Thursday, 2 October 2014

1986: FAILED UNIVERSE (Blackthorne Publishing)


This spoof of Marvel's new-fangled, and ill-fated, NEW UNIVERSE was published by Blackthorne (purveyors of multiple 3D and how-to-draw type comics) in December 1986.

The pages above are a smattering of the contents and not the full issue.

There were initially eight books in Jim Shooter's NEW UNIVERSE ("the world outside your window") line (latterly reduced as the dead weight was ditched and - eventually - shuttered all together) which was intended to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the Marvel Universe by launching another one.  

Of the eight, only two of the strips popped-up in the MARVEL UK books: Shooter's own STAR BRAND (one of the better books in a highly variable line) was briefly given the third-feature slot in SPIDER-MAN AND ZOIDS (no single story hung onto the slot for long, six strips appeared in only 51 issues), possibly to ensure their boss remained enamoured to the London operation.  

THE TRANSFORMERS, perennially in search of giant robot-related back-up strips (until ACTION FORCE and THE VISIONARIES became the default second-feaure), dabbled with SPITFIRE AND THE TROUBLESHOOTERS for a while.  

For some reason, M-UK passed on KICKERS INC.  I can't imagine why...

What makes this, for me, even more amusing is that my local comic store (naming no names) drastically (and inexplicably) over-ordered on this one and they had tons of copies which, unfortunately for them, never seemed to shift.  Every week I'd pop it for my weekly pocket money-powered fix of geeky things… and every week the shelf would have (pretty much) the same number of copies sitting there.  This earned the comic the unfortunate moniker 'FAILED Failed Universe'.

It became a waiting game to see how long it would be before the store owner conceded defeat and shifted the unsold stack to the bargain boxes (25p in those far away days) and - sure enough - it was reduced!  

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