Tintin Forums

Tintin Forums / The Members Lounge /

Return of the British super heroes

Page  Page 1 of 2:  1  2  Next » 

John Sewell
Member
#1 · Posted: 25 Jan 2005 13:00
There's an interesting article in the latest SFX magazine, about the imminant return of some of the UK's 'forgotten' comic characters in new stories.

Essentially, Time-Warner (who also own DC) bought out IPC, once Britain's largest comic publisher, and in the process, acquired the rights to a lot of the old characters; the Spider, the Steel Claw, Robot Archie and so on. Now, thanks to the efforts of one Andrew Sumner, we're going to get a revamp of some of them in a DC / Wildstorm series entitled Albion, courtesy of bearded comics legend Alan Moore! No news yet about which of the characters will be getting a re-boot, but one of the scripters (Moore's son-in-law) is a member of another message board I contribute to, so if he posts anything interesting I'll relay it here!

I just hope that the characters are treated with a little more respect than they were in that woeful 90s revival from 2000AD! They had the Spider portrayed as an incurably insane canniballistic psychopath, to name but one indignity!

The article also says that Titan Books will be reprinting collections of the original strips, starting in 2005 with the Spider and Steel Claw. I'll definitely be picking them up - Titan are doing a decent job on Dan Dare - a little undersized but a boon to those like me who didn't find all of the Hawk reprints! I just think that after all this time, it's great to see some renewed interest in characters who've been all but forgotten - except by old gits like me!
rastapopoulos
Member
#2 · Posted: 25 Jan 2005 14:46
John. Are you a big Eagle fan by any chance? You may be able to assist me. Im trying to locate an issue of Eagle Monthly from the early nineties (1991, maybe 1992). The reason is that me and my mate had our pictures printed in the Fan-art Gallery. But we have both never seen them.

The story goes....(yawn)...my friend and I bought a few copies of Eagle monthly, mainly due to the awesome 'Charley's War' series which they were re-printing. Me and my mate were big 'Commando' fans and found Charley's war a great (yet historically factual) read. We both competitively drew pictures to send in, me a German stormtrooper firing his mauser in a trench, and my friend sent a picture of a Tommy chucking a hand grenade. Anyway, for some reason or another we both did not get anymore issues (probably subject to availablity - we were only 10) of the Eagle Monthly. However a few months later we both recevied a Japanese Robot kit to make, with no letter or compliments slip. Puzzled we both realised that it must have been Eagle Monthly that sent them, as they sent you a prize for getting your picture published. We couldnt find anymore Eagle Monthly's i think they didnt run it for long. I'm still good friends with my pal and we would both be over the moon to find the issue.

Any ideas where to look? I tried getting in contact with an Eagle fanzine editor once, but the email kept coming back saying the email address didnt exist.
John Sewell
Member
#3 · Posted: 25 Jan 2005 15:26 · Edited by: John Sewell
Hmm... I'll keep my eyes open for you Rasta' , as it's the sort of thing which turns up every now and then in the second hand bookshops I haunt. I've got a visit to Hay-on-Wye coming up in a few months, and the town is full of 'em. Lots of old magazines and comics too - I picked up a copy of the Beano from the week I was born for a couple of quid!

In a similar vein, I wish I could get my hands on the copy of Buster from 1978 which featured my £1 postal order winning joke in 'Gus's Gags'! Nice to see my name in print, though, to my eternal shame, I'd stolen the joke word-for-word from that year's Beano Book! Speaking of Buster, I wonder if Titan will get round to the Leopard From Lime Street - one of my favourite cliff-hanging pleasures of the 70s!

Edited to add: You could try http://www.eaglecomic.com/ - it covers the later Eagle (though the emphasis is very much on its 50s heyday), and there's an email contact for the webmaster.

There's also http://www.toonhound.com/ , a more general British comics site, and also the message board at http://www.backfromthedepths.co.uk/home.htm - it deals with the Scream! horror comic, but after it folded, a few of its characters ended up in Eagle, so someone may be able to help you there!
jock123
Moderator
#4 · Posted: 25 Jan 2005 15:39 · Edited by: jock123
Shhh, John!! The statute of limitations on joke snaffling may not have run out yet - and DC Thompson have long memories!! ;-)

I am absolutely delighted to hear that Steel Claw et al are making a comeback, but not happy that they might be in for a re-doing (or “kicking”) at the hands of Mr. Moore. The scripters and even some of the artists of many of the original strips are still with us, so I’d like them to get first dibs, rather than yet another revisionist version - Grant Morrison’s Dan Dare anyone? >shudder!<

I’d snap up the collections of the original strips though...

I also hope that they have characters like Adam Eterno, Black Max (and his Bats!), and Janus Stark from Thunder!
rastapopoulos
Member
#5 · Posted: 25 Jan 2005 15:48 · Edited by: rastapopoulos
Cheers John. I'll look out for the 78 buster. By the way whats the Joke? Im also always on the lookout in second hand bookshop, which I never seem to find Tintin books. Theres usually a few Asterix books Knocking about though. Many a sencond hand book owner gets to see my head round the door asking "got any Tintin books?" No, sorry, "Ok, bye". I had a chat with a collectable books market stall bloke once and he told me he had special customers who he would immediately contact if any Tintin books arise. I did however pick up 2 gems - Biggles, drawn in the stlye (and completely copying) of Tintin, by Bjorn Karlstrum. Biggles is the spitting image of Skut, and his Wing commander is Splading form 'Flight 714'. I've posted a thred on here before about the books somewhere.

I checked out the links and sent an email there, it looks like the site I visited with the void email, and looks like the contact has changed, so hopefully I may get some responce...
John Sewell
Member
#6 · Posted: 25 Jan 2005 16:19 · Edited by: John Sewell
I am absolutely delighted to hear that Steel Claw et al are making a comeback, but not happy that they might be in for a re-doing (or “kicking”) at the hands of Mr. Moore. The scripters and even some of the artists of many of the original strips are still with us, so I’d like them to get first dibs, rather than yet another revisionist version - Grant Morrison’s Dan Dare anyone? >shudder!<

Gawd, yeah, that was awful - an insult to the memory of Frank Hampson! I quite liked the retro-look to the artwork though, it's just a shame it was used in such an apalling story!

I'd imagine that there'll be rationalisation into some sort of overarcing "Albion Universe", as both DC and Marvel do every few years when things start getting a little complicated. More potential for crossovers that way. I just hope the original essence of the characters doesn't get mucked about with in the same way that the 2000AD special did. Staying with the Spider, he was a thoroughly nasty piece of work in the beginning, and still retained a slight edge even after he'd supposedly gone over to the forces of good, but as far as I know, he never went around eating people! One good thing, IMO, is that the artist involved is the British Shane Oakley. I know that IPC were in the habit of using artists from Spain, Italy and Argentina on their strips, but hopefully a British artist and scripters will manage to avoid the stereotype "fog, tea and muffins" view of the UK that tends to crop up whenever the US comic giants turn their attention to our little island.

I'm not sure just how involved Alan Moore is going to be, over and above the initial setting up of this "Universe". I rather liked his take on Marvel/Miracleman - taking an old hero and deconstructing the premise, but never quite losing sight of the original. Zenith did something similar - what would the World be like if these godlike beings really existed - and included a lot of the old characters in cameos (including the Steel Claw in his short-lived spandex phase and a few all-too-thinly disguised DC Thompson characters for good measure). Where that fell down was in its approach of chucking everything in but the kitchen sink! There are websites out there attempting to identify every single one of the dozens of obscure Brit heroes appearing in Zenith, even the ones in just a single frame!
jock123
Moderator
#7 · Posted: 25 Jan 2005 17:02 · Edited by: jock123
I’d love to see someone turn some of the old IPC/ Fleetway series into other media. Steel Claw would be a good choice for TV, as would Adam Eterno, The Spellbinder and even things like Gauntlet of Fate would make good series. I’d even like there to be audio adventures, like the BBC’s Superman and Big Finish’s Doctor Who and Judge Dredd range.

In re: to the revamped Spider, I can’t recall that much about him even in the original, but the “re-fitted” version sounds appalling. I came across a note on a web-page from Trevor Bunn, son of W.R. Bunn, who drew the character during the Sixties (and Spellbinder and Zip Nolan, at times). Sadly he says his father went insane, and died in 1971, so it wasn’t some sort of comment on that, perhaps, that the character was made insane, was it, do you think?

Never saw Zenith. Was it worth it?
John Sewell
Member
#8 · Posted: 25 Jan 2005 23:28 · Edited by: John Sewell
so it wasn’t some sort of comment on that, perhaps, that the character was made insane, was it, do you think?

Blimey! I hope not, it'd have been in extremely poor taste! The strip, ISTR, featured a strait-jacketed, lank-haired Spider wallowing in his own filth in a cell, whilst a psychologist discussed his murderous exploits. After that, things are a little sketchy, but I think it ends with the Spider either escaping, or being released, with the reader in full knowledge that he's about to resume his habits. The whole mag was full of dubious tales like that, a couple of the others featuring Kelly's Eye, and even briefly resurrecting Mytek the Mighty! The artwork for all was under-par too, of a quality far below that distinctive "scatchy" fine penmanship that a lot of these strips had in their original forms!

Never saw Zenith. Was it worth it?

I really liked it, though it was quite difficult to follow in the later stages! it started off literally with a bang, setting out its alternate reality with a WWII prologue which saw the Enola Gay dropping the first atom bomb on Berlin instead of Hiroshima, unfortunately as the UK's secret weapon, Maximan, is slugging it out with his Nazi counterpart Masterman in the ruins below. A statue of the fallen Maximan is erected in Parliament Square after the war, despite the fact that the government sent him into Berlin knowing about the American bomb - they were frightened of his powers.

Things then jump forward to the "present" day, ie: the early 1990s, and we're introduced to Zenith, a pampered pop star, son of two members of the 1960s hero group Cloud Nine (by then all either dead, missing or powerless - or so we think at first!), and the only active superhuman. He gets drawn into the plot when someone starts killing off the remaining Cloud Nine members, and is forced into battle when Masterman apparently returns from the dead and turns up in London, creating havoc...

After that, things start getting bizarre, with Luthor Arkwright-like parallel universes (for some reason, the DC Thompson heroes come from Alternate 666), pan-dimensional Lovecraftian nasties, and all manner of plot twists. http://www.internationalhero.co.uk/z/zenhist.htm explains what went on far better than I could, as well as providing a scorecard of the old heroes who appeared (and, it has to be said, horribly killed in the most part. Still, at least the majority of them were shown to have a heroic fighting exit!)
jock123
Moderator
#9 · Posted: 27 Jan 2005 15:24
Revisiting, courtesy of the internet, some of the characters from British comics I read as a lad, I came across this link to Captain Hurricane, who in spite of his name was not a superhero as such, but an actual boat captain, then a Captain of Marines during WWII.

What really caught my attention was the writer saying that he was given a list of “acceptable exclamations”, one of which was “Blistering bulwarks!” Not unlike our own dear captain, non?

In the illustrations he is also seen to be calling one lot of the enemy “Bilge rats!”, and in another “Perishin’ ice-cream wallahs!” This last would proably not be seen as appropriate or acceptable these days, as the occupants of the tank he is destroying are obviously Italian (they are saying “Mama mia!!”, which pretty much gives it away! Still, that aspect aside, I think I could imaging Archibald sharing epithets with him...
rastapopoulos
Member
#10 · Posted: 27 Jan 2005 16:40
This last would proably not be seen as appropriate or acceptable these days, as the occupants of the tank he is destroying are obviously Italian (they are saying “Mama mia!!”,

I have a Warrior annual which has Captain Hurricane in it. He calls some Japanese soldiers an string of unmentional remarks. Do you think such remarks were allowed due to the War? I've a vast collection of 'Commando' books, which also don't pull their punches when it come to stereotyping. Do you think Tintin gets pulled up on his pollitically un-correctness due to his global popularity?

Page  Page 1 of 2:  1  2  Next » 

Please be sure to familiarize yourself with the Forum Posting Guidelines.

Disclaimer: Tintinologist.org assumes no responsibility for any content you post to the forums/web site. Staff reserve the right to remove any submitted content which they deem in breach of Tintinologist.org's Terms of Use. If you spot anything on Tintinologist.org that you think is inappropriate, please alert the moderation team. Sometimes things slip through, but we will always act swiftly to remove unauthorised material.

Reply



  Forgot your password?
Please sign in to post. New here? Sign up!