Thursday, 24 April 2014

THE PHANTOM VIKING - PART TWO OF LION ANNUAL 1968...


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Just who did they think they were kidding?  The PHANTOM VIKING, who first appeared in CHAMPION in 1966, was obviously a stand-in for MARVEL's The MIGHTY THOR.  When Champion folded, the wing-helmeted wonder (Vikey, not Thor) moved over to LION when the two comics merged in June of '66, and appeared there until '68.

The Phantom Viking had super-strength and the power of flight when he donned the helmet of his ancestor, LARSEN The LIBERATOR, but if the helmet fell off or the south wind blew, he returned to his frail mortal identity of OLAF LARSEN, meek and mild school teacher at WOODBURN SCHOOL.

Thor would've kicked sand in Vikey's face and left him sobbing on the beach, but the strip was a bold attempt to imitate the thunder god and avoid paying the licence fee, even if such a blatant rip-off was a poor second for the real thing.  So, let's give Olaf a hearty cheer as we wave him on his way;  he was no DON BLAKE (then again, neither was Don), but at least he did his best for the two years his strip managed to run.

Don't miss part three - coming whenever I'm stuck for anything better to write about.





2 comments:

John Pitt said...

I think this is a quite endearing British attempt at imitatation, in much the same way as Marvelman was. Another Thor immitation was Charlton's Son Of Vulcan, but it didn't last for many issues.

Kid said...

Marvelman was really more a case of outright plagiarism, JP - necessitated, I suppose, by Fawcett giving up the ghost and L. Miller having to find a replacement PDQ. With the Phantom Viking, it (arguably) wasn't so all-encompassing in imitating Marvel's Thor concept. I remember seeing Son of Vulcan on the spinner-racks, but I don't think I've ever read any.



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