Sunday, 20 January 2013

ICFD Cover of the Week - 20th January 2013

This week's cover is the slightly time worn cover to my copy of The Mighty World of Marvel (Vol2) #7, from December of 1983.

Creases, scuffs and all...

Yeah, I did debate removing those while touching up the contrast levels, but opted not to in the end. I like to think it gives it character. :)

The Mighty World of Marvel (As a British publication) first ran from 1972 to 1977, before changing its name to 'Marvel Comic,' and later 'Marvel Superheroes'. It was an anthology title, in the British tradition of such, which reprinted US material featuring mainstays like Spider-man, The Hulk, The Avengers and X-Men to rotating in runs of Nick Fury, Tomb of Dracula and even Planet of the Apes reprints later in its life.

This second volume began in 1983, primarily as an opportunity to reprint a number of specific US limited series. Sadly, it actually only lasted 17 issues, but reprinted early 80s runs of things like Vision and Scarlet Witch, Cloak and Dagger and in this case the justly classic Chris Claremont and Frank Miller Wolverine limited series from 1982.

I usually use this feature to display original UK cover artwork, which readers outside of Britain and Ireland may not have seen before. But this week I decided it might be interesting to showcase how US art was sometimes incorporated into the covers of UK reprints. At its base this is Miller's cover to Wolverine #3, with the image moved the bottom right of the cover, allowing space to add info on the other strips included to the left side of the cover.

The Alan Davis Captain Britain panel has then been added to the cover, along with a brief list of other content. Oddly Miller's image goes uncredited.

MWOM #7 has a couple of landmarks moments of its own though.

For one, you'll notice the 'Featuring The Daredevils' tag under the logo. The Daredevils was a Marvel UK anthology title which ran from January 1983 until November of the same year. It was designed to be more of a 'mature readers' title, reprinting slightly more sophisticated and pulpy material such as Frank Miller's Daredevil, Alan Moore's Night Raven text stories, and a few select Spider-man tales. It was also the home Alan Moore and Alan Davis' Captain Britain stories...

The Daredevils folded with #11, and became part of The Mighty World of Marvel with this very issue. Ironically, the only character who truly didn't survive this transition was Daredevil himself. :)

The second part of Jamie Delano's Night Raven text story 'Quiet Town' appears in MWOM #7, but the other landmark this issue supplies is through its Captain Britain strip. Remember, this was the first outing for these Alan Moore and Alan Davis stories, in their original black and white format. When The Daredevils was cancelled their Jaspers Warp storyline was well underway. This issue's strip, 'The Candlelight Dialogues,' is set in a concentration camp in Sir James Jaspers' newly created anti-superhuman world, and it actually serves as a pretty solid introduction for new readers to Captain Britain. But it's the campfire framing of the story which is of particular note. And the introduction of a certain chain-smoking teenager.

That winged girl (On the left in that final panel) is none other than Meggan Puceanu (Later 'Braddock' through marriage) in her very first Marvel Comics appearance. Sure, she doesn't look a lot like she does these days, in this early formative stage, but that's her. A Moore/Davis creation, yet to truly take shape.

If you actually find an issue or two of Mighty World of Marvel knocking around, it's well worth holding onto them. Granted, I had to adjust the contrast a lot to take the yellow out of that page I scanned, but the sturdy card stock covers have weathered an awful lot better than much of my older Marvel UK comics. The coloured pages from the Claremont/Wolverine stories also look pretty nice in that larger UK page size ratio.

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