Follow by Email

Tuesday, February 28, 2017

THE HULK!

During the 70's, I would become an avid collector of paperback books, so when I came across this one, I just had to buy it!

Having missed the initial six US issues of The Incredible Hulk, this gave me the opportunity to read again the reprinted stories in Smash! from #2-#6, plus the origin issue, which was reprinted in Fantastic #70!
And this time around, I got to read them all in glorious colour!
But....there was something niggling me! - I knew that there was something missing in this paperback from Smash!, but I couldn't remember what it was!
It was only from reading comics blogs in recent years, that I found out that it was a UK-only Hulk vs. The Matador strip: -










This strip appeared in Smash! #38 and was printed after the comic had reprinted The Avengers #1-#3, when the Hulk was one of the original five members!
The Hulk would then be reunited with Avenger Giant-Man, when he found himself battling against him in Tales To Astonish. I first read that tale when it was reprinted in Terrific#38!
The next issue of Tales To Astonish would see Giant-Man and The Hulk as co stars and I shall show you my Tales To Astonish cover gallery in the next post!
But, by issue #102, the title had become soley Hulk and was reChristened "The Incredible Hulk". I missed out on that particular issue, but managed to get the next one, where he battled The Space Parasite!

Sunday, February 26, 2017

MY INTRODUCTION TO MARVEL COMICS!

My introduction to Marvel comics is strangely entwined with DC comic characters in UK comics, but, unbeknown to me at that time, it actually harked back to this Odhams humour comic which came out in 1964 and became a kind of "Super-Beano" for us kids! The comic became the talk of the classroom!

During the following year, however, I stopped getting Wham!, in favour of TV Century 21 and TV Comic, having been bitten by Doctor Who and The Daleks MANIA, which was sweeping the country! I still loved the US DC comic books as well, though and one day, in late '65, I went into my local village store to choose one from the spinner racks, only to find numerous other comics mixed in with them, which.I had never seen before. I had to try one of them out, so I chose the following comic, because it showed several of these unknown characters all together on the cover!

I remember it well, - Kang the Conqueror sent a robotic Spider-Man back in time from the future to 1964 to try and defeat the Avengers. It failed. I read the story and thought that it was okay, but I still preferred my beloved DC Super-Heroes at that time. In retrospect, I now know that I just needed to be just that little bit older, to truly appreciate Marvel writing. And, as I became so, I did just that.
In 1966, Wham started publication of a sister comic, Smash!

I knew that this would be good, because Wham! was and when even my literary English master, Mr. Lloyd-Evans recommended it, I started buying it every week and soon became hooked, but when a strip called The Incredible Hulk began in #16, - well I had never seen anything like it before! Here is the cover to #17: -

I asked a school mate, Paul Birch, "Have you seen the Hulk in Smash?" and he informed me that he already knew the character from old and that he had a couple of old comics with him in at home and I could have them if I wanted at a reasonable price. Naturally, I agreed and the following day he brought the following two issues of the Fantastic Four in for me and, guess what? The Hulk was GREEN!


And what a battle it was in these two issues!
But, why were they calling him "BOB" Banner in these issues?  Of course, Stan's gaff and how they explained it away has been told many times now, but I thought at the time that maybe the UK had renamed him "Bruce" for some unknown reason!

MISCELLANEOUS DC TITLES, - PART TWO!

STAR SPANGLED WAR STORIES
There were quite a few US Army vs. Dinosaurs covers in this title. I can't remember whether they had been transported back in time, or if they had stumbled into a "world that time forgot"? This title would go on to feature The Unknown Soldier in the 70's, ( whose face was bandaged like the Invisible Man, but, for me, he reminded me of the DP's Negative Man! ). In the 80's, the comic was retitled The Unknown Soldier, which lasted until the end of the comic's run.

OUR ARMY AT WAR

I bought several issues of this title, but this is the only cover that I can definitely remember, with such an iconic picture on it! What I do recall, though, is, without exception, every single issue's content dealed almost entirely of previous stories in flashback. This didn't matter to me, as I hadn't read the originals, but, had I have done so, I would have felt a bit cheated!

TOMAHAWK

My one and only DC Western comic of the 60's and, what kid could resist a cover with a giant spider menacing people on it?
During the 80's, though, I would go on to collect every issue of arguably DC's most successful Western title, Jonah Hex. I was attracted to this title, because, with Jonah's scar, he reminded me of Clint Eastwood's Josey.Wales!

CAPTAIN ACTION

I never actually got around to reading this comic, or the next one either, as they were both my brother's, given to me later. All I know of Captain Action is that he was a toy that kids could dress up in many different DC and Marvel Super-Heroes' costumes?

SECRET SIX

( Any relation to Enid Blyton's "Famous Five"? )


Saturday, February 25, 2017

HOUSE OF SECRETS

Only the two issues of this title, the first I chose, because it had "The Heap", which I wanted to try to see if he compared to Marvel's Hulk?

Unfortunately, I found him "heap disappointing", but I did enjoy the Eclipso strip, so I went on to buy the following issue: -



Of course, this title is most famous for debuting The Swamp Thing in the 70's!

MYSTERY IN SPACE

Another comic that was heavily advertised in DC comics at the time was this one.
Attracted by the multiple composites of this character, ( it reminded me a bit of Metamorpho! ), I quickly snapped it up when the comic appeared in the spinner racks.
And I.did like the character, so much that I  would buy a.further three issues that featured Ultra on the cover. Sadly though, I never did come across his origin issue.

A common ploy in comics! - "Let's turn the hero 'bad' this month!"









Wednesday, February 22, 2017

STRANGE ADVENTURES

This was the last of the DC comics that Richard Bradley gave me in that large bundle, ( although there were a couple more comics as well! )
Anyway, a good life lesson here - First impressions can be extremely misleading!

This comic was heavily promoted in DC's in-house ads of the time and they certainly sold me on it and I grabbed this as soon as I saw it, to get to read the story of the man who had two separate adventures simultaneously in two dimensions with only half a body in each!

This issue was heavily promoted too and who could resist a cover like that!
And, true to their word, I actually did do all of that!

And yet another issue, heavily publicised!  I would always have a thing for talking Apes and, if you look back at early sixties DC "weird" comics covers, you will see many examples of pre-"Planet Of The Apes" talking Apes on their covers!





Sunday, February 12, 2017

TALES OF THE UNEXPECTED

All three of these issues were given to me by Richard Bradley and I am now surprised to learn that I never actually bought one single copy of this title myself in the sixties!


This first issue came from a time when Space Ranger was the lead character in every issue.


But it was when the covers started showing stories like this that the title started to appeal more to me! Sadly, I can't remember the reason why red did turn to green?


I think, if I remember correctly, the.reason that only this man could see the aliens was because he had just had some new contact lenses fitted?

Anyway, after a while, DC shortened the title to just "UNEXPECTED" and I would buy the title again in the eighties, until it came to an end.


Thursday, February 09, 2017

HOUSE OF MYSTERY

My generous benefactor, Richard Bradley was a big fan of The Martian Manhunter, as can be seen by 3 out of the first 4 of the issues on this post, all of which he had given to me!
Myself, although I regarded him as a very powerful member of The Justice League, I would not  have chosen them from the spinner racks above other comics!









....Whereas the next cover did appeal to me and made me buy the comic!



....As did the rest of the issues of this title that I bought, with their new gimmick:- " Dial 'H' For Hero "!


Now this really was a novel idea for the time!



Well, I now guess that this had to happen! - It was only a matter of time!


....And what a shrewd move on DC's part to re-introduce another golden-age "Quality Comics" hero to a new audience, ( of which I was one! )
Of course, Plastic Man became so popular that he did get his own title for a while!


Aha, now! -  I was mistaken before, when I thought that I had remembered Bee-Boy from Superboy cropping up in Dial "H" For Hero!  -  It was Hornet-Man!!  -  Well, it's easy to confuse the two of them!

Anyway, I was later to get reacquainted with Dial "H" For Hero in Adventure Comics in the very early 80's and House Of Mystery was to star " I...Vampire! ", - DC's answer to Marvel's Dracula.
But, this concludes my run on the 60"s editions of the title!