Wednesday, 7 October 2009

70 Years of Marvel - 1975

By 1975, Marvel had a raft of horror magazines out on the racks: Haunt of Horror; Dracula Lives; Tales of the Zombie; Monsters Unleashed; and Vampire Tales. These were black and white books aimed at an older market. But, since there was money to be made, Marvel also had a few horror books set in the mainstream Marvel Universe, of which Tomb of Dracula was both the most famous and, at 70 issues, the longest-running.

In the course of ToD, the lord of the vampires would encounter many Marvel heroes, including Dr Strange, who, after the book was cancelled, would wipe out Dracula and his brethren. It wouldn't take, of course, and Dracula still shows up every so often, most often in the pages of Captain Britain's latest title.

1975 also saw the creation of Madrox the Multiple Man, a mutant who, after appearing with the Fantastic Four, skulked around the corners of the Marvel Universe for over a decade, before turning up as a regular character in the Peter David version of X-Factor. Batman-a-like, Moon Knight began haunting the pages of Werewolf By Night. In the pages of the Avengers, the Scarlet Witch married her android fiancé, the Vision. The Fantastic Four became the Fantastic Five, with the birth of Franklin Richards. Spider-Man had his first encounter with his clone (yes, that one). Meantime, sometime allies, Doctor Doom and the Sub-Mariner were back together, in the pages of Super-Villain Team-Up. And, with Hank Pym chopping and changeing between his Ant-Man and Yellowjacket costumes, the Goliath identity was being taken on by Pym's former partner, Bill Foster. A new team of Champions was born. Most notably, however, 1975 saw the revival of the X-Men, or rather the New X-Men, as Len Wein and Dave Cockrum introduced a new team of international heroes. Marvel Comics would never be the same again.

On tv, Saturday Night Live and Fawlty Towers were making their debut. At the pictures, Jack Nicolson was faking it in One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest. At the theatre, audience were witnessing the first performance of the Rocky Horror Show. And in the real world, a young man called Bill Gates was going into business.

No comments: