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The Avengers – Thorpe and Porter, England, 1966.

This comic is a classic example of a strange 50s and 60s hybrid, the British comic that wanted to be American. As explained in the comic books intro page, British comics were predominantly of the ‘anthology’ type, with more than one strip shouldering the responsibility for bringing in sales. This has remained the dominant style of British comics, although, brand-based TV and Cinema tie-ins aside, there is little left of the mainstream UK comics industry outside of 2000AD and the waning DC Thomson stable of humour comics. At the time this title was issued, the UK comics industry was declining but still relatively healthy, with sales of the title TV21 often exceeding… What Thorpe and Porter did with this title was something which had previously been done in the late 50s by companies such as T.V. Boardman and especially Miller & Son - trying to make a British comic which, to the lazy or unknowledgeable eye, would appear to be one of the gaudy four colour US imports. At least until it was opened and the lack of colour was discovered inside.

The other way in which this title aped the US influence was by concentrating on The Avengers only – if it had been a comic which worked under the usual strictures of the UK comics industry it would have been in the same vein as TV Comic or TV21 – an imaginary action TV anthology which would have contained the adventures of, for example, The Avengers, Doctor Who, Danger Man, Adam Adamant Lives, and The Man From U.N.C.L.E. Instead, it follows the Gold Key US influence and features four short strips dedicated to the one show only. In another nod to the USA the back page, in true US comic book style, contains an advertisement for Charles Atlas’ Body Building Course.

This title was drawn by Mick Anglo, who had previously drawn Marvelman, Kid Marvelman and other members of the Marvel Family for Len Miller's comics. Who wrote the stories is unknown.

It is unclear whether this publication was officially-sanctioned by ABC, who were responsible for making The Avengers, but as there are no copyright details given it could be that it was semi-legal. The same company also published similar titles featuring the adventures of The Saint and Danger Man (Secret Agent in the USA).

The strips in this comic were subsequently reprinted over two volumes of TV Classics in Holland.

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