Thursday, 28 January 2021

January 28th, 1981 - 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.

***

Forty years ago this week, Britain's Social Democratic Party was founded when MPs Shirley Williams, Roy Jenkins, Bill Rodgers and David Owen quit the Labour Party and sailed their ship into brand new political waters.

But none of that mattered, because what really mattered was that, on this evening, in 1981, BBC One saw the return of Triangle, the show that set out to match the glamour and intrigue of Dallas and Dynasty, by putting Kate O'Mara on a North Sea Ferry and keeping her there.

Spider-Man and Hulk Weekly #412, Daredevil vs Hulk

The Hulk's on the rampage - and only Daredevil can stop him!

Well, no, obviously, he can't. Consequently, the crimson crime-fighter gets knocked from pillar to post and is lucky to still be alive at the end of it all.

It would appear Spidey's up against the return of the aliens who were once friends of the Tinkerer but now call Mysterio their only friend.

As She-Hulk is, allegedly, involved in a space saga, I shall assume this means she's in alliance with the Man-Wolf who is also claimed to be in this issue.

Future Tense and Forces in Combat #13, ROM

Mourn ye not for Future Tense and Forces in Combat, for they still survive as a brand new title destined to, surely, set the world of comics alight for many years to come.

That may be the hope but Future Me knows this new hybrid lasts for just one issue.

And this is it.

If that cover's to be believed, ROM and his friends seem to have joined the Nazi Party, which is a twist I didn't see coming.

In a mega-flashback, we learn the Dire Wraiths were defeated on ROM's home planet but he spurned the chance to return to normal life, so that he might fight the fiends on whatever worlds they may be found.

There's a new adventure for the Star Trek gang, as they're tasked with transporting various aliens to the prison planet Thallus.

But is everything as it seems?

The Micronauts are still up against a computer that can make other computers obey it.

Elsewhere, a Scotsman descended from a caveman is haunted by visions of a beautiful woman from the distant past. He doesn't know what's going on and neither do I.

And, on Counter-Earth, the Man-Beast is busy trying to get Warlock to side with him in a tale which sees Tom Sutton pencil, appealingly, over John Buscema's layouts.

Valour #13, Conan the Barbarian

This week's first page is eagerly hyping the imminent arrival of the Dazzler to the pages of Marvel UK. An event that, I'm sure, none of us can wait for.

As we can see from the cover, Conan's out to rescue the lovely Livia from the Vale of Lost Women and has to beat a big red monster to do it.

We get a tale of Tyndall the Elf which all seems a bit too Hobbity for my liking.

Dr Strange is fighting another dimension's sorcerer supreme, in his ongoing attempt to rescue Wong from her clutches.

Meanwhile, Clea's slowly turning into a gargoyle.

In Devil-Dinosaur, Moon-Boy's people are relying on a T-Rex to come up with a plan for defeating alien invaders. I'm not sure such creatures are famous for their strategic thinking.

In Thor's strip, the Asgardians are worried about what's happened to Odin who's managed to disappear without a trace.

Personally, I'd have thought they'd be celebrating.

Team-Up #20

Spider-Man and the Beast are up against it and up against the Modular Man and Killer Shrike.

Elsewhere, we get adventures for the Fantastic Four, Ant-Man and Morbius but I couldn't say for certain what those adventures actually are.

I do suspect, though, that the FF are still trying to stop those pesky space Vikings at the North Pole.

On the back cover, Superman's trying to stop smoking.

Or, at least, he's trying to stop us from smoking, by warning us of the menace posed by that dastardly fiend Nick O'Teen.

46 comments:

Anonymous said...

'Spider-man & Hulk Weekly' #412

There are 3 stories only, this week. Each story, however, having plenty of pages! We're in a time machine, going back to before the 'Marvel Revolution' of 1979, and its idiocies. Put a glossy cover on it, and we'd have ourselves a show! Unfortunately, there's no glossy cover!

The letters page is interesting. A reader asks 8 questions about Marvel artists; the first 2 questions are: "What age do you take on artists?" & "How much are they paid?" The editor replies that age isn't as important as ability. He goes on to say the youngest artists who have worked for British Marvel are Jerry Paris (Dr.Who Weekly) & Steve Dillon (Hulk & Dr.Who Weekly), who were both 17 when they began.

On to the stories. Oddly, this week, 'Spider-man & Hulk Weekly' provides no credits (usually, it's the one weekly that does.)

Anyway, Daredevil looks like Miller & Rubinstein. The point of this story is to show Daredevil's bravery. With no super strength, DD faces off against Marvel's ultimate challenge. Truly, the Man Without Fear. It's like Daredevil Annual # 4 (?) when Namor beat DD silly twice - but...I digress. In this battle with the Hulk, Daredevil is as brave as the Constrictor. Then again, the Constrictor wasn't brave so much as arrogant!

How does the story start? Matt, dressed in a tux, calms the Hulk, who reverts to Bruce Banner. Turns out Bruce knows Matt, as he's represented him, in the past. Matt gives Bruce some coffee, & lends him some clothes. Strangely, these clothes make Bruce look like Jake Lockley - but with a cravat - or something like it - under his jacket! Why Matt dresses like Jake Lockley, I don't know!

Bruce leaves, and goes on a crowded subway train, where he gets jostled, and transforms into the Hulk. The Hulk jumps out of the train & creates a ruckus. Matt's super hearing means he does a quick change to Daredevil.

Now there's a silly bit. Matt opens his jacket, one hand on either side, revealing 'DD' in the centre of his chest, in a homage to Super-man. Daredevil is his own man! He's not a meta-gag about Super-man!

Daredevil calms Hulk down again, but one of New York's finest shoots the Hulk from behind, so all bets are off! Now things get really silly, as Daredevil starts karate kicking the Hulk, & whacking jade jaws with his billy club. The Hulk then hits DD, so he impacts on a building, doing considerable damage. Even the Constrictor was agile enough to dodge the Hulk's punches, so Daredevil should be quite capable of this, too. Points deducted from the writer.

Next, bloodied & injured, Daredevil commandeers a single decker bus, and drives it into the Hulk! What is it with DD & single decker buses? He was driving one in the Beetle & Gladiator story, too!

Ben Urich, a reporter who follows Daredevil (Moon Knight & Batman have press contacts, too) hears Heather Glenn, who's watching the fight, say: "Matt" - so puts 2 & 2 together. At close quarters, Daredevil once again engages with the Hulk. Here, Miller uses kind of a stop-motion technique to isolate each part of Daredevil's movement, as he's attacking the Hulk. This is quite interesting, and kudos to Miller for trying it. Nevertheless, DD gets hit by the Hulk, & doesn't dodge it - again, unlike the Constrictor. Daredevil should be able to dodge any punch from the Hulk. As a bloodied Daredevil loses consciousness, the Hulk jumps off, seemingly horrified at what he's done.

As the page count ends, reporter Ben Urich is typing up a Daredevil expose - will he publish it? Of course not!

Anonymous said...

In She-Hulk, Richard Rory receives a radio message from Man-Wolf, who was pulled down by gravity, onto a planet covered in stalagmite-like spikes. Man-Wolf snaps one of the spikes off, ties a vine to it, then throws it off the planet, into space, and it carries him with it! Man-wolf calls it his "Starspike"! This makes as much sense as Team-up's FF last week, when the melting ice dome watered the plants, then refroze again - in other words, none at all!

Man-wolf lands on a crystal sphere, where he quarries crystal, mines copper, then uses aluminium pools to make batteries - "I harnessed the power of an entire world & bent it to my bidding." It's like the A-team, using duct tape, etc. The Man-wolf's crystal radio contacts Richard Rory but - the Rory bad luck running true to form - at the critical moment, contact is lost, as Richard Rory's radio has a meltdown!

Meanwhile, Valkyrie declines Hell-cat's invite to a disco (this is She-Hulk's book, isn't it, not Man-wolf or the Defenders?) Moments later, Patsy is captured by a shadow cloak - "cat-napped" as she puts it!

Zapper brings flowers for Jen Walters, just to remind us whose title this is, then we're back to Richard Rory, who's selling his radio station at a bargain price - all except for his tape of Man-wolf! The page count ends with Hellcat fighting a wizard (the shadow cloak guy) & 2 barbarian types.

Anonymous said...

In Spider-man, Peter's exhausted after battling the Smuggler, but suddenly remembers he's got to attend Aunt May's celebration of her engagement to Nathan Lubensky - what's more, he's expected to bring a date! What mug can Peter think of? Obvious - his stop gap, whom he's always standing up - Deb Whitman! Peter rings Debra up, telling her he's got a problem, and could she help? Strangely, Deb is flattered - that girl has self-esteem issues!

Aunt May's feller seems a nice guy - despite Peter's misgivings. But he was involved in show business - is this a clue that he's Mysterio? Some aliens take over the restaurant - as you do - the alien's leader looking like Rudy Giuliani. Although the aliens look like the Tinkerer's aliens, they want to know the secret of Dutch Malone (the gangster who owned Aunt May's house) and have conventional weapons, not ray-guns. Nathan, despite being in a wheelchair, bravely helps Peter fight the aliens. Nevertheless, Peter lets himself be captured, & taken to...Mysterio. No art credits, but it looks like Jim Mooney & maybe Esposito - or someone similar.


Anonymous said...

'Future Tense & Forces in Combat' # 13

The cover makes ROM's neutralizer look like a red school lunchbox. Also, there's a building like the cat-building on Thundercats, but it's an alien bat/bird creature instead.

In the previous ROM story, ROM had just fired the neutralizer at Rachel Sweet, in front of a horrified reporter. So why doesn't ROM follow that story up here? Well, readers of 'Future Tense' weren't necessarily following ROM, so wouldn't be waiting for the finale. That's why we start with the origin of ROM, for the benefit of new readers, taken from 'The Saga of the Space Knights' - a back up feature, in ROM comics. Basically, it's similar to the Silver Surfer leaving Shalla Bal in Zenn La - but ROM's girl is called Ray-na, instead.

We've got 2 Bill Mantlo stories, as Micronauts is by Mantlo, just like ROM. The art's improved since the last Future Tense I summarized, as it's by Pat Broderick. The gang are fighting a living computer, named Computrex, who turns their ship against them, so they have to come out & attack its central memory bank (sci-fi computers always had one of these) - as the saying goes, "Nothing ages like the future." These living computers have been done before - the Supreme Intelligence & ISAAC - both in Captain Marvel - immediately spring to mind.

In Star Trek, Kirk must transport a violent, blind alien (with a sonic sense, like DD's radar sense) back to the prison from which he escaped. The alien escapes & Kirk overcomes it in the same way the Owl almost overcame DD, by overwhelming it's senses. Then Spock gives it a Vulcan nerve pinch - of course!

Filler story: some bloke, reincarnated for thousands of years, is looking for a burd with long hair.

In the Roy Thomas days, Warlock wasn't as clearly defined as he later became, under Starlin. The Soul Gem is never referred to as "Soul Gem" - it's often just called "the jewel." Nor does it steal people's souls, like Stormbringer. It can, however, cause one of the Man-beast's flunkies to devolve back to a gibbon.

The Man-beast is strange, too. He's evolved from a wolf - like Man-wolf - but has a much broader snout, at times drawn more like the Mandrill, from Daredevil - and also like the Mandrill, has hypnotic powers. The Man-beast wants to co-opt Warlock to his cause. Being unsuccessful, he tries to subvert Warlock's ideals, instead. It's like Scrooge in reverse!


'Team-up' - I don't have it, this week. However, I did get the US team up comic of Spidey & the Beast. That cover is begging for a pun relating to King Kong - e.g. "No - 'Twas Beauty killed the Beast!"

Phillip

Anonymous said...

Oh - forgot to mention - artists paid between £30 & £70 per page!

Phillip

Steve W. said...

Thanks for that magnificent overview, Phillip.

I did love that, in stories, whenever the Hulk was in the process of being calmed down by someone, a cop or a soldier would always shoot him, in a sudden panic, and set him off again.

Anonymous said...

That cover with Rom and the Spaceknights reminds me of an old Devo album cover.

Duty now for the future!

M.P.

Colin Jones said...

Dazzler #1 in the US had a cover date of March 1981 so it was actually published in December 1980 and yet Marvel UK were already hyping Dazzler's imminent arrival in January!

Phillip, I watched the original King Kong on BBC iPlayer just a couple of weeks ago.

Anonymous said...

Marvel UK must have printed that Daredevil story out of sequence as it was less than 12 months old at the time. I recall their reprinting most of Miller's original run in the (much anticipated) Daredevils monthly, commencing mid 1983, but assume they're generally a bit behind the US publication at this time. I used to refer to that stop-motion effect as the Miller effect, but apparently Will Eisner originated it. Having not read much Spirit, I could be wrong.

If they did soon introduce Dazzler, they're, again, out of sequence as she won't appear in X-men (Rampage monthly) for another 18 months. Was there that much demand for Dazzler?

DW

Anonymous said...

Were they actually hyping the US Dazzler?

DW

Charlie Horse 47 said...

It's late, heading down to zero degrees in Chicago and I have an important question perhaps mostly for the UK gents. (Sorry not exactly related to the post.)

How is the V for Vendetta mask connected to Guy Fawkes? Where was that established? I thought it was something that developed in the UK during your Guy Fawkes celebrations maybe a hundred or two hundred years ago?

Or... is it perhaps just a US thing some of us may have that association>

Thank you very much.

Anonymous said...

It's cold all over the upper Midwest Charlie.
But we still haven't got a polar vortex yet this year. Y'know what I mean, when the high temperature for the day is -2F.
I'm figuring it's coming any week now.
I know it's coming, godammit. I'm sick of of this torture.

M.P.

Steve W. said...

Charlie, the V for Vendetta mask is supposed to be a likeness of Guy Fawkes (even though it looks like Patrick Stewart). There's a long tradition in Britain of making an effigy of Guy Fawkes, complete with mask, and burning it on a bonfire on November 5th.

DW, one of this week's comics had a full-page splash telling us to brace ourselves for the Dazzler's arrival. Someone at Marvel UK had clearly decided she was going to be a huge star.

Colin, the original Kong film is still my favourite, followed by the 1970s remake, with the Peter Jackson one a distant third.

MP, it's mostly been mildly chilly and rainy over here with the odd, short-lived, snow flurry.

Anonymous said...

Charlie, the V for Vendetta mask was linked with the Yorkshireman Guy Fawkes by, funnily enough, V for Vendetta. Alan Moore credits series artist David Lloyd for the basic idea of linking the character to Fawkes when he came up with the design.
There was a tradition of Guy Fawkes masks - which was dying out a bit by the 80s - but I don't think they all looked the same (possibly that might be my cultural perspective showing though, as bonfire night has an anti-Catholic - which in Britain generally meant anti-Irish - history).

It seemed unlikely Guy Fawkes night would have been much of a thing in the US... but apparently it was quite big in some areas during the colonial period. Which I guess makes sense given who the earlier settlers were.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Guy_Fawkes_Night#In_other_countries

Hey, it was Xmas at Steve Does Comics a few days ago, now its 5th November...

-sean

Anonymous said...

No love for Dazzler round these parts then? I thought wired up nipples were popular here (Charlie, dangermash - back me up).
Valour seems an odd place for her though - Conan, Weirdworld, Dr Strange... and Dazzler?!?

Mind you, her first solo story did feature the Enchantress, so that sort of fits with Thor, and I guess she goes as well as anything would next to Devil Dinosaur...

-sean

dangermash aka The Artistic Actuary said...

The wired up nipples in that ASM issue did indeed put the A in ASM, Sean.

Colin Jones said...

I bought quite a few Dazzler comics so I suppose I liked her.

Anonymous said...

Good for you Colin.

dangermash, what about the S&M in ASM then - did that come Spidey?
What did he get up to...?

-sean

Charlie Horse 47 said...

Gents, I don't have access to the V comic from 1988.

Is the hero / anti-hero wearing the mask actually calling himself Guy Fawkes?

I've searched hi and low. The reason I am asking is b/c I have been meeting with an expert in cyber-terrorism and she is asserting the linkage came out of the "occupy" movements around 2008 - 2010. I was rather surprised and said it had been at least linked through the V for Vendetta TV of comic series.

I am sincerely appreciative. I will also see if my library has the comic!

Regards, Charlie.



Anonymous said...

V calls himself V Charlie, but - spoiler alert - he does blow up the Houses of Parliament on the 5th of November. The Guy Fawkes thing is a metaphor, drawing on local cultural tradition.

On the link with Occupy -
www.youtube.com/watch?v=dwRdsoGj0VY

-sean

Anonymous said...

Colin, Steve - I agree, the original King Kong is top. But I'd perhaps follow it with 'Mighty Joe Young' (a commendable sub-Kong rip off), then the 70s one, followed by Peter Jackson's, it being the worst - I couldn't even get through it. Also, what about the Kong spoof on Family Guy, with a robot Miley Cyrus as Kong?

DW - memory isn't accurate, but I always remember Dazzler being in Captain America Weekly. I suppose I could make the effort & find them! The odd thing about Dazzler is, I remember the first names of all Marvel's other female characters - Jen Walters, Jessica Drew, etc - but I can't remember Dazzler's name, for some reason. She can't have been memorable! Also, didn't she have that same eye make up as Marionette in Micronauts, & also Gene Simmons (or was it the other guy?)

Sean & Charlie - Guy Fawkes - a Yorkshireman burned at the stake - and he never stole a single dog in his entire life!

Phillip

Steve W. said...

Phillip, I remember liking Mighty Joe Young too but haven't seen it since I was a teenager, so cannot give a definitive judgement of it.

I do remember that Family Guy episode.

I don't recall the Dazzler's real name either.

In general news, I have, just today, discovered that Guy Fawkes was the origin of us all using the word, "guy," to mean, "man."

Anonymous said...

Phillip, Guy Fawkes was hanged, not burnt at the stake, so I'm going to take your claim that he never stole a dog with a pinch of salt.

-sean

Colin Jones said...

I've never seen Mighty Joe Young or the Family Guy episode. Woe is me.

I think Guy Fawkes was hung, drawn and quartered and his severed head was stuck on a pole (immigrants from Poland were mistreated even in those days).

Dazzler's real name was Alison Blaire but I admit I was only reacquainted with that fact when the internet came along. If you'd asked me Dazzler's real name back in the '90s I'd have completely forgotten it.

Anonymous said...

What was the audience they were aiming for with Dazzler, I wonder. Granted, roller skating was pretty big over here back in the late '70's-early '80's (first time I ever kissed a girl was in a skating rink. She later married a hairy bartender who was missing several fingers for some reason)
But roller skating as a plot device? Nope. I think Linda Blair has a lot to answer for.

M.P.

Anonymous said...

Hey, thats a herald of Galactus you're complaining about M.P.
Are roller skates any dumber than a surf board?

Perhaps they were aiming to broaden their audience beyond the usual teenage boys? With the trend at the time toward scowling tough guys - Wolverine, Miller's DD, the Punisher etc - there was something to be said for an enjoyably daft comic like Dazzler (although I accept it could have been better).

-sean

Anonymous said...

I like KONG ‘76 a lot. It certainly has its share of problems, mostly in the special effects department, but I actually really like all the elements that most people slag it for. All the ‘Updated for the Swingin’ 70s stuff — Energy Crisis, ‘Petrox’ , Dwan’s love of Astrology, Jack’s activism, etc — is super-charming to me. And the supposedly ‘Camp’ humor goes down pretty easy. And when it wants to play things straight, it’s genuinely suspenseful and exciting. And that dang John Barry score is AWESOME.

The Peter Jackson version has lots of nice things in it — but it’s bloated, and simultaneously too serious and too silly. A friend of mine said that there’s maybe a good 75 minute King Kong movie in there if you trimmed out all the fat — thé Too Cute skating rink scene, Kong punching T-Rexes while swinging in a net, the dodgy Brontosaurus stampede, the crewmen discussing Joseph Conrad, etc etc . But you’d still be stuck with an off-putting Leading Man and a ridiculous and annoying Jack Black. And put me in the ‘Kong shouldn’t just be a gigantic Silverback’ camp.

Also, I think KONG: SKULL ISLAND is a blast.

b.t.

Colin Jones said...

MP, it was Dazzler's ability to control light that mattered, not her rollerskating.

Killdumpster said...

The last time I saw Spidey & Beast was in MTU, against the Griffin. It was so sad how they treated that villian afterwards.

Anonymous said...

b.t., I would agree that Kong '76 was not a bad movie.
I think you're right that Skull Island benefited from better editing, which the others didn't have.
Still, "skull-crawlers?" They shoulda just put real dinosaurs in there. Budget limitations, I imagine.
I think John C. Reilly saved that movie. Comic relief.
That and the giant daddy-long-legs. Yikes.

M.P.

Charlie Horse 47 said...

Sean - Thank you much.

Steve - Guy = Man. Who'd a thunk it? Not Charlie.

Dazzler - It really is a mamby-pampy name from Charlie's perspective. Charlie's dad and many dads born in the 30s -50s (?) would refer to "the razzle dazzle" describing those hot moves on the basketball court or wherever. E.g., "Ok kids let's show them some razzle dazzle!" Anyhow, dazzle -> dazzler is really not exactly a thrilling name.

Charlie Horse 47 said...

Funny.... 40 years on Thor was the herald of Galactus and now Galactus is dead.

Anonymous said...

You're dating yourself, Charlie. Nobody has used the term "razzle dazzle" since the '70's.

PLEASE don't use that term indiscriminately tomorrow at the local supermarket.
"Boy, this tomato has some razzle dazzle to it. I'm gonna buy it."

Don't be that guy, Charlie. They're gonna look at you funny.

M.P.

Anonymous said...

Colin - Maybe we shouldn't burn Guy Fawkes's effigy on Nov 5th, every year - instead we could stick his effigy's head on a spike. It would save a lot of burns, etc, in A&Es!

Sean - What I thought you'd say is, Fawkes failed - as a Yorkshireman - in his life's purpose, having never stolen a single dog.

b.t. - If I'd known crewman were discussing Joseph Conrad, I'd have kept watching Jackson's Kong until the end. Thanks for the heads up!

M.P. - the lyric "razzle dazzle 'em" is from the musical 'Chicago'. So, as Charlie's a Chicago based guy, it's an apt turn of phrase for him to use! Sean, with his vast knowledge of pop culture, had this observation the back of his mind, too!

Phillip

Anonymous said...

in the back of his mind - damned typos!

Anonymous said...

Actually Phillip, what I had in mind was that Charlie's handler in Havana didn't brief him to pass as American quite as convincingly as I thought.
Although to be fair, I'd never have noticed "razzle-dazzle" - you probably have to be American to catch him out on something as specific as that.

-sean

Anonymous said...

crewmen - not crewman! damned typos!

Anonymous said...

Sean - As to the phrase, "Bobby dazzler" - let's not discuss that! Oops - I've opened Pandora's box!
Phillip

dangermash aka The Artistic Actuary said...

ASM will never be the same for me again Sean

Charlie Horse 47 said...

Me and the boys put on the razzle dazzle at the basketball game. And I ain't taking the piss!

That's some good english boys!

Anonymous said...

Ah, the old "Charlie syntax."
Charles, your comments are sometimes like the Frankenstein monster--weirdly cobbled together from dubious sources.

M.P.

Anonymous said...

Say, I just had a thought about Frankenstein. If you were gonna build a monster out of cadavers and give him life, why make him big? What if he decides to run amuck, which is what happened in the novel. Maybe make the first one small, so he's easier to handle.
But I guess maybe the local graveyard didn't have a lotta recently deceased midgets lying around, so perhaps that wasn't an option.
You could still probably find some short dead guys, though. Cemeteries are fulla them.

M.P.

Colin Jones said...

The Frankenstein monster created by Universal is iconic but in the original novel the monster is just described as hideous and repulsive not 7ft tall with a flat head and bolts through his neck. The original monster was only the size of an average man (as far as I recall) but he was also intelligent and articulate unlike the film versions where the monster is always a simpleton usually due to his brain being damaged beforehand (I'm especially thinking of the 1957 Hammer film). And in the original novel the monster only kills out of bitterness at being constantly rejected by mankind and he kills those close to the selfish Victor Frankenstein who created the monster then totally abandoned him.

Anonymous said...

Colin, you've made some good points. And I have read the novel.
What have we learned from this?
To wit: reanimating corpses of any size is an enterprise fraught with peril.
Innocence lost and so forth.

M.P.

Anonymous said...

So — what exactly is this Dazzler incident in ASM that y’all keep alluding to?

b.t.

Steve W. said...

B.t, I vaguely remember there being a story in which a villain (Lightmaster?) kidnaps the Dazzler and hooks her up to a machine, having decided her boobs are the best place to attach the electrodes. I'm fairly sure that's the story they're referring to.