This is it true believers! The Mighty Marvel UK age starts here! After a decade of allowing others (Alan Class, Oldham's Alf and Bart and IPC ) to publish their strips in the UK, Marvel open their own UK operation to repackage their American strips!
The format was 40 newsprint-type pages, with 8 in colour. Others were printed with one other colour, usually green to the benefit of the Hulk strip (and detriment of the others). Glossy covers (and entirely black and white interiors) were added after a year.
Despite having a UK office in London's Newgate Street, the majority of the packaging and production was handled by the New York office, leaving London to handle editorial, administration, advertising and distribution. Marvel UK remained a firmly US affair until Dez Skinn took the helm in 1978.
Their first launch was THE MIGHTY WORLD OF MARVEL (MWOM), a weekly anthology of SPIDER-MAN, THE HULK and THE FANTASTIC FOUR, all beginning with their respective US first issues. The line-up didn't last long, Spidey spun-off into his own weekly from February 1973 leaving a gap for DAREDEVIL.
THE INCREDIBLE HULK remained a constant throughout MWOM's life, supported by an ever-changing line-up. Expansions and (more often) contractions in the Marvel UK line added, at various times, THE AVENGERS (and CONAN THE BARBARIAN), DRACULA LIVES!, PLANET OF THE APES and FURY.
An increasingly lacklustre MWOM limped on to January 1979, bolstered by the UK premiere of the INCREDIBLE HULK TV show, before being rebooted by Skinn in January 1979 as MARVEL COMIC from issue 333. The reworked anthology wasn't a success and ended after issue 352 (cover dated 25 July 1979), merging with SPIDER-MAN COMIC while simultaneously reemerging as MARVEL SUPERHEROES: A MARVEL MONTHLY.
The MWOM brand was revived in June 1983 for Marvel UK's new monthly, briefly home to Captain Britain (after it absorbed THE DAREDEVILS), before ending after 17 issues (merging with THE SAVAGE SWORD OF CONAN). Marvel licensee Panini revived the name again for one of its COLLECTORS' EDITION anthologies in February 2003. But we'll get to those.
THE MIGHTY WORLD OF MARVEL
17 October 1972
FREE GIFT: Hulk iron-on t-shirt transfer.
MWOM Issue 1
Salutations from Stan Lee.
Whatever could it be??*
Black & white + 1
The Incredible Hulk from issue 1
14 October 1972
FREE GIFT: Spider-man iron-on t-shirt transfer.
21 October 1972
Free Gift: Stickers
4 November 1972
The first Marvel UK letters page.
First letter published: Christopher Thompson, Wembley Park, Middlesex.
11 November 1972
18 November 1972
*It's a mail-away premium poster!