Tuesday, 3 May 2016


From August 1986: a bumper month of SPIDER-MAN AND ZOIDS.

Issue 22 quietly marked the end of an era. Eight years after the launch of STAR WARS WEEKLY (in February 1978), the last Marvel UK SW reprint (the serialized rerun of the 1983 US annual) appeared herein. The spin-off Ewoks and Droids strips continued to appear (the former in their own monthly, the latter in Specials and the pages of THE MARVEL BUMPER COMIC) but, for Luke and co, their saga stopped here. 

Marvel didn't rush to fill the gap and, for the rest of the month, simply extended the Spidey strip by the requisite number of pages. 

The 24th issue did, however, feature the results of a Tomy toy promotion as a bonus third booking. Participants had been asked to pick up a Marvel produced leaflet in toy stores and conclude a brief story by revealing a new Zoid design. The winner appeared here but never in the main strip. 

Issue 26 joined in Marvel's 25th anniversary celebrations (pegged to the publication of Fantastic Four issue 1, in the States, in 1961). The celebratory US border design was adopted here (and on SECRET WARS II) with the crucial addition of Captain Britain and Megan to fill the gap left for the barcode box in the original US design (British weeklies were still a barcode-free zone). The reworked US cover also, inadvertently, teased Venom... several years before the character was even conceived. Good going British Bullpen. 

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