Sunday, 10 August 2014


This is the SPIDER-WOMAN WINTER SPECIAL, published by Marvel UK in late 1989.

Quite why Marvel suddenly decided to publish this is a little unclear… the animated series had crossed the Atlantic years earlier and, since then, the British Bullpen had introduced the NEXT Spider-Woman in the pages of SECRET WARS (although, presumably, they figured that the 1989 readership weren't the same readers who were reading SW a few years earlier).  

According to my notes, this reprinted the 47th issue of the US Spider-Woman series, first published stateside in 1982.

The uncredited cover is new and quite possibly specially commissioned for this one-shot. 


  1. I think the 80s Spider-Woman cartoon was being reshown on terrestrial TV at the time--possibly on TV-AM...?

  2. It was on The Channel Four Daily, specifically their "Comic Book" slot. They managed to rack up quite an impressive list of comic-based animated series culled from both Marvel and DC.

    They started out with the 1978 Fantastic Four series before moving on to the 1982 Hulk series (with Marvel UK's The Incredible Hulk Presents beginning publication not long after). The Spider-Woman animated series followed the Hulk, so this one-shot was undoubtedly published as another TV tie-in.

    1. Brilliant!

      Thanks for this… it makes a lot of sense. Now I understand why Marvel UK were having a mini superhero boom in the late 1980s… but didn't get around to doing anything with SPIDER-MAN (who, presumably, wasn't getting any TV exposure) for a while longer.

      I remember THE CHANNEL FOUR DAILY well (indeed, I think I might have a couple of the BOX OFFICE - entertainment news and reviews - segments covering TWIN PEAKS and an interview with Alan Moore recorded somewhere) but I'd completely forgotten about the "Comic Book" segment. I do remember the reruns of the FF cartoons but not any of the others that followed.

      I also think that the barely-animated MARVEL SUPERHEROES cartoons from the 1960s popped-up somewhere on Channel Four's schedules around this time… possibly at an ungodly hour at the weekends.

      For the uninitiated, THE CHANNEL FOUR DAILY was Channel Four's first venture into Breakfast TV. It consisted of a spine of live news (initially on the half-hour as I recall, although I think that was subsequently changed) provided by ITN (who had, unsuccessfully, bid for the ITV breakfast contract the best part of a decade earlier… but lost out to TV-am) at what looked like minimal cost. The gimmick/ differential herein was an international agenda serviced by co-presenters ("James Mates in Tokyo") in international offices although the studios they used were so underwhelming they might as well have been sitting in a cupboard at ITN.

      Other segments, from independent producers, slotted in between and included a spin-off from the lunchtime BUSINESS DAILY, STREETWISE (consumer advice), the aforementioned BOX OFFICE (arts and entertainment and a little too pretentious for the timeslot) and, because they didn't have much in the way of actual sports rights, a sporting comment slot where someone would pass judgement on the issues of the day. Most of these elements were initially pre-recorded and gave the whole thing a very disjointed flavour. The COMIC BOOK/ cartoons sat somewhere in the middle of all that.

      The ratings were dire but, initially, C4 didn't care because the whole thing was being funded by a levy on TV-am's income (or profits, I don't remember which) from the ITV breakfast license. In return, TV-am sold the airtime around C4D but didn't have any input in the programme. The advantage to TV-am of this arrangement was that it meant very few of its viewers defected to the upmarket opposition. And the advantage to C4 was that it had a fixed income regardless of the size of the audience.

      The changes in the ITV system in the early 1990s (which ultimately cost TV-am its license) also meant that C4 had to sell its own airtime for the first time… so it needed a schedule that actually attracted advertisers. The C4D was hastily dumped in favour of the far more successful THE BIG BREAKFAST.

    2. Yes, the Marvel Super Heroes series was also shown as part of the "Comic Book" slot as well; it makes sense with the other aforementioned Marvel series since they were all distributed from the same source (at the time, New World Entertainment).

      That makes it even more impressive in retrospect that The Channel Four Daily also broadcast some of the Filmation DC series owned by Warner, such as Batman and Aquaman, and, from the same parent company, even managed to squeeze in a run of the 1967 Fantastic Four series, which hadn't been seen for a number of years on British television by the time they aired it.

      And yes, I don't think they ever got around to showing any of the Spider-Man cartoons, which explains the temporary lack of comics that Marvel UK could tie-in with.

  3. thanks for putting this up slow robot....couldnt even find this online

  4. I'd love to find a copy of this for my files...i drew SPIDER-WOMAN #47....that cover was taken from my original drawing in 1982.

  5. If anyone out there has a copy for sale, or i'd even be willing to do you a full color drawing of Spider-Woman for it.

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  7. I actually located a copy in Canada...


  9. Thanks for posting this...i never knew it existed,and there's no other mention of it on the internet.

  10. BTW....was there any other SPIDER-WOMAN "specials" put out after this one in the UK?


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