Wednesday, 29 January 2014


Images copyright DC COMICS

JIMMY OLSEN was never a regular buy for me when I was a kid,
'though that changed when JACK KIRBY took over for 15 issues back
in the '70s.  One issue that sticks in my mind however, is the above one -
#97 - bought by my brother during our holiday in Largs in 1968.  He also
purchased FANTASTIC #70, featuring the first half of the origin of The
INCREDIBLE HULK.  This was the first time ODHAMS had reprinted
the tale, having begun with issue #2 when the strip debuted in SMASH!
in 1966.  As far as I know, they never printed the GARGOYLE part
of the story, regarding it as redundant for their purposes.

(Update:  Actually, it had appeared in Smash! #27, cover-
dated August 6th 1966, as a self-contained story, out of sequence
 with, and seemingly unconnected to, The Hulk's origin tale.)

To digress for a moment, this was a peculiarity of Odhams:  They
didn't bother with SPIDER-MAN's origin from AMAZING FAN-
TASY #15, instead starting with ASM #1 when the series appeared in
POW!  Nor did they commence with DAREDEVIL's origin in Smash!,
reserving an abridged version of the tale for the 1968 Fantastic Summer
Special.  I'd have to check, but I don't think they published the first-ever
AVENGERS story either, although I could be wrong on that one.  As
far as I remember, the only characters they definitely printed from
the very beginning were The FANTASTIC FOUR, THOR,

On that '68 holiday, I acquired a bendy CAPTAIN SCARLET
figure and a STEVE ZODIAC & ZOONY The LAZOON on a jet-
mobile toy.  Whenever I look at my replacements of either the Jimmy
Olsen or Fantastic comics, or the Steve Zodiac toy (I haven't got 'round
to replacing Captain Scarlet yet), I'm instantly transported back in time
to our holiday residence for that year, which was the ground floor flat
of what was essentially a Glasgow-type tenement, complete with
the 'luxury' of an outside toilet in the back courtyard.

One day, my brother bought a trick dog-poo, which we placed
on the pavement outside the front of the building, then stood around
trying to look nonchalant so that we could register the looks of disgust
on the faces of passers-by.  It went largely unnoticed, to the extent that
somebody accidentally kicked it as they passed, sending it skiting along
the path.  'Twas my idea to pour some water over it, to give it the ap-
pearance of a more realistic, freshly-deposited doggie-jobbie, but
that failed to attract any more attention than before.

We were to return to Largs two more times, in 1969 and '71.  No
doubt I'll regale you with the background to some of the comics and
toys I bought on those occasions at a future date.  (You lucky 'Criv-
ites', you!  I really shouldn't spoil you so much.)

Image copyright MARVEL COMICS

Since first posting this, I've been back to Largs, and below is an
example of the type of tenement we stayed in, where me and my
brother perpetrated our doggie-poo trick.  Ah, memories!


Andrew May said...

With regard to the way Odhams always seemed to miss out the first few issues of a reprint series - that used to annoy me too. I've still got Terrific #1, one of the few "Power Comics" I still possess (I didn't buy it when it came out, but I sent off for it as a back-issue, which is probably why I've carefully hung onto it ever since. I've still got my iron-on Iron Man T-shirt, too). The Avengers story in that issue is "Masters of Evil", which I think was from Avengers #6. So you're right, they didn't start with #1.

Kid said...

I've still got my Iron Man transfer too, Andrew - great gift, wasn't it? I wonder if that's what gave the idea to Marvel UK for their Hulk and Spidey iron-on transfers in their comics?

You're right - it was Avengers #6 (the first half anyway) in Terrific #1, but Avengers #2 - The Space Phantom - was printed in an earlier issue of Smash! I don't remember them doing the origin tale 'though. I'll have to check my back issues when I have time.

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