Thursday, 7 September 2017

THE MIGHTY WORLD OF MARVEL - 45TH ANNIVERSARY...


Images copyright MARVEL COMICS

September.  Outside my window (and others' too no doubt), the rain shows that Summer is now over and that Autumn is upon us.  However, my mind is on another September day many years gone, that of September 30th 1972.  Ah, how well I remember it.  It was a Saturday and I was being taken into Glasgow to have a pair of school trousers bought for me.  On an impulse, my parents also got me a black anorak, but as it had pink lining I seldom ever wore it - and when I did, I made sure it was firmly zipped-up so that the lining wasn't visible.  However, that's not the main reason I recall the date and the day with such crystal clarity.

No, the reason for that memory remaining so vivid down through the years is because that was the day when the very first issue of The MIGHTY WORLD Of MARVEL went on sale.  I spied it in a magazine and newspaper rack at the side of a newsagent's doorway on our way along to the famous BARROWLAND market, and recognised The HULK, The FANTASTIC FOUR, and SPIDER-MAN as old friends from my POWER COMICS-reading days some years before.  Despite my entreaties, my parents declined to buy it for me (after all, 5p is 5p), but I managed to wear them down and they eventually gave in a little while later.

One thing I'm no longer 100% certain of is whether I got the issue from the shop I'd first seen it in or another establishment.  I think I did, but couldn't swear to it with absolute conviction.  Not that it matters much, but I always hate it when I forget things that were once (seemingly) embedded in my memory for so long a period.  Then, one day, suddenly, they've 'flitted', leaving a hole in the space they'd so comfortably inhabited for years.  Ach, well, never mind.  But wait - having just typed that, the recollection of my eager race back along to that very newsagent has resurfaced, proving that the memory wasn't dead at all, but merely slumbering (unless I'm imagining it).  Welcome back, sleepy-head.

I remember other things about that day, but I've regaled you with them before in previous posts about this landmark issue, so I'll spare you the ordeal of a repeat recounting.  Suffice to say that the very first issue of MWOM left an indelible impression on me, containing 40 pages of the earliest adventures of Marvel's main heroes.  Some pages were in full-colour, while the rest bore a green spot-colour - with 'Zipatone' - to punch-up their appearance and avoid what would otherwise have been plain black and white.

Just think - that was 45 years ago, but to me, even in my dotage, the memory of that momentous day yet resonates as if it were only a heartbeat away.  Isn't that a marvel?  (Yes, pun intended.)

Did you buy The Mighty World Of Marvel back in the day, readers?  If you have any happy recollections you'd care to share, then you know where the comments section is.  The following images should hopefully serve to prompt your memory of the glorious event all true British Marvelites will be remembering in just over three weeks from now.  So don't forget - September 30th.  And guess what?  This year, the 30th falls on a Saturday, just as it did 45 years ago.







Below, the free iron-on Hulk transfer (the right way 'round)


Amazingly, MWOM is still on sale today, though now as a monthly as opposed to a weekly mag.  Below is the next issue (Vol 6, #13) - available on the 21st from WHS, and all good newsagents and comics shops.

6 comments:

Colin Jones said...

I didn't discover Marvel comics till November 16th 1974 - also a Saturday. But I first saw that FF splash page in The Complete Fantastic Four No.1 which went on sale on September 21st 1977 so the 40th anniversary is just two weeks away !

Kid said...

September 21st - coincidentally the date that the very next ish of MWOM goes on sale, CJ. It must be fate.

spirit of '64 said...

THIS ISSUE WAS ADVERTISED ON TV!!!!!!!!!!! DID YOU MISS IT ????????
I NEVER GOT THIS ISSUE, ONLY STARTING WITH 10..... BUT I STILL HAVE THE NOSTALGIA OF THAT FIRST EVER VIEW OF MY FAVOURITE MARVEL HEROES!!!! WOW!
... and how sad it was 45 years ago. How can it all have gone so quickly......

Kid said...

I hadn't seen the ad before I bought the comic, '64, but I saw it either that night or the next day. Apparently it was voiced by Stan himself. 45 years - gone in the blink of an eye. (Or so it seems.)

Phil S said...

I do remember! Like you I was familiar with the Marvel characters but I found these early stories intriguing. They seemed so primitive but as a fan it was a real treat. Because back in the day there were no reprints! MWOM filled in my Marvel history.

Kid said...

Some early issues of Marvel Collectors' Item Classics and Marvel Tales could still be found in some shops, PS, so the occasional (old) reprint mags containing early stories were still available. I know what you mean though - MWOM was the only regular, then-current comic devoted to publishing the early classics in (almost) sequential order.

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