Sunday, 15 January 2017

HAPPY BIRTHDAY POW! ODHAMS PRESS POWER COMICS FIRST ISSUES COVER GALLERY (A RAMBLING REPOST)...



As it's the 50th Anniversary year since POW! first went on
sale in 1967, it's the perfect excuse for me to take the lazy route
by reprinting a post which includes not only the cover of #1, but
also the debut covers of the other four Power Comics.  And
guess what?  I've even thrown in the very first instalment of
The CLOAK!  How's that for generosity?

******

The first two didn't begin life as 'POWER COMICS' - that happened
somewhere along the way after they'd started reprinting MARVEL strips,
but the next three began their runs with the big bold badge emblazoned on
their covers.  For a while, all five weeklies were published concurrently, but
eventually WHAM! merged with POW!TERRIFIC with FANTASTIC,
then Pow! with SMASH! and, finally, Fantastic also merged with Smash!,
which became the sole surviving Power comic until it was revamped
and relaunched (without Marvel reprints) in March of 1969.

Here then are all five first issue covers for you to drool over.




THE CLOAK first appeared in POW! #18 on May 13th (dated 20th)
1967, drawn by Birmingham-based artist MIKE HIGGS.  It had a different
look to other strips in the comic and, given its spy/mystery/horror-themed
stories (albeit in a comedy vein), proved popular enough to last nearly two
years.  It started in Pow!, continued in POW! & WHAM!, then SMASH! &
POW!, and finally ended in SMASH! (Incorporating FANTASTIC) #162,
March 1st (dated 8th) 1969.  I remember the strip mainly because I fancied
LADY SHADY, the Cloak's EMMA PEEL-style sometimes sidekick.
(Wotta bod!  Makes me want to marry a drawing.)


Anyway, for all you Cloak fans out there, here's his first appear-
ance  from the swingin' '60s.  He's turned up at least a couple of times
in recent years - first in the back of a self-published comic by a former
assistant of Mike Higg's, and then in the pages of CRIKEY!, a (now
defunct) mag devoted to British comics and their creators.


Art by MIKE HIGGS

Something I noticed only recently is that a panel from the very
first appearance of The CLOAK (POW! #18, cover-dated May
13th 1967) was clearly based on the front cover of MAD #1 (cover-
dated October-November 1952).  Or could it be no more than mere
coincidence?  Doubt it, but as it took me nigh on 50 years to spot
it, I don't suppose I'll be getting a BLUE PETER badge for my
keen observational skills anytime soon.

Art by HARVEY KURTZMAN  



8 comments:

John Pitt said...

So it is, Kid! - Well spotted, that man!
I can't believe it that I forgot about the 50th! I SHOULD have known, but, due to some tech. probs I am running miles behind with everything, tons of emails & blogposts to go through.
Catch you soon!
Long live Power Comics!!

Kid said...

Despite having Spider-Man, Pow! wasn't my favourite Power Comic, JP - but it was still a great comic. Hope you get your tech problems sorted soon.

paul Mcscotty said...

I do vividly recall reading the first issue of WHAM but I dont think I liked it that much being a tad to young (just turned 5 years old) then - it was aimed a bit older and I iknow my brother and his pals liked it. I do know that by the time POW came out I was reading ODHAMS "WHAM" and "SMASH" whenever I could get it and loved them - THese 3 comics really got me into being a comic geek (darn it). It just doenst seem over 50 years ago this came out!

Kid said...

Yeah, I know - where did the time go, PM? Where did it go? (Death's hiding it up his sleeve.) Smash! was the first Odhams comic I read, then Wham!, then Pow! That was the order I first experienced them, but I was getting all three before you could say "I'm a Power Comics Fan!"

tongalad said...

I seem to recall a free iron-on Iron Man? Am i havering?

Kid said...

Nope, TL - that's a picture of it on the cover of Terrific. I've got the transfer, unused.

NP said...

Great catch about the MAD 'homage'! And of course as we didn't have reprints of MAD in 1967 no one who didn't see the original in 1952 (?) would notice. Now I'm checking every Cloak page!

Kid said...

I must admit to feeling quite proud in spotting that, NP, as well as feeling annoyed at myself that I didn't spot it sooner. As far as I know 'though, no one else has ever mentioned it before. I'll have to go through my own copies of Pow! and see if there are any other 'homages', but it won't be for a while as they're tucked away at the moment.

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