Saturday, 10 January 2015

CRIME'S HUMAN ERASER - IT'S THE RUBBER MAN...



Let's see now...there was PLASTIC MAN, The ELONGATED
MAN, ELASTIC LAD and MISTER FANTASTIC - Americans all
and proud of it, I'm sure.  However, Britain also had its own stretchable
crime-fighter in the form of The RUBBER MAN (rendered as one word,
RUBBERMAN, in the strip, if not the title) who was every bit as flexible
as his pals across the pond.  (And let's not forget DCT's PING, The
ELASTIC MAN, a 1930s humour strip which pre-dates them all.)

I can't say for certain who produced the strip you see in this post,
but it may've been written by KEN MENNELL and possibly drawn
by ALFREDO MARCULETA - if anyone knows for certain, feel free
to chip in.  This particular strip appeared in the 1968 SMASH! Annual
and is typical of the kind of adventures in which bendy JIM HOLLIS
found himself involved, in his quest to find a cure for his condition.

When I look back, Rubberman seems to have been a significant
comic strip feature of my childhood.  After the MARVEL reprints, ol'
Rubby, along with RONNIE RICH, BAD PENNY and BATMAN, are
the characters I most associate with the original Smash!  However, I was
surprised to read somewhere that the strip was in only eleven issues of
the weekly comic - not counting the ones in the '68-'70 Annuals.

One day, I'll have to go through my back numbers and count the
Rubberman strips for myself - eleven issues just doesn't seem right (or
possible) somehow.  Perhaps it was eleven separate adventures, each of
which consisted of several episodes - that seems just a little more likely.
Anyone know for sure?  It'd save me a crawl through the comics.  

Anyway, in the meantime, enjoy this strip from the '60s.  The
plot may be a bit of a stretch, but it's sure to rub off on you!



2 comments:

John Pitt said...

Many thanks, Kid. Not having had the annuals, I've never seen this strip before. Rubby was one of my favourite UK strips in Smash, along with Brian's Brain and I didn't discover any of the US stretchies till slightly afterwards. As for only eleven weeks, I would have bet money he was in for much longer than that. It just goes to show how time seems to travel much more slowly when you're a kid.

Kid said...

It doesn't sound right to me either, JP, but may be true. When I can be bothered, I'll dig through my back issues and count the strips. It could be that he was 'rested' after 11 issues and returned later. We shall see.

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