Monday, 18 April 2011
Action - the end
Here it is, 16th October 1976 and the last issue before being taken off the shelves and lobotomised.
Looking at beyond that classic Ezquerra cover, there's some still inflamatory stuff going on alright.
Not on Hookjaw, the strip you'd think you'd think would have it, as the artwork is just so darn poor, with even worse colouring. The artist has swiped Sola's shot from inside Hookjaw's mouth as he eats the diver, but all that does is make you yearn for the fella back on the strip. Would've been a great help - but no matter how great that could've been, it wouldn't detract from the fact that the mayhem's taking place off the coast of THE ISLE OF WIGHT...
The oft mentioned bottling from the terrace's is back again in Look Out For Lefty, which i'm sure is one thing that set alarm bells ringing this issue.
Final straw must be though Kids Rule O.K, with these two sequences here. First up is the very first panel where Roker asks of our hero "Where'd ya like it - across the fingers or straight down into ya face?" Pretty strong stuff now for adults, let alone back then for us sprogs. And then we have the last few panels this week as the new bad guys make their appearance - Police Cadets laying into the gang with their truncheons.
Whether bad timing or editorial deliberately pushing it, doesn't really matter - high up eyes were watching the title and the above couldn't help but get a reaction.
A real shame.
Personally, i'm gutted that Hellman was a casualty as his tale on the Russian Front was really picking up a gear, with this issue his nemesis Schwarz defecting to the Russians, taking Hellmans crew with him. Sure, the tale continued on the titles return, but it was in a watered down incarnation, nowhere near as good.
A difficult to accomplish when you're wearing breathing apparatus "AAAAAEEEEE!" from a diver in Hookjaw.
A spot-on "AIEEEE!" from Schwarz in Hellman, who then produces a longer "AIEEEEEE!" twice, then back to "AIEEEE!". Would say he was right crybaby but they're all fake cries to make Hellman & co think he's being tortured by the Russians.
And then we finish with a real "AIEEE!" from a Russian trooper.