Thursday, 27 August 2015
Charlton Première presents Children of Doom (1967)
Charlton Premiere presents: Children of Doom (Charlton Comics)
Sergius O'Shaugnessy (w) Pat Boyette (a)
One of the major publishers back in the day was Charlton Comics, rumoured it has to be said to be owned by the Mafia who operated out of a run down factory in Derby, Connecticut. Their comics were very much a part of a much larger printing operation and designed to help keep the presses rolling since it was apparently cheaper to run that way.
As a result the quality of the comics did suffer, in particular the finished product tended more often than not to have bad cuts, poor printing and other faults that may have put off readers. Add to that a chaotic distribution system which often saw titles simply sitting in warehouses never reaching consumers many may have missed out on even getting to see the wide range of comics the company put out.
Charlton were not popular with the US Post office either, often changing a titles name and content completely and continuing the numbering to avoid fees. That practise also makes collecting difficult as numbering ended up meaning nothing.
Charlton Premiere was one such comic. Starting life as Marine War Heroes for 18 issues and then changing to Charlton Premiere as of #19, It was oddly followed by a new #1. No idea why.
However neither of these are of particular interest, Trio is full of totally forgettable "heroes" who as far as I am aware never appeared anywhere again, it is the second issue that is worth grabbing a copy of.
According to the Editorial this comic was a "rush job":
We had an entirely different issue ready for press and then lost it on a legality. We then had to get this one together in a big hurry.
There was one more thing:
We've always liked the idea of a black and white comic book but have been afraid of doing one in a format where everyone else in in four colour. So we mixed it up. Some four colour, some black and white. We like it..do you?
Well yes has to be the answer and the fact the art is by the ever excellent Pat Boyette (Peter Cannon Thunderbolt) is a definite bonus.
The story Children of Doom is very much a product of the Cold war era with a rather obvious Dr Strangeglove reference as the world faces an uncertain future in the age of the Atom Bomb. Enter some scientists with a Doomsday Machine which they bury in the Earth to stop mankind using nuclear weapons and an Eastern Nation taking advantage only disaster awaits.
The ensuing adventure featuring a holocaust, space and time travelling with more than a few mutants wandering around is a very satisfying story, especially given the period it was produced in and the audience it was aimed at.
Well worth adding to your collection.