So while I was having a rummage through old boxes and contemplating the entertainment merits of a Roll-a-run Hulk kit, I flipped through other issues of Marvel UK’s 1982 series The Incredible Hulk. Issue 25 is an odd beast.
For starters, the cover is given over to a blazing pic of the Ghost Rider. OK, that’s not so odd. But there is a full issue reprint of a Gary Friedrich-Jim Mooney Ghost Rider adventure from Marvel Spotlight (Shake Hands With Satan!). It pretty much squeezes Ol’ Jade-Jaws out of his mag. There is a centrespread poster using the cover of Incredible Hulk #107 where he faces off against The Mandarin, then six pages of Hulk action with a Roy Thomas-Herb Trimpe reprint featuring The Leader and setting up the introduction of The Glob. Not that we get that far because it will be Hulk-inued next week. There is also an insert poster advertising the launch of LookAlive, which was a high profile launch from IPC. Yep, ads from the competition. I’ll come back on that another time.
What really caught my attention though was the cover flash offering the chance to “WIN A DR STRANGE POP RECORD!” When was that? Back when Paul McCartney and Wings released Magneto and Titanium Man there was a Bullpen Bulletin that finished “Wait till you hear Paul’s new Daredevil disc.” I’ve been waiting ever since. That’s how you keep the gullible in suspense.
Hidden in this issue though is a competition asking readers to write a limerick or short poem about a Marvel character. “The cornier the better - but no rude ones.” The prize will be a spanking new 45rpm copy of Dr Strange by Paul Roland. Singer-songwriter, journalist and paranormal investigator Roland had looked to the Master of the Mystic Arts to inspire his single.
“Dr Strange is in the tradition of the heroes of the 19th Century Gothic novels which I love so much,” said Roland. “The combination of compassion, with strength, a sense of justice and the fact that so many of his powers are still unknown make him the most romantic of heroes.”
There seemed to be a few DJs ready to talk up the record. Pop-picker Alan “Fluff” Freeman then at Capital Radio said “I liked it, very much.” While over at the Beeb, two Radio One jocks seemed to share the taste. Little Dickie Skinner (ouch) described the track as “Very unusual, very good and very atmospheric.” His colleague Peter Powell added that it was “Highly recommended.”
I don’t remember hearing the track being broadcast at the time, but through the magic of YouTube, I’ve made up for that. Might stick with a Saucerful of Secrets and some songs for Daniel. See what you make of it.