps!

Anonymous said...

I think Mick Jagger might actually be a Neanderthal.
Or at the very least, has some Neanderthal DNA in him.
I can easily picture him in a loincloth hunting for berries or hassling mammoths with a spear.
Richards too, for that matter.

M.P.

Charlie Horse 47 said...

Hey UK chaps! - Some guy in the states is selling a bunch of UK's "Champion" which is like a comic but mostly text at $.99 per issue from 1938.

See link below.

If you are interested, I will buy them and hold for you. Then when Mr. SDC has made his fortunes through his Amazon Link, CLick-thru sales, etc. and invites all to party down in Sheffield I can bring them with!!!

https://www.ebay.com/itm/The-Champion-876-Golden-Age-U-K-Sports-Adventure-Comic-1938-FN/143608213936?_trkparms=aid%3D1110001%26algo%3DSPLICE.SIM%26ao%3D1%26asc%3D225073%26meid%3Dfeb210104bb5491b9a947ccdfadc6596%26pid%3D100005%26rk%3D1%26rkt%3D12%26mehot%3Dpf%26sd%3D143608214028%26itm%3D143608213936%26pmt%3D0%26noa%3D1%26pg%3D2047675&_trksid=p2047675.c100005.m1851

Killdumpster said...

Hah hah! Yep, you got me. Gotta give you that one, oh my brother. Lol.

Killdumpster said...

Yes, i agree that goofy statements by our Big 0range Buffoon should be a target for sarcasm.

Personally,though,I believe things would be worse with any other alternative.

Charlie Horse 47 said...

KD - I am watching snips of the show you mentioned called UFO on the youtube. Reminds me of Thunderbirds but with humans and fewer special effects.

It certainly looked promising as a series.

MP - Anyone who has been to the south of France knows that Neanderthals survived the last ice age that drove them to the south of France and Israel areas, out of Europe. (I have to assume that some survived in Spain?) But anyhow,if you been to the south of France it is clear that their DNA is mixed in with the locals.

Anonymous said...

Yeah, Charlie, it's my understanding that we all got a little Neanderthal DNA in us. There was apparently some funny business going on in the Pleistocene.

M.P.

Killdumpster said...

Just picked up a pizza, and decided to watch NIGHT OF THE DEMON.

Totally forgot that Bigfoot rips an arm off a fisherman 2 minutes into the film. This movie is packed with under/over acting cheesy bloody goodness. Pretty good soundtrack though

Anonymous said...

Charlie - the wiki confirms the latest thinking following genome sequencing is that the French have some Neanderthal in them.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Interbreeding_between_archaic_and_modern_humans#Neanderthals

Mind you, they are just cited as an example of Eurasian peoples - apparently we're all part Neanderthal - but lets not let that get in the way of having a dig at the French.

-sean

Charlie Horse 47 said...

Sean - I was thinking beyond genomes! Look at the size of their sloped foreheads,the mono-brows, and the swarthy complexion. That plus a cig hanging out... It just screams Neanderthal!

Anonymous said...

Perhaps they just don't have your access to manscaping tools Charlie.

-sean


Dougie said...

There's a fake stone circle, just along the street from where I work, in Elgin. The local authority erected it a couple of decades ago. It's very realistic. But further up, in the woods, there is a 4000 year old henge. It is spooky, an earthwork with a few stones dotted about. They're more like the stones you'd use to "loup" on to a horse. (There's one of them in the High Street). The Picts had a stronghold at Burghead, with a drowning pool. It is extremely spooky, like something out of the Wicker Man.

Anonymous said...

The weirdos in Burgheid don't bother with anything as sophisticated as a wicker man - they have the Burning of the Clavie!

-sean

Colin Jones said...

The Rock of Gibraltar was the last refuge of the Neanderthals in Europe.

Charlie, the Eurovision Song Contest doesn't go on for weeks and weeks - only the final is shown on TV. And the final is also broadcast on BBC radio.

The International Conkers Championship isn't broadcast on TV as far as I know. But as I rarely watch TV perhaps other SDC readers know different and are glued to it every year :D

Anonymous said...

Colin, the Neanderthals will probably have to leave Gibraltar after Brexit (;

-sean

Anonymous said...

Maybe instead of being wiped out, the Neanderthals were absorbed by Homo Sapiens through mating.
I've seen the occasional throwback here and there. Actually, quite a few of 'em. There was a line from Devo, "half a goon and half a god." Probably more on the goon side.
I admit, though, Colin, the idea of a defiant last stand at Gibraltar does have an epic ring to it.
Isn't that what kinda happened with the Moors?

M.P.