Thursday 2 November 2023

November 3rd, 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
***

If you're British, a strange switch flicks in your brain if you hear the words, "Four candles," or, "Don't tell him, Pike!"

Well, I've no news to impart about the first of those two quotes but I can shed light upon the second, as this week in 1973 was when those words were first uttered.

It's true. We saw the sixth series of the World War II sitcom Dad's Army launch, with the episode The Deadly Attachment in which the platoon must guard a gang of captured U-Boat sailors, a ladder is climbed, a song is sung and that classic line is born.

Meanwhile, East and West were colliding, as Istanbul's Bosphorus Bridge was completed, connecting the continents of Europe and Asia, via the Bosphorus Strait, for the first time in history.

Speaking of firsts, it was also when NASA launched Mariner 10 toward Mercury, with the aim of it becoming the first space probe to reach that planet.

On that week's UK singles chart, David Cassidy was still bossing things, with his double A-side Daydreamer/Puppy Song, just as he had been the week before.

There was change, however, on the accompanying album chart.

That's because David Bowie's brand new LP Pin Ups smashed onto the listings at Number One, thwarting a stern challenge from Elton's Goodbye Yellowbrick Road which had to settle for entering at Number Two.

The Mighty World of Marvel #57, Hulk vs Mandarin

Things race towards a climax, as a Mandarin-controlled Hulk's sent to attack the Red Chinese. Or, at least, some of them.

But it's only a matter of time before the Jade giant breaks the villain's conditioning and sets off to trash his base of operations. Something that becomes much easier with the help of a simultaneous attack by Nick Fury and friends.

Then it's the clash of the super-teams, as the Puppet Master seizes control of Professor X and makes him set the X-Men on the Fantastic Four. What a bounder!

And to make matters worse, the villain's aided and abetted by the Mad Thinker!

The Avengers #7, Immortus

Yet more entanglements hit the Marvel timelines, as the third (or, possibly, fourth) incarnation of Kang shows up.

This time, it's Immortus who's causing trouble. The high-hatted troublemaker wants to unite with the Masters of Evil and use his control of the realm of Limbo to summon powerful figures from the past, to help out.

Elsewhere, thanks to his mystical powers, Dr Strange senses evil in Bavaria. There, he finds the townsfolk possessed and, being Dr Strange, concludes there must be supernatural forces at work.

However, he soon discovers it's really the work of aliens from another dimension!

Spider-Man Comics Weekly #38, the Return of the Lizard

It's a great day for all lovers of the lizard, as the herpetological horror finally makes his return, dozens of issues after his previous appearance.

This time, he's in New York and, I think, out to use his mastery of reptiles to take over town. Can our hero stop the villain? Especially with his arm in a sling?

Elsewhere, thanks to cheating, Loki defeats Thor in the Trial of the Gods. Can the thunder god prove to Odin that his half-brother won by using hidden Norn Stones?

And just how does it involve the Vietnam War?

44 comments:

Colin Jones said...

'Dad's Army' must have more famous lines and catchphrases than anything else except 'The Fast Show'...

Don't tell him, Pike
Don't panic!
They don't like it up 'em
Permission to speak, sir!
Stupid boy!
Please may I be excused?
We're doooomed!
Do you think that's wise, sir?
You bloomin' 'ooligans!
My mum says...

And 'Dad's Army' was a radio series too - it's currently being broadcast on BBC Radio 4-Extra at 6pm on Thursdays.

Colin Jones said...

FUN FACT: When James Beck died suddenly aged 44 he wasn't replaced and his character of Private Walker was dropped from the TV series but in the radio version Private Walker was kept on, being played by a further TWO actors.

And in the TV series Private Godfrey's sister was called Dolly but in the radio version she was called Cissy.

Anonymous said...

'The Fast Show' is funny though, Colin. Personally, I've never understood the appeal of Dad's Army.
Or Bowie's 'Pin Ups' album. Mind you, I was a bit surprised not to get any push back from the Bowie-philes round these parts when I slagged it here recently, so maybe no-one else is that keen either.

Anyway, on to more import matters - doesn't that FF story in that MWOM feature the first appearance of the Mad Thinker's Awesome Android?

-sean

Anonymous said...

Wow! The Rolling Stones have a new album out and the Beatles have a new single out! How far back did you Brits turn the clock last weekend for crying out loud?

Anonymous said...

Do the Kinks and the Who still have any ammo left in the pouch?

Colin Jones said...

Has anyone heard the new "Beatles" song? I listened to it on YouTube and I thought it was OK but rather average. No doubt it will be hailed as a masterpiece though, because it's THE BEATLES y'see.

Charlie(?) - the Rolling Stones' new album entered the UK albums chart at #1 (and #3 in America) which I assume makes them the oldest band ever to reach #1. According to BBC news the Stones have set a new record in America by having a Top 10 album in every decade since the '60s.

dangermash aka The Artistic Actuary said...

Dads Army kept me busy for a week towards the end of the Summer:
https://artisticactuary.blogspot.com/2023/09/the-dads-army-collection.html

dangermash aka The Artistic Actuary said...

Meanwhile it's the second of the run of three really poor Avengers stories. This week:
– no background or motivation to Immortus
– Zemo, Enchantress and Executioner back yet again
– Captain America out of character
– Captain America sent into to the past and acting like he's been sent two blocks down the road
– three short and boring fights with uninteresting characters that Immortus summons
– one of those characters is Hercules but it's not Hercules and is later retconned to a dire wraith (and Marvel UK renames him Atlas in this issue
– pretty poor artwork
– Enchantress wipes whole episode from everyone's minds at the end, making it all pointless anyway


Anonymous said...

Kate Bush and George Michael, among others, are being inducted tonight into the rock n roll (usa version) Hall of Fame!

One wonders if her Running Up The Hill from 40 years ago, reaching #1 this (?) year for the show Stranger Things did it?

Colin Jones said...

Running Up That hill reached #1 in the UK in June 2022.

Anonymous said...

And what are “double A sided” singles as Steve-O mentions?

Matthew McKinnon said...

A weird phenomenon where the two songs are deemed to be worthy as single.

Sometimes it works as a means of extending the sales life of the record: Wham released Last Christmas b/w Everything She Wants before Christmas 1984, and it kept selling right into 1985 when DJs just started playing ESH instead.

Colin Jones said...

Another example is Boney M's 'Rivers Of Babylon/Brown Girl In The Ring' from 1978. First of all 'Rivers Of Babylon' was a huge hit, staying at #1 for five weeks and then as it started going down the chart 'Brown Girl In The Ring' got played more and more on the radio so the single climbed again to #2 and spent 40 weeks on the UK singles chart in total.

Matthew McKinnon said...

Nah.

It’ll be briefly filed alongside ‘Free As A Bird’ and whatever that other one was back then as ‘ephemeral cash-grab nonsense’ and then utterly forgotten.

Steve W. said...

Sean, doesn't the Awesome Android first turn up in that tale where the Mad Thinker takes over the FF's headquarters?

Colin, my own thoughts are that Now and Then is as good as it could realistically be. It's not a great song and the vocals were clearly not what Lennon would have done if he'd been in a studio, trying to get it right. I still feel that Real Love is the best track by The Threatles and would be a genuinely good single if the sound quality on the vocals wasn't so bad.

Charlie, a double-A side is a single where the artist or label can't decide which track would make the better single and, so, both sides of the single get pushed equally when it comes to promotion and airplay. A bunch of the Beatles' singles were released as double-A sides because of the need to keep both Lennon and McCartney happy. Penny Lane/Strawberry Fields Forever is probably the most famous example. Amongst others, there were also Daytripper/We Can Work It Out and Eleanor Rigby/Yellow Submarine. In America, the chart compilers traditionally counted each side as a separate single. In the UK, they were treated as just one single.

Dangermash, nice paintings. :)

dangermash aka The Artistic Actuary said...

Steve's right - awesome android's first appearance is also the thinker’s first appearance. FF#15?

Anonymous said...

Gents! Charlie was checking out the YouTube on the conkers championship 2023! It seems a gent named William won! Get this…
You ready….?
William the Conkerer!!!

Pretty funny, eh?

Steve W. said...

Charlie, I concur.

dangermash aka The Artistic Actuary said...

Steve the concurrer doesn't have the same ring to it though

Charlie Horse 47 said...

Ha, DM! Pretty Funny!

STEVE the Concurrer! Me thinks we could create a comic book hero around that! "With quill in hand, Steve the Concurrer disorients his enemies, foreign and domestic, with squibs at the speed of light!"

Ch47

Charlie Horse 47 said...

Colin, Steve,

Thanks for the info on double A-sided 45s. A little digging again, after last week, seems we in the States had the benefit of getting all those singles on albums in the USA, whereas you folks only had them as singles. E.g., the single Hello Goodbye/I am the Walrus ended up in Magical Mystery Tour in the USA (though this had Hello Goodbye as A side and I am the Walrus as B side which John was seemingly a little bothered by).

IMHO, I don't see this new Beatles single as much a cash grab as intended to keep the name going. I mean, the BEATLES haven't released a song / album since 1969? That's 54 years ago. All over the world, little kids still learn Beatles songs... and the rest of the "invasion" are all but forgotten though the STONES put in a solid effort.

Btw, there are several enjoyable clips of Richards, Woods, Jagger with Jimmy FALLON on youtube now. There are multiple different clips with each.


Charlie Horse 47 said...

Btw, The queen of the CONKERS beat out the king this year.

I think this is like the 3rd time she's done it in the last 5-6 years?

One might say she knows how to "bust a...?"

Matthew McKinnon said...

Charlie -

The Beatles released two songs back in 1995, based on the same Lennon demos that this new one comes from.

Colin Jones said...

This morning I was in Poundland (fantastic shop!) and they played 'Christmas Wrapping' by the Waitresses which is the first festive tune I've heard in the shops this year. I also bought a book of 8 first class Christmas stamps from the Post Office costing £10 which is £1.25 per stamp - I can remember when a 1st class stamp cost 10p.

McSCOTTY said...

Colin, I was in a charity shop (passing on some old books and clothes) this afternoon and they were playing Slades "Merry Christmas" my next stop was ro a local cafe and they were playing Whams "Last Christmas" and others , wàaaaaay too soon.

Anonymous said...

Yeah, things are starting to get Christmassy already. All that stuff is bad enough actually at Christmas, never mind early November.

Steve, dangermash, yes, I'm getting my Mad Thinker stories mixed up. Duh.

I don't have an opinion on the new Beatles single, or the Rolling Stones album. From what I've heard they're both as boring as you'd expect. Lets face it, there's only one 60s band thats still relevant - the Wolfe Tones! And they're on tour this month...

-sean

Anonymous said...

@#$&∆! Take a moment to comment on Steve Does Comics, and while you're not paying attention Arsenal go a goal down...

-sean

dangermash aka The Artistic Actuary said...

Nipped indoors for a mid—painting break on Thursday to make some tea and caught the missus and number one son watching some cheesy Christmas romcom on the telly!

The good news is it means I no longer need to keep finding excuses to not tale down last year's Christmas decor.

Anonymous said...

On tonight's BBC show, about the Beetles, to the tune of "We all live in a yellow submarine", striking workers, in 1966, sang: "We all live on bread and margarine - bread and margarine, bread and margarine" !

Phillip

Anonymous said...

'66 is too early for Yellow Submarine. It must have been '68!

Phillip

Anonymous said...

Les soixante-huitards, Phillip. A la lanterne!

-sean

Anonymous said...

The placards were in English, Sean - so it must have been in the UK. Maybe the French civil unrest strikers sang: "We all live on croissants and margarine"

Phillip!

Anonymous said...

To the barricadez amigos!!!

DM - that is a genius idea! Just leave the decos up all year!!!

Sean- The sports talk tells me Arsenal was robbed but also should have been down to 10 men b/c of that Chelsea reject Havertz?

93.9 FM WLIT dominates xmas music in chicagoland and started 2 November. Charlie’s been listening a touch. My fist song of the season was Let it Snow by Dean Martin (1960s?) would be curious to know if you gents can hear it in the UK livestream?

Anonymous said...

Yellow Submarine song = 1966. Movie = 1968.

A super fun Quebec rendition is Le Sous Marin Vert from 1966. For some reason it had a revival the last few years, god knows why, among francophones in the US and Quebec.

Anonymous said...

UK gents - Le Charlie went down a rabbt hole and learned of a brit show called Blacladder? Recommended viewing if i can find it?

dangermash aka The Artistic Actuary said...

Oh yes, Charlie needs to watch Blackadder. Essential viewing for any American seeking to understand the sarcastic side of British humour. I rate series 2 and 3 highest, slightly ahead of 4, but (touch wood) I think everyone agrees that the (unnumbered) first series is a step down from the other three.

Oh, and probably worth me pointing out that the four series are about four completely different Blackadders from different times, so no need to watch it all in order. I'd recommend starting with Blackadder 2.

Everyone else feel free to present alternative viewpoints.

Colin Jones said...

Phillip, the double A-side 'Yellow Submarine/Eleanor Rigby' reached #1 in August 1966.

The first Blackadder series from 1983 has its' charms but Blackadder is portrayed as a moron and Baldrick as intelligent which is obviously the reverse of the three later series. Apparently Michael Grade didn't like the first series and didn't want to renew it so to meet his approval Blackadder underwent a radical change. I agree with Dangermash that series 2 and 3 are the best. And on the subject of Christmas, don't forget 'Blackadder's Christmas Carol' which I watched on iplayer last Christmas Eve and the Christmas Eve before that.

My single favourite Blackadder episode is probably the one from series 3 where he accidentally destroys Dr Johnson's dictionary and tries to re-write it in a single night with the help of Baldrick and the idiot Prince Regent...

BLACKADDER: B - what starts with B?

BALDRICK: Honey - honey starts with a bee.

PRINCE REGENT: He's right, Blackadder - honey does start with a bee.

Anonymous said...

Colin - Thanks for clarifying the dates. Maybe it was '66, after all.

Charlie - In the UK, Blackadder's almost a national institution. Although subversive, when first shown, it's now as mainstream as mainstream can be.

I like the atmospheric Alnwick castle backdrop, of series one (plus, it hasn't been repeated as often). Series two was probably the funniest. To historians, I think The "Lions led by donkeys" World War I thing's now considered too simplistic, but Blackadder made it an orthodoxy.

Strangely, although Blackadder made Rowan Atkinson a household name in the 80s & 90s, in the twenty years since then, Tony Robinson's now more famous/recognizable, as Time Team was repeated, ad infintum, along with Robinson's other historical documentaries.

Phillip

Anonymous said...

now = became

Phillip

Anonymous said...

"Tony Robinson became" (not fully woken up!)

Phillip

Colin Jones said...

Phillip, wasn't Rowan Atkinson already a household name thanks to 'Not The Nine O' Clock News'? I suppose Blackadder made him even more famous! You could have added that Tony Robinson has a knighthood which Rowan Atkinson doesn't!

Anonymous said...

Colin - Yes, I hadn't forgotten 'Not The Nine O'Clock News' but, for Atkinson, it wasn't career-defining. You've definitely become an establishment figure, once you've accepted a knighthood!

Phillip

Anonymous said...

Sir Tony Robinson's best joke was resigning from the Labour party, Phillip. Imagine being ok with bombing Iraq, but drawing a line at Jeremy Corbyn - hilarious.

-sean

Anonymous said...

Sean - Sir Tony's clearly a man of principle, just like his fellow Knight of the Realm, that sincere man, Sir Keir Starmer.

Phillip