Sunday, 27 November 2022

November 1982 - Marvel UK monthlies, 40 years ago this month.

Thanks to Charlie Horse 47 and Killdumpster for their sponsorship of this post, via the magic of Patreon

Everybody knows what the biggest-selling album of all time is.

And everyone knows who recorded it.

What they might not know is the exact date it was released.

That's because they probably don't care when the exact date was.

That's not going to prevent me from revealing it.

It was November 30th, 1982, when Michael Jackson's Thriller first saw light of day and it has, to date, sold a reported 110 million units worldwide.

But that wasn't the only historic event occurring in the arts, because the month also saw the launch of Britain's fourth terrestrial television network - Channel 4 - which, famously, launched with an edition of the perennially sedate game show Countdown.

Over on the UK singles chart, November began with Eddy Grant's I Don't Wanna Dance
gripping tight on the top spot before being deposed by the Jam's final single Beat Surrender, meaning the band went out in style by entering the chart at Number One. A feat they'd now achieved on three separate occasions.

Over on the album chart, it was the Kids From Fame who ruled the roost, thanks to their eponymous LP. However, even they couldn't hold on forever, and so it was that, before the month's end, they'd lost their crown to ABBA's The Singles - the First Ten Years which, in turn, was forced to cede top spot to The John Lennon Collection.

Doctor Who Magazine #70

The magazine dedicated to the galaxy's greatest Time Lord celebrates its 70th issue by continuing Parkhouse and Neary's picture strip The Stockbridge Horror. We're also given a look at Doctor Who's rare appearances in the cinema.

The Savage Sword of Conan #61

I'm going to guess that Conan's going to find himself facing a giant snake, this month.

Apart from that, I can shed little light upon the contents of this issue, other than to acknowledge that Kull's also contained within.

And that there's more cashing-in on the Conan movie that's currently doing the rounds.

Monster Monthly #8

Doctor Who magazine may be celebrating its 70th issue but, sadly, that's an experience Monster Monthly will never have, as this, its eighth issue, will also prove to be its last.

No doubt, determined to go out in style, it takes a look at robot monsters, gives us the latest movie news, and features more action from Marvel's Frankenstein strip.

Blake's 7 #14

Blake's 7, on the other hand, is still going.

I'm not sure I can say it's going strong, as its contents are mostly a mystery to me. However, it would appear to profile Roj Blake, which seems only fitting, bearing in mind the show's named after him.

Marvel Superheroes #391

Hooray! It's the first issue of Marvel Super-Heroes I ever owned!

And, in it, the Avengers must rescue Ant-Man, Yellowjacket and the Wasp from the Taskmaster, a villain I always get mixed up with the Spymaster.

Come to think of it, are the Taskmaster and the Spymaster the same character?

We also get action from Night-Raven.

While, in this issue's final strip, seeing to thwart the Wrecking Crew, Iron Fist has to break into the Avengers Mansion where he finds himself instantly coming into conflict with Captain America.

Star Wars Monthly #163, Darth Vader

It would appear Luke Skywalker's up against Darth Vader, which makes a change.

Elsewhere, all I can reveal is that the adventures of Rom are still with us.

Rampage Monthly #53

I can say very little about this issue too but it would appear the Thing and Scarlet Witch are having serious trouble with the Serpent Crown and its lackeys the Serpent Squad.

Starburst Magazine #51

Britain's Number One sci-fi mag's supplying us with yet more news and gossip about Blade Runner.

But that's not all, because there are also reviews of Tron and something called Sword and Sorceror. The latter of which is a film I'm not familiar with.

Other movies covered include the upcoming releases Plague Dogs and Basket Case.

Meanwhile, the TV Zone takes a look at three sci-fi shows that failed.

And, as if that wasn't enough, there's also word of a brand new movie called ET!


Anonymous said...

Rampage # 3


It's the one in which Dark Phoenix destroys the star, D'Bari (& an entire world, orbiting it).

Also, when the Beast lifts a tree, which Dark Phoenix transformed into gold, off Peter Rasputin. Proving that the Beast's strength isn't too shabby!

MTIO - 3rd part of the Serpent Crown Affair (A Congress of Crowns). This was a great mini-epic (same genre as Steranko's Cap & Viper?) But the art in this final part, by Jerry Bingham, isn't quite up to the earlier Perez art.

INSIDE COMICS: An Abbreviated History of the American Comic, Part 2 (1948-55?)







(This last bit's just taken from the mag's contents page!)


Matthew McKinnon said...

So much mind-detritus stirred up by these…

Obviously that Starburst is the big one for me because it came immediately after my seeing Blade Runner on a big screen at age 11 and never being quite the same again.

I believe this one has an amazingly snotty letter from a 13-year-old slagging off the new design of the mag. I kind of feel the editorial team published it as a kind of long-view revenge - ‘you’re going to read this back when you’re older and feel like a right tit’.

I had a few issues of Monster Monthly but not this one. Saturn 3 on the cover two years after it came out is not a guarantee of big sales, is it?

Saturn 3: discuss.

Yeah, Skywalker vs Vader. It kind of points to the Marvel mentality wherein your big opponents must fight several times a year vs. the Star Wars ‘this is a big once in a lifetime event’ thing. Though you could argue Disney Star Wars is adopting that approach as well if you’ve seen ‘Obi Wan’.

I think I had that X-men mag but can’t remember it.

Right, that’s enough of me.

Anonymous said...

Typo! Obviously, it's not Rampage # 3, but # 53!


Anonymous said...

Saturn 3 was Kirk Douglas and Farrah Fawcett, right? I've a better idea Matthew - lets not discuss it.
I remember reading about Saturn 3 in a Starbust cover feature, which probably explains why Monsters didn't last too long - its all very well to set up a second fantasy film mag if you already have the staff and infrastructure in place, but it doesn't follow that the audience out there will pay to read about the same stuff twice.

Steve, in the Hyborian Age if it wasn't man-apes, it was giant snakes.

My brother used to get the Dr Who mag, and 'The Stockbridge Horror' rang a bell - I thought the artwork in the comic strip was by Steve Parkhouse and Mick Austin. So I looked it up, and we're both right - Austin inked the first couple of episodes and Neary the rest.
Unfortunately for you, it seems the story starts in #70, so Austin it is this month.


Anonymous said...

Iirc, in Marvel Super-Heroes #391 Night-Raven is the conclusion of Alan Moore's first story, the one where our hero ends up in the river after being poisoned by Yi Yang.
(Apologies to the Steve Does Comics Moore-watch Group for not mentioning the first part last month)

Btw, did anyone else see that documentary about the KLF on tv the other evening? A bit too much of the mythologizing you always get with these music docs for me, but Alan Moore made for a better talking head than the usual suspects.


Anonymous said...

Is there a summary of the types of villains Conan faced? How many warlock/sorcerer/magic types vs. how many snakes, apes, spiders vs…

Matthew McKinnon said...

Saturn 3 is on my list of bad fantasy movies with strong concepts that need remaking. Along with The Black Hole and a decent adaptation of The Manitou.

Thanks for the Moore alert. I’ve not read those early early stories. I only picked up his Night Raven on The Daredevils, though I have got that fairly recent reprint book with everything in - which, like many recent purchases, is on the pile gathering dust.

Colin Jones said...

I was watching Eddy Grant's 'I Don't Wanna Dance' on YouTube just a few days ago because I knew it was 40 years since it was at No.1 (40 years!) but what was the single at No.2 behind Eddy Grant? It was 'Heartbreaker' by Dionne Warwick, written by the Bee Gees of course and I watched that on YouTube too. Autumn 1982 was memorable for me because it was my first term in the 6th Form.

Anonymous said...

I think I had Marvel Super Heroes (or possibly the issue of Avenger it reprinted). I remain annoyed that they left CaptainBritain's head on the cover, given that he hadn't appeared for months. Taskmaster was one of those 70s characters that should have been strictly C grade, but seemed to hold his own.

I remember the Moore (and often Davis) Night Raven text stories but either skipped them, or they weren't memorable because I cant recall any details. Kind of surprised at how many monthly were then being published. I wonder if they considered a Kids from Fame magazine? Perhaps there was something from one of the other publishers? Semi-related, I read Irene Cara passed away over the weekend, at the too young age of 63.


dangermash aka The Artistic Actuary said...

Autumn 1982 was memorable as m first term at Uni.

Little did we know as we crowded out the TV room watching Richard Whiteley present a countdown, the first ever program on Channel 4, that he was one of our former students and that he and his year would share the same college reunion as our year some 13 years later.

Anonymous said...

On the subject of the start of Channel 4, a few hours after Countdown you could have watched the first episode of Brookside (if you were a masochist).

Heres a funny coincidence - it would have featured the actor Ricky Tomlinson, part of the original cast. Previously, he'd been a plasterer and one of the 'Shrewsbury Two', who were stitched up and sent down after the '72 builders strike, basically for not grassing up any other pickets.
A tv programme about them broadcast on the last day of their trial - 'The Red Under the Bed', thought quite likely to have had an impact on the verdict - was made by... Richard Whiteley!

Tomlinson later claimed it was funded by MI5, and that Whiteley was a spy.

Not sure why that piece says its a 'bizarre' claim. Seems plausible enough to me - Cambridge is well known for producing spies.
Yeah, I am a nosey git and looked up where Whiteley had been a student, Agent dangermash.


dangermash aka The Artistic Actuary said...

Yeah, Christ's College Cambridge. No famous spies in our number as far as I know.

Anonymous said...

Thats what they all say dm.


Colin Jones said...

My history teacher in secondary school, Mr Lindsay Evans, had been "up at" Oxford (as one says).

On the subject of history - this month is exactly 100 years since the discovery of Tutankhamun's tomb and I'd anticipated lots of interest in the anniversary but Radio 4 has totally ignored it, not a peep!

Charlie Horse 47 said...

MATTHEW MCKINNON - I am wondering who has the higher pile of dust, lol!

Anonymous said...

The Black Hole was kind of a scary-ass movie. Or at least creepy anyway.
Remember that scene at the end where Reinhardt and his robot are in what appears to be Hell?
Yikes. I saw that when I was a kid and it spooked me.
I read somewhere that there's nothing evenly remotely scientifically accurate about that movie. Big surprise, huh? You go into a black hole, you get turned into spaghetti, I'm told.
And speaking of weird, Sean mentioned KLF. When I was in college for some reason (I don't know why I was there), I had MTV in my dorm room (again, I dunno why) and they were showing KLF videos.
What was their deal, anyway? Whatever it was about it was way over my head. It was pretty much bull$#!t, I assume?


Anonymous said...

Somewhat surprised you don't know who the original Justified Ancients of Mummu were, M.P. - didn't you study history?
Or at least read the Illuminatus trilogy?

Next you'll be saying you don't know why theres an eye in a pyramid on the dollar bill.


Matthew McKinnon said...


That’s actually one of my bugbears with SF movies featuring black holes: at some point in the past it was decided that every screenwriter was going to close their eyes and put their fingers in their ears and just ignore the fact that going ANYWHERE REMOTELY NEAR A BLACK HOLE will utterly destroy you. Instead they seem to be viewed as handy gateways to other times / dimensions that you can just zip through. It drives me mad.

There’s loads of really good things about The Black Hole but it’s so boring. It looks and sounds amazing but it’s completely inert.

Did you ever read the novelisation by Alan Dean Foster? It has quite a startlingly strange and different (and more interesting) approach to the ending.

Anonymous said...

Yeah, Matt, and I'm not sure that "folding space" concept for interstellar travel used in science fiction would work either, but you're talking to a guy who never got past high school algebra.
I never read Foster, but while we're on the subject, what happens to matter or energy when it goes into a black hole?
It's gotta go somewhere, right? Matter/energy cannot be created or destroyed.
Or so I've read.


dangermash aka The Artistic Actuary said...

I can answer your black hole question, MP.

Black holes aren't just empty. They have mass. They weigh something in kilograms. And when matter falls into the hole, the mass of the hole increases. This also increases the radius of the black hole as there's a formula connecting mass to radius.n somt(e hole grows.

But black holes can shrink too. There's also some more complicated stuff discovered by Stephen Hawking, where black holes slowly emit radiation and evaporate if you just leave them alone.

Anonymous said...

Uh, well, I'm gonna have to trust your research on this, Dangermash.


Anonymous said...

The idea that matter sucked into a black hole, might be ejected out of a white hole, on the other side, was a speculative idea, in the 70s/early 80s ( was it on Carl Sagan's Cosmos, or James Burke's connections - or some such tv show?)

Anyway, an Adam Warlock story employed this concept (wasn't it the Star-Thief story/'The Bizarre Brain of Barry Bow/au?man' ?), so it was good enough for me. I suppose science has moved on, since then.

In the 70s/early 80s, I think Black Holes were thought to be relatively rare. More recently, hasn't it been discovered that they're a lot more common, with every galaxy having one of them, at its centre?

Like M.P., though, my science knowledge is poor. My brother was more the science guy - I was more the bookworm!

I never read the Black Hole, but I did read Alan Dean Foster's Spellsinger books (the ones with Falameezar, the marxist dragon!) in my mid-teens. For movie novelizations, in general, Foster seemed to be a "go to" writer.


Anonymous said...

Hiya, Phil!
Good to hear from ya, as always.
Supposedly, not only does every respectable galaxy have a giant black hole in its center, but there may be numerous smaller ones lurking about.
That might explain a lot. Gravitational anomalies. Warps in time and space. In my country, people see a lotta weird stuff, stuff that shouldn't be there. Bigfoot, the Mothman, etc.
Of course, we can't discount alcohol as a factor. I have an uncle who started seeing UFO's in Iowa shortly after he started making his own wine.
That's actually true! And he was the county magistrate!
Retired now, of course.


Colin Jones said...

Black holes will be the last things left in the universe in the unimaginably distant future but eventually even they will evaporate and the universe will be dead and empty forevermore.

Anonymous said...

M.P. - Yeah - US tv shows about Bigfoot & the Mothman get shown over here a lot now, too! Point Pleasant bridge, being the border between West Virginia & Ohio. My meagre knowledge of US geography largely comes from shows about Bigfoot, Mothman, etc! Reminds me that I've got an annual Christmas letter to write to a friend who married & went to work in Ohio.

It's foggy in Yorkshire, right now. Not a black hole, but pretty gloomy, nevertheless! A Victorian Yorkshirewoman, named Isabella Bird, who moved to the USA, & became a Colorado frontierswoman of some sort, was featured on a BBC tv show, last night, starring Mel B, Ruby Wax & Emily Atack. Good photography of the Rocky Mountains, etc.

Prior to that show, Isabella Bird was completely unknown to me!

To be completely random, I had a stoat in the backyard on Friday & Saturday, and managed to get a few photos of it! Quite a turn up for the books! This random post probably sounds like I've been brewing my own wine, too!