Thursday 14 September 2023

September 15th, 1973 - 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
***

I've no vital information from the worlds of sport, music, TV, film or politics to impart at the beginning of this post. Therefore, let us launch straight into comic book action of a kind that only Marvel UK could provide.

The Mighty World of Marvel #50

The Avengers and Fantastic Four are still falling over each other in their feeble attempts to stop the Hulk, AKA Bob, from running amok on the streets of New York.

With Reed Richards hospitalised, the Thing starting to feel like a punch bag, the Human Torch injured and Sue Storm being Sue Storm, how can the two teams possibly hope to put an end to the menace that only Bob can pose?

Meanwhile, in their temporary strip, the X-Men are still having their first-ever adventure and still trying to stop Magneto from gaining control of all those nuclear weapons at that military base he's trying to take over.

I'm assuming the mighty mutants have been given their own brief slot in the book because they'll soon be turning up as guest stars in the Fantastic Four's strip, and someone at Marvel UK wants the readers to know who they are when that occurs,

But what's this? I see that, on that cover, the team are billed as the world's strangest teenagers. Let's face it, they have plenty of competition for that title.

Spider-Man Comics Weekly #31

I do believe this is the tale in which, fresh out of jail, the embittered Professor Stromm decides to claim revenge upon Norman Osborn for having previously double-crossed him.

It's a move that leads to the unleashing of Stromm's menacing robots - and to him being shot by a sniper, through a window that only someone who can fly could possibly access. But who could that be? And just who is this man they call Norman Osborn?

And why does he have the same weird hair as his son?

After several weeks of battling, Thor finally defeats the Grey Gargoyle. I think he does it by, somehow, rendering him immobile.

Even more importantly, our hero gets his powers back, after they were severely curtailed by Odin in one of his huffs. 

I note that this tale's inked by Chic Stone which, given the villain involved, seems very apt.

But there's more entertainment than even all that because we also get another Tale of Asgard. And, in this timeless classic, Odin discovers the trolls have teamed up with Surtur in a bid to rebel against Asgard.

Needless to say, this can only mean one thing. That Odin gets all disputing factions together, around a table, to discuss just how the realm can be run in a way that's fair and equitable to all and that doesn't leave anyone feeling aggrieved.

Oh. No, he doesn't. Instead, he decides it's time to kick troll butt!

32 comments:

Anonymous said...

As per our On Again/Off Again discussion about blurbs and word balloons on covers, the MWOM cover posted above makes a good argument for getting rid of ‘em. It’s not a great cover to begin with but that “blast” blurb on the left makes it look like Hulk’s arm is exploding.

b.t.

Anonymous said...

Is that not really an argument for better design though, b.t.? I mean, poor placement of balloons isn't a reason - or rather, not necessarily one - to get rid of them completely.

Steve, no music info? Surely a man of broad cultural references such as yourself will be aware Chilean hippies Sacros released their eponymous first (and only) album this week in 1973?
Tbh, I don't think it's that great - as Chilean psychedelia goes, I much prefer Los Jaivas (and anyway, my taste in 70s Patagonian hairies leans more toward Argentine prog/jazz) - but its notable for their record label's poor timing. The LP became insanely rare - and goes for ridiculous sums these days if original copies turn up for sale - because the release date coincided with the American backed coup that ousted the democratically elected Salvador Allende.

So there you go. A bit of politics from 50 years ago too.
Did you know thats how we got neo-liberal trickle down economics? Privatisation, deregulation, monetarism, and all that stuff was trialed in the mid to late 70s by Thatcher's fascist pal Pinochet - with economic advisors from the US - to see if it worked.
Spoiler alert: it didn't. The result was a huge recession and banking crash in Chile early in the following decade. But our rulers decided to implement that stuff here anyway.

-sean

Anonymous said...

Although the UK version of the Spider-Man cover has a few additional blurbs, I really think that the slogan on the top “ once upon a time there was a robot“is spectacular! It really sets the mood with Steve D’s funky art! CH.

Anonymous said...

Sean, i was only half-serious about using the Hulk cover to justify abolishing ALL cover blurbs. In this instance, the problem starts with the overall composition. Ron Wilson (I think this is his art) didn’t leave enough negative space for text, so whoever was in charge of writing and placing the blurbs really didn’t have many options. Cutting down the NUMBER of blurbs might have been a good idea — and/or editing down the copy.

b.t.

Colin Jones said...

I was going to mention the 50th anniversary of the Pinochet coup in Chile but Sean's already done it so I'll just add that Pinochet was extremely corrupt too and made himself very rich. And after being arrested in London in 1998 he should have been deported to Spain for trial but Jack Straw let him return to Chile thus proving there were no depths to which New Labour would not sink in order to please their beloved Maggie.

Colin Jones said...

I don't know the exact date but it was sometime in late 1973 that I went to the cinema for the first time. The film was 'When Dinosaurs Ruled The Earth' which was originally released in 1969 so this was obviously a re-release and my father took me to see it because I was only 7 at the time y'see. And the film had a nude scene in it! The two main protagonists, a man and woman, go into a cave and swim naked in a pool. When they emerge from the pool nothing is left to the imagination at which point my father turned to me and said "If I'd known this was in it I might not have brought you". Note that he said "might not" because he was actually very broad-minded and I was usually allowed to watch or read anything I wanted. The only thing he disapproved of was pop music!

Colin Jones said...

The nude scene was cut from subsequent TV broadcasts even when the film was shown in the early hours of the morning. 'When Dinosaurs Ruled The Earth' is a bit crap to be honest but I watched the entire film on YouTube a few years ago because y'know, nostalgia - and the nude scene was still missing!

Anonymous said...

You'd expect 'When Dinosaurs Ruled the Earth' to be better than it is, Colin, as the script - well, it was more a treatment really - was by JG Ballard (I am not making that up).

-sean

Charlie Horse 47 said...

Disclaimer: Charlie is not an artist. That said...

Wonder why Steve D did the split screen on Spidey? Why not just one big splash-page cover?


If you just slightly tweak the location and size of the word balloons on Hulk, if would look like he's lifting a dumb bell composed of a girder and word balloons.

Charlie Horse 47 said...

Whilst trying to find the TOp-40 songs in the USA 50 years ago, I did come across a Top-40 site that informs us that of the for the Top 100 hits of 1983, there were only 83 bands.

So who were the bands that had more than 1 top-100 hit.

I got to go with at least Paul McCartney and Donnie Osmond?

Charlie Horse 47 said...

And in the USA< 50 years ago this week, the following debuted this week:

86 — PAPER ROSES –•– Marie Osmond (MGM)
96 — RUBBER BULLETS –•– 10cc (UK)

And perhaps revealing my upbringing in Gary, Indiana, Charlie was indeed thrilled listening to the following 50 years ago:

1 2 LET’S GET IT ON –•– Marvin Gaye (Tamla)-9 (1 week at #1) (1)
10 14 HERE I AM (Come and Take Me) –•– Al Green (Hi)-10 (10)
17 21 THAT LADY (Part 1) –•– The Isley Brothers (T-Neck)-9 (17)
18 30 HIGHER GROUND –•– Stevie Wonder (Tamla)-4 (18)
30 42 GHETTO CHILD –•– The Spinners (Atlantic)-4 (30)
31 36 STONED OUT OF MY MIND –•– The Chi-Lites (Brunswick)-6 (31)

Charlie Horse 47 said...

And last but not least:

31 MONSTER MASH –•– Bobby “Boris” Pickett and the Crypt-Kickers

Did it make a dent in the UK charts, LOL? I'm sure Red, BT, MP, here in the USA recall it! Seems like it peaked out a bit before Halloween.

Colin Jones said...

Charlie, you obviously don't remember my comment from this time last week when I mentioned that 'Monster Mash' was in the UK singles chart but Steve hadn't included it on his list of songs he liked from that week's chart. So yes indeed, 'Monster Mash' did make a dent in the UK charts.

Colin Jones said...

Charlie, according to Wikipedia 'Monster Mash' was originally banned by the BBC in 1962 because it was too morbid (!) but on its' re-release in 1973 the song reached #3 in the UK singles chart.

I've always been puzzled by the line "Dracula and his son" because Dracula hasn't got a son but, again according to Wikipedia, it refers to the film 'Son Of Dracula' from 1943 which is completely mis-named because no son of Dracula features in the film!

McSCOTTY said...

Charlie, that's a great selection of songs that were in the charts. Not keen on Paper Roses which was a big hit here as well , but Marvin Gaye S "Let get in on" and "Who's that Lady" by the Isley Bros are classics.

Anonymous said...

RE Monstermash lyrics...
It's possible to overthink these things...
But, the Halloween season will soon be upon us. I for one look forward to it. So does my brother. Long gone are the days we went trick or treating together, but we still like to get good and liquored up to mark the holiday.
A gesture, perhaps, to our pagan forebears. !

On another note, Sean, I couldn't agree with you more.
My sense of it was, the C.I.A began as an intelligence gathering agency after the wreck and ruin of W.W.2.
Y'know, to anticipate possible threats, maybe avoid another war.
Over the following decades there was some, ah, "mission drift"...

M.P.

Anonymous said...

How did that exclamation point get stuck up there?
Poor typing!
M.P.

Anonymous said...

I first heard the title, 'Monster Mash', in the Dire Straits song, 'Your Latest Trick'. The lyric, "Doing the Monster Mash", made it sound like the name of a dance, like "The Worm", or "The Conga". But, given the punning nature of that song, any interpretation is possible!

Phillip

Colin Jones said...

I'm a week late with this news but Mike Yarwood has died (I've only just heard).

Anonymous said...

Colin - I know it's no help, yourself not having a TV, but one of the Freeview channels (56 - That's TV UK) is showing the 1985 Mike Yarwood X-mas special at 7.15pm. I suppose such stuff my be available online, too.

Phillip

Anonymous said...

Mike Yarwood was featured on Last Word:

https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b006qpmv

Once Mike Yarwood gave up the booze, his mojo for the impressions went with it.

Phillip

Colin Jones said...

Phillip, I do have a TV but it's not connected to an ariel or satellite dish so I can't watch any TV shows on it. I bought my TV in 2011 with the sole intention of using it for watching DVDs but I don't buy them anymore and indeed my local Tesco has stopped selling them. I occasionally watch TV shows via BBC iplayer on my laptop or tablets such as the recent repeat of 'I Claudius' on BBC4 and a documentary series called 'Colosseum' also on BBC4.

I haven't looked but I'm sure there's plenty of Mike Yarwood stuff on YouTube. I know there are certainly a few Dick Emery Christmas shows on YouTube because I've watched them!

And 'Last Word' is how I discovered Yarwood had died. I didn't hear the programme but I was scrolling through the Radio 4 schedule online and I noticed his name among this week's featured obituaries on 'Last Word'.

Anonymous said...

They did the Mash
They did the Monster Mash
It caught on in a flash

Surely it’s referencing a new dance style the ghouls are all doing? Why the BBC would ban it…??? Seems odd.

CH

Anonymous said...

Oh brother… the annual Elmhurst Craft Beer festival is literally starting in a few hours 50 yards from our condo and we’re on the 3rd floor.

I enjoy beer. But i dont enjoy 8 hours of bamds playing Barracuda (Heart), Dont Fear the Reaper, Magic Carpet Ride, etc.

Going to do the S,S, and S and visit the folks!

UK gents - when you have these fests do you guys have legitimate beer drinking / cultural songs like the Germans that you been singing for eons or are you like the USA and the bands play the rock tunes of the last 50-60 years?

Anonymous said...

Colin I have one of those $25 “leaf” antennas that screws in to the coax port on my TV. It picks up most broadcast stations which is fine for casual viewers like me.

Well… the band has led off the Beer Fest at noon with a Van Morrison song ive heard like 10,000 times! Time to hit the road for Indiana and avoid another 10 hours of 1970s rockers lol.

Anonymous said...

Charlie - I've only attended one beer festival (in 1990 or 1991?) Some beers had odd & unusual names; they were higher proof than normal beer - some being so thick they looked black treacly (I exaggerate slightly!) I can't remember what music was piped, the only memorable part was me being violently sick, on leaving the beer hall and hitting the fresh air, on my walk home. Being middle-aged, it's not an experience I'd care to repeat!

I watched the 1985 Mike Yarwood X-Mas special. It hasn't aged well at all. That kind of humour looks incredibly dated, even for 1985. I remember finding Mike Yarwood funny, as a kid, but maybe when I was younger. Still, he's only just passed, so let's raise a glass to the good memories.

Phillip

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

The thing about Mike Yarwood was that he turned MPs into famous people. Ask me today to name five members of the cabinet. No chance. Ask anybody in the street in 1979 and they'd give you a big list of names. It felt like and was a big step forward for impressionists when Gee and Dennis started on Coronation Street characters and when Alasdair McGowan started on footie pundits but the nation collectively lost a huge chunk of knowledge of politics when Mike turned in the mike.

Colin Jones said...

dangermash, I can name 5 members of the cabinet without the need of Mike Yarwood or Spitting Image! The ignorance of so much of the public about politics explains why we ended up with Brexit and charlatans like Boris Johnson.

Phil, I didn't realise Mike Yarwood was still on TV as late as Christmas '85. I think of him mainly as a '70s impressionist doing Ted Heath, Harold Wilson and Denis Healey.

Anonymous said...

He might have been on TV for a few more years, Colin, but the 70s were Yarwood's heyday. He did ok under Heath and Wilson, but once Thatcher got in that was obviously him finished really. Just another one of the millions she put out of work...

dangermash, Not sure I'd necessarily credit impressionists for people knowing more about who was in the government back then, as ministers were around for longer. These days the turnover is too quick to know who they are. Like, the UK is currently on its fifth Chancellor just since the 2019 election!
Prime ministers can come and go in just 49 days.

-sean

Anonymous said...

Freeview channel 56, 'That's TV (UK)' has another Mike Yarwood show on tonight, entitled:

'Mike Yarwood: This is Him'

Phillip

Anonymous said...

Charlie, I'm not one for beer festivals, but if it helps I did go to see the Wolfe Tones last month - there were quite a few cans and drinking glasses in evidence, and a lot of joining in with the songs. It was all very cultural.

-sean