Sunday, 26 February 2012

HERE COME THE SUPER-HEROES...


Images copyright MARVEL COMICS

Back in March of 1975, MARVEL U.K. released two new weekly comics on an unsuspecting British public - The SUPER-HEROES and SAVAGE SWORD Of CONAN.  We'll turn our attention to the Conan mag another time because, for the moment, we're going to look at the more successful of the two titles.
  
Initially, The Super-Heroes reprinted The SILVER SURFER from NORRIN RADD's 18 issue U.S. monthly mag from the '60s.  Taking up the slack in the back were The X-MEN, their adventures being split in twain and continued the following week.  (Seeing those early X-Men adventures was just like having the late, lamented FANTASTIC back again.)  In fact, as the Surfer's first 7 American mags were double-sized, the same approach was adopted for his adventures also, until such time as his regular-sized tales were featured.


The Super-Heroes lasted just under a year, bowing out with issue #50 (Conan only lasted 18 issues) and merging with the weekly SPIDER-MAN comic.  In its time it managed to showcase GIANT-MAN, The CAT, DOC SAVAGE, and some MARVEL TWO-IN-ONE tales of The THING and various guest stars.  It was never better though, than in its early issues, and it was sad to see it go when it eventually faded from the scene.  The name (sans hyphen) was later revived for a British monthly magazine called MARVEL SUPERHEROES in 1979, but it was never quite the same.  There were even at least three hardback annuals by GRANDREAMS before the title disappeared yet again, this time for the final time.



50 issues?  Is that all?  Funny how, when I look back, it seems that the comic lasted far longer than a mere 49 weeks of my life.  Surely it was around for a couple of years at least?  (Nope, I guess not.)  I still have my original issues and, sometimes, when-ever I want to revisit yesteryear, I dig them out yet again and savour the sight, smell and touch of these classic comics from nearly 40 years ago.  Then, somehow, I'm magically back in the past and 16 years old once more, reliving the thrill of settling down with the latest Mighty Marvel mag from the House of Ideas!  What more could any true, dyed in the wool Marvelite want?  (Apart from a coveted 'No-Prize'.)

Anyway, as I'm feeling nostalgic, here's the first three covers to give you a taste of what I'm talking about.  Enjoy.

10 comments:

B Smith said...

Must have been odd for UK comics fans of a certain vintage....a Marvel title starts up reprinting the Fantastic Four, or X-Men....a few years later, a new Comic starts, reprinting Fantastic Four, or X-Men....and some years later, a new comic comes along reprinting, say, the Fantastic Four and X-Men.

Kid said...

I suppose, in the main, each reprinting every few years had a whole new audience. Readers like myself were probably the exceptions. However, there was always something different with each presentation which differentiated it from the one before. (New cover, black & white, colour, two-tone, different back-up feature, etc.)

Dougie said...

I've never seen two of those covers. By '75 my brother and I had a joint order for Marvel weeklies. This post reminded me that he never got The Super-Heroes issues 2 & 3 and I never got SSOC 3.
Either there was a delivery glitch for a couple of weeks or my mum must have succumbed to "pester power" and added both titles to our order.

Steve W. said...

I remember Stan Lee appearing on the TV show Magpie to promote the launch of those two comics. The interview started off with him pretending to be an angry J Jonah Jameson, while presenter Tommy Boyd played Spider-Man.

It was only when I saw that interview that I discovered that Conan was pronounced Coe-nan and not Connan.

Kid said...

Regarding issue 3, Dougie, for some strange reason it didn't click with me that it was the comic I was looking for when I saw it, at a glance, on my newsagent's counter. It wasn't 'til I hunted it down and bought it from another shop that I realised I could've bought it in the first one.

Steve, I remember the Stan Lee voiced TV ads for MWOM and SMCW, but I never saw the Magpie episode you speak of. Wish I had now. Maybe Americans just pronounce Conan's name differently to us (same as aluminium)? It'll always be 'Con(n)an' to me.

Dougie said...

Oh. I always thought it was Coe-nan rather than Connan...

Kid said...

I've heard Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's name pronounced both ways, but more often as 'Con-an' rather than 'Co-nan', which is why I pronounce the Cimmerian's name the same way. Don't suppose it matters much either way.

Kid said...

I've had a look at the internet and there seems to be debate as to how the name is pronounced. Two sources claim the opposite of each other, one saying that REH pronounced it 'Caw-nan' (or 'nin' - yes, there's even controversy on how the second syllable should be pronounced) and another saying 'Coe-nin' (or 'nan' or 'nun'). My view is this - pronounce it how you like and don't worry about it. Here's a selection of possibilities:

Coe-nin, Coe-nAn, Coe-nun, Caw-nin, Caw-nAn, Caw-nun, etc. Take yer pick.

Nick Caputo said...

Hi kid,

as noted on one of your earlier repliies to me comments, thart first issue was the one I had, bought at a con many years ago. I like the way they used cover images from the FF to produce the first tweo covers (which was easy since the FF wern't ON the covers. Where else did you see that happen?). I look forward to seeing more British reprint covers, and will try to ID new art when possible.

Kid said...

Thanks Nick, your comments are always appreciated.

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