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The Avengers in TV Comic, Tara King & John Steed - Part One


There was a gap of over two years between the last TV Comic appearance of Emma Peel and the re-emergence of the strips with tales based on the Tara King episodes.  The Tara King years began on the Fifth of October 1968 with issue 877 and a one-page strip. This version of the strip managed to last for just under four years. An amazing record considering the adult nature and sophistication of the programme compared to the other programmes which were adapted as comic strips in TV Comic. (Although the storylines did become increasingly surreal, this was in line with the Tara King era, anyway).

The early Tara King strips were drawn by Tom Kerr, the same artist who drew The Monkees in most of the strips in their hardcover British annuals.   He has an enjoyably slick, almost cartoonish, style and gets my vote for the comic strip artist who most caught the feel of The Avengers.  I stress the term comic artist here, however, as some people favour the photo-reference-heavy style of the Diana strips which, nice as they are, tend to be a little stiff when it comes to the fluidity of the human form.

The later strips were almost certainly all drawn by John Canning. I say almost certainly because the quality of the strips varies so much that it's sometimes difficult to be sure. Some of the strips are highly-rendered, some seem to have been drawn with a felt-tipped pen bought from Salford Market. It may be that for some of the strips Canning was providing either basic pencils or even just the layouts and studio juniors were supplying the finished product; it may be that Canning had severe deadline problems. I can't say for sure.  Anyway, Steed and an unrecognisable Miss King finally bade their readers a fond farewell in issue 1077 on August the Fifth, 1972.  There had been a total of 28 stories, spanning an incredible 165 issues.

NOTE: There is a jump-through link at the end of each story so that you can go straight into to the next one, but if you need to go to any story direct here are the details:

Story One
STORY 1 issues 877 to 883

Story Two
STORY 2 issues 884 to 889

Story Three
STORY 3 issues 890 to 895

Story Four
STORY 4 issues 896 to 901

Story Five
STORY 5 issues 902 to 907

Story Six
STORY 6 issues 908 to 913

Story Seven
STORY 7 issues 914 to 920

Story Eight
STORY 8 issues 921 to 927

Story Nine
STORY 9 issues 928 to 934

Story Ten
STORY 10 issues 935 to 941

Back to TV Comics page
Back to Main Comics page on to stories 11 - 20