Thursday, 29 October 2020

October 29th, 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.

***

Wait! What's this? Another week has passed and Marvel UK's down to just three weekly comics? Is the bony hand of Death knocking at the imprint's front door, once more?

No. It isn't.

In fact, not only is the House of Ideas still publishing a zillion and one monthlies but there's a whole new slew of weeklies about to hit the newsagents, as well. What kind of madness is this? Is whoever's in charge trying to take over the whole blamed world?

If so, coverage of that conquest'll have to wait another seven days. For now, let's see what the company's giving us that displays a cover date belonging to the last week of October 1980.

Spider-Man & Hulk Weekly #399, Hulk and Moon Knight


All I know about this issue is Spider-Man's fight to thwart the Vulture's takeover of the New York mobs continues and we also get a two-page spread showing us the layouts of the Daily Bugle and the Daily Globe, as well as the campus of ESU.

I think we're all been desperate for those treats.

It would also appear the Hulk gets to tangle with Moon Knight, although that's not a story I could claim to have any memory of.

Forces in Combat#25

I'm even more clueless about the contents of this one but, clearly, Kull's still battling those Devil-Birds that were so vexing him last issue.

And I suspect ROM's probably still having to wage war without his Neutraliser.

Team-Up #7, Nighthawk

And I finish off with another rubbish attempt at a summary because all I know about this issue is Spidey gets to team-up with Nighthawk in a scrap to the death with the Meteor Man and, also, the Torpedo has his own strip.

I'm also certain Morbius' series is still running, though I couldn't say what's currently happening in it.

All in all, thanks to my ignorance, I can't help feeling this week's post has been a bit of a washout.

Fortunately, I've already written the vast bulk of next week's Marvel UK post and know it's so packed solid with useful info that it's practically bursting at the seams.

In fact, the World Wide Web'll probably collapse beneath the sheer weight of it.

Therefore, if you meet the man who owns the internet, please remember to apologise to him, on my behalf.

38 comments:

Anonymous said...

'Spider-man & Hulk Weekly' # 399.

The Spidey story is actually quite good, this week - Spidey has a long & sustained battle with the Vulture, ending in Grand Central Station - almost like an old classic, in fact!

As well as layouts of the Bugle, Globe & ESU, you also get Peter's pad & neighbourhood - again, quite good!

The Hulk/Moonknight story is a ploy to tempt the reader to buy Savage Action Monthly. This story is the encounter from Hulk's perspective - in Savage Action, you get the same encounter from Moonknight's point of view. It's the same artists for both (Sienkiewicz & Bob McLeod), but Moonknight's version - in Savage Action - is better!

In Spider-woman, Morgan - & her room - are sucked through the time portal, leaving Jessica alone with Magnus (who isn't dead) & her fed/cop/S.H.I.E.L.D? (I wasn't paying attention - & nor were you!) boyfriend. Come on - this is a Spider-woman story! What did you expect? Spider-woman & boyfriend are reunited, & Magnus smiles benevolently (vomit!)


Phillip

Anonymous said...

'Forces in Combat' # 25.

Any common themes this week? Yes - side-kicks earning their keep, for a change. ROM defeats the Dogs of the Dire Wraiths, even without his neutraliser, but Steve Jackson takes out one of the Dogs himself, by pouring gasoline on it, and throwing his lighter at it! A feat worthy of Rick Jones! That's after the Dogs have thrown most of the auto parts from Steve's garage at ROM!

Likewise in Krull, Ridondo, the minstrel, gets ambushed by the 3 hooded ones, whilst he's alone composing a ballad, and stabs one of them with his sword, defending himself without any aid from Kull! This is all Kull's fault, as he's become distracted by the mysterious girl (losing Ridondo's respect), taking his eye off the ball! This, despite Kull himself pointing out all the contradictions in her crazy account!

Golem doesn't get a story this week. Instead, the reader gets a very brief C18th Golem legend, complete with an academic reference - high brow stuff, indeed!

Rawhide Kid realizes he's a living legend, who's 7ft tall, and also knocks a bar-room bully down to size - as he often does!

Machine Man finally regains his missing arm, which Madam Menace has been trying to sell to the highest bidder, on a ship full of criminals. One of Madam Menace's rivals double-crosses her, and the ship explodes. Machine Man survives, but does she? And is she related to Dennis the Menace?

Fury & the gang go undercover, to protect the allied leaders, at the Teheran conference. The German assassin (whose family are held hostage as leverage) recognizes one of Fury's men, and decides to cultivate him!

'Second Chance' makes little sense but, likewise, includes historical details, to add depth to the story. Frank Charlesworth, as an Italian, raids a British camp in Libya, but the Brits know he's coming, and he & another Italian make a break through the perimeter fence, in a sturdy vehicle they've commandeered!

Phillip

Anonymous said...

'Team-up' # 7.

Nighthawk arrives home to find the Meteor Man stealing a meteor specimen - Meteor Man clobbers Nighthawk, and scarpers. Next, Spidey & Meteor Man accidentally bump into each other & start fighting - like with the Falcon, last week. This time Spidey's Spider-sense warns him, but he still starts laying into Nighthawk - it really isn't Kyle Richmond's night. The two decide to team up - of course - to find Meteor Man!

Ms.Marvel's in the midst of a terrific battle with Grotesk - but this comic spoils it, by chopping it up into 4 page bits!

In 'What if?', Jameson's still discredited, whilst Daredevil's looking out for Spidey, who's making a fool of himself, on an ego-trip! Kraven takes advantage, by trying to kill him!

The Fantastic Four & Morbius both have alien races, who explain their origins, having been on Earth, in secret, for centuries. Morbius's aliens want him to kill Daemon (why do villains always want Morbius to kill somebody?), who intends to thwart their plans to create a super-race. In return, the aliens will unite Morbius with his lost love, Martine - Morbius agrees! The Fantastic Four's aliens are much more prosaic - something about reversing the Earth's polarity to get the aliens home. That's after Sue gets them to call off the plastoid robots!

In the Torpedo, it's round 2 for Brock Jones against the Rocketeers! This title isn't going anywhere!

Phillip

Anonymous said...

For 'Team-up', it should say: "Next, Spidey & Nighthawk accidentally bump into each other..."

I should write these in advance, like Steve does!

Phillip

Anonymous said...

On the plus side though Phillip, you do at least have the advantage of knowing about the comics.
(No offence intended Steve - I do appreciate you made the effort, and that the Thursday post doesn't consist of just "see Phillip's comment for details")

I'm assuming the Hulk/Moon Knight story is the one set during a lunar eclipse. I recall it from the US Hulk magazine - technically it may have been two stories, but splitting them up defeats the whole point. On their own they're each fairly boring.
Sounds like it was about marketing a new comic, but you can tell how good Marvel UK were at marketing by the way they put a pic of Nighthawk not doing anything on the cover of Team-Up.
Seriously, Nighthawk? How many new readers is that going to attract?

-sean

Anonymous said...

Sean - you're right about which Hulk/MoonKnight it is. However, the first page of the Moonknight version (in Savage Action Monthly) had some very good art - even if the 'story' was virtually non-existent. To me, Moonknight looked like one of the Nazgul (I think I'd just seen the Bakshi Lord of the Rings) - I didn't know anything about him at all, at first. The first page had Spector driving a sports car, with a size-exaggerated Moonknight's cowled face & arm reaching across, over Spector, as a framing device - all inked with Bob McLeod's rich tones!

More importantly, as regards Nighthawk on the front cover, why is his face coloured red? I think Meteor Man's a good villain, though. Like the original Ditko lizard, he's actually stronger than Spidey - a real challenge!

Phillip

Phillip

Anonymous said...

Maybe Nighthawk was embarrassed, Phillip? I'd probably be pretty red-faced if I was seen in public wearing that get-up too.

You're right about Moon Knight looking good - Sienkiewicz was impressive even as a fresh faced newcomer and, as you point out, Bob McLeod was a very capable inker - so I guess an uneventful story doesn't matter that much.

-sean

Steve W. said...

Thank you for that veritable mountain of info, Phillip. Once again, you have put my efforts to shame. :)

Anonymous said...

Steve - I'll have my work cut out next week, with Valour & Future Tense as well!

Phillip

Anonymous said...

Never mind Steve, it sounds like next Thursday's post will be an epic. I shall definitely make the effort to get to it early, before it collapses the internet.

-sean

Anonymous said...

The Nazgul in Baskhi's version were pretty cool, but it's hard to beat Peter Jackson's Witch King of Agmar. Imagine flying around on a pterodactyl while wielding a flaming sword.

(Sigh)...that shoulda been me up there.

Meteor Man--wasn't he the guy who got his somewhat limited powers from banging on a meteorite with a hammer?
And uh, yeah, he got around in a hot air balloon.
A for effort and originality! That's moxy, right there.

M.P.

Anonymous said...

There was gas in that meteorite M.P., which gave him the power to ...er do whatever it was he did.
As I recall, the Valkyrie burst his balloon (which sounds like the kind of thing you'd expect her to do to blokes, but in the Meteor Man's case she did it literally).

-sean

Charlie Horse 47 said...

If I may detour back to Dracula???

I'm watching as I type a Dick Cavett Show rerun from 1975 (nostalgia channel). He has on two Doctors (one Irish, one Romanian) who have just released a book called 'In Search of Dracula"

If I understand them correctly, they actually figured out that Stroker's Dracula referred to Vlad the Impaler and "discovered? Vlad's castle / fortress in south Romania.

They said Stroker's setting for Dracula was in north Romania. The Romanians were totally unfamiliar with the story of Dracula. However they knew of Vlad. Apparently once the Doctors / authors realized Vlad was the inspiration for Dracula, it was pretty straight forward to find the castle.

Anyhow, they were hoping to profit from opening up the castle to tourists. They said there was a growing interest in Dracula, due to a crowing interest in the occult among college kids.

Anonymous said...

This is a good time to talk about Dracula. Vlad III was the voivode (which I assume means prince or warlord) of Wallachia, which I think is in present day southern Romania.
There was Bran Castle, which is less of a castle and more of a fortress, that Vlad apparently occupied at some point.
It was a pretty complicated situation; you had the Hungarians and the Holy Roman Empire on one side and the Ottoman Turks on the other. He was on both sides at various points.
A lot of his bad press came from the Germans. That's where the woodcuts came from. There were a lotta Saxon merchants and settlers in that area, and Vlad, apparently, did not like Krauts. When he took a disliking to somebody it tended to get very ugly.
He didn't seem to like anybody very much!

Happy Halloween, by the way.

M.P.

dangermash aka The Artistic Actuary said...

You know, I've got a theory that WHOA....sorry, that Charlie creates these comments in advance.

Charlie Horse 47 said...

Dangermash - there is very little I do in advance at my age. Indeed my bladder magically starts screaming when it hits 250 ml. I mean, no advance warning! IT MEANS NOW!

But no, I was watching Cavett last night and that was the show on these two guys who found Vlad's fortress (that M so well describes above). It's called the "Decades Ago" channel. It shows weird stuff like Laugh In from the 1960s.

Admittedly most of us probably are too young to be that familiar with Cavett's show (our folks likely watched Johnny Carson).

Cavett is mostly remembered for his John Lennon / Yoko Ono interview by us "under 60" bronze-age guys. Notably, Cavett went on air (live!) to show America the disclaimer CBS wanted him to read about Lennon and Ono because Nixon was doing his dandiest to have Lennon deported to the UK. He read it out loud, everyone could see the placard, and said it was "disgusting" the station would bend to the will of Nixon. (Paraphrasing)

Anonymous said...

Are you suggesting that Charlie might go off-topic just to get the comments going a bit, dangermash? Surely not.

-sean

dangermash aka The Artistic Actuary said...

Mate, I look forward to the weeks when Steve has nothing to say because those are the weeks when Charlie owns the party.

Anonymous said...

It depends which Charlie we're talking about. For a while he was referring to himself in the third person (which M.P. has done on occasion, because he's a whimsical cat) so I proposed the theory that he existed on multiple Earths.
The Earth-Two Charlie is kind of a well-meaning old fart, while the Earth-One version is grittier and more realistic. This brings us to Earth-S Charlie, whom I believe wears red tights and a cape.

Then again, he implied a couple of times that yours truly might be a werewolf.
I take no umbrage at this!
I am bi-polar, which is kinda like being a werewolf except you have less hair.

M.P.

Anonymous said...

I thought we agreed Earth-C - the one Captain Carrot comes from - was more likely than Earth-S M.P.
So theres just one now then? Sounds like I missed the Crisis of Infinite Charlies. Ah well, maybe I'll catch the inevitable next reboot of the SDC multiverse...

-sean

Charlie Horse 47 said...

MP - Have you seen "The Flintstones meet Count Rockula and Frankenstone" It's showing now and I highly recommend it! Takes the edge off Vlad a bit. Never knew it existed until a few minutes ago!

Anonymous said...

Well, I may have to resort to that, Charlie. It seems like cable T.V., even Turnip Classic Movies, have done a piss-poor job of showcasing great horror movies this month. Where are the classics?
I got a funny story for ya, Charlie. Well, maybe it's not funny, it's just long.
I got over to Germany around April '88. Springtime in Deutschland. The birds were singing and the flowers were in bloom. I found I had a lotta time on my hands, because my battalion was in the field, running over bushes and turning the ground into mud.
I had a whale of a time. All I had to do was sign a few papers; other than that, I was on my own recognizance.
Money in my pocket, it was time to machen voopie mit frauleins und schnapps.
Anyway, my buddy from Basic and AIT caught up with me a week or so later; he had taken a little leave time to see his wife. He was hopeless without her.
He was stressing out hard. He hadda figure out how to bring her over and rent a house. Lotta paperwork. I told him, "Chill, man! I tell ya what, there's a movie theater right over there. You've done everything you can do today, let's catch a flick and relax and forget all about it. De-stress." He was tense, I tell ya.
So we went over there and watched the movie and it was Hellraiser. Never heard of it before. Demons from Hell, chains with hooks shooting out of the walls tearing people to shreds. The horror...
We were were walking out of there and I said something like, "see, aren't you more relaxed now?
He said something like, "P---, you x%#@ing &#%*?<#&@!%x&@?!#. !@#?&8*!'
or words to that effect.

M.P.

Anonymous said...

Possibly a lot of classics have been bought up by Netflix, M.P.? There definitely seems to be a shortage of good films on tv these days, at least if you're a cheapskate like me who doesn't pay for extra channels (hey, I save my money for a superior artform, like comics).

I kinda liked the first Hellraiser film because it didn't seem to be about your standard demons from hell; rather, the Cenobites came across as other-dimensional beings interested in the extremes of pleasure and pain (or so they claimed - admittedly it seemed mostly the latter).
By the second film, the "Hell-" prefix became literal and it was more of a standard horror. Don't even get me started on the third...

The Marshall Law/Pinhead comic was pretty good though.

-sean

Anonymous said...

Yeah, Sean, I kinda posted that bit of nonsense (all of which is actually true) to get a rise outta Charlie, who was in Germany about the same time I was.
I was fascinated by the Hellraiser films, but I think it had less to do the gore and the awful stuff (I'm rather squeamish) than it had to do with Doug Bradley's performance as Pinhead.
It was amazing. He could be absolutely terrifying one minute, then darkly ironic the next, then almost seductive.
He definitely has earned a place in the Horror Hall of Fame. If there is such a thing.
My favorite horror movie is The Thing, from 1982.
Every time I watch it I think those guys at that Antarctic base are gonna figure a way out of that nightmarish situation, but they never do.

Does anyone else here have a favorite horror movie? This being Halloween and all.

M.P.

dangermash aka The Artistic Actuary said...

That earlier post was supposed to say

"You know, I've got a theory that WHOA....sorry, that Charlie creates these comments in advance.

Sorry. Got distracted for a second there. Aston Villa just scored a seventh."

But I messed up. Damn!

Anonymous said...

"Aston Villa just scored a seventh" - now thats definitely a comment that could only be written in advance.
And with a hefty dose of wishful thinking.

-sean

Colin Jones said...

Hellraiser was written by horror author Clive Barker. He once met Margaret Thatcher and she said to him: "You're a millionaire, aren't you? So why are you wearing dirty shoes?" ~ Barker wasn't a Thatcher fan and he later called her a snobbish old witch or something similar (he should have said it to her face though).

To answer MP's question: I'm not really a horror fan but my two favourite haunted house films are "The Haunting" (1963) and "The Innkeepers" (2012).

Killdumpster said...

Sean Connery. RIP

Killdumpster said...

Guess I'll have to cut my "werewolf-a-thon" short, re-watch the Bonds, Shalako, Zardoz, Hunt For Red October, League Of Extraordinary Gentlemen, and everything else I can dig up. In tribute.

Charlie Horse 47 said...

Dangermash - After Aston Villa's 6-2 ass-whoopin they handed to Liverpool a few weeks ago, 7 seems quite possible.

Sean - surely you've got some French version of Dracula, or similar, you can recommend? I am counting on on you! Something about the French comics seems always fresh.

MP - Halloween > Horror Movies > Germany - Did you ever visit Rothenberg's "Crime and Punishment" museum? I admit to feeling ill after visiting. And my town of Schwabisch Hall was fond of "wheeling": turning one into a human hubcap for a wagon wheel and rolling one into the river. And that was 400 years prior to WW2. Sheesh... who needed horror films?

KD - I loved Connery's Bond. ALso a film called the Wind and the Lion which is sort of about that Moroccan stuff in the early 1900s. Me thinks I will walk to the library toute suite and get the dVD!

Charlie Horse 47 said...

Let's not forget that, along with it being Halloween today, it is also the Hunter's Moon! It is time we start hunting and slaughtering and preserving meat for the tough winter months ahead!

That's a bit tough to do in Chicago (animal meat is hard to find anyhow) but I am thinking MP in the Dakotas and KD is rural PA might be able to do a little hunting and slaughtering???

dangermash aka The Artistic Actuary said...

I5 was actually 7-2 to Villa that night, Charlie/Steve. So while Steve and Philip are preparing notes and comments weeks in advance and I'm accusing Charlie of preparing comments weeks in advance, I've just seen t(e seventh go in, so my comment must have been prepared weeks in advance too. Ha ha ha ha! Not so funny when I have to explain it.

Maybe I should go for easier jokes.
Shaggy and Scooby at the pub quiz.
"What are the biggest five animals in Africa?"
"Rhino"
"Yes I'm sure you do Scoob but don't tell me - let me have a think first."

I'll get my coat..

Killdumpster said...

Charlie, oh my brother, I gave up hunting a looonnngg time ago, and to be honest I always hated it.

Even though my dad relentlessly trained me into a class AA archer and a "dead-eye" shot with firearms, I use those skills mostly for bowling & shooting darts/playing pool & pinball at bars. Lol!

My father was Davy Crockett reincarnated. He virtually forced me out of the house w/him @ 3:00am during deer season, no matter how rainy or cold it was. One morning I was up in a tree-stand and passed out because of hypothermia. It was -30 degrees w/the windchill factor! I was miserable. Cutting down trees & chopping wood all summer to stay warm in the winter, then being prodded out into a harsh winter morning 5 hrs before sunrise. Man, that and ice-fishing. Brrrrr!!!

I wanted to get a buck & doe as fast as I could, so I wouldn't have to deal with it again for a year. Oh, and the wonderful field-dressing. And the dragging to the truck. And the hanging outside in the trees. And the skinning. And the butchering & packaging. It was like having a job that you loathe.

Though I don't hate venison, I don't exactly lick-my-chops for it either. I prefer beef from a butchershop/grocer. A helluva lot less work & better tasting.

Guess it's good to have survival skills, if there's a "apocalypse", but I have hopes that sophisticated human civilization won't degenerate so much that I'll have to transform back into "Captain Pioneer." Lol.

Steve W. said...

MP, I think my favourite horror movie will always be Quatermass and the Pit.

Charlie Horse 47 said...

Dangermash, I assure you I do NOT spend any time in advance thinking about what I will write. It is very, very much based on spur-of-the-moment free-association.

And this is why I LOVE SDC! Steve cleverly and coyly sits back and lets us do the lifting 5 days a week!

I mean, the free flow is excellent! Here we are talking about Dangermash's contribution of "Do we plan our comments in advance?" vs. the comics.

Anonymous said...

I saw that, Steve. It is incredibly creepy! That floating demon head at the end...There was a winding sense of dread.
We got a channel called Turner Classic Movies over here (I call it Turnip Classic Movies because the turnips watch it) that is an incredible source for movies that are old and sometimes pretty obscure. I've kinda developed a love for old movies by watching it occasionally. That's where I saw the Quartermass film.
Do you guys get it or have an equivalent?
I gotta say, I feel they dropped the ball this Halloween. Where was the Vincent Price Edgar Allen Poe stuff? Where was Bride of Frankenstein?
Bummer.

Colin, I'm a big Barker fan, even though I am a bit squeamish. But Doug Bradley made those movies work. He was the epitome of a cool villain. I dunno why I've never seen him in anything else.

M.P.

Anonymous said...

You're actually going to watch League of Extraordinary Gentleman, Kd? Wow... thats dedication!
Shalako... is that the western one with Brigitte Bardot in it? Come on, why not watch one of Connery's good film instead? Like er..., um...
Oh, I know - The Man Who Would Be King. Thats a good one. The Molly Maguires, and Name of the Rose are alright too.

Charlie, the French don't really seem to go for generic horror comics. The only one I can think of off hand is Requiem Vampire Knight, and that was written by Pat Mills (and tends more to Druillet-type fantasy than anything like Tomb of Dracula).

-sean

Anonymous said...

I got it...The Hill.
Has anybody mentioned that yet?
From 1965. Black and white. It's the story of a sergeant from a U.K. tank regiment in W.W.2 who gets sent to a military prison in Libya for striking an officer.
A rather low-key film in some respects, but sometimes quite brutal. Lotta dramatic tension.
If anybody had any doubts about Connery being a serious actor I would suggest that movie.
Also, I like Outland! I kinda like any movie that takes place in outer space, but Connery was pretty good in it.
It's sorta like "High Noon" set in the orbit of Jupiter.
Need I say more?

M.P.