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Thursday, 14 October 2021

October 14th 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
***

Halloween is fast approaching. That magical night on which Americans excitedly await the arrival of trick or treaters, with whole boxes full of candy, and Britons excitedly hide behind their settees, with the lights out, and pretend to not be in.

How appropriate, then, that, this evening in 1981, BBC One was showing Carry On Screaming, the Carry On series' tongue-in-cheek homage to that other great British cinema institution Hammer Horror.

How we thrilled as Oddbod generated a twin from his severed finger, and Harry H Corbett turned into a werewolf detective.

Over on the UK singles chart, the nation had a brand new Number One when Dave Stewart and Barbara Gaskin's It's My Party hit the top spot.

The Dave Stewart in question did, of course, have no connection to the one who was in the Eurythmics shortly after.

The Police, meanwhile, retained their dominance of the British album chart, thanks to Ghost in The Machine.

But Ghost? In the run-up to Halloween?

How eerily appropriate.

Werewolf #1, Marvel UK

Wait!

What's this?

A summer special?

About werewolves?

For just 45 pence?

Who could say no to such a thing?

It all depends on what your tolerance for Werewolf by Night is, as this book gives us 48 pages of that character and his misadventures.

We get a reprint of Marvel Spotlight #4 in which Jack Russell travels to an island, in search of the Darkhold, and Werewolf by Night #1 in which he escapes that island, with the Darkhold.

If that's not enough for us, there's also a tale from 1953's Journey into Unknown Worlds #22, which goes by the name of Two Frightened People! That, of course, doesn't feature the character. 

I assume it does, though, feature a werewolf but, being unfamiliar with the tale, I cannot guarantee it.

I do have to say, however, that October seems a strange time to release a summer special.

Especially bearing in mind that the winter annuals must already be appearing in a shop near you.

Marvel Classics pocket book #2, Frankenstein

Marvel UK clearly has a lot of confidence in its Classics Comics pocket book because, unlike its other mags in the digest format, this one comes out twice a month. 

And so it is that, mere days after the title's War of the Worlds adaptation hit Britain's spinner racks, Frankenstein is placed before our hungry gazes.

Spider-Man and Hulk Team-Up #449

Information about the contents of this one is thin on the ground but I suspect the Hulk's still under the spell of the Corruptor, and the Western-themed gang of heroes called the Rangers are out to do something about it, while Spider-Man's tussle with the Beetle and the Gibbon is, doubtless, also ongoing.

More importantly, this is the book's last-ever issue, and the numbering that began with (I think) Spider-Man Comics Weekly, way back in 1973, finally comes to a halt.

Goodbye, issue #449. How we'll miss you.

Captain America #34, Iron Man

A comic that's a mere youth in comparison is showing no signs of meeting its maker, as Iron Man tackles the icy menace of the Endotherm who doesn't seem to be the same villain as Jack Frost, even though he appears to have exactly the same powers and is also an Iron Man villain.

Sadly, the activities of Captain America, Thor and the Dazzler are unknown to me.

Marvel Super Adventure #24, Daredevil and the Black Panther

Unless I miss my ever-loving guess, this is the one in which Daredevil and the Black Panther must unite in response to the threat to a boy's life that's been caused by the dreaded Thunderbolts.

39 comments:

Dave S said...

Dave's Cover of the Week: I'm actually quite fond of the strangeness of the Marvel Super Adventure cover.

I'd also like to congratulate Endotherm on having the worst super-villain name ever. Even the Living Eraser sounds better!

Charlie Horse 47 said...

If Charlie had a pad and pencil he would draw the Spidey cover!

Charlie Horse 47 said...

UK Gents! Given Steve mentioned winter annuals, were your hardback DC Thomson Christmas Annuals e.g., Beano and Dandy, sold in stores or were they strictly a mail-order item? Cheers!

10 weeks to Xmas!

Anonymous said...

Not in the UK Charlie - it looks like Boris Johnson will be putting a stop to Xmas. Again.

Steve, I believe the Dave Stewart of Its My Party was the one from 70s space cadets Egg and with his mate Steve Hillage (man) Khan, and prog/jazz outfit National Health; and Barbara Gaskin - not to be confused with 60s African American soul singer Barbara Gaskins, of Brenda & Barbara fame - had been in early 70s "acid folk" group Spyrogyra, not to be confused with similarly named American jazz-funksters Spyro Gyra. Hope that helps.

The run up to Samhain is indeed an odd time of year for a summer special. But the cover of that Werewolf mag just says its a super special.
Does that get me a Steve Does Comics no-prize?

-sean

Anonymous said...

I have to disagree with our colleague Dave on the best cover this time round, and concur with Charles Horse on that Spidey.
Its by fearless Frank Miller, no? Admittedly not one of his more impressive efforts - and the poor Marvel UK colouring and reproduction doesn't do it any favours - but there ain't much competition.

-sean

Steve W. said...

I would definitely go with the Spider-Man pic as cover of the week.

Charlie, the Christmas annuals were sold wherever good books (and bad books) were sold.

You do get a No-Prize, Sean. I may have misread, "Super," as, "Summer."

Anonymous said...

I don't know if it can completely make up for the absence of Phillip's Thursday evening rundown and analysis, but thanks Steve.

-sean

Anonymous said...

Much appreciated, Sean : )

Phillip

Charlie Horse 47 said...

I too was surprised (quite!) to come home from work (11 PM your time) and not see Phillip's missive! You doing OK Phillip?

Dave - I do agree the DD cover is quite interesting. It really makes our men in colored spandex really look out of place!

I mean, until now I only thought Subby looked out of place but that was b/c he was wearing a speedo swim suit when everyone else was dressed which was something I could personally relate to. (Kind of like I can related to the Grey Gargoyle since I've handled stone.)

I would not have considered Subby looking out of place with that blue full body suit he wore starting around issue 60, about 47 years ago.

So here I am at 60 with revelations. Yowza!!!

Charlie Horse 47 said...

You know... Hawksbee and Jacobs had a bit of a wry laugh today b/c Jacobs was bringing his Conker into the studio or something. (I guess he was pretty good at it around 55 years ago lol.)

Anyhow, they were reviewing the rules discussing that it's "8 inches from knuckle to nut."

Oh brother...

Anonymous said...

What's this Thursday evening lark? The Marvel el UK post is always Friday morning ;-)

DW





(9.32am AEST)

Anonymous said...

Note to self. Spend less time being a smart arse and more time not posting an extra 'el'

:-(

DW

Colin Jones said...

Steve, I'd stopped reading Marvel UK by this point but I believe the Spidey weekly continued until #666 in 1985 so this week's issue is merely the end of yet another incarnation of that long-running weekly that had so many different names.

Anonymous said...

Charlie, off topic, but you maybe interested to know the fishing war seems to be back on, and the French will be blockading the UK next week if their demands aren't met.
"We are ready to block everything: Calais, Dunkirk, the Channel Tunnel... We haven't even started yet and already they have a lack of food, petrol..." -

www.theindependent.co.uk/news/world/europe/french-fisherman-blockades-uk-licence-row-b1938192.html

-sean

Anonymous said...

* Oops, corrected link -
www.independent.co.uk/news/world/europe/french-fishermen-blockades-uk-licence-row-b.1938192.html

Steve W. said...

Thanks, for the numbering info, Colin. I feel much more sanguine about the death of Spider-Man and Hulk Team-Up, knowing its numbering survives to live another day.

Though I am concerned about it finally ending at 666. That seems a rather disturbing portent.

Anonymous said...

Charlie - I stopped weekly summaries/reviews a while back (when my stock ran out). I'm now doing Blockbuster, every month. My final Blockbuster is next month's. After that, nothing for a long while - then just a few 'odds & sods' !

On the news, did you hear about Peter Jackson's Beatles documentary series?

Phillip

Colin Jones said...

Is anyone thrilled about William Shatner's space flight? The whole space tourism thing doesn't interest me I'm afraid. A bunch of billionaires trying to create a new indulgence for the privileged.

Anonymous said...

Don't worry about Spidey, Steve. My understanding is that the number of the beast given in the Codex Ephraemi Rescriptus version of Revelations - 616 - also appears in the recently discovered early manuscript known as Papyrus 115, so 666 may well be an error.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Papyrus_115

Of course that doesn't mean you shouldn't be disturbed by 616 also being the number of the Earth in the primary continuity of the Marvel multiverse. As revealed by Alan Moore in the Captain Brexit story from Daredevils #7. \m/

-sean

Charlie Horse 47 said...

Man oh man...

You mean I am going to have to get the 666 tattoo changed to 616, on my forehead???

W.t.h...

Steve W. said...

Colin, I'm more thrilled that Shatner made it back alive. Let's face it, going into space at the age of 90, it's asking for trouble.

Phillip, the Beatles Get Back series looks great.

Charlie Horse 47 said...

F.f.s. Steve!

You do NOT have the time to be answering Colin's dinosaur questions on Red's blog site!

Based on the absence of coverage here of the World Conker Championships last weekend, which we've grown to love, me thinks you need to focus on next year's competition, starting now!

And please do not disappoint with coverage of the meat pie, snooker, and bog snorkeling championships!

Shees! Maybe we need to send Forbush Man in to "clean house?"

Colin Jones said...

Charlie, I'm very grateful for Steve's dinosaur explanation. Another of life's mysteries solved :)

Anonymous said...

I understand why Marvel decided it was time for Namor to start wearing pants.
(...if you wanna call what he was wearing pants.)
Running around in a green speedo is a tough look to pull off.
Even on the best day of my life...

As far as Wild Bill Shatner goes, I've always liked the guy. I can't help it. I really liked that album he put out, "Has Been".
I didn't buy the thing (whaddya think I am, crazy?) but I've listened to it on Youtube.
Kudos to him for going into space. And being a weird old dude. I respect that.
That said, these private space programs are a grotesque waste of money, in my opinion. It's egotism, pure and simple. Who knows what kinda good these billionaires could do with that capital.
But Wild Bill is 90, and at 90, you no longer bear responsibility for anything you do, including going into space, dropping your pants in public, or groping your nurse, for example.
She's in no danger, you're hooked up to an I.V.!

M.P.

Anonymous said...

The age of the heroic cosmonaut is over M.P., space travel is now a glorified ad for capitalism, and dweebs like Bezos and Branson want to be remembered for doing something more interesting than being rich.
So you're right about it being a waste of money - if the human race survives past the 21st century capitalism will be a bad memory, and the only old time space traveler they'll recall is Yuri Gagarin.

Ok, and Shatner probably.

-sean

Anonymous said...

Yeah, Sean, I remember when astronauts were heroes. They made very little money, worked and trained insane hours, and risked their lives.
Those Moon landings, the idea that three guys could fly up in a tin can, land on the Moon, walk around, somehow escape the Moon's gravity, fly back to Earth, and survive the experience still astounds me.
What balls.

What were seeing now is not the same thing.

M.P.

Anonymous said...

M.P. - Years ago, for my brother's birthday, I bought him a William Shatner/Leonard Nimoy album (called 'Spaced Out'), for chuckles. It turned out, he loved it - and thought it was a really great album! (To my surprise). The CD included not only classic 1960s songs, but Shatner reading Shakespeare extracts (e.g. "band of brothers", from Henry V - & Hamlet extracts, too), plus lots of other fun stuff.

As a selling point, the album followed Stalin's famous maxim: "Quantity has a quality all of its own." You got 24 songs/extracts on the album - a lot of bang for your buck! It was chock-full of material. For marketing, this is a similar tactic to the Brotherhood of Man's 20 number 1 hits album - great value for the penny-pinching consumer.

Phillip

Colin Jones said...

Sean, I think they'll recall Neil Armstrong too! Armstrong was actually very admirable - he could have spent the rest of his life exploiting his fame for financial gain but he didn't. He rarely gave interviews, he never wrote an autobiography (as far as I know} and he never made himself rich by "endorsing" any products. Contrast Neil Armstrong with slimy Tony Blair who's made a fortune since he left office by shamelessly exploiting his fame as a former PM. When Neil Armstrong died somebody said that he was the only person from our era who would still be famous in 10,000 years - that's probably a huge exaggeration but it was a nice tribute to somebody who seemed like a pretty decent guy.

Anonymous said...

"Stalin's famous maxim... great value for the penny-pinching consumer"
Spoken like a true Yorkshireman Phillip!

-sean

Anonymous said...

Hee, hee!

Phillip

Charlie Horse 47 said...

Gents - I have to think a huge percentage of the population thinks this space race of the $BB is pathetic.

I went to Purdue like Neil Armstrong did. Indeed, Purdue is known as the mother of astronauts. I even spent the vast majority of my time in Grissom Hall b/c he studied IE like Charlie. It was hugely impressive at half time during football games when they would occasionally trot Neil, et al. out on the field and we'd all clap. I would feel very self important but unfortunately much of my professional and personal life resembled Grissom's not Neil's.


Anonymous said...

There was a lot of waste in the old space race tbh but this new privatized one is ridiculous, much worse value for money. History repeating itself as farce, like Marx used to put it. Right, Phillip? (I feel like an honorary Yorkie already)

-sean

Anonymous said...

I don't know how astronauts do it. I mean, I get vertigo. I get nervous standing near a ledge or driving over a bridge.
One small jerk of the steering wheel...
The idea of a space walk is utterly terrifying to me. And the idea of dying in space is more frightening than dying on Earth.
I know that's not rational, but the thought of my desiccated corpse pinwheeling through the void forever is the stuff of nightmares.
2001 A Space Odyssey creeped me out bad.
But this is Halloween, and we're supposed to be talking about scary stuff, I guess.
Speaking of which, Phil, you're a man of some good taste, have you heard the track from Shatner's "Has Been" album, "You're Gonna Die"?
It's pretty funny. Gallows humor to be sure, but is there any other kind?

I might have to listen to Shatner doing Shakespeare, Phillip, but I might need a couple beers in me first. You don't wanna go into something like that unprepared. The mind needs to be limber.

Lou Reed did an album dedicated to Edgar Allen Poe that you might wanna check out. The Raven. There's some spoken word stuff on there---Willem Dafoe! City in Sea/Shadow is my favorite. It's on the Youtubes.
Vincent Price has got a lotta stuff on there too. Check out Hornbook for Witches.

And beware...
WOOOOOOO....

M.P.

Colin Jones said...

I've been listening to 'What's Funny About Not The Nine O' Clock News' on BBC Sounds (it was originally broadcast on Radio 4-Extra last Thursday).

"When I caught Gerald he was completely wild".

"Wild? I was absolutely livid".

Nice video, shame about the song :D

Anonymous said...

"Theres no room for you in my force - I'm transferring you to the SPG!"

-sean

Anonymous said...

M.P. - I've just listened to "You're Gonna Die" - pretty good! That merry go round in the video was starting to make me dizzy!

On the topic of vertigo, I also can't stand heights. There's a UK tv advert, showing a woman standing on the pinnacle of the Burj Khalifa (over 2,000ft tall). That resulted in me having a nightmare/anxiety dream, after watching it!

On "Spaced Out", the stand out may be Shatner's rendition of "Insensitive". It's strangely compelling - like "You're Gonna Die" !

As regards Shakespeare, Shatner's tried other highbrow stuff. In his youth, he starred in Dostoevsky's "The Brothers Karamazov" ! (As you may already know).

Although I'm no Lou Reed expert, his New York album was passed around, amongst my contemporaries, 30 years ago. Anyway, I'll check out that Lou Reed Poe album tonight. I'm familiar with The Raven, as I'm into American literature.

To me, Vincent Price brings to mind his Witchfinder General, alongside Ian Ogilvy! "The aristocracy of this country are decadent!"

Sean - Arthur Daley refers to Yorkshiremen as "Yorkies", too. Feeling like an honorary Yorkshireman is starting on a very dangerous path. Hard vowels is just the beginning of it - things get much worse after that!

Phillip

Anonymous said...

I've just remembered, it wasn't Vincent Price who indignantly declared, "The aristocracy of this country are decadent!" - it was Peter Cushing! Furthermore, it may have been in a different horror movie! At this age, I seem to remember things 20 minutes later!

Phillip

Anonymous said...

I'd be surprised if Stalin didn't say it before either of them, Phillip.

-sean

Charlie Horse 47 said...

Gents! I was good buddy with a guy who worked at Cape Caneveral in the mid 70s. He told me several stories about astronauts allegedly "freaking out" at being in space.

He also said that those stories don't get printed, notably Apollo 13 resorting to a slide rule to take a wild ass guess at how to reenter the orbit. I think he said specifically that one of the 3 lost their marbles on that flight since it seemed doomed.