Thursday, 8 October 2009

70 Years of Marvel - 1976

In 1976, the Defenders were the antidote to superhero comics. Steve Gerber had taken over the book a year or so back, and what had been just another team book rapidly became something else, with bodyswaps, self-help gurus, possessed deer, and the Hulk dressed as a clown. And all that , just in the issue above! These weren't your dad's comic books.

In the same year, Captain Britain was making his debut, in the pages of his own Marvel UK title. Richard Ryder was gaining the power of Nova. The Shroud was turning up for the first time, in the pages of Super-Villain Team-Up. In the X-Men, Jean Grey was transforming into the Phoenix. Third-string super hero, Jack of Hearts, was appearing in the pages of Deadly Hands of Kung Fu. And, with Kirby back at Marvel, he was taking over the reigns at Captain America, adapting the 2001: A Space Odyssey movie, as well as launching a new team of god-like beings, the Eternals.

In the real world, 1976 saw Jim Callaghan become British PM, Jimmy Carter become American President, and Chairman Mao dead.

On television, children were watching Rentaghost and Multi-Coloured Swap Shop, whilst the grown-ups were watching Reginald Perrin and I, Claudius. Sylvester Stallone was making a name for himself as Rocky Balboa. And vampire literature got a boost, with the publication of Interview With The Vampire, introducing the "vampire rock star" subgenre of horror fiction.

No comments: