Monday, 14 May 2012

THE AVENGERS THREE AND A HALF - A LITTLE-KNOWN HULK TALE...



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 included WHAM!,
SMASH!, POW!, FANTASTIC, and TERRIFIC. (There was a brief period
when all five titles were published concurrently, but at this early stage only
Wham! and Smash! were available.) All reprinted MARVEL stories, but
in the case of the first three, the strips were resized for the larger British
format, effectively turning two U.S. pages into one 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.

15 comments:

Don Alsafi said...

That's really darn cool! I quite like the art style too....

Kid said...

I think it's slightly reminiscent of Don Heck's '60s Iron Man style, Don. Glad you liked it.

baab said...

I really enjoyed that.
Is the 'british' comic look a 'spanish' artist thing?

The strip took hulk somewhere else i thought or just twisted its ankles a little..yes ,pretty good.

One thing though Kid,the interlude had me going off searching the old web for info
(I did chap yer door but you were still oot)

In doing so I found a few Alan Class links.
Your reminder of his name in a previous comment set a wee light off in my head at the time and I promised to spend some time researching those comics in more detail.

Of course I forgot to do it...until tonight.
made a lot of bookmarks.
Another nostalgia burst on its way.

Kid said...

baab, I was amazed in later years to find out just how many artists in British comics were Spanish or whatever. They defined the look of our comics for years.

I've also just found out that there's a book coming out in July reprinting British Marvel's Hulk tales - including the one from Smash!

Nick Caputo said...

Kid,

Thanks for sharing. I love seeing stuff like this. You'd think it would be reprinted somewhere after all this time. Whoever wrote it got the Hulk's tough guy dialouge of the period down. The art is interesting, it looks like there are some swipes by diverse artists such as Neal Adams and Larry Lieber.

I've read somwhere that there are other new stories that appeared in foreign editons featuring characters such as the Silver Surfer and Ant-Man. Hopefully they will see print one day.

Barry Pearl said...

This is great material and I am glad you filled in information for us isolated in the US.

IS there a way I can privately email you?

Barry

Kid said...

Nick, see my comments above yours for info on upcoming reprints.

Barry, if you send me your email address through the comments section, I WON'T publish it, but I'll email you back with my contact details.

John said...

Thank you kid for posting this and I'd like to thank my brother nick for sending this link. Great stuff didn't realize that their are more of these stories still out there and unseen. I loved the Hulk,s dialogue really captured his early period.Are there any story credits? If not are there any experts on your side who can possibly identify them.
Cheers
John Caputo

Kid said...

Hi, John, and welcome to this humble blog. I don't have any details as to who wrote and drew the strip, although no doubt there's someone out there who'd recognise the style. The writer may have got the Hulk's dialogue spot on, but for Bruce Banner to use the word 'fellow' is decidedly British, don't you think?

However, there's a new reprint book, entitled 'Hulk: From the UK Vaults' coming out in July which, as well as featuring original UK produced strips from a 1979 Hulk weekly, will also print the strip from Smash #38. I'd be surprised if writer and artist details weren't included.

You can read about this book at http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/hulk-steve-moore/1110838676?ean=9780785159742

If that doesn't work, Google Barnes & Noble/Hulk: From the UK Vaults. Thanks for dropping by - don't be a stranger now.

James Robert Smith said...

Historically interesting, but man that really sucks.

Kid said...

JRS, I don't think resizing the pages to U.K. dimensions did the story any favours. However, if it had been first seen in its original-drawn format (U.S. size), it probably wouldn't seem any worse than some of the TOS Hulk tales of the '60s. (Maybe.)

John Pitt said...

Found it!! - But I had to stop off SO MANY times on the way! So thanks for sharing this with us . I'm REALLY enjoying going through all your old blogs! I reckon I'm going to be in here for some time yet........

Kid said...

It was well-worth the hunt 'though, eh? Mind and don't break anything while you're rummaging around.

John Pitt said...

No worries , Kid , - I"m treating ALL your stuff with the utmost reaped and a huge helping of t.l.c.!! What can you tell me about some more UK -only Hulk strips from the 70s, as I missed out on these?

Kid said...

Only that they appeared in the Hulk's own U.K. comic (called Hulk Comic, funnily enough) in 1979, and were more in line with the TV series. There's a book being released in July featuring all the British Hulk strips.