Sunday, 27 April 2014


Images copyright MARVEL COMICS

The sky was a bright blue, with cotton wool clouds floating
far overhead, when I purchased PRINCE NAMOR, The SUB-
MARINER #14 from CORSON'S  (a local shop that still exists in
the same place today) that summer's day in 1969 or '70.  I remember
arriving back home and reading it on my front doorstep, so eager was I
to plumb its titanic treasures and immerse myself in all its MARVEL-
lous  delights.  This was the very first Subby comic I ever bought,
but, 'though I enjoyed it, it would be two or three years before I
purchased another.  (The first Annual of the series.)

Interestingly, long before I acquired the replacement for #14
you see above, I bought a reprint of it in TALES To ASTONISH
#14 from a shop in Southsea or Portsmouth back in '81.  One glance
at the cover instantly transported me to the front doorstep of my old
home, eleven or twelve years before.  Strange how the same image can
conjure up different memories, isn't it?  Nowadays, when I look at the
TTA reprint, I think of the street I stayed in Southsea first, before
recalling the memory it summoned back then.  Although, when I
look at Subby's original issue, my mind jumps straight back
to that front doorstep so very long ago.

The reprint, as well as having it's own set of recollections, also
points back to earlier memories of the original, which has only its
own.  You'd think it would work both ways equally, no?  You know,
I'd look at the Sub-Mariner mag and be reminded of the TTA reprint,
in the same way that it works in reverse? But no, the process only op-
erates in one direction.  It's a bit of a mystery - or is it?  Perhaps it's
only natural that some things remind us of past memories, but
not 'future' ones (if you know what I mean).

However, here's a bona fide mystery:  Why on earth do I get so
absorbed in pondering such inconsequential matters as if they were
profoundly significant in some way?  That's one I'll probably never be
able to solve, but at least it keeps my mind occupied.  Anyway, below
is the cover to the reprint, the contents of which were recoloured, but
followed the colour scheme of the original pretty faithfully.  Marvel
had increased their comics' page count at this time, so also in-
cluded are the 'filler' pin-ups from the back of the mag.

And here's a side-by-side comparison of the covers:


John Pitt said...

Whereas I cannot remember where I was when I first read most stories , unless I bought the comics whilst on holiday.
These "fire vs. water” scraps hark back to the golden age days. Wonder if they are still at it today?

Kid said...

No doubt they're still slugging it out somewhere, JP - even if it's an alternate universe. You know, I'm sure I could once recall the shop from where I got that reprint ish, but, alas, no longer.

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