Tuesday, 13 October 2009

70 Years of Marvel - 1981

By 1981, Rom was firmly entrenched in the Marvel Universe, taking on such heavyweights as the Mad Thinker, Jack of Hearts, and, above, the Space Phantom. Rom, here to stop an invasion by the dreadful Dire Wraiths, would himself turn up as a guest star in pretty much every title at some point before his book was wound up, presumably as part of Marvel's plan to trim its booklist in preparation for the launch of the New Universe, of which we'll hear more later.

1981 also saw the debut of Elektra, ninja assassin and agent of the Kingpin, who would go on to become Daredevil's lover, before being killed and resurrected about a hundred times over the next 30 years. It also saw the demonic Gargoyle joining the Defenders. X-Man to be and daughter of Banshee, Theresa Cassidy, made her first appearance, battling Spider-Woman, whilst future Avenger, Firebird, turned up to fight the Hulk alongside the wild-west Rangers. And in the X-Men, Caliban turned up, heralding the first appearance of the Morlocks.

In the world beyond comics, 1981 saw the inauguration of Ronald Reagan as US President. The Space Shuttle Columbia took its first trip into space. Britain was entranced by the excitement of a Royal Wedding. And the Yorkshire Ripper went to jail. For ever, one hopes.

At the pictures, Indiana Jones was raiding the lost ark, whilst over in Britain, Vangelis was scoring Chariots of Fire. On tv, Dynasty was attempting to cash in on the Dallas phenomenon, and Only Fools And Horses, the most overrated show on tv, began its 900 year run.

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