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Monday, 14 May 2012
THE AVENGERS THREE AND A HALF - A LITTLE-KNOWN HULK TALE...
Art possibly by Jose Garcia Pizarro
Most British comic readers of a certain age will already be aware of
the following information, but it's really aimed at our American cousins,
who may not be familiar with the background to this 1960s HULK tale
from the ODHAMS PRESS publication entitled SMASH!
Back between 1966 to '69, Odhams at one stage had five weekly
comic periodicals known as POWER COMICS, which includedWHAM!,
SMASH!, POW!, FANTASTIC, and TERRIFIC. (There was a brief period
when all five titles were published concurrently, but at this early stage only
Wham! andSmash! were available.) All reprinted MARVELstories, but
in the case of the first three, thestrips were resized for the larger British
format, effectively turning two U.S. pages intoone U.K. page.
In Smash! #38 (cover-dated October 22nd 1966), for some curious,
unexplained reason, a completely new, original Hulk tale made its debut,
which has never (as far as I'm aware) been reprinted anywhere since. (See
comments section for futher info.) Even more curious is that the strip was
originally drawn in the U.S. format, requiring it to be resized (by lesser
hands, alas) in the same way as other American Marvel stories.
Whence did the tale come? Was it a British originated strip (using a
foreign artist by the look of it) which had mistakenly been drawn in U.S.
dimensions, or was it an American Marvel try-out for a foreign artist
which had been rejected, then inadvertently sent to U.K. shores
amongst a package of other Marvel tales?
Unfortunately, we may never know - but I thought U.S. readers
would appreciate seeing a little-known Hulk adventure which takes
place between AVENGERS #s 3 & 4. And, as an extra bonus, the strip
is sourced directly from the actual Odhams bound file-copies volume
which contained this particular comics curiosity. Enjoy!
Click on images to enlarge, then click again for optimum size.