Monday, November 06, 2017

Superhero colouring goofs!

I've shown these before in older posts, but I thought it'd be good to repost the images under one topic. Plus it's a very quick way to provide a new post while I'm busy. 

These days, we're used to Panini UK having excellent reprints for their Marvel comics, as they use the same files as the original U.S. printing did. It wasn't like that back in the 1960s, when British companies were supplied with black and white prints they had to colour themselves. Presumably they used the actual American comics for reference... but sometimes they seem to have just guessed what the colours should be, and some pretty wild guesses at that. 

Above, the cover to Smash! No.17, dated 28th May 1966. Seems no one told Odhams that the Hulk had green skin, or that he wasn't wearing a yellow dress, and he certainly didn't wear nail varnish.

Next, Terrific No.20, dated August 26th 1967, with a bare-armed, and bare-legged Captain America! Thor with bare legs too. Enough to give kids nightmares for a week. 
Fantastic Annual 1969 actually has a great cover. It's just a pity they coloured Iron Man's faceplate silver instead of gold, but it stands out well as the centre of this painting so we'll forgive them for that.
Less forgivable is Fantastic Annual 1970, where Thor has a yellow costume and bare legs instead of the all-blue combo we were used to. I'm no prude, but what was Odhams' assumption that everyone had bare legs?
That same year, Pow! Annual 1970 gave us the Fantastic Four with red (instead of blue) outfits, and a grey (instead of orange) Thing...
The Fantastic Four fared badly in other books too, such as in The Fantastic Four Comic Album, with red/yellow outfits, a purple Thing, a blue Human Torch, and a multi-coloured Doctor Doom! But at least he didn't have bare legs.
The Fantastic Four Comic Annual of 1970 got the FF right, but poor Doctor Doom had another garish colour combo...
Finally in this selection (and I've no doubt there were more) DC comics didn't escape unscathed either. The British Super DC monthly (published from 1969 to 1970) carried this advert on its back page for all 14 issues. They almost got Superman's colouring right, but with all the Batman merchandise around, how could anyone get Batman's colour scheme so wrong? 

8 comments:

Manic Man said...

Look closely at Batman.. that colour scheme.. It's the first Superman-Namor cross over! Okay, it's not quite right, and I think one of the colouring problems at the time was due to limited palettes and just trying to think of what they though would appeal more, but oh well.. Personally I prefer Iron man's Red Silver (called the Silver Centurion armour these days) from the 80s.. so Fantastic was ahead of the game there ^_^ iron mans suit has just gotten really silly now..

Lew Stringer said...

I think it was just down to carelessness or not having reference material. In the case of the annuals, they were put together by a different team than the weeklies so it looks like they just made it up as they went along.

James Spiring said...

Maybe that annual cover is where Marvel got the idea for Iron Man's Silver Centurion armour?

Not sure why they made that Batman mistake - wouldn't the Adam West TV series have aired by then?

Lew Stringer said...

Yes, in 1966, and as I said there was loads of Batman merchandise around so you'd think they'd have noticed. I think they just didn't care. Super DC had a bit of a sloppy design sense in that regard.

John Kerry said...

Lookinf at that cover of Terrific Captain America's arms and legs seem to be the same colour (white) as the star on his uniform and the star and stripe on his shield. Possibly the colourist was told he had a red, white blue uniform and took it from there. Kinda fun and I did get a chuckle.

Lew Stringer said...

Look a bit closer, John. The arms and legs are pink. They've used the same low percentage red as they have for the faces.

SID said...

Well, well, well. I never knew that Red Hulk appeared in Smash!. ;)

Thanks for the update, Lew.

James Golbey said...

Great article, Lew. :)

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