Wednesday, 26 September 2012

1972-2012: THE HISTORY OF THE MIGHTY WORLD OF MARVEL (Marvel UK)

This weekend marks the 40th anniversary of the on-sale date of the first issue of the UK weekly THE MIGHTY WORLD OF MARVEL and the birth of Marvel UK.

I've posted tons of times about Marvel UK in the past (and will continue to do so) but I wanted to do something to mark this important (to me anyway) date.  I've looked back at the early issues of MWOM before so - this time - I decided to look back at the key dates in the title's history.

The first volume enjoyed continuous publication, albeit under three titles, between 1972 and 1983 (and onto 1984 if you count Volume 2).  Panini (who now publish Marvel comics, under license, in the UK) revived it in 2003 and - if you pop down to WH Smith in your lunch hour today - you'll be able to find the latest issue.

I've tried to mark all the key issues including the various launches, relaunches and mergers.  It's a veritable romp through 40 years of Mighty Marvel history from the Annex of Ideas.

Happy Birthday Marvel UK!

THE MIGHTY WORLD OF MARVEL
Volume 1
Issue 1
7 October 1972

- First Marvel UK comic.
- Reprints of the FANTASTIC FOUR, THE AMAZING SPIDER-MAN and THE INCREDIBLE HULK all begin.
- Free INCREDIBLE HULK iron-on transfer for t-shirts. 

THE MIGHTY WORLD OF MARVEL
Volume 1
Issue 199
21 July 1976

- THE AVENGERS merge, adding the title strip and CONAN THE BARBARIAN.

THE MIGHTY WORLD OF MARVEL
Volume 1
Issue 231
2 March 1977

- First PLANET OF THE APES merge issue.

THE MIGHTY WORLD OF MARVEL
Volume 1
Issue 247
22 June 1977

- First DRACULA LIVES! (on hiatus since the closure of PLANET OF THE APES AND DRACULA LIVES!)

THE MIGHTY WORLD OF MARVEL
Volume 1
Issue 258
1 September 1977

- First FURY merge issue, adding SGT. FURY AND HIS HOWLING COMMANDOS.

THE MIGHTY WORLD OF MARVEL
Volume 1
Issue 298
14 June 1978

- First THE COMPLETE FANTASTIC FOUR merge issue.

THE MIGHTY WORLD OF MARVEL
Volume 1
Issue 329
17 January 1979

- Final MWOM.
- Final glossy cover.

MARVEL COMIC
Volume 1
Issue 330
24 January 1979

- First MARVEL COMIC issue.
- The "TV sensation" cover-splash refers to Universal's live-action THE INCREDIBLE HULK series. 
- The format switches to the Skinn-One format: newsprint covers and interiors, new page layouts (cramming more panels-per-page) and more strips-per-issue (six compared with - typically - three before the relaunch). 

MARVEL COMIC
Volume 1
Issue 332
7 March 1979

- Last INCREDIBLE HULK strip (the character continues, initially in British created strips, in HULK COMIC).  The Green Goliath had appeared continuously since issue 1.


MARVEL COMIC
Volume 1
Issue 352
25 July 1979

- Final issue of the Marvel Comic. Merges with THE SPECTACULAR SPIDER-MAN and - simultaneously - continues as MARVEL SUPERHEROES.

THE SPECTACULAR SPIDER-MAN WEEKLY 
Volume 1
Issue 334
1 August 1979

- First MARVEL COMIC merge issue. 
- Although MARVEL COMIC officially merges, it also continues as MARVEL SUPERHEROES

MARVEL SUPERHEROES
Volume 1
Issue 353
September 1979

- First MARVEL SUPERHEROES (A Marvel Monthly) issue.
- Billed as "1st Giant Issue" on the cover but numbered as Issue 353 inside.

MARVEL SUPERHEROES
Volume 1
Issue 377
September 1981

- 1st appearance: modern CAPTAIN BRITAIN (originated British strip)

MARVEL SUPERHEROES
Volume 1
Issue 362
February 1982

- First SAVAGE ACTION merge issue. 

MARVEL SUPERHEROES
Volume 1
Issue 393
January 1983

- First RAMPAGE merge issue. 

MARVEL SUPERHEROES
Volume 1
Issue 397
May 1983

- Final Issue. Volume 1 ends after a continuous run from 1972.
- There's no merger with another title. 

THE MIGHTY WORLD OF MARVEL SUMMER SPECIAL
1983

- First (and only) MWOM special.
- First MWOM edition since January 1979. 
- Black & white THE MIGHTY THOR and THE INCREDIBLE HULK reprints.

THE MIGHTY WORLD OF MARVEL
Volume 2 
Issue 1
July 1983

- First monthly issue.
- First regular MWOM since January 1979.
- Early issues suffered from poor printing and colour reproduction.
- THE UNCANNY X-MEN and VISION AND SCARLET WITCH (Limited series) reprints.
- Free loosely-inserted sticker. 

THE MIGHTY WORLD OF MARVEL
Volume 2
Issue 7
December 1983

- First THE DAREDEVILS (adding Captain Britain, Night Raven text stories, Showcase and features) merge issue.

THE MIGHTY WORLD OF MARVEL
Volume 2
Issue 17
October 1984

- Last issue.
- Diminished page count and colour pages.

THE SAVAGE SWORD OF CONAN THE BARBARIAN
Volume 2
Issue 85
November 1985

- First MWOM merge issue, adding Magik, Showcase and Night Raven.

THE MIGHTY WORLD OF MARVEL
Volume 3
Issue 1
February 2003

- Part of the Panini Comics Collectors' Edition range.
- First MWOM since October 1984
- Incorrectly identified as Volume 2 in copyright information.  It was fixed for subsequent issues. 
- The line-up of DAREDEVIL and THE INCREDIBLE HULK, both enjoying a bolstered profile thanks to Hollywood feature films, was reminiscent of the original line-up after DD replaced SPIDER-MAN following his departure to his own weekly. 

THE MIGHTY WORLD OF MARVEL
Volume 4
Issue 1
28 October 2009

- Numbering restarted to coincide with the beginning of WORLD WAR HULK saga.
- Continuous publication from Volume 3. 

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