Wednesday, 7 January 2015


On sale this week in 1987: the finale of SECRET WARS II from MARVEL UK.  

It seems that the British Bullpen frequently used the first few weeks of the year to chop floundering titles from their line-up and - back in '87 - it was the Beyonder's turn to face the axeman.  

This reprinted the ninth, and final, issue of the US limited series penned by Marvel's Editor-in-Chief Giant Jim Shooter.  

It wasn't really the end of everything... a coda (actually a rebadged issue of THE AVENGERS) ran for several week in SPIDER-MAN AND ZOIDS' third slot (although the days of a shared masthead after a merger were long gone).

How did the Annex of Ideas manage to eek out nine US issues into eighty British ones?  The first thirty-one issues reprinted (in ever smaller chunks) the first MARVEL SUPERHEROES SECRET WARS series (along with back-up features Alpha Flight, Zoids and Ice Man) before immediately switching to the sequel (omitting over a year of US material that appeared between the heroes and villains returning from the first Secret War and the Beyonder's fact-finding sojourn on Earth) the following issue.

The first SW series had been fairly self-contained, with only the after effects rippling out into the wider MCU.  The sequel was constructed to crossover into as many other Marvel series as possible (only some - but not even all - of the licensed books escaped the official crossover corner flash) to build a sense of event... and also ensure strong sales.  Marvel UK duly reprinted the bulk of those crossovers but, to make them make sense, also had to reprint the issues surrounding them.  Just for laughs, the British Bullpen also threw in strips that had bugger-all to do with the Beyonder.  Marvel may have been testing the appeal of certain characters... or they may have simply been padding-out the run.  

This issue was cover-dated 10 January 1987.  


  1. Hi Slow, have you got any of the following you could show us? ( all UK )
    Masters Of The Universe
    Superman pocket book
    Batman pocket book
    Teenage Mutant Hero Turtles
    Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles special
    Bucky O'Hare
    Toxic Crusaders.
    All of these comics seem to get overlooked.

    1. Hello there

      Some of those are possible (I have some of the LEM/ Fleetway DC reprints for example) but others are completely AWOL from my collection.

      If I recall correctly, the dimensions of the MASK comic make it difficult to scan on my A4 scanner.

      I will see what I can do.

    2. Thanks,SR. Much appreciate it!


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