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Monday, October 21, 2013

COMIC BOOK COMPULSIVE — Garth — The Doomsmen

I’ve posted in the past about Garth, the sort of British Superman, the hero of a long running newspaper strip that ran in The Daily Mirror starting in 1943,  I say “sort of” because while he had Herculean strength he dressed and behaved more or less like a regular grown up person and fought evil as sort of a hobby as opposed to an angst infused obsession.   With no visible means of support, other than his scientist pal Professor Lumiere whom he appeared to be sponging off of, Garth just sort of wandered around looking for cool stuff to do.  His adventures ranged from prosaic crime busting to the faintly fantastic, as here where he deals with some deadly humanoid robots that seem to owe a great deal to The Cybernauts from The Avengers TV series.  It started out it as pretty much kid stuff, but thanks to writer Jim Edgar and artist Frank Bellamy who took over the strip in 1971, it quickly went from Boys Own Adventure to Mens Adventure  Meaning along with the standard adventure stuff there were always loads of beautiful women in various stages of undress as well as dollops of frontal female nudity.

In it’s later years the strip became obsessed with the character’s past lives and the stories careened from one era to another.  Usually these were recovered memories, ala The Search For Bridey Murphy, while other jaunts seemed to result from him becoming unstuck in time ala Slaughterhouse Five. These sequences got pretty repetitive, kind of like Milton Caniff’s interminable “Steve Is Dreaming” continuities in the latter years of  Steve Canyon, except Steve never got sexually assaulted by mostly to completely naked evil queen types.

 


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