Tuesday, 30 April 2013


These are the covers from the four-issue premiere of Marvel UK's DOCTOR WHO strips stateside in, appropriately enough, MARVEL PREMIERE (57-60) from 1980-81 (the book was bi-monthly).

Reprinted (behind new covers) were two of the earliest stories, The Iron Legion (surely the chief contender for the most reprinted WHO strip ever) and The City of the Damned (amusingly retitled City of the Cursed because - you know - damned is a such a bad swear), published in colour for the first time.

Marvel UK later grabbed back that colour artwork and reran the Legion strip in the DOCTOR WHO SUMMER SPECIAL 1985.  More details here.

Jadwin House's Dez Skinn had always intended that the British strips reappear across the Atlantic, taking great pains to structure the strip so that several British chapters could be combined with minimum re-editing to create a US length story.

The success of this trial run, and the WHO filler slotted into the back of the STAR-LORD one-shot (see here), convinced Marvel New York to launch the regular up-market (Baxter paper!) US monthly (1984-86) which, along with the 2000AD reprints from Eagle Comics, helped to spearhead the mid-eighties invasion of US comicdom by the Brits.

Marvel Premiere was Marvel's try-out book for characters that, if well received, might progress to their own books or - at the very least - a return engagement in Premiere.  It was also a handy supplier of extra strips for Marvel UK to reprint.  Previously featured strips had included Dominic Fortune (56); Black Panther (51-53); Alice Cooper (50); Man-Wolf (45-46); Paladin (43); Seeker 3000 (41); Weirdworld (38); Monark Starstalker (32) and an extended Iron Fist run (15-25).

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