Thursday, 4 August 2022

August 4th 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

There's been plenty of fuss, lately, about oil but there can have been fewer more exciting weeks for lovers of that substance than this week in 1982. After all, it saw the UK government create Britoil, the privatised successor to the British National Oil Corporation.

And not once has the nation ever had to look back upon that moment with regret.

Over on the UK singles chart, things were even more exciting, as Dexys Midnight Runners scored their second UK Number One, thanks to Come on Eileen, a track that proved you could love a song without ever having the slightest clue what any of the lyrics are. Then again, their previous Number One Geno had already demonstrated that. 

Over on the British album chart, it was the Kids from Fame who ruled the roost, as their self-titled album was successfully keeping Dexys' Too-Rye-Ay off the top spot.

Marvel Superheroes #388

In the issue's lead story, Jim Jaspers tells Captain Britain how he masterminded the deaths of all superheroes and why he's turning the world upside down.

Cap subsequently finds himself in a graveyard of heroes.

And then The Fury shows up and blasts him to pieces.

Elsewhere, in Pittsburgh, the Avengers must fight the heat-tastic villain the world knows as Inferno.

And, finally, Dr Strange must face This Menace Reborn in which Baron Mordo launches a surprise attack but is thwarted when Strange’s astral form inhabits the body of Morgana Blessing’s white cat.

All mind-boggling stuff indeed but, of course, it pales into insignificance beside the cover question, "Do you know the fruit gum secret?"

Reader, I must confess I have failed you. For, I do not know its secret.

Doctor Who Magazine #67

All five Doctors get to share the front cover when the mag dedicated to them looks at a bunch of their old adventures.

Among them is Colony in Space which I believe to be the first story in which the Third Doctor manages to visit another world, in his TARDIS.

Sadly, my memory of that serial is that it's as dull as ditchwater, although it does feature a pre-Coronation Street Helen Worth as its claim to fame.

Blake's 7 #11, Servalan

If the cover's to be believed, Paul Darrow's still writing.

Writing what? I cannot say.

Elsewhere, we get a story called Cranpax Core. I've no idea what that is or who's written it but I do know Steve Dillon's the artist.

And, for the hardware lovers amongst us, we get a pin-up of the gang's second spaceship The Scorpio.

Super Spider-Man TV Comic #491

The Boomerang's returned.

Well, he is a boomerang.

Is this the one in which the villain tries to get hired as a replacement for Bullseye and Elektra, by the Kingpin who sends him off to kill Spider-Man in the not-unreasonable assumption that Spidey will flatten him?

Whether it is or not, we get Part Two of our great Fantastic Four poster.

And we can win a flight in an historical plane. Last week, we were told it was a fighter plane. I shall, therefore, assume the craft in question to be a Spitfire.

Marvel Madhouse #15

Marvel Madhouse confounds the cynics by continuing to appear and, this time out, Howard the Duck must face the might of Klout who I shall assume to be a wrestler.

I predict that Howard will survive the encounter.

Monster Monthly #5

Marvel UK's most monstrous monthly's back and examining Hammer Films and King Kong's life story.

As well as a look at the latest horror releases, there's coverage of Dracula rip-offs and variations. I will be amazed if Count Yorga doesn't get a mention.

Meanwhile, for lovers of nostalgic images, there's a free copy of the poster for Roger Corman's Fall of the House of Usher.

Incredible Hulk #19

Now we're in trouble. The Hulk's trapped in the Leader's indestructible rubber prison, and the villain's seized control of Thunderbolt Ross's military base.

In our backup strip, Iron Man and Scott Lang find themselves confronting an armoured gang called the Raiders who I think have been sent by a rival of Stark Industries, as a publicity stunt.

Spidey's mag may have a multi-part FF poster but the Hulk's determined not to be left behind and supplies us with Part Two of a colour poster of his own.

Rampage Monthly #50

Unless I miss my guess, Adam Warlock's having another of his returns from the dead. Does this officially make him a zombie? Or even the far-more-dreaded zuvembie?

I can only leave that decision to wiser heads than my own.

As for the official stars of the comic, I believe the X-Men are still having trouble with the Hellfire Club - and may even have been captured by them!

Star Wars #160, Chewbacca

That's not the most scintillating cover I've ever seen on a magazine. Nor is it the most revealing when it comes to contents.

Sadly, I've not been able to discover anything about those contents, from online sources. Therefore, the doings of this month's issue seem destined to remain a mystery to me.

Worzel Gummidge #11

Marvel UK's mag dedicated to the most famous scarecrow since the one in The Wizard of Oz still refuses to die.

But that raises a vital question. 

Just what happens if you try to play Dark Side of the Moon while watching an episode of Worzel Gummidge?

I don't know. But I have other matters to fill my time with. Such as the fact that, this issue, we're being given a star profile of Cliff's old friend Una Stubbs.

Starburst #48, Zombies

Hot on the heels of Adam Warlock, the deceased, once more, stalk the world of Marvel UK, as our favourite sci-fi mag takes a look at movies that have starred the resurrected dead.

This means we can expect plentiful talk of Night of the Living Dead and I Walked With a Zombie. Personally, I prefer the latter of those two films. Other opinions may exist.

Hanna Barbera's Scooby-Doo and His T.V. Friends #24

Once again, the adventures of Mystery Incorporated must remain just that, as they hit their 24th issue with no sign of cover nor contents to be found online.


Colin Jones said...

It's past 10pm and nobody's here yet??

Anyway, I think my favourite Dexy's song was 'Because Of You', the theme from the BBC comedy series 'Brush Strokes' and you could understand all the words!

You love nature
You love nature
You love nature
You love nature
You love...
Nature, don't you?

Colin Jones said...

Today (August 4th) is the 60th anniversary of Marilyn Monroe's death!

And it seems to me
You lived your life
Like a candle in the wind...

Steve W. said...

I would say my favourite Dexys track is There There My Dear which is another one where I don't have a clue what it's about.

Anonymous said...

I know what you mean about the privatisation of North Sea oil Steve - without the short term profits enriching a small minority the Brits might well not have the modern high rent/low wage economy they enjoy today.
Unlikely as it seems, there was a bit of a risk that instead the UK could have ended up like Norway, with a massive sovereign wealth fund benefitting the country as a whole (apparently late 70s energy minister Tony Benn made proposals along those lines, but the English don't go for extremists with crazy ideas like that).

Captain Brexit bows out of Marvel Super Heroes in style with a great episode in #388.
I love the way he's just completely clueless, and kind of terrified, by the chaos around him - well, you would be wouldn't you? - and then the Fury just blasts him to pieces (always nice to have an unexpected ending in a super-hero story).
And even this early in his run Moore handled Jim Jaspers and his reality warping powers well, making him seem really er... warped.

Also, at the risk of sounding like a saddo, I enjoyed the references in the graveyard scene - The Arachnid, Android Andy, The Iron Tallon and so on (Colonel Tusker was the one that escaped me for a long time - General Jumbo from the Beano apparently).
In light of later developments, its kind of ironic - or possibly spooky - that Miracleman should have got his first mention in a comic published by Marvel...


Anonymous said...

STEVE- I will send you an autographed copy of “Mr Landon had no brain” if you stop showing Worzel covers LOL.

Anonymous said...

Its funny… we start seeing openly naughty words and suggestions creeping into songs in 1982?

- Lift up your dress, oh my thoughts i confess, they are dirty…

- Relax dont do it when you want ro come…

- Girl, girl you’d make a dead man come…

Colin Jones said...

Dexy's Midnight Runners had a song called 'Jackie Wilson Said' but when they appeared on Top Of The Pops they sang it in front of a big photo of JOCKY Wilson, the Scottish darts player! Apparently nobody at TOTP had heard of Jackie Wilson and they thought it meant Jocky Wilson. Years later on 'Never Mind The Buzzcocks' the host Mark Lamarr said "thankfully TOTP didn't make the same mistake over the meaning of Come On Eileen" :D

Anonymous said...

Concerning the issue above depicting the hand of Adam Warlock, it was from an issue of Marvel Two-In-One, and it was your basic bait-'n-switch.
Warlock did not come back but his dead body briefly made an appearance.
Marvel, or Shooter, or whoever was running the circus was saving Warlock's resurrection for Starlin, when he decided to return to the fold. Then we got the Infinity Wars, and Gauntlets and such, and I started to wish they had left the poor guy buried in that asteroid.
What will the MCU do to him? God only knows.
I only know they got a weird lookin' kid playin' him.
Maybe it'll work.


Anonymous said...

The biggest pain with this month's Captain Britain was the five month wait for the next chapter, in Daredevils #1. Given that Moore had no empathy for Brian Braddock, and very clearly killed him at the end of this chapter, I wonder if the initial idea was for Linda McQuillan to become Captain Britain. She's established right upfront as integral to the plot. The editors may have squashed this, although probably not because Marvel US weren't paying attention anyway. On another Earth within the multiverse, Johnny Bates stays undetected for a decade and then returns for Kid Miracleman v The Fury. Live-streamed on a device of your choice.


Matthew McKinnon said...

I wasn’t really buying any comics at this stage beyond 2000AD, but I was buying Starburst. And my parents were a bit freaked out by the stuff they were printing 1981-82. They really went for the goriest, nastiest imagery they could get their hands on. Often right there in the cover.
I loved that stuff as a depraved 10-yr-old, but grown-up me is a more delicate creature and finds it a bit queasy.

Steve W. said...

MP, thanks for the Adam Warlock clarification.

Colin, I remember the incident well.

Anonymous, don't worry. Worzel's magazine isn't going to be around for much longer.

Sean and DW, it did always strike me at the time that Alan Moore's Captain Britain was a strangely ineffectual hero.

Matthew, I wasn't reading too many comics at this point either. In fact, I don't think I owned any of the above issues.

onboarder said...

Doesn't Worzel briefly switch to another style before he ends his run? I had one new-style Worzel comic when I was young and that was enough for me. I gave it away at some point. It would have been a late 1983 copy. Google is poor at sorting its comic images into order like it can do with tv episodes.

Steve W. said...

He does, Onboarder. He switches to a weekly comic in 1983. That one lasted for 23 issues before merging with Rupert the Bear's comic.

dangermash aka The Artistic Actuary said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
dangermash aka The Artistic Actuary said...

Merging with Rupert The Bear comic? I'd rather merge with the Daily Mail. But it's close.

Anonymous said...

Yeah, the Moore/Davis Captain Brexit was ineffectual Steve, but at the time that was quite a distinctive and refreshing way of doing a super-hero series. And how else could they have approached a character who was basically a posh git wrapped in a union jack?

DW, it seems pretty unlikely to me that there might have been some idea to replace Brian Braddock with Linda Quillan. There had to be some twist to finally defeating the Fury - which was after all supposed to be indestructible - so Moore had to at least set up someone other than CB to do it, preferably with a character arc that made it dramatically satisfying.

As it turned, that worked... although I like to think the Fury was just really badly damaged and its still slowly trying to repair itself.
That is a great idea about Kid Miracleman though. Funnily enough, once the Gaiman/Buckingham material is finished Miracleman is apparently become part of the Marvel universe, so who knows? Although MM meeting the Avengers seems more likely in the short term.
Like Watchmen and the Justice League! Great, eh?


Anonymous said...

*Miracleman is apparently becoming part of the Marvel universe...
Apologies for some poor editing in that comment.


Colin Jones said...

I've been watching 'The Railway Children' on iplayer - what a classic!

Anonymous said...

Sean, I thought that Sentry was supposed to be the Miracleman of the Marvel Universe.
A somewhat brain-damaged version, he did seem a lot stupider than Miracleman, sure, but...
Do they really need two of those guys?


Anonymous said...

Its just as well I looked up the Sentry first M.P., because being fairly out of the loop on twenty-first century Marvel comics I nearly asked wtf a giant Kree humanoid robot has to do with Miracleman.

You might as well ask if the Marvel universe even needs one of them.
I guess maybe Miracleman could be a stand-in for Shazam in the Squadron Supreme...?


Anonymous said...

Don't recall the Avengers in Pittsburgh tale, must've been during the Jim Shooter era, when writers were trying to placate him by putting stories in the 'Burgh.

Adam Warlock was one of my 70's favs, but after awhile even I thought after a couple 'deaths' I said, "Yeah right. Whatever."

Think I already told you folks my Dexy's Midnight Runner story.

Great issues of STARBURST & MONSTER MONTHLY. Never saw Monster Monthly here in the states, but occasionally purchased STARBURST.

I have I WALKED WITH A ZOMBIE in my library. It's been at least over a decade since I've seen it. It's on my watch list now.


Anonymous said...

Sean, I forgot all about the Kree Sentry robot.
He had his moments too, I guess!
But yeah, I was talking about that other guy. He was your basic deus ex machina-type character. He could do just about anything. The drama came from him being mentally ill, so nobody knew what he was gonna do.
I wasn't very impressed by the whole concept. I think it had been done before.


Anonymous said...

One of the last times I saw the Kree Sentry, before the Adaptoid accumulating robotic allies in a Avengers storyline, was in CAPTAIN MARVEL.

There was a villain, who may have been called the Jaguar, that somehow had control of the Sentry. I really can't recall the complete plot or how it happened. Chock it up to buzzsaw-brain and/or turning 60 Aug 3rd.


Steve W. said...

Happy birthday, KD.

Anonymous said...

Thanx, oh my brother, but just another day.

Anonymous said...

The Cheetah perhaps, KD? And a belated Happy Birthday!


Anonymous said...

I remember that "Heavy Metal" arc in the Avengers. That was pretty good!
Actually, now that I think about it, the Kree Sentry's first appearance in the F.F., in the old Lee/Kirby days, was a great comic too. Although the premise was a bit shaky. Can't anybody find an island to vacation on that isn't an ancient Kree outpost?
I probably shouldn't admit this, but when astronomers noticed bright spots on the dwarf planet Ceres, located somewhere in the asteroid belt, I was holding out hope that it might be the signs of a Kree base, or some kinda alien installation.
Probably not, just salt left by cryovolcanism.
...on the other hand, that means there's liquid water under the surface...
Maybe not Kree or Skrulls, but something...


Colin Jones said...

Killdumpster, you were born the day before Marilyn Monroe died (but you probably already knew that)!

If you've told us your Dexy's Midnight Runners story I don't remember it.

Anonymous said...

Happy Birthday KD! Buzz saw head indeed!!! Thats a story dude!!! Charlie Horse 47

Anonymous said...

IIRC which means i am in the bLlpark, assuming we are talking the Polo Heounds where Aillie Mays made that famous carch LOL!

I recall around FF 100 +/- 5 issues there was a Kree Base on the moon. Then a bit later on the cover of the Avengers, maybe around issue 91?

What I realize, after discussing the Iron Man – super adapted story this month, from 50 years ago, is Charlie really needs to go back and reread all these issues but regrettably he does not have the same amount of time he had when he was 11 years old to sit around and read comic books, lol

Anonymous said...

Judith Durham's passed away. I remember singing 'Morningtown Ride' at Junior school.


Anonymous said...

Happy belated birthday KD. And sorry to hear about Judith Durham. Phillip, my Mom bought me that "Morningtown Ride " 45 when I was a kid. Played it on our little portable record player (you remember, heavy duty for kids,

Anonymous said...

Oops, cut off mid comment. I was saying, "...had a latched lid and handle. Girls at elementary school would play Monkees 45s on one during recess...

Anonymous said...

By the way. Those previous two comments were mine (Redartz)

Anonymous said...

Readartz - my older sister (12 years older than me) had one of those record players. I seem to remember she could stack more than one record on, and when the first single (45) was finished, the record player would remove it, and go to play the next one.


Anonymous said...

I meant "go on to play"


Colin Jones said...

'I'll Never Find Another You' by Judith Durham & The Seekers was one of my mother's favourite songs.

Anonymous said...

Yes! Thanks for the correction.

Yeah, the "Heavy Metal" arc was entertaining, but I prefer my Adaptiod green & loaded with Avenger powers. Guess I'm old school.

Thanks for the B-Day greeting. Now I can say I'm well on my way to be officially decrepit. Lol.

Long story-short, a little young lady who worked for me in the jukebox dept. loved COME ON EILEEN, but didn't wanna buy Dexy's whole album. I pulled her a '45 from my oldies racks, and she showered me with hugs & kisses. The next day she brought me cupcakes.

Yeah, oh my brother, it was incredible. I never even felt it, till the robotic arm slammed me to the ground. The cut was so clean the Gladiator would've been impressed. Didn't start bleeding for a few seconds, but when I did it was like TEXAS CHAINSAW MASSACRE meets EVIL DEAD.


Colin Jones said...

Oops, Kd, I do remember that Dexy's story now. Sorry!

Anonymous said...

No worries, oh my brother. Just did the Readers Digest version.