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Captain Clyde Annotations - Part 2

Continuing with the part two of the annotations for Grant Morrison's long-lost Captain Clyde comic strip, now up *in its entirety* at  What a time to be alive!

This time around, the Deros move to centre stage as Captain Clyde uncovers an insidious plot by a four thousand year old amorphous blob from Atlantis to rule the world, and has his first encounter with the brain-baffling Belphegor.  All this and the destruction of one of Scottish football's most beloved landmarks awaits...

The link to the relevant Global Variables page is at the top of the annotations and the strips are numbered as per the pics on that site.  Thanks once again to the man behind the mask for sharing this with the rest of us.

Keep scrolling for hot annotation action!




038 (numbered as 242) - I feel like this watusi line might be a reference to the Batusi from the first episode of the 1966 Batman TV show.  There's no records online showing TV listings for ITV (the UK's main commercial broadcaster, and the terrestrial station Batman was broadcast on in the UK) in 1980, but it's entirely plausible that is was being repeated around this time - usually either in a kid's slot early on weekend mornings, or in a graveyard slot in the middle of the night.

This strip might have been a bit racy for the Govan Press's sister paper, the Clydesdale Press, as they don't appear to have printed it.

Morrison sets up the next arc before this one has even begun, as he did with the Deros back in episode one, before all these Quasar shenanigans kicked off.  Not just reading Claremont's X-Men but taking notes, obviously

You might recognize Belphegor's Adam Warlock-esque costume as the same one sported by the Mighty Mystics' Hellblazer, from Morrison and Ken Steacy's Doom Patrol #53 published in March 1992.  This version of Hellblazer was also briefly glimpsed on Frazer Irving's variant cover to The Multiversity: The Society of Super-Heroes #1 from 2015.

039 - The Sunday Mail is a real Scottish Sunday paper.  The headline on the back page there - 'Olympic Fiasco!' - probably relates to the US boycott of the 1980 Moscow Summer Olympics.  If anyone can find that actual paper (probably from around August 1980, by my arcane dating divination system) and tell me what the rest of the 'TRAIN...' headline is, I'd be *really* impressed.

Some definite full-Claremont going on in these last couple of panels... yeesh

040 - No risking a Jurassic Park-style "um, actually that is the incorrect era for that dinosuar" for young Morrison, as the Mesozoic lasted for 180 million years and encompasses the time that *all* the dinosaurs lived.

042 - Poor reproduction means you can't see the first sneak peek we get at the rest of the Sinister Circle in the last panel there.  They'll get a proper introduction in strip 070.

043 - Ibrox is the part of Govan where Glasgow Rangers football (soccer) club have their home ground.

044 - Finally getting their time in the spotlight after first appearing in the very first Captain Clyde strip, the villains in this next arc - the Deros or 'detrimental robots' - are taken from 'The Shaver Mysteries', a series of short stories/letters by Pennsylvanian welder Richard Sharpe Shaver, published in the 1940's in Amazing Stories magazine.  Shaver reportedly maintained that these were not mere pulp adventure tales, but real factual dispatches from his adventures inside the Earth.  Though long fallen out of fashion by 1980, Morrison gives some clues as to where he may have come across the Shaver Mystery in strip 052.

045 - 'Hammer of Hell', beginning this week, seems to be inspired by the Patrick Troughton-era Doctor Who serial 'The Web of Fear', a tale of the Doctor - ably asisted by the Royal Scots Guard - battling an infestation of Yeti in the London Underground.  Or rather inspired by Morrison's memories of watching the serial as a 9-year old when it was broadcast for the first - and only - time in back 1969.  The tapes used for recording the episodes were soon after recycled and wiped by the BBC, with five of the six episodes of 'Web of Fear' remaining unseen by anyone who didn't catch the original transmission until 2013, when they were released on DVD (minus episode three, which remains missing) after being found in a Nigerian TV station archive the previous year.

Though the story itself was long-gone by the time this strip appeared in 1980, there was a novelisation of the story - Doctor Who and the Web of Fear, written by Terence Dicks - published by Target Books in 1976.

Morrison wears his salacious horror paperback influences on his sleeve, slaughtering a whole floor of a block of flats for no discernable reason (indeed this development is pretty much never explained and barely referenced again after this week).

046 - Chris's bachelor pad:  actually quite swanky for a guy who's on the dole in Thatcher's Glasgow.

The GGPTE are the Greater Glasgow Passenger Transport Executive, the people in charge of running the trains.

049 - More gory death and destruction to compliment yer weekly TV listings.  I dunno about you but the comic strip in my local rag was a Snoopy knock-off about a cute little dog called Chipper.  Never saw anything like this...

051 - We covered the earthquake back in strip 010.  Can't find any reference to a hole opening up in Copland Road but that might well be a reference to a real contemporary event as well.  Elizabeth McCormick got offed back in strip 018

052 - The book Chris is holding is called Atlantis: Secrets of the Lost Continent Revealed on the cover.  While there is a real book called Atlantis: The Lost Continent Revealed by Charles Berlitz (the Bermuda Triangle guy), it wasn't published until 1984, 4 years after this strip appeared.  Berlitz did write an earlier book - The Mystery of Atlantis from 1969 - but I can't find any mention of Shaver or his mysteries in the Google Books version. 

I *think* the book in the strip is meant to be this version of Atlantis Rising by Brad Steiger, published in the UK in 1977.  The cover designs seems to loosely match up and Google Books suggest that the Shaver Mystery, the Atlans and the Titans all get a mention inside.

The other book we can see in this panel, underneath Chris's thought bubble, is the updated 1978 version of The Beatles: The Authorized Biography by Hunter Davies.

054 - No respect for coppers *or* soldiers, that's the ticket Captain Clyde

055 - Playing with the form for the big reveal, decent chops for a young lad imo.

056 - Andy McMahon really was the MP for Govan from 1979 to 1983.  Can't find any reference to him trying to expose the Deros conspiracy in real life though.

057 - I feel like that 'amorphous blob with tentacles ending in weird flipper things' design of the Master is familiar, but I can't place where I've seen it.  I thought it might be Null the Living Darkness from The Defenders it was reminding me of, but it turns out he/it didn't appear for another couple of years after this was published.  Very Lovecraft, anyhow.

058 - PC Alistair Stewart is no doubt named for Brigadier Alistair Lethbridge-Stewart from Doctor Who, who first appeared in 'The Web of Fear' serial.

059 - Classic bit of Starlin-face for Cap here.

060 - Man, Captain Clyde gets hit in the head more often than Hal Jordan.

063 - I dunno why but I imagined Captain Clyde's costume to be green rather than blue, as suggested in panel seven here.  Blue and white, the colours of the saltire of the Scottish flag, makes more sense though I suppose.

064 - Kirby krackle, nice.

Panel four was likely inspired by Wolverine getting fried by a Sentinel on John Byrne's cover of X-Men #142, which would've reached the UK probably only a month or so before this strip was printed.

065 -The rocket is bursting up through the pitch at Ibrox, during what is probably - judging by the striped shirts - an Old Firm derby between Rangers and Celtic.

The first (real) Ibrox Disaster happened in January 1971 during another Old Firm match, when 66 Rangers supporters were killed and hundreds more injured in a crush while trying to leave the stadium.

066 - Another victory tempered with defeat for Captain Clyde, poor lad.

And that's it for this time, more soon though!  As ever, comments and corrections are always welcome. Thanks for reading muchachos! 

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