Thunder might have only pealed for 22 weeks, but it made a respectable and lasting contribution to the Brit-zarre gallery of UK comic characters
I have to be honest. I'm basing this post solely on my Thunder annual from 1974, and some half-remembered recollections of seeing the characters in strip form. When I began researching and discovered that Thunder only lasted 22 issues, I thought a look at this title would be really easy.
|Self-confessed criminal mastermind The Spider in action|
|Adam Eterno - his immortality was kind of given away by the surname|
|Black Max and his King Bats|
These two strips were very atmospheric, leaning toward grim and violent in tone. But lighter-hearted WW11 adventures were provided by The Steel Commando, a British Army uniformed robot who seemed to make Lion's famous robot Archie somewhat defensive after Thunder was taken over.
|The Steel Commando continues to give Jerry 'what-for', thirty years after the end of WWII|
|Fury and some of his 'family'|
Brrrrrr. I was at the tender age of eight when I gleefully devoured this horror show - and some people wonder why scary films almost never bother me.
|Dr Mesmer's Revenge - nightmare material|
Like most British Boy's papers, the artwork throughout this annual is exquisitely detailed and realistic, a counterpoint to the far more stylised artwork we saw from American comics at this time. Artists were seldom credited in British comics, apparently as an attempt to prevent them being poached by other titles (and possibly to obscure the fact that many of them were actually South American). But you can't hide genius - even at a young age I could recognise the different techniques and characteristics of these unsung heroes, who again unlike the States-side artists, drew and inked their own artwork.
In the concluding part of this look at British comics, we'll examining the strange rumours regarding the fates of this bewildering galaxy of Brit-zarre characters, who seemed to suddenly disappear without a trace in the mid-1970s.