Sunday, 3 July 2016
The Super-Heroes #1 (Marvel UK/1975)
In March 1975 Marvel UK added another title to it's expanding range of weekly titles. Stan Lee in a guest editorial said it was down to the demand of British readers that more of their mags were needed. The same week Savage Sword of Conan also launched.
This comic shows how different Marvel comics were to it's British rivals. Just two features. The Silver Surfer and The X-Men both from the first issues of their respective US titles. Some older readers (like myself would remember the X-Men from Fantastic published by Power Comics for just over a year or so back in the sixties. Howver there was now a whole new generation of comics readers to entertain!
Readers did notice the differences between the two strips, The Surfer was published in 1968 after Marvel had hit the big time in the US and was far more sophisticated than the X-men published way back in 1963. Despite his cool appearnace the Surfers title had long been cancelled in the states and the X-Men back then was not the phenomenon it has become today.
The first two issues of The Super-Heroes includes the origin of the Silver Surfer and sees Norrin radd offer his services to galactus in order to save his homeworld of Zenn-La, a paradise for the people who lived there.
The X-Men left their training school and confronted Magneto for the very first time to prevent the evil mutant taking over a missile base. At this time the X-Men, despite being mutants were not feared by the public. That was yet to come.
Over the next couple of issues the Surfer would confront the lizard like Baddon who had come to conquer earth whilst the X-men confronted the Vanisher.
The content of The Super-Heroes was to change over its short life. In part because Marvel simply ran out of Surfer material (the US comic lasted just 18 issues sadly), but that's a story for the future.
These stories are classic Marvel and help form the foundation of their comics universe today.