Thursday, 24 November 2022

November 25th, 1972 - Marvel UK, 50 years ago this week.

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

This week in 1972 brought us the comeback some may never have expected to see, as Chuck Berry suddenly returned from chart oblivion to score his first and final UK Number One.

The track responsible for that success was My Ding-A-Ling and, being a fair-minded man, I shall leave it to others to decide whether or not it deserved to top the charts.

At the summit of the UK album chart, meanwhile, was an LP that would, no doubt, have interested Chuck because it was 20 All-Time Greats of the 50's by Various Artists. Tragically, none of those artists of variousness was called, "Chuck Berry." So, he may have justifiably felt left out.

The Mighty World of Marvel #8

Yet again, we find the Mighty World of Marvel dragging out, for all its worth, the mystery of our free poster.

Fortunately, the mag isn't so slow when it comes to giving us Hulk action. And, so, we kick off the book with him meeting Mongu, the Gladiator from Outer Space! who turns out to be a rudimentary robot and part of a communist plot to capture our hero and create an army of Hulks.

Needless to say, the all-American brute makes short work of his socialist foes.

Not that you'd know it because, as so often, Marvel UK carefully removes all references to Russians and communists from the tale.

Spider-Man, meanwhile, is in the second part of his first encounter with Dr Octopus.

And the Fantastic Four are struggling to win their first-ever battle with the Namor the Sub-Mariner.

But what's this? This issue features a letter from someone called Rick Jones?

It can't be that Rick, of course.

Or can it?

38 comments:

Anonymous said...

Is that a different Mongu from the Mongu appearing in 3 later 1977 MWOMs

https://www.pinterest.com/pin/61783826122518533/

(& previously Fear # 14)?

Because he definitely didn't seem like a robot!

Phillip

Steve W. said...

I believe it's a totally different Mongu, Phillip. Sadly, though, I can't remember if Mongu 2 was also a robot. If he was, he was certainly a better one.

Anonymous said...

Dunno about being totally different, Steve - the later Mongus both look the same as the original, and they were space gladiators.
Only they were actual space gladiators, and not robots. Or at least not the kind of rudimentary ones Russian communists (or, seeing as this is a MWOM reprint, anyone else) would have built in the 60s). It seems to me there are two possibilities -

1. Russian communists encountered Mongu somewhere and for some reason built a robot space gladiator based on him, but the story has never been told (thats Stalinists for you, airbrushing stuff out of history).

2. Steve Gerber and Len Wein both used a 'real' Mongu in later stories as a bit of an in-joke.

-sean

Anonymous said...

Is that another Judo Jim Starlin cover?
I believe so, although its not as immediately obvious as it has been recently, as he seems to have a decent inker this week (Joltin'Joe Sinnot again maybe?)

Anyway, its an improvement. Although it wouldn't be a Steve Does Comics Marvel UK comment thread if I didn't complain about Spidey's weird legs; and Doc Ock looks a bit like he has some sort of body restriction fetish or something, with that tight belt squeezing his waist...

-sean

Anonymous said...

Traditionally, on Spidey's costume's chest, the red part tapers/narrows, with blue on either side, down to a red belt/waist part. It isn't red all the way down, as in this picture! Crazy!

Phillip

Steve W. said...

According to Wikipedia, Milgrom's career began in 1972. Therefore, he would have been just as much a novice as Jim, at this time.

Anonymous said...

Charlie doesnt understand why we are not talking about “[our] ding-a-lings?” Charlie had had many a wonderful time with… err… never mind.

Colin Jones said...

We can't lower the tone of the blog by talking about ding-a-lings, Charlie.

I'm waiting for the first issue of Mighty World Of Marvel with the more familiar title Mighty World Of Marvel STARRING THE INCREDIBLE HULK but I suppose it'll be a while yet.

Anonymous said...

Steve - I think Scott Edelman's got a 'rough cut' of an 'Eating the Fantastic' Al Milgrom interview, 'in the can', ready to be polished up, for future broadcast. Should be well worth a listen when it airs, in the near future!

Phillip

Colin Jones said...

It's hard to find Christmas lights that plug into the mains anymore. They all seem to be battery-operated nowadays.

Anonymous said...

Well, if its non-sequitur Christmas complaints time, I'm going to moan about that Football's Coming Home song being reissued. Ffs, it was only out again summer last year, wasn't it?

Steve, thanks for the info on the cover. Starlin and Milgrom often worked together back then - I think they were both from Detroit? - but Judo Jim just doing layouts maybe explains why it was harder to tell than usual. Plus, it does look like there might have been a third hand on inks...

Btw, for anyone interested - DW? Matthew McK? - the Comics Journal recently posted an interview with the late Kevin O'Neill from around the time of the Black Dossier, and a great look back on his career.

www.tcj.com/the-kevin-oneill-interview/
www.tcj.com/an-appreciation-of-kevin-oneill-1953-2022/

Very informative. I did not know he drew a Bat-Mite one shot for DC in the mid 90s!

-sean

Anonymous said...

Oops, corrected link -

www.tcj.com/an-appreciation-of-kevin-oneill-1953-to-2022/

Anonymous said...

Thanks Sean. That was a thorough job.

We had the My Ding-A-Ling single but I didn't realise the double entendre at the time. Having not thought about the single for close to fifty years, I also hadn't realised it had reached the topper most of the popper most.

Phillip, Ha, I instantly recognised that cover.

So, how about Saudi and Japan...

Dw

Matthew McKinnon said...

Thank you, that’s great.

I think I’ve got that Bat Mite story somewhere…?

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

So next week we have the first Doctor Doom? And then three weeks after that Doom features in the Spider-Man strip?

But in that Spider-Man story, Doom talks about how he escaped from the FF in their fourth? fifth? encounter. The first example of Marvel U.K. being out of sequence, assuming they don't just leave out the offending panels.

My question. Would Marvel UK have been better off trying to get things in sequence? Maybe kicked off with just the FF, then introduced the hulk later? Or started with full FF stories and half length hulk stories?

Charlie Horse 47 said...

DW - FOOTBALL ALERT for COLIN :)

England - USA today. Never heard so many americans talking about a soccer match. It's big news! Not optimistic as a yank, but hey! That's why we watch sport... to see if there is an upset in the making!

Charlie Horse 47 said...

COMIC ALERT

Charlie has been doing a little LCBS stuff given the Holiday yesterday and time off bracketing it.

Went to my LCBS and got the free "MARVEL PREVIEWS" for Dec 22 - Feb 23.

Products of interest:
Omnibus August 1961 reprints every Marvel released the month of FF1
Omnibus June 1962 reprints every Marvel released the month of ASM 1
Omnibus July 1963 reprints every Marvel released the month of XMEN 1

These reprints include such awesomeness as Modeling with Millie, Patsy and Hedy including their Annual #1 which I've never heard of!, Kid Colt Outlaw.... not just the "super heroes."

Charlie was thinking of saving his sheckles for the Warlock Omnibus but July 1963 sounds really tempting instead since practically all the Marvel greats are created by then but for Daredevil? 656 pages for $100. Seems like a deal actually??? I mean a Marvel Fascimile of ASM #1 is like $4.00 so...

THOUGHTS?

Charlie Horse 47 said...

Looking at DC's upcoming releases for December, Mark Waid et al. are launching a new super-duper storyline where it rains and various persons either get, or are revealed to have, superpowers!

Ummm... didn't Marvel do that like 10 years ago with some sort of rain or mist or flatuance blanketing the planet and anyone with "Inhumans" DNA becomes revealed in possibly strange and grotesque ways?

And then Inhuman City ended up being plonked down outside New York City.

Personally, Charlie thought Waid reached is apex with Archie about 7-8 years ago... but that's Charlie!

(Now to go read those $.12 Archies he found on a spinner rack a few weeks ago at a vinyl store!!! Maybe I should hit the dude up to sell me the spinner?)

Anonymous said...

dangermash, lets say the first issue of MWOM just featured the FF, and then they introduced the Hulk etc... How long do you think they could have kept all the reprints in sequence given the number of US titles (especially by the 70s) compared to UK weeklies?

Actually, thinking about it, they'd have to have included Hank Pym/Ant-Man with the FF in the first issue, so theres the first problem right there! Personally I don't think sequencing matters much at all - not compared to grabbing your interest, anyway.

Unless you came in right at the start and read everything(!) there was always going to be stuff in Marvel comics that was confusing at the outset - every issue is someone's first, right? I read a mix of both the American and British Marvels as a kid so I was all over the place with the continuity, but it wasn't too hard to make sense of it all as I went along.

The absence of domestic reprints made the experience of reading DCs in the 70s much more random, but I enjoyed them well enough. Being absolutely clueless about who the Justice Society were - let alone the Seven Soldiers of Victory - didn't stop me really enjoying the JLA crossover with both.

-sean

Anonymous said...

I dunno Charlie - all of Marvel's output for a month in a book? I might be interested when they get to late '65, but even by then I think you'd be paying for a fairly high ratio of sh*t to good stuff.
Better to get a Thor or FF Omnibus, surely?

-sean

dangermash aka The Artistic Actuary said...

Would definitely be a challenge, Sean, introducing more weekly comics as the number of US monthlies increased and having some strips in full some weeks and half length in others. As for the huge number of strips in the 70s, I guess we'd have to have some non-economically viable comics going with mixes of strips like Silver Surfer, Luke Cage, Marvel Two-In-One, Sub Mariner, etc. Come to think of it, didn't we do that with The Superheroes and with The Titans?

Actually, just thinking about Charlie's stuff about anthologies if all the comics that came out in one month is starting to put me off.

Anonymous said...

0-0.

Anonymous said...

Dangermash…. I remember when Marvel started pumping out new titles around 1972-3 and it started to “put me off” as well. I was like “gee… no more checklist… no more Bullpen page… often no more letters pages… but we get stoopid mimmy, wererwolf, two in one…”

Anonymous said...

So Charlie, I actually looked up what Marvel put out in those months. Besides FF #1, the August '61 book would also presumably contain:

Amazing Adult Fantasy - 'the magazine that respects your intelligence' (I feel cleverer already, just looking it up) - #7, Amazing Adventures #6, Gunsmoke Western #67, Journey Into Mystery #73, Journey Into Mystery #74 (consecutively cover dated but actually published later the same month apparently), Kathy #13, Kid Colt Outlaw #101, Life With Millie #13, Linda Carter Student Nurse #2, Love Romances #96, Millie the Model #105, Patsy Walker #97, Strange Tales #90, Tales of Suspense #23, Tales to Astonish #25, and Teen-Age Romance #84.

As you say, 'not just the superheroes'. But perhaps theres a reason you haven't heard of Patsy & Hedy before, and why there isn't a Kid Colt Outlaw Omnibus?
Not knocking your interest in those other genres - not at all - but aren't there better old westerns and romances than dawn of the 60s Marvel's? I mean, if you wanted to read a classic war comic would you go to Nick Fury & his Howling Commandos?

On the other hand, it does sound better than the July '63 book, which has more regular Marvel-type stuff like Avengers #1 as well as X-Men #1... but tbh I don't think those two are particularly good comics really (not to mention Ant-Man and the Wasp v the Porcupine in that month's Tales to Astonish).

-sean

McSCOTTY said...

Charlie, USA did well against England earning a 0-0 draw and in all probability qualifying for the next round with England ( I think you will beat Iran). Sadly I think Wales are out a shame they gad a great team but nabbed most are now just heading out of form.

McSCOTTY said...

Argh should have read ..."..Wales had a geat team but sadly most are heading out of form "

Colin Jones said...

I've just heard the jingles of an ice-cream van outside. I know it's been unusually mild recently but an ice-cream van prowling the streets in late November is just plain wrong.

Tomorrow is the first Sunday in Advent...and so it begins.

Steve W. said...

Colin, I heard an ice cream van earlier today, as well. It's madness of the maddest kind.

dangermash aka The Artistic Actuary said...

We can't be talking about ice cream vans without me sharing this video. If you think you know what it is before following the link, you're probably right.

https://youtu.be/sedG1kBtn1M

Anonymous said...

I sat on Santa’s lap in Downers Grove Illinois today. Asked him if he needed any elves. Santa was speechless…

Colin Jones said...

Dangermash, my father couldn't stand Morecambe & Wise so they weren't essential viewing in our house but I am familiar with their more famous sketches including that ice-cream one.

Colin Jones said...

You can tell Christmas is coming because Tesco have started selling wheels of brie.

Anonymous said...

MCSCOTTY- it was an exciting game. Clearly England more talented than USA. Seems England will go through unless they outright lose to Wales? Hmmm… that could make for a fun match?

Anonymous said...

Speaking of Wales, have any of you guys seen the Documentary Now episode, "How They Threw Rocks"?
I think it's a spoof of the real documentary When We Were Kings. It's about the fictional Welsh sport of rock throwing. Er, I uh, I think it's fictional, anyway. Probably.
Basically, two guys get in a sheep pen and throw rocks at each other until one guy falls down.
It features several distinguished Welsh actors and Tom Jones(!).
If Richard Burton was alive, he'd probably be in it.
It's one of the funniest things I've ever seen in my life. Even my brother thought it was hysterical, and it's hard to get a laugh outta that ape.

M.P.

Anonymous said...

A bit late but I thought USA showed more desire but couldn't see a winner coming form either side. I suspect both will make it through to the knock-out stage. Had a 21st and 50th this weekend and so feeling a bit fragile this morning (Sunday morning for me).

DW

Anonymous said...

England has one of those once-in-a-generation teams i.e., a disproportionate amount of talent. The usa team is typical usa: run around like whirling dervishes demonstrating superior stamina but lesser individual skills. England should have thump us like 2-0. Thanks for not! :) Charlie

Matthew McKinnon said...

They’re generally LED lights now, which need a fraction of the power so can run for all eternity off a little battery.