Thursday, 25 August 2022

August 25th 1982 - 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

It's exciting news for all fans of super-heroic magic! On this very evening in 1982, BBC One was showing the film Mandrake the Magician, starring Anthony Herrera as the man in question.

I must confess I was previously unaware of the existence of this movie and know little of Mandrake in general. Regardless, it sounds like the sort of thing I clearly need to be watching.

But can it possibly rival the awesome majesty of the Dr Strange TV movie of four years earlier?

The Incredible Hulk #22

And, speaking of the sorcerer supreme, I do believe he shows up in this comic. 

That's because the Hulk's been sent into the realm of the Nameless One where he has to defeat the monstrous Nightcrawler in order to rescue the trapped occultist.

But what role does Barbara Norriss play in all this?

Elsewhere, we get the chance to win a Spidey Sky Skimmer.

I'm going to guess, right now, that that's either a cardboard plane or a plastic, circular boomerang of the kind that was given away with a million and one comics back in the old days.

And, if that's not enough for us, there's the return of the Ghost Rider!

Although I'm not sure in what capacity.

Super Spider-Man TV Comic #494

That's an "interesting" cover. And what a brave new direction in style from Bill Sienkiewicz.

When it comes to the insides, as far as I can make out, Spider-Man and the Thing are up against knights in glowing armour.

Or, at least, Spider-Man is. Benjy's more interested in looking for Alicia than he is in actually fighting.

As with the Hulk comic, we can win a Spidey Sky Skimmer. 

But we also get to find out just how strong Spider-Man is.

And, because this is Spider-Man's book, the inside front cover features a reprint of the front cover to Incredible Hulk #119. The one on which Hulkie's being strangled, from behind, by Maximus the Mad.

Hanna Barbera's Scooby-Doo and His T.V. Friends #27

Once more, mystery engulfs the cover and contents of an issue of Hanna Barbera's Scooby-Doo and His T.V. Friends. This time, it's #27 that's fallen victim.

I'm sure, however, that plenty of supernaturally-based hoaxes are being foiled within.


Colin Jones said...

Past 3am and still no comments?? It's finally happened - we've run out of things to say!

Matthew McKinnon said...

The Sienkiewicz joke was funny. That’s all I’ve got.

Anonymous said...

That Spidey cover is a screen grab from the Spiderman and his amazing friends cartoon (which itself may be cribbed from elsewhere). This actually makes sense (unusually for Marvel UK) as the carton was pretty popular amongst the comic's pre-teen target. Whereas, conversely, the Hulk cover is probably not age appropriate, with the sexy girl popping out of her blouse. Presumably, this was originally the cover to a monthly?


Anonymous said...

In response of your comment on the Aurora horror model kits in Steve's previous post:

When I was a kid I painted and built their King Kong, Jekyll & Hyde, and Phantom Of The Opera kits. They were so cool. I painted lightly over the glow-in-the-dark parts. I always wanted to get the complete set.

I wanted to build & paint the reproductions, but found out from horror convention vendors & hobby shop dealers that the only kits available are the Invisible Man & Jekyll/Hyde.

Apparently the warehouse that stored the molds to form the parts had employed a thieving security guard. He stole the molds, and sold them for scrap metal money.


Steve W. said...

Colin, Matthew, KD and DW, thanks for your comments. :)

KD, I always wanted the Spider-Man and Hulk model kits but they were never available at the time, although I did see them turn up in shops in the early 1990s.

DW, yep, the cover's recycled from 1978's Hulk #10.

Anonymous said...


As a little kid I was fascinated/horrified by those Aurora horror model kits. I saw the ads in comics and even saw them in a store, but I knew better than to ask my Ma to buy me one because there was no way she was gonna pony up money for that.
Still, I was fascinated/horrified.
The "Forgotten Prisoner of Castlemare" stuck in my young brain. Why was he there? Was that a real thing?
Yikes. Later I would read "The Cask of Amontillado" and understand why that image spooked me.


Anonymous said...

That Hulk cover was previously recycled for Rampage #11, Steve.


Charlie Horse 47 said...

Charlie never quite got into scary, supernatural things. Hence much of the new product from Marvel 50 years ago (werewolves, mummies) and DCs running lines (House of Mystery, Adams' gothic look on Batman) just never grabbed him.

Nor would a Hulk rampaging through the woods, knocking down trees. But... add the comely lass and its totally different!

KD - That is some screwed up stuff... selling off the molds for scrap metal?

Charlie Horse 47 said...

May Charlies ask a question of the Scottish contingent? Are you guys psyched about having two teams in the Champions League at this time?

Also, would you cheer on a Scottish team in the CL even if it wasn't yours?

I listen to that Talksport and, well, frankly the "tribalism" of UK soccer fans is incredible?

Colin Jones said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Redartz said...

Those Aurora model kits were amazing. Never had any of the horror ones, although I wanted them. Did have the Spider-Man model. The original of which was lost decades ago. Many years later, at a flea market, I found that Spider-Man kit , still boxed, even with the instructions/comic book included! Obviously I had to have it. Took it home, assembled it, and painted it (did a better job as an adult than I did as a kid, although the webbing was still challenging).

On a related note, waaaay back in my youth, I attended a birthday party for a school pal. Won a James Bond 007 model kit, of course at age 6 I had no idea who he was. Anyone else have one of those 007 kits?

Anonymous said...

Charlie, I suspect Scottish football fans might well have mixed feelings about their teams in the Champions League.
The ones I know would cheer on almost anyone else against Rangers...


Toadie said...

The Hulk Cover ist so great!

McSCOTTY said...

Charlie, I support all Scottish teams in Europe but I don't support any of the big 2 Scots teams Rangers and Celtic, so maybe that's why. Very few "old firm" fans (Rangers and Celtic) will support their rivals, some of them literally hate each other . Its the same for almost every country its not restricted to Scotland ,UK. -Greece, Turkey, Germany Netherlands etc etc are the same. In the 1980s when 2 of our smaller Scots teams were beating everyone in Europe (Aberdeen and Dundee Utd) most Scots ,UK supported them. Manchester Utd and Rangers are generally not liked by others that are not fans. Incidentally I also support English club teams in Europe as do most Scots (not Man Utd though lol)

Anonymous said...

Steve’s Bill Sienkiewicz joke made me laugh too. Guess now we know the answer to the question, ‘What would make an even tackier cover than a cruddy photo of Nicholas Hammond’s stunt double in the Spidey Suit?’

Redartz: Yep, I have an Aurora 007 kit too. Not an original though — in the 90s and into the early ‘Aughts’, lots of companies realized there was a large audience of nostalgic Baby Boomers ready to throw their money away on reissues and re-pops of vintage kits from the 60s and 70s, so that’s what mine is. I wanna say Polar Lights was the company that made that one? Anyhow, it’s still sitting in its box, un-assembled. I went through a phase where I re-acquired, assembled and painted a mostly complete set of Aurora monsters and superhero kits, and some Deal’s Wheels and Big Daddy Roth kits too, but it’s a lot of work now. I did buy a re-issue of the two Dark Shadows kits a few years ago, glued the Werewolf kit together and just left it unpainted — it’s made of ‘Glow in the Dark’ plastic head-to-toe, and it looks kinda cool just like that.


Anonymous said...

Oh come on Paul, you can't be supporting Spurs in Europe, surely?


Charlie Horse 47 said...

Speaking of Soccer in the context of comics, did you guys have any other soccer comic strips /comic books besides Roy of the Rovers.

I actually read a few Roy of the Melchester Rovers comics (thanks Colin Bray!) and the stories were lively enough.

It's kind of weird... I think Roy ran regularly as a comic strip in the UK whereas I can't think of a sports-based comic strip here in the USA though there were numerous comic books, mostly 1-shot types about a particular player though.

McSCOTTY said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
McSCOTTY said...

Charlie: There were quite a few specialised Football (soccer) comics in the 1960’s to1990s apart from “Roy of the Rovers” including Scorcher, Score and Roar and Football picture story monthly. Almost every other humour/adventure type comic had a football strip including Tiger (where Roy of the Rovers first appeared) Lion , Champ, Hornet, Jag, Wizard, Victor, Hotspur etc etc . A really great UK football strip is “Hotshot Hamish” about a big Scottish highlander with a super powerful shot. It’s very much played for laughs and the art by Julio Schiaffino (an Argentine artist) is just wonderfully manic, insane and very funny. He also drew a similar strip called “Mighty Mouse” (not that “Mighty mouse”) about a small chubby (ok very fat) but very fit, English footballer - great stuff.

UK comics had loads of famous football strips including the aforementioned Hotshot Hamish, Carson’s Cubs, Briggs the Goalie, Billy’s Boots, Jack of United, Bobby of the Blues, Football Family Robinsons etc. There were also loads of other sports (rugby, athletics, cricket, boxing etc) featured with long running characters. Sadly, there are no weekly /monthly UK comics like this now although there are new graphic novel type “Roy of the Rovers” books based on a new 16 year old version of Roy.

Sean , I’m afraid to say I do like Spurs and will support them in Europe unless they play a Scottish team - sorry!

Colin Jones said...

bt, in the UK the popular name for 2000-2009 was 'Noughties'.

Colin Jones said...

Talking of decades - we are more than a quarter of the way into the 2020s but I never hear this decade referred to as "the 20s".

Anonymous said...

Give it a bit of time Colin - its only 2022.

Charlie, Americans seemed to require a bit fantasy in their sport comics (and even then they don't seem to have been too popular) -

&$@# me, I'd completely forgotten about Hot Shot Hamish. There were so many terrible sport series in 70s British comics. Er, no offence Paul (;
I wasn't aware there were Roy of the Rovers 'graphic novels', although I suppose it was inevitable as all comic characters get revived sooner or later. There was even a Johnny Cougar monthly in the 90s (er - that was a wrestling series in Tiger).


Anonymous said...

PS Although just to prove I'm not completely out of touch, I am aware of Roy of the Ravers...

I guess that gives some indication of Roy's cultural impact on generations of British yoof.


Colin Jones said...

Sean, I'm pretty sure "the 80s" was in popular usage by 1982 and "the 90s" by 1992.

Anonymous said...

That representation of Spidey on the cover of Spider-Man TV comics made me instantly think of the 1966 cartoon, but his costume's webs were more complete.

I too got the Spidey model kit, and the Hulk one as well. I still enjoy painting and assembling kits. A few months ago I put together. & painted a retro CREATURE FROM THE BLACK LAGOON snap-together kit.

The only reason why I was able to get the Aurora kits I got was from a shop called Bill's Bargains. That was the same place where I could buy coverless silver-age/ early bronze-age comics for 5 cents.


Steve W. said...

Toadie, it certainly is. I believe it was created by Val Mayerik .

Red, I never had a 007 model kit. I do remember that, when I was three or four, I got a Corgi Toys James Bond Aston Martin for Christmas but didn't have a clue who James Bond was. However, it had an ejector seat. So, I was happy.

Anonymous said...

Coverless silver-age/early bronze-age comics, Kd?
Presumably those would have been 'returns' under the old newsstand system, when instead of sending back whole 'unsold' comics it was cheaper for local distributors to 'destroy' them and return the covers for credit. So selling them on at 5c for each issue was all profit.
Bill at 'Bill's Bargains' was obviously a bit of a dodgy git...


Charlie Horse 47 said...

Speaking of Tottenham Hot Spurs...

They are playing Nottingham Forest tomorrow. Didn't we briefly discuss were Nottinghma Forest was and determined it does not actually exist? (I think it spilled over from a discussion about Robin Hood and his Band of Merry Men?)

Anonymous said...

As a little kid, that was lucky to have half a handful of pocket change, Bill's Bargains was like a treasure trove. Plus I got to read stories that I missed, cheap.

They sold everything from toys to plumbing/construction supplies to clothes & cosmetics. My family shopped there once every 2 weeks. If I wanted something that costed 5 cents to a dollar my dad would say, "Go ahead, throw it in the cart."

Think I paid $1 each for the Aurora, Spidey, and Hulk model kits. That place was "poor kid's paradise". Hah! I got the Sea Monkey "aquarium" for 50 cents. That was a bit of a disappointment, as the little buggers didn't drive to work, or bake cookies for their kids that the ads in the comics implied.

Plus, that was where I got my Dr. Doom Halloween mask! For only 10 cents!! I may have been the first kid who trick-or-treated as Doom in 1968.


Anonymous said...

I don't think I've ever heard a more quintessentially English name for a football team than "Tottenham Hotspur". The name's from Sir Henry Percy, I take it?
Theirs is a striking emblem: a cockerel standing triumphant on a football.

Audere est facere!

I'm not mocking, I really do like the style of it, the showmanship, although I'm not a big sports guy.
Heck, I only start to take a tepid interest in the NFL when it's late in the season, when the stakes are higher. And even then I get bored pretty quick.


Anonymous said...

M.P., I believe Tottenham Marshes - Spurs first ground - had historically been the seat of the Percy family.
I would mock them for naming themselves after an aristo but to be fair they were English and it was the 1880s, so only to be expected (plus, it'd be tricky to explain away their first game there against er... Royal Arsenal).