Nostalgic notions, sentimental sighings, wistful wonderings, rueful reflections, poignant ponderings & yearnings for yesteryear! (With a few profound perplexities & puzzling paradoxes thrown in as well.)
Sunday, 29 January 2012
PRESENTING A PERSONAL PERUSAL OF A 'POWER PACK' PUBLICATION...
One of my very favourite
comics from the past is one that
regular readers of this humble blog
will doubtless have noticed me
refer to before - FANTASTIC. This
worthy weekly was published by ODHAMS PRESS, the debut issue
being cover-dated February 18th,
1967. At the time of its release, I
was too busy lusting over the
feminine charms of SUSAN STORM in the pages of WHAM! to
pay much attention to the arrival of
this new periodical, but my mother
bought me a later issue from a
newsagent's kiosk on our way
home from shopping one day.
The issue in question was #7
(cover-dated April 1st) - and I
was hooked! How could I not be,
with stories like THOR - "THE THUNDER GOD AND THE THUG!", X-MEN - "TRAPPED: ONE X-MAN!", IRON MAN - "VERSUS KALA, QUEEN OF THE NETHERWORLD!", alongside the
superb adventures of THE MISSING LINK for good measure?
I soon acquired the earlier issues,
and it wasn't long before I became
a POWER COMICS junkie, buying
all five of the weekly publications
regularly. (Wham!, SMASH!, POW!, Fantastic, and TERRIFIC.)
Fantastic had forty pages per
issue, but not even that number
could accommodate the above
tales in their entirety, so only
the first halves of the Thor
and X-Men stories were
presented, the remainder of
these particular adventures being
completed the following week.
These early LEE/KIRBY/HECK MARVEL epics were printed in
black and white, but that - and
the fact that some characters'
names were changed from
their American originals - didn't
seem to spoil the readers'
enjoyment one whit.
For example, THE BLACK WIDOW's name of NATASHA
was altered to NATASIA (although
perhaps they're pronounced the
same, who knows?) and THE RED GHOST's moniker was changed
(for reasons that later became
obvious to me) to THE APE MASTER. I can still remember
my astonishment in a shop one
day at seeing the same story (FF #13) in an issue of COLLECTORS' ITEM CLASSICS that I had already
read in WHAM! and my
bewilderment at the altered
appellation of the baddie. How was
such a thing possible, I wondered.
Nowadays, of course, I can see
that the amended lettering in
the British reprints is easily
discernible, although it wasn't
quite so apparent to me back
when I was a lickle kiddie-winkie.
(Okay, I was eight - but that's
still 'lickle' in my book.)
Anyway, I have very fond
memories of Fantastic #7, so I
thought I'd kindly share a few
pages with you here. Remember,
if you enjoy them half as much as
me, then I'll have enjoyed them twice as much as you. (Profound,
or what?) Doh!