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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!
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