Sunday, November 16, 2014

The Black Archer (1966 - 67)

The notion of a modern-day Robin Hood type of character isn't new to comics. DC Comics' Green Arrow has been around in one form or another since 1941, (and is now the star of the Arrow TV series) and Marvel's Hawkeye debuted in 1964. With the issue dated 2nd July 1966, Tiger and Hurricane introduced their own version, - The Black Archer.


To be frank, The Black Archer wasn't a very memorable character, but I thought its novelty might interest some of you. Above is the origin story, illustrated by the great Eric Bradbury. 

I only have sporadic issues of Tiger from this period but by the 19th November 1966 issue, The Black Archer had a different artist. The following three pages look like the work of Sandy James to me...



You'll also note that the character has moved away from his original urban vigilante theme into a more fantastic vein, fighting bizarre villains. This was undoubtedly inspired by the success of the Batman TV series. By January 1967, The Black Archer was facing a very peculiar looking character called The Remover...

By now, the artwork was by John Gillatt, another of Fleetway's many top illustrators. Tiger's rotating cover strips meant that it appeared on the front page on at least one occasion (issue dated 18th February 1967)...



As you can see, the scripts were not great, but it was a quirky strip and it featured some very nice artwork so it deserves to be remembered for that at least. If you're interested in seeking it out, The Black Archer ran in Tiger and Hurricane from 2nd July 1966 to 7th October 1967.

8 comments:

Alan Cowsill said...

Cool. Always liked these old British heroes. Most of my knowledge comes from an old Pow annual. I think DC might own the rights to a lot of them these days, more by default than design, but I'm not sure.

Lew Stringer said...

Is this the annual you mean Alan?

http://lewstringer.blogspot.co.uk/2010/12/annuals-of-christmas-1970.html

If so, those characters only ever appeared in that one book, and never again. Very odd really.

Yes, apparently Time Warner (or Time Inc as I think they are now) own the IPC strips that were published prior to 1970, with Egmont owning the ones post 1970 to present (except for creator owned properties of course). Too bad Time aren't doing anything with the thousands of pages they own.

Alan Cowsill said...

That's the one. I'll have to persuade DC to let me bring them all back! :) Didn't know that was their only appearance. Interesting.

Lew Stringer said...

There are tons of British superheroes that DC now have access to, including The Steel Claw, Kelly's Eye, Rubberman, The Legend Testers, The Spider, etc. Enough to fill a partwork series I'd say. :)

What I'd REALLY like to see them do though is reprint Ken Reid's 1960s material. His greatest work, in my opinion. (Frankie Stein, Jasper the Grasper, Queen of the Seas, Dare-a-Day-Davy, and the later episodes of The Nervs).

Anonymous said...

Somehow Lew, I always feel that these large companies acquire the rights to properties not to some day use them but in an effort to stop any potential competition publishing something in competition!
(Marko)

Lew Stringer said...

Possibly. DC did publish a few comics featuring IPC characters (Albion, Thunderbolt Jaxon, Battler Britton) but as sales were not great it may have biased their opinions as to the potential of the rest of the characters. A pity.

John Freeman said...

Fascinating post, Lew. Thanks.

Lew Stringer said...

Cheers John!

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