Thursday 29 January 2015

1987: MASTERS OF THE UNIVERSE Movie Adaptation.

From 1987: These full-page panel blow-ups appeared in the Dutch edition of Marvel's adaptation of the Cannon MASTERS OF THE UNIVERSE live-action movie.

Marvel took the odd (but presumably prudent) decision to use the model sheets for the animation and toys rather than try and mimic the style of the film itself. 


  1. Hi Slow Robot!

    I'm sorry for this off-topic comment, but I didn't know how could I reach you in any other way :-)

    Two things about Marvel UK:

    1_ Do you know that Mighty World of Marvel #35 (June 1973) features a pin-up of Mr. Fantastic? This is a bit of an oddity because I couldn't determine from where it was taken (I don't think the pin-up appeared in any of the US Fantastic Four Annuals), it might even be a pin-up produced specifically for Marvel UK! Do you know anything about this? I am indexing the early comics published by Marvel UK and the fact that I have no idea whether this particular pin-up is a reprint from the US or not (and indeed of who drew it) bothers me to no end ;)

    2_ Have you ever seen this comic?
    It's a hardcover one-shot titled ALICE IN WONDERLAND and published by Marvel UK (probably in 1978, apparently, which is the same year in which the story -an adaptation of "Alice in Wonderland", obviously- was originally published in the US in Marvel Classic Comics #35). I saw a copy of this comic at the British Library and I can confirm it reprints that story. It's a bit of an oddity for Marvel UK, isn't it?? I wonder why did they bother to publish a hardcover (!) one-shot of that particular story in 1978...

    1. Hi there. Good to hear from you.

      I don't know anything about that MWOM poster, sorry. Maybe it was commissioned by the UK desk or intended for a US outing but ultimately never used?

      I wasn't aware of the ALICE outing either. M-UK was still largely controlled by New York in 1978 so maybe it was a US licensing deal with a UK publisher. Hmm. Marvel US also licensed the Portman horror mags independently of M-UK during this period so they clearly weren't adverse to doing deals.

  2. Hmmm. Do you mean that you think that this ALICE IN WONDERLAND was NOT published by Marvel UK but licensed out to some other UK publisher?
    Generally speaking, if the indicia of a book state that the book was published by "Marvel Comics, Redan Place" (without saying explicitly "Marvel UK"), does that automatically mean that the book was published by Marvel UK (and not licensed out)?

    Plus, another related question: were all those 1970s (post-1972!) / early 1980s Marvel Annuals published by World Distributors and Grandreams published by Marvel UK, or should they be considered as comics Marvel US licensed out to other UK companies (in this case, World Distributors and Grandreams)? Or should they be considered as co-published by Marvel UK AND World Distributors / Grandreams?


    1. Without seeing the ALICE book (one is on its way) I can't really speculate too much about it. Although, if it lists Redan Place inside, it would have been published in the 1980s. By that point in the company's history, they were turning away from superheroes to other genres. And trying to broaden their readership beyond the core audience, so it's entirely possible that M-UK would have looked in that direction.

      M-UK seemed to be dependent on partnerships with other publishers for books until the mid-1980s, after which they took that side of the business in-house. They may have partnered because they didn't have the internal resource or expertise or possibly because they needed the economies of scale, and distribution/ book-trade access, they came with being buddles with a bigger operation.

      They clearly had a close working relationship with Grandreams (successor to Brown Watson from 1980 onwards) because they shared the same building. However, Grandreams published plenty of annuals unrelated to Marvel UK. And Grandreams continued as a separate entity after Marvel took annuals in-house.

      My understanding of the Portman situation is that Marvel US licensed the strips... only for Dez Skinn to insist the deal be terminated as they'd be competing with Marvel's own product (not that Dez rushed out a replacement for the axed Portman reprints).

      By the 1980s, M-UK was licensing Marvel products in the UK and managing properties on behalf of other owners. The ever-excellent IDW volumes of UK TRANSFORMERS material mentions that M-UK were managing MASTERS OF THE UNIVERSE for Mattel.. and promptly granted the license to London Editions rather than keeping it at Marvel.

      As to who packaged the annuals in the 1970s... I'm not sure. It was either World (or whoever) or the New York Bullpen (who, until 1979, did the production work for the UK line). It's noticeable that the annuals seldom plugged the weeklies (although, with M-UK's legendary churn of titles, that might have been wise) but the weeklies plugged the annuals.

      By the following decade, even when the annuals were still appearing under the Marvel/ Grandreams banner, they were obviously being put together by the British Bullpen. The TRANSFORMERS annuals are a particularly good example.

    2. Oh... and Marvel UK were officially Marvel Comics (UK) Ltd in the 1980s (indeed, M-UK seems to have only been widely adopted as a name after the Marvel Revolution. Before that they were often referred to as British Marvel) so it's entirely possible that the name could be simplified to just "Marvel Comics" in some instances.


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