Saturday, 19 July 2014


Images copyright MARVEL COMICS

September 21st, 1977 - five years after The MIGHTY WORLD
Of MARVEL #1 had gone on sale - and now The FANTASTIC FOUR
were finally awarded their own U.K. magazine (dated 28th).  I was glad of the
opportunity to re-collect the early FF tales published as back-up in the new
mag, which, foolishly, I hadn't kept from their earlier '70s re-presentations
in MWOM.  One good thing about the new weekly periodical was that the
grey tones were less obtrusive than in previous publications, and now
served the art in a sensitive way, rather than simply obscuring it.

The CLASSIC CONFRONTATION pages featured in the comic
appear to come from a colouring & activity booklet, hence the removal
of detail in some areas to leave open for the appliance of colour.  I'd have
preferred to see them all as originally inked, but younger readers were
probably kept occupied for ages  - even 'though quite a few issues
were doubtless vandalised in the process.

So here's the first instalment of The COMPLETE FF cover and
image gallery to tempt you on a brief visit into the past.  Come along,
and don't worry - the eternal present will still be here waiting for us
when we return.  Ready?  Let's go!


Paul McScotty -Muir said...

It always seemed a bit strange to me that the FF were really the only top 5 Marvel (perhaps along with DD) character (ie; Spider man, Hulk, X-Men, Avengers) not to manage to sustain its own title in the UK for any length of time - even the recent (excellent) Panini Complete FF mag didn't last too long after the effects of the movie series had worn off - Saying that by 1977 I had stopped buying most of the UK Marvels (and most UK comics) and only picked up a few of these at the time = I recall the free gifts (cheap plastic planes) and never understood why they choose them.

Kid said...

Perhaps Marvel got a job-lot of those planes from Kellogg's, McScotty. It was a strange choice - they should've gone for posters as free gifts. I liked the Complete FF, but it slipped a bit in my estimation when they added The Invaders to the line-up.

Colin Jones said...

I've always thought it was strange that it took so long for them to get their own weekly (apart from their run in The Titans - a fitting way to end Kirby's long run). I'd started in comprehensive school exactly three weeks earlier on August 31st and exactly three weeks after this on October 12th Rampage No.1 came out and it was also my father's 50th birthday so it was all happening around this time. I'd never read the original FF stories before so I was very happy that they were included - in fact I think I enjoyed them more than the newer FF stories. Yes, the plane was cheap tat but I never cared much about the free gifts anyway - the free gift in Captain Britain had been a crappy cardboard mask. I never had any of the No.1's that gave posters as free gifts.

Kid said...

The Super-Heroes, Savage Sword of Conan (weekly AND later monthly), Dracula Lives, Planet of the Apes and The Titans were the comics that gave away posters inside their first issues, CJ. It was a while before they resumed the practice of doing so. I think I've got all the early ones and a lot of the later ones.

John Pitt said...

This comic should have been as successful as the Avengers weekly, but at least we got to see most of the stories again in the pocketbooks. The 80's FF weekly didn't seem to last long either.

Kid said...

If I recall rightly, JP, the '80s weekly started from the Romita-drawn tales. You're right, it didn't last too long - but not many '80s U.K. Marvel titles did either.

Christopher Nevell said...

I always thought that they should have alternated with Hulk on the MWOM covers

Kid said...

The covers did alternate between FF, Hulk & Spidey (then Daredevil), Chris, until The Hulk became the star of the comic with #33 (I think). I suppose the Hulk TV show was being planned at the time and Marvel wanted to capitalise on it when it happened. The Hulk covers did become a bit boring week after week 'though.

Andrew kerr said...

I think having The Hulk as cover star lead to other problems- I remember going to one of my regular newsagents asking for 'Marvel comic' (MWOM was a bit of a mouthful) only to be told they didn't have that one but did have The Hulk comic!

Kid said...

Just goes to show, Andrew, that newsagents seldom pay proper attention to what they're actually selling. Even today, when I ask after a particular periodical, staff often don't seem to know what I'm talking about.

Christopher Nevell said...

My newsagent only stocked the Avengers. I wanted The Mighty World of Marvel, MWOM and Hulk Comics Weekly thinking they were all different!

Kid said...

And, as you'll know, Chris, eventually there was a weekly Hulk comic when Dez Skinn became head honcho at Marvel U.K.

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