I know I’ve covered the British boys weekly Buster before, but this special 40 page issue is really too good to pass up for me not to post. Along with the spectacularly nonthreatening “Super Guy Fawkes” mask in American comic terms it was a “good jumping on point” as it introduces a lot of different new features,
Like there’s the initial appearance of Back-Tracker Jack, a feature I’ve wanted to read ever since I saw an ad for it in another comic. From the first panel I think I could be forgiven my assumption that Jack went time traveling into the past thanks to the offices of his magic camera. This is not the case. Jack is the assistant of your standard super scientist and that box wasn’t a camera but rather a device which could temporarily dredge up people from the past using hysterically incomprehensible gibberish. Having read the first installment I can imagine how the hell they made a series out of this slender premise, which is why I hope I’ll be able to read more.
Here’s a novelty; I’d assumed that by 1965 that the British boys weeklies would have retired the illustrated prose story, a holdover from the days when the weeklies were equal parts comic and pulp magazine, but here it is, usually they ran one or two pages, I’ve never seen one that went on for three. Maybe it was a reprint, a last minute filler they stuck in when another feature fell through? No clue.
Plus there’s the always reliable ghost breaker Maxwell Hawke…
Here’s something that came as a bit of a surprise, an English translation of Les tours de cristal (The Crystal Towers) a Bob Morane adventure written by Henri Vernes and drawn by Dino Attanasio. It came as a bit of a surprise because while I’d seen some translated European material in British comics they had previously always been humor features — I had just assumed that they never brought over any adventure strips. For the record Bob was a pilot turned all around adventurer who first appeared in a series of novels but who made his way to comics and animation; there’s a cool looking 1998 series that’s readily available on the web, but unfortunately not in Engish. Yet anyway. I’m current watching animated versions of Spirou on Netflix and Valarian on Hulu Plus so nothing’s impossible I have found — which frankly is starting to freak the hell out of me.
And here’s the “origin” of Thunderbolt the Avenger, a DYI looking superhero with actual super powers.
And here’s the first installment of the serial Toys of Doom, a prime example of the genre I have “humorously” dubbed “Doctor Doom Vs. Billy”, where a couple of British school boys fight a proper supervillain.
And, finally, here’s the announcement of a Dalek kite giveaway in the next issue followed by a rare appearance by Smiler, a not half bad kids strip I know from it’s 1950′s run in Knockout. I imagine this a reprint included for it’s fireworks theme.