Friday, 9 July 2021

From Cents to Pence! update (plus a very special edition of Captain Britain #7)

Firstly, a quick update, and then a poser to end on (as posted out on Facebook earlier).

Since January (and, admittedly, aided tremendously by Lockdown #3) I’ve been adding in a considerable amount of material not originally featured, and some upgrades to iron out some inconsistencies that became apparent once I began revisiting those files, largely untouched since 2007.

I’d forgotten just how much work was involved when I originally compiled the indices to almost everything published by Marvel in the UK since 1972 (and since 1967 by World Distributors and TV21), so it’s only now that I've nearly reached a point where I can start proofing it all before moving back to finish off all that remains, the last few chapters of the book and some of the Doctor Who Magazine content.

I've also made some unexpected discoveries with regards to some of the foreign material that John Freeman has kindly flagged up on his Down the Tubes site over the past year or so, as well as discovering some originated material published during the past few years that I was entirely unaware of.

In the meantime, here’s a poser guaranteed to get you rummaging through your collections of Marvel's 1970s weeklies :)

Captain Britain #7 was unique in two ways, both in relation to any other issue in the 1976/77 series, and indeed to any other Marvel UK weekly at the time.

Firstly, it contained a staple of other British comics, the pull-out, cut and fold booklet - in this case, an edited version of Howard the Duck’s first appearance, perhaps answering readers demands that Howard feature somewhere in the weeklies. More importantly, and the reason for this posting, is that #7 gave 100 lucky readers the chance to win one of five Stan Lee-signed copies of Bring on the Bad Guys, with the other 95 receiving an undisclosed prize instead.

As pictured, turning to the regular Fun Page feature by Owen McCarron, readers needed to focus their attention on a special box in the bottom right corner, just in case their copy contained an additional special message.

You’ll have guessed where I'm headed with this, I’m sure! What was the message? I've never seen a copy to learn if it was indeed an expensive over-print, as the text implies. #17 later revealed that the message was 'Excelsior', although whether all hundred copies were purchased at the time and every single copy mailed in to High Holborn to win a prize isn't clear.

However, just in case they weren’t all given up, I thought that you might fancy checking out your copies of #7 just in case you have that special message inside. While you’re rather too late to redeem the original prize, of course, if anyone does have the special page lurking in their collection and can provide a high quality scan for us, they can at least bask in seeing a very rare page from a comic in their collection in print for all to view.

Who knows, maybe there's still a copy or two somewhere across the globe. After all issues of the series were imported into the US and Canada, and no doubt across the Antipodes too. Happy hunting :)


  1. The cynic in me can't help but wonder if this was just a ploy to get readers to buy a couple of extra issues of #7 in the hope of finding the 'special message'. However, when I get a chance, I'll dig out my copy and take a look.

  2. I'd momentarily forgotten that I showed this page on my blog, so I took a look and mine has no message.

  3. Heh heh - it works, though :) I've certainly bought the occasional issue several times over when there's been a choice of more then one free gift... all in the name of accurate research for the book, of course ;) And the less said about alternate supermarket editions the better... :)

    Thanks for having a look to see if you had one, anyway. I'd be very surprised if any was still out there, but if you don't ask...

    1. Oh, I still have a copy, but I'd scanned it a few years ago to feature on my blog (Captain Britain Cover & Image Gallery), so instead of digging the issue out of a cupboard I simply referred to the scan.

  4. I suspect it would never have occurred to a lot of people who have the original Captain Britain series that there might be anything potentially special about #7, unless they'd looked carefully at all the content of each issue :)