Saturday 8 February 2014


Images copyright MARVEL COMICS

I've was digging through my files recently and rediscovered an assortment of old comics, which I thought I'd share with you here.  When I was younger and needing to make space, I'd sometimes have a clear-out, keeping the first three issues of a title and giving the rest away to a pal.  You see, traditionally, the first three numbers of a British comic had a free gift and were therefore considered to be more collectable. In the case of U.K. MARVEL mags however, this didn't always apply, as sometimes only the first ish came with a freebie.

Anyway, what follows is a random selection of various comics I possess, in no particular order of significance.  The above comic (SUPER SPIDER-MAN) was one I had originally when it came out, but this particular issue (complete with poster) was lying around the 2000 A.D. offices back in 1985 or '86, and no one had any objections when I asked if I could have it to replace my long-gone original copy - so back it came with me to Bonnie Scotland.  (Hoots mon and och aye!)

The CAPTAIN AMERICA comics below, I acquired when I was living in Southsea in 1981, so that's where I mainly associate them with whenever I look at them.  They still have the free stickers inside too.  I don't think the comic lasted too long, but British Marvel were throwing everything at the wall to see what would stick at this time, although DAZZLER was hardly one of the 'big guns'.

Looking at the cover to PLANET Of The APES #3 today, I associate it with my new town's old village hall, which was holding a jumble sale on the day I bought it.  It could possibly have been another number, but this one seems to be the one I recall.  The hall, a remnant from the '50s at least, if not earlier, was demolished around 20 years ago and replaced by shops and offices, but one glance at the cover and that old hall is instantly resurrected in my mind.

Anyway, be sure to come back and see what's on display in Part Two - you wouldn't want to miss anything!


TwoHeadedBoy said...

"The Thing is Big Ben" - 18p for a comic and a hat???

Colour me impressed.

Kid said...

The hat was just a thin sheet of cardboeard, THB, cut in such a way that it assumed the shape of the wearer's head. The comic only lasted for 18 issues.

baab said...

Never seen captain america nor big ben before.

I bought and collected Planet of the Apes and I encouraged my younger brother to buy Dracula Lives.

Both of them were real quality comics and we did collect them for a long time.
Dracula by Gene Colan was classy and atmospheric.

The first covers were great for both.
Not sure who drew the Dracula Lives number 2 but that was a better cover than number one.( john or Marie Severin)
The poster for Dracula Lives just came back to me ...WOW!
Mike ploog drawing Werewolf by night and Frankenstein was beautiful.
And maybe The Ghost Rider was also introduced via this comic.
I also was introduced to the Barry Smith Ka-Zar via the POTA (ha) and Gulliver Jones.
Great stuff.
I was actually going through an old pile of british comics tonight.
Captain Britain was my next suggestion to my brother and I probably did The Titans .
I dont know who bought the Star Wars Weekly comics but I have quite a few of them.

I did find Planet of the apes number one.
terrible condition no poster.
Was the poster a larger version of the cover?

Again, another simple post and bursting me with Nostalgia!
Thanks for that Kid.

Anonymous said...

Two really crappy free gifts were the mask in Captain Britain No.1 which was only the top half and in Complete FF No.1 there was a little plastic plane, I don't know what that had to do with the Fantastic Four ! A poster was probably the best type of free gift.

Kid said...

Baab, I also bought DL and POTA regularly - and enjoyed them. However, looking at Dracula Lives today, some of those grey tones were so overdone that they came out almost black, ruining some of the artwork. More a fault of the printing than the application, as the wrong paper was used, I'd say. I still have both posters in the comics, and yes, the POTA one was a large version of the cover (without the extraneous lettering, only the logo).


Col, still got the mask - and the plane, would you believe. Yeah, they should've gone for a poster, but I thought TCFF was a great little mag.

John Pitt said...

Another excellent post, Kid. It was POTA & DL that made me discover Marvel UK which I used to buy "for my younger brother".I also used to have Cap and Big Ben ( wasn't the free cap awful?) Look forward to more oddities. Hope you have Fury, Forces in Combat, Future Tense, Valour, etc.

Kid said...

Yup, got issues of all of them, JP. They should be coming up soon.

Unknown said...

I'm with John (Pitt) another great post - I loved Marvel UK and followed their output pretty religiously for years ( although regret not picking up POTA regularly after issue 3). Not sure if it was because I wasn't reading UK Marvel regularly at the time (probably only picking up the MWOM version of the time out of habit & rarely reading it) but in the early - mid 80s they seem to have been publishing just about anything that they thought would sell (mostly awful) I have never heard (until your post) of the weekly "Thing/Big Ben"" comic (awful attempted tie in the our Big Ben in London) and I only recently found they published weekly comics called "Captain America" " Thor" , "Team -up"," Valour" a 2nd weekly "Conan" comic and "Forces in Combat" to name but a few - I'm sure a lot of god titles got lost in this tat like the early 80s weekly titles "Incredible Hulk" (reprinting longer Hulk stories in B&W from the Trimpe/ Severin era) and "Super Adventure " reprinting Gene Colans Daredevil etc . Ive been trying to pick up some of the old Pocket Books but so far only got about 5 of there (some folk wanting £5- £10 an issue) so would be good to see some of these if you have them in your collection. I recall those awful free gifts of plastic planes (like a Boeing 747 etc) very strange - but the posters and t shirt prints were my favourites (does anyone recall what the free poster was in Super-heroes weekly I seem to remember thinking it was a good one? DRACULA LIVES lives (UK) isssue 2 was drawn by the great John Severin (and was the cover to issue 2 of the US "Tomb of Dracula" I think "Dracula Lives" issues 1 (UK) may have been drawn by Pablo Marcos -McS

Kid said...

McScotty, that Super-Heroes poster featured the Silver Surfer and the X-Men - it's on the wall in my other room as I type this. (I still have a spare copy bought back in 1975 with the poster still in it, too.) I'll take a photo of it and put it on the blog at some stage. Yeah, I've got quite a few pocketbooks from the early '80s, but it means another trip into my cupboard and (gulp) it's dark in there. I'll feature them at some stage, don't you worry.

Unknown said...

Was it the first issue of POTA that had a cut-out ape mask on the back? Have a distinct memory of the mask but not the comic.

Kid said...

Wasn't any of the first three issues, PP, so must've been a later one.

Unknown said...

Thanks, Kid. I wouldn't mind tracking down a back issue if anyone does know.

Kid said...

If I find out, I'll let you know here, PP.

Kid said...

Incidentally, for those wondering about the inclusion of 'Super-Spider-Man With The Super-Heroes' #158, it was actually a first issue of a kind, which is why it had a free poster. It was the first combined issue of the Spider-Man and the Super-Heroes weekly mags, and the first issue of that merged title to be in the 'landscape' format.

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