From the first issue of Corben's own Fantagor, here's a dark and despairing look at humanity under the heel of alien invaders, some of us not minding all that much.
Like a lot of Corben's underground work, it feels like you've been shoved into the middle of a larger story, an approach I always like, as it feels like you're getting more bang for your buck.
There's a theory that there are only 7 stories in the world, and that every tale told is a variation or combination of one of those seven. Y'know, boy meets girl, boy loses girl etc. etc.
Not sure if they have one for 'Superhero completely loses his memory' however.
Here's a tale where The Scarlet Speedster forgets who he really is, and even if writer Cary Bates doesn't quite make enough of the set-up, well, you do get that iconic cover, probably one of the best of the Bronze Age, certainly one of the best of this character.
Also, Barry gets to be appallingly sexist to wife Iris, and then blame it on his amnesia.
I didn't know what I was saying, honey! I didn't know it was you!
Here's another British kids strip from the Bronze Age that, like Captain Hurricane, was exactly the same every week, and ran forever, this time in Cor! Rat-Trap was supposedly an interactive strip, as each issue the ( fairly useless ) Agents Of BIFFF ( The British Institute For Foiling Felonies ) set out to capture that rotten rodent rapscallion Dr. Rat, by using suggestions ( allegedly ) from the readers, who received a crisp five pound note if their idea was used.
Of course, BIFFF's cunning plan failed every single week, and Dr. Rat escaped while blowing a raspberry at the reader. I always found the artwork on Rat-Trap more than a bit weird, and Dr. Rat himself slightly creepy, which I guess was the point...
Only an all-time classic, is all.
It's amazing ( arf! ) when you stop to think about how great Spidey's book was, and for how long. All through Ditko, Romita, Kane and Andru it really was the gold standard.
But it was Conway & Andru that, if pushed, would be 'my' run. Not as ground-breaking as Lee / Ditko obviously, but this was the period where we actually could get American colour Spidey in this country, every month!
And practically every issue was a classic in the making. Take this one, where Petey moves in with Flash, an epoch making event in itself. Add to that a great, tortured villain, and the fact that the neighbourhood is being torn down in a spate of '70's urban renewal, giving Spidey not that many places to swing from, and you have a masterclass in how to do it in one issue.
In that PBS Superheroes documentary, somebody says that the reason '70's Marvel writers could write so convincingly about New York was because they were all living in the not-so-nice areas, and I'd be willing to bet we're looking at Gerry Conway's old neighbourhood here.
Just an added frisson to an already great story.
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