Monday, 19 October 2009

70 Years of Marvel - 1985

1985 saw the conclusion of the original Secret Wars series, a particularly well-received mini-series, in which the Beyonder, an all-powerful alien, kidnapped Spider-Man, the Avengers, the Fantastic Four, and the X-Men, and sent them to a planet to fight a variety of supervillains, including Galactus, Kang, Doctor Octopus, and of course, Doctor Doom (pictured, above, getting a kicking from the Beyonder). The series, written by then editor-in-chief, Jim Shooter, was followed up by Secret Wars 2, in which the Beyonder came to Earth to study humanity, meeting pretty much every hero along the way. Secret Wars 2 was pretty much universally reviled, which shows that even in the 80s, Marvel didn't know how to quit while they were ahead.

Secret Wars 2 did have one long-term effect, that of the introduction of Tabitha Smith, who, under the alias, Boom Boom, would become one of the New Mutants. Also, Longshot, hollow-boned alien mutant X-Man, made his first appearance in this year, whilst Firestar, who'd been one of Spider-Man's Amazing Friends on tv a few years previously, made it into the Marvel Universe proper.

In the real world, 1985 was the year of Live Aid, in which the great and the good of pop music sang their little hearts out for famine relief. Mikhail Gorbachev came to power in the USSR. Coca Cola released New Coke; it didn't last.

On the telly, Eastenders, an ordinary tale of simple London folk, had its debut, as did the Australian soap, Neighbours. Action hero, MacGuyver, made his first appearance, Bruce Willis was becoming a star in Moonlighting, and Elmo joined the cast of Sesame Street. In the cinema, Out of Africa was scooping up Oscars like candy, but Back to the Future was the film people actually wanted to see.

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