Thursday, 1 January 2015

Random comics from past times

With only three new comics out this week, I thought this was an ideal opportunity to do a bit of random collecting.

Over the past couple of years I've started collecting a small number of British comics, of which the Power Comics (Wham!, Smash! & Pow!) were my favourites, but I thought it about time I started branching out to titles I was unfamiliar with.

TV Tornado is one comic I vaguely remember but certainly wasn't a regular reader. Containing strips such as The Saint, The Lone Ranger and Tarzan from well known TV series, some of the other strips Magnus: Robot Hunter and The Phantom were just reprints from US comics of the time.

Disappointingly The Invaders and The Man from UNCLE were just text stories. Not for me. Comics are for comic strips.

Jet on the other hand is a comic I'd never read before. It lasted a mere 22 issues before merging with the long running Buster. However I must say some of the strips seem to be well worth picking up further issues of this title for. Von Hoffman's Invasion is cracking stuff, as is Bala the Briton. Other strips include the rather ridiculous Dwarf, normal fare for the time but more entertaining was Carno's Cadets which pitches school cadets against alien invaders.

Humour strips include The Kids of Stalag 41 which lasted in Buster for much longer than its parent title. Face Ache, is also a strip that will amuse those of us from a certain generation and maybe a few youngsters today if they ever got the chance.

Next up are a couple of very early Marvel UK titles, Mighty World of Marvel and its first sister paper Spiderman Weekly. I may not be a big fan of modern Marvel stuff, but these early stories penned by Stan lee himself with mainly Steve Ditko on art duty are a joy to read in the larger black & white British format.

Not sure exactly why I chose a copy of Forces in Combat, a Marvel title from 1980, but an interesting selection of stories including Sgt Fury, ROM, Kull and Master of Kung Fu. Most of these characters were second tier even in the eighties so this title didn't last long. 

Since it's Christmas/New Year, the Hurricane Annual 1970 seemed a good choice. Never read the comics but did have a couple of these annuals in the sixties. Originally a "companion paper" to the long running Valiant comic, Hurricane merged with Tiger after just 63 issues in 1964/65. The Annuals however continued until 1974!

Strips included Typhoon Tracey, The Juggernaut from Planet X, Sgt Rock (of the SAS not the DC one), Casey Jones (!) and Danny Jones, Time Traveller amongst others. Still reading this one!


Finally a couple of old American editions. Weird Wonder Tales contains a rather amusing if outdated science fiction tale HAAG! Hunter of Helpless Humans. This is a reprint of a tale from 1954 by Stan Lee/L.Leiber and drawn by Steve Ditko!

Finishing up this random haul is a copy of Army War Heroes from Charlton Comics, a rather odd little publisher that used comics to keep its printing presses running! This issue is worth the entry price for the cover alone. Stories of The Iron Corporal and Archer are mildly entertaining but certainly not up to the standards of even the sixties I'm afraid to say!

This was a fun exercise worth repeating one day! Hope you enjoyed my choices and it helped bring back memories of simpler times!

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