Sunday, 9 October 2016

KID KLASSICS: IT'S A MARVEL-LOUS WORLD (THIRD TIME OUT)...


Images copyright MARVEL COMICS.  Art by John Buscema
 
I trust you won't mind me resurrecting a post from a few years ago -
but (with a little revision) it was perfect for the purpose of celebrating the
debut of MWOM back in 1972.  And, to be honest, I simply couldn't think
of saying it any better than I did the first time around.  I wish I could relive
those Autumnal days from so long ago when I was a mere thirteen year old
boy, but, in a way, I can.  Whenever I look at those pulse-pounding pages
in the very first issue of The MIGHTY WORLD Of MARVEL, I'm
once more back in the heady days of the sensational '70s.

******

44 years ago, on September 30th, 1972, The MIGHTY WORLD Of
MARVEL #1 (cover dated October 7th) burst onto newsagents' counters
all over Britain.  I hadn't seen the STAN LEE-voiced TV ad (although I did
later), so it came as a surprise when I spotted the comic on a wall-rack out-
side a newsagent's along from Glasgow's famous BARROWLAND market
(aka The BARRAS), where I and my parents were heading on that
particular Saturday morning.

Art by Jack Kirby
 
Art by Jack Kirby
I couldn't talk my folks
into buying it for me on the
way in, but I'd managed to
wear them down into submis-
sion by the time we made our
way out an hour or so later.  We
were soon ensconced in the cosy
confines of a comfy cafe, and it
was with great joy that I pored
through its contents over a glass
of cola and reacquainted myself
with the pals I'd first met in the
pulsating pages of ODHAMS'
POWER COMICS, way back
in what even then seemed like
the dim and distant days of
the '60s.  Suddenly, life
was exciting again.

Art by Jack Kirby

DEZ SKINN once revealed that Stan had told him the comic's original
title was going to be The WONDERFUL World of Marvel (after the
Disney TV show of almost the same name), but thankfully 'twas not to be.
Besides, MIGHTY and MARVEL go so well together it seems the obvious
choice, so I'm amazed that any other name was even considered.

Art by Jack Kirby

Art by Jack Kirby
40 pages, some in full-
colour (the rest with green
'spot' colour), for only 5p -
containing the origins of The
INCREDIBLE HULKThe
(FABULOUS) FANTASTIC
FOUR and The AMAZING
SPIDER-MAN - plus a Hulk
iron-on transfer (left) - Wow!
I wish they still produced
comics like that today!

Well, in a sense - they do!
I still buy MWOM today,
although it's now published
monthly, has 76 full-colour
pages and costs £3.99.

The Mighty World of Marvel - I hope it's still around in
another 44 years.  In fact, I hope I'm still around also.

Art by Steve Ditko

Incidentally, you may be interested to know that, despite a later
issue's claims to the contrary in response to a reader's enquiry, page
seven was edited out of SPIDER-MAN's origin.  The opening caption
of page eight was amended to cover this, and so unobtrusively was it
done that the story's flow remained largely unaffected by the cut.

Art by Steve Ditko

2 comments:

Colin Jones said...

The latest issue of Comic Heroes magazine has an interesting article about the history of Marvel UK and mentions how the early weeklies had some colour pages and had 40 pages rather than 36 (as you do here). But by the time I discovered Marvel in November '74 the weeklies had adopted the familiar 36 pages all in black & white with glossy covers. I really regret missing those first two years of Marvel UK. Until the internet came along I assumed that MWOM #1 had been the debut of the Marvel characters in the UK as I'd never heard of Terrific and those other comics. I first read the origin of the Fantastic Four in The Complete FF #1.

Kid said...

I'll have to see if I can remember to pick up a copy of Comic Heroes while it's still on sale, CJ. I'd read it was out on Rob Kirby's blog (I think), but then forgot until you reminded me. The early issues of MWOM and SMCW (moreso the former) had something about them that was absent in the later issues. It wasn't just the colour ('though that certainly helped), it was the fact that it was the debut tales of the Marvel heroes. (I first read the FF's origin in Smash!) It's a shame you didn't know about them, because you missed Marvel U.K. at its best.

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